MMMmmmm Food!

MMMmmmm Food!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes!!!

These were SO AMAZING!!! I want to make them again tomorrow morning...!  They are fluffy, pumpkiny and spicy!!!
 You will need:

1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
6 tbsp pumpkin puree (not pie mix!)

 First, use a fork and blend all the dry ingredients!  Check out those super sexy new spice jars from my BFFFFF Kate!  Boom!  She nailed it!
 In another bowl, mix together all the wet ones:  pumpkin, egg, melted butter and milk.
 Add the wet to the dry and fold together - don't over mix!
 In a large frying pan, melt a bit more butter and get it up to medium high heat!  oh, and cook some bacon - you'll want it, it is a no brainer.
 This should make about 6 good sized pancakes... so I used a 1/4 measuring cup filled 3 times to make these guys - then cook 3 more after.  When you start to see the bubbles, flip them over!
 Looks good to me!!!!  And they smell so so so good!
 How good is that??  Finish with some warm maple syrup and eat them while hot!!!  I've never made pancakes from scratch - but these are awesome!  Sorry Bisquick!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Pear Gorgonzola Salad!!!

Doesn't that look delicious and fall-like??

What you'll need for 2 salads:

2 grilled chicken breasts
Salad greens (Romaine & Butter lettuce)
5 strips of bacon
2 Bartlett pears
1/2 cup hazelnuts (toasted & chopped)
2 shallots (chopped)
crumbled gorgonzola

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp good balsamic
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 clove garlic (chopped)

*Note:  glass of white wine is for drinking while cooking.
*Note #2:  bread was just to eat with the salad when finished!
First, slowly cook up the bacon - then drain on paper towels for the end.  You'll want to crumble it into the salad when adding everything else!
Toast up the hazelnuts over medium-low heat.  Keep them moving so they don't burn!  This also helps release the "paper skins."
Assemble the dressing:  measure out the olive oil and balsamic, then add chopped garlic and S&P.
Yum!  Nice and toasty - place them on a plate to cool a bit. 
Wait a minute!  We had 5 slices of bacon in that pan..... TAZZY???  Just kidding.  You only need 4... but when cooking bacon, always make a slice for the cook to eat.  You know you are going to do it, so just plan ahead!   :)
When you can handle them, rub off as much of the brown "paper skin" as possible.  It is ok if some doesn't come off!  Then give them a rough chop and set aside.
Remove the peal and core from each pear - then slice or chop!  Now we are ready to put this salad together!
Start with both types of greens on the plate - an even mix of both.  Finally, add in the chopped shallots, chopped hazelnuts, sliced/chopped pears - at this point I gave the dressing another quick stir.  Add to the salad and finish with crumbled gorgonzola, bacon and sliced grilled chicken!  I had a tiny bit of dressing leftover - so the chicken got a dash too.  Last thing is a bit of extra cracked black pepper!
So so so yummy!  I love these flavors all together!  Hope you make this easy & hearty salad!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shimp & Chorizo Risotto!!!

Wow!!!  Does that looks good, or what???

Ok friends... it has been far too long since I posted something on here.  Maybe it is because that Julie & Julia movie was on cable tv today... and I started to think, "damn, it has been far too long since I added something on the food blog..."  So here we go!  (And a special shout out to Chris - you also reminded me that I need to get back on top of things!)

Here's what you'll need!

2 lbs. shrimp
1 link of chorizo 
2 cups risotto rice
1 box chicken stock
1 bottle white wine (sauvignon blanc)
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
handful of Italian parsley
kosher salt
ground pepper
olive oil
1-2 tbsp unsalted butter

 First, remove the casing from the chorizo link.
 Break up the chorizo with your fingers.
 Heat a large skillet with a small amount of olive oil, then add the chorizo to brown it up!  Smells so so good!!!  Like I'm back in Barcelona already.  
 My tip is to buy the shrimp with the shells on - they are a lot cheaper that way and it only takes a bit more time to remove the shell and clean them yourself!!  Do it!!  Get your hands a little dirty!
 Once the chorizo has been browned up, remove it and set aside.  Now see all those yummy brown bits??  That is what we are going to cook the shrimp with!  
 Get the pan hot again and add the shrimp - they will only need about a minute on each side!  If they are not fully cooked, no worries - they will cook more in the last step when added to the risotto!
 Remove the shrimp when cooked and add to the chorizo!  Yum, I could just eat this right now and be a happy boy.
 Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock!  Simply add a splash of liquid and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon... tons of flavor here!
 We are just about the add the chopped onion... I threw in about a tablespoon of butter for extra flavor and richness.
 Here's the chopped onion!  Season with salt and pepper...
 Now toss it into the pan!  
 Here's how it should look after a few minutes - nice and caramelized!  I threw in the chopped garlic at the very end - turn off the heat and let it just warm with the onions! 
 Mmmmm risotto rice!  Put about 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2 tbsp of butter into a deep pot - once melted and hot, add the two cups of risotto rice.  You want to keep stirring it so all the rice gets toasted - just a few minutes.  
 I threw the cooked onions back into the rice.  Then we start the process of wine/chicken stock...
 I like to cook with a sauvignon blanc I would also drink... yeah, I'm drinking while I cook.  So basically you alternate white whine and chicken stock while the rice is cooking over a medium flame.  When the liquid is just about absorbed, you want to hit it with the alternating liquid.  It takes some time and effort - but isn't this how most of life is? 
 Mmmmmm when you think your rice is done (all of my chicken stock got used up and almost a whole bottle of wine... depending on how much the cook drinks)... try it to check for doneness.  Then add in the shrimp and chorizo you set aside at the start!
1) Rub some asparagus with a little olive oil
2) season with ground pepper
3) throw into a hot grill pan
4) finish with parmesan and white truffle oil
5) love your life
 Just about ready to plate it all...  give it all a few more big turns in the pot!
 All done!!!  
Finish with some chopped Italian parsley - super easy and tasty!!!!

Risotto seems like such a blank canvas - waiting for culinary inspiration depending on what you have a taste for!  So be adventurous...  try something new...  make this risotto tonight!