Tag Archives: foodie

Zesty Italian Artichoke Dip

Zesty Italian Artichoke Dip

…rich, creamy, spicy dip to serve with kettle cooked potato chips during the holidays. I made this dip last weekend and my guests loved it! Super easy to make too! (Make the day ahead and add the bacon on top right before serving.)

2 (12 ounce) jars quartered marinated artichokes, drained and chopped

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

.6 ounce Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix

8 ounces sour cream

8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

2 ounces diced pimento

16 ounces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Kettle cooked potato chips

Place artichokes, cream cheese and salad dressing mix in a mixing bowl. Mix these ingredients together.  Add the sour cream, Monterrey Jack cheese and pimento to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well to make sure the cream cheese is completely blended with the other ingredients.  Place in serving bowl and top with crumbled bacon. Serve with kettle cooked potato chips.

artichoke beautiful bloom blooming

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Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + a little extra for frying sausage
  • 3 teaspoons Seasonality Seasonings Maharajah Curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 19 ounces mild Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more if needed)

Directions

Put olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add onion and peppers. Stir and saute for 4 – 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the peppers are cooked.  Add curry powder and salt.  Stir and remove from heat.

Pour a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the sausage (any casings removed) and fry until the sausage is completely cooked. If there is a lot of fat in the sausage, drain the fat.  Add the sausage to the onion and peppers mixture in the large pot.  Add the petite diced tomatoes and stir. Add the red lentils and stir. Return to medium heat and add chicken broth. Stir and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more chicken broth if needed if a lot of the stock is absorbed during the cooking process.

 

lentil soup in bowl

Please read my wine and recipe blog posts on the Roanoker Magazine website: https://theroanoker.com/blogging 

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Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

photography of fruits on a tray

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Today I picked the last of my summer herbs out of my garden since a frost is coming tonight and they will be long gone by morning. I chopped the herbs. Then I mixed chives, oregano, and parsley into fresh creamery butter and added black pepper, a dash of salt and some  Nanomi Togarashi (Japanese hot spice available in Asian markets) to make herb butter to go with my bacon and Gruyère biscuits.

Optimized-magnolia bloom

To make my biscuits I used the Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuit recipe from the cookbook Magnolia Table, a collection of recipes for gathering. I tried making the biscuits in the shape of spoons in a new spoon cookie tray I recently purchased.  I was not too crazy about the shape of the biscuits but the taste was delicious! The biscuits are buttery, savory and crispy. You will love serving these on your holiday table!

 

Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

1/2 pound thick-sliced peppered bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, but into cubes

3/4 cup milk

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.  Set aside.
  3. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and white pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter on top of the flour and pulse until the dough resembles coarse pebbles.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the milk and Gruyère. Crumble the bacon into the bowl. Mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  6. Use a 4 ounce ice cream scoop to drop uniform biscuit mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  7. Biscuits are best the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Warm in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Note: To make smaller drop biscuits to serve as hors’doeuvres, use a 2 ounce scoop and bake them for the same amount of time as instructed above.

Please read my wine and recipe blog posts on the Roanoker Magazine website: https://theroanoker.com/blogging 

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Happy Champagne Day! Celebrating With Tapas

Happy Champagne Day!

close up of beer in glass against black background

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We will be celebrating Champagne Day all weekend! Our celebration began last evening as we enjoyed tapas with wine pairing at Rockfish Restaurant in the Grandin Village, Roanoke, Virginia. Every third Thursday of the month they offer a flight of tapas paired with a wine flight. https://www.rockfishfood.com/. The theme last evening was Italy.

Our evening commenced with a glass of bubbly at home…

(Photograph by megapixie.com)

Then on to Rockfish…Our first tapa was Gouda, caramelized onion and spiced apple.  This tapa would be easy to recreate at home. It was served with Prosecco di Valdobbiadene.

Italian Tapas

Oyster Rockfish, fried with arugula puree, fennel apple slaw.

