Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)

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(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal shank. However, veal shank can be expensive or impossible to find. Since the meat will cook for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has a place in this dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 beef shanks
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce or puree. (I make my own each year from scratch and freeze)
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Polenta
Flour
EVOO
Salt and pepper
Meat broth as needed (I use veal stock when available but chicken broth works fine also.)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

Mirepoix:
2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano or thyme
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish, mix all ingredients in a bowl):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped

Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.  The shank should be served whole with the bone in but I also find it better to cut it up in squares and serve the bone along with it.  It makes it easier to manage on the plate.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid (Dutch oven) in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.  An alternative is to simmer on top of the stove for nearly 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat tender.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.

As of 2/21/21

Sushi Bake (w/Salmon and Crab)

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I love sushi but locked in the blizzards of the Midwest I don’t get much Sushi.  Here is a tasty recipe.

Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups Mahatma Sushi rice
  • 3 Cups water
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil.

In a rice cooker add the rice and add water.  Rinse the rice about 5 times to get all the cloudy rice water until the water becomes clear.  Drain the water, add the rice and 3 cups water and turn the cooker on.  When the button goes off add the rice vinegar and the sesame oil.  Stir until the water evaporates.  Please the rice in a 9X12 pan and layer it and let it cool.

Salmon

  • 300 Gr of salmon (2 pieces)
  • Olive oil

Place the salmon on a tray lined with aluminum foil.  Add olive oil to the tray and oil on top of the salmon.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cook 10 minutes.  Let cool.  With 2 forks shred the salmon and place in a large mixing bowl.

Crab

Open 1 6 oz. can of crab meat and drain through a strainer.  Place on top of the salmon. 

Cream Cheese

Open 1 – 6 Oz. package cream cheese and with a hand blender blend it until it becomes soft and fluffy. Place on top of the salmon and crab.

Shushi Bake

On top of the salmon add ¼ cup regular mayo and 2 TBSP of Sriracha sauce.  Hand mix all well.  Spread on top of the rice. Add lines of Sriracha sauce on top and lines of Kewpie Japanese Mayo.  Then bake 15 minutes.  (Hint:  I found the Kewpie in the mayo section, not the Asian section.)

Toppings

Remove from oven, add thinly sliced ½ cucumber and thinly sliced 1 Avocado. 

As of 2/14/21

Pork Loin and Sweet Kraut

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Serves 2

1 LB. Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin (Tenderloin is the filet of mignon of pork and pork loin is the muscle that runs along the back between the back fat and the ribs.)

Paste for the Loin
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
Paprika

In a small food processor, add all ingredients except the paprika. Blend into a smooth paste. Rub the paprika into the pork loin first, then rub the Paste onto the loin. Refrigerate an hour or more.

Sauerkraut
We used 1 can of Frank’s Sweet Bavarian Style Kraut w/Caraway Seeds.

Onion
1 small yellow cut in half, then cut into thin half-circles. Sauté in butter timed with serving.

Other
½ apple, chopped and placed at the bottom of an ovenware pan.
1 cup of beer, we used Leinenkugel from Wisconsin b/c it is like a German Pilsner.

In an ovenware pan place the loin on top of the chopped apples, add the beer and cook in oven 400° for 30 minutes until the center reaches internal temps of 160°. Remove the loin and wrap in aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes then slice into medallions and discard the apples.

Separately, sauté the onions and heat the Sauerkraut in separate pans timed for serving with the loin.

With tongs plate the Sauerkraut, then the onions and then add the loin medallions on top.

Mircowarp 30 seconds if necessary to heat again. Serve

As of 2/13/2113

Chicken Piccata

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Piccata is referring to a sauce.  Piccata in general is made with veal.  In this case chicken.  This dish is fried chicken with a buttery lemon sauce.

