Tag Archives: taste

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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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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what are you bananas!!

With a few bananas remaining from the cake I made this past weekend, I decided rather than tossing then out they’d do better mashed up into a wonderful banana bread! This wasn’t just any banana bread, but rather a boozy banana bread…
I soaked sweet little golden raisins in some delicious bourbon. Once plumped up and juicy, they went into my batter that was full of the mashed bananas, chopped pecans, vanilla, two eggs, one cup of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, a half teaspoon of baking soda and salt, one stick of melted butter and sugar.
Once everything was combined, it was into a loaf pan and then off for a nap for fifty minutes on 325. After a quick test for complete doneness, I had to taste! There was very little willpower, but tasting this freshly baked beauty was a necessity. Served up with some vanilla-infused mascarpone made this luxurious delight even more spectacular!
The boozy raisins offered a wonderful addition to the sweetness of the bananas. This definitely will be on my breakfast menu tomorrow!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s a bit ‘chili’ in here…

So tonight I wanted something warm and hearty… something I don’t often venture into making… chili! This was not going to be a typical beef chili, but something with a slight edge to it.
I knew I had everything to whip up this stew-like concoction, so the mission began. I started by browning off hot and sweet bulk sausage. Once browned and gorgeous, into the pot went two spanish onions that I diced up. As soon as the onions became soft and a bit caramelized, in went a few cloves of garlic that I minced, along with some spicy green chilis! These all cooked together for a few minutes until the flavors started to marry.
After everyone was getting to know each other, in went cumin, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt [these are all to taste so go crazy or be gentle]… a quick stir to mix the spices and then one large can of crushed tomatoes and one large can of San Marzano tomatoes [these were puréed before I added them]. Another quick stir and as soon as the chili began to boil, then I dropped the heat to a simmer and put the lid on the pot. I let the chili cook for thirty-five minutes [twenty-five minutes into cooking I added a can of black beans…] Once cooking was finished, off the heat went in some chopped cilantro.
To plate up [or should I say bowl] this meal… some light and crisp tortillas, crème fraiche and extra sharp cheddar.
The flavors were intense… spicy, sweet, lemony and a touch acidic! This time two bowlfuls did just not satisfy…

at a low simmer…
-R

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