09 March 2008

Cooking with J and G.

We've been making an effort to actually eat the food we've been buying, and try the recipes I keep reading about. Last week was a success.

I stopped at Reither's on my way home from work and picked up some lovely little pepper steaks. The butcher asked me, quite nicely, "Have you ever made these before?" When I confessed that I hadn't, he said, "They're very tasty, but you have to cook them for only a few minutes a side. Anything more, and it will toughen right up. " I love it when you buy something new and the person selling it tells you it's tricks!

I came home, relayed the info to G, and G fashioned a lovely dinner with the steak, some roasted cherry tomatoes, mashed white beans and garlic (yum!), and my favorite, peas!

It's funny. I was reading Smitten Kitchen's blog the other day, and she was writing about how she doesn't make the same recipe twice. Now, I can say that I often don't make the same recipe twice, but we eat many of the same foods over and over. It really is that feeling of, "it's 8pm, we both just got home from work, one of us (ME!) goes to bed at the child-ish hour of 10:30, what can we make that we a) have in the house, b) is quick but not so heavy we'll die, and c) doesn't leave anyone with too many dishes? That's when the stand-by's come in. This is one of those, though the meat was a new one, and the mashed white beans are new, too. (I am trying to eat fewer heavy carbs at night.)


On another night, G made a recipe that I tore from Waitrose Food Illustrated a few months ago...Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Cannellini Beans. This was a total hit!!! (And really really fast!)

Oh yeah. That there's a mean feast!

The recipe (courtesy of WFI):


2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Olive oil
5 tbsp Aged balsamic vinegar
4 Skinless chicken breasts
400g tin Cannellini beans
1 Garlic clove, crushed
400g tin Chopped plum tomatoes
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Clear honey
2 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley
25g Wild rocket

  1. Mix the mustard, olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and toss the chicken breasts in the mixture until well coated.
  2. Preheat the grill. Grill the chicken breasts, turning once, for 12–15 minutes, till cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the beans and put them, the garlic, the tomatoes and their juices and the paprika in a pan and season. Heat, then add the clear honey and 50ml water.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened (you can mash a few of the beans to thicken it more). Divide the beans between warm plates and scatter with the parsley. Slice each chicken breast and arrange on top. Drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar and scatter over the rocket.
Really good. I highly recommend this one, it's so fast for a week night dinner that tastes like a weekend!

And yesterday. Toronto was hit with a completely bonkers snowstorm, and I was hit with a completely bonkers headache, so I went to bed with the new Stephen King book, and G went into the kitchen.

Feeling inspired by Orangette's article in the new Bon Appetit, G made mayonnaise, garlic mayo to be exact, from the Joy of Cooking. She also tried her hand at beef carpaccio (not such a hit) and crab cakes, which were delightful! See for yourself....

So all in all, good times. (Except for the migraine.)

Tonight, G is trying her hand at duck breast, with asparagus and roasted miniature potatoes. Looking forward to it!

(Notice the name of this post is Cooking with J and G? A bit of a misnomer. It's all G in this one... and it's not even like Shake-n-Bake, I didn't help!)

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