From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thyme to Dine

This weekend was one of the best that I can think of, from a culinary standpoint.  There were so many tasty treats coming my way, via 2 birthday parties, that, had I been on a diet, I would have blown any chance of shedding any pounds this year.  Now, I am going to have to work twice as hard to prevent any excess baggage from attaching itself to my gut.

My daughter DID agree that I now have a 4-pack and am well on my way to the 6-pack abs that I have been shooting for before we go on our cruise, but before I started working on it, I only had "3-liter bottle" to speak of. 

Wow... from the mouth of babes...

The birthday celebrations actually started with being taken to Genghis Grill for lunch, where I made a delicious bowl with chicken, beef, Dragon Salt, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms and tomatoes, with my own sauce concoction, served with Udon Noodles.  This bowl was a standard representation of the meals I used to make for myself there on a regular basis, and it was good to see that after 3 months, I still had the touch.  (Sadly, the picture does not do it justice...)

Saturday brought with it a much anticipated poker party, attended by 18 of my good friends, and we all got to enjoy Doug's spaghetti, plenty of garlic bread,  and an awesome cake made by Renee, made in the shape of a poker table, decorated with cards and poker chips.

The pièce de résistance, however, came on Sunday, when Kim made me a shoulder roast with a wonderful mushroom sauce, asparagus and Yorkshire Pudding.  A shoulder roast is typically a tougher cut of  beef which has the most flavor; many times it is used in making pot roasts.  It requires slow cooking over low heat to ensure tender, flavorful meat as the slow cooking dissolves the connective tissues while allowing the meat to soak up the juices and wonderful flavors.

Kim's recipe included a rub of thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, and she roasted it on a bed of sliced white onion ringss in a 350 degree oven for over 2 and a half hours.  The drippings from the roast were used to make the mushroom sauce and the yorkshire pudding.  That plus steamed asparagus and a bottle of DC Builders' custom made chianti? Wow... awesome...

Yorkshire Pudding is one of the main components of an English meal that includes roast and vegetables.  There are many different ways to make it, but our personal favorite is in muffin pans, which allows us to enjoy it in smaller portions, and it makes a great snack after the meal as well.  (Light, fluffy, yet crispy on the outside? yumm...) It absolutely MUST be accompanied by the gravy or sauce made for the roast as the sauce gives it a whole new dimension of flavor.  (although, as a snack, it goes well with jam or jelly...) 

And then, a Snicker's Cake for dessert...

It is going to be REALLY tough to best this weekend's meals.  Maybe next year we will let Morton, or Ruth or that Fleming dude do all the work, but many thanks go out to this weekend's extravaganza.   Doug, Renee, Kim, Eleyna, Madison - You all outdid yourselves.  Thanks a bunch for a great weekend. 

And to think... Now, we have to plan this weeks' meals... I almost hate to... 

Until then, Good Eating, Friends...

Your Yorkshire Pudding


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or reserved beef drippings from roast (butter may also be used)


In a blender blend flour, salt, eggs, and milk until just smooth. Chill batter, covered 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.
Spoon 1 tablespoon oil or beef fat (or butter) into cups of a jumbo size muffin pan or popover pan with 6 cups. Place pan on center rack of oven for 5 minutes to heat the oil. Quickly pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter into each muffin or popover cup and bake until puddings are puffed and golden brown, about 18 minutes. With tongs remove puddings from muffin pan and serve immediately.

Makes 6 large or 12 mini yorkshire puddings.


Puddings can also be made in a mini muffin pan or popover pan with 12 cups. When using mini pans, you will need to decrease the amount of batter that is poured into each muffin or popover cup. Use half the amount of above batter for each mini cup (for 1/3 cup batter, substitute 5 1/2 tablespoons, for 1/2 cup batter, substitute with 1/4 cup batter).

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