It’s The Cowboy Way

Chicken Fried Steak (and Chicken) – Sunday Dinner 14 April 2019

It was Aunt Pat’s last Sunday with us, so we fixed one of her favorites.

Chicken Fried Steak

I had always been afraid of deep frying for some reason, but after a trip to Horseshoe Hill in Fort Worth last year, I had to get over my fears and learn to cook chicken fried steak. Since Claudia isn’t a fan of the steak, I made breaded chicken for her once and it turned out well, and so now I usually make some of each. Aunt Pat’s favorite is chicken, and she asked for this meal as her last in our home before she moves to California later this month.

The recipe is here. I used eye of round steak for mine and Cousin Joe’s, and chicken breasts for the rest of the table. This batch turned out better than any I’ve ever made. In the past, I used a cast iron Dutch Oven on the theory that it would hold a steadier temperature, but I’ve had uneven results, with some cutlets burned a bit and others under done. This time I used a steel pot, and it was much easier to adjust and keep the temperature of the oil right around 350 °F.

Claudia made garlic mashed potatoes, a nice green salad and some killer green beans for sides, and I made a batch of Cowboy Caviar. Wine was a 2014 Crystal Creek Cellars Columbia Valley Riesling, which was a steal from Aldi’s.

Oh, and Claudia made Lemon Lush and Chocolate Lush for dessert.

Lemon Lush

We’ll be missing Aunt Pat at our Sunday Table. We’re thankful for the time that we’ve had together these past couple of years, and send her off to her new adventures in the Golden State with our best wishes and all of our love.

Another Rotisserie Chicken

Sunday Dinner- 31 March 2019

Rotisserie Chicken

This week we inaugurated the Weber Kettle Rotisserie for 2019, with a whole chicken and drip pan potatoes. It was a small fryer this time, a little less than four pounds. I used the Custom Culinary spice for dry brining, and chunks of cherry wood on the coals. I also cut up about four pounds of potatoes and par cooked them in the microwave for 15 minutes before putting them in the pan.

Because of the cold temperature, after an hour the interior of the breast was still only about 147 °F, so I moved everything to the Genesis gas grill, with the chicken on top of the potatoes, to finish.

We served this with one of Claudia’s lovely green salads and raided the freezer for some delicious local sweet corn that our brother-in-law, Jeff, had given us. Wine was Butter Chardonnay, and Aunt Pat brought a lemon meringue pie from Blue’s Cafe for dessert.

St. Paddy’s Day 2019

Sunday Dinner – 17 March 2019

St. Paddy Snow

The scene out our back windows Sunday Morning showed no hint of green, as a late season snow had covered everything in downy white. Inside the mood was festive though, with St. Paddy’s Day Radio from Sirius XM streaming throughout the house. I began peeling carrots about 7:30, and had them sautéing with onions and shallots before eight. I’d picked up two nice flat cut corned beef briskets (Morton’s of Omaha) from Aldi. They went into the pot next, along with malt vinegar, pickling spices and a can of Guinness.

Corned Beef in the Pot

After that simmered for five hours, I added about three pounds of red potatoes and a couple small heads of cabbage cut into wedges.

This was the second year using this recipe from Sunset Magazine. It turned out perfect this time. Last year I’d used cheaper point cuts from Jewel or somewhere, and it was good, but this year’s meal was dramatically better.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Claudia made dark chocolate Guinness cupcakes with vanilla icing and caramel that were awesome.

Guinness Cupcakes

For the wine pairing, surely you jest.

Irish Libations

So fill to me the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all.

Pho

Sunday Dinner – 10 March 2019

Pho

I love the Pho from Koi Asian Bistro, and have thought about making my own for years, but was a little intimidated by the process. I actually bought a 12-quart stock pot more than a year ago, for the express purpose of making a batch, but didn’t get around to doing it until this weekend.

I used Chef Qui Tran’s recipe, from Nudo House in St. Louis. I followed the recipe to the letter, with the following exceptions. Not finding knuckle bones, I substituted soup bones and shanks. For the rock candy, I used Turbinado Sugar. Star anise wasn’t available in our town, so I used anise seed and fennel seed. Finally, in place of the flank steak, I used bottom round roast.

