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eG Foodblog: daniellewiley - From pig hocks to tailgates


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Even a small grass field will do.

My third year at UVa I lived in a small rental house right outside the parking lot to the football stadium (it says a lot that I can't remember the name of the this stadium). We routinely had to run tailgaters out of the yard, hibachi in one hand, six-pack in the other.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Dinner tonight was a bit of a project - it's always a challenge to keep Dylan occupied while I cook, and Michael doesn't get home until 6pm most nights.

As I mentioned earlier, I decided to make my mom's eggplant gratin. In an effort to be honest, I should state that the real name of this dish is eggplant casserole. My silly husband thought gratin sounded less midwest. :wacko:

My mom served this casserole as a side dish for many of our holiday dinners growing up. I had forgotten it until a few years ago, when it suddenly came to mind, and I realized that it would be great as a vegetarian main course. I think it came from a 70's vegetarian cookbook.

The first step is to peel and slice one large eggplant. I didn't like the looks of the large eggplants at the store, so I substituted two small ones. The slices are steamed in an inch of salt water for 10 minutes. It then gets mashed with melted butter, bread crumbs, eggs, chopped onion and oregano. I used fresh oregano, and also added some chives:

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That gets mixed together, first by an adult, but then by a kid. :wink:

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It is layered in a casserole with fresh sliced tomato:

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and topped with grated cheddar and parmesan and a sprinkle of paprika. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes:

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I served it with roasted asparagus and paesano bread that we topped with Stilton. We drank "two buck Chuck" Shiraz:

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Despite helping me cook it, Dylan wouldn't eat my eggplant. :sad:

She had some bread and some asparagus, washed down with chocolate soy milk and followed by a salty licorice from Europe. Luckily, she had cheese crackers and a banana for her after school snack, so she's not totally malnourished.

The eggplant is real comfort food for me. It tastes like childhood.

Edited by daniellewiley (log)

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Danielle, is the eggplant casserole...ahem... gratin recipe Mediterranean in origin in any way? I'm wondering because of the oregano, tomatoes and of course the eggplant.

Although the butter threw me off a little. Could it be that olive oil wasn't as fashionable in the 70's?

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Instead of napping today she sat in her room for two hours singing "Where is Thumbkin" to her dolls

--Sigh.--

Keep 'em coming, please.

There should be a separate forum for We The People Who Love Babies and Children and Food, and who find such things completely charming, and it would be off limits to people who Just Don't Get It. Just as the ultimate thread to praise "foie gras" would be off limits to me.

Tana, I totally agree. I mentioned to Danielle before about a children's blog, don't you think it would be interesting to see what kids are eating these days?

and kids are tasty too! someone should include some recipes in their blog.

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Danielle, sorry, but I mentioned your posting of Rhodes' Garden Fresh on eGullet while I was shopping there for squash today, and the lady cashier was excited! She wrote "eGullet.com" down carefully, and asked me twice if she spelled it right.

The owner will probably greet you with a cornucopia the next time you walk in the door.

Enjoy! :laugh:

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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Even a small grass field will do.

My third year at UVa I lived in a small rental house right outside the parking lot to the football stadium (it says a lot that I can't remember the name of the this stadium). We routinely had to run tailgaters out of the yard, hibachi in one hand, six-pack in the other.

Should have let them set up and cook. Leave house take all the food and beer and say thank you your on our property. But then I'm from Brooklyn. :biggrin: long time ago

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I miss brats.

They don't serve them in New York (unlike Milwaukee).

Soba

At Erika's Delicatessen in Grand Rapids, MI (quoted from their web site):

September 15th, 2004. Our 3rd annual OKTOBERFEST @ the Airport Hilton from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will feature 45 beers, serve 15 kinds of brats with 16 mustards plus other great German foods and cheeses. The cost: $15 per person.

Also at Erika's, btw:

October 6th, 2004. Pinot Noirs of the World @ the Airport Hilton from 7 pm to 9 pm. We will offer New and Old World Pinot Noirs and have some excellent food parings to make the evening complete. The cost: $15 per person.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Danielle, is the eggplant casserole...ahem... gratin recipe Mediterranean in origin in any way? I'm wondering because of the oregano, tomatoes and of course the eggplant.

