Five thin-sliced pork scaloppine, patted
with salt, white pepper, and fresh thyme leaves, quick-fried in a pan. Served with the All-American charoses Holt made for our first seder
night, as a side vegetable.
We had an excuse: couldn't get it
together to defrost anything ahead of time, which limits us to shrimp, which
defrosts in a half hour. Barbara had a
vision of cooking them with sun-dried tomato cream sauce (which is yet
more trafe), on rice.
So we started 2/3 cup of rice, which
makes two servings. Don't know if we've
mentioned this before, but the ideal (i.e. our) way of cooking rice is to
grease the bottom of a tightly-coverable pot with a little butter. Pour the rice in, add a little salt and twice
the amount of liquid as you have rice (in this case, a half teaspoon of brined
green peppercorns and a bit of their juice went to make up the the 1 1/3 cup of
liquid). Bring to a boil on medium-high
heat, and as soon as it boils, slap on the cover and turn down to lowest heat, to steam for 19 minutes. Then open the
top, fluff the rice with a fork, taste, and either cover for a minute more if
it's not done yet, or uncover if it's done.
As it turned out, we could have used even a bit more peppercorns, as the
boiling made them rather mild.
Oh, and then there was the
shrimp. This too was Barbara's
idea. Stir-fry a diced onion in olive
oil on medium high heat until translucent, add a pound of de-shelled raw shrimp, and cook
gently, until pink and white and opaque; remove shrimp to bowl.
Add a quarter cup of chopped/mashed/whizzed-up sun-dried tomatoes sott'olio to the
pan, and sauté with a teaspoon of tomato paste.
Add white wine (and any liquid the shrimp gives off in its bowl) a
quarter cup at a time, twice or thrice, to soften all the particles and cook
About 6 minutes before the rice
will be done, add a quarter cup of cream and simmer down until thick, adding a
glugg more cream till you like the way
Serve the shrimp on a mound of
green-peppercorn R*I*C*E, and pour yourself a glass of a provençal rosé. The sauce is oddly meaty, but it's all
The first night of Pesach crept up
on us suddenly, when we were still disorganized from our travels. Diane wrote us and mentioned that she was in
town and missing a seder, so we asked her to come over, and then put it all together
at the last minute. Holt even had the hagaddah loaded onto his i-pad.
We disinterred our long-frozen
lamb shank bone for the seder plate, and made some hardboiled eggs. Mr. Gene Green's local horseradish was the moror, fennel fronds for vegetables, and
water crackers for matzoh (since Kroger's only sold the giant 7-day
supply). The final element was Holt's All-American
charoses, a quick simmer of diced cameo
apples, pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, and local honey.
As a main dish, we made a
variation on Claudia Roden's pomegranate chicken: browned lots of sliced onions,
and then three chicken breasts, in purest goose fat (from Christmas goose 2006
- frozen goose fat stays good a long time!).
Then added a big slosh of wine and a couple of dollops of David Warda's
pomegranate jelly, and let it braise under cover until tender and done. Oh, and with it, we drank Wente morning fog
chardonnay, and a Provençal rosé.
Holt made an exquisite dice of
carrot and turnip, and sweated them in goose grease until they were jewel-like. Our salad was a thin-shaved bulb of fennel, dressed
with white balsamic and a few of its own fronds.
For dessert, Diane brought some chocolate
macaroons and Turkish delight, so traditional.
It was Holy Ravioli day, and we had
hoped to duck inside quickly and get some meatballs and red gravy to go. But the line was long despite the harsh,
cold, rainy weather. Instead we got a
flat of frozen ravioli for the future, and drove off to Kroger for a thick, succulent
top sirloin steak.
Served it grilled, with potatoes mashed
with cream, fried onions with paprika and pimenton
dulce, and a piquant horseradish sauce made with drained yogurt. As good as meatballs, at the end.