Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meal No. 1743: Creamy Four Cheese Garlic Sauce over Spaghetti

It was another new recipe experiment at the Roediger House last Wednesday, and it was a bowl of tasty cheesiness that was a bit beyond the pale: creamy four cheese garlic sauce over spaghetti. Can it be simultaneously tasty but ultimately undesirable? That was my verdict by meal's end.

You want to know what was desirable? The gorgeous warm sunny day that we enjoyed in Winston-Salem that day. I did a downtown walk in the sunshine after work and then also enjoyed sitting outside in the driveway, reading in the late afternoon warmth.

"Creamy Four Cheese Garlic Sauce," from JuliasAlbum.com. Published 01 June 2015.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Meal No. 1742: Baked Pork Chops

It's been a good long while since I reached for my friend Cindy's recommended approach to baking pork chops, so Tuesday night I brought it back out to solid acclaim and a welcoming crew at the dinner table. I also tried out a new recipe for skillet macaroni and cheese that was cheesiness galore. Seasoned lima beans completed the menu that night.

"The Food Lab's Ultra-Gooey Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of SeriousEats.com.

A few helpful reminders about baking boneless pork chops came from "Easy Baked Boneless Pork Chops," from Tina McWoolcott on Delishably.com.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Meal No. 1741: Filet Mignon with Shiitake Madeira Cream Sauce

With beef tenderloin on a special at $8.99/lb at the Harris Teeter this week, I could hardly turn up my nose at a couple of filet mignons for a special Monday night dinner at the Roediger House. To go with it, I reached deep into my archives for a recipe that I might have first made when I was still in my faculty apartment at Wake Forest University: filet mignon with shiitake madeira sauce. It's very similar to the steak au poivre that I've made a number of times, but it had its own distinct favorable flavors. A simple buttered baked potato was all I needed to go with it.

"Filet Mignon with Shiitake Madeira Sauce," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 237.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meal No. 1740: Chicken Paprikash

This past Sunday night, with rains and a bit of storming, our cozy crew of four was nicely settled into the warmth of the Roediger House for an evening of hanging out...and, of course, some grub. I reached deep, deep into the archives to resurrect a meal I'd only made once before, all the way back in June 2010 when it was Meal No. 105: chicken paprikash.

Together with fresh steamed rice, roasted Brussels sprouts, and the special treat of cat head biscuits, we feasted nicely as part of a delightful dinner. Fortunately for our happiness but not for our waistlines, some lemon velvet cake from the previous evening still remained.

"Chicken Paprikash," by Kris Widican. In Cook's Country, October/November 2009, p. 23.

"Cat Head Biscuits," by Cali Rich. In Cook's Country, April/May 2010, p. 12-13.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Meal No. 1739: Pork Medallions with Ginger-Shiitake-Soy Cream Sauce

Last Saturday night was the occasion for the Mookie birthday dinner, and his menu choice was pork medallions in the famous ginger-shiitake-soy cream sauce that's been making folks happy here for quite a few years now. With it, I also prepared layered green bean casserole and company mashed potatoes. The crew was generous in its praise of the fixins.

There was also dessert: a return to the amazing lemon velvet cake that I first tried out last August. And it was yet again a pretty remarkable slice of heaven on our little black plastic plates.

"Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce," from The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, 2006, p. 398-399.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

"Lemon Velvet Cake," from Barry C. Parsons of RockRecipes.com.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Meal No. 1738: Breakfast for Dinner

A week ago Friday night, after a late late day of work, it seemed a fitting end to the week to enjoy the comfort of breakfast for dinner. With tasty hot grits, sunny-side-up fried eggs, sausage patties, and buttered toast and jelly, it was a filling treat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Meal No. 1737: World's Best Lasagna

Last Thursday night, with five around the table, I decided it wasn't too soon to bring back John Chandler's World's Best Lasagna, a notoriously popular dish both here at the Roediger House and also on the AllRecipes.com website where it first appeared. With Caesar salad and toasted garlic bread, we all had nearly our fill.