Although the butter threw me off a little. Could it be that olive oil wasn't as fashionable in the 70's?

The oregano gives it an Italian flavor, of course. My sister-in-law thinks it tastes a lot like the eggplant parmesan that we get at the small plates restaurant in town. To me, it's an amalgam of a lot of flavors. The fact that it calls for cheddar instead of mozzarella, and butter instead of olive oil is what prevents it from being pure Mediterranean. I think it's just a weird product of the 70's that happens to work.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Danielle, sorry, but I mentioned your posting of Rhodes' Garden Fresh on eGullet while I was shopping there for squash today, and the lady cashier was excited! She wrote "eGullet.com" down carefully, and asked me twice if she spelled it right.

The owner will probably greet you with a cornucopia the next time you walk in the door.

Enjoy! :laugh:

I'm excited that a Toledoan is reading my blog!! Everyone at my office thinks I'm a nutcase, LOL. My friend Mike said, "Do you actually think people will read this thing?" I then forced him to read through all of the posts. hee hee.

Which cashier was it? They will all recognize Dylan when they see the photo of her. We're there quite often.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Good morning!

Breakfast was a repeat of yesterday, but with a Michigan Red Haven peach in place of the strawberries. Those got eaten up this morning by Dylan and Michael.

Lunch should be interesting. Every day at work, they order in from a different restaurant for lunch. We go online to place our order, and then our runner picks it up or the restaurant delivers. Today is Ranya's, a small Lebanese restaurant in downtown Toledo that is only open for lunch. I know we are having Lebanese overkill this week, but that's Toledo!! :smile:

I ordered the Hummos topped with ground round. I have not had it before, but the owner of the restaurant, Nadji, is very proud of his mother's hummos recipe, and I've heard good things about the dish. I'm most excited for the soup that comes with it. It's Egyptian Lentil, and I love it. It has a chicken stock base, and lots of celery. Very very tasty. Stay tuned for pics - I'll try to get pictures of some of the other dishes as well, since most of the office is ordering today.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Where are you Danielle??????  :raz:

Here I am! Here I am!! OK, this day/evening will give you guys a very good idea of how hard it can be sometimes to fit in a great homemade meal.

First, a brief, brief recounting of lunch, which isn't really even worth discussing much.

Here is what I should have eaten:

0.jpg

It's Aryas Halabi, which is kibbe stuffed into a pita and grilled. Served with hummos. Yummy.

Here is what I unfortunately ordered:

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The soup was delicious as always, but I don't think this dish is for me. While quite tasty, the hummos at Ranya's is a bit too rich. It is heavy on the dairy (yogurt or sour cream, I believe) and there was no way I could eat an entire plate of it. I also wasn't thrilled with the ground round. It had no flavor!

I did enjoy my snack, though. Here are my exciting figs sitting on top of my boring work. :biggrin:

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So, now to discuss my dinner. The plan was to cook a whole chicken on our Weber. I didn't remember to defrost the chicken, though, until this morning. Now, normally, I'd just go buy a new one, LOL, but I'm trying to be frugal, so I threw caution to the wind and let it sit on the counter for four hours. Then, I had visions of salmonella dancing in my head and ran home to throw it in the fridge. So, of course, come 5:45, it was still solid as a rock. Microwave time! At this point, we realize that our timing is way way off. Michael has a conference call with Asia at 8pm, and I'm supposed to be at a business meeting at a local bar at 8:30. Dylan hasn't bathed, is covered in dirt, and we have this rock solid chicken defrosting in the microwave. We did not have the 30 minutes required to fully defrost, so I made an executive decision and pulled it out of the microwave. Still hard. I ignore that small fact and move forward. I rub the chicken with my seasoning; kosher salt, freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper, garlic powder (only time I use the stuff) and the secret ingredient; Smoked Hot Paprika from Spain:

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The chicken goes on the Weber and cooks for a while under the cover. We love our Weber, by the way. It is the charcoal one with the gas ignitor. Awesome, considering we had an explosion with our chimney starter when we had the old fashioned kind (story for another day). Here is Michael adding hickory chips to the lump charcoal. We don't always do this, but we thought it would be a nice touch:

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While the chicken cooked, I quickly prepared the rest of the meal. I chopped onion and garlic and added it to a pot with fresh lima beans from Rhodes, some milk, some water and some butter. Brought to a simmer and cooked on low with a cover.

