Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cherry Coulis

IMG_9287

I think cherries are stunning. Their vivid, voluptuous appearance makes them absolutely irresistible to me. I spied some plump beauties at the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday morning and snatched some up for a dessert to serve our dinner guests that evening.

IMG_9300 (1)
Cherries belong to the genus Prunus, which also includes almonds, so it should be no surprise that almonds and cherries are as compatible as Fred and Ginger on the dance floor. I decided to pick up a couple of pints of Talenti toasted almond gelato and whip up a simple cherry coulis to spoon over the top.
This recipe will make enough for 6-8. It really depends on how heavy handed you are with the spoon. I had some left over and put it in the freezer for another day (I also added a spoonful to our oatmeal the next morning. Yum!).
1.5 pounds of fresh cherries
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp. quality balsamic vinegar
IMG_9288
Pit the cherries (your hands will be a stained mess, but it’s so worth it) and plop them in a saucepan. Sprinkle the sugar and water over the cherries. Mix well, cover, and bring to a very slow simmer. The cherries will begin to release their juices. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until thickened.
IMG_9290
Mash any remaining whole fruit with a large spoon. Remove from the heat and let the coulis sit. Once it’s cooled, add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. You could also serve the coulis warm, which would make a nice contrast with the cold gelato. Your choice. Enjoy!
Eat well,
April

“Love is an ice cream sundae, with all the marvelous coverings. Sex is the cherry on top.” – Jimmy Dean

Fusilli Bolognese

We’ve all been there: moving misery. It’s been a full week of suffering for us. We began to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel late yesterday afternoon. Our last box was put into storage, our final bag of clothes dropped at Good Will, and we made the last trip to the Container Store (wishful thinking). Now we’re settled in and excited about exploring another Laguna Beach neighborhood.

Take-out food got old real quick, but we didn’t have much of a choice. In an effort to keep Roger as healthy as possible (he had another round of chemo last week), I had to get cooking ASAP. I really pushed to get the kitchen up and running first; however, after much discussion with the fam, we decided to indulge in one last sinfully delicious meal before we called it quits for a while. A close friend was invited for dinner, and I got busy making the second meal in our new kitchen: fusilli Bolognese.

We chose a bottle of Opus One that we’d been saving to serve alongside our Bolognese. It was the perfect opportunity to pull the cork on a special bottle of wine and celebrate our new beginnings.

This is a riff on Mario Batali’s recipe. Here’s what you’ll need to feed 6-

IMG_9245

1.5 pound of fusilli pasta (1 and ½ boxes)

1 pound of ground veal

1 pound of ground pork

4 oz. of finely chopped pancetta

2 cloves of garlic

1 carrot

1 stalk of celery

1 large onion

1¼ cup of dry white wine (Dry meaning not sweet. I chose an un-oaked chardonnay. Chablis style.)

1¼ cups of whole milk

1 – 4.5 oz. tube of quality tomato paste (I used Mutti double concentrated)

1 small Parmesan rind (optional)

3-4 whole thyme sprigs

1 tbsp. kosher salt

3 tbsp. of butter

3 tbsp. of EVOO

1 – 5qt. braising pan

IMG_9246

Dice your carrot very small.

IMG_9249

Dice the celery very small. The stalks that I found in the market were very thin, so I diced two stalks.

Peel and dice your onion.

IMG_9250

Slice your garlic cloves paper-thin.

Turn the burner to medium and add the butter and EVOO to the pan. Melt them together. Saute the onion, celery, and carrots until softened.

Add the garlic and tomato paste. Heat until fragrant.

Add the meat and brown.

 

Pour in the milk and white wine. Mix well.

IMG_9259

Toss in the thyme, salt, and Parmesan rind. Mix well.

IMG_9261

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Cook the pasta of your choice in salted water (like the ocean) until it’s less than al dente. Remove the pasta and add it to the sauce. Cook until al dente.

IMG_9270

Sprinkle with a generous portion of aged grated Parmesan. Buon appetito!

Eat well!

April

“In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.” – Robin Leach

Egg in a Veggie Basket

Who doesn’t look forward to Sunday AM breakfast with a furry friend(s) by their side, the Sunday paper in hand, and a big steaming cup of coffee to top it off? No one, that’s who. After our beautiful Sunday morning walk through Heisler Park a week ago, I began routing around in the refrigerator for something tasty. Black-eyed peas happened to be the first thing I spotted.

Black-eyed peas are packed with calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, and vitamin A. As you can see by the list of the other ingredients, this little dish packs a nutritious wallop that can’t be beat.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

IMG_8988

Here’s what you’ll need (the recipe as written serves one)

A small ovenproof casserole dish

½ cup of prepared black-eyed peas (bought mine from Trader Joe’s)

1 egg

1 small – medium tomato, seeds squeezed out and chopped into small dice

½ shallot, minced

1 cup finely chopped kale (I used red kale)

1 tbsp. feta cheese

½ small lime

1 generous tbsp. of basil chiffonade.

1 tbsp. EVOO

¼ tsp. kosher salt

IMG_8990

The first layer in the casserole dish should be tomato and then minced shallot.

IMG_8993

Next add the kale, black-eyed peas, and make a well in the center. Sprinkle the salt and EVOO over the mix. Crack the egg into the center of the well while being careful to not break the yolk.

IMG_8994

Add the feta to the top and pop it into the oven. Cook until the egg is prepared to your liking. I left mine a little oozy.

IMG_8995

IMG_8997

Squeeze the lime over the top of the dish to add brightness. Garnish with the basil chiffonade and enjoy!

Eat well!

April

“It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the egg.” – Margaret Thatcher