Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kitchen Remodel, Week Thirty-One: Bella Cucina!

The kitchen is finally done! I haven't posted about this remodel for a couple of weeks because the final process slowed to a crawl waiting on a few punch list items and landscaping. Also, we were on vacation, so the kitchen was out of sight out of mind for me.

But now we are finally finished! Right down to the (removable) Italian tile backsplash that my sister designed and had made in Italy from her drawing. "Bella Cucina" translates to either Beautiful Kitchen or Beautiful Cooking.  I hope to do some beautiful cooking in this beautiful kitchen for years to come.

Since our summer weather has disappeared and we are in the midst of one heck of a rainstorm, all my nesting instincts are raging. I just want to light a fire in the fireplace and curl up with the Ngaio Marsh mystery I am close to finishing.  And I've been trying to add all seven of my winter pounds in one weekend, craving nothing but casserole and cookies.

I've got some kind of chuck roast in the oven I plan to serve with roasted potatoes and a salad tonight.  I say "some kind of" because it is part of the grass fed cow from my freezer and all the package said was "beef roast" with no information about the particular cut.  Until I unwrapped it, I didn't know if I would be cooking it in a hot oven for a short time, like an old fashioned roast beef,  of in a warm oven for a long time, like a pot roast.

I still can't really tell what cut it is -- maybe shank? But it looks like the low-and-slow kind.  I turned to Lynn Curry's Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut, which I reviewed here, and followed some of her basic suggestions.

Most important according to Curry, is to rub grass fed beef with salt and let it sit for a while before cooking, to improve the flavor and make it more tender.  The idea is that the salt pulls the moisture from the meat, but then the meat reabsorbs the moisture, drawing the salt back in with it to flavor the meat all the way through.

We'll see if it works.  In the meantime, maybe I have time to make a pan of bar cookies. Right after I find out who killed Lord Robert Gospell on the night of Lady Carrados' ball.


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