Monthly Archives: April 2013

a raving roast!!

With the warmer weather quickly approaching, I decided it best to get my oven related cooking out of the way since soon enough I will be doing less of it…
So to satisfy this method, I thought a succulent roast beef served on top of creamy, garlicky yukon gold mash! This luxurious dish began with a heavy salt of the roast and a quick roll in some flour. A light spanking of my meat to remove the excess flour and it was into a searing hot cast iron pot with some olive oil to brown!
Once browned, my hunk of meat was set aside while I tossed in sliced onions and baby portobello mushrooms to sweat down and gather all of that salty, meaty flavor…
The meat was returned to the pot and was given a heavy drink of pinot noir, along with a quart of chicken stock, a bundle of thyme and two bay leaves… As soon as everything came to a boil, the lid was popped on and the pot shot into a 325 degree oven for a long nap [three hours to be precise]… The end result… a buttery, fork tender roast in a seductive sauce!
Who knows perhaps this will be made again during the summer months; it’s just that good!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130430-202935.jpg

20130430-202941.jpg

20130430-202949.jpg

20130430-202954.jpg

20130430-203000.jpg

20130430-203009.jpg

20130430-203040.jpg

20130430-203111.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What the… *UCK!!

Sunday turned out to be chillier than I expected so thought it would be a perfect day to heat up the kitchen and our bellies with a full roasted duck. This task takes time and care; first the majestic duck needs to be fully dressed in salt and pepper, then poked multiple times on both sides with a sharp knife being careful to only prick the skin and not the meat. With the oven set at 300 degrees, the duck goes in for five hours… YES five hours! But remember, sometimes good things are worth the wait! Every hour on the hour, the duck is poked and turned on its belly until the full five hours have expired [also from the cooking process, you end up with quite a bit of duck fat that you can use to cook with]. This dish not only looks delish, but also tastes just as good.
As a side, I decided on roasted potatoes. For added flavor to the potatoes, I drained almost all of the duck fat and then added them to the bottom of the pan with a little salt to roast and absorb the yummy duck flavor!
To sweeten up the dish, warmed apricot preserves with some honey drizzled across the duck. Glistening, gorgeous and golden… this duck was destined for greatness!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130428-203237.jpg

20130428-203245.jpg

20130428-203250.jpg

20130428-203304.jpg

20130428-203326.jpg

20130428-203332.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Something to spice up the night [or at least dinner]…

Tonight it was necessary for a quick dish to be thrown together, so what simpler to do than bucatini tossed in amatriciana sauce.
This super spicy [if you’re like me] bucatini hug is made of the simplest of ingredients, but the end result will have you dreaming about it while sleeping!
Everything started with a rendering of some diced pancetta; once browned and crisp, the pancetta was set aside in a bowl and the chopped onions and crushed red pepper were sweated away in the rendered fat. While the onions were getting their workout, I got mine by passing two cans of San Marzano tomatoes through a food mill. This pulpy purée if you will was added into the sautéed onions and crushed red pepper, some salt tossed in and set off to simmer for a while!
The dish came together beautifully with a quick, rough stir of the pasta, a hand of grated pecorino and a drizzling of finishing oil…
The heat factor was just enough to make your tonsils feel the heat, but not too much to make you sweat. Love having this dish recipe in my arsenal!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130425-223511.jpg

20130425-223521.jpg

20130425-223532.jpg

20130425-223543.jpg

20130425-223552.jpg

20130425-223709.jpg

20130425-223717.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

smells like a sausage and pepper stand here!

Following a trip to the market for some of life’s essentials, I ripped into the produce aisle, as well as the meat department…
While at the meat counter, I picked up some well-endowed chicken sausages… thinking to myself chicken sausage with peppers and onions would be a great Monday night meal! From the meat department, I made a dash to produce and looked for the perfect peppers to pair this meal up with, and decided on some beautiful cubanelle peppers.
As soon as I made my way back home, it was prep time; slicing up an onion and the peppers, and mincing up some garlic. The prep-work was now complete and it was time to toss the chicken sausages into the sauté pan to get browned, crusty and even more delicious! Once browned, the chicken sausages were set aside, while the veg were added into the pan and cooked in all the lovely crispy bits leftover from the chicken sausages until fragrant and softened! For even more flavor bumps, a healthy dash of white wine and some salt got to play a part in this whole production…
As soon as the wine was reduced, the chicken sausages were added back into the mix with all the flavors and before we knew it, it was time to eat!
Couldn’t decide whether to pile everything high in between some freshly baked bread or just dig in from the plate, but the bread obviously won our hearts!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130422-202118.jpg

20130422-202125.jpg

20130422-202131.jpg

20130422-202137.jpg

20130422-202143.jpg

20130422-202149.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

getting ‘curried’ away!!

