Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More to Come

It's been a while, but don't worry - I'm feeling a new resurgence of passion for food writing coming along. I have plenty of recipes to share thanks to my amazing trainer, Connie - just a lack of time to write. I'm not giving up; more to come friends....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese
by Food52

This is the perfect accompaniment to the ribs just posted. Of course you can always make the perfect, "normal" mashed potatoes, but these add a twist to those and will give a little flare to your side dish! Enjoy!

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 lbs. yellow onion (2 large onions), thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1.5 cups half and half
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
3 oz. goat cheese
black pepper

1. Heat 2 tbsp. butter and the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and stir them to coat. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and the sugar, stirring frequently until onions are golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. If the onions get too dry, add just a bit of water.
2. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the half and half, garlic, bay leaf, and remaining 2 tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
4. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot, dry pot. Stir them over low heat for 2 minute until they are dry. Pour the hot cream mixture a little at a time and mash (manually or with an immersion blender).
5. Set aside a small amount of caramelized onions for garnish and mix the remainder into the potatoes. Crumble the goat cheese into the potatoes and stir to combine. 
6. Transfer to bowl and add salt & pepper to taste.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Smoked Port & Apple Braised Short Ribs

Smoked Porter & Apple Braised Short Ribs
from Food52

This recipe is for the record books, seriously.  As you can see it is a meat & potato meal, so it's not for those dieting out there, but if you're snuggling up at home on a wintery evening it fits the bill to a tee! And, you have to give yourself a night off from salads and light meals for overwhelming deliciousness every once in a while, right? Besides, "all in moderation" is what my Mom used to say!  I paired this recipe with a supped up version of mashed potatoes (post to come). You won't regret the extra effort on this homemade goodness.

2 tbsp. grape seed oil
4 lbs. short ribs, trimmed of excess fat 
4 Braeburn apples - cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 medium leeks  - cut in 1/2 and then cut into 1/4 inch half moons
1 large fennel bulb (or substitute for 2 celery stalks & 2 tsp fennel seed) - cored and rougly diced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
3 tbsp. flour
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
22 oz. bottle of your favorite smoked porter 
2 shots of espresso 
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
6 to 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
2 tbsp. butter (optional)
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
brown sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 300*
2. Pat the beef dry and season with salt & pepper.
3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking.
4. Add half of hte beef and cook on each side until well browned. Do not move the pieces until nice crust has formed, which should take about 4-5 minutes each side. Transfer beef to a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and ribs.
5. Pour out all but 2 tbsp. oil. Reduce heat to medium, add apples, leeks, and fennel (or celery) and cook, stirring occasionally (cook for 10-15minutes). Add the garlic, caraway seed, and fennel seed and cook until fragrant - 30 seconds.
6. Add flour and stir to combine. Then, add broth, beer, espresso, mustard, thyme, and bay leaves. 
7. Add the ribs and make sure they are well submerged. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 
8. Once you have a good simmer, cover and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until tender, turn once at about 90minutes. Cook for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
4. Transfer the ribs when done to a large plate w/ veggies. Strain the remaining liquid into a bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then scrap any excess fat off the top.
5. Optional (which I did and recommend): melt 2 tbsp. of butter, add the sliced shallots and lightly caramelize. Add the liquid and cook until 1/3 to 1/2 reduced. Then put the ribs back in and simmer together for about 8-10 minutes - it adds just another note of flavor! 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wild Rice Salad from Trinchero Family Estates

I know what you're going to thought I was gone forever, right? It has been a while since I last posted, but come on, I've been busy. Since my last post I have gotten married and started a new job. I'm trying to continue to cook amazing meals for my husband as often as possible, but lets face it - life gets in the way sometimes I'm not getting home until 6-6:30pm and after a quick workout I. Am. Tired. So, I've been trying to find recipes that I can make larger portions of that are still healthy and delicious in order to have leftovers occasionally. This is one of those recipes. If you have ever had the Whole Foods protein salad this is similar - lots of flavor bursts throughout the entire dish. Trust me, YOU WILL LOVE.

1 cup organic rice mix (I used wild rice)
1 cup Forbidden Rice (You can find this at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup Craisens
1/2 cup Green Onions chopped
1/2 cups Pecans chopped
1/2 cup figs quartered
1/2 cup Feta Cheese

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Fig Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cook the rice as the directions indicate and cool for 30 minutes in the fridge.
2. Combine all ingredients together.
3. Lightly dress your mix (I only dressed what I was going to eat to ensure the salad didn't turn).


