I’m really, really proud of how this turned out.  This was cooked entirely in an unfamiliar kitchen, with not quite complete ingredients, and mostly a wing and a prayer, as I had no idea how the oven functioned. However? It turned out really fucking good, and actually had at least my dad going back for seconds. So, yeah. I can do a hell of a roast.

Rib Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 rib roast (boneless or bone-in)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 T tri-color peppercorns, ground
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (substituted tarragon, dried)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (substituted dried)
  • .5 c minced garlic (substituted dried, significantly less)
  • .5 c coarse sea salt (again, substituted significantly less)

Preheat oven to 500. 

Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over high, and then sear both ends of the roast, until golden brown. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme, crush the peppercorns, and then mix it together with the salt and minced garlic. Set the roast in the roasting pan fat side up, pour the remaining olive oil over it, and spread the rub on it, patting it as much as possible to get it to stick. 

Put the roast in the oven, and cook at 500 for between twenty to thirty minutes. Then, reduce the heat down to 300, and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes for rare/medium rare.  The cuts above were after about twenty five minutes in the oven at 300 after twenty five at 500, and with a significant amount of cooling time. The roast will still cook a bit after putting it in the oven, though.

And then, enjoy your fantastic roast. 

So, this recipe came to me as part of a trial of the Plated service. (Disclaimer: I was not compensated by the company for doing this, and all opinions are my own.) I chose a six plate trial, which meant that I got two plates of three different recipes, and only had to pay shipping ($24 at that level) to have everything delivered to me the next day. I honestly got it because I was running a bit short on food, and couldn’t afford to do a full grocery shopping trip. 

I would recommend at least giving the free trial a run. The service delivers you the exact ingredients you’ll need for the recipes on the menu, with the exception of a few staples (olive oil, salt, pepper, water for the recipes I used). And even if you end up not liking a recipe for whatever reason, you can just use the ingredients that you get towards a recipe you know you’ll like (see: my using most of the ingredients for a beef brussels sprouts stir fry in recipe I’ll be posting after this instead).  Plus, the recipes are interesting, all of the ingredients are fresh and as far as I could tell regionally sourced, the recipes are well written, and will give you a chance to try something you might not necessarily try otherwise.  

Like at least two thirds of this recipe for me.  I don’t know any hunters, so it would be difficult for me to get my hands on quail on any given day, and I really haven’t seen quince in any grocery stores around here, but it’s definitely a thing I would like to eat if I ever got a chance to get it on a regular basis. The recipe provided is incredibly simple, and didn’t take me more than a half hour to make. I did end up adding a bit more balsamic to the quince, but for the most part, I will not be altering the recipe card I got for this in transcribing it here. 

Roasted Quail with Balsamic Quince and Smashed Potatoes
Lasts 2 to 3 meals

Ingredients

Roasted Quail

  • 4 small partially-deboned quail
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 packets dijon mustard

Smashed Potatoes

  • 6 baby red potatoes
  • sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil

Balsamic Quince

  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 quince, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 T water
  • 1 packet butter

Preheat your oven to 425. While the oven preheats, season a pot of water with sea salt (to taste), add your potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover the pot and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. While the potatoes boil, take your quail, roughly chop the rosemary leaves, and pluck the thyme leaves off the sprigs. Mix the herbs with the dijon mustard. 

On one half of a foil lined baking sheet, season your quail with salt and pepper on both sides, and then brush the dijon herb mixture over the top of the quail. As soon as the potatoes are done, drain, pat dry, and add them to the other side of the sheet and smash the potatoes with a bowl, so that they are flattened, but still mostly intact. Drizzle with oilve oil and sea salt and pepper.  Put your quail and potatoes in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and the quail are golden. 

While your potatoes and quail are roasting, peel and core your quince, dicing it into small pieces. As soon as it’s diced, add it to a small pot with the balsamic vinegar, thyme, and water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and simmer about ten minutes over medium heat, until the quince is tender. Remove the pot from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the butter to melt. 

And then, enjoy your awesome fall meal!

