cooking: mushroom bourguignon

Yes, I saw Julie & Julia. I have never had beouf bourguignon prior to watching the movie and throughout the movie, they seemed to project Julia’s beouf bourguignon as the holy grail. Of course, I felt the need to try it after seeing it. I will save my first beouf bourguignon experience for a later post. Seems a little offtopic, but this is partial reason for why I made this choice.

So last night, I had no idea what I wanted to make (except for the fact that I wanted to make a meatless dish) so I scoured the internet and came across Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for mushroom bourguignon. Instantly, this was my chosen dish to make.

For the specifics of what I used, I used sherry, cremini mushrooms, whole wheat egg noodles, and I topped it with chiffonade-ed (does that make sense) Italian parsley EDIT 01/18/10: I also used cipollini onions instead of pearl onions. It wasn’t too difficult to make and it only took me a while because of prep. The mushroom bourguignon came out to be very tasty, though I think my ratio of pasta to sauce was rather high. I’m definitely going to have to make this again!


cooking: pollo alla cacciatora

So last month, I took a 3-Saturday Knife Skills class up at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, NYC. It was a blast and I learned a lot of useful tips/tricks as well as some new recipes. Last night, I tried to recreate the pollo alla cacciatora I made two weeks ago (during class)…

I had a little bit of trouble. For one, I didn’t realize the chicken I bought was still partially frozen in the middle. Definitely delayed me when I was taking out the giblets and whatnot. As I started to quarter the chicken, I completely forgot what to do after the legs were off… I wanted to practice this more after I learned it, but when you’re in Harrisburg for the following three weeks for work, what are you gonna do you know?

The cooking wasn’t too difficult, just some searing, deglazing, and simmering. Took me about a little over an hour (due to my perfectionist attitude). It smelled damn good while searing the chicken – the garlic, rosemary, and Sauvignon Blanc giving off an amazing aroma throughout the house!

Aside from the previous difficulties, I managed to make a pretty tasty dish. Not quite up to snuff with the previous batch I made at the school, but it wasn’t bad. I served it here next to a bed of rice. I know it’s not a very pretty picture and plating isn’t really something I think about. Give me a break, haha.

Later today, I’m heading up to NYC for the 2009 Wine and Food Festival!

More posts to follow!


la kasbah!

Tonight, I went into Harrisburg to try Moroccan food for the first time. La Kasbah is located just off of 2nd Street. (The building is kind of recessed in, and even though you see the sign, you don’t see the restaurant unless you’re right in front of it – I definitely missed it the first time around.) It’s a family owned place run by a father and son from Casablanca.

La Kasbah’s dining space was very cozy and intimate. The walls were yellow/gold with scattered reds from the furniture, wall décor, and table napkins. Having two dishes in my mind already, my server helped me decide and I went with a lamb tagine with a side of couscous. The server came out in a couple of minutes with a basket of thin, warmed pita quarters with country crock (really?!) and harira (Moroccan soup). The pita was good, I didn’t use any country crock…just not crazy about that stuff. I figured there woulda been hummus or oil or something… The harira was tasty. There were chickpeas, lentils, and vermicelli in it. I would say that it had a minestrone sort of feel to it.

The lamb tagine and couscous came out in, well…tagines. Tagines are the clay pots which are used to cook the meal….hence the name. The fork tender lamb was fantastic. It was accompanied by caramelized prunes and topped with sesame seeds. I’m glad I left some pita to use to sop of some of the delicious goodness left in the tagine. The couscous was pretty good as well. At the end of the meal, the server had given me a Moroccan tea on the house. It consisted of green tea, mint, and orange blossom. I’m not quite the tea drinker, but I enjoyed this a lot. The Moroccan tea was a great way to close out the meal.

I’m definitely bookmarking this place for any future visits to Harrisburg.

P.S. – They also have bellydancing on the weekends!

La Kasbah
913 N. 2nd St.
Harrisburg, PA

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