Posts Tagged 'Dinner: A Love Story'

Recipe of the Week: Pork Shoulder Ragu from Dinner: A Love Story

DALS pork shoulder ragu

We still haven’t rounded the corner with spring yet — is more snow coming? please, God, no — which means we’ll definitely be making this Pork Ragu with Pappardelle from Dinner: A Love Story at least one more time before temps turn warmer. It’s easy (hello, braising), delicious, and was a hit with everyone.

A few notes from our making of the dish:

* We’d never cooked pork shoulder before and were perplexed by the not at all unattractive but rather large layer of fat present on one side of the meat. You might be able to buy the pork roast trimmed, or trim it yourself, but I’m sure the fat added flavor. We left it on and then removed the excess fat once the meat was cooked and it was time to pull it apart with two forks, per the recipe — that was simple, as it’s falling-apart tender.

* Since M. is not a fan of tomato sauce, I set aside some meat for her at that stage, before adding it back to the pot with all of the saucy goodness. She was a satisfied customer and ate happily — her buttered pasta in one bowl and meat in the other — without complaint. J., who loves tomato sauce and asked for extra with his meat, was a happy camper, too.

* DALS recommends serving this with a salad with some sweetness to it to balance the pork. We did — greens with pear and blue cheese — and it did make for a great pairing.

* The fact that you braise the meat for 3 – 4 hours, with little effort required on the part of the cook, makes this recipe highly appealing for busy parents. Great for entertaining, too, as DALS notes. Also, it made the house smell really good — that, plus advance sampling of the meat by the kids before we sat down to eat, meant they were nicely primed to go after the food with gusto (definitely not always the case.)

What recipes are getting your family through the last weeks of winter? We’re all ears!

***

Last Week’s Recipe: Spicy Veggie Burritos


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6 Things to Do with the Kids in New York City During Christmas Break

Christmas break = fun, presents, and holiday food, but it also means no school. You’ll be staring down long cold-weather days with the kids, and I bet you’re starting to sweat it (all the new toys can only take you so far). I’m giving the sitch some advance thought so I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Here’s my list of things to do — let me hear what’s on yours, too!

Moomah craft

Let your kids create a winter log cabin at Moomah in Tribeca.

Make a cool craft at Moomah

We do a lot of easy, homespun crafts, so I decided to take a look around for a cute one to do over the holidays. A real project, rather than the usual I-make-it-up-as-I-go BS. I looked. And I looked some more. But, I have to say, I was freaking intimidated by most of what I saw out there. I just cannot see myself doing all of the necessary prep — buying tons of special materials, measuring and cutting, even sewing for God’s sake. So screw it. Let’s go to Cafe Moomah instead, where I can pay for a genius, way-creative project that someone else has come up with! (Check out the cool winter log cabin above — impressive, huh? ) All of the materials are there for you. And there’s staff on hand to help direct the kids. And there’s good coffee.

Take the kids to see MOMENTUM at the New Victory Theater

Live music, dance moves, cool visual effects — sounds awesome! It runs through January 2 and is suitable for the whole fam. Buy tix here.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes (photo: Kevin @ Closet Cooking)

Make dinner with the kids

On the menu: Sloppy Joes from Dinner: A Love Story. At dinnertime, I am usually shooing the kids out of the kitchen so I can focus and get food on the table ASAP. But during the holidays, when we don’t have to stick to such a strict dinner-bath-book-bed sked, maybe I can loosen up a little. I know they’d love to help make a dinner from A to Z, and this looks like an easy recipe to try the “cooking with kids” thing out with.

Hit a museum during free museum hours

NewYorkology has a great, updated list of museums and cultural institutions that have free or pay-what-you-wish days and times during the winter.

Big Apple Circus

Go see the Big Apple Circus

I’ve heard for ages how great the Big Apple Circus is; now may be the time to try it out. Mommy Poppins says this season’s show is fun and “fast-paced… with one surprise after another.” Also, that it’s small and intimate. I think the kids would love it.

Blue Bell ice cream

(flickr photo: jonny.hunter)

Head to Hill Country Barbecue

In case you missed it, I’m from Texas. And I can tell you Hill Country Barbecue is the real deal — the dry-rub brisket and sausage from legendary Kreuz Market in Lockhart never disappoint. Lots of sides, a huge open space, and Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert (yep, it’s made in Texas) make it a super-easy lunch spot with kids. Weather permitting, you can let them romp for a few minutes before or after in the not-too-far-away playground in Madison Square Park.

Have fun!

Other ideas for cold-weather fun:

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Brooklyn’s BounceU

The Polar Express 4-D Experience at The Bronx Zoo

(Sloppy Joes photo, Closet Cooking)

Weekly Menu: November 7th-13th

Whoa. This morning, we are in recovery. First, the time-change, which comes around and throws me for a loop every year (though at least we’re not running the NY Marathon today). Second, we had a big, fun dinner party last night. Not the kind that goes into the wee hours; since we all have kids, the party wound down at about ten. This was the kind that everyone looks forward to all day — all week — long, the kind where everyone throws themselves into the play/conversation/dinner/drinks, and is truly filled with regret when the night is over.

The wreckage

The star of the dinner party was the Baked Fontina fondue thing that Melisa made from the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, How Easy is That? After that bad boy came out of the oven in its cast iron skillet, and people started dunking baguette in with religious fervor (myself included), it occurred to me that we needn’t have bothered with the rest of the meal (grilled flank steak with Tony’s Marinade, Scalloped Potatoes, steamed green beans).  I was wrong. Everything was a hit, and chased by the Birthday Cake from Momofuku (not to mention the Cornflake Cookie — my favorite), it was a massive, massive overdose, but oh so right. Ah.

Oh, wow.

This morning the house has been restored to its tidy self, with no indication of the evening in evidence save for the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and an unfortunate scuff on the floor from where I dropped (and broke) a giant serving platter. The kids are disappointed that the table is back to its small round size, and we are disappointed that the night is behind us. Alas.

On to the weekly menu

Sunday: I hate to even put this in writing, because every time I do someone gets sick, BUT I think we’re doing China(town) today for some steamed pork buns after we cheer on the marathoners this morning. And since we are in recovery, we are going for the Rotisserie Chicken, leftover Scalloped Potatoes, and Roasted Broccoli for dinner. The rest of the week, I’m trying to dial down the dairy quotient.

Monday: Inspired by Dinner: A Love Story: Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta

Tuesday: From Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast: Chicken & Basil Stir-Fry

Wednesday: Burrito-world of some sort

Thursday: Pasta Carbonara

Friday: Roast Cod over Leeks & Tomatoes (from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast)

Saturday: Exciting evening out for a friend’s birthday. The kids will do pizza.

Related Links:

Currently Obsessed with…Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Fontina

Everyday Food: Family-Friendly Recipes from the New Cookbook

September 10 – 12: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Brooklyn Salsa Company

The above is some damn good salsa — we sampled it recently at The Brooklyn Flea (though, I have to tell you, I liked “The Staten Island” version even better than “The Brooklyn.”) Find it at Fairway, Whole Foods, and of course, The Flea. — Brooklyn Salsa Company

Friday Family Movie Night at The Moxie Spot, all ages. 6:15pm. — TimeOut New York Kids

A family meals food site to try — I am so making this flank steak for the kids. — Dinner: A Love Story

A Bococa County Fair — a festival of urban agriculture on Bergen Street this Sunday. — BococaLand

Happy weekend!


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