Showing posts with label entrée. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entrée. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Presenting: Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée


Call this a continuation of my recipe redux post from last September...

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Last autumn, I prepared a scallops dish for my friend, Gwen, at Simply Healthy Family. If you click through to the post I wrote for her, I describe the evening I prepared the dish when my daughter finished her scallops and asked for more, which was unusual for a dish that's not kid favorites, such as burgers and pizza. She remembered the experience because she recently asked when are you going to cook scallops again? so I decided to use the opportunity to replicate the first scallops dish I published here because, even then, I was unhappy with it's execution.

Dish Details

I hope that this dish would be at home on any fine dining menu. For it, I used the same pea purée that I utilized in the dish I referenced above (however I omitted the tarragon sprig since I didn't have any fresh tarragon that evening) and my tried and true technique I've utilized since I figured it out two years ago. I also adapted the corn salsa I originally paired with pork chops.

Ingredients

3 ounces bacon, diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces U-10 sea scallops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Lemon thyme leaves, for garnish

Method

1. Roast the corn. In a medium skillet, render the bacon fat over medium heat until just shy of being crisp, approximately two to three minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then drain the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve for another use.


Add the corn to the same skillet where the bacon was prepared and roast until brown over medium heat, stirring periodically, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Remove the corn to a bowl, then combine with the bacon pieces and season with salt and pepper to taste.


2. Purée the peas. Start on the peas while the corn is roasting. To do so, combine the peas and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cover. Check the peas every three minutes until the peas are soft. Once velvety, strain the fluid from the peas but reserve the fluid. Purée the peas in a blender, adding the reserved liquid and one tablespoon olive oil until the purée is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


3. Sear the scallops. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops on one side only until browned, approximately sixty to ninety seconds. Remove to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. To plate, smear two tablespoons pea purée, onto a round plate, top with three scallops close together so they resemble a triangle, spoon some of the corn mixture over the scallops, then garnish with the lemon thyme leaves.

Final Thoughts

I remember watching a TV show that only lasted for one season on Bravo Network about five years ago called Rocco's Dinner Party. Each episode started with three chefs that prepared a dish in a qualifying round, then two of the three moved forward to host a dinner party for Chef Rocco DiSpirito and his celebrity friends. The chef who did the best won a cash prize. In one episode, Chef DiSpirito was thoroughly unimpressed in a qualifying round when one of the contestants prepared a dish using the combination of scallops, corn and bacon.

My point is the flavor affinity of this dish isn't very creative, however the picture of the finished dish is now my new favorite. I gave my friend, Faith of An Edible Mosaic and Healthy Sweet Eats, an advanced copy of the picture of the finished dish and one of the things she liked about it is the use of negative space: the way the food was concentrated on the center of the plate and the black plate against the white background. I've noticed that a plate with multiple contrasting colors on it is more visually appealing, so I'm very proud of the six colors on this dish. In fact, this photo has replaced my steak au poivre picture as my lock screen wallpaper on my phone.

Finally, my daughter finished her dinner the evening I prepared this dish just as quickly as she did last autumn and she's requested I prepare it again.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf


Last September, I published a pork chops dish for #SundaySupper that was not satisfying from the standpoint of it's plate presentation, so I decided to replicate it again.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I remember reading in Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri that Chef Colicchio doesn't change the proteins on his restaurant menus very often, but he will change the vegetable accompaniments depending on what's in season and what is at it's peak. Using this theory, I consulted The Flavor Bible to re-pair pork chops for spring produce. Spring onions are obviously in season around now and onions were strongly suggested as a pairing with pork. I knew caramelized onions were sweet and thought it would be a good substitute to apples that are in season in the autumn.

Dish Details

I prepared my pork chops using a tried and true method from Chef Tyler Florence. In addition, I utilized the guide to making rice pilaf and my love for caramelized onions can be traced back to this recipe on epicurious which I found about six years ago. I'd imagine this dish would be at home on any casual chain restaurant, however I'm unsure if one would go through the trouble of brining their chops.

Ingredients

1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt plus more as needed
Thyme sprigs
4 pork rib chops with the bone frenched
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Method

1. Prepare the pork chops. Brine the chops by combining the water one cup kosher salt and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs and the pork chops, then cover and refrigerate covered for two hours.


Once the two hours have elapsed, drain the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sear the pork chops in the skillet, approximately three to four minutes per side, then remove and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while the onions and rice are prepared.


