Month: January 2010

Deborah Madison is coming

Deborah Madison, former chef at the Greens restaurant in San Francisco, and author of What We Eat When We Eat Alone* and the award winning Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is coming to give a talk in the Cuyahoga Valley.*When I’m alone, my perfect meal is a grilled steak and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.**She also wrote another of my favorite quotes from a cookbook.  I’m paraphrasing her opening to This Can’t be Tofu: I was shopping at my local grocery store, and I put a block of tofu in my cart.  A man who was going by stopped and said: “Tofu.  My wife doesn’t have a good recipe for that.  Do you have one?”  I thought about it for a minute, then replied: “Well, unfortunately, the recipe I usually use is this.  Leave it in the refrigerator until it is past it’s expiration date, then throw it out and buy a new one.” His response was: “Darn.  That’s my wife’s recipe, too.” She will be at the Happy Days Lodge on February 12th at 7PM.  Tickets are …

Orange and Olive Salad with Herbes De Provence

You have probably noticed a lot of citrus in my recent recipes. That’s because it is citrus season. Every week in January, my local supermarket has oranges on sale. They are tasting great; juicy and sweet. This is a recipe I picked up from Mark Bittman last year. It turns oranges into a fancy side dish for dinner. Combining orange, olive and herbs is a classic flavor pairing in the Mediterranean, and this recipe comes together in seconds.*Yet another “so simple it’s barely a recipe” post.  Remember it the next time I publish a recipe that starts with the instructions”24 to 36 hours before cooking…” Recipe: Orange and Olive Salad with Herbes De ProvenceIngredients: 2 navel oranges 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives Herbes de Provence Directions:1. Peel and slice the oranges: Cut the top and bottom off of the orange, set down on one of the cut sides, then cut the skin and pith off by cutting around the side of the orange. Then, slice the orange crosswise into thin rounds. (See picture below.) Arrange …

What my rotisserie wants to be when it grows up…

This is what my grill wants to be when it grows up, and is old enough for a driver’s license: I’m going to have to try the drip pan caramelized onions. That’s genius.*And, darn it, now I’m hungry for some rotisserie chicken. Time to fire up the grill. They also lead this video from the Wall Street Journal about gourmet food trucks.  I know where I’m going for lunch the next time I’m in San Francisco. [h/t] Street Food Profiles: RoliRoti in Northern California [seriouseats.com] Check out their website: RoliRoti.com *Enjoyed this post?  Want to help out DadCooksDinner?  Subscribe using your RSS reader or by Email, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from Amazon.com through the links on this site.  Thank you!

My Big Television Adventure

Or, as Jeff at work put it: “Paging Andy Warhol…your fifteen minutes are starting…” I now have video of my appearances on WKYC Channel 3 News Today. First up: a profile of me and my blog, and some shots of my White Chicken Chili from Wednesday the 20th:Recipe from WKYC: Ch.3 News Today: Dad cooks dinner blogRecipe from my Blog: White Chicken Chili the Easy Way Then: On Thursday the 21st, Hollie Strano cooks one of my recipes on air, then I get interviewed.  I’m live about 4:40 into the video. Live…gulp.Recipe from WKYC: Hollie’s Dish of the Week: Sear Roasted Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan SauceRecipe from my Blog: Sear Roasted Chicken Breasts with Shallot Herb Pan Sauce Everyone in my family, and that I work with, has been emailed this video.  Other bloggers I talk to a lot have been emailed this video.  I’ve been grabbing people as they walk by, shoving my iPod at them, and saying “Did you see me on TV?”  If you fall into any of these categories, I’m sorry for being …

Pork Chop Saute with Orange Mustard Sauce

Let’s put the saute with pan sauce technique to use again. Different meat, different sauce…but it’s really the same thing, behind the curtain. *This was the second recipe I thought of when All-Clad asked me to test their d5 pan. I’ve complained before about how boring boneless pork loin can be. This recipe takes care of that with a crispy exterior and a flavorful pan sauce. The pan sauce is an example of why I keep going on and on about making your own stock. I freeze it in 1 cup containers for use as the base of pan sauces. Homemade stock gives you a depth of flavor and a richness from gelatin that canned just can’t match. Stock makes a simple pan sauce into something sublime. *Of course, Michael Ruhlman says that if I would just make veal stock, it could be even better. He’s probably right. But I roast a chicken every few weeks. Chicken stock uses the bones and scraps to make something delicious. Recipe: Pork Chop Saute with Orange Mustard Sauce Equipment: …

Chicken Breast Saute with Marsala Sauce

Let’s put the Saute with Pan Sauce technique to work. This recipe is inspired by, of all things, Macaroni Grill. It’s one of our regular stops for lunches at work, particularly if we have picky eaters in the crowd. It’s a safe choice – who doesn’t like pasta? And, for a chain restaurant, it’s not bad.*I like it a lot more than the other alternative that always comes up. Olive Garden.  Eh, I think I brought my lunch today. One of my good friends always orders the Chicken Marsala.* Not to knock Macaroni Grill, but I think I can do better.*Hi, Jeff! I love to call these “Chicken Cutelets” (adding the extra “e” in the pronunciation, Cut-eh-lets). That is how it was pronounced by the retired Italian auto worker turned caterer who cooked them for our wedding reception. When we went to his house, before we hired him, he gave us a sample of the chicken. Then he proudly served his homemade wine. I still smile, thinking of us sitting in his tiny, immaculate, knick-knack filled …

