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Posts Tagged ‘chef’

Oh, yeah. I’ll been know for taking risks. And when I caught those fresh broad beans eyeing me from across the produce section I knew I must scoop them up even though I had absolutely no plan for these tasty morsels. See, told you – I’m wild.

I ended up making some bean fritters (ala Naked Chef style) with refreshing mint yogurt sauce. (Think falafel here). They were a delightful surprise to the usual (well, nothings really usual around here) weeks dishes.

Whack together some cilantro, mint, cumin, cayenne pepper, fresh broad beans, half a spicy chili, lemon zest, salt, and flour in your Cuisinart and you’re ready to dunk these mini footballs in hot oil for a couple minutes. Crunchy on the outside yet so moist on the inside. And who doesn’t love to dip?

Here’s the short Jamie Oliver video:

If the video doesn’t play: click here

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Yeah, ok. So it seems (hearing the rumblings coming from the mouths of my close friends at least) the majority of my posts are centering around food in some form or fashion. But I can’t seem to help it. Every recipe I’ve tried lately has been a hit and I feel obliged to share.

This baked fish & saffron concoction I whipped up last week is no exception. It was absolutely D-I-V-I-N-E. Yes, I do agree, this dish has a helluva long title and it does take a little prep work, but I promise it’s totally worth it.

I’m making it Saturday night for 26 peeps….Wish me luck!

Halibut

Baked Halibut in a Saffron Broth over Mashed Potatoes with a Tomato and Black Olive Ragoût

Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and The Food Network.

Tomato and black olive ragoût:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound very ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup basil chiffonade
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

In a saucepan heat olive oil and saute onions until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and olives and cook until sauce is thick and most liquid has evaporated. Season with herbs and salt and pepper to taste, adding sugar if necessary to correct acidity. Serve warm on top of baked halibut in a saffron broth with mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes and saffron broth:

2 quarts chicken stock
1 large pinch saffron (about 1/4-ounce)
Salt
5 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups warm milk
Freshly ground white pepper
3 large shallots, minced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

In a large saucepan combine chicken stock and saffron and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, add potatoes and cook, covered, until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain liquid into another large saucepan and reserve. Add butter to potatoes and stir and mash until completely melted. Add milk, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while making the halibut. In a saucepan saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add reserved saffron stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add green onions and simmer 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Halibut:

8 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
Creole seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup saffron broth from above

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Season halibut fillets with Creole seasoning on both sides. Rub fillets with olive oil and place on a lightly oiled shallow casserole or baking sheet with sides and pour saffron broth around fillets. Cover filets loosely with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes, uncover and bake another 5 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily. Serve fillets in a large bowl on top of mashed potatoes, with saffron broth ladled over all and fish topped with a generous dollop of tomoato and black olive ragout.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup

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Sitting on our bums the other day taking in a little BBC Food we witnessed the super tall Canadian chef Michael Smith create an interesting and cleverly wrapped bacon potato dish.

bacon whole

Since Fattie loves bacon, potatoes, and cheese (uh, who in their right mind doesn’t?) he just had to give it a go. The first effort was full of flavor but the second attempt – as a side dish to filet mignon for a dinner party of twelve – was simply scrumptious. This is NOT a low fat dish but it is fabulous and a cool way to serve bacon and potatoes.

Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart

Courtesy of Michael Smith – serves 8

You’ll need:

  • 2 pounds or so of room temperature bacon
  • A minced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cups of grated aged cheddar
  • 5 or 6 large unpeeled baking potatoes
  • A sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Carefully arrange the bacon in a radial pattern from the center of the bottom of a ten-inch, non-stick pan to the lower edge of the rim and continuing up and over it. Let the ends hang over. The slices should overlap slightly around the sides of the pan.

To reduce the thickness of the bacon in the center stagger every other piece starting it two inches from the center and extending it further than the adjacent slices. With the palm of your hand, flatten the center area, leaving no gaps in the bacon. Season the bacon with pepper then sprinkle on several tablespoons of the grated cheddar.

