Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Osso Buco with Parmesan Risotto

Osso Buco with Parmesan Risotto

First off, let me apologize for my absence last week. I had planned to prepare food for publication the weekend of the 18th and 19th but my schedule was altered when the power at my apartment was lost on Saturday just after 12 noon. Hungry with no way of cooking food because we only have an electric range, Mrs. Stuntman and I took our daughter to lunch at a local café and ended up seeing Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Then on Monday, my computer desktop crapped out on me so we had to replace it, so begrudgingly this is the first post with my new computer. It was almost a relief to spend my Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.

Speaking of new things, I also had to replace my Dutch oven recently because my old one got lost in the move. For me, it was a priority because they're ideal for cold weather dishes, so this represented an opportunity to use it. I especially like the oblong shape because the cooking surface is larger.

Long time readers might remember I prepared this dish about a year ago but I wasn't very happy with it. I had trouble keeping the shanks together and it also wasn't one of my better pictures. I still refuse to purchase saffron threads due to the cost, so I chose a neutral flavor for the accompanying starch. This dish was also partially inspired by the dinner I ate while I was away at Food and Wine Conference.

The Challenge

Improve upon a dish I published previously.

The Source

I adapted Giada's osso buco from foodnetwork.com and the risotto from Real Simple magazine's website.


1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, whole plus 1 clove garlic, minced, divided
4 veal shanks (I used ones that were about a half-pound each)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced plus 1 onion, chopped, divided
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plus 1 cup dry white wine, divided
3 to 4 cups plus 6 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tablespoons extra-vigin olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Special equipment:
Butcher's twine


1. Finish the mise en place. Place the 2 whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf onto the cheesecloth and tie together with some kitchen twine to create a bouquet garni. Tie some additional kitchen twine around each shank so the shank does not fall apart while simmering. Once secure, season the shanks with salt and pepper then dredge each shank in all-purpose flour.

2. Sear the shanks and flavor the sauce. Place the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the veal shanks to sear, approximately 3 minutes per side. Once browned, remove to a plate and reserve.

Next, add the diced onion, carrot and celery and brown the mirepoix, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and season the mirepoix with salt and pepper. Deglaze with 1 cup white wine and reduce by half.

Return the shanks to the pan and add the bouquet garni and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer over low heat. Check the pan periodically to turn and to ensure the shanks are covered by the braising fluid, adding an additional 1 to 2 cups as necessary. Simmer until the meat is fork tender and falling off the bone, approximately 90 minutes.

3. Prepare the risotto while the osso buco simmers. Bring 6 cups chicken stock to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to low and keep warm. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add 1 chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove to sweat, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the Arborio rice to toast, approximately 2 minutes.

Deglaze with 1 cup white wine and stir continually until evaporated.

Add in the warm stock, 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at a time, and continually stir until absorbed before adding more. Start tasting the rice after 3 or 4 additions of stock and cook until the rice is al dente and suspended in stock, approximately 20 to 25 minutes total.

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, as necessary.

4. Finish the dish. Remove the veal shanks to a plate when finished, then remove and discard the twine. Spoon some risotto into warmed bowls and top with a veal shank. Spoon some of the braising fluid over the shanks, then garnish with parsley.


I'll confess that I failed to add the tomato paste to the mirepoix but it was still a delicious dish. The shanks held onto the bone too. I was also a little concerned that the flavor of parmesan cheese wasn't strong enough on its own but it held up because it was seasoned properly. Mrs. Stuntman enthusiastically enjoyed the dish too.

Speaking of Mrs. Stuntman, please welcome her to the food blogging community. She was also busy in the kitchen this past weekend and, for her inaugural dish, prepared a delightful vegetable side dish. I encourage you to click here to read all about it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Adding Some Class with Jennifer of MealDiva

Sausage with Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Zucchini

Today, I return to my monthly Adding Some Class with... series with Jennifer of MealDiva. If I can be candid for a moment, I can safely say here that I admire her patience. I originally asked Jennifer to be my guest for August however I had to delay it because of my move. By the time I had revisited the topic, it was the middle of September so Jennifer and I agreed to postpone this until October.