We served the broth over rice noodles and thin slices of the beef, with bean sprouts, scallions, red onions, Jalapeño slices, lime wedges, Sriracha and chiffonade of basil.

Claudia made an incredible lime and ginger dressed salad for the side, and a Vietnamese coffee mousse for dessert.

Coffee Mousse

Wine was a beautiful Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc from Franc Dusak, which paired perfectly. The other choices would have been rosé or Pinot Noir, but I can’t imagine those being any better.

I think the only change I would make next time would be to brown the bones and onions under the broiler a bit before starting the broth. The other note is that this should be served piping hot, which I was inattentive to because of the timing of the meal this time.

A little of the Sriracha goes a long way, by the way. I put some on every bite of meat, which was fine, but by the end of the bowl of broth, it had added quite a bit of spice. Caroline seemed to like it. A drop or two on a tiny slice of meat, and she said “Oooh!”

Quiche for Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner – 10 February 2019

This week we had Quiche Lorraine and Quiche Florentine, along with one of Claudia’s lovely salads.

I cheated and used store bought crusts, baking them blind for about twelve minutes first thing Sunday Morning. I also crisped up a pound of bacon, chopped an onion, and shredded 4 ounces of Swiss cheese for the Lorraine. For the Florentine, I chopped up a couple cups of fresh spinach, and grated the rest of the block of Swiss.

The custard was four eggs, two cups of whole milk, a little sugar, some salt and black pepper, and about a teaspoon of Herbs du Provence. I put the other ingredients into the shells, and then poured the custard mixture on top. They baked for 15 minutes at 425 °F, then I turned the oven down to 350 and let them bake for another half an hour.

Claudia and Aunt Pat put together the salad, and Claudia made the vinaigrette with raspberry vinegar and avocado oil.

Wine was Jacqueline Bahue’s Cabernet Franc from 2016, one of our favorites.

I think I’ll make my own crusts next time, and will nearly double the amount of custard. The Florentine might benefit from a little grated nutmeg, too. Might also use either Gruyère or Emmental cheese.

Kid loved this meal, and Claudia especially liked the Lorraine this time.

Claudia also made lemon bars for dessert.

Lemon Bars with Blueberries

Burns Night 2019

Sunday Dinner – 27 January 2019

Faux Haggis and Tartan Veggies

This week was our annual Burns Night celebration for Sunday Dinner.

It was some time in the 1980s that I first got interested in “the Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race.” There was a cooking show on Public Television called “The Frugal Gourmet” and the chef, Jeff Smith, made something approaching haggis in a coffee can instead of a sheep’s stomach. I didn’t ever attempt his recipe, but at some point in the last decade or so I found this recipe for crockpot faux haggis which uses ground beef and lamb instead of offal, and decided to try it. It’s essentially a meatloaf with haggis-like seasonings. We loved the taste and the aroma while it’s cooking, so it has since become an annual tradition. We make it as close to Burns Night (January 25th) as we can, and have added some other recipes to the mix over the years, including cock-a-leekie soup, roasted root vegetables and our version of cranachan.

The roasted vegetables are cubes of potato, carrot and beets. I toss them with oil, thyme, salt and pepper, and then par cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes before placing them on a baking sheet and roasting at 400 °F for about half an hour. The cooked peas are added to the bowl with the veggies when they come out of the oven, and we sprinkle on a little chopped chives. I used to make the more traditional “tatties and neeps” but these were a hit around the table, and preparation is a cinch, so I think we’ll keep them.

I adapted Bonny Wolf’s chicken soup recipe for the crock pot for the first course.

Wine was Matt Parish’s 2016 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and it paired very nicely.

Dessert was a take on cranachan, with a mix of Greek yoghurt, Dewar’s Scotch, honey and oat granola layered with raspberries.

We proceeded the meal with Burns’ Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be Thankit!

Il Pollo Alla Cacciatora

Sunday Dinner – 20 January 2019

Il Pollo Alla Cacciatora

This week it was a hearty meal for a wintery day, Italian Hunter’s Chicken Stew.

I got this recipe online somewhere many years ago. It’s typical of rustic chicken dishes popular throughout Europe, such as Poulet à la Chasseur, or Coq au Vin in France.

