Red Grouper with Tomato Braised Fennel

I love the produce of summer–for me, the challenge becomes enjoying as much of it as I can while its still in season. While my produce-lust is usually fruit-centric, one of my veggie favorites: fennel. This delicious vegetable has fronds kind of like dill and a bulb that is sweet, subtle, and anisey–the flavor is just quite unique and the perfect foil for fish. Today, we have a Red Grouper served over Fennel braised in a Citrus Tomato Sauce.

I originally went to the grocery store with sea bass in mind, but it seems red grouper was in the cards for me, so red grouper it is! The grouper worked wonderfully, but I still would lean towards a nice white fish next time around (like sea bass, halibut, mahi, etc).

This dish was simple and tasty–the kind of thing that is good for a hot summer day when spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen just isn’t… click to read more…

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Blueberry Mango Mille Feuille

A Mille Feuille (a.k.a. a Napoleon in some circles) is a classic dessert that comes in all shapes and sizes, but the core of it remains the same: alternating layers of delicate puff pastry and various sweet fillings (fruits, creams, etc). I decided to use some great local produce to flavor my rendition: blueberry, mango, and (of course 😛 ) strawberry.

I was inspired to make this by a fantastic entry way back during Strawberry Seduction. This dessert is really quite easy to prepare (assuming you cheat and use store-bought puff pastry like I did….shhh!)–the bulk of the time and effort is actually spent putting it together so that it looks nice. I think I did a pretty decent job, but looking back at the photos, there’s definitely room for improvement (e.g. my layers of cooked pastry aren’t even close to uniformly flat, so things… click to read more…

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Creamy Mustard Pasta

When I think pasta, my head usually gets stuck on one of two kinds of sauces: tomato-based or garlic & cream-based. So imagine my delight when I saw a mustard-based sauce over at Thyme for Cooking. In retrospect, it doesn’t seem at all far-fetched, but it was eye opening at the time, so I had to try my hand at Creamy Mustard Pasta.

This dish is very largely inspired by Katie’s dish and I am very glad I tried it (not to mention beans in pasta, another new idea!)–as soon as we ran out, my wife demanded another batch be made promptly. I wanted something colorful and just full of earthy, vegetal flavors, so there’s a lot of that going on here: peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, kidney beans, pine nuts, etc. This was all tossed with bow-tie pasta (I usually don’t venture far away from linguine, so… click to read more…

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Phyllo Caprese Bites

I can be fickle about tomatoes. I love tomatoes, don’t get me wrong, but raw? No thanks. Cooked briefly? Sure, bring them on–go figure. Enjoying the nuances of really fresh tomatoes means keeping the cooking to a minimum, so this I tend to be wary of doing much in this area. But why not try something light to show off the sweet red jewels of the season? I caved and was delighted with these Phyllo Caprese Bites.

This dish was actually a clear-out-the-fridge dish, leftovers from a dish that I haven’t written up yet, lol (gee, I wonder if there will be any phyllo/tomato dishes coming online soon!). I wanted finger food, and when you have fresh tomatoes, its best to keep things simple so that their flavor can really stand on their own. Judy over at No Fear Entertaining whet my appetiteclick to read more…

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Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Port Cherry Sauce

When you’re entertaining, you want a dish that will look impressive, taste great, and somehow, not keep you chained to the kitchen all day. With new season lamb still gracing the shelves, I chose to roast a leg of lamb when I had guests over. This rendition has a mushroom/olive stuffing and is topped off with a Port cherry sauce.

When I first bought the leg, I had a tough time deciding what I wanted to do with it. Some times, the issue is you have no ideas at all–instead, I had ideas all across the board. Each was missing something, so then I started trying to mix ideas together and I had so many options before me, I was just lost. Somehow, in this fog of ideas, I wound up with this dish. The leg was deboned and marinated in a tangy, yogurt-based mixture overnight. Then, the leg was rolled up around a mushroom & olive-based stuffing before… click to read more…

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Mango Nutella Crêpes

Once I conquered my fear of making crepes and realized I could quite easily make these at home rather than reserving them as a treat best left to the hands of someone more experienced, they found their way into my weekend breakfast repertoire. Pancakes, waffles, bagels, and omelettes are all great Saturday morning breakfast food, but there’s no reason not to include some delicious Mango Nutella Crêpes in your routine as well.

After having made my first batch of crêpes, I still had a ton of nutella in the pantry, and nutella just screams crêpes to me (and in unison, my belly was also screaming crêpes, so it was decided). So while local strawberries have come and gone, it was onto another favorite fruit that has been looking pretty darn good on the store shelves these days: mangoes! Yes, this isn’t tremendously different from the prior crêpes, but… click to read more…

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