Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Black Bean Mussels (or clams)

We wanted to do something yummy for our anniversary, so I went to check out what seafood was available at Costco (seriously, their meat / seafood dept is fantastic!). They had some amazing looking mussels, so we went for it! Since we wanted something a little different from the usual wine, garlic & butter broth, we decided to do black bean style! YUM!

Here is what we did:

3 large pinches black fungus (optional - avail. at Asian mkt.)
1 big pinch lily buds (optional - avail. at Asian mkt.)
1 cup hot water for soaking

2 lbs mussels (or clams)
1 package Cantonese noodles
1 bulb garlic (or any obscene amount)
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger 
1 jalapeno (or thai chili or serrano pepper...etc)

2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 cup (approx 1/2 jar) black bean sauce

3 Japanese eggplants
3 green onions
pinch salt
dash white pepper
First soak the black fungus & lilly buds in hot water (approx 15 min.) and set aside

Cube eggplant for cooking (small pieces, about 1" sq)

Cook the noodles for about 2 min & set aside.
Sautee garlic and ginger in a large pan or wok until slightly golden on high.

Toss in eggplant and stir. Reduce heat to med. high & cover for about 8 min. (until soft)

Deglaze pan with water from fungus & lilly buds
Add in mussels, fungus, lilly buds, cover and cook on med. for about 8 min (or until mussels start to open)
Add sauces and jalapeno. stir for 1 min or so
stir in noodles & garnish with chopped green onions

serve hot & enjoy!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rack of Lamb

So recently we had my mama over for Sunday dinner. We wanted to do something a little special, but not a huge, all-day-long production, since the weather is warming up a little...didn't want to heat the whole house up cooking all day. We went to Costco to check out our options, and we picked up a nice rack of lamb! YUM!

Here is what we did:

we got 2 racks from Costco. each was about 1.5lbs.
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped
2 slices old bread or 1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt & pepper to taste
 First season your meat on all sides with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.

 we were at the end of our mustard, so we used the wine to clean out the jar.

 Place the racks in a big bowl & pour your mixture over all your meat so it is well coated.

Let your meat hang out in your wine / mustard mixture for as long or as little as you wish.
then coat thoroughly with bread crumbs.

Lay out your racks on a baking sheet and bake at 450 for 1 hour.

We served ours with roasted potato / celery root au gratin and an arugula salad with beets, tangerines, candied walnuts and goat cheese. Recipe here. Make sure you have a good bottle of wine for this meal. We had a Zinfandel, and it was great!

Celery Root & Potato Au Gratin

To go with our delicious Sunday lamb, we needed a hearty side dish. We have been experimenting with different root veggies lately, and we have really come to love celery root! We decided to make a celery root / potato au gratin. It's really decadent, so we made a small one (8 x 8 pan)

Here is what we did:

2 medium potatoes washed and sliced
1/2 medium celery root washed and sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 oz each sharp cheddar and gruyere cheese grated
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste

 First slice up your root veggies and set aside.

 Then grate your cheeses.

 Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and add course chopped garlic.

 Once your pan is hot, toss in your sliced veggies and cook on medium until they are almost soft.

 Rub a sliced clove of garlic on the bottom of your baking dish.

 When your veggies are tender, add your cream, cheeses (we tossed in a little extra goat cheese too!) and seasonings.
 Cook until it's all melted together - stirring occasionally.

We didn't have any bread crumbs so we toasted a few slices of bread and ran them through the blender.

 When your mixture is ready, pour it into your baking pan.

 Then top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs.

 Bake on 425 for 30 minutes until the top is browned and you see bubbles at the bottom of your pan.

 Serve and enjoy!