Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Apparently I decided I didn't use my stove top quite enough in 2008....

Been a busy little hausfrau these past two days, and the pots have been a simmerin' on my stove top.

Up first... veal stock!!

Woo.... add veggies...


I actually did the first stock and the second stock yesterday, and today was all about boiling the two stocks down.

I was not happy with my yield on the first stock (the darker stuff) but it seems to be coming along nicely.

The other pot in the first picture was some shrimp stock... I really wanted it for my Crawfish Etouffee today, and used the last of my stash on Monday. Luckily, I had a lot of shrimp shells (and a couple lobster tail shells) in my freezer. Yay!

The original plan for dinner was going to be some quickly whipped up chicken enchiladas. But I had forgotten that I bought ground beef, and the ground beef was also leaking (luckily, contained) in my fridge. Well, I wanted to try the Cook's Country Cincinnati Chili recipe anyway....

I swear, if I could turn the smell of browning onions into a perfume, it'd be the hubby's favorite scent on me. As soon as I start onions, he comes sniffin' down to the kitchen to see what I'm up to.

This really was an awesome recipe... got it all done in my bigger sauce pan, and it came together very quickly. It'd be an awesome weeknight meal... start the water for the pasta and start chopping the onions... and you can have it done in 45 minutes.

No picture of the final plates... we were too eager to get eating. I was worried about the cinnamon in the recipe - the hubby has actually had Skyline chili before, I have not - but it really does mellow out nicely among all the other ingredients. And the recipe left me with plenty left over... I can easily get two more meals out of what I now have in the freezer.

In addition to boiling down my veal stocks today.... cookbook porn!!

I don't know know why/guess I should be happy that people around here get rid of some fairly awesome cookbooks. For under thirty bucks, I recently picked up Nigella Bites, a copy of Le Cordon Bleu at Home, and a copy of the Moosewood cookbook. Original printing of that one, actually.

Let's have a look inside, shall we?

The Le Cordon Bleu book, although somewhat recent, does contain some (not in a good way) awe-inspiring photos ala my grandpa's old cookbooks from the 60s and 70s...

I'm sorry... don't ever expect me to go to that level of detail on a friggin' fish...

The Moosewood cookbook gives equal laughs. Like this one... the illustration for "How to Eat a Tortilla"....

Seriously???? It is an older, hippie-type cookbook, I shouldn't be too surprised.

Actually, it reminds me of another gem I have in my cookbook stash....

Now don't get frightened... I'm not foresaking the bacon or anything... but I do have a few vegetarian cookbooks. Some of them are good. This is not one of them.

This book was actally done by the people who lived on a hippie commune that my aunt lived on. I think one of my uncles spent some time there too. It was called "The Farm". We went to visit them, once. I was five, I was a hugely picky eater, and it took my cousins about three seconds to polish off the stash of white bread and peanut butter that my mom brought with as "emergency food". I was then forced to eat some of the worst food of my life for the rest of the week.

The trauma was just wearing off when, in college, a friend came over and was making us a vegetarian lasagna. I was flipping thru his cookbook, when I saw this picture and it all came back....

I don't think that is my aunt or one of my cousins, but I know that place. One of the "main" houses... it was called "The Green Bean Bus". It was a house with a bus attached to either side of it. Us kids were "urged" to stay in the bus part.

I hated it.

Of course, I then had to get a copy of the cookbook for myself. I'll never make anything out of it... I already know the food is gross, and looking at the reicpes I can say it wasn't a lack of talent in the ladies who cooked (it was ALL the ladies there seemed to do... cook and pop out babies)... it was just un-good recipes.

Moosewood Cookbook = Funny illustrations and good recipes.

The New Farm Cookbook = bad graphics, possible photos of member of my family and the guy who painted that really distrubing picture of a kind that we used to have haning in our front room that creeped me out.... and bad recipes.

For our NYE meal, it's going to be crawfish etoufee...

I kinda winged the recipe... celery, onions, green pepper, red pepper, lotsa butter, added some flour, then a can of RoTel and my shrimp stock and a couple cubes of veal stock.

Just letting that simmer away and thicken up, and I'll add the crawfish in at the end so they can warm thru. Just letting that simmer away and reduce. It smells awesome and tastes pretty good, so I'm fairly certain I won't have to throw the emergency frozen pizzas I have in the oven. That's happened on past New Year's Eves. Not fun.

Looking forward to that for dinner over some fried eggplant (the hubby likes it that way) and some beers and a champagne toast with the hubby at midnight, and then waking and making myself a Bloody Mary for breakfast tomorrow and trying a new recipe for our traditional NYD meal of duck.

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