Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fruit Love

Nectarine Turnovers

I had F. go to the store for me to buy some things, including nectarines. He brought back fruits that were as hard as a baseball and smelled... well, of nothing. I left them on the counter for a few days in the fleeting hope they would ripen and when they didn't, I knew I would be making fruit-something rather than eating them plain as planned.

So I let a sheet of puff pastry thaw from the freezer.

Began a caramel sauce (1/2 C of water to 1 C of sugar... letting it cook alone without stirring for 15 minutes or until golden) as if making a tart tatin or something.
Instead of arranging the fruit prettily about as in a tart tatin, I added the peeled and chopped nectarine and let it cook in the caramel sauce for about ten minutes.
The fruit released a lot of juice, so I found it much too liquidy to put all in the puff pastry. So I strained the caramel/fruit mixture and reserved the caramel.
Then, I added the goozy fruit mixture to the middle of the pastry, brushed the sides with butter and folded them up, rolling together the ends where I could.
I brushed them with butter, and put them in a 350 oven for 15 minutes - they emerged looking very edible.

With some ice cream and the reserved caramel sauce all over ... even more edible

Pan Fried Gnocchi

Gnocchi, amore
So, after reading a few other blogs about it (one at 101 Cookbooks & one at bitchin' Camero) I gave it a try.

I formed the gnocchi, and then I put them in a hot pan with some oil and let them hang out for a few minutes.

I was afraid they would fall apart in the water if I tried to boil them. They were delicious-like a light potato cream melted in the middle of the two crisp sides. I encourage you to try to make your own gnocchi. It's a much more affordable and yummy side than the store bought kind.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

Take one 5 lb chicken and give it a good rinse and one over, plucking off any yellow outer skin hanging on or feathers. Sit the Chicken on a ¾ full open beer (we used Miller Lite). Rub the chicken of a mixture of ~1/4 C olive oil, 3tb salt/spice mixture.

To make potatoes on the side, par boil 1 lb. halved red new potatoes for about 5 minutes. Then drain and toss with a blended mix of 4 tb. Olive oil and half of a packet of onion soup mix. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken.

Cook the chicken dish in the center of a 325°F oven for an hour.

After an hour of cooking the chicken (once it reaches an internal temp of about 130°F) prepare the glaze.

We used a small bottle of Orangina type juice drink, the juice of half a lemon and one lime, ¼ ts fresh ground ginger, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper, finished off with a nice dredge of honey. Let your glaze ingredients come together for a good half hour then dab it all over with a brush then pour remainder over chicken.

Let the chicken go until it reaches a temperature of 180°F (in the breast, ~165°F in the thigh)

My Love

My one true love.

Everything Bagel "Softwich" with Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast,

Peppered Bacon, Avocado, & Red Onion


With so many cooking magazines coming to me daily, I've recognized that there's a lot I still haven't cooked that's normally in a well rounded repetoire. So here is a list of foods I'd like to give a go at:

Tart Tatin
Beef Stroganoff
Baked Enchiladas
Creme Fraiche
Fish & Chips
Pickling Cornichon
Chicken Paprikesh
Israeli Couscous
This is just it to begin with... another list I made today was dishes that we have all the ingredients and can enjoy this week:
Marinara Baked Eggs Gratin
Beer roasted Chicken with Italian Citrus Glaze
with onion roasted new potatoes and spicy kale
Oven Roasted Acorn Squash
Strombolis with Broccoli, Salami, & Port Salut
Spanish Tortilla with roasted red peppers
Baked Bacon Stuffed Avocados
Adobe Refried Beans
Golden Crusted Brussel Sprouts with Romano cheese
Pork Chops stuffed with roasted red peppers
Spicy Chicken in Bibb Salad wraps
Crispy Crusted Pork Chops

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Roasted Chickpeas

Working in a vegetarian office sometimes makes me want to scream. However, it often provides the inspiration to find interesting ways to enliven my brown bagged lunches. Inspiration paired with a sincere desire to lose some weight before the wedding has me leaning towards leaner recipes… and thus,
roasted chickpeas

1 can chickpeas
½ tb Olive Oil
1 ts smoked Spanish paprika
1 ts Ras el Hanout
½ ts kosher salt

Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Let the dry in the colander for 10-15 minutes, giving them a good jiggle every so often to work the water out. Put them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread the chickpeas out in one layer. Cook at 375 for 40 minutes or so. Cool completely before storing or enjoying.