Tag Archives: cooking

love in every bite…

With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, it was perfect to do something a bit different from years past… This meant making the entire experience a dual effort!
The day started by preparing our chocolatey dessert. Chocolate bowls were made, a chocolate sponge cake baked off, black cherries steeped in a sugary sauce and a creamy whipped topping all ready to be consumed later in the evening by the fireplace!
Our dinner was simple yet delicious; filet of beef wellingtons! It began by seasoning and searing the filets. Then red onions were sautéed in some luxurious European butter and cognac. This was then puréed into a slightly chunky ‘paste’. Each filet was then given a spread of dijon mustard, a nice dollop of the red onion paste, placed onto puff pastry and then covered over with a top layer of pastry. A brush of egg wash, tiny slit in the top and it was off to the oven for twenty-five minutes… When the wellingtons finally emerged, they were golden, puffy and full of lush flavors!
The day, as well as cooking/baking went off without a hitch… a day of romance, wonderful eats, champagne, snow and a fireplace! What more could we have wished for?

-R

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spicy dinner for a chilly night!

With a recently found liking for sockeye salmon, I thought about mixing up our weeknight dinner and preparing a refreshing recipe that my cousin mentioned to me…
I rubbed some extra virgin and then seasoned one and a half pounds of sockeye with a mixture of kosher salt, cumin, paprika, chipotle chili powder, freshly ground pepper and onion [or garlic] powder [1 teaspoon of each, except 1/4 teaspoon of the chili powder]…
The fish was set in the fridge for a bit to soak up the lovely spicy flavors, while I prepared some steamed haricots verts to enjoy as a side. These were nothing fancy, steamed and then tossed lightly with some olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
To cook the salmon, I heated a grill pan on high and once smoking, in went the fish [skin-side down] and cooked for roughly 8 minutes [cooking time varies depending on heat, as well as your likeness for doneness]… Once finished cooking a squeeze of fresh lime juice elevated this dish nicely! It was then onto our plates and then into our bellies…
I have been converted and think anyone who tries this will be too so I say… give it a go!

-R

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a good roasting!

With today being quite the dreary Sunday [both because it’s the day before the beginning of the week and also because it was gray outside], I decided to do as much cozying up as possible… couch, wine and movie]. To accomplish this feat, a simple roast chicken dinner seemed the easiest thing to come out of the kitchen!
Seasoned with some olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and herbs de provence… this meaty bird was nestled into the oven for an hour and half to get its tan. During the last thirty minutes of cooking, our fragrant meal was treated to a splash of white wine to elevate the already flavorful treat! Once finished cooking, the chicken rested for a few minutes before getting plated and filling our bellies with satisfying warmth…
Till our next dining experience!

-R

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one [roasting pan] wonder…

After a long day of running errands and battling the cold weather, it was home to prep up something for a scrumptious dinner! I needed something satisfying and filling, while not taking hours and hours to prepare. Simple enough was one of my fave dishes, from one of my fave home-cooks… Nigella Lawson. It was a chicken, chorizo and potato ‘bake’. This dish is literally a ‘one pot’, rather ‘one pan’ meal! Simple ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen pantry and can be put together in mere minutes.
Into a deep roasting pan went some good extra virgin which coated both sides of a healthy portion of chicken thighs, chopped up fresh chorizo, large diced red onion and cubed yukon gold potatoes! A sprinkling of dried oregano, a scatter of salt, a grating of the zest of a clementine and it was into the oven on 425 for one hour. As the ‘bake’ cooked in the russet beauty from the oil and chorizo, the scent of oregano, citrus and spices wafted throughout.
After the cooking time was up, out appeared a bronzed, crisp chicken, seductively aromatic chorizo, browned potatoes and wilted red onion. No sooner did I take this breathtaking beauty out of the oven, that we were plated up and diving in!
This is one of my go-to recipes, and chances are if you try this it will become one of yours as well!

at a low simmer…
-R

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the cure for a deep freeze!

With a bleak and blustery day upon us, there was no question as to what to have for dinner. After raiding both the pantry and crisper a menagerie of elements were strewn across my island.
After a quick dice of two onions, a fine mincing of some garlic cloves and a rough chop of a carrot they were banished to my cast iron pot to begin to sweat down. While my veg was cooking away, some leftover ham was sliced up to join everyone in the pot, along with some luxurious organic split peas.
Once everything was thoroughly combined, some homemade chicken stock, water and salt was swirled in and the entire ‘soon to be’ soup was set to simmer away until thick and creamy!
As soon as the soup was ready, it was ladled lovingly into bowls, drizzled with some chili oil and topped with crispy noodles rather than croutons.
This meaty, slightly spicy and satisfying meal hit the spot and warmed us right up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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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

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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

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A quick check-in and update…

So here it is… a BIG ole’ apology to my followers here at The-Kitchen-Guru. I felt the need to make a quick post about the recent lack of entries this past week.
I came down with a pretty nasty bug on Sunday [hence the lacking St. Patrick’s Day post and feast]. Still on the mend, I am currently on a pretty restricted diet [tastes mostly like cardboard, however I have a feeling cardboard may actually be more appealing] so hopefully everyone can understand and meet me back here in the hopefully very near future… My goal is to be back up and cooking by next week!

Thank you all again for understanding, and your continued support!

from under the covers…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

at a low simmer…
-R

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a feast for Sunday dinner…

The craving for something filling and ‘feast-like’ crossed my mind while meandering through the market… with winter in full effect this past week, I thought something reminiscent of a family gathering style would do wonders for a Sunday supper!
After picking up a fresh turkey breast, some carrots, fennel, celery and herbs… all that was left to do was start to prep up this soon to be masterpiece.
Slathered in a homemade buttery ‘sunscreen’ coating and rested on a bed of sliced carrots, onions, fennel and celery [all puréed together after cooking] it was going to be just a few hours of cooking until this meal would be ready for eatin’…
While cooking this ‘bird’, I thought some interesting cornbread muffins would be a great compliment instead of biscuits! These weren’t just your typical boring cornbread muffins, but one with a kick. One large jalapeño, some diced red onion, garlic, corn, red pepper and of course cornmeal all were stars in what would become a great treat!
Lastly, this meal would not be complete without some mashed, garlicky potatoes! Yukon gold potatoes were cooked to perfection and then mashed together with some butter, milk and of course salt and pepper.
Each bite brought me back to having the family here for the holidays and enjoying everyone’s company!

at a low simmer…
-R

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