Then, I made a quick salad. The dressing contained a soft mild goat cheese, Maille Dijon mustard with green peppercorns, Spanish sherry vinegar and EVOO.

The chicken kept on cooking and cooking and cooking. To conserve time, Dylan and I ran upstairs and took a bath. We came downstairs a half an hour later and continued to watch the chicken cook, and cook, and cook. Here it is cooking:

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Finally, it was done:

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And served at 7:52pm:

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Everything was delicious. Dylan ate a little bit of everything, which is good, and we both made our meetings. Phew!!

At my meeting, I had an interesting concoction that was basically a deconstructed s'more. Homemade graham crackers. melted marshmallow, sprinkled with chocolate shavings and served with raspberry sauce and raspberries. Not phenomenal, but a fun effort.

Sorry to everyone for the long delay in reporting. I got here as soon as I could!!!

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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At this point, we realize that our timing is way way off. Michael has a conference call with Asia at 8pm, and I'm supposed to be at a business meeting at a local bar at 8:30. Dylan hasn't bathed, is covered in dirt, and we have this rock solid chicken defrosting in the microwave.

:biggrin::blink::biggrin:

Sounds like our evenings ... but without the kid! I take my hat off to you (and all others like you) who can juggle it all.

I use my Palm Pilot to remind me to take things like chickens out of the freezer. Geeky I know, but it works.

Nice Weber by the way.

Arne

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We love our Weber, by the way. It is the charcoal one with the gas ignitor. Awesome, considering we had an explosion with our chimney starter when we had the old fashioned kind (story for another day).

since yer already blogging, any chance could you make that day today?

i'm really curious as to what could cause an explosion on a regular ol' chimney starter.

or not! whichever you wanna do--it's your blog!

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I rub the chicken with my seasoning; kosher salt, freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper, garlic powder (only time I use the stuff) and the secret ingredient; Smoked Hot Paprika from Spain:

Just to record some synchronicity (and shamelessly promote the Northern California board), smoked hot paprika from Spain was prominent among the many culinary subjects discussed at Saturday's Northern California eGullet picnic in Golden Gate Park.

Really enjoying the blog, Danielle, and those are some mighty pretty figs!

Cheers,

Squeat (who used to climb the fig trees on his college campus and pluck and eat the figs sitting right in the tree, making various "I'm a dangerous lunatic" noises at anyone who happened to pass by in order to have them all to himself!)

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It's Aryas Halabi, which is kibbe stuffed into a pita and grilled. Served with hummos. Yummy.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is kibbe?

Kibbe is usually ground lamb mixed with bulgar wheat. I think those sandwiches usually just have kofta meat in them though. Kofta is lamb with minced parsley and onion, no bulgar.

What I am wondering is why anyone would put a dairy product in hummus? Weird.

Also, give the hummus with meat a second chance. It is meant to be made with lamb rather than beef and can be really good when done right. I think foodman has a recipe somewhere in the Middle East forum.

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We love our Weber, by the way. It is the charcoal one with the gas ignitor. Awesome, considering we had an explosion with our chimney starter when we had the old fashioned kind (story for another day).

since yer already blogging, any chance could you make that day today?

i'm really curious as to what could cause an explosion on a regular ol' chimney starter.

or not! whichever you wanna do--it's your blog!

OK, here's the story:

Our house is 113 years old, and the driveway, while not as old as the house, is very old as well. It is an incredibly thin layer of cement.

Michael is extremely talented as a grill-man, so I don't question his tactics, and perhaps this is how the problem developed. Now, since he is a man, I have no idea why this is the case, but, can you believe..... He NEVER read the instructions for the chimney starter!!!

Had he read the instructions, he would have discovered that it should be placed on the grill itself, not the ground. And, certainly, not the paper thin cement covered ground.

So, one day, the coals are heating, we are relaxing on our new patio, and all of a sudden -

WHOOOMMMM!!!

