Wish Upon A Dish: Good Monday Morning

February 7, 2011

Good Monday Morning

What's so good about it, you ask?

The sun is out, my cold is almost over and I am finally going to sell my old car that has been sitting in the driveway for over a year now.

The Nudge bought a brand new Nissan Rogue and I inherited his 2009 Nissan Sentra. The Jetta did me good for 13 years but with all the long traveling to South Jersey I have been doing, I needed a reliable car.

One item off my "To Do" list for 2011. Tomorrow I go to the doctor for blood work analysis and then Wednesday I head over to the Dentist for another round of surgery.

Busy week. Today I am setting up my crock pot to make a batch of Sunday Gravy for next weeks menu. I am trying to do as much ahead as I can in case there is a night I can't cook.

I bought spare ribs (they had a great sale on them, but I usually buy pork neck bones), a package of marrow bones and a case of 28oz cans whole plum tomatoes (although I will only use 3 cans). A few onions, (you only have to quarter them, skins and all) a couple carrots and lots of garlic cloves and that's all you need for a basic sauce. Remember, we will be straining out the solids after they are all used up and seasoning the sauce then.

The beauty of a crock pot is I can add the meat frozen.

Sunday Gravy
* 3 cans whole plum tomatoes in juice
* 1 small can tomato paste
* 1 can water
* 2 onions, quarters
* 4 carrots, chopped
* 1 whole head of garlic sliced across into 2 halves
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 large package marrow bones
* 2 pounds pork spare ribs

Dump everything (except the pork ribs) into a large crock pot and set on high for 6 hours.

Meanwhile I will prepare the brasciole. I bought 6 thinly sliced top round pieces at my butcher, which was more than enough. I might only do 4 of them (they will shrink to half while cooking) and then freeze the other pieces for something down the line.

I have not made brasciole in 20 years. My Mom would fill them with the basic flavored bread crumbs with lots of Locatella cheese, but I decided to make these healthier by adding swiss chard and pine nuts. Sicilians would add raisins but we are not raisin lovers.

My butcher did a great job on the thinness of the steaks so all I had to do was place a chard leaf, then the stuffing. I added 3 strips of roasted red peppers, chopped pine nuts and rolled & tied them.

I sauteed them on all sides for 3 minutes each side and removed to a platter.
I will ladle enough sauce from the crockpot to cover all 4 of them and put them into a 350F oven to braise for 2 hours or until The Nudge gets home.

I took a 5 rib portion from the pork spare rib slab and covered the brasciole before I lidded and slid it into the oven. The pork fat and juice will baste the rolls as they gently cook....YUM

The other section went into the crock pot.
Now, if I have enough energy I will make some homemade pappardelle.

I recently treated myself to an online order from an Italian Sulumeria in Boston and purchased "00" flour. The dough feels like silk with the use of this very finely milled semolina flour.
I took 1 egg yolk, 1 egg and a tablespoon of water and in a processor with 1 1/2 cups of "00" flour and a tsp of olive oil I processed until it came together in a ball.

Outside on my board I kneaded it a few times to make a soft, smooth ball. Covered with wrap and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes.

Using my Kitchen Aide Pasta Roller I rolled the dough to the no.5 setting. Placing them on a floured towel I let them sit for 1 hour to make it easier to cut.

Using a pizza cutter, I cut each piece into 1-1 1/4" ribbons. They will dry until dinnertime.

makes 4 or 6
* 4-6 thinly sliced or pounded thin top round steaks
* salt & pepper
* 1/2 sweet onion, minced
* 1 carrot, grated
* 1 tbls olive oil + 1 tbls butter
* 2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
* 1/4 cup locatella cheese, grated
* 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips (3 strips per)
* 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, chopped
* 2-3 large stalks swiss chard, cut in half, stems discarded
* 3 cloves garlic minced
* 2 cups prepared Sunday gravy or very good jarred marinara
* cotton kitchen twine

Remove the twine and slice on the diagonal. I sliced 2 pieces.
Cook the pasta in salted water for 2 minutes. Remove to a large serving bowl. Spoon sauce over. Arrange sliced brasciole around the rim of bowl and place 2 ribs on the other side. Spoon sauce on the meat and sprinkle more cheese on top.

This is going to be a very nice, comfort food dinner. We bought a Sagrantino wine from Italy and that will go well with this hearty meal.

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