I had recently been experimenting with Rice Krispies treats, and when I saw Golden Grahams at the store I immediately thought of making a s'mores treat. I wanted there to be bits of marshmallow and chocolate throughout (instead of all melted together).
It ended up being super easy - cereal, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips bound together with melted marshmallow.
S'mores any time of year, no matter the weather, and without the mess!
Chicken Parmesan without the guilt? I saw a really yummy looking recipe for Chicken Parmesan Meatballs that I wanted to try, but didn't want to eat all the carbs involved in pasta. I had also been seeing cheesy spaghetti squash casseroles that looked really good, so I had the idea to combine them.
Ground chicken, onion, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, garlic, and egg are combined to make the meatballs, which are basted with tomato sauce and cooked in the oven.
Spaghetti squash goes into a casserole dish (I cook mine in the microwave). This is from two medium squashes.
Place the cooked meatballs on top, then the tomato sauce. I forgot to season the squash, oops! So I added more salt and pepper here.
Another belated Restaurant Week post brings us to a somewhat new Bryan Voltaggio concept in Chevy Chase - Range. Located inside Chevy Chase Pavillion (across from Mazza Gallerie), the interior is huge and split into multiple dining rooms. Unfortunately, we were sat in the far back in the most remote and boring corner. We still had pretty decent service, though, especially considering how packed it was.
The New American menu has a lot to choose from with a raw bar, charcuterie, wood fired pizzas, and a range of cooked dishes. The cocktails are innovative, and the wine list is good (our server recommended a wine from a vineyard that has a personal relationship with the restaurant and is hard to get elsewhere).
There was a cheese course on the restaurant week menu, so we went ahead and got that. But we also wanted charcuterie, which wasn't on the RW menu, so we ordered that a la carte - you can see the portion difference in the photo. Both selections were great and the housemade accompaniments were topnotch. I especially liked the mostarda and the fig jam.
My second course was the kale caesar salad with egg emulsion that everybody is always posting about, with good reason! It's a caesar, but it's one of the best you are ever going to get.
Jasper choose the beet salad with burrata. Pretty standard combo, well executed.
For my entree, I choose the goat cheese ravioli with meat ragu. Yummy, but the filling was pretty much just goat cheese, and a lot of it. I like goat cheese, but I would have appreciated a better balance.
Jasper choose the lamb with carrot-jalapeno romesco, which he said was awesome.
We had a good time and enjoyed everything we ate. I would like to return to try out more of the menu, especially with a group since the menu seems to be suited for it.
Eggnog ice cream - why have I never thought of that before?! With the eggs, cream, and sugar - it's the perfect base! Creamy, spicy, and delicious - this is the perfect winter ice cream. And it's even better topped with fresh espresso as an affogato!
Eggnog, cream, orange extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and rum come together to form the base; which freezes up soft and creamy.
To take it to the next level, pour a espresso over the ice cream to make an affogato.
Two scoops and a lungo or double-shot is the perfect amount for breakfast or a snack. It look's like we might be getting another snow storm out here in the NE, and I know what will be keeping me warm!
Eggnog Ice Cream
from Scoop Adventures
Buy the fattiest, full-of-sugar eggnog that you can find because it will make the best ice cream.
2 cups eggnog (no rum added)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp dark rum
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. If eggnog and cream were refrigerated, you may pour the mixture directly into an ice cream maker. If eggnog and cream were not fully chilled, place in a refrigerator until mixture is chilled (1 to 2 hours).
Once mixture is chilled and in the ice cream maker, freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a freezer safe container and place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
The January pick for Food 'n Flix is the 1987 Danish film Babette's Feast (now included in The Criterion Collection), chosen by Culinary Adventures with Camilla. This is the story of two deeply religious and puritanical sisters who live on the remote coastline of 19th Century Denmark. They give up much in their lives in order to live the way that they were raised and to help the people of the village. Late in their lives, a French refugee comes to stay with them for many years and cooks them a fabulous meal to thank them. The sisters and villagers are afraid to give in to the decadence of the meal, but it ends up healing many of their wounds and rifts. It is a story about the healing power of food and how it can show love and thanks.
The food cooked in the movie is quite extravagant and I didn't think I could take on turtle soup or quail stuffed with foie gras and truffles, so instead I decided to just go French in general. I must have been influenced by all the soup that the Danish villagers ate (and the stew meat in my freezer), because I made a French stew with beef and red wine - cooked low and slow in a crockpot.
Beef is seasoned with salt and pepper and placed into a bowl with onion, garlic, shallot, celery, carrot, thyme, bay leaves, and lemon zest.
