1/3 lb pancetta cut into a small dice
Freshly ground black pepper corns
3/4C Romano Cheese
These are original recipes, some from family, some inspired by published recipes or the purchase of a new product for the pantry. (Click on smaller photos to enlarge)
I’m now getting curious as to whether or not I can come up with a good cocktail recipe. The answer would have to be no because everything I like to drink is sweet, so a serous mixologist would have a good laugh at my expense. However a drink to be served with dessert is right up my alley.
It amazes me that we have accumulated so much alcohol, since I barely drink, but manage to do the lion’s share of the purchasing in our household. Anyway, I had many wonderful items to select from to create my first dessert drink. Naming it was fun and definitely based on the fact that I mixed a coconut syrup and banana flavored vodka into the concoction.
Wanting to use up some dark colored Creme de Cacao that my husband bought, I started with a jigger of that, then went on to add a jigger of the banana flavored vodka. This drink was loosely based on a Black Russian
To continue with the tropical elements of the drink, I decided to use 1 tablespoon of a coconut flavored simple syrup and closed with a tablespoon of Half & Half. It was really good! If you like a White Russian you should have no trouble drinking this.
I believe I have become an expert at using up leftover wild rice, when I see small amounts left in the package. It can add flavor and texture to soups and now it can work well at improving eye appeal when mixed with farro as a whole grain side dish. Since they both take the same amount of time to cook, they make great partners.
1/2C wild rice
2 1/2C water
2 porcini bouillon cubes
1oz dried porcini
Boil the water over a high flame and add the bouillon cubes to flavor this side dish. Rinse the grains, drain and add to the boiling broth.
Bring the broth to a rolling boil, then add the dried porcini mushrooms and stir thoroughly. Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, check to see if all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue simmering until the grain has fully absorbed all the broth and when it does remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Add a pat of butter if you’d like and fluff up the grain before serving.
Whenever I see Merguez sausages as a specialty grocer I buy a few packages. This recipe was the first time I ever used them to flavor a soup and it proved to be a good concept.
4-6 Merguez sausages
1 medium yellow onion
2small interior stalks of celery
2t dried thyme leaves
2T extra virgin olive oil
2C dal (orange lentils)
Water to cover by 2” (8-10C)
Finely dice the onion and celery stalks with leaves and saute in a small amount of olive oil before adding the thyme.
Slice the Merguez sausages into 1/4 –1/2 pieces and add to the onions and celery. continue to saute until the meat looks lightly cooked. Browning the meat will make the soup richer in taste, but doing so may also over cook the onions which could burn and become bitter tasting. If you want to brown the meat, first push the onions and celery to the edge of the pot and move that portion of the pot slightly off the burner.
Rinse the dal, add to the pot and fill the pot with water so there is 2” of water above the surface of the other ingredients. Boil the water, stir the ingredients and turn the heat down to low. Cover with a lid and stir every 15 minutes until the soup is ready. The red lentils will be soft when the soup is ready.
When I try this recipe again I plan to add diced Yukon gold potatoes towards the end of the cooking process, to enhance the texture of this dish. By the time I took it off the heat, the lentils had completely broken down.
3 sprigs cilantro
1t cumin seeds
butter or extra virgin olive or both
This was easily one of the best omelettes I have ever made. I wanted a Mexican flavor so after whipping up 2 eggs and thinning the batter with a splash of milk, I decided to make use of the cumin seeds in the pantry. I heated a frying pan with olive oil and a pat of butter and proceeded to toast the seeds, then added the eggs on top and lowered the heat.
As the eggs were starting to set around the edge of the frying pan, I shredded some sharp cheddar cheese and tossed a small handful into the pan. I added the chopped cilantro, then folded the omelette over on itself to finish cooking.
I tried some taco sauce on part of it, but preferred it without.
Red Salad Bowl lettuce
Cranberry Stilton Cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and crushed pepper
Cut or tear the washed lettuce, pat dry with a cotton kitchen towel and add to a large mixing bowl. Slice the red onion very thin and add to the lettuce. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil, add salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then toss the salad. Crumple the stilton over the top of the salad and add the Balsamic vinegar.
Now all you need to do is toss the salad lightly and plate. This is a refreshing and slightly sweet salad that reminds me of warm weather even in the winter or our overcast summers in San Francisco. It also works well with Apricot Stilton.