There are two awesome things about this recipe.  One, that the summer veggies are incredibly cheap this time of year at the farmer’s market, if not available in your own garden, and smell amazing while roasting. Two, that the core recipe is incredibly versatile, and can be changed by adding whatever spice you want.  In my case, I had an ex coworker give me a jar of Penzey’s balti mix that I ended out trying with this, and all the spices (there are entirely too fucking many for me to list out individually) played incredibly well with the veggies.

This was also my first time testing out the immersion blender that the amazing paintboxsoapworks got me, and let me tell you, it is AMAZING not having to put all of this in the blender in batches. If you can get one, do it, it’ll make your life so much easier/saner. I probably could’ve gotten it a bit finer, but honestly, this was my first time trying it out, so now I know it for next time!

Roasted Summer Veggie Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into two inch pieces
  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • half of one large onion (yellow or white), sliced
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves (I didn’t have fresh so I went with 1 t ground)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock to make it vegan)
  • seasoning of choice (recipe recommends .5 t smoked paprika, I went with several shakes of balti seasoning)

Heat your oven to 400, and place your vegetables on the sheet, placing the garlic at intermittent distances. Sprinkle with sea salt, thyme, and pepper, lightly drizzle on the olive oil, and toss to coat everything.

Roast your vegetables for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized. Add your vegetables to the pot with the broth, your seasoning of choice, and more salt and pepper if you so choose. If using an immersion blender, use in the pot and blend until smooth.  If using a regular blender, pour your broth and veggies in in batches, blending until smooth and uniform.  Either way, heat it through over medium heat to finish.

Have a slice of bread on the side to dip/mop up extra soup, and enjoy a good taste of summer!

Hey, folks!  It’s been a while, I know, but I haven’t really been cooking that much in the last month or so, and when I have been, it’s been repeats of things I’ve made on here in the past. But, if there would be any interest in a weekly post with recipes of Stuff I’ve Made this Week, I’d be happy to do a weekly roundup. I’ll put a question mark at the end so that folks can chime in.

I actually got to make this twice in the past week, and with slight variations each time.  This is a great summer recipe, especially with minimum and low temperature oven usage.

Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes
Makes enough to feed several people multiple days, or one person at minimum a week

Ingredients

  • 1 qt (1.5 lbs) cherry or grape tomatoes (if you have the ability, go for various hues, mine were from a combination of the farmer’s market and my own garden)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, unpeeled (can be increased if smaller, of if you like garlic)
  • .25 c olive oil
  • .25 c warm water
  • 1 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • .5 t pepper
  • 2.75 c chicken stock (substitute Parmesan broth if you’re vegetarian)
  • 2.25 c Israeli/pearl couscous (you can also use Lebanese, which is bigger, but then add at least .5 c more of stock/broth to compensate)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • .5 c pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • .33 c fresh parsley, chopped (this can be left out)
  • .25 c fresh mint, torn
  • 1 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • (I also added a few chopped sprigs of oregano in one version)

Preheat your oven to 250, and while it does so, slice your cherry tomatoes in half, laying them out cut sides up on a baking sheet.  Add the unpeeled garlic, and roast in the oven for an hour, until they start to wrinkle at the edges.  Remove from the oven, and set to cool.

Peel the roasted garlic, and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and .5 c of roasted tomatoes until smooth.

Bring your stock to a boil in a large pot, stir in the couscous, and reduce to a simmer, cooking uncovered for the length of time specified in the couscous’ instructions (usually 6 minutes, go a bit longer if you do the larger Lebanese couscous).  Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit ten minutes. Then, take the baking sheet you used before and spread the couscous out in a single layer, and let it cool. 

(Both the dressing, tomatoes, and couscous can be made ahead of times.)

Take your remaining tomatoes, and your chopped olives, parsley, mint, and thyme, and add to the bowl, stirring in the couscous so that everything mixes together.  Then, add the dressing and give it a few more stirs, until you have something similar to the final picture. 

All of these amounts can be increased or decreased based on personal tastes/diet preferences. I prefer this either chilled, or just at room temperature.

It’s been raining outside for most of the day, with a gentle breeze wafting in from the windows, so this seemed like a perfect rainy day soup to make. This sort of cool, rainy weather is honestly one of my favorite types of spring days, so here’s hoping we get more of those.

