Tag Archives: crispy

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…


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home cooked for hump day…

With hump day upon us, what better way to lift our spirits than with a super delicious, home cooked meal!
After a trip to my favorite specialty food market and a chat with the fish monger… turned out that he had just received a shipment of some gorgeous monkfish… so that is just what I planned my meal around.
Once home, I wrapped my succulent fish in a pancetta hug and let it chill out in the fridge until it was time to cook! No salt, no pepper… just the pancetta was needed to infuse this filet with all the flavor it needed.
To cook, a searing hot cast iron pan was lightly coated with olive oil and the fish gently placed into it and cooked for three minutes. A quick turn and then it was into the oven for ten minutes on 425… out came a perfectly cooked monkfish with crispy pancetta.
As a side to this meal, some beautifully roasted sweet potato to play against the saltiness of the pancetta.
Light and flaky, full of wondrous flavors… I definitely recommend getting your hands on monkfish [or other firm white fish] and giving this dish a whirl!

at a low simmer…





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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…







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that’s how the ____ crumbles!!

After enduring a rainy day, I decided to lift my spirits and make a refreshing crumble for dessert tonight. On a trip to the market, vibrant rhubarb peeked out of the wicker baskets and with their long stalks practically reached out for me!
Once home a nice cleaning, a quick chop and then a toss into a pan with sugar, vanilla and butter. As soon as everything was coated, it was cooked until the rhubarb became almost a glossy pink. Into miniature pie dishes went the filling, while to tuck these beauties in, a tasty crumble made up of flour, butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla sugar. The crumble mixture was combined by hand until it achieved an almost oatmeal-ish texture, but where the butter still was somewhat together…
The crumbles went into the oven for roughly thirty-five minutes until the topping was golden and the insides were slightly bubbling… the rhubarb bubbling out and cascading down the sides made the excitement for digging in even more appealing!
The crumble was crispy and buttery, while the rhubarb filling had a lovey balance of sweet, but let the minute tartness steal the show…

at a low simmer…









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not such rave reviews…

Last night was filled with great company. It started with a trip to a fairly new restaurant in the area! Once there we were seated and the night began… Menus arrived, drinks were poured and the catching up ensued!
The many possibilities made it even more difficult to make a decision, but that’s what had to be done. Everyone placed their orders… appetizers and then entrees.
The appetizers seemed to be on the decent side; tasty and nicely portioned… dinner then arrived and that is unfortunately were things quickly went downhill. Three of us ordered filet mignon wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a creamy gorgonzola, however two came out incorrect. The waiter appeared to quickly address the discrepancy. The plates were removed and apologies given… roughly ten minutes later out came the ‘corrected’ dishes. Upon this glance, the prosciutto was missing and the side of veggies and mashed potatoes were pathetic! Again this had to be brought to the waiters attention and rectified… at this point appetites were being lost! Finally the dishes came out, but presentation of the dishes were completely lacking. The prosciutto was not crispy and everything on the dish appeared to be an afterthought… the waiter, although polite, seemed to be losing his patience and his sense of irritation began to appear. This was not the appropriate response on his part, but he definitely got the hint!
All in all, the experience was a sore one, however the company is always what makes a meal in my opinion and that made the night special.
I am looking forward to cooking an exciting dish tomorrow night so stay tuned!

***due to the unappealing food presentation, the pictures I took are not making way in this post***

at a low simmer…

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this meal really ‘stacked’ up…

After a serious craving for Italian food, I decided to do a deconstructed version of eggplant parmigiana for dinner…
Freestanding layers of crispy, breaded eggplant, slivers of melted fresh mozzarella, homemade sauce and sweet fresh basil leaves made this dish memorable [not to mention super flavorful]…

at a low simmer…



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‘Q’ is for quiche…

With the continued cold temperatures and brisk wind in the air, I decided tonight I would make one of my all time comfort foods… Quiche.
The beauty when making a quiche is you can’t really get it wrong, just add some of your favorite ingredients and you have yourself one hell of a ‘pie’!
To create my heavenly ‘pie’ I started by rendering pancetta until crispy, once done I sautéed a diced onion, followed by chopped green peppers in the rendered fat with these crispy pancetta critters. Once this three-way came together, I added small chunks of split breast chicken that I roasted earlier…
These darlings then were eased into a pie crust and topped with a blend of shredded monterey jack and extra sharp cheddar cheeses. Then a mix of five extra large eggs, a cup and a half milk, along with salt and crushed red pepper were poured over the cheese and chicken mixture…
This ‘pie’ was now ready for a 375 degree oven. The timer was set for forty-five minutes and it was the waiting game for this amazing ‘pie’ to make its appearance! Once cooked and slightly cooled I sliced a hearty piece and quietly savored every bite.
Deliciously simple and simply delicious is all I can say about this classic comfort food…

at a low simmer…
















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filled with flavor…

So I forgot that I had bought a beautiful, purply eggplant… in order to not waste this voluptuous veggie, a ricotta filled rollatini was an obvious choice for the making!
For the filling, milky ricotta, eggs, shredded mozz, freshly grated pecorino, salt, pepper and chopped parsley… Everything got a big stir and then was set aside while it waited for its big moment!
The eggplant was dusted in flour and dipped quickly in egg; out of its egg bath and it was into piping hot oil for a quick fry until browned.
Once cool enough to handle, each slice of eggplant was filled with a heavy dose of the creamy, ricotta filling and then tightly rolled. After rolling, each rollatini was gently place into a baking dish and nestled snuggly together.
To blanket these little pudgy beauties, my homemade tomato sauce and some extra [and I do mean extra] shredded mozz…
Into the oven and baked until bubbly, crispy and golden! Once out of the oven, there was no turning back and there was not a hint of guilt for the double helpings that were had…

at a low simmer…









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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…










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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…












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