Friday, March 16, 2012

Seared Scallops with Spring Onions & Tarragon Cream

I've always been intimidated by certain seafood items because they seem unusual - calamari, scallops, and really anything that begins in a slimy form top the list. To be honest, I know they aren't that unusual, but I have very little experience preparing them myself. So....the goal begins - to prepare these certain items and master the art. I started with scallops, and after finding the right recipe on Food52 (a wonderful website I learned about from my friend's blog, Ballard to Brooklyn) the quest began. I paired the recipe with couscous to sop up the cream sauce and a simple arugula salad. Delicious. Scallops....check!

Seared Scallops with Spring Onions & Tarragon Cream

from Food52

  • 1 pound wild dry sea scallops
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 bunch spring onions, about ½ lb.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • fresh chives for garnish
  1. Place the scallops on a plate or platter and refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Trim the spring onions, separating the green tops from the small bulbs. Dice the bulbs and roughly chop the greens.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped spring onion bulbs and a pinch of salt, reduce the heat to low, and cook 20-25 minutes, until very soft. Add the green tops, toss through, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until soft but still bright green. Sprinkle the flour over and cook for a minute or two, just until the raw flour smell is gone. Add the milk, raising the heat to medium, and cook briefly until thickened. Add the tarragon leaves and stir through, then turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a blender. Puree until very smooth, then return to the pan over low heat, cooking until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Pour a thin film of grapeseed oil in the bottom of a sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the scallops a few at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan, and sear them just couple of minutes per side until they are nicely browned and caramelized - they should release from the pan easily once they’re ready, and they should still be a little jiggly in the middle, as they will continue to cook off the heat. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust salt if necessary. Whisk in the crème fraiche off the heat until the mixture is smooth, then spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of shallow, warmed bowls, place scallops on top, and garnish with fresh chives.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Chocolate Leaves

Being the youngest of four made birthdays often and plenty around our house. My mom would let us request our cake choice each year and without fail almost all of us would choose Chocolate Mousse Cake! It is by far the most moist Mousse you will ever have (now say that 3x - "Most Moist Mousse, Most Moist Mousse, Most Moist Mousse")! bahahahaha!

Enjoy! It's a chocolate lovers dream!

Chocolate Mousse Cake
with Chocolate Leaves
from my mother's kitchen

Cake (can prepare a day beforehand):
7 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
7 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Secret Ingredient (prepare an hour before serving):
Dr. Oetkers Double Chocolate Mousse Mix (you can find this by the jello)
1/4 cup milk (I used non-fat milk)

Whipped Cream Frosting (prepare an hour before serving):
1/2 pint whipping cream (1 cup)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Leaves (prepare a day prior to serving)
24 non-poisonous leaves such as rose leaves
4 oz. semisweet chocolate

  • Preheat oven to 325* F
  • In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually beat in warm chocolate mixture and vanilla.
  • In another large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tbsp. at a time and continue beating until stiff.
  • Fold egg whites carefully into chocolate mixture.
  • Pour batter into ungreased 9" x 3" springform pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool and you can cover and refrigerate up to 1 day prior to serving.
An hour before serving:
  • Mix up the Dr. Oetkers mix in a mixer and pour into the fallen center area of the cake (you'll think this looks funny, but the mousse mix fills it in perfectly).
  • Whip up all of the whipped cream ingredients **I tripled this part to ensure it frosted the cake fully.
Chocolate Leaves - prepare the night prior to serving!
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and dry the leaves you've found.
  • Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler - or use a metal bowl sitting on top of a sauce pot with boiling water. Both work just fine!
  • Gently take a spatula and cover each leaf on the front side. Once complete, place in the freezer.
  • Right before serving, pull the leaves out and pull the leaves from the chocolate by gently pulling the leaf's stem.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Salmon is typically a staple on every restaurant's menu. Shockingly, with that I find myself getting sick of the delicious fish. It isn't that there is a lack of different preparation techniques, but more the supply and demand aspect. Besides the wild salmon season, salmon is always available to those craving the delicious fish, so it's only natural to choose other options on the menu knowing you can get it "next time."

I was headed to Caitlin's (one of my beautiful bridesmaids) house for dinner and when I heard she was making smoked salmon chowder, I can't say I was jumping for joy.
I'm happy to announce, however, not only did I enjoy the chowder that evening, I made it again that week! Regardless of whether you are craving salmon or not, this is definitely a go-to recipe for anyone who loves delicious food. Enjoy!

*I'll be entering this post in the annual SoupaPalooza contest! Come Join SoupaPalooza
at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Smoked Salmon Chowder

from Caitlin's Kitchen
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound potatoes - peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are transparent. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir well to make a dry roux. Gradually add the chicken broth and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in the potatoes, dill, tarragon, thyme, and paprika. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the salmon, wine, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Simmer over low heat, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Mix in the half-and-half and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not let the chowder boil after adding the half-and-half. Serve hot.