Tag Archives: sauce

love in every bite…

With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, it was perfect to do something a bit different from years past… This meant making the entire experience a dual effort!
The day started by preparing our chocolatey dessert. Chocolate bowls were made, a chocolate sponge cake baked off, black cherries steeped in a sugary sauce and a creamy whipped topping all ready to be consumed later in the evening by the fireplace!
Our dinner was simple yet delicious; filet of beef wellingtons! It began by seasoning and searing the filets. Then red onions were sautéed in some luxurious European butter and cognac. This was then puréed into a slightly chunky ‘paste’. Each filet was then given a spread of dijon mustard, a nice dollop of the red onion paste, placed onto puff pastry and then covered over with a top layer of pastry. A brush of egg wash, tiny slit in the top and it was off to the oven for twenty-five minutes… When the wellingtons finally emerged, they were golden, puffy and full of lush flavors!
The day, as well as cooking/baking went off without a hitch… a day of romance, wonderful eats, champagne, snow and a fireplace! What more could we have wished for?

-R

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Stacked with flavor…

A long day, yielded the will to make a delicious eggplant parm supper! After making a trip to a fresh vegetable market and picking up some plump purple lovelies, it was time to head home and start the prep work for what would be a delightful supper…
Everything started by making a big pot of sauce; it was then off to slicing the eggplants and then dusting each in flour, dipping in egg and a quick coating in breadcrumbs and it was then time to start frying.
After all was crisp, it was time to build up and create the perfect marriage… a layer of sauce, then eggplant, some grated pecorino and mozz, basil and then repeated…
A quick bake in the oven and it was time to sit down, sip a glass of wine, slice into and then enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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tasty balls’ on a bun…

So early this morning I woke to the craving of a meatball ‘parm’ sandwich… I, not shunning a good old fashioned pizzeria, decided that I would make a beautiful pot of sauce [enough to have leftovers for other occasions] and homemade meatballs!
A trip to the market yielded everything I needed to pull this home-run together…
While the sauce simmered away, I got cranking on my balls’… and I must admit I offer up some of the best tastin’ balls around!
To bring this whole story together and serve it up, I toasted some buttery brioche buns, sliced some fresh mozz [melted this of course] and capped these bad boys and began chomping!
Needless to say, one sandwich per person was no way enough…

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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Something to spice up the night [or at least dinner]…

Tonight it was necessary for a quick dish to be thrown together, so what simpler to do than bucatini tossed in amatriciana sauce.
This super spicy [if you’re like me] bucatini hug is made of the simplest of ingredients, but the end result will have you dreaming about it while sleeping!
Everything started with a rendering of some diced pancetta; once browned and crisp, the pancetta was set aside in a bowl and the chopped onions and crushed red pepper were sweated away in the rendered fat. While the onions were getting their workout, I got mine by passing two cans of San Marzano tomatoes through a food mill. This pulpy purée if you will was added into the sautéed onions and crushed red pepper, some salt tossed in and set off to simmer for a while!
The dish came together beautifully with a quick, rough stir of the pasta, a hand of grated pecorino and a drizzling of finishing oil…
The heat factor was just enough to make your tonsils feel the heat, but not too much to make you sweat. Love having this dish recipe in my arsenal!

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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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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this meal really ‘stacked’ up…

After a serious craving for Italian food, I decided to do a deconstructed version of eggplant parmigiana for dinner…
Freestanding layers of crispy, breaded eggplant, slivers of melted fresh mozzarella, homemade sauce and sweet fresh basil leaves made this dish memorable [not to mention super flavorful]…

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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combo meal in one…

Who says you can’t have your pizza and salad, and eat it too! Tonight I was craving a simple chopped salad full of walnuts, cranberries and pungent blue cheese chunks, but at the same time I really wanted pizza! So I thought why not take those two cravings and marry them into a pizza salad! The hot thin crust with a light touch of sauce became the bed for my luscious salad, and as soon as I took the first bite I knew leftovers were not in my future… and boy oh boy was I right, other than the few crumbs left on my plate it was clear this dish was mine and only mine.

at a low simmer…
-R

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