Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ricotta Salad with Radishes and Pomegranate #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Here we are at the fifth and final day of our celebration of #FabulousFallBounty. You can read more about the event: here. And, once again, many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies, including the pomegranate I used here. First, here are the other bloggers' creations....





This is hardly a recipe. Really. Just five ingredients that come together in a remarkably easy and festive salad. But, because it's on my table at least once a week in the Fall, I decided to share it.

Ingredients serves 4
  • arils from 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced or cut into wedges
  • 2 C whole milk fresh ricotta
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt



Procedure
Place ricotta in a serving dish. Top with radishes. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Add pomegranate arils to the salad. Serve immediately.

You may find Melissa's...
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*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Pan-Crisped Chicken Thighs with Guajillo-Pear Mole #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Here we are at the third day of our celebration of #FabulousFallBounty. You can read more about the event: here. And, once again, many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies. My mind was aswirl with how to incorporate it all into some autumn-inspired dishes when I received this bounty of seasonal produce.


I knew that I wanted to showcase the dried guajillo chiles and pears in a fun mole sauce. After attending a mole cooking class last year, we've been experimenting with different variations. So, this isn't a traditional mole recipe per se, but the process is.

The Creations
Guajillo-Pear Mole 

Ingredients makes 5 to 6 C of mole so you'll have lots and lots of leftovers for other dishes
Mole
  • 6 to 8 T lard (preferably home-rendered)
  • 2 to 4 C homemade chicken stock
  • 6 oz dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 oz dried cascabel chiles
  • 3 T hazelnuts
  • 2 T almonds
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1/8 C dried pears
  • 1/8 C dried prunes
  • 1/8 C raisins
  • sherry (enough to cover the dried fruits)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 C diced tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes)
  • 3 medium pears, cored and sliced (I used my Fiorlle pears from Melissa's)
  • 1 plantain
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 t black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • salt to taste

Chicken
  • 6 to 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground salt



Procedure
Mole
Bring your chicken stock to a boil, then hold it at a simmer. Slice your dried peppers lengthwise. Open them up and take out the seeds and the veins. Set the seeds aside. You can discard the stems and veins.

Cut the pears and prune to the size of the raisins and place them in a medium bowl. Pour sherry over the top of them until they are submerged, approximately 1/2 C. Set aside.

 

With tongs, hold peppers over an open flame until they blister and turn a lighter shade of brown. Place them in a large bowl and pour hot stock over the top. Every 10 to 15 minutes, turn the peppers or press them down so that they are submerged.

Melt 1 T lard in a skillet and toast the nuts. When they are all golden brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, place them in the bowl with the peppers. Toast the sesame seeds until they begin to pop. Place those in the bowl with the peppers, too.

Melt 1 T large in the skillet and toast the spices. I started with the cinnamon sticks and clove and ended with the oregano. Once toasted, place them in the bowl with the peppers, nuts, and seeds.


Melt 1 T lard in the same skillet and char the seeds from the peppers. You want these really, really burnt. Place the seeds in a large mason jar filled with ice water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Change the water and ice and let stand for another 30 minutes.

 

Melt 1 T large in the same skillet and fry thick slices of plantain until crisped and golden. Place those in the bowl with the peppers.

Cut onion, tomato, and pears into large chunks, Crush and mince the garlic. Melt 2 T lard in your skillet and cook onion, garlic, tomato, and pears until everything is softened and the onion turning translucent. Stir well to combine.

Combine all of the ingredients into one large bowl - the peppers, the sherry-soaked fruit, the fruit-tomato mixture, and the charred pepper seeds. Now you are ready to combine all of the elements and purée all the ingredients, using either a blender and food processor combination or a blender by itself. 


In batches, purée everything until smooth.

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the remaining lard over high heat until rippling. Add the purée, all at once, taking care to avoid splatters. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for at least 30 minutes until the taste of the chiles has mellowed. Season to taste with salt. Set aside. The flavors will deepen and develop the longer you let the mole sit. I left mine to age for two days - in the fridge - before using.


Chicken
Mix garlic, cinnamon, salt, and pepper together in a small mixing bowl and rub that mixture into the skin side of the chicken. In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil. Place the skin side of chicken down and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.


Turn the chicken over - the skin will be browned and crisp - and cook on the second side for 25 to 30 minutes.


