Wind From The Carolinas...................

As we set the table this evening for a family meal we cannot help but reflect on the ones who came before us and all the subtle amazing reminders that they left behind.  The china on the table that we dine on, the crystal glasses that we toast from and the paintings on the wall that smile back at us, are cherished gifts from the generations before.
 
My Great Grand Mother Brock was a gourmet cook and eager entertainer and made everything she did seem effortless.  I like to think that some of that rubbed off on me. Her Southern Charm and hospitality linger in the air every time I come to North Carolina and I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and pride.
 
This blog and dinner are dedicated to my enduring family and our traditions.
  • The Remains of the Day Before.....

    After our fathers day feast we still had some seafood left over and decided to make a Seafood Alfredo!

    This Alfredo sauce is a simplified version using cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese and butter.

    Two Lipitor later............

  • The Chef and his Helper!

    The family that cooks together ...............stays together!

    One way to bring the family together is to share a meal.

  • It's all in the details..

    Always make sure your table is set with special things that remind you of all the people you love.

    This china belonged to Great Grand Mother Brock so is especially special!

Real Men Eat Quiche……….and Adore Their Savory Tarts!

Our quiche is really a revved up Custard Tart that is shamelessly rich and creamy.  I have always appreciated the idea of breakfast for supper and continue to invent different ways to utilize this magical little wonder we call the Egg!
 
There are so many ways to prepare eggs and make them shine.  Deviled eggs, egg salad, frittatas, scotch eggs, omelets, boiled, fried and poached!  The list is endless…..
 
These beauties are cheap, easy and ready on the fly! 
  • The Tart

    I pound of Spinach, mushrooms and sliced deli ham combined
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    4 large eggs, room temperature
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 1/2 ounces mozzarella, Parmesan and provolone cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup)
    2 ounces fresh fig, olive goat cheese, crumbled into large pieces (1/2 cup)

    Double up on the ingredients if making two tarts!

  • The Work

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
    Saute the fresh spinach, mushrooms and ham and cook for about 2 minutes. Toss with oil in a bowl.

    In a separate bowl add eggs, cream, flour, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and blend until very smooth.

    Pour custard into crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone and goat cheese and top with the spinach combination. Bake until edges of custard are puffed, top is golden brown, and center is set, about 40 minutes.

Down by the Seaside Sifting Sand...............

The bright hot sun and the cool clear blue waters make for a wonderful Saturday afternoon but what could top that? How about a seafood dinner for two, vodka san pellegrinos and the Belmont!!  
 
On the menu today is a Risotto with Scallops, Mushrooms and Asparagus, topped off with Balsamic Pearls and to finish a decadent homemade peanut butter oreo chocolate banana bread.
 
 
  • It's all about the base!

    The base of this meal is the creamy risotto.

    2 cans of warmed vegetable broth
    1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
    1 stick unsalted butter
    8 ounces mixed fresh mushrooms, such as baby bella and shitake
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 cups Arborio rice
    1 cup dry white wine
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Melt 3 tablespoons butter in saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in rice, and cook until coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, and cook until almost completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Bout that the base..........NO trouble!

    Ladle 1 cup reserved stock over rice, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until almost completely absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for each addition to be almost completely absorbed before adding the next, until grains are al dente but not crunchy, about 30 minutes.

    In a cast iron skillet saute the scallops in butter and fresh thyme until just cooked, about 2/3 mins a side.

    Cook down the mushrooms separately and steam the asparagus until al dente. Then you are ready to assemble your plate and top off with your pearls.

  • Pour some sugar on me!

    To end this wonderful day and meal an AB FAB duo of peanut butter and chocolate.

    1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, divided
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    A pinch tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    3 Very Ripe Bananas, slightly mashed
    1/2 cup Sour Cream
    1 Eggs
    1/4 cup Coconut Oil or Canola Oil
    /21 tsp Vanilla
    1/2 cups Peanut Butter Chips
    1 Bar of Premium Chocolate oreo cookie, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray a 9x5” loaf pan with cooking spray.

    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
    Beat the bananas, sour cream, eggs, oil, vanilla until well blended. Toss the peanut butter chips into the batter along with the chopped oreo cookie chocolate bar. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.