All posts filed under: One Dish Dinners

Every Day I’m Fenneling… Sausage Polenta Bake

God, I do love the internet thing when it comes to cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I treat my stack ‘o cookbooks like they’re Fort Knox. And for research ~ menu development ~ experimentation ~ food porn, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. But days like today, when I’ve got no real interest in prowling through pages, I can type a list of five ingredients I want to use in The Google ( because lord knows, I love The Google) and voila! I’ve got 15 or so recipes I can mix and match to come up with something tasty for dinner. It’s like playing Garanimals with celebrity chefs… a little Martha, Giada’s teeth, Alton’s receding hairline, and a couple of Chuck’s Tatts…. My Polenta Bake is based largely on Martha Stewart’s recipe Baked Polenta with Sausage… but I still have a load of fennel to do something with… and I didn’t like the idea of (and I wasn’t going to go out and just buy..) packaged polenta… and Giada had an Italian sausage pasta recipe …

Cookbook Sunday, and a little tail

I have no illusions that this post will resonate with a vast majority of readers. Just as well as I know that 80% of you probably wouldn’t  make this dish even as a last resort. These revelations come to me due in a very large part to the fact that I picked up 6 (that’s six) 2 pound packages of Ox Tail ( at an amazing $2.95 a package) from the market this week because they were in the burn-out bin – meaning… no one wanted to buy them. In a way, I get it. It isn’t a particularly attractive cut of meat. It can be an extremely tough cut to do something with, it’s mostly bone, and you can’t throw it on a grill. It takes time, effort and more that a squoosh of love to coax the delectable flavors out of the oxen’s swishing business end. But invest the time and effort and you have something truly worth eating. This week’s cookbook of choice is (drum-roll, please) Beef and Veal from the The Good Cook Series Time / Life Books, …

One From Column A – Char Siu

Brian (my partner in crime for a great many years) and I lived for Saturdays. Saturday was the day the BBQ Place (I know, a strange name for a Chinese restaurant) at Asian Square on Buford Hwy pumped out non stop Char Siu – and we stuffed ourselves in plate upon plate of  mahogany lacquered, perfectly seasoned medallions. Char Siu – or Chinese BBQ Pork used to be a staple at every Chinese restaurant. You could order it fresh off the rotary thingy, sliced and served with a heap of rice; find it diced and scattered like little jewels throughout the pork fried rice; used in twice cooked pork, and minced – mixed with hoisin sauce and stuffed in bbq buns. Times were it was a staple at every Mr. Won’s, House of Eng, Mama Wu, Ho Ho, Cantonese Palace (insert your favorite Chinese Restaurant here). But those are sad days gone by. Like a great many things in equally diverse cultures, time – money – labor have taken their toll, and unless your particular Chinese haunt does their own slowly turning, crisperizing Peking Duck, …