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Friday, March 20, 2009

Lamb Ragu

So on the eve of the last day of winter, I decide to make a very hearty pasta dish, Lamb Ragu! I have been on a bit of an Italian kick with good reason, Italians make some of the best food.

Lamb Ragu

for two

3/4 of a pound of flayed leg of lamb, cubed
1/2 a large onion, finely chopped (I use my Quisinart!)
1/2 a carrot, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (as if there is any other kind!)
a handful of fresh basil leaves, about half the bunch, finely chopped
1/4 lb pancetta or bacon, sliced into small bits
1/2 cup dry white wine
a little more than half a can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
2 servings FRESH fettuccine or other thin flat pasta

In a deep sauce pan, over medium high, heat up the olive oil until very hot, almost smoking. Add the onions, carrots, basil and bacon or pancetta. Cook until all the fat is off the bacon. Season the lamb with plenty of salt and pepper. Brown the meat thoroughly in the pan. It always takes longer than you think, but browned food tastes better!.

Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, 2 cups of boiling water and season with salt and pepper. Cover, lower heat to medium and simmer until the meat is tender, maybe about 20 minutes.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add the pasta to the hot sauce and heat back up a medim high for about 2 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Gang's All Here

It's been a while since 312 Square Feet hosted a proper party and what started as a small dinner snowballed into a delicious gather of some of my brightest friends. The crew; Art, Evers, J-Tron, the Ghoast, Czyz, Haeyoung, 80's Malin, Chelsea, L.K. Webs, and your hostess.

We enjoyed a dinner of scallops wrapped in bacon, fennel and orange salad, a main of Brazilian fish stew with coconut rice, and dessert provided by one ex-Teuscher employee, Craig, of amazing Swiss chocolates. Chocolates that seemed to perfectly cap the evening. Libations we flowing plentifully and the evening devolved into some homemade karaoke madness! Including an impromptu MCQ performance of our one cover song, "I'm on Fire"!

Brazilian Fish Stew
serves 6-8
2 ounds cod cut into about 8 oz portions
1 1/2 pounds of shrimp
1 1/2 (about 6) tomatoes, cubed
1/4 cup (about 2 limes worth) lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
3-4 cloves gralic, chopped or put through your handy garlic press
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 flat italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Marinate the cod in the lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 of the garlic cloves, and the pepper for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and toos to cover. Marinate another 30 minutes, but not too long. The citrus will start to cook the fish and you will have civiche and not stew!

Line the bottom of a really big pot with the tomatoes, add the rest of the garlic and 1/2 teaspsoon of salt. Layer on top the chopped onion, then peppers. Arrange the fish in a layer on top, reserving the marinate. Put the herbs in next and then layer the shrimp on top. Lastly, pour the oil and the reserved marinate over it.

Bring to a simmer and then cover. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and opaque.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wishing for a celebration of the porcine

Turns out that there is a yearly celebration of bacon in Atlanta, GA. Since I am not inclined to travel that far for my love of pig, how about we get this party going in Brooklyn. I would call it, "The First Annual Brooklyn Baconfest and Pigout". Can we make this happen people?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quiet weeknight

During the hectic semester and New York City life, I don't often get the chance to truly indulge in home cooking on a week night. I got a little break from running around and read and working, enough time to make a light tomato sauce with monkfish then served over linguine. Simple, satisfying and warming on this cold March night.