I've been seeing a lot of 'Best of 2011' posts on food blogs, lately….
Usually it's the 10 most popular posts or the 10 best photos or the 10 best posts or the 10 most popular photos.
Sometimes it's the 10 greatest culinary challenges met….
I decided, for my own personal look back, to post the 10 foods I most enjoyed putting in my own mouth. Whether or not anyone else liked them is irrelevant.
My blog; my favorites.
Then I found so many I decided I need to do it on two parts. These are the fall and winter favorites. I'll do the spring and summer favorites in, oh, six months or so….
If I didn't start out with Foie Gras no one would believe any of this……
But I also like calves or veal liver.… With bacon and onions, of course.
I made some wonderful dishes from my new Moroccan cook book, but this Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb was, by far, both the best from the book and the best lamb I've ever sunk my teeth into.
These Meatballs with Preserved Lemon were a close second….
I love soup, any kind of soup, but I really love barley…. And tomatoes… And beans…. Bean and Barley Soup was the answer.
As long as we're talking tomatoes – who doesn't love a good, tomato-based pasta sauce?
A good, proper Ragù Bolognese can be used in risotto, to top spaghetti and to layer lasagne.
Pasta, gratins… If it's baked with cheese on it, chances are good I'll like it. If it has smoked salmon in it, chances are I'll love it, and might not be willing to share. And, yes, despite what the chef's on the Food Network say, cheese can work just fine with fish. Try this Smoked Salmon and Potato Gratin – you'll see….
Another thing that one can never have too much of is dry-cured ham. Whether it's Bayonne, Prosciutto, Serrano or the wonderful Jamon Jabugo, it packs a lot of flavor in a small package, even making turkey special. Turkey Newburg.
As long as we're talking turkey and sherry, add a cheese sauce for Turkey Tetrazzini – another oldie but goodie.
Winter is the time for slow braises, either on the cook top or in the oven. It perfums the house and turns tougher cuts of beef into butter. This Niçoise Beef is braised in white wine rather than the more usual red…. Wonderful!
And finally, even though I don't do pastry, prepared puff pastry makes a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie. And it's really easy.
Now, I think it's time to get back into the kitchen….