A cooking and baking journal

Sabbath Supper News


Sabbath Supper News

I learn something new almost every Sunday when I make supper for my family, but in the next few weeks I will be looking at food from a different perspective. It is July now and that means harvest time. I will spending July, August, and part of September picking fruits and veggies instead of using them in the kitchen. So Sabbath Supper blogging will be placed on hold for a little bit. I may pop in every now and then when there is a particular veggie I can't pass up, a recipe I want to share, or if I get a weekday free (I do hope that happens!). So farewell for a little while! :D

Psst! I will not leave the "blogosphere" altogether, I will be posting about my sewing, knitting, and crafting endeavors on my other blog, St. Gemma's Art and Needlework.


Basil Bliss -- Tomato and Basil Pizza from Scratch

7/4/10: Tomato and Basil Pizza

Meal details: The sole dish comprised of a tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza. I used pizza dough made from scratch, our homemade tomato sauce, and fresh basil from my herb garden. Talk about homemade!

Defining moments: I've made pizza before many a time (both from scratch, the mix, and frozen), so nothing new for me this week.

Recipe sources: The pizza dough recipe came from the basic recipe section of the 2500 Recipes from Everyday to Extraordinary cookbook. The toppings idea, however, comes from yours truly.

What I learned: There is one thing that stands out for me with this pizza, and that is the sauce I used. I used my family's homemade tomato sauce (which we use as spaghetti sauce so it has all kinds of flavors. . . Peppers, onions, garlic, and different seasonings), and this is something I haven't used as a pizza sauce. I thought it might be kind of liquid-y but after 30 minutes of reducing, it was perfectly thick. And about the addition of the basil. I knew from my Le Hog Pizza experience that sensitive ingredients like thin cut meat or basil will burn if added at the beginning. That is why I sprinkled chopped basil before I added the cheese and added the final basil leaves during the last ten minutes of cooking.

A little side note here. I used one quart of tomato sauce for two 14" pizzas.

Any modifications? I followed the dough recipe exactly.

How did it taste? It was fantastic! The dough was crispy and chewy at the same time. But you know, with all that flavor packed sauce, the gooey mozzarella, and fresh basil, I can't see why it wouldn't!

How about a 2nd time? Absolutely.

To 'Sir'loin with Love

6/24/10: Michael's Grilled Steak Sandwiches with Baked Potatoes

Meal details: The meal this time was steak sandwiches and baked new red potatoes. The steak was first marinated, then broiled, and finally sliced thin. . . Well, as thin as I could do! It was then served on sub rolls and topped with horseradish sauce.

Defining moments: This will be my first experience with cooking steak and first time using a marinating technique. YIKES!

Recipe sources: This is a recipe I found on foodtv.com. It comes from a guest that was on the show, Paula's Best Dishes. His name is Michael Groover.

What I learned: Because I obviously had to decide on a cut of steak I learned a lot about the different cuts that are available. I learned what a tenderloin is, a porterhouse, flank, and the cut we chose: top sirloin. The original recipe called for flank steak, which happens to come from the belly of the cow and is one of the least tender choices of steak there is. Since top sirloin was on sale that week we substituted it for the flank steak. Sirloin, by the way, is cut from the hip section and is divided into top and bottom sirloin. The top is tenderer than the bottom cut.

I also learned how to broil steaks. The recipe said to grill the steak but because a), I didn't want to break out the grill and b), it was raining, I decided to use the oven version of grilling.

One last note here. . . I marinated the steak for three hours before broiling time.

Any modifications? Yes, I used top sirloin steak instead of flank and used granulated garlic instead of fresh.

How did it taste? Let me tell you, I was real nervous about this steak deal! I was biting my nails over the thought of the steak being tough as nails and dry as Death Valley, but my fears subsided quickly as I started cutting the steak. It was easy to slice into and it looked moist. It turned out to be very tender and flavorful and I was one happy camper.

How about a 2nd time? Yes. I may not be a huge steak fan but I love steak sandwiches.






Take it 'Without' a Grain of Salt

6/20/10: Grilled Hot Dogs with Foil Packed Potatoes and Beets. Accompanied with Marshmallows on a Stick. ;)

Meal details: For this Sunday we started up the grill for the first time this year and grilled hot dogs, potatoes, beets, and of course, marshmallows.

Defining moments: This is a pretty standard outdoor menu (see my previous post for evidence), so nothing new for me this week!

