Friday, April 24, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake With Sugar Lavender Glaze


































click on the picture for a more bigger, clear view...

I made my first Old Fashion Strawberry shortcake, I know these have been around forever, but I tasted one for the first time just recently. The glaze recipe was something I wanted to add to this, so I made sugar water syrup with 3 TB of Lavender leaves once it got thick I used a sieve to discard the flowers and poured this into the strawberries for additional flavor. It came out so tasty. The shortcake itself reminded me of a scone. The left over shortcake will taste great in the morning with some Orange Marmalade inserted inside.... and with my ice cold chai...heaven...

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

















For this week's Magazine Monday post, hosted by Cream Puffs in Venice I found this delectable Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp. I love Thai Food it is my favorite ethnic food. I love the taste of coconut in just about anything. When I came across this recipe I had to give it a go. Did I mention how easy this is to make? 30 minutes! I found this recipe in Cooking Light.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gnocchi With Wild Mushroom and Sage Ragu

































For this week's Magazine Monday Event, hosted by Cream Puffs in Venice, I found a tasty Gnocchi recipe in Bon Appetit.


I love Italian food but rarely ever make it or eat it for that matter. Italian food is on the heavier side of what I'm use to eating. Every once in a great while I head over to my favorite Italian restaurant and fall in love with it all over again. I can't eat Italian food without wine, it's a necessity for me and I'm not sure why it has to be that way. Lucky for me, there was a lovely white wine recommendation in Bon Appetit that I tried and loved with my dish, it's called Torrontes. There's only one dish that I always order on the menu of any Italian restaurant and that's Gnocchi. So, when I came across a glimpse of a Gnocchi recipe in the new May 2009 issue of Bon Appetit I just had to give it a try. There is no picture, which usually leaves me wondering if I want to try a recipe not knowing how it should come out, but I'm very aware how Gnocchi are supposed to taste and look like. Let me start by saying, this was not easy at all for me. Dealing with dough and getting it to the right consistency is a struggle, I don't find it a problem with baking but it is definitely more difficult to deal with in cooking. My Gnocchi came out incredibly soft, the sauce was a nice light white wine base, though I do prefer the thick white sauce and would hope to find that version in the future, this did satisfy me and I'm really sleepy after eating it too. My tummy feels heavy. I loved the way this turned out, but considering I made my Gnocchi from scratch it was time consuming.

Gnocchi
2 Pounds russet potatoes
kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground black peper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1-1 1/4 cups AP flour unbleached plus more for dusting

Ragu-
1/3 cup Olive Oil
4 Cups mixed wild mushrooms
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 TB chopped garlic
1 TB minced fresh sage leaves
2 TB minced Shallots
1 Cup Torrontes White Wine
1 cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese as needed
Parsely 1 TB

Still looking for the link to this on Bon appetit, the directions to the recipe to follow. I'm not sure why it is not posted on their site, so I'm typing this up straight from the magazine.

Gnocchi
Preheat oven to 375F. Bake Potatoes on a bed of kosher salt in a baking dish, about 45-50 mins. (I boiled them it was much faster). While still warm, halve potatoes and scoop out the flesh. Pass the flesh through a potato ricer, or push through a coarse sieve until you have about 4 cups. In a bowl, combine potato, egg yolks, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Work the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add 1 cup of the flour and knead, patting and pressing the dough until all the flour is incorporated. Add the additional 1/4 cup flour if the dough feels too moist. It should be soft but shouldn't stick to your hands. Transfer dough to a work surface and roll into a 3-inch-diameter log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll dough into 1/2 inch diameter ropes. Flour the ropes, then cut crosswise at 1/2 inch intervals. Shape the gnocchi with the back of a fork or cook as is. Let dry at room temperature for 20 mins before cooking.

Ragu-
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add oil, then sprinkle in mushrooms. Without stirring, let mushrooms caramelize for 7-8 mins. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook, stirring for about 1 min. Add the sage and shallots and cook for 1 min. Add the Torrontes and reduce by 1/2. Then add cream and simmer until slightly reduced to sauce consistency, about 5 mins. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi. They are done when they float to the surface. Lift gnocchi out with a skimmer and transfe to a platter. Pour sauce over the gnocchi. Grate Permesan over the top, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black Bean, Chicken and Red Pepper Soup..Stew...


After seeing Black Bean Red Pepper Soup at Closet Cooking and a protein version of it at Annie's Eats, I decided I wanted protein in it so I went with Annie's eats. Both look tasty..with slightly different ingredients. When I get burned out on meat as I always do, I'll have Kevin's vegetable version of it. This is a tasty black bean dish that I will keep on my repeat menu.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Strawberry Loaf Bread

































































Here's the baby creeping up on my shots. I cut a piece off from this and put it on the table and started taking pictures, all of a sudden through my camera lens I see this little hand reach over the top of the table and pick a piece off so I naturally kept shooting. Than seconds later you see a little finger scooping out the strawberry. My little munchkin loved this bread. I started off making my favorite strawberry scone recipe but realized I lacked the yogurt to complete it so I added some of my own ingredients in there and decided to go with a loaf bread. It came out quite tasty and seeing that my little one really liked it, it was a successful experiment.

2 cups AP Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp BP
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Cake Flour
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
2 Cups Strawberries
1/4 Cup Heavy Creme

Mix it all together with rubber spatula just until combined if it is too moist and not that of dough consistency add more cake flour. Brush the top with Milk and sprinkle brown sugar and bake until it springs back or still slightly soft in the middle.

Scallops Wrapped in Bacon With A Spicy Sauce



Scallops is a hard meal to have as a main meal. This dish for instances works out perfectly as a nice appetizer unless you find yourself eating 4 or more of them. I came across a spicy sauce recipe from Tyler Florence, one of my favorite cooks to watch from the Food Network. I made this for dinner, but in the future I will do it as an appetizer as how Tyler Florence makes them in his recipe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Asian Inspired Salmon














"There's a party in my tummy....so yummy..so yummy..."














If you have kids you know where this comes from ;) ....I found yet another amazing Asian inspired Salmon recipe at Blog Chef, I can really taste the soy sauce and garlic in this one and it's a keeper. I wanted to remake that Misoyaki Salmon recipe I made a week ago but I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand so I found a recipe that requires ingredients I always have in my frig.