Serves 2

Chicken:

  • 1 Lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP black pepper

Slice the chicken in two pieces and then slice the thick part down the middle flat ways to make three equal flat chicken pieces.  Place plastic over chicken and gently pound the chick just a little.  Place the chicken in a bowl, add the salt and pepper and mix together and let sit for 15 minutes.  The salt will prepare the meat and change the strands and hold onto the moisture better.  Dredge the chicken in flour.  Add oil to a 12″ fry pan and get a little hot, add chicken and brown golden for a couple of minutes.  When the chicken is browned, remove, place in a platter.

Sauce:

  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 finely chopped clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1 TBSP capers
  • 1 TBSP chopped Italian Parsley
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP butter

In the pan drippings, add shallot and garlic and sauté, add the white wine and de-glaze the drippings a minute or so, and then turn heat to simmer. Add the chicken broth.  Add the flour to thicken and make a light gravy.   Add the lemon juice and lemon slices bring to a simmer.  Add back the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove chicken back into a platter.

Turn off heat and add butter and blend.  Add capers and parsley.  S&P as you want.  Serve with the lemon slices over the pasta and pour the gravy over the dish.

Pasta:

  • Thin Spaghetti

No matter what time zone or country of origin you are in, all dried pasta takes EXACTLY 12 minutes to cook in boiling water.

As of 1/31/21

Gołąbki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage) (Pronounced Go-lump-key)

I have made this dish several times before but I keep making adjustments.  This one I like b/c it brings me back to my roots in New Orleans’s for meat stuffing.  Instead of a Mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery), I went with the New Orleans Trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper.  Instead of tomato puree or sauce, I went with a tomato soup.  Tomato soup is a puree BTW, with a few extra stuff, it is not as acidic as puree, once again Campbell’s wins.  This all comes back as a favorite of mine for stuffing green bell pepper or mirlitons (aka chayote squash).  Only with mirliton, I like to use ground lamb.  This substitute blend of Trinity offers a little more punch.  I have researched the origins of this dish (the way Grandma made it) but those left me little in want of just a little more flavor.  Don’t get me wrong.  Grandma’s is always good.

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1 head of cabbage

1 cup rice (cooked al dente)

2 TBSP butter

½ Lb. ground meat

½ Lb. ground pork

½ onion finely chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves finely chopped

1 medium green pepper finely chopped

1 large garlic clove minced

3 scallions (Green onion)  finer chopped

1 TBSP dried parsley

1 cup long grain rice

S&P

Water

3 cans of 10 oz. tomato soup

½ cup Sour Cream

1 cup of dry white wine (Chardonnay) or reserve one cup of the cabbage water

Rice – In a 2 quart pot bring 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to boil, reduce to simmer, cook 8 minutes, place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking.  You want the rice to be half cooked.

Cabbage – cut the core out of the center of the cabbage.  Place in at least a 7 Qt. pot of boiling water with the core side up.  Boil three minutes and then gently remove the first of three or four leaves with tongs and place on a tray, keep doing this until you have peeled all the biggest usable leaves.  Remove the small remaining cabbage and return the leaves back in 3 to 4 at a time and boil another 30 seconds or so.  With a knife slice the main part of the rib off to make the leaf flexible. Set aside to cool.  Reserve the largest first leaf to place over the rolls later.

Sauté Trinity – the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and green onion mixed in butter cooked on medium-low for 6 to 8 minutes.  Not to overcook b/c all this will go in the pot for an hour.

Mix everything but the cabbage leaves in a bowl.  Spoon ~a third cup of filling in a cabbage leaf.  Fold the top over then the side and roll the cabbage and place in an iron Dutch oven.  Stack into the Dutch oven.

Mix a can of tomato soup with 1/3 cup of white wine.  Pour over rolls.  Do this for all three cans.  Layer the reserved largest first leaf over the top of the pot.

Cooking – Bring the pot to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 hour.  Ladle in about 3/4 cup of cooked tomato sauce in a two cup measuring cup and add the sour cream.  Mix with a spoon and pour back over the pot and adjust the rolls so the sour cream can rest in between the rolls.  Not to overcook the sour cream.  Just to blend it in the pot and serve.

As of 1/17/21