The starter flies off the driveway along with a perfect circle of broken concrete. Lump charcoal is everywhere. Cement is everywhere. There is a round dent in my driveway that looks like an urban crop circle, and I started saving for the propane-started Weber. :biggrin:

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Was amazed when I saw the pictures of the grilling. Not only does Michael bear a striking resemblance to me, but with his camo shorts and white tee-shirt on he has stolen my wardrobe, not to mention my haircut!!

(Sorry no pictures of myself for comparison, you'll have to take my word on it)

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Great blog, Danielle!

I am wondering how I can get my business meetings moved to "a local bar"! :biggrin: Well done!

Definitely go with Behemoth's suggestion and get some hummous made without dairy products -- that is just too weird.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Great blog, Danielle!

I am wondering how I can get my business meetings moved to "a local bar"! :biggrin: Well done!

Definitely go with Behemoth's suggestion and get some hummous made without dairy products -- that is just too weird.

:cool:

It's for a new personal business that I'm working on (selling botanical products), so I picked the locale. Unfortunately, most of my other business meetings are far less exciting.

I agree about the weirdness of the hummos - you guys will experience some great hummos with me on Friday when we go to the Beirut. A lot of people love the food at Ranya's, and the owner is so passionate about what he does, but it just usually leaves me uninspired. Oh well... to each his own, I suppose.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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I skipped breakfast today because I didn't go into the office, and right now I'm eating a quick lunch. I have a 1pm appointment in Ann Arbor, so I need to eat early, and eat fast!

I did a toasted sourdough roll half topped with goat cheese and Niman Ranch applewood smoked ham. Pretty tasty - it would be better with some cucumber, but I'm short on time!

goatcheese.jpg

Tonight will be grilled veal chops with a thyme vinaigrette, cousa/koosa squash stuffed with feta and herbs, and some kind of starchy item that I have not yet selected.

Stay tuned!

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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The starter flies off the driveway along with a perfect circle of broken concrete. Lump charcoal is everywhere. Cement is everywhere. There is a round dent in my driveway that looks like an urban crop circle, and I started saving for the propane-started Weber. :biggrin:

whoa!

thanks for the story--that's a good thing to know!

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Just finished dinner! Grliled veal chops with thyme vinaigrette, feta stuffed cousa/koosa squash and roasted purple potatoes.

The veal chops are from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's

City Cuisine. We hadn't made them in years, actually, but Michael suggested veal chops for dinner, and we realized this was a great choice, because they are so easy! I didn't get home from my Ann Arbor meeting and then picking up Dylan, until almost 5:45, so we couldn't have a dinner that required hours of work. Dylan goes to bed at 8-8:30, and we all eat together, so very often we are limited to dishes that are fast.

Anyway, these chops are great. The only drawback is the high price of veal chops!! The two I bought (at Whole Foods) were over $15. Yikes. Cheaper than eating out, but...

The one-inch thick chops are sprinkled with salt and pepper, and grilled over cool coals for 8-10 minutes on each side. They are then placed on the plate and a very tasty vinaigrette composed of fresh thyme, shallots, EVOO and lemon juice is spooned over them.

The potatoes were cut into wedges and tossed in a ziploc with EVOO, kosher salt, ground tellicherry pepper, chopped chives and chopped garlic. Then, I put them in a baking dish and cooked for 45 minutes or so at 375 F.:

potatoes-raw-good.jpg

We also had the cousa squash in a recipe that my sister-in-law created. The seeds are scooped out:

cousa%20for%20stuffing.jpg

and then the squash are stuffed with feta, fresh herbs (I used the thyme and chives), pepper, chopped garlic and EVOO. These were cooked on the grill with the chops.

ready%20for%20cooking.jpg

(Yes, that's Dylan laying on the floor having a fit in the background. We were busy ignoring her.)

Dinner was great:

better%20top%20down.jpg

We drank a 2000 Chateau de Chamirey mercurey, which is a red burgundy, and Acqua Panna.

Kid-haters, skip the following...

In the middle of dinner, Dylan had to go potty, and wanted to go by herself. A few minutes later she started yelling for me. I ran in and saw this:

in%20toilet.jpg

I have a special dessert for the adults after Dylie goes to bed. I'll post in a few... :wink:

Edited by daniellewiley (log)

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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