Osteria 177 – Annapolis, MD

Since I just got back from traveling, I guess we should play “Best Meal of the Trip”.  And the winner is:

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Osteria 177, a fancy Italian place near the historic section of Annapolis.  We wanted to go to the Iron Rooster that night, but it was closed to have work done that night, and the people there suggested Osteria instead.  I had the something something something Pollo, because I love artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and it was excellent.

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Roasted Shallots

I read somewhere recently that roasted shallots are becoming popular, and it was suggested they could even stand on their own.  It tried it; they’re not bad.  But I think they make more sense incorporated into another dish.

Lightly coat a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Cut two large tomatoes in half, and place on sheet flat side down.  Put in 400 degree oven for half an hour.  Remove, pull off skins with kitchen tongs.  Add six cloves garlic (NOT peeled), and two medium shallots.  Put back in oven for 45 minutes.  Take out, and peel the garlic and shallots.  Put everything in a food processor and mix.

You end up with a nice flavorful tomato salsa/sauce:

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Here it is over noodles with feta and fresh basil.

Cuban Sandwich

When I was young, we had leftover ham for dinner one Sunday night, and I put it on a roll with dijon mustard and pickles.  I liked the combination so much, I kept eating it for years, including at least once a week for lunch at school.  At the time, I thought it was just a weird combination I happened to like.  It was only recently I discovered that it’s … essentially a Cuban sandwich (sans cheese).  Some flavor combinations are so classic they can be re-discovered by young kids 😛

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How to follow this blog, and three quick homemade meals

Several people have asked how to get emails when I update my blog.  Honestly, I had no idea how to do that (I follow blogs via RSS, not email).  One of those people appears to have already figured it out, but I’ll post it for everyone else.

Supposedly, you can follow the instructions here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/following/

Unfortunately, I can’t test it, because I have a wordpress account, and my browser knows it and keeps insisting I use it.

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Recipe Shorthand

Occasionally, I will post recipes for what I cook, but to be honest, that’s not how I cook.  This post will contain shorthand that will allow me to quickly describe what I did, without having to write up a full recipe.  All numbers are WAGs and should not be taken too seriously.

Recipe #1: FDOO, saute.  Steam fresh spinach.  Mushrooms!  Sear pork tenderloin.  +Garlic.  Add 1/2 cup WW, combine everything but spinach.  BTB/RTS, braise to 150F internal.  Remove meat, reduce by 1/3, add 1 tbsp dijon mustard.  Slice meat, spoon sauce over meat, serve with spinach.

Recipe #2 (Sous Chef): Prepare al dente wheat penne pasta.  Slice and brown BSCB.  Chop asparagus into 1 inch segments.  Pour half jar alfredo sauce in pan, CEE pasta.  Simmer 8 minutes.  Add drained, diced canned tomatoes.  Serve over pasta; garnish with fresh basil chiffonade.

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