Tag Archives: crisp

Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-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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crispy, juicy and HOT!!!

Sunday suppers seem to creep upon us quicker than ever, almost as quick as summer has passed by…
Tonight, an incredible classic dish needed to make an appearance on our table… classic fried chicken! This dish was a do-ahead however.
After breaking down the chicken into manageable pieces, they were brined overnight. Today they were dipped into a buttermilk concoction and then dusted in a flavorful, spicy flour mixture.
Cooked in a fragrant herb and garlic infused oil, these previously boring beauties turned into sultry goddesses.
Once golden and crisp [and of course cooked through], a tower of divine luxury was built on a plate then decorated and spritzed with wedges of lemon.
Each crunchy bite brought back memories of childhood when my mother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing the ultimate and perhaps most intoxicating fried chicken… she taught me well!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Stacked with flavor…

A long day, yielded the will to make a delicious eggplant parm supper! After making a trip to a fresh vegetable market and picking up some plump purple lovelies, it was time to head home and start the prep work for what would be a delightful supper…
Everything started by making a big pot of sauce; it was then off to slicing the eggplants and then dusting each in flour, dipping in egg and a quick coating in breadcrumbs and it was then time to start frying.
After all was crisp, it was time to build up and create the perfect marriage… a layer of sauce, then eggplant, some grated pecorino and mozz, basil and then repeated…
A quick bake in the oven and it was time to sit down, sip a glass of wine, slice into and then enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Summer Sunday supper!!

With Sunday supper on my mind, and finally some sunny [yet über humid] weather upon us I felt the need to marinate some sexy flank steak and then toss onto the grill! To serve up alongside, a beautiful tossed salad with a homemade balsamic dressing and some beautiful grilled asparagus.
The salad was just a mix of crisp romaine, sliced roasted red peppers, a diced shallot and homemade stuffed mozz! As for the asparagus, just a toss in some homemade infused olive oil and salt.
Once grilled and rested, the steak and sides were ready to eat up and enjoy… thrilled that there is a bit of leftovers for some lunch tomorrow!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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my twist on a classic…

With a soaking rain wreaking havoc on the day, I decided that it was the perfect excuse to bake up an amazing cheesecake!
I had been experiencing a severe craving for the creamy and luxurious dessert, and thought it would help lift my spirits to whip one up.
This cheesecake was different from your typical variety, as I used both cream cheese, along with goat cheese for an added tang and fuller depth of flavor.
The basic elements still went into the baking process, however I added gorgeous vanilla bean seeds in for a beautiful speckle and flavor, as well as a special homemade vanilla sugar.
The silky mixture was poured gently into a homemade graham cracker crust that I molded into my springform pan… It was then into the oven for roughly an hour until perfect.
Once cooked, it was time to set up and then take a doze in the fridge to really come together… As soon as the cheesecake was ready to be sliced, there was no stopping the diminishing that became evident!
The crisp and buttery crust hugged the velvety smooth mixture and just added to the sinful act that was occurring… I’m fine with committing that sin, and there will be no confession from me!

at a low simmer…
-R

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dinner on the whim…

So tonight I decided to make something that was both delicious and good for us!
In a pan, I started by browning up some organic chicken sausage that I whipped from the casing… once slightly browned they were put to the side [until they were needed for later] and then with oils from the sausage, a quick speed date of minced garlic and chopped sun dried tomatoes occurred! It quickly turned out that these frisky guys were looking for an extra addition to their evening… so in went some buttery, plump cannellini beans! As soon as everyone got to know each other, a dash of crisp white wine helped loosen everyone up and let their hair down… an addition of a little chicken stock came to the party and everyone simmered away…
While the trio was melding together, some lonely whole wheat penne took a bath in some super salty boiling water, and then got a wink from the threesome to join them for some tossing around! After a quick stir, some parsley joined in and offered up its fresh self and dinner was served…
Creamy, buttery, vibrant and luxuriously flavorful… this was the perfect meal for any night of the week!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Guilt-free goodness…

With a craving for something healthy, yet decadent and delicious, I turned to a recipe from a dear friend whose website is chock-full-of informative ideas on leading a healthy lifestyle…
So the apple cinnamon protein muffins were the perfect way to go! Full of healthy ingredients: oat flour, pumpkin purée [not the sweetened kind], good vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt, egg whites, stevia [I ran out and used Splenda for baking], whey powder, coconut oil and crisp granny smith’s!
The process of combining everything is pretty simple and only requires some pulsating in a food processor… Apples get the first few pulses until mostly puréed, but still slightly chunky. Then everything else is added in and given a whirl until brought together!
Spread out into a non-stick sprayed muffin pan, shot into a 350* oven and roughly twenty-five minutes later little devilishly good treats emerged… minus any potential guilt! So I ate one, and then another… who knows I may be making another batch before the day ends.
***Please note if you’re seeking cake like muffins you will need to incorporate baking powder/soda***

Please check out my friend’s website for the full recipe and also to give her your support… http://dariamcdermott.com

at a low simmer…
-R

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cinco of my own…

This cinco de mayo was just for UNO… with an under-the-weather other half, two meals were prepared… one for me and one him!
In typical fashion for cinco de mayo, what better to do than whip up something for this festive occasion. The thought of chicken fajitas topped with some homemade guacamole came to mind!
I started sautéing an onion and poblano peppers until slightly softened, but still crisp [which I then set aside]. In this same pan, I pan-fried some marinated chicken that I sliced into strips. Once cooked through, I added back in the onion and peppers, along with some black beans and gave a quick toss!
A healthy heaping of the chicken mixture went into a warmed flour tortilla, as well as some grated monterey jack cheese and guac…
To enjoy this beautiful dinner and bring everything together, a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The lime juice gave a citrusy freshness that paired perfectly with the crisp, slightly spicy poblanos and deliciously seasoned chicken…
So happy I have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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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

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