September 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Four courses to celebrate a 40th birthday, one per decade
(sorry for photos my wife took with her phone, and for missing photos … I was too busy creating … and drinking, of course)
Turning forty is probably a monumental time in anyone’s life. Our friend Nicole was visiting the city for her 40th — a gift from her husband Simon — and I thought that this called for a four course meal, one course for each decade of her life.
I know it has been a long time since I blogged, but I have always been cooking and baking and, of course, drinking.
It’s been a long, chilly, beautiful day in New York (had great time with Lukas Valentine all day) and now it’s daddy’s time which means a stiff drink that will take me to a “frozen in utopia” state. Well, maybe not there exactly, but a nice Appleton VX neat will do the trick, especially since my friends are here from Cayman and VX reminds me of home. In case you’ve never had VX – it’s warm, smooth and strong – just like Caribbean people.
The rum is settling, creative juices flowing and I’m thinking of the first course: prosciutto and black figs, in season. Roasted garlic cloves soaked in olive oil and herbs. Green tomatoes with Mexican coarse salt (I will write a post dedicated to this salt, stay tuned). A brie and gruyere cheese board with warm bread and butter and fresh radishes, also in season – ooooooh! That was the first course spread.
When we move on to the second course we think we’re full. But the homemade ravioli changed our minds — it was stuffed with asiago, parmesan, mozzarella, Canadian cheddar and ricotta with garlic and black truffle oil. This was topped with fresh spinach sauteed in garlic, butter and topped with roasted almonds.
After a few more glasses of wine and a break from the first two courses our taste buds are asking for something spicy, tangy and full bodied to cause a nice explosion in our mouths. I pan-seared some flank steak in butter (seasoned simply with black pepper, Mexican salt and paprika) 6 mins on each side. Took it off the stove, let sit for a bit, then sliced it and put it back on the heat for a min or so. This was topped with heirloom tomatoes blackened with green and yellow onions sprinkled with sugar and red pepper flakes.
Sweet tooth time! The fourth course — rum-infused chocolate fondant topped with fresh strawberries drizzled in simple syrup and dusted sugar. Great!
What a fun night! Sorry I didn’t get good photos.
September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve been telling her to do it for ages but she always does things at her own pace. My wife just launched a nice, clean little blog and it has inspired me to re-visit this old site of mine. I was on a roll for a while, posting photos of my weekend breakfasts – it was fun and I got a lot of hits. People loved it. Then, for no particular reason, I took a break. Now I am back. While I was away, I experimented with some delicious french recipes including beef bourgignone, coq au vin, and bouillabaisse. My guests devoured every bite and asked for more. I’m sorry I didn’t get to share those with you. But don’t worry, there’s plenty more good stuff to come and it won’t be just about food. I am going to talk a lot about quality (read it in my updated About page), because quality is much better than quantity.
In the meantime, check out my better half’s new project – it’s good.
October 31, 2009 § 1 Comment
Good morning, good morning, good morning. Well let’s start with something healthy that will give us a punch for the day.
Popeye the sailor man, Popeye the sailor man – toot toot! A sandwich stuffed with spinach sauteed in garlic and onions to perfection. Smoked salmon to accompany the power spinach and topped off with a sunny side up egg – that should do the trick.
Of course, something sweet at the end never hurt anyone, so today it’s a ripe plantain stuffed with butter, cheese and brown sugar, then baked. It melts and melds together forming a crispy shell with a soft sweet filling.
A cup of freshly brewed coffee and a glass of water.
See ya soon!
October 27, 2009 § Leave a comment
SUNDAY — Sunday brunch was simple, bruschetta with prosecco. Can’t beat it. Simple and sweet.
Dinner was spectacular: Jumbo shrimp sauteed in white wine, butter and garlic. Spiced with cayenne, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a touch or sugar and fresh cilantro. To accompany this was Italian semolina bread that I pierced with Xs then stuffed with butter and Emantelier cheese, which I placed in the oven to get toasty and nice. Sipping on some white wine, I started feeling the buzz and tearing off pieces of bread to dip in the sauce packed with shrimp and garlic. Beautiful, oh beautiful.
