Posts filed under Recipe

Recipe: Fig and Gorgonzola Bruschetta

I like big, bold flavours and make no apologies.  Over the years I have given many a side eye to friends who say  "OMG - you totally have to try the Best Thing EVER at the Newest Trendy McSpot." I'm not saying the Best Thing EVER isn't good, I'm just saying that my palate is used to something else, and since I have been eating really flavourful, spicy food all my life (read I'm Jamaican,) you have to come good for me to come up out of my seat with praise. Having said all of that, you will understand why I about lost my mind over the  combination of flavours in this Fig and Gorgonzola Bruschetta.

What You'll Need:

  • Crusty Bread ( I used a french bread but anything similar will do)
  • 6 Figs, Diced
  • 1/4 Cup of Crumbled Gorgonzola 
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Walnuts
  • A few dried Cranberries (less than a quarter of a cup)
  • 1/4 cup of  Balsamic Reduction (How to: Add one cup of Balsamic vinegar and about a tablespoon of sugar to a saucepan. Bring to slow simmer and stir occasionally for about twenty minutes (or until thickened). Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight jar.)

How to:

  • Slice bread into 1/4  inch thick slices and toast until crispy  (I use a foreman grill and keep slices on until they are almost golden brown and grill marks start to form.)
  • In a bowl, combine, figs, cranberries, cheese, and walnuts.
  • Once bread is toasted, spoon mixture over the top and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  • Serve immediately 

This Fig And Gorgonzola Bruschetta is something of a staple now and I'll definitely be serving it at my next party -- whenever that might be.

 

 

Posted on August 22, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Recipe: Lemon Rosemary Branzino

Branzino is fast becoming a favorite! The first time I had it was under a year ago and I have eaten it numerous times since. It is low in fat but has a really great flavor.  I have only ever cooked it on the bone, so, it's virtually impossible for me to get it too dry.  One of my favorite ways to have branzino is stuffed with herbs and lemon and baked at a high temperature. Below is my recipe for Lemon Rosemary Branzino:

Needed:

  • Whole branzino (the one I used was about 1.2 pounds. It serves 2)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Red Pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 3-4 slices of lemon
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosmary

How to:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Clean and pat dry fish
  • Combine minced garlic, salt, pepper flakes and olive oil and coat fish (including the cavity)
  • Place lemon and rosemary inside the fish cavity
  • Place on greased baking sheet and put into the oven
  • Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until skin reaches desired crispiness.
  • Remove and let it sit for a few minutes before serving

Hope you try it...it's amazing!

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Bacon Walnut Maple Syrup

The name got you, didn't it? It's fall so anything with pumpkin is a must-have and throw in bacon and even vegans want it (Sorry vegans, you know you do.) I have been craving pumpkin pancakes for a while and I am not a pancake person.  When my little cousin visited me a couple of weeks ago she wanted pancakes, so, I bought a box of Aunt Jemima complete mix (Judge if you must, that's her fave.) After she had two servings from the box I was left with the remaining mix.  The next obvious thing for me to do was buy a can of pumpkin puree and experiment. After several attempts I concocted a recipe that was perfect for me.  I like my pancakes small and a little dense. (If you like big fluffy pancakes you probably won't like these...but there's bacon so keep reading.)

Here's what you need for Pumpkin Pancake: (2-4 small servings)

Heat large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium heat.  Lightly grease the pan or skillet. (I use a paper towel and vegetable oil but you can use cooking spray.  I never buy the stuff.) Combine water, pumpkin puree, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl and whisk until combined. Whisk in pancake mix. The mixture should be runny. Use about 2 tablespoons of mix per pancake -- anything more and you'll have problems because of the density of the mix. Pancakes will have about a two inch diameter. Cook through on one side until bubbles form in the center of the pancake. Flip and cook until done.

Here's What You Need for Bacon Walnut Syrup Topping:

In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and cut into tiny pieces. Drain the pan, wipe clean and add back about a 1/2 tablespoon of bacon fat.  Turn stove to medium low heat. Toss in walnuts, cook for about a minute . Add bacon pieces and quickly combine. Turn off the heat and add maple syrup, a dash of pumpkin pie spice, stir and quickly pour into serving bowl. Spoon desired amount over stacked pancakes and eat immediately.

I must warn you, you will feel the urge to call all your friends and exclaim at the awesomeness of these pancake. I did. :)

 

 

 

Posted on September 26, 2014 and filed under Recipe.

Recipe: Fig Pizza

A few months ago I subscribed to Club W and it's through that subscription that I became familiar with their blog,  the Juice. Last week I was cruising the blog and spotted the recipe for a fig pizza and all I could say was "GET. IN. MY. BELLY!" I had just made about 8 ounces of fig jam so figs were on the brain.  Anyway, fast forward a couple more days and I'm in Trader Joes picking up the ingredients.

  • 1 package soft goat cheese
  • 1 block parmesan cheese
  • 1 package fresh pizza dough
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup Just Jan's Fig Spread (I had my own version so this didn't happen.)
  • freshly ground salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 6 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
 Image from Club W

Image from Club W

I made a small pizza, about 1 serving,  so, the ingredients above were too much. Here's how I split it:

  • about 3 tablespoons goat cheese.  (the recipe called for slices but mine was too soft so I crumbled it) 
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 8 ounces fresh pizza dough
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam 
  • freshly ground salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 6 slices thin slices of prosciutto (I kept this the same because...pork!)

It was very easy to put the pizza together and all the flavors came together nicely.  Here are a couple of thing to note: 

1. if you don't like your prosciutto warm (I don't) substitute for very thinly sliced bacon and cook until almost crispy.  Come on, it's bacon...i'm pretty sure I don't have to convince you. 

2. Dress your arugula with a little  extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan before topping your pizza. In theory a bunch of fresh arugula looks good on top of your pizza ...but is a pizza after all, not a salad. 

Head over to Club W's blog for the recipe, cooking instructions and wine pairings. Keep my suggestions in mind...or don't, either way, the fig pizza is a great combination of flavors.

Posted on September 4, 2014 and filed under Recipe.

Tomato Arugula Salad with Basil Pesto Dressing

Over the last several weeks I have eaten this salad 5-6 times. It is a testament that sometimes simple is best.

Recipe (Makes 2 Servings)

  • Two large Beefsteak or Vine Ripened Tomatoes
  • 3 cups of Arugula
  • 1/8  cup of shaved parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil Pesto (I make a batch every couple of weeks but I also like Buitoni. It's in the refrigerator section at my local grocery store. 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a Lemon (About a tablespoon of lemon juice)
  • Salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

How-to:

Tomato Arugula Salad with Basil Pesto Dressing.JPG
  • Slice tomatoes as thin as you can get them. I use a very sharp chef's knife for this and it goes pretty quickly. 
  • Wash and dry arugula and place in a large bowl and set aside
  • Add olive oil, basil pesto and lemon juice to a small bowl and use a fork to combine 
  • Pour pesto basil dressing over arugula and coat well
  • Arrange  the tomato slices in a circle on the bottom of a large plate (x 2) and sprinkle with a bit of salt and some fresh cracked pepper (I promise, this makes it  taste better.)
  • Add parmesan to the arugula and quickly combine
  • Heap arugula in the center of the tomato slices and serve immediately.

I'm not a huge fan of salads but this will become a go-to salad because it's quick, easy and most importantly, it tastes fantastic!

Posted on July 16, 2014 and filed under Recipe.