Tuesday, August 09, 2005

a balanced meal

Bonnie came over for dinner today. Dinner was quick but adventurous. No leftovers! I'm losing my touch.


18-oz log of pre-cooked polenta
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
4 small tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons truffle-flavored olive oil
Fresh oregano (or thyme or marjoram)

Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 1/2 hour. Slice polenta into 1/2" thick rounds, brush both sides with oil. Chop the tomatoes and garlic and mushrooms and stew with the other ingredients while broiling the polenta rounds, about 10 minutes per side. Spoon sauce over rounds and sprinkle with minced fresh herb.


1 lb flank steak (free-range, grass-fed, etc.)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam/nam pla)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp sugar

Simmer the ingredients for the glaze (everything but the steak) until thick. Note from experience: keep the fan running or your house will have a sour, vinegary smell for a week. This is worse than onions and possibly worse than fish. Broil the steak for 6 minutes on the first side and 5 on the second more or less per instructions from Joy of Cooking (Rombauer et al. 1997) for medium to medium rare. Slice it across the grain, and transfer the juice from the cutting board to the pan with the glaze, mixing it in. Reserve some juice to drizzle on your hardwood kitchen floor. It brings out the glow of the grain. Spoon the glaze/jus on to your plated slices of steak. The fish sauce was a gamble in place of salt, soy, or Worchestershire, but I think it really paid off.


1 english cucumber (or several pickling cukes)
Sunflower sprouts (about 1.5 cups)
1/8 of a sweet onion (Vidalia, e.g.)
hypothetical radishes*
3 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
fresh ground pepper
(no salt)

Cut cucumber into small cubes, dice onion very fine, mix vinegar, sugar, and water to dissolve sugar, mix all ingredients. *This means I couldn't find any good-looking radishes in the grocery store today but I bet they would go very well.

Bonnie brought dates for dessert and suggested we make an herb tea with some of the leftover fresh thyme and peppermint tea bags. It was very good for already-full stomachs.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger the grocer's daughter said...

I love the name of the salad :)

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Mimi said...

The Hartford Courant food writer recommended Casa Rossa Truffle Salt from gourmet food stores or from
I would not use the product if salt were the first ingredient. I would rather control the salt separately.

Looks like a generally-interesting Italian food site.

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Benoit said...

"Rich dishes?" Barbara and Jenna??

"Relief from?" A Democratic administration?


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