"World's Best Lasagna," by John Chandler (Dallas, TX). Found online at AllRecipes.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Meal No. 1736: Grilled Ribeyes and French Fries

Last Wednesday, when the afternoon temps broke a record and also approached nearly 70°F, I still had a couple of hours of daylight when I returned from work to get out and do a bit of yardwork. I got as far as cutting down all the lariope and pulling up the dead mums from the fall. But the nice weather also put me in a mind and a mood to grill out, so I'm glad I had steaks on hand. Grilled bone-in ribeyes and a batch of french fries? Thank you very much.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Meal No. 1735: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

On what ought to have been a typical Tuesday night at the Roediger House proved to actually be an occasion for a pretty special meal: slow-roasted beef tenderloin. Normally, I'd like to prepare this either for special occasions or for special gatherings. Alas, I'd bought the tenderloin without a clear enough plan on when I was going to put it on the menu...and as its expiration date got nearer, I had to go ahead and pull the trigger. This did give me a chance to pilot a novel approach to roasting it in hopes that I could better guarantee a thoroughly well-cooked (meaning: medium rare!) result with a terrific seared crust.

Followers of the Roediger House blog know that one of the favorite and unique meals served here is peanut butter bacon burgers. One definite key to their success is the guidance on grinding, shaping, and cooking the burgers themselves, which came from an article some years ago in Cook's Illustrated, back when J. Kenji López-Alt was an editor there. His subsequent venture, SeriousEats.com, is an incredible site for better understanding the science and chemistry of cooking...and a great source of recipes, too. To Kenji goes the credit for tonight's great roast, and his article on the technique is a good read as well.

"Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of SeriousEats.com.

"Creamy Mashed Potatoes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Published online 03 November 2007.

"Oven-Roasted Green Beans," helped along by the simple approach offered by Emeril Lagasse via FoodNetwork.com.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Meal No. 1734: Glorious Beef & Mushroom Stir Fry

Last Monday, with plans for a beef tenderloin roast on tap for the following night, I needed to trim a whole roast down to the Chateaubriand cut. With the extra delicious meat awaiting some other purpose, I figured I might as well turn it into a stir-fry dinner. Hence, the one-bowl goodness of glorious beef with mushrooms and onions...

"Glorious Beef with Mushrooms," in Wok Fast by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press, 2002, p. 87 (recipe) and p. 26-27 (marinade and sauce).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Meal No. 1733: Annual Chili Gathering 2017

It is one of the traditions of the Roediger House to offer a night of chili goodness in the midst of January's winter vagaries. The occasion falls on the weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Sometimes it's Monday night, sometimes it's Sunday night, and this year (thanks to various people's schedules) we had it on Saturday night.

Oh, and it was good yet again, made better with a batch of Granny Wilson's honey wheat cornbread. We had three chilis to choose from and sample: Amy brought a nice white chicken chili and I made both the standard beef chili as well as (ugh!) a vegetarian chili:

We also started off with a nice casserole dish of Swiss and bacon dip, too.

And the finisher? As I've said before: among all things holy and good, there is homemade vanilla ice cream. I use a recipe that I got from Barbara Matthews, and it is always a delicious treat.

"Swiss and Bacon Dip," from Rachael Ray. Available online at the Food Network website.

"Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans," from Cook's Illustrated, Number Sixty-One [March-April 2003], p. 10-11.

"Vegetarian Chili," from All About Vegetarian Cooking. By the editors of Joy of Cooking: Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. New York: Scribner (2000), p. 82-83. Cookbook was a gift from former student Alison Pomeroy.

"Granny Wilson's Cornbread," a recipe shared with me by Linda B. Dunlapof Winston-Salem, NC.

"Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream," using a recipe shared with me by Barbara Matthews of Winston-Salem, NC.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Meal No. 1732: Japanese Fried Chicken over Sushi Vinegar Rice

The humble and delicious meal last Friday night: Japanese fried chicken over vinegar sushi rice:

"Japanese Fried Chicken," from Cuisine at Home, Issue 98, March/April 2013, p. 44-45.