I coated some chicken thigh pieces with seasoned flour (paprika, salt and pepper) and fried them for a few minutes in the Lodge cast iron dutch oven with a little olive oil. I removed the chicken, and sautéed some onion and then garlic for a bit, then added a cup of Chianti to deglaze. Then the vegetables (thin celery and carrot slices, and julienned bell peppers) and two cans of diced tomatoes went in, along with the chicken, more salt and pepper, and a couple teaspoons each of basil, thyme and oregano. Once everything got up to a boil, I reduced it to a simmer and then covered until tender, maybe thirty or forty minutes.

Claudia cooked brown Basmati rice and made a beautiful green salad to go along. She also baked a Vanilla Magic Custard Cake for dessert.

Vanilla Custard Magic Cake

Italian Beef

Sunday Dinner – 13 January 2019

Italian Beef Sandwich

Claudia made Italian Beef for Sunday Dinner this week. This is one of our perennial crock pot favorites. A roast, a packet of Italian dressing seasoning, a bottle of beer, some garlic and some pepperoncini go into the pot on low for hours until the beef falls apart. She serves it on buns with Mozzarella and red sauce.

She also made a salad, and sautéed some zucchini and other vegetables as a side. We picked up a quart of her favorite pasta salad (from JR’s Chicken in Kankakee) as well. For dessert, she baked brownies and served it with Aunt Pat’s DQ. Wine was the Ménage à Trois Silk soft red blend, which was an Aldi find and surprisingly nice.

Another Detroit Pie and Some Old School Cheese Soup

Weekend of January 5th and 6th, 2019

We had dough left over, so I had another run at Detroit Style Pizza for supper on Saturday Night. I picked up a cheap steel cake pan at the dollar store (made in the USA, yet) earlier in the day, browned some Italian Sausage, and made the sauce.

For the sauce, just crush everything together with a potato masher.

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 T tomato paste
  • 1 pressed clove garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes

I use the Basic Artisan Pizza Crust Recipe for the dough.

  • 3 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 to 1 1/2tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 1/2 cups (scoop and sweep) unbleached all-purpose flour

This makes enough dough for several pies. I had just enough left to cover the bottom of the pan when stretched. It was much easier to stretch this time, after having rested in the fridge for nearly a week. This is one of the things that I love about the AB5 dough.

I sprayed the bottom of the cake pan, then drizzled olive oil and coated it well. I also sprinkled it with a little corn meal to add to the buttery taste, and pressed dough over bottom of pan. The Monterray Jack cheese (an 8 ounce block, grated) went on next. I got the tip on that from Cook’s Country. They did tests and it came closest to the characteristics of the Wisconsin Brick Cheese that would typically be used in Detroit. The sausage crumbles went on next, then the three iconic stripes of tomato sauce. The pie baked at 500 °F until the cheese was bubbly and brown, about 17 minutes this time.

I was amazed at how easily and quickly this pizza came together, and at how delicious it was. Our grilled pizzas are still my favorite, and we’ll continue to make the Malnati style deep dish from time to time, but I think the Detroits will be our go to, especially to use up leftover dough, and for a quick weeknight meal. I’m anxious to taste a slice of Chef Garibaldi’s again one of these days to see how ours stacks up to the authentic.

For Sunday Dinner, I made cheese soup. The recipe is one of my favorites, and comes from a restaurant in Decatur from the old days, called The Brown Jug. My Sister Marge gave me the recipe years ago and it was one of the first things I ever learned to cook.

Brown Jug Cheese Soup

I sautéed some diced celery and onion, then added them to a crock pot with some veggie and chicken stock (maybe a quart and a half altogether), and a couple 12 ounce bags of frozen mixed vegetables. Once that all got warmed up, I added 5 diced potatoes and 2 diced carrots. Finally, after all of that was cooked through, I added two cans of cream of celery soup and a pound or so of Velveeta cheese. Once everything is melted and combined, it’s ready to serve.

I baked a largish peasant boule with the leftover dough from earlier in the week. Again, the AB5 dough that’s been resting in the fridge for a few days takes on some great characteristics. It almost tastes like a sour dough.

