Tag Archives: salty

the crowning glory…

Like a kid in a candy store, I anxiously awaited for the postman to arrive with that brown boxy item… once the box arrived I tore straight into it and from it emerged my version of the bible… my newest cookbook… ‘bread’ from the master Paul Hollywood!
Thumbing through the glossy, picture laden book was painful, as I wanted to make every single recipe listed, but I was on a mission for one perfect puffy, stuffed and twisted doughy element of perfection… The ‘savoury brioche couronne’.
As soon as I knew what ingredients I was missing, it was off to the market to gather them up and then back home to start off baking… This was such an incredible treat to make, although like most breads… time consuming!
It began with the combining of flour, yeast, salt, milk, eggs and butter… After this all was incorporated, the dough was set aside for it’s first rise. Next the dough was rolled out to a rectangle and topped off with salty, thinly sliced prosciutto, torn mozz and julienned basil! Rolled tightly together into a large cylindrical shape, the dough was then sliced down the center and then twisted together and wrapped into a circle.
As soon as this was done, it was bagged up and off for its second slumber to rise again…
Once the dough was puffy and ready for its tan, it was glazed with an egg wash and some grated pecorino. Into the oven for thirty-five minutes until swollen and golden!
The scent flooded the air as the couronne baked away, but as for the taste… well there are so many words to describe, but I prefer divine…

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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a raving roast!!

With the warmer weather quickly approaching, I decided it best to get my oven related cooking out of the way since soon enough I will be doing less of it…
So to satisfy this method, I thought a succulent roast beef served on top of creamy, garlicky yukon gold mash! This luxurious dish began with a heavy salt of the roast and a quick roll in some flour. A light spanking of my meat to remove the excess flour and it was into a searing hot cast iron pot with some olive oil to brown!
Once browned, my hunk of meat was set aside while I tossed in sliced onions and baby portobello mushrooms to sweat down and gather all of that salty, meaty flavor…
The meat was returned to the pot and was given a heavy drink of pinot noir, along with a quart of chicken stock, a bundle of thyme and two bay leaves… As soon as everything came to a boil, the lid was popped on and the pot shot into a 325 degree oven for a long nap [three hours to be precise]… The end result… a buttery, fork tender roast in a seductive sauce!
Who knows perhaps this will be made again during the summer months; it’s just that good!

at a low simmer…
-R

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B-L-Totally Awesome!

So this past holiday weekend was a full-on baking extravaganza, chock full of bread loaves, buns and crumbles… The loaves and buns were whipped up using one of my favorite British cookbooks.
Since there was an abundance of homemade Sherston loaves in the house, I decided to slice up some heavenly chunks and do classic BLT’s for dinner!
After toasting up these lovely slices, a smear of mayo acted as the glue for building up these hearty sandwiches! Thick rings of juicy red tomatoes, crisp and cool leaves of romaine, along with salty, applewood smoked bacon brought this masterpiece together…
The juicy tomatoes oozed their gorgeous, sweet nectar and dripped down my lips as I savored each and every bite! Since one sandwich disappeared so suddenly, I am not embarrassed to say that an additional BLT made its way onto my plate and then into my belly…

at a low simmer…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

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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nothing to ‘wine’ about here… it’s all good!

After a long day of finalizing Halloween decorating, the only thing I could muster up the willpower to do for dinner was crack open a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, sit down with some cheese [direct from Sicily], a warmed loaf of bread and call it a night.
The slightly salty and sharp bite from the cheese was a fantastic compliment to the crisp, almost fruity wine…
What a wonderful meal this turned out to be, and with absolutely no effort… just complete satisfaction!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s true… EVERYTHING is better with bacon!!

So as promised, what better way to celebrate ‘International Bacon Day’ than a great tasty appetizer to have before dinner tonight… I whipped up my uber-famous bacon wrapped dates! Stuffed with blue cheese and tightly wrapped with a slice of thick cut applewood smoked bacon and we were in business. Into the pre-heated oven for about twenty-five minutes and out came perfectly cooked dates! To finish these gorgeous little packages… a drizzle of good maple syrup to drive the whole story home. Oozy blue cheese, crisp salty bacon and sweet dates were perfectly paired with a crisp bottle of Albariño…
Unfortunately I couldn’t leave well enough alone… it is a special day today and I needed to pay further homage to this luxurious sliver of porky goodness! As I looked around my kitchen, out popped beautiful white-fleshed nectarines. So I thought what the hell, and tightly wrapped these bad boys with some bacon and tossed them into the oven. Cooked until the bacon was crisp and the fruit slightly softened [but still retaining its shape] and it was time to chomp down. Sweet and salty… crisp, warm and just soft enough to practically melt in our mouths!
Hmmmm why isn’t there a bacon holiday once a month???

And don’t forget to send me an e-mail at kitchenguru77@gmail.com with your bacon photos and/or a brief description of why YOU love bacon!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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pretty in pink…

As a precursor to a delicious meal, I decided to make a nice, delicate little appetizer to enjoy…
I gently sliced pink pearl apples, which are sweet and slightly tart. They have a gorgeous vibrant pink flesh and are available sparingly in one of my favorite gourmet markets for a very brief timeframe so I had to get my hands on some!!
These slices of beauty were layered on a grilled slice of sourdough bread, followed by some applewood smoked bacon, arugula and topped with extra sharp cheddar. Under the broiler for just a moment until melted and bubbly and it was time to slice into and devour!
Salty, crunchy, tart and sweet… a perfect combination in a perfect bite!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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