Basic Technique: Saute with Pan Sauce

Saute is derived from the French word “To Jump”. In cooking, it means: Using a small amount of oil in a hot pan to cook thin, tender ingredients by giving them a good sear on the outside. The saute technique is one of the core techniques in cooking, and is used for both meat and vegetables. Most recipes saute at least a few of the ingredients. Sauteing builds flavor in two ways. The first is the good sear you get on the food you are cooking. The second is the browned bits that are left in the bottom of the pan, called the fond (French for “foundation”). Fond is the foundation of pan sauces; it dissolves into liquid added to the pan, adding flavor to that liquid. I’m going to use a saute to make a quick weeknight dinner, with a pan sauce from the fond. This is the first real cooking technique I learned. I was chained to recipes, to use Michael Ruhlman’s wonderful turn of phrase.  Learning to saute, as a technique, unlocked those …

DadCooksDinner: As Seen On TV

Image from Wikimedia Commons [Update 1/25/09 – I was on TV, and I’ve got the video here: My Big Television Adventure]Loyal readers, set your Tivos on stun*.  I’m going to be on the WKYC Channel 3 News @ Sunrise show next Wednesday, January 20th, some time between 5AM and 7AM!*I don’t expect you to get up at 5AM, just to see my smiling face before your first cup of coffee.  You guys are loyal readers, but you’re not THAT loyal. They’re doing a segment on DadCooksDinner, and interviewing me and my family about having Dad do the cooking.  I’ll find out more details tomorrow, when they come to my house to do the shoot. Then, on Thursday the 21st, Hollie Strano is going to cook one of my recipes as Hollie’s Dish of the Week. This is it, I’ve hit the big time!  I’ll be sure to remember all the people who made this possible…*Um…like my sister-in-law Erin, who is a producer at WKYC.  She really DID make all this possible.  Thank you, Erin!

Rotisserie Leg of Lamb Provencal

This week I’m sharing recipes inspired by my trip to the winter farmer’s market in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I had a pleasant surprise at the market: locally grown lamb from the Great American Lamb Company. I bought a 5 pound bone in lamb leg. Then came the fun part: when I got it home, I had to figure out what to do with it! I decided to cook it with my rotisserie.* I’ve already posted recipes for rotisserie lamb leg Greek and Moroccan style. I needed to come up with something different. *I know you’re shocked, SHOCKED to hear I’m cooking it on the rotisserie. What other leg of lamb recipes are there? Why, leg of lamb Provencal, of course! *Have I mentioned that I spent a week at a cooking class in Provence? Not recently? Don’t worry, I have a series of posts from those classes coming, so you’ll get to hear all about it. Again. I went to my cookbooks for inspiration. A few of the recipes wanted me to poke holes in the lamb …

Roasted New Potatoes

This week I’m sharing recipes inspired by my trip to the winter farmer’s market in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When I’m cooking a roast, and I want an easy side dish, roasted new potatoes are what I make. This recipe can be explained in one sentence: Put the potatoes in a baking dish, toss with oil, salt and pepper, then cook for one hour.*This is another of my “so simple it is barely a recipe” recipes. I’m a fan of side dishes that take little effort or attention. Don’t be fooled by how easy this recipe is. The results taste fabulous. You get bite-sized potatoes that are salty and a little crisp on the outside, and deliciously creamy on the inside. Recipe: Roasted New PotatoesEquipment: 13 x 9 baking dish (I like a simple pyrex baking dish) Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes (or fingerling potatoes), no more than 2″ in diameter. 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp kosher salt 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper Directions:1. Prepare the Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400*F. …

Winter Farmer’s Market in the Cuyahoga Valley

Would you like to give your cooking a mid-winter shot of inspiration?  Find your local winter farmer’s market. My CSA from Crown Point doesn’t run during the winter.  I needed a fix of locally grown produce and locally raised meat.  The Cuyahoga Valley Conservancy, the organization behind the Howe Road farmer’s market in the summer, moves the market indoors for the winter. It is in the Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and it runs one Saturday a month from November through April. I was impressed with the variety of food available for a market in the middle of winter.  Obviously, since this is Northeastern Ohio, we don’t have a wide range of produce, but the storage vegetables were out in abundance.  I couldn’t believe all the different, locally grown meats that were available.  Beef, pork, lamb, buffalo, chicken, duck…and those were just the ones I saw; someone might have been hiding in a corner that I didn’t get to. They even have a “bank machine” at the front desk of the lodge …

