Tag Archives: summer

crispy, juicy and HOT!!!

Sunday suppers seem to creep upon us quicker than ever, almost as quick as summer has passed by…
Tonight, an incredible classic dish needed to make an appearance on our table… classic fried chicken! This dish was a do-ahead however.
After breaking down the chicken into manageable pieces, they were brined overnight. Today they were dipped into a buttermilk concoction and then dusted in a flavorful, spicy flour mixture.
Cooked in a fragrant herb and garlic infused oil, these previously boring beauties turned into sultry goddesses.
Once golden and crisp [and of course cooked through], a tower of divine luxury was built on a plate then decorated and spritzed with wedges of lemon.
Each crunchy bite brought back memories of childhood when my mother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing the ultimate and perhaps most intoxicating fried chicken… she taught me well!

at a low simmer…
-R

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light and filling…

As summer starts to dig its heels into long hot days, I thought a light dinner was in order. A simple, delicious mix of fresh multi-grain bread that I toasted was decorated with slivers of creamy avocado, sharp cheddar, sliced chicken breast, ripe red tomatoes and a touch of mayo. It may sound simplistic, but every last bite was filled with flavors that screamed summer is hear to stay… And you know what, I’m ok with that.

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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farro[SO] yummy!

Since the weather took a turn from warm and summer-like, to a slight bit cooler it seemed fitting to make a hearty, warming meal for dinner…
After raiding my fridge and pantry, it was easy! A nutty farro dish with an Asian flavor base to it! Shredded carrots, diced onions, some minced garlic and ginger, chopped porcini mushrooms and sautéed shrimp all came together with a hint of sesame oil, a few tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of hoisin…
The dish literally takes no time to prepare, but the incredible depth of flavor would make you think otherwise!

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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south of the border…

So tonight was a nod to a summer favorite… guacamole! It’s been what feels like a while since I’ve made a fresh, creamy batch. Since we couldn’t [well I guess we could have] just eat a bowl of freshly made guacamole, I thought why not make a whole meal around it!
So marinated skirt steak fajitas and arroz con crema seemed to be the perfect idea… To top the fajitas, sautéed onions and peppers and fresh squeezed lime juice.
For the arroz con crema… I prepared some rice. Once the rice was done, in went two cups of heavy cream, chopped roasted poblano peppers [just tossed on the grill until charred, covered with plastic wrap and then peeled], pozole, cilantro, monterey jack and cojita cheeses. Everything was stirred until combined, melted and creamy!
To build up these skirt steak fajitas… a spoonful of the arroz con crema was spread on a tortilla, along with the sautéed onions and peppers, the grilled skirt steak, a dollop of the guacamole and a squeeze of the lime juice.
Each bite was full of so many different flavors… creamy, citrusy, sweet, savory! Guacamole thank you for an exciting meal…

at a low simmer…
-R

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shortcuts don’t always cut it…

So as a last hurrah to the unofficial end to summer, what better way to celebrate than with… homemade pasta! Yes I’m sure everyone thought I was going to say burgers on the grill… well that would have been the case, but unfortunately the sun wasn’t shining when it was time for making dinner. An overcast and slightly rainy afternoon pretty much nixed grilling for me this time!
Homemade pasta seemed like a nice and fun idea to do. I enjoy making pasta and just picked up a brand new pasta extruder machine from my favorite specialty kitchenware shop this past weekend. Having been the first customer to buy this product, the associates couldn’t offer much in the way of use. So it was pretty much up to me to attempt figuring this machine out and hoping it was worth picking up.
I am partial to my own pasta dough recipe, but instead followed the recipe from the machine’s booklet… the pasta kept climbing the wall of the interior bowl and unfortunately needed constant encouragement to work its way into the extruder and took way too long to expel through the disk. Also I felt there was a great deal of waste at the end of the extrusion process.
Into salty boiling water and then tossed into the cannellini bean sauce I made and it was time to eat!
I have to say… I was NOT a fan of this pasta. My personal feeling of the machine is that you do not achieve the same kneaded texture as when done by hand. Also the pasta was very ‘doughy’ tasting in my own opinion.
Needless to say a trip back to the specialty kitchenware shop is in the cards tomorrow to return this item and get something worthwhile… there is plenty to choose from so that shouldn’t be a problem…
Lesson learned… sometimes the most promising gadgets that are supposed to help simplify don’t deliver the quality and taste as a cooks best tools… two hands!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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summery indulgence…

What better way to enjoy the summer months, than by eating the fruits that come along with it… So I decided to rinse off some juicy little blueberries that were picked up from a local farm and top them off with a mascarpone cream and crushed amaretti cookies. The sweet blueberries were a wonderful highlight against the tangy [although sweet in its own right] mascarpone cream, while the amaretti cookies gave a wonderful crunch and texture to an already divine sweet treat!

Hmmm maybe I should make more for dessert…

at a low simmer…

-R

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gettin’ my grill-on!!

So today I decided early on in the spirit of summer officially starting tomorrow [just couldn’t wait till tomorrow], I was going to make barbecued chicken with homemade potato salad…
I marinated the chicken [which I had the butcher de-bone but leave the skin on], in a bourbon barbecue sauce for a good long time… The sauce was a touch smokey with a wonderful rich sweetness. Onto the grill till cooked and then set to rest and recoup their juices… It would soon be time to plate and dig in, but this barbecue chicken dinner wouldn’t be complete without my homemade potato salad.
For the potato salad it’s super simple… diced potatoes, shredded carrots, chopped celery and onion, good mayo, salt and pepper [and perhaps something special to add a little extra kick]. I made this salad early on in the day to let the flavors all marry together.
Wow what a meal… succulent barbecued chicken that had the perfect spices and flavors paired with a creamy delightful potato salad [as well as a fantastic white wine]…

at a low simmer…
-R

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such a tease!!!

Granted today was supposed to be a washout in terms of weather, but once that sun starts peeking out you can’t help, but go into full-on summer mode! So now for the last few hours, the sun has played the hide and seek game and is starting to ride on our emotions…
I figured if it was warm and sunny, I’d throw some thick, juicy steaks on the grill, along with some fantastic asparagus and call it dinner. Who knows though… I don’t do jacket or umbrella grilling sessions so we will see later. For now though, I will continue to slurp down some drinks, listen to the wind blow and the birds chirp… all while thinking about nothing! That’s my kinda weekend…

at a low simmer…
-R

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