Friday, July 28, 2017

Scenes from DeVoe

There is not much I could say that would excuse the dismal state of this blog, it is awful.  I am trying to get back in the swing of writing.  We've been cooking, so that's not the issue.  I have been taking the pictures, so that's not it either and well, the "Cloud" takes the photos from my phone, how much easier can you get.  It is at the keyboard.....I lose it.  I struggle with the name of the post and trying not to repeat myself.  I never want it to be SSDD....  So here we go....

A favorite of everyone's is "Risotto with Asparagus & Chicken"

Growing up my Mom fed us 96% of the time, you NEVER want to eat anything my Dad makes, no really, you could die.  Also, he makes such of mess that it will take you an entire week to clean the kitchen, there is grease everywhere.  Gram, my Dad's Mom, made us pancakes on the occasional Sunday Mornings before she went to Mass.  We really never went to Mass.  My Mom isn't RC but my Dad is, lapsed but still is.  Mor, my Mom's Mom, was our other 4%.  There was nothing but Danish Deliciousness.  I loved, loved, loved everything she made....from her White Parsley Gravy to Pickled Red Cabbage to Ris ala Monde.  She nailed everything.  Mom & Mor brought Denmark to us.  I loved to be with Mor, she loved me and I knew it.  I spent lots of time with her as a kid, teen, and adult.  She was always there, of course with my Mom, but we lived with her and she lived with us.  She taught me to cook her food and I taught her to cook my food.  I spent  of time with my MIL, Mrs. Gallo, and she taught me to cook her food, Italian.  Nobody made better sauce than her and she was the only person in this world who could feed 47 people 5 meals with one skinny chicken.  Yeah,  I exaggerate but it was true.  Both my Grandmothers' and my Mom were in awe of her.  Mrs. Gallo and my Grandmothers would hang with each other at Mor's house in the country.  Mor and Mommy's favorite was her Eggplant Parmigiana.  Gram never said what her's were.  In truth though, everything that came from kitchen was fabulously fabulous.  Her braciole was heavenly and she used some much string to tie it, you could dock the Queen Mary.  This is why cooking has been my jam, my thing and it makes me very happy.  Sure I have other stuff that I love to do, but I can do this no matter the weather, I could cook.

Mrs. Gallo introduced me to Broccoli Rabe, she nailed, no bitterness just perfect greens and garlic.  I was hesitant, what did I know I was 17, Andrew pushed me to eat it and it been love ever since.  I love to make it by itself with a crusty bread and I love it with Orrechietti.  So do the rest of them.

I can't remember when I started to make Risotto.  I know Mrs. Gallo made it but she made it on the sneak.  My FIL probably did not like it and so it wasn't around.  I ran with it on my own.  Risotto Milanese is fantastic, Shrimp & Ink is deliciousness, and the options go on and on.  Butternut Squash Risotto is pure genius, yes it is.  My Mom says it is out of this world.  I am always trying to make it better than the last time, it is a constantly evolving.  I got a little camera crazy. 

Looks a little dark, but that is just the lighting.

Growing up, as a teen, and as an adult, I was never exposed to Chicken Fried Steak with White Sausage Gravy.  Yes, I've had white gravy and I have eaten more than my fair share of White Parsley Gravy on a whole mess of stuff.  I've had White Sausage Gravy on a biscuit with eggs.  But I was over 35 when that happened and only once.  Why would you fry a steak like that, we had steak on the Grill with and without charcoal, bathed in butter, on a grill pan, cast iron pan, and under the broiler.  Why would Flour/Egg/Breadcrumb a steak.  You could make braciole, cheese steak sandwich, or something else but that was just odd.  What did I know!!!  I missed a whole lot of joy.  Who knew?  Let me tell you, I was deprived.  Now I'm killing it.  I know that I should not be cooking, let alone eating it.  I just can't help it.  Chicken Fried Steak w/ White Sausage Gravy is like manna from heaven. 

Everyday I'm looking at it in my mind's eye.  Man.....

Our first Jersey Tomatoes of the year.  See that knife in the counter, that's my "go to" knife.  It is an old Sabatier "Lion".  We found it in the incinerator room in our Brooklyn Co-op.  The tip was broken off and the handle was cracked. They threw it out, I'm guessing they did not know that you could send it back.  That knife introduced us to the world of "Great Knives".  I don't use it for prep work, I use it for everything else.  

Shrimp...what can I say, if its on sale, we're there purchasing it.  We love shrimp.  Shrimp stays perfect when frozen and holds for a long time without loosing anything.  Andrew makes killer seafood.  He can make a mean Shrimp Cocktail to Low Country Boil to Pan Seared Fish Filet & Steaks.  It doesn't matter what type of seafood, he rocks, rocks it all.  Andrew makes his own rubs & boils.  They have always been spot on.

His bestest little friend loves everything he makes.  Luna loves him the best.  Of course, he washed the heat off on the shrimp.  She is forever begging at him for something to eat.  Luna shocks me with what she eats, shrimp, raw chicken, & fish I understand.  It is the rest that kills me: raw pork, raw beef, cooked chicken, & meatballs.  She eats everything he gives her and sits on his chair.  Not from me--she does drink my water.  No, Luna does not walk on the table or counter tops, I've squirted her with water, that stopped that when she was a baby.

Another Butternut Squash Risotto, difference this time:  small squashes, no Parmigiano-Reggiano, Amish Butter instead of regular butter.  I also use 60/40 Butternut Squash Soup & Chicken Broth.  Both are homemade.  Next time I will use Danish Butter.  I finally found it again after months of unavailability.
 Just wanted a picture of the best basic kitchen musts:  Wusthof Classic Knives in white (sadly discontinued) and Rosle peelers.  Yes, you must have compost bucket too. 

I think it was even better this time.

Thursday nights dinner and yes, I know it isn't Wednesday.....but it was good, really good.  Especially since I had my Meat Sauce in the freezer, defrost, make macaroni, combine, Dinner!  Who's got it better than me.

 Last but not least, and yes I did not make it, Cheese Steak Pizza.  We have never had it before, but whats not to like.  Different but good.

Tomorrow is another day.  I'm thinking it's going to be a good day for pork....