Monday, July 7, 2008

What I've been up to and a recipe

I was getting a few more complaints because I haven't been updating lately. It's been a combination of things, work, wedding plans, but I also haven't been cooking anything particularly new or exciting lately.

I really don't think you guys want to hear about me marinating some chicken breasts and serving with grilled onions and mushrooms, kinda boring. Or the very traditional potato salad I made, more or less a version of my mom's, though I did make my own mayo.

One of the biggest problems for me this summer has been no grilling. Our building is still under construction and the back yard is a disaster area. While I could grill out there is I wanted to the place is an obstacle course and I just don't want to deal with climbing over siding and 2 x 4s.

But I do have one newish recipe for you, another version of Pasta Bolognese. I watched Anne Burrell's new Food Network Show "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and he first show was on Bolognese. Fans of Iron Chef America will recognize Burrell as one of Mario Batalli's sous chefs. Her recipe is interesting and time consuming, but I incorporated some of her techniques into a recipe I made yesterday. As I've discussed in the past, there is no one way to make Bolognese.

The thing that most intrigues me about her recipe was pureing the mirepoix. One of the things that has always frustrated me was not getting a fine enough dice on my celery and carrots, but using the food processor took care of that. Instead of using ground round I also decided to use Italian sausage. The main reason was because I think it tastes better and I had it in the house and didn't have to leave.

She cooked the crap out of it, and while I have cooked my sauce for four hours before, I only cooked this for about three. I have to say it had a nice texture and a deep, robust flavor. I may keep the puree and incorporate that into my recipe from now on and experiment with some different kinds of meat. Maybe throw a beef short rib or two in there or even some pork. The combinations when it some to this sort of stuff are truely endless.

The one thing I can't wait to do, but will sadly have to wait awhile, it make my own pasta. I've beeen watching way too much Iron Chef and can't wait to get the pasta maker attachement to my KitchenAid mixer.

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