[FHCx289] National Roast Pheasant Day/National Chicken Cacciatore Day/National Mushroom Day/National Red Wine Day/National Cheese Curd Day

Title too long.

IT’S NATIONAL ROAST PHEASANT DAY AND NATIONAL CHICKEN CACCIATORE DAY AND NATIONAL MUSHROOM DAY AND NATIONAL RED WINE DAY AND NATIONAL CHEESE CURD DAY!

If you thought having three food holidays in one day was difficult, welcome to the big leagues.

Cheese curds.

We picked some up from Culver’s, which is really the only choice for cheese curds when the State Fair isn’t operating. In fact, they’re having a promo right now for “Curd Nerds” and a sweepstakes to win a whole bunch of money. Here’s hoping.

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“Fried” and “cheese” do belong in the same sentence together more frequently than you’d think.

As for the main event, SParents really blew us away with all their hard work today. SPom put together a chicky-catch yesterday, that we were able to heat up and have at dinner tonight.

Basically chicken cacciatore is a kind of Italian chicken stew that has a bunch of veggies, and is usually served over noodles.

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Notice the mushrooms for mushroom day?

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In the US, we frequently use a red sauce for cacciatore.

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Along with dinner was some red wine…

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…and some sauteed mushrooms, just because you can’t ever have enough.

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We’d been really nervous with roast pheasant coming up. It’s not something that we frequently get around here, even though many of SP‘s coworkers are reveling in the opening of the pheasant hunting season this weekend. Sure you can hunt it, but can you roast it? SPad can. He got these pheasants from the grocery store on special order, and went to work with a tasty recipe.

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Hate to say it… but it tastes like chicken!

It was extra special with the juice/dip/sauce that went with the recipe.

All in all, a successful but stressful day, and we didn’t even have to do the brunt of the work. Thanks SPom and SPad! Here’s hoping we don’t have another psychotically packed day of food holidays again.

Tomorrow is National Liqueur Day and World Food Day.

-SPAK

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[FHCx262] National Cheeseburger Day

Deja vu…

IT’S NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY!

Well on Thursday we celebrated double cheeseburger day. Today celebrates the singular. The original. But we aren’t going to do your regular old McDonald’s.

We’re Minnesotans. We believe in the Juicy Lucy. We went to Blue Door Pub.

The Juicy Lucy is a Minnesota invention, where cheese is stuffed into the burger. Techniques vary, and there is dispute regarding what restaurant actually created it. But Blue Door has one of SP‘s favorite burgers, so we had to do it.

Behold, the Merriam Park burger. Burger stuffed with blue cheese, bacon, and garlic, and topped with a red currant jelly.

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STUFF IT INTO DA FACE

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Look at all that good stuff inside.

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Oh, and here’s AK‘s burger, the NeuFrenchy: swiss cheese, prime rib, mushrooms, swiss mornay sauce, and onion jam. Served with au jus!

Horribly unkosher and horribly delicious. It’s like we’ve taken everything we can from the cow and made it tasty together.

Tomorrow is National Butterscotch Pudding Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx259] National Linguine Day/National Creme de Menthe Day/National Double Cheeseburger Day

IT’S NATIONAL LINGUINE DAY, NATIONAL CREME DE MENTHE DAY, AND NATIONAL DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER DAY!

It’s hard to place which of these we would enjoy most. AK definitely would go for the pasta, and SP would certainly like the double serving of meat… We love both.

Linguine is the pasta that you have when you want spaghetti, but slightly flatter. These little tongues are good at carrying sauce which, let’s face it, is the real reason we’re eating pasta to begin with. Well thanks to Buca, which supplied SP with beautiful birthday coupons, we had some linguine on Tuesday and had some leftovers today.

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We built our own with linguine, marinara, mushrooms, artichokes, onions, and poached garlic. With meatballs of course.

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And look at this cute cake they made for SP! (Those aren’t actually noodles)

Alright, palette cleanser time. Let’s have a mint. A menthe.

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Lastly, we took a trip down to SParents (since we haven’t been there in a while) to have some burgers. SPom’s hamburgers are awesome. She has some kind of magic she makes them with, because she uses a 95% lean beef – not traditionally what you’d use for a juicy hamburger – and mixes in pureed… MUSHROOMS! It thickens out the patty and they are super tender. But then she gives SP all the credit because of his grilling skills. Let’s just say that SP is so badass at grilling that he did the whole thing in the rain tonight!

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Rainy burgers!

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Some cheese.

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SP‘s.

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AK made this with some sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Tomorrow is National Guacamole Day and National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx141] National Pizza Party Day/National Quiche Lorraine Day

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese party!

TODAY IS NATIONAL QUICHE LORRAINE DAY AND NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY!

A man goes into a restaurant and sits down at a table for one. An attractive waitress stops by and asks him what he’d like to order. He looks up at her and says, “Can I get a quickie?” The waitress slaps him and storms off. Moments later, the waitress comes back, still fuming. She asks him sternly what he is going to order from the menu and he responds, “I’m still wondering if I can get a quickie.” She slaps him and threatens to go get her manager. Meanwhile, a man at a table nearby leans over to him and says, “Hey, buddy. It’s pronounced, ‘quiche.'”

