Tag Archives: zest

one [roasting pan] wonder…

After a long day of running errands and battling the cold weather, it was home to prep up something for a scrumptious dinner! I needed something satisfying and filling, while not taking hours and hours to prepare. Simple enough was one of my fave dishes, from one of my fave home-cooks… Nigella Lawson. It was a chicken, chorizo and potato ‘bake’. This dish is literally a ‘one pot’, rather ‘one pan’ meal! Simple ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen pantry and can be put together in mere minutes.
Into a deep roasting pan went some good extra virgin which coated both sides of a healthy portion of chicken thighs, chopped up fresh chorizo, large diced red onion and cubed yukon gold potatoes! A sprinkling of dried oregano, a scatter of salt, a grating of the zest of a clementine and it was into the oven on 425 for one hour. As the ‘bake’ cooked in the russet beauty from the oil and chorizo, the scent of oregano, citrus and spices wafted throughout.
After the cooking time was up, out appeared a bronzed, crisp chicken, seductively aromatic chorizo, browned potatoes and wilted red onion. No sooner did I take this breathtaking beauty out of the oven, that we were plated up and diving in!
This is one of my go-to recipes, and chances are if you try this it will become one of yours as well!

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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hands off my buns!

For a nod to the upcoming Easter holiday, I decided to whip up a batch of hot cross buns… these spicy orbs of golden delight take a bit of time to prepare, but the outcome is entirely worth the effort!
The standards for creating these little heartbreakers are flour, sugar, salt, some mixed spices [pumpkin pie spice works as well], yeast, butter, an egg, whole milk, water, raisins, currants, as well as lemon and orange zest!
Everything for the dough is combined in the mixer, minus the fruits and zests… After a good ten-twelve minutes of kneading in the mixer, the fruits and zests are added in until incorporated. Once combined, a layer of plastic wrap covers the dough and it’s off for a nap in a warm spot until the dough rises in volume…
The dough, once risen, is separated and rolled into mounds, then set aside to rise again. As soon as they have risen the second time, a cross is piped along the tops of each bun and it’s off to get baking!
As soon as the buns are golden, a quick brushing of a syrupy glaze is gently slathered over each to finish off these treasures!
Warm out of the oven with a spread of butter or preserves [or hell both] is the best way to enjoy… guaranteed these don’t make it until Sunday!

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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spicing things up!

So tonight, after a long day, I craved something delicious, yet simple to prepare… I decided on a spicy chicken dish that I have made in the past and always enjoyed.
First things first… a solid prep of all necessary ingredients so my cooking is fun and not feeling like a chore! Diced onions, charred tomatillos and jalapeños, minced garlic, chicken thighs that I salted, some chicken stock, freshly squeezed lime juice/zest and a hit of white wine.
I browned the chicken and set it aside, next the onions got a workout and sweated like they have never sweated before… once the onions were softened, the garlic was tossed in to cook for a few. The chopped tomatillos and jalapeños were stirred in, along with some white wine. Once slightly reduced, in went the chicken stock and fresh lime juice and zest. A nice sprinkling of salt and a quick taste to be certain we took the correct turn at the ‘light’ and were headed in the right direction!
Once everything was A-OK, the chicken was nuzzled back in to the liquid, brought to a boil [then dropped to a simmer], covered and cooked for twenty-five minutes. After twenty-five minutes, the lid came off and cooked for another twenty until the sauce reduced a bit more.
A quick final taste for seasoning and it was time to plate this up…
Perfectly spicy, slightly zesty and full of all the wonderful flavors one would expect!

at a low simmer…
-R

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quite the cookie!

After a grueling day of shopping for Christmas presents and finishing decorating around the house, it was finally time to sit down, turn on the television and relax. Before doing that, I decided to make us some classic espresso coffees served with some beautiful, homemade Italian biscotti!
The biscotti were crunchy, nutty and a bit tart. Simply made, all that it took to make were pistachios, dried cranberries [or honestly any dried fruit you like], some lemon or orange zest, flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, butter, salt and eggs.
The most difficult part of baking these tasty little lovelies, wasn’t the cooling process, but the fact that these cookies were twice baked so it felt like the waiting game was just that…

at a low simmer…
-R

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‘scampi’ly clad…

What better way to finish off an incredible weekend than with an equally incredible [and shockingly simple] dinner!
Dinner literally took about fifteen minutes to cook and plate… beautiful, succulent shrimp were the key players in this dish, sautéed in an olive oil, butter and wine sauce.
I diced up a small [cannot emphasize small enough] red onion, minced some garlic and threw a healthy hand of crushed red pepper into and olive oil and butter bath to sweat it out. Once nicely sweaty and ripe smelling, I tossed in the shrimps and cooked until perfectly pink and tender! Once cooked, I pulled them out and let them hang around while I added some white wine, lemon juice and lemon zest to reduce down and slightly thicken the sauce. After reducing and cooking off, I added the shrimp back into the sauce, stirred in some chopped parsley and simmered gently to coat and heat through!
Served with some slices of bread to sop up everything and we were good to go!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a sunday night celebration!!

So tonight was a night for spectacular things… it was a night of celebration, as well as a night to put a spin on a traditional pizza!
Yesterday I made focaccia with the intent of using it as a base to layer up a gorgeous pizza. Homemade sauce was layered on the bottom, then some grated pecorino, slices of milky fresh mozz and a healthy drizzle of extra virgin! Into the oven and twenty minutes later… well there are no words for the mind-blowing experience we had. The crust was perfectly crunchy, salty and airy… meanwhile the sauce was rustic, the pecorino slightly salty and the fresh mozz creamy and melty.
To finish off such a rich and hearty meal, what better than a slice of yes… LIME pie with a fluffy and perfectly browned meringue topping! This is not just any pie, but a celebratory one to congratulate a hardworking woman who touches our lives in many ways! The filling was made the other day and got its close-up today when poured into the buttery graham cracker crust and topped off with a beautiful spiked meringue. Browned and gorgeous meringue was the barrier to a creamy, zesty lime filling. Now I’ll need to make more to satiate my breakfast tea and toast!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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sourpuss…

I’ve been called sweet, but this afternoon a bit of my sour side came shining through. I had a craving for a smooth lime custard so I decided to grab a few beautiful limes and make it happen.
Lime juice, some zest, eggs, butter, a pinch of salt and some sugar were combined in the mixer. Once mixed, it was onto the stove to cook and thicken… After thickening nicely, it was off to chill and set up… This will eventually turn into a luxurious and silky pie at some point this weekend! I’m looking forward to that tangy and sweet filling, complimented by a fluffy cloud-like topping and crunchy base, but for now it is going to be delightful on some toasted bread with some tea.

at a low simmer…
-R

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