 

Slice the potatoes as thinly and uniformly as you can, about a quarter inch thick. Arrange a circular pattern of overlapping slices around the inside bottom edge of the pan. Continue arranging overlapping layers of the potatoes until the bottom is evenly covered.

bacon pan

 

Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Mix the onions and garlic together and sprinkle some of the mixture onto the potatoes. Continue with a layer of the grated cheese. Cover with another layer of the potato pressing it down firmly before continuing with alternate layers of the potatoes, onion mixture and cheese until the pan is full. Continue with several more layers insetting each a bit from the edge of the pan until the top is an inch or so higher than the pan’s rim.

Fold the overhanging bacon neatly up and over the top of the potatoes. Trim a small piece of parchment paper and place it in between an ovenproof lid and the bacon. This will prevent the bacon’s ends from pulling back and shrinking during cooking.

bacon slice

 

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for at least two and a half to three hours. You’ll know it’s done when a small thin bladed knife insert easily. Pour off as much of the fat around the edges as possible. Let the tart stand for fifteen minutes then invert it onto a cutting surface.

Slice into wedges and serve immediately. You may refrigerate any leftovers and reheat them later it in a microwave.

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Can’t help it. I adore risotto.

Every gluttonous mouth watering bite is comforting to my soul. There is just something so remarkably satisfying and sensual about the creamy rice texture once it has lapped up all that glorious stock and Parmesan has been delicately melted and laced throughout.

Risotto

We have the Italians to thank for most gastronomic delights (yes, of course the French get loads of props too). If you’ve never indulged in risotto, I beg you to allow this sensational dish to pass your lips.

Last night was my lucky night.

(more…)

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jamie oliver

Fattie had dashed over to grab the new truck and trailer (in order to store all the paraphernalia we were going to purchase for the remodel we needed both vehicles. BTW, this remodel seems to have taken over my life the last few weeks – but uh-uhmmm, I guess that’s for another time….) and as he honked for me, I reached for my Louis Vuitton and my puffy North Face.

Since I knew we were going to be in the rig for the better part of an hour, I spun around, turned back, and quickly snagged a cookbook off the shelf for some dinner inspiration.

I ended up with Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef Takes Off.

(more…)

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A few weeks back we hosted a little fall soirée weekend for our friends and family. We were particularly floored and extremely flattered our buddies from Amsterdam drove all the way to be here with us. The weather was crisp but not too cold with the sun streaming down on the course – perfect for golfing.

Along with Fattie’s help, I made a large Italian feast Saturday night for 40 peeps…..

This pasta disappeared fast.

Penne with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Recipe from Giada’s Family Dinners, by Giada De Laurentiis

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a large, heavy frying pan over a medium high flame. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth , wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces slightly, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse).

Add the pasta, sausage, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the basil, and the parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

My Adaptation

  • Replace Italian sausage with spicy chorizo, sliced diagonally and browned on both sides
  • Omit artichokes
  • Add an additional 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • Add 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Add asparagus, sliced in 2 inch pieces

The small changes I made were due to the fact that it was a bit challenging to find two of the ingredients readily available here in Sweden. I know, are you kidding me right now? It proved hard to find frozen artichokes, and since canned/jarred artichokes lose their shape when cooked too long, I omitted them altogether. It’s a rare sight to see ‘Italian sausage’ in the grocery store, so I substituted with chorizo sausage.

At just about the final point when you toss all ingredients together, add the heavy cream, the additional Parmesan, and the asparagus. Heat through for 2 minutes while cheese melts, asparagus are warmed, and cream is incorporated. *All other steps are the same*

Get your forks ready.

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I’m not sure which one is tastier – the chef Tyler Florence or his recipe for these delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Must be a reason he was named, “Sexiest Chef Alive” by People Magazine.

You decide.

Tyler Florence

My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
courtesy of Tyler Florence, Food Network

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks using the spatula.

To form the cookies, scoop about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into your hands and roll it around into a ball; place them about 3-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets; you should get about 4 cookies on each pan. Press down the tops of the dough slightly and bake until the cookies are light brown, 12 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 15 minutes for crispy cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough/cookie sheets.

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