Claudia made a nice salad, and we had Wisconsin Supper Club relishes, including marinated olives, marinated mushrooms and cornichons. The wine was Sharon Weeks’ Cattoo Red, which was just perfect. Later on, Aunt Pat and Caroline picked up some soft serve from DQ to go with Christmas cookies for dessert.

My sons were with us for a little while in the afternoon, and had their soup with a bit of hot sauce. :)

Split Pea Soup

A New Tradition for a New Year

Split Pea Soup

For decades now, I’ve cooked a mess of beans on New Year’s Day. It’s an old tradition, meant to signify good luck and prosperity in the year to come. We generally have a ham bone left from Christmas Dinner to help season the pot, and nothing could be much easier to prepare.

This year, Claudia asked if we could have split pea soup instead. I bristled a little at the suggestion at first, because I’m sort of obsessive about “traditions.” But she asks for so little, that I figured it was the least I could do to accommodate.

There really isn’t a “recipe” for this dish. I just sautéed some onions, diced up a couple of carrots and threw them into a crock pot with the dried peas, the ham bone, a quart of veggie stock, a quart of water, paprika, salt and pepper. About five hours later, it was ready.

I also baked a peasant boule to serve with the soup, and we had some of the leftover ham slices and some Swiss cheese on the side as well. It was the perfect, hearty but simple meal to begin a new year, and we agreed that it should become our own family tradition in place of the beans and cornbread from here on.

Here’s to health, happiness and all good things in 2019!

New Year’s Eve 2019

After Mass on New Year’s Eve, Claudia made a lovely meal of stuffed chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, and broccoli steamed with lemon. Grammy put together a cheese plate and Claudia stuffed some Portobello caps for appetizers. We drank one of my favorite wines, a Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc cuveé from South Africa called “Gooseberry Bush.”

The evening was relatively quiet. We watched Grace and Frankie for awhile with the folks, and then after they went home we watched WLS TV’s Countdown Chicago, sharing a bottle of Asti around Midnight. I made a Champagne Cocktail for my second glass. Kid drank ginger ale from a crystal flute.

Thankful to see another year in. Here’s wishing everyone a beautiful 2019.

From Chicago to Detroit

Sunday Dinner – 30 December 2018

Chicago and Detroit Pizza

For our last Sunday Dinner of 2018 we made pizza two ways, with a Lou Malnati style Chicago deep dish and our first run at a Detroit style pie.

Inspired by Chef Garibaldi, I’d been wanting to try my hand at Detroit pizza for awhile now. I used my usual dough recipe from AB5. Lacking one of the typical high sided 13 x 9 pans, I used a square cake pan, coating it with cooking spray and olive oil before stretching out the dough. I covered that with shredded Monterrey Jack, and then put the three iconic stripes of sauce across the top.

The sauce was a can of diced tomatoes, some olive oil, two pressed cloves of garlic, a little sugar, salt and pepper, and some oregano and basil – all smashed up with a potato masher. It went into a 500 °F oven for 15 minutes.

The other pie was an old favorite alla Lou Malnati’s, baked in a cast iron skillet.

Malnati Style

Claudia made a marvelous Wulff salad with Balsamic vinaigrette. Wine was a 2016 Sangiovese, for those not drinking Newcastle Ale.

We’d definitely make the Detroit style pizza again. In fact, Claudia said that she actually preferred it today. The sauce was just a bit too garlicky for her taste, and we’ll likely add some Italian sausage next go ’round. It’s nice to add another pizza to our repertoire, and particularly one that is so easy to prepare and quick to bake. I can see this becoming our go-to for weeknights.

Holiday Meals 2018

Here are some photos from around our table Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, Claudia prepared a lovely meal for after Mass. There was a shrimp ring, lobster and crab cakes, crudités, Feta stuffed phyllo, and a choice of potato soup or oyster stew. The oyster stew is our Christmas Eve tradition, and it was the most delicious ever this year. Wine was a very nice Chardonnay from Franc Dusak.