This is the fun part - a whole bottle of red wine is poured over the ingredients and then left to marinate (refrigerated) overnight. The wine is the stock for this stew, and the flavor permeates everything. So make sure that you use a good one! I suggest a Cotes du Rhone for this.
Oh my gosh, you guys, I am in kale heaven. Now I already like kale - raw in salads, in a Tuscan white bean soup, baked into crispy chips. But this, THIS, is the single most delicious way to eat kale ever.
Cooked down with garlic and shallots in butter, then finished with sherry, cream, and miso - swoon.
But we don't even stop there, oh no, we add buttery mushrooms with soy on top - oh my gaaaaaaaaaaawd.
I served it as a side with teriyaki salmon, which I'm not even going to talk about because the kale totally stole the show. If you like kale, go make this right now and rejoice. If you don't like kale, go make this right now and become a believer. And then invite me over, so that I can eat some too.
I know, I know - Restaurant Week was last month. I'm slow, get over it. So I had heard that Kaz was some people's favorite sushi joint in town and we hadn't tried it out yet. Well, that's what RW is for! Except that we got to there and Jasper promptly threw out the RW menu, crying "I want to eat whatever I want!". This is not the first time this has happened. Oh well.
First thing's first - the sake. They have a couple of sake tastings, and one of them is all nigori, so of course we ordered that! It was fun to try out a couple different ones, and all of them were new to us. We picked out favorite of the three and ordered a bottle.
First up - pork belly appetizer. Yummy, I mean - it's pork belly. Liked the presentation, too.
Okonomiyaki - Japanese pancake with cabbage, bbq pork belly, mayo, and bonito. I scarfed this down before taking a photo, so obviously I liked it. But I did think it was too heavy on the bbq sauce.
Next up, sushi - lots of sushi. Standouts were the Hawaiian Walu special with wasabi leaf (top center), lobster with wasabi mayo (bottom right), and seared salmon belly (bottom center ) - though the salon belly was not as good as Kushi's. Toro, uni, and unagi were standard. The foie gras miso on the tuna and masago and creme fraiche on the salmon didn't really add anything, I wouldn't get them again.
Normally, I wouldn't advertise for warm avocado. I mean, that's just weird. But combined with a soft egg and runny yolk? It becomes like butter. This is the breakfast of champions, friends.
First you will need to scoop out enough of the flesh so that your eggs will fit. Go ahead and just eat that scooped out avocado plain, yum. Place the avocado halves into a muffin tin or ramekins to hold them in place and catch any egg drippings. If you want, you can add a teeny bit of water into the ramekins to prevent the spilled egg from burning.
I find that the best way to get the eggs into the avocado is to crack each one into a small bowl. Then, carefully scoop up the yolk with a spoon and place it in the hollow. Then spoon the white on top until it is full. Save any leftover white for another use.
Season with salt and pepper and bake in a 425 deg F oven for 15-20 min, until the whites are set. The yolks might cook on top, but the bottom will still be runny. Grab a spoon and dig in!
If you want to totally ignore the fact that you were trying to have a grain free breakfast and spread that sucker on some buttered toast, I wont blame you.
In the ever continuing quest to eat less grains, I decided that I wanted to see how lentils paired with salmon. I found a couple recipes that I liked and combined them into one that worked for me. The lentils are cooked up nice and tender with veggies, and then mixed with the same mustard and herb butter that tops the salmon. This butter, you guys, it's outstanding. I had a little bit left over and I spread it over toasted sourdough and savored every bite with eye-rolling pleasure. I want to make more of the butter just to do that again. This meal is so healthy and so yummy that I can't stand it.
1⁄2 pound French green lentils
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced into half moons and thoroughly washed
few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
3⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (2-3 cloves)
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp good red wine vinegar
4 (8-oz) center-cut salmon fillets, skin on
2 tbsp butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp grainy mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf, add the vinegar, and season to taste.
Stir together the softened butter, chives, grainy mustard, and lemon juice with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add 3 tbsp of the butter mixture to the lentils and stir to combine.
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Serve salmon, topped with remaining 2 tbsp mustard-herb butter, over lentils.
Remember last week when I posted about the Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza? And I told you that I had leftover kale? Well, here's what became of it. I massaged with raw kale with a homemade dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper) and let it sit for 15 minutes to break down and lose the bitterness. Then I topped it with some burrata cheese, more olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Simple and delicious.
I served the salad as an appetizer, and for dinner we had steak (here's my method) and orzo with broccoli pesto. I actually like this version of broccoli pasta sauce better than the other version I've made, and it has a lot less fat!