Tag Archives: Food and Wine

Marcona Almond Blondies

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Welcome to another themed week on the blog! This week will feature Blondies and Brownies! I realized that in all this time blogging I’ve posted ONE blondie recipe and ONE brownie recipe. Ouch. I think we need a little more diversification, so hopefully this week will be a good step forward in correcting that.

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I’ve never been secretive about the fact that I prefer blondies over brownies, so we’ll start with perhaps some of the best blondies I’ve ever tasted. Marcona almonds are these amazing little Spanish almonds that are pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, what with the whole Spanish cuisine craze that took over maybe eight to ten years ago, and they are really incredible tasty.

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I had some left over from this oh so delicious salad, and knew I wasn’t going to waste even one almond; so big thanks to Food & Wine for coming to my rescue and alerting me to the fact that Marcona almonds are a perfect addition to blondies! And thanks to Iron Chef Jose Garces for creating and submitting the recipe.

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You could certainly sub in regular almonds for the Marconas, but I highly recommend tracking the Marcona almonds down. They’re just…. better. The end. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Double Crust Strawberry Pie, Cantaloupe Sorbet}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients:
10 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced or slivered regular almonds
Drizzle of canola oil
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/2 large eggs, lightly beaten (to get the right amount, crack 1 egg into a small bowl, beat until uniform, then pour half out; then crack the remaining 2 eggs into the bowl and beat all together)
1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup marcona almonds, chopped
3/4 cups plus 2 tbs chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325º. Grease an 8×8″ metal baker and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, 30 minutes.
Add the regular almonds and a drizzle of canola oil to a mini food processor. Process until you have almond butter (alternately, if you can find almond butter in your grocery store, use 1/4 cup of that and skip this step.)
Add the sugar, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon to the butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour, then fold in the Marcona almonds and the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with an offset or a nonstick spatula.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the blondies cool completely before cutting.

Steamed Mussels with Lemon and Bay

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Longtime readers here know that seafood wasn’t a big thing in my house growing up (save for catfish), and that I didn’t become a seafood fiend until after I married one in my mid-twenties. Upon thinking about what to write for this post, it occurred to me that I really and truly do not remember how Matt got me to try mollusks. I wish I did, but after thinking about it for several days, I’ll have to conclude that that memory has just flown the coop.

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All I do know is that he did convince me to try mussels and clams in the shell, and I fell head over heels in love. A big bowl of steamed mussels, a hunk of bread, (not forgetting to put out the kill bowl,) and some chilled white wine makes for one fine romantic evening. We try to have such an evening at least once a month or so. It’s good stuff. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Cherry Streusel Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:
2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 tbs unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions:
Heat a large pot. Add all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and bread and cook over high heat, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, until the mussels open, about 7 minutes. Some mussels will open sooner than this, so keep an eye on them. When the early mussels open, quickly grab them with tongs and remove them to a large serving bowl. Once all the mussels have opened, immediately shut off the heat and pour the remaining contents of the pot into the bowl. Discard the bay leaves and serve right away with crusty bread.
Serves 2. Double the recipe exactly for 4 servings.

Jumbo Strawberry Muffins

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Today is National Doughnut Day! Oh yes, that is a thing, as well it should be. So I’m sharing muffins… Clearly…. But, in my defense, when I made these muffins, I was really debating with myself on whether I should make strawberry muffins or strawberry doughnuts. The muffins won out when I flipped a coin, but I was thinking about doughnuts when I made these, so it counts, right? Or something….

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These are completely delicious. There’s something about jumbo muffins (jumbo cupcakes too) – I mean, they are so impractical to make and awkward to eat. And yet, they are awesome. Nobody doesn’t love them: the sight of that huge hunk of moist, flavorful carb overload, then the secret thrill of biting into something almost the size of your head – we just all love them anyway, despite their inherent impracticalities.

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These are so much fun, and of course, incredibly yummy. A fantastic vehicle for those strawberries looking gorgeous right now. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Sorghum Syrup and Toasted Walnut Ice Cream}

Source: adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick plus 2 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
Raw sugar, such as turbinado, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F and position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Coat 6 jumbo muffin cups with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, beat the butter with the eggs until well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 2 alternating additions, then fold in the strawberries and grated lemon zest.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops generously with the raw sugar.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Reisling Ice Cream

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After much research and careful consideration, I have decided that the North Fork of Long Island is my happy place. And, fortunately it’s only a 2 hour drive away from where I live!