On Christmas Day, we cooked a ham on the Weber Genesis, using Jamie Purviance’s molasses and mustard glaze. Claudia also made pasta shells with cheese sauce, a Pampered Chef holiday appetizer wreath, and a lovely green salad. Grammy brought a tasty cauliflower, broccoli and raisin salad, and Aunt Pat brought a vibrant and fresh Jello and fruit salad. The wine was Jacqueline Bahue’s 2015 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.

Of course, there was an incredible variety of Christmasy baked goods – cookies, candies, fudge and more.

Alder Planked Salmon

Sunday Dinner – 23 December 2018

Grilled Salmon

It was Alder Planked Salmon (and near disaster) this week.

We love salmon cooked on the grill, and alder wood is our favorite smoke flavoring for it. We’ve had good luck in the past cooking fish on cedar planks, so we decided to try alder planks this time. I soaked four planks in water for a couple hours before beginning to cook. Here’s how they looked on the Weber Genesis.

Alder Planks

The process for the plank grilling is to char the planks on one side, flip them over, and then cook the fish on the charred side. The planks didn’t get very charred in the first few minutes, so I turned up the burners to high. That was my first mistake. The second mistake was to leave them unattended for four minutes.

When I went back to check them and opened the hood, there was a backdraft and a huge flameup that singed the hair off my left forearm. I was lucky that it didn’t catch my clothes (or rather longish hair) on fire. When the flames died down, the planks were nearly cinders.

Improvising, I scooped the mess toward the back of the grill, turned the burners to low, and closed the hood. I had four remaining planks that hadn’t been soaked, and decided to risk using them to cook the salmon steaks on over very low heat. I watched them closely, peeking under the hood every two minutes. Fortune was with us, and they turned out delicious, despite more than a “kiss of smoke.”

We’d grilled some asparagus and baked some potatoes on the Genesis earlier, and they were waiting in a warm oven while I finished the fish. Claudia also made a nice salad, and we served it with a simple creamy garlic dressing. That’s always Grampy’s favorite that he asks for when dining out. We found the old recipe from the Blue Mill restaurant in Decatur, Illinois online and decided to try it out.

  • 1 qt Mayonaise
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 4 t Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1.2 oz Grated Parmigiana
  • 1 1/4 t Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 c Water

Alder Planked Salmon

Wines were a 2016 Marchesi Sauvignon Blanc and a 2017 Jacqueline Bahue.

Grilled Pork Chops and Vinegar Potatoes

Sunday Dinner – 16 December 2018

Pork Chop Dinner

This week it was grilled pork chops, vinegar potatoes and sautéed green beans for Sunday Dinner.

I usually marinate the chops, but this time I simply seasoned with Custom Culinary Spice and grilled them. I used the Salt & Vinegar Potatoes recipe from Kitchn, and it came out even more delicious this time, roasting the par cooked potatoes on the Genesis. Claudia steamed the green beans for a bit, and then sautéed them with some onions and Penzey’s Mural of Flavor herb mix. She and Aunt Pat made a nice salad with raspberry vinaigrette too.

Wine was the 2017 Crowdpleazin Dry Creek Zinfandel. Really tasty, and we got to try out a Rabbit aerator that Pat gave us. I’d always thought that it was only old, high-tannin reds that could benefit from aeration, but it amped up the bouquet and flavor of this young jammy Cali Zinfandel nicely. Looking forward to trying it on a bottle of white wine soon.

Caroline baked cookies to go with ice cream for dessert.

Grilled Chicken with Pasta Bake

Sunday Dinner – 9 December 2018

Grilled Chicken with Pasta Bake

This week we grilled chicken on the Genesis and Claudia made a nice pasta bake with Ricotta. Wine was a Calavaras County cuvée from F. Stephen Millier.

We have some white meat and some dark meat fans in the group, and it’s taken me awhile to learn how to cook the leg quarters properly. This time, they turned out perfect. I seasoned them with coarse salt, black pepper, Herbs du Provence, garlic and onion powder, and a little MSG. The grill was set up with the outer burners on medium and the center burner off. The chicken went on the cooler part, in the middle, skin side down at first for about twenty minutes. Then I flipped them and let them cook another twenty minutes indirect. This allows the fat underneath the skin to render. Once the internal temperature was around 170 °F I turned the middle burner on as well, and finished them skin side down over direct heat. This crisped up the skin nicely and brought the temp up to 185 in the thigh. I put the breasts on over direct medium heat (one of the outside burners) as the leg quarters were finishing. The legs came off first to rest, so that we could serve everything as soon as the breasts were done (they cooked about twenty minutes total).

