bay leaf

Getting Colder Outside, Make a Hearty Vegetable Garbure!

Your first question is what the heck is a vegetable garbure?  Short answer: a ham and vegetable French peasantry stew.  Long answer: a French stew I found in Ruhlman’s Twenty which enabled me to use up the bacon rind I’ve been saving in the freezer from the last time I made bacon.  Doesn’t it always seem like the peasant dishes you find turn out to be intensely hearty and sustaining?  This is what makes them really good for fall and winter.  They’re typically dishes which use scraps and leftovers, are simmered for hours, and develop intense flavors.  Vegetable garbure is one of those peasant dishes I’m adding to the rotation whenever I cure some bacon. (more…)

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What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Leg of Lamb with White Beans

With all the turkey, stews, soups, and pork we’ve been eating lately I decided to change it up a bit and make a leg of lamb.  I saw there was a boneless one on sale at the market so I grabbed it.  A boneless leg of lamb is nice because you can stuff it with all sorts or herbs and mixtures.  I hadn’t cooked one in a long while so this was going to be fun.  Since I needed to reacquaint myself with preparing one I went to my stack of cookbooks and pulled out one I knew would have a good recipe: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  (more…)

Turkey Noodle Soup

End of the road for Thanksgiving leftovers

So we come to the last bits of the big bird.  You’ve got some meat left and the carcass.  What to do?  Of course, you know what to do…make soup!  Making any soup from scratch is easy, especially turkey/chicken when you have the leftover bones.  The most important step (in my opinion) is starting with a good stock.  I’ve tried many different ways to make stock but the best way I’ve found, and the only way I make it, is with this oven method courtesy of my personal kitchen hero, Ruhlman.

It’s such a simple way to make stock.  (more…)