2. Caramelize the onions. In the same skillet used to prepare the pork chops, melt two tablespoons butter in an additional two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and stir, coating them in the fat. Continue to cook the onions until they reduce, soften and turn a golden brown, stirring occasionally, approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


3. While the onions are caramelizing, prepare the rice. In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon unsalted butter in one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, approximately two minutes. Perfume the shallots by adding the cinnamon, then the rice. Stir the mixture until the rice is toasted and coated in the oils, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it steam until the rice has absorbed, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Once the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. To plate, spoon a portion of the rice off center on a warmed plate, then rest the pork chop on the rice so that the frenched bone is raised. Drizzle some caramelized onions over the pork, then garnish with parsley leaves.


Final Thoughts

If you look closely, you'll find that I seared the pork chops in a stainless steel skillet in the picture above yet I instructed to sear them in a non-stick one. I made this change because I thought the onions might be able to pick up some of the pork fond but I found the sear on the pork a little too dark and I didn't want my onions to have a charred taste when they were supposed to be sweet so I switched pans. Additionally, Chef Florence instructs to finish the chops off in the oven and I did in this case but I omitted it from the instructions because I found them to be a little dry, despite the fact that they were brined. If the pork chops are one-inch thick or more, roast them in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until their internal temperature reaches 140° Fahrenheit, approximately thirty minutes. In the end, I found the onions a very good substitute for apples and am surprised it isn't more common.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Filet Mignon with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette, Sautéed Mushrooms and Toasted Baguette

Filet Mignon with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette, Sautéed Mushrooms and Toasted Baguette


When my birthday occurred a couple of months ago, Mrs. Stuntman took me out to dinner the day prior because she had to work on the evening of my actual birthday. On my actual birthday, I posted a picture of the dish I ate for dinner on instagram. Call this an update but this could easily be served this weekend for Valentine's Day if you don't want to go out to eat.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I was surfing the net recently and came across a dish that won a Top Chef challenge in a prior season. It paired halibut with a vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes are ubiquitous in dressing salads, but are more uncommonly used by home cooks as a sauce to complement a protein and I wanted to explore the idea. In addition, the supermarket I normally patronize had USDA Choice New York steaks on sale, however they were a little too large of a portion for my family so I purchased filets instead. A quick review of The Flavor Bible revealed that beef steaks pair well with shallots, mushrooms and Dijon mustard.

Dish Details

I would like to think that this dish would be served at any fine dining steakhouse. I adapted a vinaigrette from Food & Wine but the remaining components of this dish are original.

Ingredients

2 shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 8-ounce beef tenderloin steaks, approximately 1-inch thick
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 baguette, cut into 1/2" slices on a bias
Basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (for garnish)

Method

1. Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the shallots and 1/2 cup olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat and sweat, stirring frequently until softened, approximately 10 minutes.


Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and let it cool slightly. Add the vinegar and mustard into the blender and purée until smooth. Add in the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm over low heat.


2. Sear the steaks. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and heat until the oil starts to smoke. While the oil is heating, season the filets with salt and pepper then add them to the skillet to sear, approximately 4 minutes. Flip the steaks to sear on the opposite side but reduce the heat to medium, until desired doneness is reached, approximately 6 minutes for medium rare.


3. Sauté mushrooms and finish the dish. If the skillet is dry once the steaks are removed, add the remaining teaspoon olive oil then the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until they shrink, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, approximately one minute, then deglaze with the white wine, scraping any fond from the pan. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer until the wine has evaporated.


While the wine is reducing, put the baguette slices on a aluminum foil lined sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler, checking every 30 seconds until the desired color is reached.


To plate, follow the classic design of starch at 10 o'clock, protein at 2 o'clock with sauce under the protein and vegetables at 6 o'clock by spooning a tablespoon of vinaigrette onto a plate right of center, then placing the filet onto the vinaigrette at the center of the plate. Using a slotted spoon, drizzle some mushrooms off to the side of the filet then lean a baguette slice against the filet on the opposite side of the vinaigrette and garnish the dish with the chiffonade basil.

Final Thoughts

This dish is about as spontaneous as I'll get because I did not plan to publish it here when I went shopping for the ingredients in the morning I prepared it. In fact, I composed it while I was there in the supermarket based upon the ingredients I knew I had in my pantry. Still, it was well balanced with the baguette offering a texture contrast. In addition, the acidity of the vinaigrette balanced out the sweet flavors in the basil and the savory steak from the standpoint of the flavor profile. From an execution standpoint, I altered my method slightly in preparing a filet because I found that, by following my prior method, the center was too rare for my taste and, in many cases, blue in the center.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Deconstructed Steak Poutine: Top Sirloin Steak with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Gravy for a 'Let's Poutine' #SundaySupper with Idaho® Potatoes #FWCon

Deconstructed Steak Poutine: Top Sirloin Steak with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Gravy for a 'Let's Poutine' #SundaySupper with Idaho® Potatoes #FWCon


Before I begin, let me be one of the last to wish you a Happy 2016!

