Saturday, February 20, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash with Bourbon and Browned Butter:

When I was asked by a local Findlay market produce vendor, Daisy Mae, for a good recipe involving some winter vegetables, I immediately thought of the roasted butternut squash I had made the previous Monday. With bourbon, amaretto, vanilla, a little nutmeg and cinnamon, it was an extremely tasty side dish.

“Sounds great! Do you have the recipe?”

“uh....well, not really.”

You see, there's a reason that I married a math major. David likes details, numbers, and measuring. I avoid it whenever possible. In fact, we began hanging out so that David could supposedly help me with my math homework in college. We never got around to it.

So I made another batch of roasted squash, making sure to measure so that the recipe could be recorded. David supervised.

Heat the oven to 400. Scrape the seeds out of the squash. Put a little olive oil over the surface of the squash, and place on the center rack.

Roast the squash for about 40 minutes until a squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

Add a quarter cup of unsalted butter to a saucepan on medium heat. The butter will melt and begin to bubble; stir constantly and right when the butter solids begin to turn a deep brown add the bourbon, then the amaretto. It's important to add the bourbon before the butter solids burn and turn black, so keep a careful eye on it. Add the rest of the spices. Let simmer while stirring until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

After the squash has cooled, scrape out the insides into a bowl to add the spiced browned butter mixture in. Mix well.

David has asked me to type up the recipe for those who are not accustomed to reading "Laura" font. So here is the recipe in Georgia.

2 butternut squash, halved and roasted

For the brown butter mixture:

1/4 cup amaretto
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sweet cinnamon
salt to taste (this may not be necessary if you used salted butter.)

Daisy Mae is great addition to Findlay Market. For more information about them, Courtney from Epi-ventures did a great interview and post, which can be found here on her blog.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Yes, I made that very fine, YTMND style JPEG

It’s been awhile since we did a pizza showdown post. We got wind of Ramundo’s pizza challenge a few months ago.
2 people. 10 minutes. 1 24 inch New York style pizza. If you meet the challenge terms, you don’t have to pay for the pizza. The record time is 3 minutes and 14 seconds. Don’t ask me how they did it. I don't think they were human.

David searched for a partner to complete this challenge, and found one in Jason, the publisher for Eastsider Magazine. You can read his account of the event here.

I was not too pleased with the idea of this challenge. I pictured David eating a ton of pizza, then coming home and laying on the futon, rubbing his stomach, moaning and calling for me to fetch him Perrier. But marriage is full of compromises. David pointed out he didn't stop me when I ordered and attempted to finish the Hawaiian volcano drink at Oriental Wok (usually meant for two, I failed). I bought some Perrier in advance.

“I can put away food like nobody’s business. We can take this thing down.” Jason assured us.

Ramundo’s is a smaller pizza shop, located in Mt. Lookout. They serve New York style pizza, and they were doing quite a bit of business while David and Jason were stuffing their faces with pizza.

Let's do this thing

discussing a plan of attack


when eating large amounts of salty, chewy pizza, drinking water is essential

Pizza: 1 Jason: 0

you'll get em next time, honey.

David ate his half and some of Jason's, but the chewy pizza was Jason's undoing and we didn't meet the challenge. Oh well. There's always next time.

How was the pizza? Pretty good. Not too much sauce, a good amount of cheese, not too much garlic. I think it is a pretty good example of New York style pizza. It came close to the best we've had in Cincinnati, Fratelli's in West Chester.

Liz from GIMB put together a nice post with some more pictures of Ramundos if you want some more pizza action. She points out that you can buy pizza buy the slice, which is an option I like a lot.

Ramundo's Pizzeria & Deli on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 12, 2010

Banapioca, polenta and pork chops:

This is a post full of impulse buys and cooking. I decided one day that I wanted tapioca, after I had purchased it I saw the very ripe bananas on our counter; we picked up the thick pork chops because they looked super tasty from Kroeger and Sons though we had all our groceries already.

Also, David and I have fallen in love with Polenta. We recently had it at Jeff’s house during a delicious and tasty dinner party we were honored to be invited to. We’d never had it before. It’s a lot like cooking risotto, and we have settled on a method of making it that requires a little teamwork—David shakes the polenta into the stock, and I whisk furiously. It’s much easier than ladeling the broth into the polenta, if not entirely orthodox. And the whisking makes me feel very productive and accomplished.

The tapioca was not entirely instant, but it only took about half an hour to make. I would love to post the recipe, but this is an impulse post and I literally put pinches and scoops of ingredients into it. I can tell you it includes bourbon vanilla sugar, three fourths cup milk, Saigon cinnamon, a little nutmeg, one vanilla bean, one and a half very ripe bananas, and a heaping third cup of tapioca.

Kroeger and Sons at Findlay has some great pork. It’s also where we get our camel meat. I have to say though, since our A-Team chili post, camel has been difficult to find at Findlay. I think that I have myself to blame for the great Cincinnati camel shortage.

that's an admirable crust there, David

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sung Bistro:

Glass slipper—a cocktail with house infused mango vodka, peach liquor and fresh orange juice.

Sung is dangerously close—walking (or stumbling if one has had to many cocktails) distance from our new place. I’ve come a long way in food adventurousness—7 years ago, I would have been hesitant to try out a place like Sung. Since we’ve moved close by, we have been there several times; I like it a lot. They can assert they serve some delicious, tasty dishes.

Sung has house infused sprits, which are nifty. They also make a superb Dark and Stormy and they have a good Pimm’s cup. Their cocktails are all very interesting, a little more than your run-of-the mill cosmopolitan.

Happy hour is Monday though Friday, and runs until 7. It includes half off cocktails (which makes most of them $5.00) and $2 off appetizers. Happy hour is only in the bar, but it is fairly large. It is also underlit by a large red light, which means all pictures we took have a red tint.

Their house sauce is delicious. I request some extra to take home with the leftovers.

We’ve tried a variety of appetizers, which range from $6-$22, including the Ojingau Tueegim (pretty much calamari, $8) and the Gimbab (rice roll with pickle radish, carrot, crab meat, beef, egg and cucumber,$7)

Below are Goonmandu, which are deep fried vegetable dumplings stuffed with tofu, scallions, onion and cabbage. $6.

Dinner entrees are served with a set of six side dishes. I’m not sure what they all are, there’s a seaweed salad, some kimchi and some other things on there, and I am also sure that I can’t pronounce what they are actually called. I recommend sharing the sides, they are like mini-appetizers.

I’ve gotten the Bulgogi ($17) twice, and liked it both times. It’s thinly sliced beef grilled with soy sauce, garlic, onion and carrot. It's very well seasoned, I've actually had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

This is a very blurry Dolsat Bibimbab ($17), a hot stone rice bowl with all sorts of tasty veggies and a sunny side up egg in it. The Stone bowl is hot enough that when it is mixed, the rice gets nice and crunchy on the bottom. It’s one of the best parts of the dish.

Sung Korean Bistro on Urbanspoon