Tapas were originally designed to place “on top” of the wine glass to keep away flies.  The Oyster Rockfish was paired with Broglia Gavi La Meirana. This lovely white wine is like “Pinot Grigio” on steroids.  It has a lively lemon lime acidity that is a perfect pairing with seafood.

Swedish style meatball paired with Montevento Montepulciano. The rich berry jam notes in this wine complemented the tangy tomato flavors in the meatball sauce.

My favorite tapa of the evening was the Duck Pastrami, bourbon mustard and pickled onion.  Paired with Langhe  Nebbiolo.

After devouring the tapas we were still a bit peckish, so we ordered a cheese plate that was accompanied by delicious Rockfish flatbread crackers.

food restaurant eat snack

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Lemon Pots de Crème With Almond Brittle Sprinkle

lemon pots de creme

Viva La Local! Please visit the Roanoker Magazine Behind the Page blog:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/viva-la-local/

to find new Virginia products offered in local Roanoke grocery stores.  Love supporting local!

sliced of citrus lemons

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Lemon Pots de Crème is one of my favorite desserts because I can make them the day ahead, refrigerate the ramekins, then garnish the desserts right before serving. This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine with my additions of the sweetened whipped cream (add a little powdered sugar to the cream) and almond brittle sprinkle.

Ingredients

  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • Candied citrus peel or candied flowers, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

  • Put a large pot of water on to boil for the water bath. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put eight 6-oz. ramekins in a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod (if you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it yet) and bring to just below boiling. Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Gently whisk a ladleful of the hot cream into the yolks and then whisk the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup and strain immediately through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. If you’re using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  • Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. Pull out the oven shelf, put the roasting pan on it (be sure it’s stable), and pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of foil (simply lay the sheet on top, don’t crimp the edges) and bake for 25 to 45 minutes—start checking early—until the custards are set about 1/4 inch in from the sides, the centers respond with a firm jiggle (not a wavelike motion) when you nudge the ramekins, and the centers of the custards register 150° to 155°F on an instant-read thermometer (the hole left by the thermometer will close up as the custards firm). Let the custards cool to room temperature in their water bath. Remove the custards from the bath, cover them with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and candied zest or flowers, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

Custards may be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic.

Garnish

Lemon Zest

Almond Brittle:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sugar

Slice butter into several slices and place it on a baking sheet (with sides so butter won’t run off sheet).  Place in oven and allow the butter to melt.  Remove the baking sheet from oven and sprinkle the almonds on the butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the almonds.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes. Watch carefully because the almonds will burn easily. Remove from oven and stir the almonds. Return to oven for more toasting if needed.  When the almonds are toasted remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each  pots de crème and sprinkle with crumbled almond brittle.  Sprinkle a little lemon zest over the almond brittle. Serve chilled.

close up dark drop of water droplet

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Celebrating Cava at Parés Baltà Winery in Spain

It is a pleasure to co-host Fiesta Friday with my co-host Catherine today.  FiestaFriday.net. Please visit Catherine’s blog: https://kunstkitchen.wordpress.com. I’ll be sharing interesting tidbits from the Fiesta Friday link-up throughout the day on Pinterest, Instagram (bubblybeeboop), Facebook (bubblybee) and Twitter.  

“Bacchus opens the gate of the heart.” … Homer

While visiting the Catalonia region in Spain I couldn’t wait to visit the wineries that make Cava. One of my favorites is Freixenet.

The first bottle of Freixenet was released in 1914, the creation of a couple named Pedro Ferrer & Dolores Sala who were both from winemaking families.
In 1889, Pedro Ferrer married Dolores Sala, whose family had been making wine at their Casa Sala property since 1861. Pedro’s nickname was “El Freixenet”, named after his family’s ranch “La Freixeneda”, which means ash tree grove in Catalan. Dolores’ keen interest in the winemaking process was easily complemented by Pedro’s business savvy and sense of community.
Their marriage coincided with the arrival of the Phylloxera plague in Spain, which wiped out most of Europe’s vineyards. Far from being deterred, the couple replanted their decimated land with white varietals to make sparkling wine. In 1914, the first bottles were released with Pedro’s childhood nickname on the label. Freixenet had been born.
The Ferrer family continues to own and manage Freixenet today. Salut!

