Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beautiful Beef

“The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; ....” ~ Samuel Johnson

There are lots of reasons people don't eat meat - or beef, in particular. Red meat seems to be the evil enemy these days and I have to admit that I sometimes have a pang of guilt when I prepare and eat beef. But the guilt doesn't last for long when I look at an organic beef tenderloin roast. I'm sorry all you vegetarians out there, but it is a thing of beauty.

My favorite way to make this special cut of meat is to slightly sear it in a pan and then roast it until medium rare and serve it sliced with a horseradish sauce. The roasted beef practically melts in your mouth and whether a mouthful is paired with a dab of spicy horseradish, a bite of a perfectly roasted potato or a sip of full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, it is simply delicious.

I roasted the beef with green onions, garlic and a sherry-mustard sauce, carved the meat into 1 inch slices and served it with mini herb-roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Check out some photos:

Chopped green onions and garlic are sauteed and combined with sherry, mustard and soy sauce

Lovely mini gold potatoes combined with olive oil and herbs and roasted in the oven

Fresh, organic asparagus spears, roasted in foil with a dab of butter and sprinkled with tarragon leaves

Finished tenderloin, roasted to a perfect medium rare:

Check out the recipe for this Elegant Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Happy Eating!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Weekend Meals and Stretchy Pants

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”      ~ Luciano Pavarotti

My goal on Friday evening was to pick up a two-pound beef tenderloin roast for Saturday Night’s dinner with friends. I had a little extra time in the Marketplace so I visited the San Francisco Fish company again and grabbed a couple of six-ounce Sea Bass filets and a bag of Bay Scallops. I thought, instead of Friday night pizza, we could have some fresh fish. I knew I had some fragrant imported Italian lemon pasta in the pantry and thought how luscious it would be mixed with some garlic Alfredo sauce as a cradle for the fish.

Well, it turned out we were not very hungry on Friday night and opted for some cheese and crackers and a glass of crisp Chardonnay. It also turned out that our Saturday night dinner guests canceled on us, so we were left with the sea bass, beef tenderloin and scallops all to ourselves for our weekend meals. Hmmm. I thought we could handle it.

I threw the scallops in the freezer (even though I hate to freeze fresh fish – after all, isn’t that the point – to eat the fish when it is fresh? Oh, well.) But I wasn’t going to do that with the sea bass so I decided to make that our Saturday night dinner and save the beef for Sunday night.

I prepared the fish by seasoning it with a lemon-garlic rub and salt and pepper. I squeezed a little fresh lemon juice over the fish filets and dusted them with flour for optimal browning on each side in a grill pan with olive oil.

In the meantime, I melted about 2 TBS of garlic butter in a shallow baking dish by placing it in a 325 degree oven (you can make this butter yourself by mixing about a stick of softened butter with minced garlic, shallots, lemon juice, fresh parsley and salt and pepper or you can buy it prepared.) Once the fish was nicely browned on both sides I placed them in the baking dish with the melted butter, added two more TBS of the garlic butter to the top of each filet and roasted the fish for about 15 minutes until cooked through, flaky and delicious.

While the fish was cooking I made the pasta. This lemony, thick spaghetti-like pasta is so fragrant - it is as if you are boiling a bag full of lemons! Once drained, I mixed in enough garlic Alfredo sauce to nicely coat it (I sometimes make my own sauce but this time I used Paul Newman’s Garlic Alfredo Sauce in the jar – it is quite good!) Once the fish was done, I placed the filet on top of asparagus and a heap of limone pasta and served it hot with some fresh Ciabatta bread. I know - I really know how to turn a healthy fish meal into a wickedly decadent dish. My husband Brian told me it was outstanding! I have to admit, I agreed. It was very yummy. Here's a photo:

Roasted Sea Bass with Lemon Pasta

A couple of weeks ago, I prepared delicious Chicken Parmesan using thinly-shaved real, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese with the Alfredo sauce and capers (instead of mozzarella and tomato sauce) served over Pappardelle and received similar accolades from Brian. Check it out:

I write about our more vibrant meals as the rest of the week we try to eat salads and lighter fare. It’s not as much fun to illustrate those!

The weekends in our house call for jazz on the Bose, great movies, cooking up a storm and s~t~r~e~t~c~h~y pants.

I’ll be back to tell you how the beef tenderloin and baked scallops turn out. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

San Francisco Fish and Golden Gate Meat: Magnifique!

“To eat is a necessity; to eat intelligently is an art.” La Rochefoucauld

How wonderful is it to have so many fabulous fresh food choices under one roof? Let me tell ya.

I have written about my discovery of the Ferry Building Marketplace and my utter delight in surveying the shops and food stands. Even after months of meandering through this merry market place, I still marvel at the menu of meats, fish, pasta and cheeses.

Lately, I have been dropping in on some very special people in some very impressive companies. Those would be the San Francisco Fish Company and the Golden Gate Meat Company.

When my bus delivers me on time at the Ferry Building each evening after work, I have enough time to stroll in and grab some fish or meat or a bag of imported Italian pasta and pesto for dinner.

The San Francisco Fish Company has a variety of fresh catches including Pacific Halibut and Atlantic and Scottish Salmons, to name a few. The the other night I picked up some mild and delicious Sea Bass and baked it in lemon, butter and garlic and served it with fresh asparagus and crusty, rustic French bread. Heaven.

Another night I selected some organic filet mignon steaks from the Prather Ranch Meat Co. - a company that raises, distributes and sells humanely-raised and very flavorful meat products. I grilled these little beauties to pepper-crusted perfection; and finally, last Sunday, I roasted a stunning pork loin from The Golden Gate Meat Company and topped it with apple cider gravy. It was so succulent and tender, it practically melted in our mouths. Tout était si bon!

I am going to pick up a lovely beef tenderloin roast for Saturday night's dinner. I plan to roast this tender piece of meat in the oven with garlic, green onions, mustard and sherry. Elégant!.

Hopefully we will have friends join us so we can share the love.

What are you having for dinner?