Monthly Archives: September 2012

tonight the bird ruled this roost!

So for one of our first fall feasts, I decided what better way to dine than with a roasted farm fresh chicken!
After slicing up some carrots, onions and fennel, I gingerly rested them in the bottom of the baking dish. On top of this veggie pillow went our beautiful chicken which I seasoned generously with salt, rubbed some low calorie butter on, squeezed fresh lemon juice around and sprinkled some flecks of fresh thyme across… for a bit of added browning encouragement I drizzled some olive oil on the exterior skin!
In the cavity went the whole lemon that I squeezed around the chicken and veggies, as well as a bundle of fresh thyme. Into the oven for roughly an hour and a half, then a quick after cooking rest and it was time to eat up!
Served alongside some velvety yukon gold mash, this meal reminded me of how much I enjoy the wondrous cooking we can all experience when fall hits, there is a slight chill in the air and our Sundays are just filled with relaxation…

at a low simmer…
-R

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crisp and delicious!

After another Saturday full of decorating for the upcoming Halloween holiday, the decision of what would end up on our plates, bit more importantly… in our bellies!
One can only deal with Chinese takeout or pizza that much [I mean don’t get me wrong, I am a lover of good Chinese and a fantastic bottle of wine] but tonight I wanted something a bit lighter, full of intense flavor and still satisfying…
A chef salad was the perfect way to go! Crisp and cold lettuce tossed gently with red onions, green olives, hot peppers, plump grape tomatoes and rolled provolone, ham and turkey in an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing…
Mmmm what a perfect decision that was and some leftover to have alongside tomorrow nights dinner!! I just love double duty dishes…

at a low simmer…
-R

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rollin’ with the flavor… AGAIN!

Tonight’s dinner was a fun favorite that usually is ordered as part of take-out Chinese, but this evenings nosh was served up from scratch.
The all mighty egg-roll, the perfect mix of hearty veggies and chicken encased in a crunchy shell.
The ingredients were simple… red onion, red pepper, celery, garlic and ginger, shredded carrots and savoy cabbage, chunks of seasoned chicken and creamy sliced avocado.
After a quick sauté of the red onion, celery and red pepper, I tossed in the ginger and garlic until incorporated, then cooked the chicken alongside everything! Once cooked, I mixed in soy sauce and sesame oil to taste…
Once this fragrant combo was done, they were sealed up snuggly in egg-roll wrappers… One little bit of advice, don’t over stuff the egg-roll, otherwise you will have cracks and it won’t hold together when frying.
After a quick fry just to get that beautiful golden outside and it was time to eat!

at a low simmer…
-R

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I’m addicted to ‘quack’…

So tonight a duck breast was calling out my name… it was pleading for me to give it a good rendering [trying to make it sound dirty… this is food porn]…
After scoring the fat cap, salting abundantly and letting it bathe and brown for a bit on the cooktop in its own fatty goodness, it was time for a toss into the range to finish off cooking and then a quick power nap to reincorporate all of its juicy delights!
While resting away, I reduced some Saba until syrupy to drape over this rich, meaty breast.
Served alongside some sautéed cauliflower and we were in business…
Crispy, fatty skin… succulent breasts… what more could you ask for? Well perhaps a second helping…

at a low simmer…
-R

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soups on!

As a cool, brisk day set in this Sunday afternoon the thought of a filling and hearty soup appeared a logical dinner choice!
Since I had lentils, carrots, celery, onion and garlic… lentil soup seemed a good idea. A simple soup that offers layers of textures and flavors and takes minutes to prepare [cooking time not included]!
A quick chop and sauté of all the veggies, a hit of crushed red pepper, a quick pick and rinse of the lentils, some chicken stock [or water and bouillon if you don’t have stock], salt if needed and that’s it! For an added extra, I tossed in some cubes of turkey ham. Everything is brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer and cooked until perfection has been achieved…
These hearty bowls of soup warmed us up on this chilly evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a hot pot I can warm up to!

After a day of Halloween preparation, whipping up dinner was just not in the cards… instead a serious craving for sushi was!
So we pulled a nice bottle of wine out of our wine fridge, hopped in our car and off we went!
Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a hostess and whisked to our seats… The decor was modern and very enticing. One if the most unique elements that we noticed was a conveyor belt of sorts which trailed sampler sizes of sushi, sashimi and other appetizing little pleasures! You picked what intrigued you and paid based on the plate design…
Tonight instead of selecting from the belt, we ordered some well known appetizers [Negimaki and Harumaki], along with some sushi. In addition, we tried a ‘hot bowl’ as a main as well!
This ‘hot bowl’ was absolutely mind-blowing… seasoned rice on the bottom layered with a sliced breaded pork cutlet, topped off with a raw egg which cooks from the heat of this ‘hot bowl’… this was like nothing I have ever experienced, but have to say may have quickly become one of my new favorites!
It’s been a while since we’ve ventured out for sushi, but this may have been the night that changed it all again…

at a low simmer…
-R

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a pre-Fall feast…

Today was a cooler day… almost preparing us for the arrival of fall this coming Saturday!
What better to do than prepare a comforting dish for dinner that would satiate both the stomach and palate.
Chicken sautéed in a mascarpone marsala cream sauce… chunks of chicken breast, diced onion, sliced mushrooms, garlic, marsala wine and mascarpone were some of the delightful supporting actors in this simple, yet satisfying meal!
The sauce was creamy and almost sweet, while the mushrooms offered an earthiness and the chicken, a wholesome and warming element!
Hmmmm… I think Fall meals are in full effect…

at a low simmer…
-R

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lethal libations…

For an ending to a great Monday, I decided to have a nice [and strong] cocktail…
Since I wasn’t in Manhattan tonight, the best thing to do was to bring Manhattan to me… well in the form of a lethal, vintage libation!
Good bourbon, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters is shaken till chilled, and then a cherry is tossed in to finish off this smooth drink…
Maybe a nightly cocktail is necessary going forward!

at a low simmer…
-R

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layers of perfection…

So to finish off a fantastic weekend full of good food and celebrations, what better to do then crank out an equally fantastic dinner!
I am a lover of anything parmigiana [and typically anything fried], so instead of a traditional parm dinner… the thought of a twist popped into my head!
So I sliced up some beautiful purply eggplant and breaded them, let them chill out for a bit to set up and then bathed them in some hot oil till completely golden, crispy and gorgeous [of course there was the need to taste along the way]!
To create this ‘deconstructed’ if you will eggplant parm, ripe tomatoes were chopped, basil chiffonade and fresh mozz sliced just thick enough to cause a melty glue to seal up this whole story.
Layer upon magnificent layer, this meal was built… a drizzle of oil and into the oven until melted and golden!
Sweet from the tomatoes, a wonderful freshness from the basil, crunchy and textured from the breadcrumb, tender and complexly flavored from the eggplant and oozing from the hot mozz!
What an exciting way to end this weekend…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Mustard, not just a condiment anymore!

So as a side to some mustard marinated grilled lamb chops, I sautéed some vibrant, beautiful mustard greens…
A pretty simple cook makes these peppery beauties into wilted wonders! Some chopped garlic, crushed red, olive oil and salt… that was it.
Slightly tangy, a bit spicy, garlicky and all around delicious!
These greens almost outshined the lamb!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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