Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's eats, and more snow

I started off 2009 with an 11 mile run on New Year's Day. The temperature was around 19 degrees in the morning, although it was fairly windy. Still, this was not too bad.

The trails had been plowed from out last dose of snow earlier in the week, so there was decent traction. It felt good to get out and run long, even though it was somewhat strange to do my long run on a weekday.

Given that this was a relatively decent January morning by Minnesota standards, I was surprised that I only encountered three other people the entire time I was out on Thursday morning. I suspected the Twin Cities was collectively sleeping off a hangover from the previous evening's festivities!

Here are the dishes I cooked up on New Year's holiday:

I whipped up a pasta dish on New Year's Eve; curly cavatappi pasta with shrimp and bay scallops in a spicy tomato sauce. The homemade red sauce had lots of crushed red pepper, garlic, chunks of sun-dried tomato, and was finished with some fresh basil and parsley. This was my attempt to make something similar to the wonderful dish I had at Big Tomatoes in Neenah, WI, last September (although I did not grill my shrimp, and I added scallops). It did not disappoint.

Cavatappi with shrimp and bay scallops in a spicy red sauce



My brother had given me some outstanding venison stew meat, so I decided to put it to good use. On New Year's Day, I made an Irish venison stew.

The dish was similar to the Irish lamb stew I cooked up in October. I did it "Black & Tan" style again, as I used stout and ale in the braising liquid, along with a splash of The Tyrconnell single malt Irish whiskey just to complete the Irish experience. The stew was full of carrots, caramelized onions, crimini mushrooms, Yukon gold potatoes, turnips, barley, and peas. It was seasoned with a classic bouquet garni (fresh thyme, parsley, bay leaves), as well as some dried herbs de Provence. Delicious and warming, especially on a windy, chilly Minnesota day!

Irish venison stew



Believe it or not, we are bracing for yet another snow storm this weekend. Currently my area is under a Winter Storm Warning, and they are calling for 3 to 6 inches of snow by Sunday, along with 20 to 35 MPH winds.

This is becoming almost comical, as it seems to snow just about every other day. I guess I will just have to stay inside and do some more cooking this weekend! :)

Until next time,

Jean
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