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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tongue in Tomato Pickle Sauce

Here's something you'll never hear in the US:
"Honey, guess what? I found some nice looking pork tongues for only $2 a pair today at the market!! Isn't that such a good deal?"
But alas, those are the exact (translated) words that came out of my mouth the other day when I found a fabulous pair of pork tongues for only 1.80 Euros. I love cow tongue.. it is tender and delicious, but also quite pricy. Pork tongue is smaller, but I discovered, just as tasty and way cheaper! Seriously, I'm from the US, so I know what you're thinking, (gross, right?) but you are so wrong! It is really good, and if you slice it length-wise, it loses all its tongue-ish aspect, and just becomes a delicious slice of meat for the people you serve it to. The recipe I made is the one you could typically find in a restaurant, and I was really proud of how it came out. It takes a long time, but worth it!
Serves 4
2 pork tongues or 1 beef tongue
2 quarts beef stock
2 celery stalks
4 mini pickles, sliced (or a small handful of sliced pickle)
1 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup tomato puree*
red pepper flakes
fresh ground pepper
1. In a large pot, place your 2 tongues, celery stalks, and beef stock and simmer covered for 1 hour.
2. Take out the tongues, and peel off the skin. This is the only strange part.. you gotta take the rough taste buds off, man.
3. Put the tongues back in, and simmer for another hour or so. Or throw them in the crock pot with the broth and leave on all day.
4. In a sauce pan, melt the margarine and whisk in the flour.
5. Take off the heat, and whisk in the wine, 1/2 cup of the broth from your tongue pot, tomato puree, vinegar, and pickles, and then heat for 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper to the sauce.
6. Slice the tongues length wise like you would a roast beef and spoon on the sauce.
Serve with pasta (cooked in the broth) or home fries. I saved the broth for soup later on.
FYI the hub gives this one 2 tongues up! haha!
* To make your own tomato puree (like I did) boil 3 medium tomatoes whole in water. When the skin starts to split, take them out of the water, and peel off the skin. The pulp is now crushable with a fork.. that's tomato puree!!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010


Ahh the Tartiflette...
I hesitated for a long time before posting this recipe because I wasn't sure we could find the right cheese in the US. My mother confirmed that you can find it at Trader Joe's, so I'm now happily posting it! This is a recipe from the Savoye region in France (Alps) with Reblochon cheese, but that I tweaked because I like the way Raclette cheese melts.
Serves 5-6 people
15 peeled cooked potatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 chopped onion
3-4 chopped cloves garlic
1 pack bacon with most of the fat cut off and chopped into pieces
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 lb Raclette cheese
some heavy cream
1. In a deep sautée pan, cook the bacon pieces a few minutes until they start rendering.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and brown a bit.
3. Add the white wine and cook for 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the cooked potatoes and with a masher, crush them and mix them well into the mixture and let cook for 5 minutes with the cover on. It doesn't need to be creamy mashed potatoes, its actually more tasty if there are chunks.
5. In a baking dish, layer half your potato mixture, then some heavy cream, and a layer of Raclette cheese. You can go heavy on the cheese, but I didn't have enough to do that, but do it!
6. Repeat the layers and pop into the oven for 40 minutes at 400F or more if the cheese isn't golden whan you look at it.

Serve with salad and be impressed at how good a cook you are!
The leftovers are even better, as always ;)
To make typical French salad dressing, there is nothing easier:
2 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp mustard (optional)
some chopped shallots or baby onions (optional)
then put this mixture at the bottom of the big salad bowl, salad on top, and then toss away and serve

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Goat Cheese and Tomato Quiche

This is my first quiche, and it came out really good. Usually, Eric handles the quiche. I started eating before I remembered to take a picture, but it was seriously good. Plus, if you make this in the US, your guests will think you are so refined because you know how to make quiche. Here, I got, "you've never made quiche before? wierd." Anyway, its easy, tasty, and you can invent your own!
1 pie crust in dough form
1 log of goat cheese, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp mustard
1 small handful chopped cilantro
dash of salt/pepper
1. In a pie tin (ok I didn't have one, so I did it in my lasagna dish) place the dough and attack it a little with a fork. Pop it in the oven for 5 minutes on 380F.
2. Take your pie "crust dough" out of the oven and spread some mustard along the bottom.
3. Lay your tomato and goat cheese slices in some sort of order.
4. In a mixing bowl, whip your eggs and cream, and add your cilantro and dash of salt and pepper.
5. Pour the mixture into your doughy crust and pop into the oven for 20 minutes or so or until it starts to look golden.