The original instructions on this are kind of vague, so I will be adding more detail.  Be sure to find a nice porter for this (I used a local brewery’s), along with a good cheese for the baguettes.  This will take a while, but the results are absolutely worth it.

Portered French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • five large onions, sliced in half long ways, and then sliced thin into half-moons (see pic 1 for what I’m talking about)
  • 1 12 oz bottle of porter (I used Ale Asylum’s Contorter Porter)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or if you’re still not in the growing season where you are, 1 t ground)
  • 6 c beef stock
  • 2 demi-baguettes, sliced
  • cheddar (I used part of a leftover block of the Fawn)

Melt your butter while heating your olive oil over medium heat, and start slicing your onions.  When the butter/olive oil mixture starts to sizzle, add your onions as you finish slicing them, and cook them for a half hour, stirring every five minutes so that they don’t burn.  By the end of the half hour, they should be a rich brown, and very very soft (see pic 3).  Once they’re that nice brown, turn the heat to medium high and add your bottle of porter, stirring to get whatever bits of onion may have stuck to the pot.  Cook for five minutes, until it’s simmered and reduced a little bit.  

Add the salt, pepper and thyme, along with the beef stock, bring up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, simmering for about 40 minutes, until it’s been reduced by 20% (see the dif between pic 6 and 9). 

While your soup simmers, slice up your demi baguettes and cheese, topping generously.  Set your oven to broil, and then put the baguettes and cheese under it for five minutes, until the slices start to brown at the edges and the cheese gets bubbly and melty.

Once the soup has been reduced, add your baguettes to it (or if you’re me, save them for lunch later this week), and enjoy the amazing richness of it.

Made this on a whim as I’ve been craving olives lately, and honestly, this recipe sounded pretty amazing to start with.  I added a few more spices, and upped both the Spanish and kalamata olive content as I wasn’t including black olives for this, and the way it turned out is utterly fantastic.

Roasted Olives
Lasts 4 to 5 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 10 oz pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 10 oz garlic stuffed Spanish olives, drained
  • 7 large garlic cloves, minced
  • dash of thyme, marjoram, and oregano
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • .25 c olive oil
  • dash salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a small baking dish, and preheat your oven to 425 (mine was at 400).  Put your dish in, and roast at 400 for twenty minutes.  Let them cool, and then enjoy a nice snack!

This is another recipe I haven’t made in a while, but honestly, with the level of improvisation that I applied this time around, it’s a whole new recipe.  This recipe features the three Wisconsin greats: beer, cheese, and bacon; put your money and quality into these three ingredients, and honestly, it doesn’t matter what else you do to it, there’s nothing you can do to the recipe to fuck it up.  The bacon is from a local vendor who sells at our farmer’s markets, the cheese is from the University dairy store that’s literally a block down from where I work (and smoked and aged on top of it), and the beer is from a local brewer.  And the result is absolutely fanfriggintastic, and one I’d make again.

Ale and Cheddar Soup
Lasts 5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • .5 lb bacon (thick cut, if you can get it from a farmer’s market or a local vendor definitely go for it), sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • .5 t ground thyme
  • 2 T butter
  • .25 c flour
  • 1 12 oz bottle ale (I used Ale Asylum’s Madtown Nutbrown)
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c cheddar cheese (I used smoked aged cheddar from the university dairy store)
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Cook your bacon over medium heat to desired doneness, and then put aside all but 2 T of the bacon grease.  Take your chopped onions and jalapenos, and cook about ten minutes, until tender.  Then add your garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, which is usually one minute.

Melt your butter over the garlic, thyme, onion and jalapenos, and then sprinkle the flour over the top, until it coats everything and turns golden brown (see pic 5). 

Then, add your beer and chicken stock, followed by your bacon, cooking over medium heat for ten minutes.  Then, add your heavy whipping cream, the Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and the smoked aged cheddar.  Stir continuously, until the cheddar is melted into the soup, but don’t bring it to a boil.  

Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and enjoy your little taste of Wisconsin.