In my mind, Jennifer stands out because the dishes she publishes achieve a unique balance of simplicity and elegance. I especially like her Parsley Vinaigrette, Pancake Mix, and her Curry Shrimp Kabobs with Mango Rice.

Please welcome Jennifer to Crazy Foodie Stunts:

I am so excited to be guest blogging on Crazy Foodie Stunts today! Like DB, I accidently stumbled into cooking while staying home caring for my kids. When you’re a one-income family with a child with food allergies, eating out isn’t an option and so, I learned how to cook and also fell in love! I really love Crazy Foodie Stunts because DB blogs about recipes that seem intimidating for some at-home -cooks and in doing so, he gives his reads encouragement! In fact, he’s even inspired me to try a new recipe or two – like Coq au Vin –my kids LOVED this recipe and devoured the luscious chicken thighs with nods of approval. So thanks DB!

Over on MealDiva, I blog about easy, healthy, common- sense family meals so I wanted to share a household favorite with you today! This uncomplicated, euphoric and down-right gratifying sausage dinner is requested weekly in my house and its often eaten in silence (with brief pauses to give me a thumbs up) until everyone’s plates are licked clean. In my blogging world, sometimes it’s the easiest recipes that are the tastiest. So from my families’ table to yours, enjoy!

Sausage with Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Zucchini


1 package of cheese and parsley sausage
1 large green zucchini, sliced
1 large yellow zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 sweet Vidalia onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbs. chicken broth/ stock or just water
3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 stick butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large, oven-proof dish, layer zucchini, onion, garlic and pepper on the bottom then top with the sausage.
Add chicken stock and bake in a pre-heated over for 40 minutes, flipping the sausage in the middle of the cooking time.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in water until cooked through then drain and return them to the pot. While still hot, add the remaining ingredients and mash well.
Sausage should be nicely browned before removing from the oven.
To plate:
Layer mashed potatoes then vegetables followed by sausage.

WOW! This is the first time I had heard about her coq au vin success. I'm pleased her family enjoyed it. This sausage dish, however, is a perfect example of the elegant dishes I admire from Jennifer. Before you go, please remember to 'Like' her on facebook, in addition to following her on Instagram, pinterest and .

Jennifer gave me an additional photo which follows:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Butternut Squash Purée and Beurre Fondue

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Butternut Squash Purée and Beurre Fondue

I was never happy with the first scallops dish I prepared for this website. Call this dish a 'Do-Over', however this time, I thought I'd use a purée of a seasonal vegetable and, given my struggles with broken sauces earlier this year, I wanted to practice my execution of a butter sauce.

Speaking of this particular butter sauce, the concept is very similar to a beurre blanc which I prepared earlier this year, only with different ingredients. In fact, the word 'fondue' translates to melted.

The Challenge

In addition to improving a dish I published earlier, I had also taken on the concept of a butter sauce from a source that didn't utilize an exact recipe.

The Source

I adapted the purée from foodnetwork.com and the beurre fondue from pages 76 through 77 of Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Siverbush and Sean Fri.


1 2-pound butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings removed
12 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 U-15 sea scallops
Alfalfa sprouts, for garnsh


1. Roast the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Take 1 tablespoon butter and rub the flesh of each squash half with it, then season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves on a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan and roast in the oven until fork tender, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Prepare the beurre fondue while the squash roasts. In a small saucepan, bring about 12-inch of water to a simmer. Whisk in the 12 tablespoons butter in 1/2 tablespoon portions, adding the next portion after the one in the pan has melted. Small droplets of oil might appear which indicates the water is evaporating. If this occurs, add a small amount of warm water. Once the butter has been added, season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat until ready to plate.

3. Finish the dish. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the scallops and sear on one side only, approximately 1 minute. Remove to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. Once the butternut squash is finished, scoop out the flesh and place into a blender with the honey, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Purée the squash, adding up to 2 tablespoons olive oil to loosen the mixture, if necessary. To plate, spoon some beurre fondue onto a warmed plate, top with 3 to 4 scallops. Spoon some purée beside the scallops and garnish with alfalfa sprouts.


The butternut squash purée was sweeter than I expected with the addition of honey into it. and the sauce didn't separate. All in all, it was a very balanced plate of food. No brown bag leftovers for Mrs. Stuntman, however. because of the foul odor seafood leaves in the break room at the office.