Pat yourself on the back, you made QUICHE!
For the record, cilantro was my addition. French are generally unaware of the goodness of cilantro, and how well it mixes with tomato and cheese!

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thai Red Coconut Curry

I love Thai Curry! This one is really good. It can feed 4-5 people, and it has a bunch of veggies in it too. I stole if from the slow cooker Goddess.

- 1 can coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 T red chili paste
- 1 T fish sauce
- 2 inch chunk fresh ginger, grated
- 1 lb pork in chunks (or 6 skinless chicken thighs)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 bell pepper in big chunks
- 2-4 zucchinis in big chunks (or an eggplant)
- 1 sweet potato
lemon or lime wedges
chopped cilantro
1. Mix the coconut cream, chili paste, fish sauce and soy sauce in the bottom of your crock pot.
2. Add the meat and coat it with your mixture.
3. Put all your chopped veggies on top without mixing them into the sauce.. they will nicely steam without desintegrating and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
4. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

You can substitute other veggies or other meat. I personally prefer it with pork, but its good with chicken too.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Veal or Pork Blanquette

This is a typical French dish you can eat at any typical French restaurant. I, however, had never officially eaten one, and there is this cream commercial that comes on all the time where they make this dish and it made my mouth water... and when I read that it is a dish that is supposed to cook on low for a loong time, it made me even happier, because i just threw it all in the crock pot! Well, no, this actually needs a little bit of prep before and after the crock cooking, but still, it's so ridiculously delicious!
1 1/2 lbs pork or veal meat cut into thick chunks
1 cube (rectangle) dehydrated chicken stock (knorr is good)
5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 chopped onion
2 cloves pushed into a piece of onion
1 can mushrooms (or use fresh)
1 stick of celery cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 piece of rosemary (mine was still on the branch, but use 1-2 tsp)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
Right before serving ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
juice from 1 lemon
Wow this is a lot of ingredients, and I had all this on hand without purposefully planning ahead? I'm proud of me!
1. On the stove, brown your meat in the butter, and then sprinkle flour so that the meat is well coated.
2. Transfer all ingredients (except the cream, egg yolk, and lemon juice) into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. 15 minutes before serving, in a bowl, whisk your heavy cream, egg yolk and lemon juice together, then stir into the crock pot.
4. Taste to see if it needs salt/pepper, and serve over rice or fettuccine!

I used pork instead of veal because I'm a cheapass, and it was really good. I've heard that it is just as good with turkey chunks too. If it is too watery, leave the lid open on the crock for a little while. The heavy cream here has the same consistency as light sour cream, so the sauce came out thicker than it might with a "heavy whipping cream." This meal probably cost me less than 5€ and it was enough to feed 4 very very hungry people..and it ROCKS!

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stuffed Veggies.. again

Ah I love stuffed vegetables!
Btw where is everyone?

I did a variation of my Stuffed Tomatoes recipe. I used ready made meat stuffing that you can't find in the US, and I stuffed a round zucchini and a bell pepper along with my tomatoes. Yum! I wanted to make Jessica's Greek Stuffed Peppers, but I didn't plan ahead enough... and the cucumber prices were too outrageous for me... maybe next time.
I made a couple of flops this week..Indian coconut curry that was tasteless, and I tried for a mexican Caldo de Rez that I remember eating with my Mexifriends. It was good, but it wasn't the real deal...I should have used bone in beef.
I did make the best "Pot au Feu" - French for "Pot on the Fire" that I've ever attempted. The picture looked really gross though, so I won't post it.

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