Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Marcus Foster..... coming soon to a blog near you

Well the brilliant plan was to do a small play on words and make Bananas Foster then post it with my photos of my trip to Nashville to see Marcus Foster, which failed miserably as you can see there are no bananas in sight. I even have the brandy, which I may just drink from a glass and call it a day on the recipe.

We did go to Nashville, we saw many great musicians perform, I did meet Marcus Foster, then watched him play an interesting set (we'll just leave it at interesting for the moment), and then he almost fell into our laps as he was trying to leave the stage. Being the sweetheart/spaz that I am I did one of those movie ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh, and then reached out in slow motion to catch..... his guitar. Oops. Guess we know where my loyalties lie. I probably would have let him all on his face while I saved the guitar. However, I am sure he would want it no other way. In the end it didn't matter because he caught his footing and was fine.

As soon as I unpack, download photos, repack for Christmas travel, travel to various countries, come home, unpack, entertain coming company, and recover I will make sure you get the rest of the Nashville experience.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Ahhhhh... what was I thinking attempting to start a blog the same time I went back to school?  Things have been very busy here.  VERY busy, and to top it all off our oven died about 20 minutes before the turkey was finished on Thanksgiving.  A quick carving and some white wine poaching on the stove and we were back in business.  Luckily all the side dishes were done.  Fried green bean casserole just doesn't have a very holiday ring to it somehow.

Well it has been about a week and a half and we still do not have a working oven, largely in part to the type of oven we have.  This is the world's smallest oven may I remind you.  I'm telling you I've seen toaster ovens that are bigger... seriously!  It's tiny.  How it ever got by me when we bought the house is beyond me.  I think after looking at 40 houses I was so happy to find one that had everything we were looking for I forgot to look at things like the appliances.  Me?  Forgot to check out the oven!  That should tell you how exhausted I was about the whole mess.  However the day we were moving in and I turned around, pointed, and said, "What the hell is that?  What am I going to cook in there a Thanksgiving quail?" 

Well we managed to fit a 6lbs. turkey in there with the side dishes.  Barely.  No that is not a type error.  It was 6 pounds.  Doesn't matter.  We got through the holiday and it was fantastic and relaxing, and since everyone with normal sized ovens have been blogging all their fabulous thanksgiving recipes, and I already gave you the Pumpkin Creme Brulee recipe, we're going to switch it up a bit.

Also, whether or not we got through the holiday seems like a mute point when you are missing your oven for over a week. There are only so many times you can have tacos or omlettes for dinner before you start to think... there has to be some good recipes out there for a cook top! 

Our oven is not even in the house at the moment as they have removed it to try to figure out what is wrong with it.  I'm hoping it's unfixable so we can get a new one!  Although these were pretty easy and tastey so I am thinking that we will make them again regardless of the oven status.

Thai Ground Pork Salad
adapted from Food and Wine December 2009


2 pounds ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced, plus sliced jalapeno for garnish
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges, for serving
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (check that you have a gluten-free version if desired)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha (Chile sauce) (ditto on the gluten-free... both of mine were)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup basil
Salt and Pepper
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 large head Boston or othe rleafy lettuce, separated into leaves


In a bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeno.  In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and the 1 teaspoon of Sriracha.

In a skillet, heat the oil.  Add the pork mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a bowl; stir in the herbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with the peanuts and sliced jalapenos.  Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha and lettuce for wrapping.