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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

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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Of course, it’s always wonderful and such a treat to have someone cook dinner for you, but Fattie’s food is absolutely grubbing – so it’s double the fun.

He casually and ever so cutely whipped up this appetizer: gravlax carpaccio.

So, yeah, you know carpaccio is typically super thin slices of raw beef drizzled with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, usually sprinkled with green salad leaves such as rocket, arugula or radicchio and then topped with thinly sliced or grated Parmesan cheese, sometimes pine nuts will even make an appearance. But do you know what gravlax is?

Let ME tell you.

Gravlax is a Scandinavian delicacy consisting of raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill. In Swedish, grav means “buried,” while lax means “salmon.” But it’s also known around the area as graved laks (Danish), gravlaks (Norwegian), graavilohi (Finnish), and graflax (Icelandic).

Back in the day, the fishermen used rub the ingredients on the fish and bury it in the sand above the high tide line, ‘fermenting’ the salmon. Uh. Crazy. I know. The modern version of this dish is not fermented at all; instead the salmon is ‘buried’ in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured for a few days in the fridge.

So, combining the two – gravlax and carpaccio – Fattie came up with this glorious appetizer. Yes; it’s VERY tasty and even easier to prepare.

gravlax carpaccio

My Gravlax Carpaccio

Makes 4 appetizers

You’ll need:

  • 8-12 ounces of gravlax
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Handful of baby capers, rinsed – roughly 2 teaspoons or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced celery
  • A couple handfuls of fresh arugula or rocket
  • Parmesan cheese for grating
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Equally divide the salmon onto four appetizer plates laying it flat.

After combining the olive oil and lemon juice, drizzle it over the salmon. Sprinkle evenly with capers and celery. Top with salad. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Enjoy.

Gravlax is usually expensive to buy but very easy to make. Feeling adventuresome? Wanna drum up your own homemade cured gravlax? Here’s a good recipe from Emeril Lagasse.

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If you like bread pudding, you will LOVE this recipe. It’s absolutely devoured every time I make it. The sauce is amazing….This is the ultimate comfort food.

Steve’s Killer Bread Pudding courtesy of the Foodnetwork

breadpudding

You’ll need:

1 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum (recommended: Myers’s)
1 1/2 loaves stale French or Italian bread, torn into pieces
3 cups milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rum Sauce:
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
4 tablespoons margarine
1 egg, beaten
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons dark rum (recommended: Myers’s)

Preparation:

Place raisins in a small bowl with rum and soak for a couple of hours. Drain raisins and reserve soaking liquid.

Place bread pieces in a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Add raisins to dish. In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, heavy cream, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, lemon zest, and salt, and mix well to ensure the sugar has been dissolved.

Add the reserved raisin soaking liquid to the milk mixture and pour over bread. Let sit until bread has soaked up all of the milk mixture for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place baking dish in another large pan and add water about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until bread pudding has set. Remove bread pudding from oven and let cool to just warm.

While bread pudding is cooling, make Rum Sauce:

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, margarine, egg and yolks in the top of a double boiler and cook, stirring well, until thick. Do not let sauce boil. Keep warm until serving time. Whisk in rum just before serving.

Serve bread pudding drizzled with sauce.

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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.

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PF ChangsYes, if you’ve trotted your bootie over to PF Chang’s, it’s almost certain you’ve bitten into one of their famous chicken lettuce wraps at one time or another.

I was feeling a little nostalgic for my suburban mall (silly I know – I haven’t been to one of those lovely joints since I left the states) and decided to cook these babies up last night. There are many variations to this dish but this one comes pretty stinking close to the real deal. Don’t be intimidated by the laundry list of ingredients or the numerous preparatory steps involved. There’s no qualification needed to assemble these bad boys. These are actually quite simple to drum up and your mouth with thank you.

P.F. Chang Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 3-4 as an appetizer

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We were out all day yesterday gathering up goodies for the remodel and I didn’t get a chance to squeeze in a lick of exercise.

Not even a 30 minute jog.

Consequently, I feel a little stiff today. Actually, we were gone far longer than expected and since I only brought 16 ounces of lemonade cocktail with me on the road I was H.U.N.G.R.Y. by our return at nightfall. After 4 hours or so without this yellow drink I fondly refer to as ‘food’, swigging a large gulp of my lemon dinner seemed scrumptious.

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I have been craving this gorgeous yet simple dish since the last time we slipped it into our mouths. A few weeks ago we were getting tired of grubbing on all the same old Christmas time foods so I slipped in this pasta to mix things up. (Yes, I know I’m just wild like that!) Not your traditional holiday meal, but seriously, everyone adored it and there wasn’t a speck left. But since I’m continuing on the master cleanse for 4 more days, this tasty Italian delight will just have to wait. Find out more about my master cleanse journey here.

This recipe turns out the best if you stick to the instructions precisely. Adding the milk and cream mixture every 15/20 minutes and allowing the sauce to simmer for the full hour and a half is key.

Linguine Bolognese

Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

bolognese

You’ll need:

  • 6 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound linguine pasta, prepared according to package directions
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp and has released almost all of its fat, about 6 minutes. This is called rendering.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft and lightly browned around the edges, about 6 minutes.

Add the ground chuck and cook, stirring to break up any clumps, until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the vinegar, garlic, and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.

Combine the milk and cream in a small mixing bowl. After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, and at even intervals, start adding the milk-cream mixture little by little–1/4 cup or so at a time over 11/2 hours. By the end of the 11/2 hours, the milk mixture should be completely incorporated and the sauce should be very thick and creamy. This sauce is not supposed to be very “saucy”– it should be tender morsels of meat coated by a thick, creamy sauce.

Transfer the cooked pasta to a large heatproof bowl and add the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Let me know how you like it! Enjoy.

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