The weekend was busy--Tavo and I ended up working most of it. We painted his coworker's condo, and once again, I did not cook anything. We ate out, but nothing particularly noteworthy. So, tonight, after a quick trip to the grocery store (with coupons, I saved $12! This is only a $30 grocery trip, too) I was ready to cook.
Where do you go to my lovely ? - Peter Sarstedt
First things first, the Consumer Reports pick of good cheap wine, Lindeman's. I dig this wine--its a very consistent inexpensive wine, generally $6. Trader Joe's, while reasonably priced, is not as reliable.
and what goes better with red wine than some Tomato Zucchini Soup?
This is a slight alteration of Mollie Katzen's Spicy Tomato Soup from the original Moosewood.
1-2 T. Olive oil
1/2 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchinis, diced
1 t. salt (omit if using salted crushed tomatoes)
1 t. dill (or more)
ground black pepper
large can crushed tomatoes (Cento is the shit)
fill the can 2/3 with water, add that too.
Parsley, scallions, fresh tomatoes, cream--whatever you have on hand
Heat oil, add onion, garlic, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Keep heat low so as not to burn garlic.
Add can tomatoes, water, and dill. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add fresh herbs and tomatoes, cream if desired. Heat through and serve.
While I was cooking, we hooked up the projector and played youtube videos of the Kinks, the Oblivions, Guided by Voices, Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Afghan Whigs, the Animals and Cat Stevens. Our buddy, JP, came by.
For Tavo, I made Paula Deen's "Old Time Beef Stew." Seriously, in the fall, is there anything better than a big bowl of thick stew and some fresh bread?
I didn't let the bread rise overnight, I just threw it in the oven right away. So, it's kind of flat. But, I'd let the starter sit out for 3 days--it was excellently sour!
I followed her recipe pretty closely, except I added some white wine, an extra cup of water, and 4 small peeled potatoes.
1-2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, minced (Tavo doesn't like big onion chunks)
4 small potatoes or 2 large, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt or 2 bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, celery, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.
And, how about a loaf of sourdough?