Tag Archives: pan

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…


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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…







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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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kissing the ‘toad’…

So tonight we took a culinary journey ‘across the pond’ and paid homage to my family roots…
For an interesting dinner, we enjoyed ‘toad-in-the-hole’… may sound unappealing to those unfamiliar with this lovely dish, but don’t worry no toads were harmed in the making of this meal.
The dish is quite simple to prepare, basically everything that would be in your pantry and freezer. To make the batter, 2 cups of flour, salt, six eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk are all combined and set aside. Then sausages [can be any you like] are panfried and browned. The batter is poured into a pretty hot pan of oil, the sausages then nestled into the batter and everything tossed in the oven to bake until puffy, crisp and golden. To go along with the ‘toad’ a beautiful, homemade onion gravy.
The flavors are wonderful and rich, yet not heavy at all, but rather almost light as a cloud!

at a low simmer…






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what are you bananas!!

With a few bananas remaining from the cake I made this past weekend, I decided rather than tossing then out they’d do better mashed up into a wonderful banana bread! This wasn’t just any banana bread, but rather a boozy banana bread…
I soaked sweet little golden raisins in some delicious bourbon. Once plumped up and juicy, they went into my batter that was full of the mashed bananas, chopped pecans, vanilla, two eggs, one cup of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, a half teaspoon of baking soda and salt, one stick of melted butter and sugar.
Once everything was combined, it was into a loaf pan and then off for a nap for fifty minutes on 325. After a quick test for complete doneness, I had to taste! There was very little willpower, but tasting this freshly baked beauty was a necessity. Served up with some vanilla-infused mascarpone made this luxurious delight even more spectacular!
The boozy raisins offered a wonderful addition to the sweetness of the bananas. This definitely will be on my breakfast menu tomorrow!

at a low simmer…


























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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…












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under the sea and onto our plates!

After a trip to the specialty food market this AM for some dinner inspiration, I happened upon the fish counter… While looking around at what were some real beauties, I noticed that there were gorgeous handmade lump crabmeat, crab cakes being prepared! I have always made crab cakes in the past, but they weren’t even making it into the casing [people were buying them like they were gold] so I knew they must be a hot commodity and a must try…
To cook these thick, circular lovelies, a touch of olive oil in a cast iron pan and into the oven until browned and golden on each side!
Once cooked, these gorgeous ‘coins’ were rested on top a bed of baby spinach that I sautéed with some rendered pancetta…
The crab cakes were incredibly light, but full of intense flavor! They were definitely the right choice… Now I grasp why those people were intent on getting their hands on them!

at a low simmer…


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