Tag Archives: Saturday

Saturday Dinner: Mediterranean Fish Stew

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Every culture has a fish stew attached to it and, for the most part, they are the same. The most famous comes from France: bouillabaisse, a combination of fish filets and shellfish with its origins in Provençe. The bouillabaisse is typically made with fennel and/or a shot of pernod, and served with the fish on the side and its broth topped with rouille (a type of aioli). The Spanish come in with the zarzuela, a Catalan dish of seasonal seafood caught off the Spanish coast that is cooked with tomatoes, saffron and almonds, the latter of which is pulverized until it resembles breadcrumbs. Cioppino is actually a California invention, but brodetto and cacciucco are the authentic Italian fish stews loaded with clams and shrimp.

When The Wife announced that she wanted fish on Saturday evening, I thought this would be the way to go. I thought about doing two or three different styles of steamed mussels, and I’m glad I didn’t. Less than half of what I purchased opened up when cooked and half of those that did were bloody inside, which didn’t seem right. So, I went with a Mediterranean fish stew. Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Mediterranean Fish Stew

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Saturday Dinner: Giada’s Roasted Pork Loin with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

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I love my aunt.

The Aunt, who will turn 75 years old next month, is a force to be reckoned with in so, so many ways. She never married, because women don’t need a man to define them, and my sister, two cousins and I are her surrogate children. Traditional Italian families are matrilineal and ours was no different. During holiday gatherings at my aunt/grandmother’s house, she was the one who brought the largest gifts and had the loudest voice. During my childhood, she was the reason I went to Disney World every other summer.

The Aunt, in her elder years, has adopted a blissful ignorance about her. She refuses to watch the news, disconnects herself from most holidays (it comes as a shock to her that the banks are closed on Monday for President’s Day) and gets her information from friends and family. Fair enough. Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Giada’s Roasted Pork Loin with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Saturday Dinner: Oven-Braised Roast Beef

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The In Laws came over for pizza on Friday night, so we did dinner solo on Saturday. Ideally, we were looking at something quick in order to finish, wash dishes and be on the couch for the Syracuse-Duke game at 6:30 p.m. Well, kinda. The Kid is going to bed around 7 p.m. right now, so the last half hour of her day is spent viewing a Doc McStuffins stored on the DVR. So, we lost the first 30 minutes of the game, but were back for the fireworks in the second half and overtime.

Ideally, I wanted to roast something during the day and beef is as good a choice as anything. While I enjoy a nice roast beef and haven’t done one recently, an all-day braised roast is just as good. Robyn Stone’s recipe at Add a Pinch was my guide for ingredients and heat. Rather than think for myself, I decided to let her do the heavy lifting. Typical Jared move…make the women do the work and I come in later to grab the glory at dinnertime. Ha! Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Oven-Braised Roast Beef

World of Beer, Syracuse, N.Y.

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Ultimately, the question I was seeking to answer on Sunday evening’s trip to DestinyUSA was this: With its great brewpubs, microbreweries and bars like Clark’s Ale House, J. Ryan’s and The Blue Tusk, does Syracuse really need the World of Beer?

And maybe the word need is the wrong one. This area certainly doesn’t need a bar. DestinyUSA doesn’t need another bar, not with Toby Keith’s Loud Country Music and Lousy Food Experience down the hall and the TGI Jack Daniels Grill Friday’s across the way.

Continue reading World of Beer, Syracuse, N.Y.

Grocery List: October 6, 2013 (or Another Post Where I Get Philosophical About Everything)

photo-1It’s over.

At about 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, we locked up the office and bid an official end to the 2013 Walk To End Alzheimer’s season. Syracuse’s walk was amazing, thanks to many of you. The $1,400 or so that friends and family contributed to The Wife and I was part of more than $146,000 that was raised at the event. That was a record for fundraising. It was also the largest ever crowd at the event. When the official count is done, we’ll be very close to 1,200 people.