To start this new year, I must congratulate Isabel of Family Foodie for a number of reasons. First, it's the fourth anniversary of her founding Sunday Supper Movement, but more than that, she was able to get January recognized as National Sunday Supper Month and, more specifically, the second Sunday of January National Sunday Supper Day, both occurring annually from this year going forward. You might have seen the National Sunday Supper Month Kickoff with last week's #SundaySupper event.

There are many ways to participate in National Sunday Supper Month. I highly encourage you to take the Sunday Supper Pledge to support the mission of bringing back #SundaySupper around the family table. Also, you can complete the sentence I cook because... in addition to a daily Instagram Photo Challenge. Click on the links above for more information.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Another way to celebrate is to participate in the Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest for National Sunday Supper Month. To enter the contest, contestants must create a recipe inspired by a poutine using Idaho® potatoes, among other requirements. See the link above for complete details. The task of creating a poutine-inspired recipe using Idaho® potatoes was also assigned to the twenty participating bloggers in today's Let's Poutine #SundaySupper event. By now you might have guessed that this post is sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are those of the individual bloggers. Please visit Idaho® potatoes website, 'Like' their Facebook page, and follow them on twitter, instagram and pinterest.


Let's discuss the dish for a moment. The poutine originates from Quebec and is comprised of French fries topped with a brown gravy and cheese curds. If I can be candid for a moment, poutine is considered fast food there in Canada and a Canadian friend of mine even went so far to call the dish drunk food. Many of my colleagues within #SundaySupper were introduced to the poutine at the Food Wine Conference last summer where Saturday's lunch was sponsored, in part, by Idaho® potatoes so it's a little ironic that the dish was so well received. I think that the dish's execution in addition to the various flavor pairings offered that day contributed to its warm reception. My story with the dish is a little different because my chef friend put a short rib poutine on his menu at his restaurant when it opened in 2011, so I was familiar with it when I attended last summer.

Dish Details

I've always been a little suspicious of the dish because a gravy is defined as a sauce made from the juices secreted from a cooked protein so the absence of one has always confounded me. It's the reason why I included a protein in my re-imagined dish here. One of the requirements of this dish is that I use Idaho® potatoes, so thankfully, the supermarket I usually patronize had them in stock:


I borrowed the red wine gravy recipe from myrecipes.com, but the other components of the dish are original.

Ingredients

1 pound russet Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 8-to-10 ounce top sirloin steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk plus more if necessary
2 cups baby arugula
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bleu cheese crumbles, for garnish

Method

1. Boil the Idaho® potatoes. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water so that the potatoes are submerged by at least one inch, then season the water with kosher salt. Place the saucepan over high heat and boil until they are fork tender, approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Drain the potatoes with a colander and place them back in the saucepan.


2. Prepare the steaks. While the potatoes are boiling, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and season the steaks with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sear the steaks in the pan, four minutes per side for medium rare, then remove from the pan and set aside to allow for carryover cooking while the other components of the dish are prepared.


3. Prepare the gravy. Create a roux by reducing the heat under the skillet to medium and add an additional two tablespoons olive oil. Whisk in the all-purpose flour and continue to whisk frequently until brown.


Deglaze the pan with the red wine, loosening the fond from the bottom of the pan, then add in the beef stock and simmer until thickened. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as necessary.


4. Finish potatoes. While the gravy simmers, mash the drained potatoes or pass them through a food mill. Add butter and scoop some potatoes over so the butter melts. Once melted, stir in the milk until the potatoes absorb the fluid. More milk may be added until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Prepare the salad and finish the dish. Whisk together the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the arugula with just one or two teaspoons of the vinaigrette-just enough to wet, but not wilt, the leaves. Cut each steak diagonally in half, across the grain then place some gravy into a squeeze bottle. To plate, spoon some potatoes onto the plate towards the front but still in the center. Place a couple of dollops of gravy beside the potatoes, then put one half of the steak on the potatoes, then place the other half off center so the interior is exposed. Top the steak with the arugula salad and garnish with the bleu cheese crumbles.

