Tag Archives: pepper

spicy dinner for a chilly night!

With a recently found liking for sockeye salmon, I thought about mixing up our weeknight dinner and preparing a refreshing recipe that my cousin mentioned to me…
I rubbed some extra virgin and then seasoned one and a half pounds of sockeye with a mixture of kosher salt, cumin, paprika, chipotle chili powder, freshly ground pepper and onion [or garlic] powder [1 teaspoon of each, except 1/4 teaspoon of the chili powder]…
The fish was set in the fridge for a bit to soak up the lovely spicy flavors, while I prepared some steamed haricots verts to enjoy as a side. These were nothing fancy, steamed and then tossed lightly with some olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
To cook the salmon, I heated a grill pan on high and once smoking, in went the fish [skin-side down] and cooked for roughly 8 minutes [cooking time varies depending on heat, as well as your likeness for doneness]… Once finished cooking a squeeze of fresh lime juice elevated this dish nicely! It was then onto our plates and then into our bellies…
I have been converted and think anyone who tries this will be too so I say… give it a go!

-R

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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…
-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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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…
-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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here’s the real touchdown!

On a day when everyone is glued to the tv and eating snacks, hot wings and pizza, I on the other hand have zero interest in that. Instead, I decided that with a fresh coat of snow on the ground, why not make a juicy, succulent roast beef…
A five pound, slightly marbled beauty was seasoned with salt and pepper, topped with red onions [had on hand and wanted to get rid of, usually I use a large Spanish onion], drizzled with some champagne vinegar and then packaged tightly in aluminum. This soon to be meal was already looking amazing!
Into an oven safe dish with some water up the side, and it was time for a three hour nap in the oven…
As the three hours passed, the scent of onions and roast beef wafted throughout the entire house… there was no escaping the intoxicating aroma!
Once pulled out of the oven, a quick rest and it was finally time to slice and enjoy…

at a low simmer…
-R

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a feast for Sunday dinner…

The craving for something filling and ‘feast-like’ crossed my mind while meandering through the market… with winter in full effect this past week, I thought something reminiscent of a family gathering style would do wonders for a Sunday supper!
After picking up a fresh turkey breast, some carrots, fennel, celery and herbs… all that was left to do was start to prep up this soon to be masterpiece.
Slathered in a homemade buttery ‘sunscreen’ coating and rested on a bed of sliced carrots, onions, fennel and celery [all puréed together after cooking] it was going to be just a few hours of cooking until this meal would be ready for eatin’…
While cooking this ‘bird’, I thought some interesting cornbread muffins would be a great compliment instead of biscuits! These weren’t just your typical boring cornbread muffins, but one with a kick. One large jalapeño, some diced red onion, garlic, corn, red pepper and of course cornmeal all were stars in what would become a great treat!
Lastly, this meal would not be complete without some mashed, garlicky potatoes! Yukon gold potatoes were cooked to perfection and then mashed together with some butter, milk and of course salt and pepper.
Each bite brought me back to having the family here for the holidays and enjoying everyone’s company!

at a low simmer…
-R

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another meat and potatoes meal…

Tonight for dinner I made pan-seared filet mignon with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.
The filet mignon was simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Each piece was placed into a searing hot pan coated with some olive oil. Roughly three minutes on each side and then it was into the oven for eight more minutes. Once out of the oven the filet mignon rested to gather all the delicious juices.
To go along with the filet mignon, roasted fingerling potatoes. Just a quick toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then it was into the oven until browned and crunchy!
The juicy, meaty filet mignon oozed sensuous flavors, while the fingerling potatoes eagerly soaked up every last drizzle of meaty nectar that tried to make a run for it across the plate!
There are not enough descriptive words to explain how this dish hit the spot, but I think you get the idea…

at a low simmer…
-R

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flavors that spiraled out of control…

For our Sunday night supper, I decided on a maple glazed, spiral ham served alongside sautéed haricots verts and fanned potatoes…
Since the ham was fully cooked and only required being heated through and then glazed, I focused more on my sides.
The haricots verts were blanched and shocked in salted water, then tossed into olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and sautéed ever so slightly…
For the potatoes, I made sliced into each almost fully through. A drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, a light dusting of garlic powder and it was into the oven for thirty minutes until the potatoes split and began to fan apart!
Onto the plate went some slices of the ham, the haricots verts and the potato. The ham was salty and sweet, the haricots verts spicy and garlicky, while the potato… crisp on the exterior and creamy on the interior.
This hearty meal was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend!

at a low simmer…
-R

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not your typical bucket of chicken!

Today was an interesting kind of day, so I thought I’d try and reflect that in dinner… so I sort of went out of my comfort zone a touch and did a combination of breakfast and dinner in one!
A while ago I remember going through one of my food mags and seeing a write up on chicken and waffles… sounded a bit awkward to me, but thought maybe someday I’d try. Well that someday was today!
I started by marinating my chicken [I used boneless breasts from the butcher] for about six hours in a concoction of buttermilk, super spicy chili powder [I used a teaspoon, but base on your spice level] and salt [I saved some marinade separate for later].
Once done marinating, I dried off the chicken slightly, dipped them into flour that I seasoned [salt and pepper], back into some the extra buttermilk that I had saved from earlier, and then back into the flour… from there it was a light spanking to remove excess flour and then into the hot pot of oil for roughly ten to twelve minutes until browned and golden.
While the chicken was cooking, my Belgian waffle maker was getting a workout, turning out fluffy, golden pocketed squares of heaven!
To finish this dish, two waffles were the bedding for a chunky, crisp chicken breast… drizzled with maple syrup and some über-firey hot sauce!
Crisp chicken, light and airy waffles, sweet maple syrup and spicy hot sauce brought this dish all together… I definitely recommend giving this dish a shot!
Sweet and savory in one… who would say no?

at a low simmer…
-R

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