The pasta bake was made with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmigiana, with a red sauce on top. Claudia also made a fresh green salad and steamed some broccoli and cauliflower with garlic. Aunt Pat brought cookies and ice cream for dessert.

Linguine con Vongole

Sunday Dinner – 2 December 2018

Linguine con Vongole

This week, I made Linguini with Clam Sauce, an adaptation of a recipe from my friend, Joe Placido.

If you’re an American of a certain age, it’s very likely that you have heard Giuseppe “Joe” Placido’s voice. In the 1980s, he was the announcer for Chrysler Corporation’s “Guaranteed Rebate” advertising campaign. Lee Iacocca heard Joe’s voice on local Detroit radio, and nabbed him right up as the voice of the campaign.

I met Joe in the mid 1970s when we were both working in Decatur, Illinois at WSOY radio. He introduced me to some great music, and some great food. The first “authentic” Italian cuisine I ever tasted was around the table of he and his wife Jini’s apartment. This is one of my favorite recipes, and one of the first things I attempted to cook on my own.

It starts with a sauté of onions and garlic in butter and olive oil. Then you add some salt, Italian herbs and white pepper. Then the juice of a couple cans of chopped clams, and some white wine. Eventually, you add the clams. I usually add some cream or half and half as well. That, the pasta and shredded Parm, and you’re ready to eat.

We enjoyed this with a lovely salad with raspberry vinaigrette that Claudia made, some pesto stuffed mushrooms, and bread with drizzles of Bahue Olive Oil, herbs and Parm shreds. The wines were Sauvignon Blancs. Aunt Pat brought a coconut cream pie for dessert.

Here are some shots from around the table.

 

Lasagna Two Ways

Sunday Dinner – 18 November 2018

Claudia made two kinds of lasagna this week for Sunday Dinner. The first was Italian Sausage in red sauce. The second was mixed vegetables in white sauce. Both were delicious.

She also made a nice mixed greens salad and baked some garlic bread to go along. Grammy brought hot fudge pudding for dessert. Wine was Miriam Alexandra Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa County.

It was especially nice to have my son James with us this weekend. He’s marvelous company. :)

Yardbird Chili

Sunday Dinner – 11 November 2018

Yardbird Chili

This week we made chicken and white bean chili for Sunday Dinner.

The recipe came from a co-worker of mine nearly thirty years ago. It was based on a popular menu item from Cody’s Roadhouse in Mattoon, Illinois. I’ve adapted it a bit over the years. My version includes 6 cans of Great Northern beans, 4 cups of chicken stock, some grilled chicken strips, two cans of green chilis, four cloves of garlic, a rough chopped onion, 2 teaspoons of cumin, a teaspoon of oregano, salt, cayenne and white pepper to taste. We serve it with grated Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

I also made Ro*Tel® Queso Dip, and Cowboy Caviar. Dessert was a mixed berry pie à la Mode. The wine was an excellent D. H. Elliott Petite Sirah.

I love meals like this as the weather turns colder.

Hot Browns for Sunday Dinner

4 November 2018

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

This week we had Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches for Sunday Dinner.

It’s been several years since we made these. Aldi’s had a decent price on turkey breasts, so the meal suggested itself, even though it’s not Derby weekend. It was a nasty rainy day here in the Chicago Southland, which prompted us to cook inside for a change. The turkey was done after about an hour and a half in the Nesco roaster at 325 °F. I used white Cheddar in the sauce this time, and I think that was an improvement. We roasted some mini peppers in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Claudia made Green Goddess dressing for a mixed greens salad, and also baked a Jewish Apple Cake with fresh whipped cream for dessert.

Jewish Apple Cake

Wine was a delicious Evangelos Bagias Zinfandel from Lodi. I also snuck in a couple of Jim Beam Old Fashioneds, because Kentucky.

If you’re a fan of food history, here’s the story of the Hot Brown, from the hotel that gave the sandwich its name. They have a pretty decent recipe too, of course. :)