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I don't know how many of you watched 'Friends'. Those who did will remember the episode. For those who didn't a brief description:
Joey, that pillar of male intellect, was reading a book.
A rarity for Joey.
It was 'The Shining' by Stephen King. Whenever he got to the scary parts, he would slam the book shut and put it into the freezer. Apparently this was to protect him.
Yesterday I put all of the remaining cookies and truffles in the freezer; to protect me.
Think it will work?
Nah, me neither!
For some reason all of my much bragged about, self-proclaimed, self-control leaves me from December 12 through January 2.
At that point I'll remember that I have an annual physical scheduled for 2 weeks hence, a trip to the U.S. scheduled for February (stupid time to travel to the Midwest) and I will be slapping my forehead wondering how I could be so lax in my self-discipline. I will then put myself on bread and water for life.
Fortunately, that's still 5 days away…excuse me while I go get a cookie….(maybe two – after all, it's a long way to the freezer)
We do eat other foods at this time of year; some of them classic holiday fare; some our own personal traditions.
This was our table and our first course on Christmas Eve: Smoked Salmon with Champagne.
With the salmon we had the traditional egg, lemon and buttered bread. Mon mari also likes capers and minced shallots with his.
(You'll have to come back for the second course of Standing Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pudding.)
Since it is such a busy time of year I like to fix things that require little attention but are still, in my humble opinion, suited to the holidays.
Like Veal Marengo.
The lovely Ruth of Once Upon A Feast knows that pasta is always a great dish for busy times.
As this will be the last round-up of Presto Pasta Night for 2007, and we're in the throes of leftovers, she is expecting lots of turkey (and maybe ham) pasta dishes.
Not from me – square peg/round hole and all that!
Check her blog on Friday for the recap of pasta from around the world and some new ideas for great pastas!
I've made this in the oven, in a crockpot (back when I had one) and braised in my Dutch oven (my preferred method).
You can have it done in 90 minutes or let it sit and simmer all day. I love versatile food! You can serve it over gnocchi, pasta or egg noodles. I'm using pasta. Unlike a lot of Italian sauces, this is very light on tomatoes, just enough for some flavor.
1 lb veal, suitable for braising – stew meat, shoulder, whatever the butcher suggests
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs tomato paste
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni
1 tsp dried thyme
10 – 12 small shallots or 4 – 6 large ones
4 oz mushrooms
1 tbs butter
2 – 3 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs chicken stock
Cut veal into 1 1/2 inch (3.75cm) cubes. Mince or crush garlic. In a deep, heavy pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the veal and brown on all sides. Add garlic, tomato paste, stock, wine, bouquet garni and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Peel shallots. Clean mushrooms. If mushrooms are large cut in half or quarters. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté another 5 minutes, stirring often. After the veal has simmered for 45 minutes add the shallots and mushrooms and simmer another 30 minutes or until vegetables are done. With a slotted spoon remove the meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Cover to keep warm. Turn the heat to medium-high under the sauce. Give the cornstarch mixture a stir and add to the sauce a little at a time until thickened to your liking. Pour over the meat and vegetables and serve over gnocchi or pasta.
Saturday, is the last day to bear your foodie soul. Final re-cap will be on Sunday. Search your closet/pantry for skeletons. Remember, confession is good. It can, but doesn't have to, be an actual recipe. It could just be the description of the, um, food or a story of the, um, event; holiday related or not….
Really, any dirty little secret you feel like sharing! You have until Christmas to post – the round-up will be just before Dec. 31. The usual rules: post, link to me, send me an e-mail with permalink. Click for details!
Come on, tell! Share the pain…you'll feel better! And so will we!