Tag Archives: minced

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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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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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

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under the sea…

Tonight I ventured out of my comfort zone regarding dinner… I am quite adventurous in regards to trying different [sometimes strange] dishes, but one of the areas I am skeptical to delve into is seafood [shellfish is another story]…
I have never been a huge fan, but try once in a blue moon to incorporate these savages of the sea into our meals, and today was the day!
After picking up a beautiful piece of swordfish, it was now the decision of what the hell to do with it… first things first, a seasoning of s&p on each side. While the seasoning penetrated the swordfish, I diced up an onion, fennel and minced some garlic. Once everything was softened, a can of plum tomatoes went into the pan and received quite some destruction! The sauce was coming together, but in many of my dishes some wine needed to make an appearance, along with some chicken stock. As everything started to really get to know each other, a quick taste happened, an extra dash of salt came into play and lastly some briny capers joined in the fun. The chunky sauce now was told to play the waiting game.
Now the swordfish, after sitting aside, was gently placed into a screaming hot cast iron skillet and cooked for roughly four minutes on each side. The center was becoming a beautiful white color and the exterior a gorgeous brown…
As soon as cooked through, it was time to plate and then enjoy! The swordfish was rested high atop the beautiful sauce, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and a hint of lemon zest.
The flavors were incredible and brought everything on the dish to life. Slightly salty from the capers, sweet from the fennel and onion, meaty from the swordfish, while a bit of zip from the fresh lemon… could we be converted?

at a low simmer…
-R

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nothing wasted…

So after playing around with what would be for dinner, I realized that I had some lonely grape tomatoes sitting out just waiting to release their juicy goodness! What better to do with them, but make a quick, but flavorful sauce to toss with some pasta…
I simply sautéed the tomatoes in some olive oil until they softened, wrinkled and began to let out their sweet juices. Once those juices started flowing, in went some minced garlic and a touch of super rich balsamic vinegar! As soon as the sauce began to reduce and dash of salt went in, a quick stir and then of course… a taste!
Sweet, salty, slightly acidic and full of that perfect punch. Tossed with some beautiful, ribboned pasta and it was time to experience sensuality…

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s a bit ‘chili’ in here…

So tonight I wanted something warm and hearty… something I don’t often venture into making… chili! This was not going to be a typical beef chili, but something with a slight edge to it.
I knew I had everything to whip up this stew-like concoction, so the mission began. I started by browning off hot and sweet bulk sausage. Once browned and gorgeous, into the pot went two spanish onions that I diced up. As soon as the onions became soft and a bit caramelized, in went a few cloves of garlic that I minced, along with some spicy green chilis! These all cooked together for a few minutes until the flavors started to marry.
After everyone was getting to know each other, in went cumin, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt [these are all to taste so go crazy or be gentle]… a quick stir to mix the spices and then one large can of crushed tomatoes and one large can of San Marzano tomatoes [these were puréed before I added them]. Another quick stir and as soon as the chili began to boil, then I dropped the heat to a simmer and put the lid on the pot. I let the chili cook for thirty-five minutes [twenty-five minutes into cooking I added a can of black beans…] Once cooking was finished, off the heat went in some chopped cilantro.
To plate up [or should I say bowl] this meal… some light and crisp tortillas, crème fraiche and extra sharp cheddar.
The flavors were intense… spicy, sweet, lemony and a touch acidic! This time two bowlfuls did just not satisfy…

at a low simmer…
-R

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this dish was ‘saucy’ like me…

So today I pondered what would be a good dish to prepare for dinner. After looking through the freezer, the decision was easy… Shrimp Francaise!
To prepare the shrimp, I dredged them in flour, gave them a spank and then dipped them into some egg. Into a hot pan with melted butter they went to cook up. Once browned on each side, in went the juice of two lemons and white wine to thicken everything up and get saucy with those shrimps! To put the finishing touches on this meal, I topped everything off with some crushed red pepper, julienned lemon rind and fresh minced parsley…
All that was left to do was eat… and that is just what we did! Citrusy, herby, spicy, slightly buttery and a hint of crispness from the wine… it was like a night out at our favorite Italian restaurant minus the drive!

at a low simmer…
-R

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my cure for the common cold…

What better way to nurse a lingering cold then with a homemade batch of chicken soup!
I diced up an onion, celery and carrots and tossed them all into a large pot! Everything was sautéed in some olive oil [along with salt to taste] until just the onions and celery were translucent and the carrots slightly softened… then I smashed the hell out of, and minced up some garlic and added that in as well to cook off some of the rawness…
Into the pot went roughly one quart of water and one quart of homemade chicken stock which was brought to a boil. Once boiling, in went some cooked chicken breast chunks, the heat was reduced to a simmer, the lid went on and the soup was then cooked for about a half hour…
After simmering down, it was off the heat and to the table [or in our case island]. Piping hot and full of get better goodness, this soup was sure to jump start the immune system and help us on the road to recovery!

at a low simmer…
-R

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pazzo for pasta…

So tonight I made a spicy pasta sauce chock full of goodness! I started by rendering some pancetta, then added in homemade tomato sauce with a healthy ‘pinch’ of crushed red pepper. After simmering for a bit, I added one of my super secret elements… a touch of aged balsamic vinegar [I know who knew] to add some additional depth of flavor. That cooked for an additional twenty minutes to really thicken the sauce and bring all the flavors together.
While the sauce was coming down the home stretch, I boiled water to cook some perciatelli. Prepared till just al dente, the pasta was tossed and then swirled into the simmering sauce until completely coated! Freshly minced herbage for freshness and dinner was served…
Someone is the lucky recipient of leftovers for lunch!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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