Saturday, October 27, 2012

MARINARA HEAVEN

It is marinara making time in our house. I'm not sure why, but we're making it in small batch this year- just too much going to devote an entire day to one large batch.

We prepped everything the night before. Peeling tomatoes, cutting everything, sauteing everything. Tossing it all into a pan and leaving it in the frig overnight. Next morning on the stove top with it. 

I don't actually use a recipe- I just wing it (so far- no disasters).


To me there's something interesting about the unused portions of making food. I enjoy the 'elegant' decay look of scraps going into the compost.


 Saute the onions and the garlic...


And the peppers (which I also saute).

Get those skins off the tomatoes, and we're almost there.


Add the spices...


And of course- the wine...


And simmer away...


I usually let it sit in the frig overnight to let the flavors meld, then heat again in the morning, and season to taste, put 'em in jars and seal and enjoy- enjoy- enjoy...



I've gotta say- writing this while this deliciousness is simmering in the kitchen is almost more than I can take. 


Monday, October 22, 2012

BEEF PIE HEAVEN

My grandmother and mother used to make pasties, beef hand pies. They were good and they were hearty- perfect fall food- and growing up it was perfect because it didn't cost much, and with many mouths to feed it worked.

I think fall makes us nostalgic so with autumn coming full on I got a hankering to make some.

My grandmothers recipe was very simple, home made pie crust to start- with shortening- super old school. If I have time I make my own- that doesn't always happen.

Her recipe called for round steak or chuck roast and suet, potatoes and onions and salt and pepper, and that was about it.

I dress mine up a bit more than that. I use a really good cut of meat, diced pretty small, sauteed with onion, carrots and potatoes (sometimes I add in beets or chanterelle mushrooms). 

I saute with butter and olive oil- no lard or shortening for this girl. And I add in some wine and cook it down. I like to add a bit of finely grated reggiano cheese too. And depending on my mood I might toss in some thyme leaves for added flavor.




This particular fall day we took our lovely little pies on a picnic in our field. 


It was thoroughly delightful- with the crisp air, the fading sun, and the sunflowers bowing their heads as we enjoyed our feast.




...and there were leftovers for lunch the next day- YUM!