DadCooksDinner and Pam Anderson back in 2002

I found this picture while going through my photo library, looking for the right pictures for my weight lost post last week. And, while it’s not a good picture of my weight loss, it is a good weight loss picture. This is me and Pam Anderson at a cooking class she was giving at the Western Reserve School of Cooking in 2002: *If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m the geeky looking one on the left. I had already lost all my weight, and was as thin as I’ve ever been, or probably ever will be. Pam hadn’t started her weight loss yet. *We’ve been emailing back and forth about our blogs for a little while now, so I sent it to her, because I thought she might like it. She said that the picture was amazing, and better than any possible advertisement for her book. Take a look at her now: *This has been the best part of DadCooksDinner – I get to connect with people who have been positive influences on my life …

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate is my favorite drink on a cold winter’s day.*Non-alcoholic division. Mexican chocolate has a hint of cinnamon and spice in it. It makes a better cup of hot chocolate than the one I grew up with.*Swiss Miss powder, with the tiny “marshmallows” in it. Our kids love it. They’ve been drinking it since they were little. Years ago, we were visiting my aunt and uncle in Chicago.* We spent a day downtown on Michigan Avenue, checking out all the shops on the Miracle Mile. Ben and Natalie loved the Lego store; Tim was a little over a year old, and was snoozing in his stroller. We went for a late lunch at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill. The kids thought it was the best meal of our visit. They ate tortillas and drank cup after cup of Mexican hot chocolate, while the servers cooed over Tim as he slept in his stroller.*Hi, Terry and Mary! Recipe: Mexican Hot ChocolateEquipment: Stick blender (Or a regular blender, if you’re brave. See the Notes section below.) Ingredients: 3 ounce …

Rules for Losing Weight

Weighing in, 12/30/2009. Darn! I gained a pound over Christmas! Here are my rules for healthy eating and sane weight loss.*See yesterday’s DadCooksDinner Loses Weight post for an overview of how I got to these rules… 1. Eat a variety of foods. (The Marion Nestle, “Eat a variety of foods within and among food groups” rule.) The wider range of food I eat, the healthier a diet I have. There is no one way to eat; different cultures have figured out many different cuisines that are both delicious and healthy. Explore! 2. Cook for yourself, using unprocessed food, and emphasize plants in your diet. (The Michael Pollan, “Eat real food, mostly plants” rule.) If I eat at home most of the time, and do my shopping around the edge of the grocery store, then I’m on the right track.  I cook most of our meals; we reserve eating out as a treat.*I get bonus points if I shop at my local farmer’s market, but the important part is to stay away from the processed stuff in the middle …

DadCooksDinner Loses Weight … Then Gains Some Back

2001 and 260 lbs, 2002 and 180 lbs, 2009 and 225 lbs Growing up, I was always a skinny kid. In my twenties, that changed. I injured my knee playing basketball, which caused me to cut back on my activities. After I graduated from college, I started my first job behind a desk. My weight started to creep up. And up. And up. At my heaviest I weighed over 260 pounds.*I bought a scale after I started losing weight, so I don’t know where, exactly, the top was. The first time I was brave enough to get on the scale, I weighed 255 pounds. Yikes. In the summer of 2001, after Ben was born, Diane signed up for Weight Watchers to help lose her pregnancy weight. At the same time, I read Walter Willet’s Eat, Drink and Be Healthy. This book explains current medical research on eating and health. These events pushed me to get serious about losing some weight. In my imagination, I was thin, like I was as a teenager. I wanted to …

New Address: DadCooksDinner.com

You’ve probably noticed the recent design changes I’ve made to DadCooksDinner.  If you haven’t yet, try out the options on my menu bar at the top of the page, including a Google search of this site. Here’s another change – I now have my own address, DadCooksDinner.com! If you are linking directly to my site, please change the address to point to dadcooksdinner.com instead of dadcooksdinner.blogspot.com. If you are subscribing through my RSS feed or through email, everything should be seamless for you – my feedburner feed should remain the same. What do you think of the changes?  Anything else you’d like to see?  Let me know in the comments, below.

Happy New Year!

Here are my resolutions for 2010: Try something new:The most fun I’ve had over the last year has been trying out new things: Rotisserie recipes (like Rack of Pork and Beef Tenderloin) Pickling last summer’s bounty Entering the Taste of Akron steak cook-off Oh, yeah, and writing a blog. What I love about food is that there is always something new to explore. I haven’t decided what the next thing is, but I’m leaning towards one or more of the following: Ethnic cuisines: Greek Indian Japanese Yakitori Canning Homemade bacon Rotisserie Stuffed Cornish Game Hens *Yes, I know, Stuffing is Evil.  They said I was mad!  Mad!  Bwahahahaha! **My brother-in-law Travis gave me a Japanese cooking package for Christmas – a cookbook, dried seaweed, kombu, dried sardines…now I know which one to lead with… Use the cookbooks I have:Instead of buying a bunch of new ones, dig into the cookbooks I already have. I bought some great cookbooks last year, which I enjoyed reading.  But I didn’t cook much from them. A recipe here, a …