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FFWD: October Recipes

Happy Halloween!  Gosh, where did October go?  I’ve talked a lot this year about being busy, but the rest of the year was just warm up for October.  Whew!

So what was I up to in October?  The month started with a fun trip to Yosemite National Park.  I hadn’t been since I was a toddler (many years ago!).  Our weather was perfect and the scenery gorgeous!  I haven’t had a chance to go through my photos yet, but once I do I will try to share a few.

Last week my daughter had orthopedic surgery to address a leg length discrepancy.  The surgery went well and she has bounced back quickly, but the preparation and after-care have taken a lot of time and energy.  A child’s surgery is hard on the parents!  The surgery was a couple hours away in Sacramento, so we’ve had a few trips back and forth, not to mention a hotel stay the night before.

Lots of life happened between the vacation and the surgery:  Appointments. A couple date nights. Plumbing problems. Etc.

I did manage to cook all of the October recipes for French Fridays with Dorie, on time even. We do have to eat, after all!  What I couldn’t manage was writing about them.  I just didn’t have the mental capacity or energy.  So, here I am with a big catch-up of the October recipes!  (minus the “Birthday Celebration”; I was happy for a “pass” that week)

Celery-Celery Soup

Celery-Celery Soup

First we tried Celery-Celery Soup. The two celeries are: 1) celery root; and 2) celery stalks.  The soup also includes onions, apples, thyme, and chicken broth.

This soup was OK. It definitely tasted like celery! We liked it, but I wouldn’t make it again. In the photo above, I sprinkled some crumbled Gorgonzola cheese on my soup.  It wasn’t as good as it sounds.  I liked it better the night before with a little heavy cream stirred into it.

Monkfish and Double Carrots

Monkfish and Double Carrots

The next October recipe was Monkfish and Double Carrots. I cooked this on strange equipment in a strange kitchen while on vacation at Yosemite.

The carrots were the best part: Sliced carrots simmered in carrot juice with butter, olive oil, and rosemary.  The monkfish was simply seared in a skillet until cooked through, served with the carrots, and scattered with crumbled bacon.

I don’t feel like we got to fully enjoy the flavors of the monkfish.  I am afraid I overcooked it a bit due to using a new-to-me stove and skillet.  The carrots were delicious, and I can see myself making them on their own as a side dish.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

Next up:  Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic.  I had only tried Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) one time before this, and I don’t remember if I liked them or not.  In this recipe, the artichokes are peeled and quartered lengthwise, then roasted with plenty of thinly sliced garlic.

So, I liked this dish.  It was fun to try, and the artichokes went well with the beef ribs I served them with.  But, they were similar enough to potatoes that I wished they were potatoes.  I think I will stick to potatoes from now on (although I may try roasting them with those tasty slices of garlic!).

Osso Buco à l’Arman

Osso Buco à l’Arman

Last, but not least, we have Osso Buco à l’Arman. This is a French take on the classic Italian dish of braised veal shanks.  What makes this version different is the addition of lots of orange zest and sliced carrots.

I wanted to like this dish more than I did.  The problem for me was the strong taste of orange zest.  I loved the tender meat and the yummy veggies, but I wanted less orange flavor.  If I make this again I would greatly reduce the amount of orange zest used.

I served my osso buco with a delicious orange rice pilaf that I made in my rice cooker.  The rice had a lovely, subtle, orange flavor and I will certainly make it again.

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Whew!  I’m worn out after all that!  I hope to catch up on my blog reading now that life is settling down.  I haven’t even opened my blog reader in a month!  I miss you all, and hope to keep up a bit better (of course, now the holiday season is right around the corner…).

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