Monthly Archives: April 2012

finger food!

After a craving for an appetizer that we had a few weeks ago, I decided that lamb chops would be a perfect romantic meal for two. Seasoned only with salt, these little guys were gently seared on the grill for about three minutes on each side. The outcome… beautiful grill marks and a perfect medium rare! As a dipping sauce, I prepped a whole grain mustard and rosemary blend with a little garlic, olive oil and salt.
Topped on a bed of spicy baby arugula with a drizzle of a deep finishing oil and it was time to dig in!
Meaty, fatty and just plain intoxicating with the mustard as a perfect compliment to cut through it all, yet pull everything together. Who are they kidding…eight is definitely NOT enough…

at a low simmer…











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Closing time…

Another outrageous evening for dinner! We closed that joint down… LITERALLY! Time really does fly when you are chatting away and enjoying yourself.
As an appetizer, we did a family-style setup. Fried calamari tossed in a balsamic glaze [AMAZING], sautéed shrimp in a spicy lemon butter sauce, as well as a hearty vibrant arugula salad with pears, Parmesan shavings and candied pecans! All delicious and different in their own special ways.
As mains; a spicy chicken arabiata with hot peppers in their vinegary goodness, grilled flank steak topped with shrimp, grilled sea bass and an always classic chicken marsala! Everything was delicious as our table went quiet as we savored each luscious bite…
For dessert… we all shared a peanut butter tartufo. One word… DIVINE! Silky and smooth, creamy and a slight bit salty. I need another right about now! Well maybe I can try and make one soon… hmmmm

at a low simmer…

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dinner with friends!

Gearing up for a fantastic feast with great friends! Wondering what will make it onto my plate, but better yet into my belly…
You’ll have to check in tomorrow and find out! Think of it as an Agatha Christie mystery…

at a low simmer…

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sandwiches with a chaser!

Usually for me it’s burgers and beers [or some other deliciously devilish libation], but tonight was hearty sandwiches with some great craft beers!
Ciabatta rolls that I lightly toasted were topped with a schmeer of dijon mustard, fresh mozz, roasted red peppers, thinly sliced chicken breast and prosciutto. Case, or should I say lid closed…
Crunchy from the bread, the perfect zip from the dijon to balance out the sweetness of the peppers, salty from the prosciutto and chicken breast, while creamy from the fresh mozz.
As a side… a crunchy broccoli slaw! Plump raisins, diced celery, red onion, cabbage and crunchy broccoli tossed in a sweetened dressing.
Now to finish my beer…

at a low simmer…


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tonight for dinner we’re going ‘gnudi’…

Tonight I tried my hand at something different… while watching television recently, I saw a recipe for gnudi and decided it must makes an appearance on the dinner table [and of course the blog]!
Standard ingredients that always are around the house make up these light, pillowy clouds of goodness… ricotta, grated pecorino romano, panko, eggs, salt, pepper [yes I know… you can start breathing again] and for my own twist… broccoli rabe! It’s like making a meatball honestly. You mix everything together and form little balls that you can fit into your mouth [dirty dirty minds]. Cooking is reminiscent of making ravioli… you drop these little guys into super salty boiling water and once they float to the top, they are done!
As for a sauce, you can use a homemade tomato sauce, maybe even a burned butter and caper sauce? Well I prepared the recipe version, but with my thumbprint. Instead of a regular mushroom purée, I added some heat to mine and did a spicy mushroom purée.
Everything came together wonderfully and the flavors were bursting all over! Creaminess from the ricotta, a slight bitterness from the broccoli rabe, saltiness from the cheese and an earthy goodness from the mushrooms with a great big poke from the spice. Can’t wait to make this dish again!

at a low simmer…













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It’s a meat market out there!!

Thought I’d share some pictures I snapped when last at my favorite butcher shop!! The place is chock full of wonderful little delicacies and pantry items as well. They offer prepared foods, cold cuts, Italian cheeses [the homemade fresh mozz is our fave! Just milky, creamy and warm], hearty hunks of meats [which they will cut any way you like], chicken and pork products. They will also do special selections if you need, just as anywhere they request a bit of advanced notice.
Hope you enjoy!

at a low simmer…






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Take-out at home!

So for the second part to my Asian food crave day… Spicy Sesame chicken served alongside steamed sugar snap peas!!
This was one of the easiest recipes to prepare and amazingly enough spot-on to the flavor of your favorite take-out!! Crispy, crunchy, sweet, spicy, savory, tangy… I can go on and on… I did have to put my own spin on it by adding the spicy factor!
The chicken… some beautiful and succulent breasts that were cubed up and tossed into a marinade of sesame oil, soy sauce, flour, baking powder and cornstarch.
The sauce… soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, an uber-spicy red chili, sugar, ginger, garlic, sherry vinegar, sambal oelek [chili sauce] and chicken stock!
After frying the chicken, a quick toss into the sauce, a healthy spill of sesame seeds and I was ready to plate this bad-ass!

at a low simmer…






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Part one of my Asian-themed foodie day!

What a wonderful afternoon lunch I just had! Ventured out to a new place in the neighborhood to experience their sushi. Once walking through the dramatic doorway, I was transported to a modern and intimate setting. Dark luxurious woods, comfortable seating, a lengthy sushi bar [perfect for a quick bite] and best of all, an attentive waitstaff!
For lunch, I tried the shrimp tempura roll and a sweet potato roll. All I can say is WOW! Both full of flavor and crisp from the tempura, lightly dressed with a chefs made special sauce. The shrimp roll was rolled with lettuce and cucumber, while the sweet potato was perfect just on its own. I also was lucky enough to try the sesame chicken [which I was actually planning on preparing for dinner] with the brown rice that they offer, and that was a star as well!
This lunch was a fantastic element to my day and will definitely be visiting again very soon for dinner, but as always the company is what makes a meal!

at a low simmer…


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Simple is never boring…

Tonight was pasta night… felt like I hadn’t made a pasta dish in quite sometime [guess I should have looked at my posts hahaha]… So whole wheat linguine tossed with sautéed grape tomatoes, garlic and basil was ‘what’s for dinner’!
I simmered the tomatoes in a touch of olive oil until they burst and released their juicy goodness. To the tomatoes went some minced [but still chunky] garlic, as well as some white wine! Simmer… simmer… simmer…
Once the pasta was al dente, into the sauce, swirled to combine with grated pecorino romano and some basil that was chiffonade… Then guess what? Dinner was served!

at a low simmer…






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definitely done in thirty minutes [well less]!!

Homemade doughy goodness topped with a perfectly made tomato sauce, basil, grated pecorino romano and sliced fresh mozzarella…
Into the oven at 450 degrees for twenty-five minutes until the crust was firm, the basil crisped and the mozz bubbly and melty!

at a low simmer…




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