Quiche Lorraine, named after the region instead of a person (for once), is a quiche with bacon. Now, some guy once said that Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, which is simply untrue. What could possibly be wrong with a pastry crust, and then a whole bunch of eggy, custardy stuffing? Hold on a sec… my editor is telling me that Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche was a satirical novel about stereotypes of masculinity…

Anyway. Quiche. We don’t have the guts to make one at home except to bake one of Nancy’s.

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Makes for a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack! Quiche.

Today, the third Friday in May, is also National Pizza Party Day! As we’ve made homemade peepza for previous food holidays, today was only made different by the extensive celebration that we were beholden to.

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Happy pizza party day! A full workweek of homemade food holidays! Go SPAK!

Tomorrow is National Strawberries and Cream Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx137] National Coquilles St. Jacques Day

Pardon our French…

TODAY IS NATIONAL COQUILLES ST. JACQUES DAY!

So St. James/Jacques apparently was associated with the scallop shell symbol. He saved some dude who was covered in scallops (right?) and the legend made the association happen. Of course, we can leave it to the French to take something Catholic and something seafood and make a dish out of it.

Today we used Ina Garten’s recipe to make this dish. And, honestly, days like today we are very glad to have started on this FHC journey. Despite the price of the scallops and time investment to cook, it had us making something we would have never made at home otherwise, and likely would have never had the opportunity to eat when not at home. So thanks, barefoot lady!

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LOOK AT ALL DIS STUFF.

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Chopped parsley and large shallots. As AK says, shallots are onions that are also garlic. (They burn your eyes extra…)

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3 oz of grated gruyere in a 1 lb bowl. Don’t fool yourself.

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Mise-en-place, except disorganized and lazy. You know, the American way.

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Butter in a fry pan and a sauce pan.

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Add some flour to make a roux in the sauce pan.

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After it cooks for a few minutes, add 1.5 cups of seafood stock.

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Then this is where we changed the original recipe from 1 cup of heavy cream to 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup skim milk. Also add curry powder, salt, pepper. Bring it to a boil.

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Meanwhile, cook the shallots until they turn clear.

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Add the mushbooms.

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It’s so steamy because of some cognac added in that evaporates. Now this part puts the “mush” in “mushroom.”

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Add the mushrooms/shallots stuff to the cream sauce

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Butter up one casserole pan. The recipe called for baking this in 6 individual 1.5-cup gratin dishes for entertaining guests. We baked it all in one big pan and it was still awesome.

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LOOK AT DEEZ GIANT SCALLOPS!! Thanks, Kowalski’s.

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Cover with the mushroom/shallot/cream stuff.

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Bread crumb mixture that we altered from the recipe. 1 cup bread crumbs, parsley, grated gruyere, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Put that on the top!

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In she goes! We allowed for extra baking time because it was in one big dish.

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Ughhhhhhhhh

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HNGGGGGGG

Our house smells like scallops.

This thing was SO GOOD. We really toned down the richness from the recipe and it was still phenomenal. It’s cheesy and goopy, and you get that bread crumb topping that hits the right notes of crispiness… And when you’re lucky enough to nab one of the giant scallops, your mouth starts singing and your body starts dancing. Magical. We had some for ourselves, set aside some for leftovers (both for us, and to share with SPom and SPad), and shared some with SP‘s friends. They all loved it, too.

Gonna go dream of scallops now.

Tomorrow is National Cherry Cobbler Day and National Walnut Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx131] National Shrimp Day

Shreeeeemp!

IT’S NATIONAL SHRIMP DAY!

Bubba is right: there are a hell of a lot of ways to prepare shrimp. And thas about it. There’s something very satisfying about the texture of shrimp and how well it picks up flavors from things around it whether that’s cocktail sauce or seafood etouffee.

We made a shrimp stir-fry tonight in honor of Shrimp Day!

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A hell of a lot of garlic, and some onions.

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A good stir-fry sauce for shrimp: 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp sugar, and some Huy Fong (who else?) chili-garlic sauce

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The best chili oil ever made.

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Fry up the garlic and onions in a tbsp of the oil.

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Toss in mushrooms, bamboo shoots, baby corn, and shrimp

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Serve over rice noodles!

A delicious shrimpy dinner.

Tomorrow is National Eat What You Want Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx110] National Garlic Day/National Amaretto Day

Graaaalic.

TODAY IS NATIONAL GARLIC DAY AND NATIONAL AMARETTO DAY!

If SPAKville was a TV show, garlic would be in the main cast. Not a recurring character, but like a full-fledged, contracted-per-season actor. And he’d be the one that everyone liked working with. A lot.

We put garlic in and on everything. Pizza, pasta, stir fry, burgers, vegetables, everything. And we should definitely make a nod to The Stinking Rose, our favorite garlic-based restaurant, located on the West Coast. Everything from their Bagna Cauda to their garlic ice cream is fantastic. We wholly recommend you go sometime.

Tonight we celebrated twofold: with some homemade pizza, and with some home-roasted garlic thanks to cousin SPamy’s Chanukah gift for AK.

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Garlic should go on top of the sauce to stay put, but under the cheese so as to give happy garlic surprises.

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Add cheese, mushbooms, umyums, and some Hormel turkey pepperoni

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Peepza!

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This contraption is amazing.

We finished up dinner and somewhat begrudgingly dragged ourselves to observe today’s alcoholiday. SPom supplied us with some Disaronno and we made a Bailey’s Vanilla Silk.

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As usual, SP thought it was not that great and AK thought it was okay. Movin’ on.

Tomorrow is National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day and National Lima Bean Respect Day!

-SPAK