This week I tried two new recipes! The first was really practice. After I posted the prelude to this effort (6/15/11), I was beginning to doubt my culinary ability and commitment to try something different. So I looked for something that seemed relatively easy – Thai Peanut Sauce. Then, for my real new recipe, I tried Osso Bucco.
THAI PEANUT SAUCE
I found this recipe at shesimmers.com/2009/03/how-to-make-thai-peanut-sauce-my-moms.html. What attracted me to this recipe was the author’s claim that it was easy. And it was! I just needed coconut milk, unsweetened natural peanut butter, Thai red curry sauce, white vinegar, sugar salt and water. Heat this all in one pot for a few minutes, and it’s ready!
I used this as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken, zucchini and sugar snap peas, and served it with basmati rice. The leftover sauce is refrigerated for a side dish later this week.
Somewhat emboldened, I set out to make something that we might order in a restaurant because we’d never have it at home. This was to be a Father’s Day dinner so I looked for something that Richard might want. Osso bucco would hopefully satisfy his Italian palate.
I found a recipe at foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/osso-buco-recipe. This is from Chef Giada De Laurentiis who received an Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Host and has become one of Food Network’s most recognizable faces. I was afraid that I am way out of her league. I must have read the recipe ten times before I committed to it.
I bought about 2 1/2 pounds of veal shank and had to tie a string around each piece to keep the meat on the bone. I had never done that before and one of the pieces came apart during the cooking process (I really am a cooking neophyte!).
I used rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf from my garden. I also found some cloves in my cupboard although I can’t remember the last time I used cloves to cook. To make the bouquet garni, I had to substitute bandage gauze for cheesecloth, which is not something I normally have need for.
Luckily, the broth, olive oil, tomato paste and flour are standard pantry issues. And, of course I always have some dry white wine in my fridge. And, really now, carrots, celery and onions should also be common staples.
I did everything the recipe called for, including browning the floured meat, cooking the vegetables until transparent, adding the tomato paste and combining all in the pot. I added the 1/2 cup wine, but at the end of the designated time, I couldn’t figure out if the liquid decreased by half. Nevertheless, I added the two cups of chicken broth and started the simmering process.
For the next 1.5 hours, I turned the meat and checked the liquid level every 15 minutes. I never added the third cup of broth that might be needed in case the liquid too low. Towards the end of the simmering process, I prepared the mashed potatoes.
My first osso bucco!
P.S. There were no leftovers . . .