"Vinegar Sushi Rice," from Cuisine at Home, Issue 98, March/April 2013, p. 45.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meal No. 1731: Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara

On Tuesday a week ago, dear neighbor friends Alaina and Deborah were up for a visit and dinner, and we enjoyed sausage and beef manicotti with a pleasant homemade marinara. I tossed up a Caesar salad and added in garlic Texas toast to boot. I think we were all pleased, and at evening's end, I was drawn into the sanctuary of a food coma.

"Sausage & Beef Manicotti with Homemade Marinara," from Celebrate the Seasons: Autumn Classics from Cuisine at Home. Issue No. 6, October/November 2015, p. 18.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Meal No. 1730: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Back on January 9th, when I was home from work thanks to a snow day, I took advantage of the extra time and returned to a slow-cooker version of chicken tikka masala for our supper. It features bone-in skinless chicken thighs, marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce and then charred slightly under the oven broiler before going into the slow cooker with a hearty tomato sauce. Adding cream at the end finishes it into the tasty tikka masala sauce so many of us know and love. I also always feel the need to have coriander-cumin roasted cauliflower florets but occasionally, like that night, I also have (store-bought) naan as well. Ahead of the meal service, though, came the special treat of a round of mango lassis.

"Chicken Tikka Masala," in Cuisine at Home, Issue 85, February 2011, p. 14-15.

"Roasted Cauliflower," in Cuisine at Home, Issue 85, February 2011, p. 15.

"Mango Lassi," by Jamie Oliver. Online from The Food Network.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

White Wine Coffee Cake

At the end of our snowstorm weekend, back at the beginning of the month, I finally got around to making the famous white wine coffee cake (a recipe I got from my mother, who got it from Barbara Taylor and Lib Tripp in Buies Creek, NC).

It's been over two years since I last made it, and it was every bit as good as we'd all remembered it.

And a word of appreciation, for the nice additions to my kitchen tools from holiday visitors Jeremy and Mark:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Meal No. 1729: Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Glaze

On the final night of my brother-in-law's Christmas visit last Sunday, it seemed we'd mostly met his menu requests. I'd sort of stocked up at the grocery store and didn't want to have to brave a run, since the streets were still snowy and quite icy that day. The manageable meal: pork tenderloin with a honey mustard glaze, along with company mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans.

"Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Glaze," from Diana Rattray. Recipe found on About.com.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Meal No. 1728: Souped-Up Eggs and Bacon

With last weekend's snow event, and four of us taking shelter at the Roediger House, I figured we'd best have some breakfast grub once everybody got up and had a first cup of coffee. I went with souped-up scrambled eggs and some crispy bacon, which was washed down well with cold orange juice and coffee.

Eggs based in part on "Slow Cooker Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks, April 2001, No. 242, p. 18-19.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Meal No. 1727: Potato and Cheese Soup

Lots of snow on the ground, cold cold temps, and no sign of cabin fever last Saturday night, so soup seemed like a good call, albeit a repeated one. This time, I served up potato and white cheddar soup, using a recipe that came to me from my sister Allison in Indiana. It was warmly received and left us ready to retreat to the third floor to watch Star Trek: Beyond.

"Potato and Cheese Soup," shared with me by my sister and her husband, who got it through a cooking class at KitchenArt in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Meal No. 1726: Snow Day Biscuits-N-Gravy

With the weekend snowstorm sequestering the crew of us at the Roediger House last Saturday, I figured I'd try to get some grub on the table once Amy got back from her extended shift at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. What could be better than bowls of biscuits-n-gravy?

It's also worth noting that this is North Carolina: a 7-inch snowfall in Winston-Salem preceded and followed daily high temps in the 20s and 30s...and then yesterday afternoon it was this:

I was sweating in my suit as I drove home from doing a training with assistant principals yesterday!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meal No. 1725: 2 x 2 Soup

With the early January snowfall just beginning last Friday evening, the happy crew of four chose to return to the Roediger House after catching the IMAX Star Wars: Rogue One movie, rather than to proceed with our plan to eat out at Chang Thai. The impending winter weather event easily brought soup to mind, so I put together a batch of Two-by-Two Soup. We found it to be rather spicy but belly-warmingly satisfying.

