Monday, November 15, 2010

Fennel and Onion Gratan with Fennel/Lemon Trout

We found some fresh fennel at the farmers market and thought we would use it for a theme. It has a wonderful fresh, light anise flavor if you have never had fennel before. Start by caramelizing a thinly sliced large onion in 1T of olive oil and 1T butter. You can add a large pinch of sugar to help the process if you wish. When the vegetables are golden brown add 1/2C chicken or vegetable stock and transfer to a baking dish. Top with 1/2C grated Parmesan Cheese and 1/2C bread crumbs. Bake at 350 F for about 20 min. The trout filets (ours comes as the whole fish without the bones or heads) were stuffed with the frawns from the fennel. Squeeze on 2T fresh lemon juice and cook until the flesh is firm and flaky (on the Weber this is about 10 minutes on a side). We served pasta as a side dish simply dressed with lemon juice and butter.


Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

We have seen eggs prepared this way on a couple other sites. We had them for breakfast but dinner would work too if you are "eggs-for-dinner" folks: We are not. Some of the recipes start from scratch but we had some left over Italian Cooking Sauce so we just used that. Simple enough; bring the sauce to a slow simmer and crack the eggs in. Cover and cook until the eggs reach your required done-ness. You could also use salsa or any other tomato based sauce that you like. We served them on English muffins. Very simple but attractive brunch.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Rooster's Fire Crackers

Here's a pretty easy, tasty appetizer recipe. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. On the paper position saltine crackers so that they touch. We used rows of 7x4. Grate 10 oz. of sharp chedder cheese with a fine grater. Spread the cheese evenly over the crackers. Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper to your taste. (We also added some powdered Hickory smoke salt). Place the tray in the oven and immediately turn the oven off. Let the crackers stand for a minimum of 4 hrs, or over-night. The recipe made a nice cheesy spicy cracker. You could use other herbs if you preferred; such as rosemary, tarrigon, name it. See the link:


Garlic Crusted Beef Roast with Twice Baked Potatoes and Cauliflower Tart

This was an adaptation from Mom's who think (link below). We started with an eye of round beef roast of about 3 pounds. Mix 1/4C olive oil with 3 cloves of minced garlic in a saute pan. Gently cook the garlic until it is golden brown. Be careful not to burn it because it develops a bitter taste. Mix in 1T chopped rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Add the garlic mix to 1C bread crumbs and mix until it becomes crumbly. Pat the mix onto the roast and place in a 325 F oven for about 1 hr 15 min, for medium rare (thermometer temp of 140F). Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. We served the roast with a twice baked potato and the cauliflower tart, which appears just below. Link to website is


Friday, November 05, 2010

Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart with Poached Fish - Adapted from Bon Appetit

Start by tossing 1 lb. of cauliflower florets with 2T of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and baking on a cookie sheet in a 425 F oven for about 25 min. The cauliflower should be tender ans golden brown. Pre-bake a pie crust, either store bought or homemade if you are ambitious. Next, slice a large onion thinly and caramelize in 2T olive oil until golden brown. Take your time and do this slowly. We like to add a pinch of sugar to help in the browning...just a pinch, don't sweeten the onion too much. Brush the inside of the pie crust with a Dijon mustard and spread the onions and cauliflower evenly over the bottom. Beat together 2 eggs, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1C grated Gruyere cheese. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and onions. Sprinkle on 3/4C grated Parmesan cheese and bake 350F for about 40 min; until the mixture is set and golden brown.
We poached some orange roughy in water containing a piece of carrot, celery, a bay leaf, 1/2t dry thyme, salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a chilled white wine. We think this tart would make an excellent part of a brunch menu.