So for tonight, something super aromatic and flavorful made its way onto our plates and into our bellies!
A curried pork dish served on top of coconut rice…
The dish started by sautéing a paste made up of ginger, garlic, onions and crushed red pepper flakes in some canola oil. Once highly fragrant, into the mix went some cubed pork loin cooked till slightly brown. As soon as the pork was browned, silky coconut milk was swirled in, along with a sachet of cardamom pods, star anise and lemongrass, then the lid placed on and a steam bath was had! After roughly forty-five minutes, the lid was removed and some brown sugar, salt, soy sauce and some shredded coconut was stirred in. This was all simmered until practically no liquid remained and the pork was as tender as could be…
As soon as everything was ready to be plated, we were just as willing to dive in with our forks! Sweet, spicy and a bit tangy… this dish had it all!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130417-201750.jpg

20130417-201801.jpg

20130417-201809.jpg

20130417-201823.jpg

20130417-201832.jpg

20130417-201841.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looney for leftovers!

After a long day, I enjoyed a healthy, heaping scoop of some leftover rhubarb grunt! Warmed up in the microwave and served with some vanilla bean custard on top, this was the perfect ending to the evening! I see preparing other fruity ‘grunts’ will be a staple in this household…

at a low simmer…
-R

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday bake-off!!

So this Sunday turned into a baking marathon! Two fresh loaves of bread were being created; one sourdough loaf made using a sourdough culture that I started a little over a week ago [thanks to the constant guidance of a very close friend in the UK], a white loaf of bread that is rising as this post is typed and a rhubarb grunt which just came out of the oven…
The sourdough loaf will not be baked until tomorrow as it requires an overnight resting/rising period, but already is looking amazing! As for the white loaf, it requires a slow rise and then an additional rise before being baked. The ‘grunt’ takes practically no time to prep and a little over forty-minutes to bake-off! Full of wonderfully tart rhubarb, it’s just what we needed to end this amazing weekend…
What will be conjured up next!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130414-202441.jpg

20130414-202451.jpg

20130414-202457.jpg

20130414-202505.jpg

20130414-202512.jpg

20130414-202519.jpg

20130414-202528.jpg

20130414-202534.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

farro[SO] yummy!

Since the weather took a turn from warm and summer-like, to a slight bit cooler it seemed fitting to make a hearty, warming meal for dinner…
After raiding my fridge and pantry, it was easy! A nutty farro dish with an Asian flavor base to it! Shredded carrots, diced onions, some minced garlic and ginger, chopped porcini mushrooms and sautéed shrimp all came together with a hint of sesame oil, a few tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of hoisin…
The dish literally takes no time to prepare, but the incredible depth of flavor would make you think otherwise!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130413-221950.jpg

20130413-221959.jpg

20130413-222007.jpg

20130413-222016.jpg

20130413-222026.jpg

20130413-222036.jpg

20130413-222044.jpg

20130413-222056.jpg

20130413-222106.jpg

20130413-222115.jpg

20130413-222126.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

spring warmup!

So after realizing we are in for a pretty warm couple of days [especially tomorrow], I decided that grilling was the perfect way to truly welcome in Spring!
A trip to the local butcher this morning, yielded some beautiful, thickly cut steaks. I can almost smell the fragrant, smokey goodness that the grill offers once the meat hits those searing hot grates! My mouth is already watering in anticipation… dinner can’t come soon enough!!

at a low simmer…
-R

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

birthday bonanza!

What better way to end a week than with a birthday celebration! This wasn’t just any birthday, but rather one for our little, well I guess not so little nine-year old pup…
No birthday would be complete without a vanilla cake baked from scratch and filled with a glorious vanilla custard between the layers… Topping off this towering delight, a light buttercream frosting [this was for the adults though, plain for the pups]!
After a little singing, blowing out candles, photo-ops including birthday hats and the opening of presents, it was then time to cut into the cake. The birthday boy and his brother both got to enjoy some cake, while we did as well, but also had cleanup duties…

at a low simmer…
-R

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,