Thursday, March 29, 2012

Green Beans and Tomatoes....A Lenten affair

Doesn't sound like much does it?

I sauteed some blanched green beans with 2 cloves of garlic and a pinch of cinnamon. I added one can of diced tomatoes and heated through.

Weird. Very good eats.

I am not sure what it is about tomatoes and their alliance with green beans that makes this so tasty. The Lebanese at our old parish would serve this over rice but a bit of Prosphora soaked up the juices nicely.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Eating Omaha...The Twisted Cork Bistro

Last night was a beautiful evening in the Big O. Temperate and no wind, a nice night to eat al fresco. We had reservations at The Twisted Cork for 5:30. Not sure why so early but that's what they gave us and when we left at 7 the place was still pretty much empty.

I think I started the evening in sticker shock. They had a nice selection of Washington State and Oregon wines but not one under $35.  Almost everything on the menu was ala carte and entrees started at $23.00. It is a very expensive place to eat, so I expected good food and good portions.

The evening began with a lavosh pizza and a bottle of Goose Ridge G3 blend. The pizza ($11) was grand with various cheeses, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes but only 1/2 a 12 inch size pizza. Odd, no breads on the table and no salt and pepper. Salads started at $5 and up from there. A pretty moderate salad for the price. We split one.

Lori had the seared Yellow fin, Mat and Brenda had the Fin Fish duet and I had the Shellfish Duet. Lori seemed pretty happy with the tuna, seared just right with a duet of sauces. The white sauce was a wasabi aoili and complimented fish very well. My duet was comprised of 3 shrimps and 3 large scallops with a yellow curry sauce and mango. The dish was great with the exception of the mango. Several pieces were still quite cold (obviously a previously frozen ingredient)

Mat and Brenda's duet consisted of a fillet of salmon, halibut and one shrimp. Frankly the serving looked meager. One shrimp, really? Brenda's salmon was very rare. I have to confess, I like my salmon a bit more done than that. I actually finished it for her with a bit of Lori's wasabi aoili. I think Mat still looked hungry. The bill was a whopping $100 per couple by far our most expensive meal so far.  Probably not on our list to revisit. Lori has been there before for lunch and it was great so maybe a lunch spot is best.

Post script: I revisited the menu from Twisted Cork. I suppose we all got what we asked for. Perhaps the owners, from Seattle, eat their salmon a bit on the rare side. There was not much mention in the menu about how rare its going to be. Maybe I overcook my salmon ( I like it ever so on the edge of translucent and I like the edges crisp, personal preference) I do like sushi, so the raw fish thing is ok with me but I am not a huge fan of raw salmon.

So far our Eat Omaha thing has been kind of a disappointment. Nicola's is the only place I would hit again out of the three we have visited.  Next up is Mexican and we are talking about hitting Netties. I have been a SOB (South Omaha Boy) most of my life and simply have never eaten there. So, to Bellevue we go. I have in the past eaten at some great Mexican places in South Omaha. Most of them came and went, some were quite memorable especially one on Q street east of 30th street. Authentic and delicious but that place was boarded up years ago.  We'll see what happens.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Welsh Rarebit

A sale on Marble Rye at HyVee got me to thinking. This is not Lenten Fare in the strict sense of our Lent but it's meatless and delicious. From Alton Brown's recipe on Food Network this makes a weekend of mucking out the pond bearable. Even Ben ate some.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup porter beer
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) shredded Cheddar
  • 2 drops hot sauce
  • 4 slices toasted rye bread


In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add beer and whisk to combine. Pour in cream and whisk until well combined and smooth. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth; this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Add hot sauce. Pour over toast and serve immediately.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chickpea and Artichoke Masala

I made a recipe from Aarti Party tonight with a bit of Na an on the side. Purely vegetarian with the exception of 1/4 cup of yogurt.

1 large red onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
2 T canola oil
1 t cumin seeds
1 t ground coriander
1/2 t garam masala
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 c yogurt
1 T lime juice
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) chickpeas
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) artichoke hearts drained and rinsed
1/2 c water
Chopped fresh cilantro

optional 1 serrano pepper split

Process the onion, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes in a food processor and process till smooth.

Meanwhile warm the oil and once shimmering, add the cumin seeds. (I added a serrano and let it cook in the oil too for a little bite) Once they are done popping, add the onion tomato mixture and saute till the color darkens and it thickens about 10 minutes.

Add the spices and cook 30 seconds then add the yogurt slowly. Stir in the lime juice and water, chickpeas and artichokes. Salt to taste. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Check seasoning then garnish with cilantro.

Man, this was a great recipe. Tasty and filling. The side of hot off the griddle Na an really made it but you could serve it over rice also. Yum.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New month but still in Lent

We are getting pretty well fed considering the restrictive diet. Haven't tried anything daring yet but we bought more fish and shrimp at the market and I usually have a pound of cooked shrimp in the fridge for snacking and lunches.

My typical lunch is about 6 Castelvetrano olives, hummus, pita and 6 large shrimps with Trader Joe's cocktail sauce. I am always hungry at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Haven't remembered to bring a snack yet to help with the afternoon munchies. Since I come in at 0530 I usually eat lunch at 10 but sometimes I am starving and eat a bit earlier. I have a jar of peanut butter here for the occasional tablespoon hunger killer.

Last week I made a panko baked mahi mahi that was good but I thought a bit dry. I will try again with some cod this week. Generally I simply pan saute my fish with a dredge of flour and a bit of oil. A reduction of white wine makes a nice sauce with a splash of lemon. I have cod, mahi and sole in the fridge. I think I have a few fillets of flounder left also.

The Thai noodle dish I made last week was great but we get tired of that flavor quickly. I am looking into Indian recipes especially from Arti Party on the Food Channel. A lot of vegan type things from her repertoire to make. I think all the spice would be a welcome addition to normally bland fare we are eating.


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