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Entries in garlic (4)


Comfort Food

Comfort food just makes you feel good.  Whether you're sick or cold or just tired, it doesn't matter which really, you just want something to make your belly full.  My great-great grandmother had a trick or two up her sleeve on comfort food and while she hasn't been around for several years now, the one thing she used to make me still sticks in my head.  Every once in a while I get a craving for it.

When I was a little girl and I came down with a bug, sometimes, my mommy would take me down to Southmont and I would get to spend the day with my Grandmaw Styers (my great-great grandmother).  I called her Grandmaw because that's what my mommy called her.  My Grandmaw Styers would let me lay on the sofa under soft quilts and watch Little House on the Prairie and then we'd watch Bob Barker give away a car.  (To this day, I still love love love Little House - much to my hubby's chagrin).  If I'm remembering correctly, Bob came on TV around 11am til noon.  During that time, Grandmaw Styers would  make me two pieces of the best cheese toast ever!  While the toast was/is nothing fancy and I will never find it written up in a cookbook - it is what I think of when I think of comfort food.  Just thinking about this toast takes me back.  I can see my petite little grandmaw with her white hair in a bun and her cat-eye glasses perched on her nose, her house dress and her big black orthopedic shoes.  She lived a long time.  I think she was 100 yrs when she passed away...maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

The toast - let me get back to the toast.  My grandmaw would take a piece of Sunbeam bread, spread light brown sugar on top of it, and place a piece of American cheese on top of the dusting of brown sugar.  She'd place the bread into a warm oven until the cheese had little air bubbles forming on it where it was melting and the brown sugar had melted out from underneath the cheese.  Boy Howdy!  was that good !!!

This past Sunday night, I made a new cheesy dish that has quickly become comfort food for MB and I.  It is a fondue of sorts and it will make you want to dream under a quilt once you are finished with your meal.  I had a version of this dish at the Red Cat in NYC some time ago.  Frankly, I had forgotten about the dish until I saw BC do a segment on the dish.  The fact that I had forgotten about the dish should not diminish how good it is.  It was so good, in fact, that I bought the cookbook so that I could make the dish again and again.  It just took me a little longer than I had originally anticpated.  This is my version of cheese toast - enjoy Grandmaw Styers!!!


Cheese Dip (adapted from the Red Cat)

2 cast iron 6 inch frying pans.  Set the oven on broil.

- Fontina cheese; cut up about 1 pd of the cheese into small squares and divide into the 2 pans

- drizzle cheese with extra virgin olive oil

- 6 garlic cloves; thinly slice and strew on top of the cheese

- mince up a sprig of fresh rosemary and several sprigs of fresh thyme and sprinkle over cheese

- sprinkle a dash of kosher salt over the cheese

Place the pans with the cheese et al into the prepared oven.  Leave in oven between 5 and 7 minutes.  When the cheese has melted, the dish is done!  MB and I use freshly baked (yes ma'am!) French bread to dip the melty ooey-gooey cheese up with.  I served this with a Rocket salad that had been dressed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkling of kosher salt.  That is all that's needed - no freshly shaved Parmigiano is needed, no crispy-fried shallots are needed.  Trust me.  You'll love this dish!

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Yet again

Monday night, I gave a skirt steak a rub down with garlic powder, onion powder, cajun spices and a little ground chili powder.  I made another version of my obsession - chimichurri.  The flavors melded together so well that I caught Michael licking his plate clean!  Seriously, this sauce was an attack of the senses, it was so so good!  And the new food processor had the sauce made in like, 2 seconds - how fabulous is that???


Newest Chimichurri recipe

1.5 cups of italian flat leaf parsley (leaves only)

1 cup of cilantro (leaves only)

leaves of one long sprig of oregano

8 garlic cloves

several dashes of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

~10 jerks of freshly ground pepper

zest of one lemon

juice of 2 lemons

pulse the above in a food processor - while pulsing, add extra virgin olive oil.  i may have added .5 to .75 cups of olive oil.  you want a nice smooth consistency.


This is a really great sauce.  Next, I'm going to steal the idea from BLT Steak and try adding in a little distilled vinegar and diced shallots to the above.  That may just be the ultimate chimchurri!  Oh BTW, I also boiled potatoes on Monday night - and I didn't drop any on my toes!!!!!  Score!!!  (This sauce I made was so good that we drizzled - no, we doused, our potatoes with it and soaked up any remaining lingering bits of the sauce with sourdough biscuits. It's that good!)  You simply must try this sauce!!  And let me know if you like it.



Chimichurri - it's goodness in the belly.....

I believe I made my best Chimichurri sauce yet last night!  Right after I taste-tested it, I had to call Michael into the kitchen for his taste test.  Thank goodness we are like two peas in a pod.  We both really enjoy bold, strong flavors on our food.  And he loves garlic, which makes me love him even more!!! 


I have a confession to make.............I have a problem with garlic.   I seek out foods with garlic.  When I'm at a restaurant, I'll select the meal that has garlic in the description.  I cook heavy-handed (very much so) with garlic.  I'm a garlic-holic.  


Chimichurri Sauce

zest of one large lemon

juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon prior to juicing it)

6 medium size garlic cloves, minced very finely

1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley

1 tsp red pepper flakes (we like things spicy so you can use less if you want)

~10 grinds of fresh black pepper (the little bit of crunch from the pepper bits was fabulous!)

1 or 2 really good pinches of kosher salt (to taste)

5 or 6 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil

Mix all together.  If the sauce is still thick, you may want to add a little more olive oil.


Michael and I dropped this sauce directly on a medium-rare ribeye (and left over potatoes from the previous night - see previous post of the escapades!)  YUM-O


Dinner was a hit!

The pizza I created for dinner had the homemade pasta sauce, red onion, fresh on-the-vine tomato, garlic, fresh and grated mozzarella.  It had a very light and clean taste to it; it tasted homemade...and delish.  Michael said it was tasty, so that's a plus.  He ate 4 pieces - the little pig (heeeheeeheee). He is now rubbing his tummy.  Below is a picture of the final pasta sauce.  It has quite a kick - I dropped in lots of red pepper flakes.  There's also a shot of the pizza.