Final Thoughts

Those that know me know that I rarely publish a dish without consulting my copy of The Flavor Bible first. I certainly did here but the flavor profiles noted were nothing unusual. Each of the main ingredients used were noted to pair well with each other: steak, potatoes, cheese (specifically, bleu cheese), arugula, butter and red wine.

I'm not the only #SundaySupper member that prepared a poutine-inspired dish. Check out the others below:

Breakfast:
Appetizers:
Main Dish:
Plus: Poutine Variations for National Sunday Supper Day from Sunday Supper Movement

Have you signed the #SundaySupper pledge to eat together as a family? Do it right here!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Chicken Cacciatore Pronto for a Last Minute Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper

Chicken Cacciatore Pronto for a Last Minute Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper


If I could be candid for a moment. I was going to publish this dish separately until I saw this week's #SundaySupper theme of Last Minute Holiday Meals, hosted by T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley and Wendy of Wholistic Woman. I think it fits in nicely with the theme because it's a braised dish which is perfect for the weather, but it's chicken so it's not simmering for hours which means it can be prepared quickly.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I have become very familiar with this dish over the years. If memory serves me correctly, the first time I prepared it was for a dinner party I hosted. At the time, I was still a novice cook that only knew to follow recipe instructions, but kept coming back to it once I realized how well thought out the dish is. It ended up having a profound influence on the direction of my cooking style.

Dish Details

I have adapted it over time but the source recipe can be found on page 166 of Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking By Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher.

Ingredients

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup tomato purée
1 cup chicken stock

Method

1. Finish the mise en place. Place the dried porcini in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them and set aside for 30 minutes so the mushrooms rehydrate. While you're waiting, I recommend puréeing the tomatoes, mincing garlic and chopping parsley. Once the mushrooms are rehydrated lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon and chop, then set aside to reserve. Pass the water in which the mushrooms were soaked through a double layer of paper towels, then set aside and reserve.

2. Sear the chicken. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with a thin layer of olive oil (approximately 1 teaspoon) and place over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet, skin side down, to sear once the olive oil starts to smoke until well browned, approximately eight to ten minutes. Turn and sear on the second side, approximately two minutes, then remove from the skillet and set aside.


3. Layer flavor and simmer. Drain all but one tablespoon of the oil from the skillet and return to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until it starts to color, then two tablespoons parsley and reserved porcini, stirring until fragrant. Add the tomato purée, chicken stock and reserved mushroom broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any fond. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through, approximately thirty minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet, then raise the temperature to high, boiling the sauce to reduce and thicken, approximately five minutes. To serve spoon the sauce on the plate and top with chicken and garnish with the remaining parsley.


Final Thoughts

The word cacciatore is Italian for hunter and is considered a rustic dish out of central Italy that is commonly made with onions, tomatoes mushrooms and bell peppers, as I've previously demonstrated, however I like this version for extracting such incredible flavor from basic ingredients and, as I said above, it cooks quickly. Possibly the only ingredient that might seem exotic is the dried mushrooms, however I have found that they are readily available at most supermarkets. Chef Chiarello notes in his book that thighs are the part of the chicken that is best for braising because they're moister and, therefore, don't dry out as easily as say breast meat, for example. This dish taught me how to layer flavors and opened my mind to the concept of a mirepoix. I also find the utilization of the water used to soak the dried porcini in the braising fluid quite innovative.

I've prepared an entrée here, but don't miss the many other last minute holiday recipes of varying courses prepared for this week's #SundaySupper, which are below.

Beverages
Breakfast
Appetizers
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Desserts
Quick and Easy Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper by Sunday Supper Movement


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crème Fra?che and Fried Sage Leaves for a #SundaySupper Where We Use Veggies As A Main

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For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful holiday this past Thursday. As I stated in my preview, I find this week's #SundaySupper theme of Veggies As A Main refreshing because it could have easily contributed to the noise of Thanksgiving leftover ideas.

I last made a point of addressing the topic of vegetarian dishes earlier this year when I had the opportunity to work with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to promote their most recent book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. In it, Ms. Page makes a strong case for those that have chosen to eat a plant-based diet be it environmental, medical or ethical reasons and I highly recommend it even for meat eaters because it is helpful in dish composition.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

As I looked over my previous posts, I have found many vegetarian dishes here. Many are salads but I would estimate more are Italian primi dishes, which is the case here. I actually find it difficult to incorporate meat into pasta dishes unless we're discussing fillings. Costs aside, flavor is considered first when choosing the ingredients to use in a dish, then whether or not the dish is in season before science (i.e. yeast to make bread, deglazing with fluid, etc.). Since butternut squash is in season, I decided to use it in a risotto dish. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible listed butternut squash as pairing well with risottos, sage and nutmeg which is how I composed this dish.

