Tag Archives: veggies

not such rave reviews…

Last night was filled with great company. It started with a trip to a fairly new restaurant in the area! Once there we were seated and the night began… Menus arrived, drinks were poured and the catching up ensued!
The many possibilities made it even more difficult to make a decision, but that’s what had to be done. Everyone placed their orders… appetizers and then entrees.
The appetizers seemed to be on the decent side; tasty and nicely portioned… dinner then arrived and that is unfortunately were things quickly went downhill. Three of us ordered filet mignon wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a creamy gorgonzola, however two came out incorrect. The waiter appeared to quickly address the discrepancy. The plates were removed and apologies given… roughly ten minutes later out came the ‘corrected’ dishes. Upon this glance, the prosciutto was missing and the side of veggies and mashed potatoes were pathetic! Again this had to be brought to the waiters attention and rectified… at this point appetites were being lost! Finally the dishes came out, but presentation of the dishes were completely lacking. The prosciutto was not crispy and everything on the dish appeared to be an afterthought… the waiter, although polite, seemed to be losing his patience and his sense of irritation began to appear. This was not the appropriate response on his part, but he definitely got the hint!
All in all, the experience was a sore one, however the company is always what makes a meal in my opinion and that made the night special.
I am looking forward to cooking an exciting dish tomorrow night so stay tuned!

***due to the unappealing food presentation, the pictures I took are not making way in this post***

at a low simmer…
-R

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dinner was [soup]erb!

With a wickedly bone chilling day to deal with, it seemed only appropriate to crank out a hearty pot of soup for dinner! Something to warm up the soul and fill up our bellies couldn’t be made quick enough…
I started by chopping up an onion, mincing some garlic and slicing some carrots. The veggies all were sautéed in a heavy pot with some olive oil until softened and the house smelled amazing. After sautéing the veggies, in went some sliced smoked turkey sausage until cooked through. Once the veggies and sausage were ready, in went the dried split peas, homemade chicken stock and water. A quick stir, then the lid went on and the soup simmered until completely cooked. To top off this luxurious soup… homemade croutons.
The first spoonful instantly warmed us up and made us forget the chilly, deep freeze that was rolling through our town!

at a low simmer…
-R

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this little piggy went right into my belly…

Realizing it has been such a long time since I’ve enjoyed that fatty, porky goodness of pork belly, a trip to the market and an overnight bath in a fragrant marinade yielded one hell of a dinner!
I seasoned up this beautiful slab with hefty handfuls of salt. While letting the salt permeate into the belly, I prepped a marinade full of healthy veggies and yummy seasonings… and of course wine was invited to this party!
Once the marinade was ready it was poured into a baking dish. The belly was then cozily tucked into the baking dish and surrounded by its luxurious bathing liquid… After a long nights sleep, it was time for a five hour bath until completely tender and a quick tan under the broiler to darken and crisp that fatty skin!
To enjoy this meal, the belly was nestled on a bed of nutty farro that I cooked with sautéed onions and garlic in some chicken stock until fully absorbed… the farro was swirled together with some chopped parsley to finish the story…
Fatty, crisp, sweet, sour, nutty and tender… I can go on and on!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a fall meal that’s fall-off-the-bone good!

Well today was officially one of the chilliest days this Fall season has offered thus far… So a hearty, slow cooked meal seemed highly appropriate!
Braised short ribs were the obvious choice and they truly satisfied.
These meaty delights were salted and seared till all sides were a gorgeous crusty brown… once the short ribs were browned they got a quick rest, while in the same pot went a slew of puréed veggies which were cooked till browned. After the veggies browned, tomato paste and a bottle of red wine were added. Once everything was incorporated and slightly reduced, the short ribs were nestled back into the pot, a bundle of fresh thyme and bay leaves were added, as well as some water. Next it was time to put a lid on it and bathe in the oven for three hours. Those three hours felt like an eternity, but the outcome was totally worth the wait!
Fall-off the bone meatiness coupled by a rich saucy goodness and this meal was an absolute winner in my book!

at a low simmer…
-R

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tonight the bird ruled this roost!

So for one of our first fall feasts, I decided what better way to dine than with a roasted farm fresh chicken!
After slicing up some carrots, onions and fennel, I gingerly rested them in the bottom of the baking dish. On top of this veggie pillow went our beautiful chicken which I seasoned generously with salt, rubbed some low calorie butter on, squeezed fresh lemon juice around and sprinkled some flecks of fresh thyme across… for a bit of added browning encouragement I drizzled some olive oil on the exterior skin!
In the cavity went the whole lemon that I squeezed around the chicken and veggies, as well as a bundle of fresh thyme. Into the oven for roughly an hour and a half, then a quick after cooking rest and it was time to eat up!
Served alongside some velvety yukon gold mash, this meal reminded me of how much I enjoy the wondrous cooking we can all experience when fall hits, there is a slight chill in the air and our Sundays are just filled with relaxation…

at a low simmer…
-R

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rollin’ with the flavor… AGAIN!

Tonight’s dinner was a fun favorite that usually is ordered as part of take-out Chinese, but this evenings nosh was served up from scratch.
The all mighty egg-roll, the perfect mix of hearty veggies and chicken encased in a crunchy shell.
The ingredients were simple… red onion, red pepper, celery, garlic and ginger, shredded carrots and savoy cabbage, chunks of seasoned chicken and creamy sliced avocado.
After a quick sauté of the red onion, celery and red pepper, I tossed in the ginger and garlic until incorporated, then cooked the chicken alongside everything! Once cooked, I mixed in soy sauce and sesame oil to taste…
Once this fragrant combo was done, they were sealed up snuggly in egg-roll wrappers… One little bit of advice, don’t over stuff the egg-roll, otherwise you will have cracks and it won’t hold together when frying.
After a quick fry just to get that beautiful golden outside and it was time to eat!

at a low simmer…
-R

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soups on!

As a cool, brisk day set in this Sunday afternoon the thought of a filling and hearty soup appeared a logical dinner choice!
Since I had lentils, carrots, celery, onion and garlic… lentil soup seemed a good idea. A simple soup that offers layers of textures and flavors and takes minutes to prepare [cooking time not included]!
A quick chop and sauté of all the veggies, a hit of crushed red pepper, a quick pick and rinse of the lentils, some chicken stock [or water and bouillon if you don’t have stock], salt if needed and that’s it! For an added extra, I tossed in some cubes of turkey ham. Everything is brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer and cooked until perfection has been achieved…
These hearty bowls of soup warmed us up on this chilly evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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sometimes bitter can be good!

In order to detox a bit from this past holiday weekend, there was a staple element missing… wine!
So tonight on the menu was a big hearty salad of bitter greens, italian olives, black beans and juicy grilled chicken. The greens were crisp, the beans plump, the olives slightly briny, while the chicken tender and cooked on the grill with just some olive oil spray…
Dining this way is extremely filling, not to mention by mixing things up with meats, poultry or just some crisp veggies, this can make a quick, delicious and healthy meal!
I’m a huge fan of salads to begin with and could eat them all the time! So making them in order to get back on track is a good thing in my opinion…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Now here’s locally grown!!

Today was a great day!! This morning started with a fantastic game of tennis and then the afternoon was spent at the in-laws for a pre-birthday celebration.
Right before leaving, I received a great package of homegrown produce including celery, onions, cucumbers and scallions! This is one amazing garden chock full of a variety of different veggies, and I have been lucky enough to receive different goods on many occasions… Now the master plan begins… What delish recipes will I create with these wonderful home grown produce!

at a low simmer…
-R

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