Because I didn't add any chocolate to my mole sauce, I served the chicken and mole over chocolate egg noodles!

You may find Melissa's...
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*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Potatoes Gratiné #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Here we are at the third day of our celebration of #FabulousFallBounty. You can read more about the event: here. And, once again, many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies, including the acorn squash and peeled, steamed chestnuts I used here.

The Creations



Potatoes Gratiné is known by various names including "gratin potatoes" and "gratin de pommes de terre." But they are all the same thing: thin slices of potato are placed in a buttered dish and browned in the oven or under the grill. 


This version used Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes from Melissa's Produce*, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and fresh thyme. It was a comforting seasonal dish that will be on our dinner table throughout autumn and winter.

Ingredients makes 4 servings
  • 3/4 lbs potatoes
  • 1-1/2 C organic heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 C vegetable or chicken stock
  • pinch salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 C grated parmesan
  • 1/4 C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 C chopped raw hazelnuts
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 T butter

Procedure

Thinly slice potatoes with a knife or a mandolin.


Layer the potatoes and parmesan in an oven proof dish or ramekins. Take the leaves off one spring of thyme and sprinkle it over the top of the potatoes. 


Divide stock evenly between the ramekins. Divide the cream evenly between the ramekins, pouring carefully over the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


To make the topping, melt butter and add the breadcrumbs, hazelnut, and remaining whole sprigs of thyme. Cook until nicely toasted. Remove the thyme and spoon the topping into the ramekins.

Cover the dishes with foil - or a lid if they have one - and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil or cover, return to the oven and back for 10 to 12 more minutes until everything is nicely browned and the sauce bubbling. Serve immediately. 

You may find Melissa's...
on the web
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on Twitter
on Pinterest
on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Roasted Acorn Squash & Chestnut Soup #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Here we are at the second day of our celebration of #FabulousFallBounty. You can read more about the event: here. And, once again, many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies, including the acorn squash and peeled, steamed chestnuts I used here.

Autumn means lots of hearty soups to stave off the cold, damp weather. And, inspired by the acorn squash and prepared chestnuts I received from Melissa's Produce, I decided to make a comforting, filling soup. Because I used rice as a thickener, this is gluten-free...and, if you use olive oil instead of butter, is can also be dairy-free. Win, win for anyone at your Thanksgiving table with those restrictions.

The Creations



Roasted Acorn Squash & Chestnut Soup


Ingredients serves 2, if using the acorn squash as serving bowls plus leftover
  • 3 organic acorn squash
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 organic white onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1 C)
  • 1/2 C diced organic celery
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 C prepared chestnuts (peeled and steamed)
  • 1 C rice (I used an organic jasmine rice)         
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 T ginger syrup (or maple syrup if you don't have any ginger syrup)
  • 1 to 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 5 to 6 C warm water


Procedure
Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. The top and bottom of of the two squash you are going to use as a serving bowl. Slice the third one in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and strands. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Invert all of them onto your baking dish or a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, approximately for 60 to 75 minutes.

Soup
In a large souppot or a Dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until the onions begin to soften. Add in the rice and chestnuts. Stir to coat with melted butter. Scoop in the flesh the roasted acorn squash that you aren't using as a serving bowl.


Add in water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by one half. Using a blender or food process, blend - in batches - until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in ginger syrup and apple cider vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


To serve, spoon soup into roasted squash bowls. Sprinkle with more ground pepper. Serve immediately.

You may find Melissa's...
on the web
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*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Griddled Delicata Squash Salad with Buddha's Hand Vinaigrette #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Here we are at the second day of our celebration of #FabulousFallBounty. You can read more about the event: here.

And, once again, many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies, including the delicata squash I used here. Just a note: Melissa's does carry Buddha's Hand citron, but I picked these up at my local Whole Foods.

Buddha's Hand resembles something that might have surfaced from the benthic zone or something that should be entombed in a jar of formaldehyde in a collector's basement. But it's a wildly gorgeous citrus fruit that has no juice and no pulp; it's used strictly for the pith and rind. And the scent...it's an alluring blend of citrus and rose. We love it!

Select a fruit that is fragrant, firm, and bright with plump fingers. Avoid Buddha's Hand with shriveled or browned fingers.