The best part about Walk is the fact that it is over and not from the “Yeah, I get my weekends back” way (although, that’s nice too). No, the best part is looking back to see what has been accomplished. Nearly 3,000 people came out in CNY this year to Walk. I don’t remember exactly how much we raised at all of our walks, but $300,000 sounds like a nice round number right now, with more to come in. So, if you haven’t made a contribution, you can do so by going to my page or The Wife’s page. We close the doors on fundraising at 11:59 p.m. on October 31 (I’ll actually get up and flip the switch on the websites that night.).

Continue reading Grocery List: October 6, 2013 (or Another Post Where I Get Philosophical About Everything)

Pickling Without Canning: Intro

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I’ve talked about Labor Day weekend in the past, but let me rehash it here again. When I was a child, Labor Day was harvest weekend around my house. My grandfather had this massive plot of land that he, and others, farmed (dare I say) commune-style. He grew everything: massive braids of garlic, root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers… After 25+ years at Carrier Corporation, he retired to farm the fields behind his house. For years, I thought my grandfather was a farmer by occupation.

Labor Day weekend meant smells and not all of them were pleasant. In the garage, my mother and grandmother would crush tomatoes through a massive contraption that separated its fruit, seeds and juice. In the driveway would be my father, roasting an endless supply of bell peppers over a flame. Neither of these smells were particularly inviting.

Once the tomatoes were done and the peppers scorched, the fun would move inside. Brines would be concocted on the stovetop for the heads of eggplant that had just been peeled and julienned. The bell peppers that did not meet the grates of the grill were chopped and washed. Both veggies would be piled into jars, along with the tomatoes (the peppers would go in little baggies and be frozen, along with blanched escarole).

And then the water would come to a boil. For hours, my mother, grandmother and father would seal Mason jars and boil them so that they could stand up on the basement shelf for the next year (Some of those tomatoes would make their way to a stock pot to become marinara sauce, which would then lead to the next phase of Labor Day weekend…pasta making.).

I love the idea of pickling, canning and this sort of thing. I don’t like the idea of spending time doing it, burning my hands or inadvertently giving The Wife and I botulism because I did something incorrectly.

My idea of pickling is something that can remain stable in a refrigerator after sitting for a week or two. I’ve done garlic and sweet dill pickles successfully in the past, but decided to branch out this year. Since it is the first week of September and the best of the summer produce is out right now, I’m going to post my recipes for those of us that are too lazy to spend a Saturday afternoon boiling Mason jars.

Sackets Harbor Brewing Company, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.

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Saturday’s trip to the world famous Old McDonald’s Farm in Sackets Harbor was a success for The Kid. She got to pet the bunnies, ride a tractor, pet the bunnies and was nearly licked by a large brown cow. But, as with everything, the farm ran its course after a couple of hours and the adults (The Wife, The Father, The Stepmother and I) were hungry.

Despite living in nearby Cape Vincent, neither The Father nor The Stepmother knew of anywhere to eat in Sackets. The only restaurant I know of is the brew pub located square in the middle of the village. Thanks to the GPS, I was able to find it.

The Sackets Harbor Brewing Company opened the doors of its brewpub in 1995 at its spot on West Main Street. It brews a number of different beers, but is best known for its War of 1812 Ale, a regionally-distributed amber. When we visited on Saturday afternoon, SHBC had seven beers on tap.

There was a 20-minute wait for a table on the recently expanded patio, so we opted for seating in the medium-sized dining room that overlooked the harbor. It seemed that a packed house at 1 p.m. on a Saturday was probably a good sign of what was in store. In terms of food, yes, it was a harbinger of delicious.

Continue reading Sackets Harbor Brewing Company, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.

Al Dente on the Side: CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad

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Saturday morning trips to the Central New York Regional Market started before I was in elementary school. My father would take me for an early morning run so he could get produce for the week. For my efforts as a well-behaved child, I would get popcorn, and the chance to tell my friends that I had popcorn for breakfast.

Vegetables were always a big part of our dinner table. What my grandfather didn’t grow on his land in Geddes (he did basically everything but lettuce, corn, onions and potatoes), we would get at the market.

Continue reading Al Dente on the Side: CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad