Tag Archives: Spice

my ‘clam’ to fame…

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve taken a dinner journey on the deep blue sea, so tonight was just that…
While walking around the fish counter at the local specialty food market, there was a beautiful bounty of rock hard, tight lidded little neck clams just begging to become a satisfying dinner!
Since it’s only two of us, instead of appearing glutinous, three dozen seemed an ok portion to purchase for the meal masterpiece.
Once home, a quick added scrub and then a thirty minute soaking [these little necks are pre-cleaned, but I take no chances] to expel any potential hidden grit…
To get this party started, a nice glass of white wine for the chef, some chopped up garlic, butter, red pepper [as I always advise it’s personal preference regarding spice level], salt and of course wine for steaming the little necks! Getting my little necks drunk makes this dish even more stellar…
Once all of my little necks pop open, it was time to shuck them out, and then toss them back into the pot full of liquidy broth, along with the tagliatelle pasta I cooked. Some freshly chopped parsley, a heavy handful of pecorino and rapid tossing and it was time to plate this luxurious dish up…
The bursts of flavor were intense, slightly spicy thanks to the red pepper, a wonderful freshness from the parsley and a slight saltiness from the cheese…

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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latke love…

So to join in on the holiday festivities of some friends, I decided to create a light meal of latkes and homemade applesauce.
The latkes were a combination of potatoes [grated in the food processor], salt, freshly ground pepper, eggs and flour. These needed to be seasoned appropriately to make sure they didn’t taste like cardboard. Everything was combined by hand and then spooned into a hot, non-stick pan with butter. Each latke was cooked until browned and then flipped until the other side was also browned. Total cooking time was roughly five minutes per side… Once browned, the latkes were placed into the oven on a low temp to keep warm.
For the applesauce, I used four Honeycrisp apples that I peeled and cored. Into a cast iron pot they went, along with four tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and orange juice, a secret spice [sorry can’t tell you that, but you can add some cinnamon] and a teaspoon of vanilla… The pot went into the oven covered for about an hour and a half until the apples were softened and could be easily mashed…
After everything was said and done, it was time to sit down and enjoy! This special meal was well received…

at a low simmer…
-R

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a true Italian classic…

So since today was such a cold and snowy day, I decided that something with a bit of spice was perfect for dinner! Originally I had other dining ideas, but figured that can be done tomorrow… To warm us up this evening, I made some luxurious bucatini amatriciana!
I started by rendering some pancetta, once crisp they hung out on the side… then in the same pot and using the pancetta fat, it was time to sauté onions and a healthy handful of crushed red pepper. After the onions became translucent, into the pot went a can of San Marzano tomatoes that I passed through the food mill, along with a can of tomato purée. After seasoning appropriately, back in went the rendered pancetta and I let the sauce simmer down a bit…
While simmering, I threw some bucatini into boiling, salted water and cooked till al dente. As soon as the pasta was just right, into the pot of sauce it went for a vigorous spin to coat perfectly, finished off with freshly grated pecorino and then it was to the island to devour!!
Spicy from the crushed red pepper, salty from the pancetta and all around delicious… I love recreating these classic restaurant dishes when dining out during the week isn’t an option!

at a low simmer…
-R

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