Some people have asked me what I do with it. I have pickled them. I have zested them. I have even sliced them thinly and tossed them into salad. Today, I'm sharing a vinaigrette recipe that uses this funky, aromatic fruit.

The Creations




Ingredients
  • delicata squash
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fleur de sel
  • salad greens (I used a mixture of baby arugula and spinach)

Buddha’s Hand Vinaigrette
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T Buddha’s Hand, zested
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed

Procedure
Preheat griddle over medium heat. Halve the delicata and scoop out the seeds. Destem, then slice into 1/4" to 1/2" wide pieces. Arrange the slices on the griddle. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.


Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the squash is softened and beginning to caramelize. Move to a plate. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Set aside.

Buddha’s Hand Vinaigrette
Combine all vinaigrette in a mason jar. Cover and shake to emulsify.

To Serve
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette and place in a large serving bowl. Top greens with griddled delicata and serve immediately.


You may find Melissa's...
on the web
on Facebook
on Twitter
on Pinterest
on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Curry Udon with Prawns #Sponsored #Fortune #ChefYaki

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JSL Foods (Fortune Noodles).
I received complimentary project for recipe development and there are affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own.

When I received an email from JSL Foods, inviting me to create an udon soup using their Fortune Noodle products, I was excited. They were looking for easy-to-(re)create recipes that are delicious and great for families.


And we love noodles in my household. So, I was eager to take part in their Fortune Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. You can read the rules: here

You can purchase JSL Foods products at Shaws, Star Market, Jewel, Albertsons, Randalls, Stater Bros, Safeway, Lucky's, Food Maxx, Food 4 Less, Savemart, Bashas', Raley's, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods, WinCo, and Target. I was fortunate to receive three different kinds of udon. However, I didn't use any of the flavor packets included; I opted to create my own broth, so I used only the noodles themselves.
  

This was inspired by my boys' Fall Break trip to Oahu with my parents. Curry udon was something they both loved and asked me to recreate. Done. And - best yet - this is so simple to make.

Ingredients serves 4 generously

  • 2 or 3 packets of udon noodles
  • water
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped celery
  • 1 C chopped carrots
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1 T hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1 pound prawns, shelled and deveined (I took off the heads, but left the tails on)

Procedure

In a large souppot, heat olive oil. Stir in garlic, onions, carrots, celery. Cook until vegetables beginning to soften. Stir in curry powder, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Pour in chicken broth and whisk in coconut milk until well-combined. Bring to a simmer and poach prawns until pink and opaque.


Cook the udon noodles in a large pot of boiling water, according to package directions. When al dente, drain well, rinse, and divide between 4 large bowls. 


Ladle in the curry broth and top with cooked prawns. Serve immediately.


All three boys gave this a thumbs up. "No tweaking necessary. It's good as is, Mom." Perfect. Done.


You can find JSL...
On the web

*Disclosure: I received product for free from JSL Foods, the sponsor of the Fortune Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. I agreed to use this product to create an original recipe and post the recipe on my blog for their contest.

Mediterranean Braised Chicken with Dates, Cherries, & Pistachios


This was the main dish from my "Top of the Central Coast" Beaujolais dinner party when Katie and her friends came to town. The sweetness of the dried fruits were tempered with the fresh herbs. And this was a hit.


I paired the Domaines Piron - Morgon Côte du Py 2015 with this dish. The Morgon was the only bottle empty at the end of the night. I know we were all pacing ourselves to make sure that we tasted all wines. But this was the Beaujolais that had people returning for second - and third...and fourth - pours. The wine was delightfully complex with rich aromas, structured tannins, and a distinct minerality.

Ingredients serves 6

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C dried dates, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 C dried cherries, pitted
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1 t freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C chicken broth (plus more, if needed)
  • roasted, salted, shelled pistachios, for garnish
  • mashed potatoes, for serving

Procedure
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add in the onion; cook until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent. Add the chicken, skin-side down. Sear for 20 minutes. Move chicken to another dish. Pour in the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Stir in the black pepper and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer. Place the chicken, skin-side up in the liquid and sprinkle with the fresh thyme. Nestle the dates and cherries around the thighs. Cover and let the chicken braise for an additional 30 minutes.


Serve chicken with a side of mashed potatoes, spooning dates and cherries over the meat. Sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately.

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