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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Feelin’ Fancy n’ Fresno

I know what you’re thinking: Does this guy make anything other than risotto? Well, let me explain.

My girlfriend’s family was in town this week. Like a good woman, she talked-up my risotto-making skills. Her sister, Andrea, is a vegetarian, so anything with animal stock was off the table. I decided corn risotto was the way to go since I hadn’t made it in a long time. Now, what to serve with it?!

The vegetarian eats fish, which was a relief because white fish pairs great with corn. I brought up scallops but Andrea’s husband, Darrin, said he had scallops once and they were rubbery and gross. I then got to thinking: What other types of fish could I make with this dish?

I was on the fence about swordfish and not a whole lot else was coming to mind. Then it suddenly hit me! I am going to make this couple love scallops as I do with the help of my awesome, ninja-like, culinary talents … but just to be safe, I got a salmon fillet as a plan B.

In the end, everyone ended up loving the food. If you’ve never had a scallop, scallops taste as if a crab and a shrimp got together and had a mixed, ocean-life baby; to top it off, the corn sauce I made gave the scallops a little sommin’, sommin’.

By the end of the evening, I had turned all dinner party members into über scallop fans AND I even got an invitation to Indiana to cook for my new scallop-loving friends. Long story short: the power of seafood is god-like!

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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Entree

 

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Vacuumed chicken?

I have never done this technique with anything before, but this is the ONLY way to make chicken much better. I vacuum sealed the chicken breast with salt, pepper, herbs, and a little olive oil.

I marinated it overnight to let everything get acquainted. I then simmered the chicken in the bag for about fifteen minutes. That will cook the chicken through without making it dry. When it was time to eat, I browned the breast in a pan with more herbs, and finished it in the oven to heat through. The result was a terrific surprise!

The chicken was succulent. The herbs were very present in the taste and aroma. To accompany the beautiful bird, I made a spectacular chicken jus. The jus consisted of onion, carrot, celery, white wine, chicken stock, and a plethora of herbs, including allspice berries and bay leaves.

If that wasn’t enough of a mouth-gasm, I made mushroom risotto (my specialty) and sautéed swiss chard. All the flavors worked excellent together. Savory from the chicken … earthy from the mushrooms … a little sweetness from the swiss chard…

A surprisingly light dish that speaks volumes in taste!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Entree

 

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Amo la colazione!

For those of you who don’t speak Italian, that means, “I love breakfast!” (I had to Google it.)

So, I decided to combine one of my favorite cuisines with my all-time favorite meal of the day. I give you… eggs benedict, Italian style!

I fell in love with polenta’s deliciousness and versatility about three years ago. I discovered that you can put just about anything in it, and it makes it taste AMAZING.

In my dish, I had a pan-seared polenta cake topped with a smear of roasted garlic and crispy prosciutto. On top of that, rested the ever-glorious, ever-necessary poached egg. I finished it off with a dollop of pesto.

This dish was a symphony of flavors and textures, that I can assure you, would please anyone! The polenta was nice and creamy on the inside, and the undertone of the garlic played well with the “sauce” created by combining the yolk of the egg with the pesto.

Don’t forget the prosciutto — a salty, crispy treat that adds more texture, and a savory note, to the whole dish.

Overall verdict: FUGGETABOUTIT! This dish was easy and fun to prepare, and more importantly, not expensive. If you want to have a new brunch experience, I highly recommend giving this a try.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Breakfast

 

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