I was so happy when I got my assignment this month for Secret Recipe Club! I was assigned Tandy from Lavender and Lime. First off I’m a fan of citrus, and she obviously is too, it’s right there in her title. Tandy is from South Africa, two years ago McGyver and I went on a Safari there and stayed to visit friends, you can read about that here and here. Naturally anything to do with South Africa brings back a flood of good memories.
Tandy has some serious cooking chops! Her recipes have been published in several venues, even before she started her blog. She’s also won a cooking competition. Tandy makes her magic in a small kitchen with the best of ingredients. And I love this quote that she has in her about page.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
When it came to choosing a recipe I went straight for her venison recipes. Lucky me, I have a freezer full of venison and I am always looking for exciting new ways to prepare it. As soon as my eyes landed on her recipe for Venison Roast with Coffee and Star Anise Rub it was love. Tandy mentioned in her intro to the recipe that she wanted to use a loin but didn’t have any so she used a leg roast instead, well Tandy, I had a loin just waiting to be used.
This would be a good time to mention that what Tandy refer’s to as venison are ‘bokkies’, as in springboks (which is also a rugby football team), blesboks, bushboks, etc. Bokkies are actually an antelope, here in the states when we use the term venison it’s in reference strictly to deer. Having ate spring and blesbok before I knew that the flavor was not dissimilar and it would be no problem using deer instead of blesbok. Of course there was zero chance that I would actually be able to get my hands on one.
Speaking of not being able to get my hands on something, I went to four stores and not one of them had juniper berries. Thank goodness I had a trip to San Francisco scheduled and I was able to pick some up. Also while I was there I bought some cabernet salt which I used in place of the regular salt. There will be more on that and the rest of my trip on Friday (are you happy Debra? She’s been asking me when I was going to share). Continue reading “Coffee, Juniper Berry, and Anise Crusted Venison Loin” »
Chile Rellenos is the dish by which my husband judges a Mexican restaurant by. According to him, there is nothing better than a good chile rellenos. Personally I am was indifferent to them. We’ve been together 12 years and I am just now making his favorite Mexican dish (despite the fact that I do quite a bit of Tex-Mex cooking).
You must be wondering why? First off, they aren’t weren’t that impressive to me, secondly, they seemed a bit intimidating to make. You know, hard to make, like more work than their worth. I changed my mind a few weeks ago when McGyver and I went to a local Mexican-ish restaurant that we haven’t tried before.
Of course the hubby ordered his fav chile rellenos. When it arrived all snuggled between the beans and taco, it was rather, errr, umm, phallic looking. We giggled, but funny looking food is not one to stop us. Then he tried it, then I tried it. It lacked any semblance of flavor, it was coldish and greasy. McGyver declared it the worst chile rellenos that he’s ever had in his life, and considering how many he’s had, that’s saying something. Continue reading “Chile Rellenos” »
In the immortal words of Popeye “I can’t stands it no more!” Sometimes you just have to have something and you’ll go to the ends of the earth to get it, well almost. And that’s how it was for me and cheesy bread sticks. I saw a post Colleen (The Smart Cookie Cook) did on Cheesy Garlic Bread Dunkers and I couldn’t get cheesy bread out of my mind!
Her recipe called for some purchased ready made pizza dough, okay, no problem, I went to the store and well, they didn’t sell any. So I went to another, and another and another…I even went to Papa Murphy’s and tried to talk them into selling me their dough, but it was a no go. By this time I could have grown my own wheat, harvested and ground it and made my own dough. Also by this time, It was getting late and I had zero patience’s left.
When I was flitting around the blogosphere, my eyes landed on Sippity SupsGnudis with peas, bacon and mint, these guys have been on my must make list for sometime, after all the main ingredient is Ricotta, and I’m a little freakish about cheese. As I was reading Greg’s post, I thought to myself, I have the peas and the mint I just need to go out and get some ricotta.
And I did, several days later. I bought myself the best organic whole milk ricotta we have in the area. The baby boy was going to be gone so McGyver and I were planning on getting gnudi…brown chicken cow cow (BTW that’s my version of porn music).
Here is the last of my dishes from The Daring Cooks Challenge. The mandatory ingredients I selected for this one was: maple, chipotle and parsnips. Although this dish wasn’t at the same show stopper level as the Cowboy Steak with Red Eye Gravy, if I would have made this first I probably would have thought so.
Last Saturday I posted my Daring Cooks Challenge dishes with promises that I would post this very manly recipe and another dish this week. For this part of the challenge my mandatory ingredients I selected were: Instant coffee, cauliflower and goat cheese.
The goat cheese and cauliflower were a perfect foil for the rich rib eye, the flavor was slightly pungent with plenty of garlic. Now the steak, let me just share with you some comments made by McGyver.
Today is National Eggs Benedict Day. Eggs Benedict is my all time favorite breakfast! There,s nothing that I don’t like about it. The traditional version starts with a crunchy sour base of English muffins topped with BACON, followed a poached egg and then smothered in a silky buttery lemony cream sauce. Heaven on plate that’s all there is to it!
Nothing in the food world stays basic! Even my version uses Redneck Bacon, grilled asparagus and a blender Meyer lemon hollandaise sauce with a touch of thyme.
Because I love Eggs Benedict, I’m forgoing Motorcycle Monday and sharing my eggs benny love. I’ve gathered together some links so you can check out all the many ways of Eggs Benedict:
Our Daring Cooks challenge this month was more like a scene from “Chopped”, contestants, open your baskets.
In basket 1 you have Parsnips, Eggplant, and Cauliflower
In basket 2 you have Balsamic Vinegar, Goat cheese and chipotle peppers
In basket 3 you have maple syrup, instant coffee, and bananas
The challenge was to pick one ingredient from each list and create a main meal from them. The challenge this month is hosted by David and Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. The purpose behind this challenge was NOT to have a “Chopped” challenge, it was to inspire original…truly original recipes from a set of ingredients.
When Easter is hopping around the corner the first food that comes to mind for me is always eggs. More than any other food, eggs represent Easter. Colorfully dyed eggs, plastic filled eggs, cheap shiny grass as a nest for them. Eggs are a birth, a beginning so is Easter and so is Spring.
I must warn you, if you like gnocchi that is purchased from the store do not ever make your own, ever, ever make your own. I’m ruined, my life was easier when I picked up a pack of refrigerated gnocchi dropped in boiling water and almost like magic, it was ready.
Why did I think I want to make my own? I can’t recall what was my motivation, I think it’s because I bought some truffle cheese and felt that a luxurious ingredient such as truffles deserved to be served with the finest of ingredients. The problem is, I was right. I will never buy a package of gnocchi in the store again, I probably won’t ever order it in a restaurant again for fear that it will not be the perfect pillows of potatoes that I made.