Recipe sources: No recipe is needed this time. But for those who are wondering what I do to prepare the beets, here are some quick directions for you. Let me point out that I do the beets a couple ways.

Quick Grilled Beets

Remove leaves from beets and clean under running water. Peel and slice beets into quarters; if your beets are on the smaller side, keep them whole. Place beets in pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to boil and boil for ten minutes. Drain into colander and transfer to a long sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap into small packages and seal securely. Don't make packages too large, you need to maneuver them easily when grilling! With tongs, move packages to prepared grill and place over indirect heat. Grill for 10-20 minutes, or until fork tender.

Smokey Grilled Beets (direct approach)
This method gives more of a char flavor to the beets because of the sear that is gained from exposing them to direct heat.

Remove leaves from beets and clean under running water. Peel beets and keep whole. With tongs, place beets on grill over indirect heat. Grill for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Move beets to direct heat and grill for 10 minutes more.

What I learned: I learned a few tips this week. To start, the grill takes about 30 minutes to get up to temperature, the potatoes take an hour and a half to cook, it is a much better idea to baste the hot dogs with BBQ sauce during the last few minutes than ahead of time, I should have used Pam for Grilling, and. . . I think that's it. :D

Any modifications? None at all.

How did it taste? With all those fresh veggies and charred hot dogs, how can you not say, "Wonderful"? Everything was so flavorful that I begin to wonder how food, with no seasoning such as salt, can taste soooo good.

How about a 2nd time? As we dive deeper into the farming season, I'm not sure if we can heat up the grill again any time soon. We have to see.





Herb School

6/13/10: Smoked Salmon, Sugar Snap Peas and Pasta

Meal details: This meal's sole dish had sugar snap peas, bow tie pasta, a mustard vinaigrette, tuna, and parsley.

Defining moments: This was a really easy meal to put together and I can't think of any "death defining" moments!

Recipe sources: This recipe comes from Michele Urvater, the host of Food Network's Feeding Your Family on $99 a Week. I never seen or heard of this show before so I think it must have aired pre-2001. . . The year my family switched to satellite tv. ;D

What I learned: OK, I should mention here that I haven't used many fresh herbs before. I wanted to point this out before I say that I didn't cut my parsley expertly. hehe. I noticed a few hard to chew stems in the salad. So, next time I WILL PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO THOSE STEMS!

Any modifications? Didn't have any smoked salmon on hand (hard to believe, huh?), so I substituted it with tuna. And I used garlic scapes in replace of the green onion. And oh yeah, I used the balsamic vinaigrette from the week before for the mustard vinaigrette.

How did it taste? Besides those parsley stems, it was a delicious pasta salad. Light and refreshing. . . Perfect for June.

How about a 2nd time? Yes, I will do this recipe again.




Green with Envy -- Fresh Arugula Salad from My Garden

6/6/10: Pineapple Pork Chops with Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yeah, it has been awhile since my last Sabbath Supper post but at least I'm posting now, right? ;)

Meal details: The star of the meal was the pork chops in a pineapple sauce. Alongside the chops, I served arugula salad with a balsamic based vinaigrette.

Defining moments: First time using an ingredient from my small herb/arugula/spinach/bulb fennel garden! It is also my first time tasting arugula.

Recipe sources: The pineapple pork chop recipe came from allrecipes.com and the arugula salad came from Emeril Lagasse.

What I learned: Having seen arugula so often on Food Network I wanted to give this green a try. It is a very fast grower (it sprouted only three days after sowing), and has a peppery bite to it. Very interesting!

Any modifications? Yes, I made some to the arugula salad. Since I didn't have fresh garlic on hand, I used a couple garlic scapes and blended the vinaigrette in the blender. And I also substituted mozzarella cheese for the parmesan.

How did it taste? The pork chops had good flavor but they weren't as tender as we expected. I am still trying to figure out the perfect way to cook chops so there is still need for experimentation and research. Right now I am thinking that I had the dutch oven temperature too high or maybe I cooked them for too long of period. I'm scratching my head!
The salad was very good, though! I liked the subtle flavor of the garlic scapes and the zip of the vinegar.

How about a 2nd time? I don't think I will try the pineapple recipe again, but I do want to give chops another go. The arugula salad is definitely a winner!

Just a side note. . . These photos weren't taken by my normal photographer (my sister). She was at a ballgame so I had my Papa fill in for her. Thanks for your help, Papa! :D