Turkey Wellington

Not everyone feels like handling an entire 20 lb. bird for Thanksgiving – if you’re just cooking for yourself or a few other special someones, that’s a lot of leftovers!  Or maybe it’s mid August and you want all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving without the 5 day pumpkin spice latte infused extravaganza.  Whatever the case, this holiday spin on a rustic dish is sure to please and wow even the pickiest of turkey gobblers.  The classic technique is a bit tricky, but the reward is SO worth it!

DSCN0566Turkey Wellington!
serves 10

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Rosemary-Lemon Crusted Wild Salmon with Maple Glaze

A chill is in the air… it’s almost down to the 50s here in the sunshine state!  What better way to celebrate “cold” weather with a hearty, healthy meal of delicious cold water fish? Wild salmon has a higher fat content which makes it deliciously moist and chock full of omega-3’s.  You get the best benefits and most intense flavor from leaving the skin on, and when baked on a cedar plank, this swimmer really soars to new heights. I served this with lemon-maple green beans and wild rice – the nutty/sweet flavors really complimented the glaze well, and kicked the health factor up a notch.

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Rosemary-Lemon Crusted Wild Salmon with Maple Glaze!
serves 2

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Thanksgiving Turkey – Spatchcock It To Me!

While Thanksgiving has come and gone, and my birth month has finally arrived, this recipe was just too good to deny front page status.  While perusing Bon Appétit for some Thanksgiving menu ideas, my mom and I came across this technically wonderful cooking method.  We did a test run on a couple of chickens, and when those turned out amazingly, we decided to take a risk and make our Thanksgiving turkey the same way.  My oh my, did it pay off.  Not only is the skin to die for (my favorite part!) but the meat was moist and oh-so-flavorful.  If that wasn’t enough, the cooking time was about half of what it normally would have been.  This is the first year that every scrap of leftover 15 lb. turkey was eaten – by two people and a dog.  Try this out with your next big bird, or with a delicious chicken. You can’t go wrong.

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Spatchcocked Thanksgiving Turkey!

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze

It’s no secret by now that I love Indian food.  While Murg Makhani/Butter Chicken (recipe here) is my favorite Indian meal, sometimes I feel like dressing something up in a pretty little package.  Whenever I want to add a little pizazz to a meal I’d usually make with chicken, I immediately think of Cornish Game Hen.  It’s perfectly proportioned, flavorful, and damn cute on a plate.  While watching one of my LOVES Bobby Flay on Food Network…

seriously!? THAT FACE

I was pleasantly surprised to see him deviating from his usual TexMex type cooking (which is BOMB by the way) and cooking up something with a little Indian flair.  I immediately wrote the recipe down and decided to give it a try – and I’m glad I did!  If you want a delicious, fancy shmancy Indian inspired meal, why don’t you try…

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze!
serves 4

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

Sometimes, when dinner is hours away and you feel those hunger pangs, you need a little something to tide you over.  Or maybe you want to add a little decadence to round out a simple meal.  When you’re super hungry or your family/guests are circling like vultures when dinner is hours away, there’s one thing that’s sure to be loved by everyone, is super simple, and goes with a ton of different meals: garlic bread!

There are a few little-known tricks to making garlic bread that will put yours miles ahead of the rest.  All in all, you can throw this together in about 15 minutes as an offering to the gods of hunger, or maybe as an afterthought to a delicious pasta meal like my Campanelle with Chicken and Mushrooms: a few pieces of deliciously buttery, cheesy garlic bread along with a glass (or 4) of wine and you can get back to the good stuff – enjoying your time with friends and family!

served here with creamy chicken farfalle (that's for another post!)

served here with creamy chicken farfalle (that’s for another post!)

Cheesy Garlic Bread!
serving varies

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Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Roasted Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze

Dear lovely followers,

I’m participating in a cooking competition called Diced! on http://www.rantingchef.com.  Please please please check out my entry below, peruse the competition’s entries on The Ranting Chef and VOTE FOR ME in the poll on the right hand side of the page so I can cook up a delicious entree in the next round!  Make sure to share and show support for this great competition!

Merci and much love ❤

-Echo

I am a HUGE Chopped fan.  Huge.  I watch it almost every day to get myself in the mood for dinner.  I’ve even had dreams about competing – in which, ironically, the most stressful part was picking the correct dish to plate.  Not that I’m a perfectionist or anything.

I love thinking of what I would do given whatever ingredients present themselves in the baskets, and watching how the competitors can work so quickly to achieve such wonderful results.  Because of this, I obviously JUMPED at the chance to apply to compete in an incredible competition for food bloggers called Diced! on Pat’s blog, Rantings of an Amateur Chef.  Given a list of ingredients that must each be showcased, we have to create a dish that is beautiful, original… and most of all, yummy!

So what did I decide to do when given puff pastry, roasted red peppers, sliced almonds and pears for the appetizer round?

minitarts galore!

puffs galore!

Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze!
serves 4

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Herb Parmesan Chicken Wings

Comfort food – it’s called that for a reason. Macaroni and cheese is a childhood staple that, when altered correctly, can satisfy all those blue-boxed memories with some grownup flair: adding chicken wings makes the meal stay kid friendly while being a little more well-rounded for us kids-at-heart.  You won’t even have to hide the box when company comes over – and they will once they smell what’s cookin’.

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nothing’s better than toasty cheese

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Parmesan Chicken Wings!
serves 4

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Well well well… it has been quite a while, hasn’t it?  Even the more reason to just jump into things – because I’m sure after waiting all this time you’re pretty hungry!

Buffalo chicken in ANY form is my favorite thing to eat.  I think I go through a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot in about a week.  I literally DO put that $%*& on everything.  Here’s an example of one of my more successful uses of that wonderful sauce…

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza!
serves 4

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Perfect Sugar Cookies

oh the weather outside is frightful
but the fire is so delightful…

Actually, its a beautiful 82 here in sunny Fort Lauderdale and we don’t even have a fireplace… but you get the drift.  It’s that time of year again – christmas songs are blasting through store speakers and the smell of pine wafts through the house.  I’m not a big dessert fan, but nothing says holidays like a delicious cookie – and that’s exactly what this simple yet so delicious recipe is all about!

:)

🙂

Perfect Sugar Cookies!
makes 24 (roughly)

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Horseradish Crusted Salmon Fillets

Once in a blue moon I crave fish.  I’m really not a fish lover… the only two types of fish I (rarely) will eat are tuna – seared rare of course – and salmon.  I’ve enjoyed a chilean sea bass or two (aka Patagonian Toothfish – ohh marketing) but due to its environmental price I try to steer clear of it.  That being said, the usual chicken, pork, and steak dinners can get a bit dull and, just as at my alma mater, sometimes you have to throw a fish or two into the mix.

I’ll be honest here – one of the main reasons I don’t venture into cooking fish often is that I really just don’t know how.  I put some research into this next recipe, though, and it paid off – it was delicious and flavorful with a super crispy skin.  Not so bad for a piscatory diversion from the norm!

crispy flaky fishy forn

Horseradish Crusted Salmon Fillets!
serves 2

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