Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet the Masterminds

Here we are at the Union Oyster House bar in Boston, Ma.
They have a short menu; oysters, chowder, and beer.
BTW, most of the food featured in this blog is consumed by the one on the right.

Creole Scallops and Grits

Inspired by:

Creole seasoning recipe
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon Cayenne
2Tablespoon Black pepper, ground
2 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Onion powder
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Oregano

I only made enough for two servings so I stuck to the approximate ratio of 1:2 for the seasonings above

creole seasoning
1/2 lb of large sea scallops
veg oil
2 packets of instant grits (so sue me)

1. wash and pat dry the scallops
2. mix the creole seasoning together with flour
3. heat pan with some oil
4. dust the scallops with seasoning and sear each side in the pan until the scallops is firm to the touch.
5. add boiling water to instant grits per directions on the box
6. Pour the scallops over the top of the grits and eat.

Spaghetti with Clams

1 lb of clams
2 servings of pasta
lemon juice
splash of white wine

1. Wash and Steam Clams until all the shells have completely opened.
2. Boil water for spaghetti, strain the spaghetti when its a little under done
3. Remove the clam meat from the shell, but reserve and filter the clam juice.
4. In a saute pan, cook the garlic in a little bit of oil and pepper.
5. add the clam meat and the pasta to the pan.
6. add the clam juice and white wine and cook until the liquid is gone.
7. serve the pasta by topping it off with some chives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

tip: salt is totally unnecessary here bc the clam juice will be very salty. its from the sea after all.

Braised Lamb Shank Surprise

So lamb was on sale and I thought I would know what to do with my impulse buy by the time I got it home but I figured itself out in the end.

First. I browned all the sides of the lamb in a large pot and then braised it in some water, left over red wine, garlic, and spices (pepper, thyme, cumin, and red pepper flakes). I did not have the patience or knowledge to butcher this thing down to a manageable size.

I ended up braising it on simmer for so long that by the time i decided to take it out, the meat just fell apart. And surprise! I unintentionally made a lamb version of bbq pulled pork. A drizzle of honey on top just rounded out all the flavors (think bbq sauce). Sorry for not capturing the sandwich in a photo, but here is the what the meat looked like post-pull. So savory. Seriously, one of my best random unplanned endings ever.

Bonus: As for the stock, check out Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup


1 box of frozen spinach
1 shallot
2 pieces of garlic
2 cups of orzo
1 bag of premade mini meatballs
1/2 can of kidney beans
half a pot of lamb stock or premade stock-in-a-box (see Braised Lamb Shank Surprise)


1. defrost the spinach and saute in the pot with the shallot, garlic, and some salt/pepper
2. In a separate pan brown the mini meatballs
3. When the spinach is cooked pour in the stock, mini meatballs and kidney beans
4. When the soup is boiling add the orzo and simmer until the pasta is done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Zuelan Arepa

The arepa is a flat unleavened cornmeal patty that can be grilled, baked, or fried. My introduction to this delectable Venezuelan breakfast staple is from well...Venezuelans. In my experience the fried ones are the best (shocker) and stand up to a variety of filing that include butter, cheese, eggs, random meats, etc. Is there any better way of consuming random left overs than between a hot fried corn patty? So when Carlos and I came across some authentic arepan (??) corn flour at a local Colombian market and I was having said Venezuelans visiting I knew it would be a great chance to test out my arepa making skillz.

Makes 12 arepas
1. Boil water
2. Measure 2 cups of special corn flour (see packaging above)
3. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of Parmesan cheese.
4. Mix with 3 cups of boiling water (ratio of flour to water should be 2:3)
5. when the dough has absorbed all of the water form about 12 patties.
6. In a large skillet heat about 1/4 inches of oil.
7. Fry up the arepas in batches of 6 for about 3 minutes on each side or until edges are golden.
8. Slice in half and add the filling of your choice. I personally had butter, scrambled eggs, and slices of citrus pork chops.

Tip: The hole in the middle help the patty cook evenly. Think doughnut, bagel, etc

Man, that cast iron is sexy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009