OK …

… the pasta did not contain Joseph Loe Bwarie — it does however include a creamy parmesan mushroom sauce that turned out to be a pretty nice Lent-friendly Friday dinner — JLB did bring a cool swinging ambiance to the evening though.

I missed a chance to catch Joe Leo while he was in town for a SXSW performance last week (crazy schedule) … the angst from that missed op finally boiled over yesterday and had me digging into Bwarie’s excellent Nothin’ But Love LP release most of the afternoon. [Read more…]

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We went Irish traditional on St. Patrick’s Day…

Well, at least for the most part … I made some tweaks to accommodate my spice sensibilities — which run a little hotter than traditional Irish fare.

BTW, sorry for the “gap in service” of late here on the Dining side of the site … the last two weeks/weekends found my wife struggling with an allergy induced cough that kept things culinarily mundane for the most part and not worthy of note.

Actually, I was casting about for something Lenten last Friday and ended up making a pasta pomodoro that was awesome … I took bunches of pics but when I sat down to write up the pomodoro post Saturday, I noticed that my most recent contribution to DwtRP was a sun-dried tomato pesto pasta extravaganza … though the dishes are completely different, photographically they are virtually identical … sigh.

No pomodoro? No problemo!

We’re off to the more thematically appropriate  and photographically diverse St. Pat’s day fare! [Read more…]

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Robert Davi serenaded us last night…

… through a pretty nice tomato pesto spaghetti dish I dredged up off the internet.

Actually, we had to settle for listening to RD’s very fine Davi Sings Sinatra – On the Road to Romance album while twirling the sun dried and cherry tomato pesto pasta onto our forks.

Well… I guess that’s not quite as good as getting truly serenaded by Robert … but that’s OK because next week we’re headed to Vegas to catch his headline act at the Venetian!

Getting a chance to see RD perform the “tenderloin” of Frank’s catalog on stage in Vegas … man, I can’t begin to tell you how cool this is going to be! [Read more…]

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…to all, and to all some great shrimp!

I had big plans for a roasted stuffed lamb loin and porcini potato gratin meal last night. Alas my day got away from me so by the time I made it to the market I was looking for a quick and easy dish that would not disappoint my wife.

Don’t get the wrong idea … Susan’s not some wicked, over bearing dominatrix, but I had dangled the stuffed lamb out in front of her earlier in the day and she hates it when I tease with a great dish and then juke away to something less interesting at the last minute.

The pressure was on, but the combination of a holiday mix playlist headlined by Robert Davi’s and Jonny Blu’s recent singles and a kick-ass Shrimp Scampi Linguini got me through the danger zone! (With the assistance of some nice white wine from the Languedoc.) [Read more…]

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‘bagas baby … Yeah!

Rutabagas that is … you know, that wild purple and yellow root vegetable that nobody eats? Well, I got it bad for ‘bagas … at least twice a year on T-day and Christmas.

My lovely bride and I celebrated Thanksgiving with her family in Dallas and there were no ‘bagas in sight. I did not expect the lovely, bitter little root veggies to make the scene — rutabagas find little respect out in the world — but I found myself back home Saturday pining for ‘bagas in the worst way.

So while listening to the Martiniinthemorning gang do their annual countdown of the “Top 100 Holiday Songs” last Saturday, I decided to cook up a meal that could sate my holiday rutabaga addiction. [Read more…]

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Recovering from a Barley Swine-a-thon…

…Friday evening where I literally ate EVERYTHING ON THE MENU! Sounds worse that it was … B-Swine is a small plate house of delight so we had all 10 plates off the menu (duck, goat, beef tongue hash, red fish, shrimp, scallops…). Well, and the three deserts of course …but there were four of us … and we were there for three hours!

OK, maybe it was a little bad, but it’s so good! If you come to Austin and don’t eat at Barley Swine, the TSA agents will write a big “L” on your forehead with a Sharpie on your way back out of town.

After all the gastronomic exotica of Friday…

… we returned to earth with a “nice piece of fish” meal that I’ve been wanting to hit for awhile. Abruzzi Flounder Involtini … a riff on a dish usually made with a barnyard protein like veal or pork.

With this dish I took the naturally ready-to-roll flounder (sole is a bit too delicate but any flatfish is doable here) and went all Abruzzi down on it with a little red pepper, some capers, parsley, basil, garlic, bread crumbs…  even a few green olives. It had a little puttanesca going on.

I finished it with a lemon, caper, brown butter sauce and server it with some compliantly absorbent roasted creamer potatoes … holy crap this was good.

Steve and Eydie joined us for the evening…

Actually I tooled up a playlist with some classic duet teams that was headlined by S&E as well as Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong and one of my all-time favorite pairings — Johnny Mercer and Bobby Darin (their Two of a Kind album is great).

It was a fun gang to flounder about with on a Saturday night, but Eydie’s vocals were the most memorable from the evening — she belted it out on a couple of numbers (especially “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have” … wow) that easily cut through the buttery, lemon-caper sauce!

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I was looking to squeeze a quick and easy fish dish into our Saturday night…

…before the lamb ragu pasta festival for family and friends on tap for tonight. Rather than just sautéing off a nice pice of fish I dug out an old paris bistro favorite that I hadn’t made in years — Mustard Roasted Fish — and it was awesome!

How do recipes like this get lost in the chaff of our stupidly busy lives … not sure, but I’m glad I recovered this lost gem. It’s an Inna Garten recipe that I tweaked up a bit (find the recipe here).

Johnnys, Johns and Jonny…

So if you’ve been around the Vocalstandards main site of late, you know I’ve been on a hot streak with reviews and posts about guys named John, Johnny or Jonny. [Read more…]

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I have met the enemy…

…and they are beef short ribs. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to eat short ribs. I’m just a sucker for strange collagen laden, boney meat dishes, braised to perfection and served up with pasta, polenta, potatoes or risotto. I just can’t cook the little buggers worth a damn.

Properly motivated (it doesn’t take much), I can turn out a respectable osso bucco or some nice braised lamb shanks … especially on one of those nice cold winter Sundays … football on TV and a glass of Barolo in my hand. But for the life of me, I can’t seem to get a good short rib dish out of my kitchen. [Read more…]

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