"2 x 2 Soup," from various sources.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Butter Toffee Cookies at Vacation's End

By special request, I made a fresh batch of butter toffee cookies, even though this meant pushing back my bedtime last Thursday night. This concoction represents a sinful combination of terrific complimentary flavors wrapped up inside one delicious cookie. There were certainly enough to share!

"Butter Toffee Cookies," originally from King Arthur Flour. The catalog that comes periodically from KAF has recipes in it, which is where I originally got this. But, as sometimes happens, it is not available on their website. I'm glad someone posted it to Food.com.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Meal No 1724: Deviled Beef Short Ribs

A true winter chill has moved in, here at the end of my extended Christmas break, and on Thursday night I thought a hearty filling meal might help us all feel insulated against the elements. Deviled beef short ribs, stuffed potatoes, and homemade cinnamon applesauce made up the menu that night.

"Deviled Beef Short Ribs," by Jeremy Sauer. In Cook's Country, April/May 2014, p. 12-13.

"Stuffed Potatoes: Good/Better/Best," in Cuisine at Home,  December 2006, p. 23-24. [Recipe Clipping]

Applesauce based on "Spiced Country Applesauce," from Finding Joy in My Kitchen. Published 11 September 2009.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Eggnog Tres Leche Cake

After the Wednesday night meal, I was yet again prepared with a dessert: eggnog tres leche cake, which I'd made just once before. This time, I tried substituting buttermilk for the milk called for in the batter, and I suspect it was not a smart substitution. The problem is I'd used all my milk for the homemade eggnog and hadn't made it to the store yet. The crew that night said it was still reasonably delicious.

I can definitely attest that the eggnog itself was really good:

It's still cold here, by the way. Schools are out today so I have a snowday to look forward to, instead of a workday. And before I went to bed last night, this was our forecast low:

"Eggnog Tres Leche Cake," from Michele at FlavorMosaic.com.

"Homemade Eggnog," by Beverly Sims. In Cuckoo Cooks from Gilboa Christian Church in Cuckoo, Virginia.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Meal No. 1723: Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Bourbon Sauce

As the skies dried out this past Wednesday, and the winds brought a considerably more chilly evening into Winston-Salem, I retreated to the kitchen as dinnertime approached to prepare a meal for five. It's been over four years since I last made this one, so it was high time to bring it back: pecan-crusted chicken breasts with bourbon sauce. Also on the plates: buttered garden peas and stuffing. I made a note on the recipe that those breasts have to be cut down or pounded, though: it took almost an hour-and-a-half to get them cooked through! I hate to serve dinner so doggone late...

"Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts with Pecan Crust," by Virginia Willis. Published in the Winston-Salem Journal [online], April 21, 2010.

"Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Bourbon Pan Sauce," by Jim Romanoff. From the Associated Press and published in the Daily News-Herald [Harrisonburg, VA], December 29, 2010. Also found online. Can also be found at the Seattle Times.

Bourbon Sauce directions from "Pecan Chicken with Bourbon Sauce" by LifeIsGood on Food.com.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow Storm to Start 2017!

For a highly welcome change, promises of snow (and a heaping of it!) did not end up empty, and overnight and through the morning, Winston-Salem got a pretty good winter blanket...somewhere around 6 or 7 inches, unofficially. And it was lovely.

I got out around 5:30 this morning and snapped photos of the house but also took a stroll east on Fourth Street all the way over to Main Street, to see Amy at her overnight shift at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.

When the sun broke through in early afternoon, the temps actually started dropping back into the mid-20s but it lit up the landscape awesomely.

Unfortunately, this rather nice snow event is due to be followed by a few days of single-digit lows overnight with daytime temps rising only into the 20s. Reckon this snow will stick with us for just a bit.

UPDATE: On Sunday, with the bright sunny skies in control of these single-digit morning temperatures, I dashed outside long enough to try to get some daytime photos, as shown below: