I will gladly admit to being a wine-o. It’s not in an “I have a problem” kind of way, but in an “I have one of those good problems” kind of way.
I love adding wine to almost everything I cook. Seriously, look back at some of my recipes. If it isn’t wine in the mix, it’s beer.
There are so many complex flavors and notes in wine. It can add so much depth to a simple dish. I could go into a Sideways-esque rant about notes and tannins, but that would just be me talking out my ass. I have no idea about wine tasting. All I know is if I like it or not. I’m a sucker for the 3-Buck Chuck deal at Trader Joe’s. I am but a simple woman with simple desires.
My newest obsession is cooking noodles in wine. Call it a waste of a good bottle of wine, but don’t knock it until you have tried it!
This dish is best on a day when you have some time to devote a little love and attention to what you are making, i.e. four hours.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…Nobody wants to come home from work and cook for four hours. I am not telling you to! Geez!
Seriously though, it’s maybe ten minutes of prep work (well, possibly more if you suck at peeling pearl onions like I do) and then you let the wine and your oven take it from there.
1 ½ lbs. Beef Tenderloin
1 Teaspoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon of All Purpose Flour
8oz. Gold Pearl Onions, peeled
¾ Bottle of Your Favorite Full-Bodied Red Wine (i.e. Cabernet,Shiraz, Chianti)
2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed
1 Dry Bay Leaf
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Cut the beef into small cubes. Season the beef with the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Let the beef sit at room temperature for twenty minutes.
Add the butter to a cast iron skillet/oven-safe dish/dutch oven and melt it over high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the beef, making sure all pieces are coated. Add the beef to the pan. Sear each side of the beef for about a minute.
Add in the pearl onions and cook an additional two minutes. Turn down the heat to medium, add the red wine, and deglaze the pan.
Add in the crushed tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook in the oven for about four hours.
Before serving remove the bay leaf.
I eat this as a sauce over pasta but it is also kind of like a semi-stew that can be eaten as a main course as well.
So, if you have time, pour a bottle of wine over some beef, save a little for yourself, and sit back and enjoy this glorious day. 60 degrees inChicago. In January?
Better get out and enjoy it while you can! (Well, unless it’s crappy weather where you are. If so, I apologize.)
Today, a rare glimpse inside the mind of DUN, DUN, DUN…A tomato hater.
For the record: please state your name, relation to the interviewer, and how long you have hated tomatoes.
My name is Michael, I am husband to the author of the website sarcasticcooking.com, and I’ve hated tomatoes in most contexts as long as I can remember.
What is it about a tomato that you dislike?
I would have to say their “tomatoeyness.” Some tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes, are extremely tomatoey, and nearly intolerably so.
What do you mean by “too tomatoey”?
Do you know the flavor of the juice inside a tomato? If you take a whole tomato of any kind and bite into it, the texture and flavor of the seeds and juice inside the tomato, after the skin is broken, is the flavor I describe as tomatoey. It’s terrible.
Not only that flavor, but the juice inside of a tomato, that slimy and gooey texture, makes me squirm.
Are there any kinds of tomatoes you do like?
I can handle a sliced tomato, because those tend to have most of their “tomatoeyness” removed in the process. Actually, a sliced tomato can be a really refreshing topping on a sandwich, provided it isn’t too tomatoey. I also love salsas and pico de gallo, so I don’t mind tomatoes in small amounts. But, when they’re whole and in their natural form, juices and all, I can’t handle.
I also get chills anytime I look at a bloody mary. I guess that’s usually a love it or hate it kind of thing, but I am clearly on the “hate it” side of the tomato juice debate.
Why do you think your wife keeps trying to force you to eat tomatoes and tomato products?
She’s very determined and she loves a challenge. I mean, she could make me buffalo wings and pepperoni pizza every day the rest of my life and keep me happy, but where is the challenge in that? It’s like playing John Madden football on “rookie.” You can run the same play 30 times in a row and win 70-0. I’m that easy when it comes to food but not necessarily very fun to cook for [play against].
Moreso, though, she has an unhealthy obsession with tomatoes, and loves to watch me squirm before a meal.
Does the thought of eating a pizza with only tomatoes on it scare you?
Scared, confused, angry (why can’t we just have Lou’s?), I’m not sure I know exactly how I feel, but it does look beautiful, and I will give it a shot because she won’t let me eat any of our prosciutto otherwise.
Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2lb of Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic, grated
½ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Tablespoon of olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
Flour for the Rolling Surface
1 Tablespoon of Corn Meal
Let the pizza dough sit at room temperature for twenty minutes before you try to roll it out.
In the meantime, slice all of the mini heirloom tomatoes in half. Add them to a bowl with the garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Mix and let marinate while the pizza dough comes up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle flour on top of your work area. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in the center of the floured work area. Roll the dough out until it is about 12” or more.
Sprinkle the pizza stone or pizza pan with the corm meal and a light drizzle of olive oil. Place the pizza dough on the pan. Pinch and curl the edges of the pizza up to make a crust.
Place the heirloom tomatoes on the pizza, alternating cut-side up and cut-side down. Keep going in circles until you reach the center.
Brush a little of that marinade from the tomatoes on the crust of the pizza.
Bake the pizza for 15 minutes.
For a crispier pizza, after the 15 minutes, turn the broiler on high for 5 minutes. Keep the oven door cracked to make sure the crust doesn’t burn.
Top the pizza with some fresh basil leaves, salty slices of prosciutto, and slivers of parmesan cheese.
True or False: Those are your bite marks in the pizza.
True…I was coerced.
Did you like this pizza?
Much better than I feared it would be. A success for tomato haters and lovers alike.
There you have it folks! A tomato hater becomes a kind of tomato-liker…
Everyday life is boring and dull sometimes. Here is the typical Friday of the average worker bee:
Wake restlessly after pressing the snooze button at least two times.
Roll out of bed. Shower.
Coffee. Skip breakfast.
Traffic. Annoying morning radio DJ talk.
Arrive at work.
Dick around on the computer for at least an hour.
Work tirelessly until lunch.
Lunch. Sigh of relief.
Back to the grind. Semi-snoozing the afternoon away at your desk.
Maybe nobody will notice if you sneak out early.
Boss catches you last minute and asks for some dumb project within the last hour of work.
As you curse your life, you think, “God, I need a vacation!”
Run as if you are being chased by a serial killer to your car. Drive home. Slowed down by traffic.
Get home….Sigh. Take off your work clothes immediately.
Eat dinner and forget the troubles of the day.
Seriously. This is it for most of us. That is why I love food. On those days where you think you need a break or need a vacation, food has the ability to comfort you or take you miles away to a tropical island of serenity and crystal clear waters.
When I am going through one of those days, I let my thoughts meander back to my honeymoon with my husband, inCabo San Lucas,Mexico.
It was my heaven. The food. The weather. I loved it all.
My favorite memory was sitting at an umbrella covered table sipping margaritas all day at this ocean-front restaurant called The Office.
I remember the freshness of the seafood, the cold crisp taste of lime in the margarita, I remember the feel of my feet in the sand, and I remember looking around at all the people with huge smiles on their faces. Not a care in the world. Maybe that’s why everything tasted so good, who knows.
The most beautiful thing they served at the Office was the ceviche. Say it with me: SUH-VEE-CHAY. Good! Basically, when you make ceviche, you are “cooking” fish in the acidity of the fruit or vinegar. The acidity breaks down and denatures the fish, mimicking what happens during the normal cooking process. (There is your Bill Nye the Science Guy lesson for the day).
Back to Mexico…The ceviche was a combination of octopus, tilapia, and crab in lime juice with a little cilantro on top. It came out in a huge margarita glass. It was so simple and still so beautiful and complex.
On days where I want to go back to Mexico, but I can’t, I bring Mexico to my house. Ceviche is so easy to make. Take your favorite fresh fish, add your favorite citrus, a dash of salt and pepper, let it sit for at least an hour, and POOF! A vacation in your mouth!
2 Tilapia Filets
Juice of 2 Limes
1 Kiwi, peeled
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Cilantro
1 Shallot, finely minced
1 Serrano Pepper, seeded and finely minced
Cut the tilapia into small ½ inch cubes.
Peel the kiwi. Slice off the flesh surrounding the seeds. If you get a few kiwi seeds in the slice, it’s ok.
Add the kiwi, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro to a food processor. Blend until completely liquefied.
Add the tilapia to a small bowl, pour the marinade on top of the tilapia, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Mix the finely minced serrano pepper, the finely minced shallot, together in a small bowl with a little bit of chopped cilatro and salt and pepper.
Top the ceviche with a little of the pepper and shallot mixture to cut the sweetness.
Serve with endive, butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, or even a nice fresh ‘slaw. You can eat this solo or in a taco if that scares you too much.
Well, if you need me…I won’t be here, because I am in Mexico.
I hope you will join me!
When talking over the upcoming recipes and food ideas to be featured on the blog with my husband, I brought up this recipe. Here is how the conversation went down:
“So, Wednesday is Polish Pork Chops. I don’t know why they are called Polish. Do you?” I asked. “Am I missing something?”
Silence – Husband
“Then Thursday…I don’t know what to call these. They are like boneless buffalo chi…” I started to say.
“Stop! You had me at buffalo.” He said.
Here is how the conversation went down in my husband’s head:
“Woahmp wahmp wahmp. Mwahh waah blah blah?”
(Internal monologue: I wonder how my fantasy basketball team is doing tonight? Did I put deodorant on today?”
“Hmmm… Blah blah buffalo blah.”
(Internal monologue: I wonder if she is going to make me eat a salad again. Wait! Did she just say buffalo?)
My husband seriously wants to eat like everyday is a super bowl party. He could live off buffalo anything, pizza, wings, chips, salsa, and dips. For real.
The sad thing (but awesome for him) is he gains no weight!
I’m just waiting until the day his metabolism slows down. Then these vegetables and salads won’t look so bad!
Ingredients for Chicken Bites
2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into small bite size pieces
1 Tablespoon of Taco Seasoning
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Cup Low-fat Cultured Buttermilk
1 Egg, beaten
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
Vegetable Oil, for frying