Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Various Housewarming Party Foods

Some people asked for recipes from this past weekend's housewarming party, so here are some of the dishes:

Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad:

-Make Israeli Couscous according to however you make it: I boil it in lots of water with a splash of olive oil and salt.

-Drain, rinse with cold water to cool temperature, toss in big bowl with a little olive oil so it doesn't get gloopy.
-Add in chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella (I like cherry tomatoes chopped in half for these kinds of salads, but Berkeley Bowl was inexplicably out of any that didn't cost one million dollars)  -Make a dressing consisting of grainy dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and lots of olive oil (this is all by eye, but you want more balsamic than mustard, maybe twice as much).  -toss all together and tweak seasoning!

Balsamic-Marsala Mushrooms
-Throw into a big sautee pan (or pot or dutch oven) an obscenely enormous amount of whole mushrooms (I used smallish brown crimini, regular button would also work).
-Sautee in olive oil, salt, pepper (even crushed red pepper also if you like it spicy), till seasoned.
-Add various measures of balsamic vinegar, marsala wine, and red wine; cover and let mushrooms simmer/boil for a long time.
-At some point in the cooking process add chopped flat-leaf parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
-Keep simmering/boiling covered, occasionally adding balsamic, marsala, or red wine when the liquids get low, according to taste.
-Once mushrooms are tender and cooked through (but not mooshy), turn off heat and let cool. Adjust seasoning.
-Toss one more time with fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon juice. 
-Serve with the juices, with some baguette.

Enormous Roast I Totally Winged:
-Take a 10 lb bottom round roast, score the fat, place in enormous thing
-Add a couple of bottles of red wine, some balsamic vinegar, lots of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, several cloves worth of chopped garlic, and olive oil.
-Marinate overnight
-Preheat oven to like 425, put roast in, covered,* with the marinade and everything
-Cook for about an hour, then uncover
-Cook for an hour and a half more, then cut into roast to see if it's not too bloody
-Let rest for a couple of hours (3? ish?)
-Remove from marinade (now a thick meaty sauce) and slice thinly
-Return to marinade/sauce and coat, then serve on platter
-Strain rest of marinade/meaty sauce/jus and serve with the roast
*Disclaimer: I panicked because once I actually read the recipes some of them suggested I should have started cooking this thing 24 hs in advance, which I have never been organized enough to do. One of the recipes suggested 1-2 hs per pound at a low temp, at which rate it would have been ready the day after the party. Another option would be like 20-30 minutes per pound at 350? I decided to ignore everything and blast it at a high temperature to get the outside cooked and the inside pink, and it worked way better than I deserved it to.

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