Tag Archives: fragrant

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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Sunday never tasted so good!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Sunday supper… With snow on the ground and the perfect winter chill in the air, I thought something braised was the key!
Everything started by generously salting a bone-in pork butt and then browning it in some extra virgin. As soon as the pork was browned on all sides, I set it aside and in went sliced onions and celery until softened and fragrant. Once close to transparent, in went a good handful of minced garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, along with a big drink of Saba and homemade stock to let the pork swim in.
The lid to my cast iron pot went on and it was off to bake in the oven at 375 for two hours, which felt like days, as the scent of sweet, acidic goodness wafted throughout the entire.
To serve, slices of the pork were dazzled by the grape-like, onion syrup. Each bite was like cutting through butter and made it terribly difficult to not sop every morsel with some crusty bread! The few leftovers remaining are going to make a killer lunch sandwich tomorrow.

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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who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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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…
-R

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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

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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

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the winter blues… turned vibrant green!

To move the focus off of this last [hopefully] winter storm that is upon us, I decided that something light, summery and refreshing was perfect for dinner…
After a quick dash to the market; fresh basil and pignoli nuts made their way into my bag, along with some cozy snow time treats.
Once home, I plucked the basil leaves from their stems, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and set everything aside to dry off a bit.
While the fragrant basil leaves were drying, into a food processor went some pecorino to get pulsed up until grated.
To bring everything together and make an amazing pesto, into my food processor went the basil leaves. Everything was pulsed up, along with a quite a few cloves of smashed garlic, the pignoli nuts [that I toasted lightly], some of the freshly grated pecorino, salt and pepper.
While pulsing everything, a steady drizzle of high quality olive oil really pulled [literally] everything together!
The vibrant green pesto was lovingly tossed with delicate tagliatelle and an extra sprinkle of the grated pecorino…
Each mouthful transported me from the cold and windy nonsense going on outside, to what summer has to offer us in the not so distant months to come!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s still a bit brisk[it] outside…

So for a weekly Sunday supper, the dish started with a beautiful beef brisket that I seasoned with salt and dusted lightly with flour. This hunk of meat went into my cast iron pot to get a beautiful crunchy crust!
Once the brisket was browned, I pulled it out and placed it to the side while two Spanish onions got their own workout in the same pot and sweated it out… as soon as the onions were ready to ‘hit the showers’, the brisket went back into the pot and joined them, along with a bottle of root beer and some homemade BBQ sauce.
With the brisket partially submerged, on went the lid and it was time for a long relaxation period until the meat was tender and fall-off-the-bone[less]!
The brisket was shredded up, tossed back into the pot and mixed with the onions and sauce…
To go along with our shredded brisket ‘burritos’, a side of arroz con crema! Such a simple rice dish to prepare, but the flavor is out of this world… you combine four-five cups of prepared rice, diced poblano peppers [I roast mine on the grill], panfried corn [grilled during the summer months] and one cup of heavy cream. This all is stirred until it starts to ‘thicken’, then in goes shredded monterey jack and cojita cheeses. Lastly chopped cilantro is quickly incorporated and it’s on to eating! [I tend to not add salt… I know I know, but the cheese I feel offers enough]…
Piled high into the center of a light tortilla, dolloped with a hefty helping of homemade coleslaw and then a final tight roll! It was time to bite into this fragrant and tangy ‘burrito’. The flavors burst in our mouths and the coleslaw balanced out the slight heaviness of the brisket; this was just a wonderful Sunday evening dining experience!

at a low simmer…
-R

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this little piggy went right into my belly…

Realizing it has been such a long time since I’ve enjoyed that fatty, porky goodness of pork belly, a trip to the market and an overnight bath in a fragrant marinade yielded one hell of a dinner!
I seasoned up this beautiful slab with hefty handfuls of salt. While letting the salt permeate into the belly, I prepped a marinade full of healthy veggies and yummy seasonings… and of course wine was invited to this party!
Once the marinade was ready it was poured into a baking dish. The belly was then cozily tucked into the baking dish and surrounded by its luxurious bathing liquid… After a long nights sleep, it was time for a five hour bath until completely tender and a quick tan under the broiler to darken and crisp that fatty skin!
To enjoy this meal, the belly was nestled on a bed of nutty farro that I cooked with sautéed onions and garlic in some chicken stock until fully absorbed… the farro was swirled together with some chopped parsley to finish the story…
Fatty, crisp, sweet, sour, nutty and tender… I can go on and on!

at a low simmer…
-R

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