Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunday Dinner @ Saturday

Last night (Friday) we celebrated our daughter's 15th birthday by hiding in our bedroom with the door locked while she and four of her friends had a "sleep-over" party. Actually, I'm kidding about hiding in the bedroom. I thought about doing something like that all week but it turned out to be unnecessary because the kids were extraordinarily well behaved. I suppose I can thank my daughter's computer for keeping them occupied by tricking them into spending hours making videos and posting them on Facebook along with comments that might have been written in glyphs for all the sense they make to me. But the better part of the credit for how well they all behaved has to go to them, because they are all good kids. And now I think I know why.

I think all of them, including my 12 year old son, is extremely religious. This surprised me a little because I'm not a very spiritual being at all, and am always slightly taken aback when I witness others who reference gods or God in casual conversation. So imagine my surprise when I hear these 5 teenagers and my son offering practically every other comment that came from their mouths up to the Creator. If I had a dime for every time one of them said "Oh My God!" I could forget about the miserable condition of my investments and put a down payment on Bernie Madoff's Palm Beach house.

Of course, I'm kidding around about the religiosity of the kids. But they did keep me up way past my normal bedtime with their OMGod-ing. So, today I decided to stay home and get a leg up on Sunday dinner.

Earlier in the week I made 3 pounds of pasta dough and today cranked it out and into 2 lasagna. There was some dough left over so I rolled and cut that into pasta alla chitarra and two forms of short noodles. I also baked off a loaf of bread. You can see most of this in the slide show below.

Tomorrow I will pull out the pork shoulder that I brined (10 days) and studded with garlic and rosemary. Then I will cook it, low and slow, on the charcoal grill.

By the way, this is the style of cooking that I grew up around. It's not anything I learned in school or from a book. It's the way my mom and my paternal grandparents and all of my relatives from Borgotaro and Porcigatone, Emilia Romagna addressed a meal. It's odd to think that someone might consider this fancy cooking when in reality -my family's reality anyway- it's just Sunday dinner.

Here is the basic menu. I'm sure it'll change a bit by tomorrow evening.

Antipasto of grilled sardines, olives, bresaola, tuscan salami, fennel
Lasagna al forno alla Bolognese
Roasted pork shoulder & broccoli rabe
Salad of spinach, endive, raddicchio, pears with pine nuts Balsamic vinaigrette (emulsified)
Cheese and fruit (St. Andre, Hendricks F&D Bavarian Swiss, Fromage d' Affinois "Florette")
Ice cream (for the kids)


blondee47 said...

15 going on 25 i bet eh? wait till the sweet 16 ....

Ed Bruske said...

nice menu. brined for 10 days? I wouldn't have thought. I'm always wondering whether a fatty pig raised on a farm and allowed to forage needs to be brined. By low and slow on the grill I take it to mean for a few hours, yes?

Bob del Grosso said...

A few years ago I would have said that she was mature beyond her age. But now, no. She is 15 going on 15.

It's not pork from the farm (if it was it would not have been brined but dry rubbed). As for cooking time, I'm figuring 2-3 hours depending on wind (O2 availability) velocity.

Bob del Grosso said...

I forgot to ad to my earlier comment that the reason I brined it for 10 days is that I misjudged when I would need it. I'd thought that I had to cook it 4 days after I put it in the brine. But when I realized that I had screwed up the date of the dinner, I left it in reasoning that by day 4 it had already become saturated and that a few more days would not make any difference. Moreover, I had no space in my refrigerator to store the and decided that it was safer to leave it in the brine in the garage.

I'm pretty sure that my judgment was correct. If it wasn't, I'll post the truth.

Nancy Heller said...

I want, no, I NEED a piece of that lasagna.

Maryann said...

OMG! (haha) I have been looking for a chitara! Where can I get one, Bob?

Bob del Grosso said...


I bought mine from Fantes in Philadelphia. You won't believe how cheap it is

I'm afraid that until someone builds an app that allows you to eat virtual food, you will have to make your own lasagna.

mimi said...

and I am quite mature thank you very much..
I will be watching Dad

tyronebcookin said...

Thanks for the Link on the chatara...

That slide show made me hungery, now I will have go in the kitchen and start working a loaf of bread for tonight, probably some 'rustic' noodles because I left my darn Atlas Pasta roller/cutter at my sisters by accident (2000 miles away) and my rolling pin was in the trunk of my dads car...

curses, I am going to have to roll that pasta with the end of a wine bottle!

(I'll be glad when I quit movin' around and get a job!)

french tart said...

hey - question for ya - and i know you wrote this post a while back but i've been swimming in the fog of my own brain for a while. pasta dough, it keeps? for how long, and how well does it keep? you mention you made it one day then rolled it out another. usually i make, roll, cut and cook all the same day. how long have you kept dough that way without it going bad? thanky much.

Bob del Grosso said...

french tart
In general, the raw dough will stay looking good for about 24 hours in the fridge -if you keep it away from air. After that it begins to discolor and turns grey green. It's still good to eat but it looks funky. Most of the discoloration disappears when you cook it but it's disconcerting to see nonetheless.