Dish Details

I adapted Ree's recipe to the fried sage leaves found on epicurious.

Ingredients

Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 7 cups chicken stock, brought to a low simmer in a saucepan
1/4 cup crème fra?che
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons nutmeg

Method

1. Fry the sage. In a small saucepan or small skillet, add enough vegetable oil to achieve a depth of 1/2-inch and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sage in batches, 3 to 4 leaves at a time for 5 seconds each, removing them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then season with kosher salt. Set aside to cool. This can be done a day ahead. Once cool, store the leaves in an airtight container.


2. Prepare the squash. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in the squash cubes, then season with salt and pepper. Sweat the squash until lightly browned and tender but not falling apart. Remove the squash from the skillet to a bowl, set aside and reserve.


3. Apply the risotto method in the same skillet where the butternut squash was prepared by following the method in step two of a risotto I published previously.

4. Finish the dish. Once the rice is al dente, stir in the reserved butternut squash, crème fra?che, parmesan and nutmeg using more or less crème fra?che until the desired consistency has been achieved. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with the sage leaves.

Final Thoughts

With the holiday this week, I didn't get the opportunity to perfect the dish because the night I prepared it, I added too much crème fra?che. Mrs. Stuntman also thought the dish was too sweet so I'll need to play around with spices to balance out the flavors.

Meanwhile, please view these other dishes offered for this week's #SundaySupper:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Post at Simply Healthy Family: Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Carrot Purée, Sautéed Ham and Mushrooms

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Carrot Purée, Sautéed Ham and Mushrooms




Right around Labor Day, my friend Gwen of Simple Healthy Family put out a request for guest posts for her blog because her family recently purchased a home and her life was going to get rather busy with a full time job in addition to moving, but she didn't want to neglect her blog. Having moved several times in the last decade, I could empathize so I volunteered. Unfortunately, my life also got busy and I only recently prepared the dish I promised her, so I offer my apologies to her for the delay.

From the standpoint of the dish itself I've prepared for Gwen, I'll just note that it's not my first time preparing scallops for the website. I wasn't satisfied with my first attempt primarily because I used inferior scallops and didn't achieve the sear I wanted. Last year, I had to severely alter the preparation of a Martha Stewart scallop appetizer because I had a different professional opinion regarding the techniques utilized and I also prepared a scallops entrée that used seasonal ingredients but the best scallops dish, in my opinion, is the one I prepared for #SundaySupper in February of 2014.

Before I send you to Simply Healthy Family for the recipe, please add her to your G+ circles, follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and twitter in addition to giving her Facebook page a Like.

So have I surpassed the #SundaySupper dish I prepared? Click here to go to Simply Healthy Family to find out.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Light Stunt: Cacio e Pepe

Light Stunt: Cacio e Pepe




My sister-in-law recently celebrated her one year anniversary by taking a European vacation that took her and her husband through Rome. Before she left, I asked her to bring me back some dried pasta from Italy and she did!


Inspiration Behind the Dish

While she was in Europe, I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference where I met Sara Rosso who currently resides in Italy. Somehow we started to discuss Italian food when she asked what I knew about authentic Italian food. I replied that I was surprised to find the cuisine is so simple. To that end, I thought I'd demonstrate it using ingredients from Italy.

Dish Details

Cacio e pepe is Italian for cheese and pepper and refers to the sauce that accompanies this simple pasta dish I adapted from bon appétit.

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound dried spaghetti
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Method

1. Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop the pasta into the water and return to a boil, stirring occasionally for two minutes less than the instructions on the package directs. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.


2. Prepare the sauce. While the pasta cooks, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper to toast and becomes fragrant, approximately one to two minutes. Add about half of the pasta water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta with the remaining tablespoon of butter, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and toss with the two cheeses and serve in warmed bowls garnished with parsley.

Final Thoughts

I like this dish for several reasons. First and foremost, despite it's simplicity, it yielded incredible flavor. Second, there's some techniques demonstrated in this dish that might be missed if not highlighted. 1) Add salt to the pasta water. Pasta acts like a sponge and will add incredible flavor to the dish. 2) Undercook the pasta in the boiling water because 3) the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce in order to blend the flavors of the sauce and the pasta. 4) Reserve some of the pasta water to use in the sauce. The starchy water will bind and thicken the sauce, and in the case of this dish, can also act as an emulsifier.

Speaking of the International Food Bloggers Conference, I'll have a fuller review of my experiences hopefully next week.

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