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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner

Chilean Sea Bass with Roasted Tomatoe Compote


Ronnie begs for her treats

Why on Earth go out on Valentine's Day? Everything is over priced and over scheduled. No sooner do you sit down to your coveted reservation than they are hurriedly rushing out the door for the next table! The food is a mass produced pre-fixe nightmare. Opting to stay in is the best idea, ever. There's no rush to finish your bottle of wine, no terribly over sweetened molten chocolate cake to be choked down and best yet, no expensive cab ride home. Take you time and relax with an indulgent meal of your own choosing and prepared with more love and care than just picking up the check belies.

The menu:
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
Chilean Sea Bass with Roasted Tomato Compote and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Dark Chocolate and Berries

This delicious meal was washed down with our new favorite winter refresher, The Chook Sparkling Shiraz. Crisp and dry but with berry flavors, this wine is not over whelming and is excellent slightly chilled.

Tomato Compote

Pre-heat the oven to 425. Toss a pint of grape tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil with some salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes. Over low heat, mash the tomatoes together and reduce any left over juices until you have a relatively thick paste. Add a few capers in for a nice finish.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rosemary Panko Crusted Cod Fish

Rosemary Panko Crusted Cod

Oven Roasted Veggies

Sometimes simple preparations can be most effective. A simple week night supper is best stuck in the oven and left while you get to run around and do other things, like snuggling, vacuuming or more snuggling.

Rosemary Panko Crusted Cod Fish

1 pound cod fish, rinsed and dried, cut into pices
1 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 325. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, add the herbs, toss the panko crumbs in the butter and add in the lemon juice. Add some salt and pepper. The mixture should be damp but not wet. Press the fish in the panko, coating both sides. Place in a baking dish and bake for 20 - 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the cod fillets.

Praline King Cupcakes

Praline King Cupcakes

Just in time for the Saints to win the Superbowl, just before Lent starts I suggest some indulgent buttery, nutty cupcakes. I whipped these up for the Neighborsman Superbowl fiesta. I made the mistake of trying to put a baby in one of the cupcakes, but I didn't have a baby. So, I used a toy soldier, but it was too big. I cut off the legs, but it still didn't fit. The tip of the gun stuck out! But if you do put in a baby or anything else, be sure to put it in after baking. No one likes the taste of plastic!

Praline King Cupcakes

yield 24 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, at room tempurature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Pre- heat the oven to 325. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Beat the butter until light and fluffy and beat in the sugars. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly. Beat in the vanilla. Add in the sour cream and the milk. Add in the flour in thirds and mix thoroughly. Fold in the pecan last. Fill the cupcake liners 1/3 of the way and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

For the icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 lemon juice
1-3 tablespoons water
food coloring

Sift the powdered sugar. Beat in the lemon juice and add water to achieve the desired consistency. Add the food coloring to get the colors you'd like.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sort of Southern Brunch


Stand back, art in progress

A gentleman

The new and improved 312 square feet was graced with my new crush, Aaron for a delicious brunch. Inspired by his roots in Louisville, we had a sort of southern brunch. Biscuits, kale, cheddar eggs and a hash of root vegetables rounded out an excellent late Sunday meal.

Root Vegetable Hash

2 potatoes yellow or yukon gold, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 springs of thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in the pan, add the shallot and soften. Add in all the rest of the veggies and thyme leaves, you can pull off the leaves over the pan. Toss with salt and pepper until the oil is covering all of the mix. Cover and let cook over medium low heat until browned and softened. You should turn the mix every so often to get the other sides browned as well.