Smoked Pork Jowl

…with pickled mustard seed and an orange-soy reduction.

This weekend we came across some smoked pork jowl at the local farmers market. We simply couldn’t pass on this succulent cut of fatty meat (really more like fat with a touch of meat…sorry arteries, my taste buds thank you). Although quite delicious on it’s own, we added some pickled mustard seeds (a la Chefsteps.com) and an orange-soy reduction to make it truly shine. Not a dish I could eat often, but certainly a tasty treat.

smokedporkjowl

Brussels sprouts, two ways

brussles sprouts

Ah, the humble brussels sprout; a once despised vegetable that has recently (and happily!) made a culinary comeback. Gone are the days when the only way to cook a sprout (or any vegetable for that matter) was to steam it until you had a mushy mess, we have finally discovered that roasting is a much more desirable method.

I’m in no way inventing the wheel with these recipes, but if you haven’t tried roasting a brussels sprout, be sure to consider it for your next side dish.

Plus, from one batch of sprouts you can create two delicious (and simple) dishes.

(side note: this is the first time I’ve ever tried to write out a recipe. Please forgive if it’s confusing. I tried! My strengths lie more in the photography :) )

brussles sprouts3Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
1 cup brussels sprouts
2 tbs olive oil (or enough to coat)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
preheat oven to 350.
cut off ends of brussels sprouts (toss the ends but keep the leaves that fall off, we’ll use these for the next recipe)
split sprouts in half
mix sprouts, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper
spread evenly on baking sheet
bake 30-40 min, until edges begin to char

brussles sprout chips

Brussels Sprout Chips

Ingredients:
brussels sprout leaves (those outer leaves that fell off previously, although I recommend tossing the especially wilty ones…)
olive oil (enough to coat leaves)
salt to taste

Directions:
preheat oven to 350.
mix leaves, oil and salt.
spread evenly on baking sheet.
bake for 10-15 min, or until leaves are fully crispy

 

 

Salmon Crudo

Now that I’m working for myself I finally have some time to focus on my food photography. My goal is to start a series of posts in which I share one dish a week (by announcing this, hopefully I’ll actually follow through :) ) . This project is not just about the photography but also my actual skills in the kitchen. My husband has been in charge of most of our meals and while I have happily played sous-chef to his head chef it’s time to get my hands dirty and try out some recipes for myself!

That being said, for this week’s dish, I must give all the chef-credit to the Husband. Although I did plate, and of course, photograph it.

Salmon Crudo

This delectable bite started out as an attempt to recreate Chef Steps’ Salmon Crudo. The original recipe calls for Ikura conesthinly sliced and pickled beets shaped into a cone and stuffed with salmon roe. Sadly our cheap mandoline proved useless for slicing the beets and is now sitting in our Goodwill pile. As we were unable to construct the Ikura cones, we opted to dice the pickled beets and lay them directly on top of the fish, along with the Ikura. Although not pictured, our final version included some pickled asparagus, which was a perfect final touch. All together it created a lovely blend of flavors.

Whether or not you like crudo, you must try the Horseradish Cream! Perhaps with a juicy steak? Or whatever else might fancy. :)

 

Edible Catan

Catan

I finally did it! I created a delicious Settlers of Catan board…and frankly, I’m a little impressed with how well it turned out. I can’t remember the last time I baked a cookie and I’ve never once attempted to make frosting, let alone spread it prettily, but here you go…edible Catan!

I think my favorite piece is the penguin robber in the dessert…err desert. Sadly my number placement is a bit off, but what can you do. I think the blue player has this game in the bag.

Catan2

Pesto Pasta Perfection

Pasta

Over the last year my husband and I have been working hard on perfecting our pasta recipe. We’ve had a few ups and downs…bowls of mush, disintegrating dough…but by golly I think we’ve finally got it! And for once, I seem to be the one with the magic touch.

Beyond the yumminess, I’m also kind of obsessed with the beautiful texture and color of dough. If I hadn’t been so hungry I might have just played with it all day.

Pasta2

Mushroom Soup

Mushroom soup

Last year for Valentine’s Day, my husband made me some mushroom soup…it was atrocious. Seriously. I love mushrooms, but that soup turned me away from all forms of fungi for quite some time, and mushroom soup even longer. So when he suggested we make a mushroom soup last week I was understandably skeptical. He’s been following the Serious Eats food blog for some time and really wanted to try their recipe. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I agreed to give it a try. Although we weren’t able to get ours quite as smooth and creamy, happily, it was delicious!

Here’s the link to the recipe for Creamy Chanterelle Mushroom Soup. Try it out, and Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Tacos

Last night we made a big batch of our pulled pork tacos for some friends. They were a big hit! Especially when topped with my husband’s delectable chili sauce.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Fresh Mint Brownies

I wanted to share one of my favorite simple to make holiday treats.  Just take your favorite brownie recipe (or even…blasphemy…a store-bought mix) and add a handful of diced fresh mint leaves before baking. Yum.

Mint Brownie

Cider Spherification

Cider Spherification

It’s been a while since my last post, and a really long time since my last food post. What better time to back into it than the holidays? For a Thanksgiving appetizer, my husband decided to try out his brand new Spherification Kit. For those of you who have never heard for Spherification (I was one of you just last week) it is the process of taking any liquid and shaping it into a sphere. The end result looks very much like caviar. He spent all day playing mad chef scientist (thank goodness we weren’t cooking the turkey) and finally came up with this little bite of heaven; made of a dollop of goat cheese, honey, almond and spheres of apple cider. Not exactly your traditional Thanksgiving fare, but quite delicious.

Chai Break

Chai Break

The Chai tea latte is my go-to drink whether I’m stressed, happy, anxious or relaxed. It is the perfect mixture of tea and cream, sweet and spicy. And is especially delightful on a fall day like today. One in which I find myself dressed all in sweats, editing photos, chai in hand, cat at my side and feeling rather content about it all.