October 27, 2009 § Leave a comment
SATURDAY EVENING — The evening came around pretty quickly. It was raining all day. I had to make a run to the market but I was reluctant. I decided to go — I needed ingredients for dinner and for Sunday’s meals. Walking along the wet cobblestone streets, the warm street lamps lit my way and I took my time. I had sardines on my mind, but they didn’t have any at the store (they only bring them in on thursdays), so I had to change my plans. But change is good. Got some good stuff and headed home in the pouring rain.
Guess what I am going to start with, slow cooked bacon. What, how can I go a week without bacon? For dinner on Saturday it would be rich salmon seasoned simply with salt and pepper covered with juicy bacon and served with steamed string beans and fried ripe plantain.
October 26, 2009 § Leave a comment
SATURDAY MORNING — I’m feeling for a working man’s breakfast today. Something simple but hearty and made with love. Some oatmeal porridge will do – Irish oats (not the instant kind). While sipping a cup of coffee, I stood in the kitchen stirring the oats for half an hour until they popped. My mind kept wandering, thinking about the week’s events. It was a rough one. To accompany the oats, I made boiled eggs and wheat toast with jam. My coffee was almost finished, so I topped it up. Aaaaaah, nice!
October 18, 2009 § 5 Comments
After a twenty hour working day at the Burning Man Decompression Party, I got home at 7.30 am, tired and exhausted. I wasn’t in the mood to prepare an elaborate breakfast.
I took a two-hour nap but woke up to see Lukas, my 6-month old son staring at me waiting to play. Time to take care of business.
I never knew that I liked bacon so much. It seems like it is in all of my morning meals, but so what? It is after all real tasty.
Today it was going to be my version of a BLT. Again, starting with slowly cooked bacon, crisp lettuce, juicy tomato and to top it off ripe avocado with a sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper. All of this placed on a lightly toasted freshly baked country bread, covered with rich butter.
Nothing fancy to rinse it down with, just a mimosa and a freshly brewed cup of java.
Now off to play with Lukas.
That’s it, see you next week.
October 10, 2009 § 2 Comments
So here we are again.
Today I felt for some white wine to go with breakfast, but there wasn’t any in the house, so I settled of some left over spanish red. I think it was a tempranillo – garnacha, but I’m not sure. It was good at any length.
Well it is time to talk about what we had for breakfast, after all that’s what we’re here to talk about.
I was in the mood for some Eggs Benedict. Yeah sounds yummy right? It’s going to be …
Again, sipping on my wine, this time in a proper wine glass, I start the process of the slow cooked bacon. I know what you’re thinking, bacon? Well yeah, bacon is better than ham. While that is on the way, I start making the Hollandaise sauce (this I have never made before). My mind is already thinking of the next glass of wine, no, kidding, no seriously, no, kidding – well let’s move on.
The bacon is ready, the sauce is finished, the muffins are in the toaster, the parsley is chopped, now it’s time for the poaching of the eggs. Yet another sip … after a few minutes, the eggs are perfect. Breakfast is ready: Eggs Benedict lightly covered with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, dried pepper seeds and garnished with chopped parsley.
And that Hollandaise sauce? Man that was super zesty and like nothing that I’ve had on the street. But wait, there’s more. Do you have dessert at breakfast? Well I just did: Mango, strawberries and sweet cream!
Tune in next week for what’s next.
October 7, 2009 § 4 Comments
Well, it is Saturday again and I have decided that each and every Saturday and Sunday I should cook something special, or at least worthy of sitting down to really savor and enjoy.
At 8.00 AM, I decided to have a some red wine in a short glass while I pondered what would be the feast of the morning. Whilst sipping on my wine, a simple but brilliant thought came to mind.
Slow cooked thick bacon, with a three cheese omelette (Sharp Cheddar, Spicy Pepper Jack and Goat Cheese) seasoned with black pepper, salt, dried pepper seeds and dill. Yeah, I know that dill seems like an unlikely choice, but proved to be very tasty.
This would be accompanied by beautiful, small perfectly rounded pancakes covered with confectioners sugar and then to be topped with real maple syrup. To wash this down we would have some freshly brewed coffee, and freshly squeezed orange juice. This will be the start to looking forward to weekends again.
I poured another glass of wine and started cooking.