Summer came to a pretty abrupt and nasty end last weekend when the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto hit the New York Metro area with 50MPH winds and torrential rains, keeping anyone that was sane inside with nothing to do. We couldn’t go out, and our DirecTV wasn’t getting any reception. So besides the obvious, what’s a couple to do?
We cooked up a storm — in a storm.
We decided to roast a chicken, which was rubbed with smoked paprika and a bit of salt and pepper. We wanted to set some food aside for the next day or so just in case the weather was horrible all weekend.
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to see what else we cooked during Tropical Storm Ernesto.
We had a whole bunch of potatoes that needed to be cooked, so Rachel suggested making a traditional gratin. Gratin is a casserole type dish that holds up really well, and it made a good side for the chicken to have for dinner the next few days.
The mise en place consisted of leftover grated cheese, peeled and thinly sliced potatoes (courtesy of the OXO mandoline), fresh herbs from our garden, butter and some whole milk. We would have used cream, but we didn’t have any.
Fresh thyme from the garden.
Parsley and Rosemary
Gratin in the oven
Taking stock of what else was in the fridge, we had some center cut boneless pork chops which I thought might be good to pound into scallopine for a chicken marsala-type dish.
We had some brussel sprouts which we had just picked from our garden too. These we simply steamed. While steaming isn’t my favorite preparation for Brussel Sprouts, if they are garden fresh, you avoid the stinkyness quite a bit and they taste a lot better. The ones in the supermarket have usually been sitting for a while.
I sliced up a pile of mushrooms.
We then lightly flour dredged the pounded cutlets.
And cooked them in butter.
After the cutlets got cooked most of the way through, we reserved them in the toaster oven to keep warm.
We then added some flour to the pan, cooking it to a light roux, and then added and cooked the mushrooms. A little bit of sherry was added, with lemon juice, salt and pepper for taste.
Pork scallopine was re-incroporated into the pan along with fresh herbs.
At this point the poodles had become extremely interested in what was going on.
We needed a side dish for the scallopine. I thought that since we were doing pork instead of veal or chicken, it had certain Alsatian/German overtones so it was a perfectly good excuse to make Spaetzle. We used a very simple recipe from aaltonet.com. This was 2 cups of AP flour, 2 eggs, 1tsp of salt and 3/4 cup of milk, pressed thru a potato ricer (you can use a colander as well) into boiling water, pulled out of the pot when floating to the top, then tossed with butter and parsley.
We had some peaches that were going to go bad if we didn’t use them soon, so we made a cobbler.
Closeup of finished dish.