Monthly Archives: February 2012

little packages, big flavor…

So tonight I wanted something different for dinner. It wasn’t an easy decision, but as I looked around I saw pierogies sitting sadly by themselves… I thought this is a quick and easy meal to throw together, and certain to be delicious!
I sliced up one Spanish onion, as well as a bulb of fennel. Fennel is my go-to veg when I want to add a slight sweetness to a dish [and always like to keep one on hand]. After sautéing the onion and fennel, I started to brown the pierogies and stirred everything together to marry the flavors. The pierogies were crisp and hot, while the onions and fennel, soft and sweet! A small dollop of creme fraiche on the side and we were ready to dive in.
A perfect quick dish for any strapped for time couple or family!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Love me some leftovers!

So tonight I decided to poke around in my freezer and see what I had made and frozen recently. Jackpot, I remembered the meatballs I had recently made. Meatball parm heroes was the obvious choice [and an easy one at that] with a salad made up of spicy baby arugula, sliced honeycrisp apples and shaved parmigiano.
I toasted some ciabatta rolls, and gently placed the balls’, as well as some of my delectable homemade sauce on top. Into the oven everything went, while a thin slice of fresh mozzarella covering each ball’ began to melt and drape down the sides.
The arugula salad was a breeze! Arugula, thinly sliced apple and shaved parmigiano. Tossed with a fresh creamy balsamic dressing and it was to the table…
The ciabatta was crispy and delicate, but sturdy enough to support the light, flavorful balls’ and the sauce. The fresh mozzarella offered a perfect saltiness. I wish I could go back for more…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Pancakes… On the flip-side!

Ever have that desire for some serious breakfast eats, but for dinner instead? You know you have, we ALL have… Well tonight that what my desire! So instead of some bistro-style steak dinner or a braised pork belly, I opted to whip up some light as air buttermilk pancakes with some pan-seared chicken sausages. To drizzle over these pancakes, an adults-only bourbon maple syrup.
The cakes’ were made with your basic ingredients: flour, eggs, baking powder and soda, oil, a touch of sugar and of course buttermilk. I whisked everything together and started pouring onto my griddle! ‘Flippage’ only took place once those little cakes’ started looking like craters on the moon! Once flipped, another minute or two and onto a waiting plate they went all puffed, golden and delightful!
For the sausages, a quick sear to get everything all browned and cooked through and off the heat and onto a plate they went! Split down the center and placed alongside my little golden disks, dinner was about to be served!
To make this ‘breakfast’ dinner complete, I reduced some seriously delicious maple syrup with some bourbon until slightly thickened and warm!
A pat of butter on top of the cakes’, the warm syrup drizzled down and I blinked and the plate was empty… Did I just eat all of that? Yes, yes I did!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Oscar worthy dinner…

So pasta was the decision for tonight’s meal, and an Oscar worthy one at that. Just a simple oil and garlic sauce that gently clung to the fettuccine. A light and fruity extra virgin olive oil was gently heated with minced garlic and some crushed red until just before the garlic would burn… I also add in some extra [but secret] flavors that elevate this sauce from oil and garlic to OIL and GARLIC!! To mix things up, I tossed in some organic baby spinach and sundried tomato, along with freshly grated pecorino romano. The baby spinach gave the dish a light and fresh taste, and cleansed the palate, while the sundried tomato offered a certain sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the pecorino romano.
Now to sit down with a nice glass of wine, flip through the channels and enjoy the rest of this perfect Sunday evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Always dreaming about… dinner

So on this windy and cold Saturday, my mind wanders… I revel in the idea of what exactly I will be ordering this evening. Will I be daring and try a different type of sushi, or perhaps a non-traditional preparation of chicken [but mouthwatering and delicious nonetheless]… Time will only tell!
For now though, I’m debating if tomorrow’s meal will be something hearty [like a braised short rib] or delicate and easy to prepare [a pasta dish that is full of flavor].
Once I see what the butcher has to offer, a decision will be made! If short ribs are meant to be, then cooking will ensue early in the day tomorrow, otherwise there are other Sundays [heck even weeknights] that this meal can make a presence…
Either dish that is made, I have some wonderful wines that can accompany!
Stay tuned…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Pure decadence in a cup…

Wow what a difference a day makes! Yesterday very sunny and mild, today complete opposite… rainy and cold.
So I kept thinking what would be the best way to beat the rainy day blues?? Then it hit me, a silky wicked hot chocolate! There is something about the taste of luxurious hot chocolate trickling down the back of your throat giving an unexpected heat from the spices and chilis that make up the sexy little wonder… Topped off with some creamy, light as air whipped cream and you are literally transported to somewhere spectacular, and then think this is what winter is all about!

at a low simmer…
-R

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A nod to pre-spring grilling…

So with one of the last ‘warm’ days this week before that ‘cold front’ moves in [really a cold front??] I decided I wanted to make some tasty turkey burgers on the grill. To accompany the turkey burgers, a side of oven baked homemade steak fries tossed with truffle oil and fresh grated pecorino romano. As a dipping sauce for my fries, a smokey easy to prepare chipotle aioli.
For my turkey burgers, I add half of an onion, garlic and some super secret elements that make them extra special. Once cooked through, I top them off with sautéed onion and mushrooms and gruyere cheese that becomes melty and delicious! The turkey burgers were moist and exploding with flavor. Nutty from the gruyere, earthy from the sautéed mushrooms, with a sweet balance from the sautéed onions.
All I can say is mmmm mmmm good!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s great dirty, dry and even fruity…

After a visit to the local wine emporium close to my home, I walked out with everything but wine. My mission today was not for a crisp Albariño, deep Pinot Noir or sultry Sancerre, but rather something to make a great martini with! After perusing the vast wall of potential libations, I came across a vodka that I had years ago, but could never find locally… Fig vodka. The decision was made, a fig martini it would be. I quickly raced home to try my hand at this fun little cocktail [it was after five… somewhere] and the flavors were sweet and refreshing and made me think this was worth the purchase! Stay tuned though for a revisit to the wine store in a future post… I will detail my favorites and give some background on them.

at a low simmer…
-R

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curry is so very… yummy!

After a quick trip to the market, there was a bounty of fresh veg that was going to make an appearance in tonight’s dinner… chicken curry. So after a few minutes of slicing and dicing, dinner prep was well underway. Red peppers, mushrooms and eggplant met their match over a medium flame, tossed around with some chicken breast. An addition of coconut milk and some curry paste started to bring everything together. After bringing everything to a soft boil, and then reducing to a simmer the sauce thickened beautifully. During the last few minutes of cooking, I added some water chestnuts and bamboo shoots for a slight bit of crunch. Off the heat, I plated everything over some nutty brown rice. A perfect meal to end a perfect day!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Finally a day devoted to the margarita!

So I found out that today was National Margarita Day… Who Knew! So in honor of this special day, I decided what better to do than guzzle down a nice, ice cold marg minus the salted rim… I opted for a tangy, and anti-oxidant filled pomegranate version. To the table arrived a vessel that could have held two normal size drinks, but instead just one for me. The flavors took me to a tropical island [well ok really the pictures of my bff’s recent vacation helped with that] and made me think that summer is right around the corner! A hint of lime, sweetness from triple sec, tang from the pomegranate juice and a vivid burst from the tequila made this drink so special. Better brush off my marg machine and start testing new recipes for weekends spent poolside…

at a low simmer…
-R

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