Motorcycle made in the shape of a Freixenet Cava bottle!

Driving towards Cava Heaven…Parés Baltà Winery

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns to wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.”  … P.J. O’Rourke

Parés Baltà Winery, Pacs del Penedes, Catalonia, Spain.

Since 2000 the winery has been managed by two grandsons of the original owner Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol.

The wives of Joan and Josep, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas are the winemakers and oenologists.  Parés Baltà has been certified organic since 2004.

All of their wines are certified as organic and their vineyards as biodynamic. They do not use herbicides, pesticides or any chemical fertilizer. They have sheep that fertilize the vines after the harvest and bees that pollinate the vines during the flowering season.

They use organic manure and special herbs in their compost (as well as cattle horns) but they also plant, and trim vines and harvest according to the phases of the moon.

“The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.” … Thomas Love Peacock

Cava is the Catalan word for “cellar.”

We asked about these moldy bottles in the wine cave. Our guide told us that they no longer use those bottles. They are just for show. They call them “cemetery bottles”. I call them creepy!

cava caves

Our guide explained about the “Mother” in the Cava:  This sparkling wine is made with the traditional method, an aging system similar to that of “Methode Champenoise” which is used when making champagne. As the bottle is turned upside-down and rotated, the “Mother” of the Cava, in small filaments, slides to the neck of the bottle. The “Mother” is expelled from the bottle at very high pressure, in a process known as “Desgorche”.

Rosa cava

Our winery tour included a chocolate and wine tasting. The first taste was Rosa Cusine (the last name of the winery owners is Cusiné!) (100% Garnatxa)  2013 with white chocolate with tiny bits of strawberry in it. The smooth creaminess of the white chocolate was perfect with the bubbles and the strawberry flavor made the rosé pop!

Our next taste was Hisenda Miret Garnatxa 2015. 100% Garnacha grapes. On the palate, there are flavors of cherries and blueberries with an accompaniment of spicy toast. It is a silky smooth wine with a lingering finish.

cava vineyard and olive oil

And for “dessert”…dark chocolate on baguette drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Served with  Gratavinum Dolç d’en Piqué. This wine is deep ruby in color,  soft and velvety. Intense aroma of dry fruits combined with vanilla and toasty notes from the barrel.

https://www.gratavinum.com/

b cava

When I returned home I purchased Parés Baltà b Brut Cava at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op.  $15 range.  Blend of 62% Parellada, 22% Macabeu, 16% Xarel·lo grapes. Creamy and elegant, with a bright mineral finish. Notes of fresh green apple with a hint of almond. Crisp and refreshing.

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Million Dollar Cocktail

There’s lots to love about Rosé Cider.  Read about my favorites ciders with tasting notes in the Roanoker Magazine behind the page:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/the-romance-of-rose-cidre/

Million Dollar Cocktail

I love any recipe that is named “Million Dollar”. This Million Dollar Cocktail recipe is worth its weight in gold!  Absolutely divine!

Place Nick and Nora style cocktail glass in the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.

For each cocktail:

2 fl ounces Gin (Sunset Hills Gin, made in Virginia, is my favorite gin of the moment.  Light and delightful, it does not have a strong juniper taste.)

1/2 fl ounce freshly pressed pineapple juice (I blended fresh pineapple in my blender to make “juice” which was more like a thin puree.)

1/4 fl ounce Grenadine syrup

1/2 fl ounce pasteurized egg whites (find these in the refrigerated egg section of the grocery store)

A few drops of Blood Orange Bitters

Pineapple chunk garnish

Shake the gin, pineapple juice, Grenadine syrup and egg whites with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Place a few drops of blood orange bitters on the top of the cocktail.  Garnish with a pineapple chunk.

bright bubble color flatlay

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