For those unfamiliar, the North Fork is opposite the Hamptons, straight north. The North Fork is along the Long Island Sound, and on the other side of that water is Connecticut. Unlike the Hamptons, it’s a tranquil, quiet place with no movie stars or other celebrities, it’s much less hip, and it’s light-years cheaper. There are cute little mom-and-pop stores and eateries, quaint old houses, and a long and winding wine trail. Matt and I go there throughout the spring and summer mostly to visit the wineries.

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We’ve established some favorites by now, and there’s one winery, Pindar, that makes the most amazing Reisling ever. We fell in love with it 8 years ago, and no Reisling I’ve tasted since has lived up to it. It’s insanely popular, too; one year we didn’t get there early enough in the season and they were sold out. For the whole entire year. It was utterly tragic, and we’ve made sure it won’t happen ever again. Every May, when they release it, we go out there and buy at least half a case (at least!). Then we drink it slowly throughout the year because we know that if we run out before May, we can’t get more until then.

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The result of all this? We’ve become Reisling hoarders. I just glanced at my wine rack and found three bottles of it, all of which were purchased almost a year ago. It’s a little sad. So when I found a Reisling ice cream on Food & Wine’s website, I knew that would be a fantastic excuse to use up some of our getting-to-be-a-bit-ridiculous stash of Pindar Reisling wine.

Um, fantastic is correct. I’d never used wine in an ice cream before, but holy cow, was this delicious! So creamy and smooth, and with the unmistakable wine flavor front and center. That being said, please use a very good Reisling for this. It doesn’t have to be pricey, you can find excellent wine in the $10-25 a bottle range. But just know that you’re going to taste the wine, so make sure you like it first. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Green Gumbo}

Source: Food and Wine

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Riesling wine, not dry Reisling

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream until bubbles appear around the edge. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth. Gradually beat the hot heavy cream into the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes; do not let the custard boil or it will curdle. Strain the custard into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. Stir the milk into the custard and let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the custard is frozen but still soft, add the wine and continue churning until the ice cream is firm. Transfer to a chilled container; freeze for 1 to 2 hours.

Anchovy Pasta Carbonara

Anchovy Pasta Carbonara

So this Seafood with Pasta dish came about in an effort to use up a box of linguine languishing in the pantry, and I also needed a good excuse to use some Sicilian anchovies I picked up at Fairway. Non-cheap Sicilian anchovies, I might add…

Sicilian anchovies

Now, I am an anchovy fiend. I love them. I’m constantly looking for excuses to cook with them, and if I don’t have one, I’ve even taken to eating them on toast. I just adore them! Matt is…. not as much of a fiend, we’ll put it that way. I have to sneak around with them sometimes. So the night we had this dish, when he asked what was for dinner, I simply said, “carbonara.” Little omission there, I admit.

anchovy pasta carbonara

Well he loved it. I mean, LOVED IT. He even said it was, and I quote, “the best carbonara I’ve ever eaten.” And yes, at some point he did figure out the anchovies. Well, his assessment of the dish was quite accurate. This carbonara is incredible. As is probably obvious, the anchovies replace the bacon/pancetta as the salty component. And it really does work, I promise!

anchovies and linguine for carbonara

This pasta dish is delicious, simple and kinda sexy. Perfect to make for your other half tomorrow! So even if you think you’re squicked out by anchovies, take a hint from Matt and give this one a go. I think you’ll love it!

Anchovy pasta carbonara

{One year ago: Pimento Cheese Spread}

Source: lightly adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:
1 lb. long-cut pasta (I used linguine)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
One 2-oz. can flat anchovies, drained
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 extra-large egg yolks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the past until al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil with the garlic and anchovies and cook over moderately high heat until the anchovies have dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, zest, oregano and parsley, then add the pasta and toss to coat. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the yolks with the reserved cooking water and add to the pasta. Cook over low heat, tossing until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chicken Shawarma #SundaySupper

Chicken Shawarma in a pita

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where today we are all bringing you the theme of Middle Eastern Cuisine! I’m sure it goes without saying that my severely unadventurous childhood palate wasn’t the least bit willing to try such food, so this culinary area of the world is relatively new to me. But I must say, I quite like it! I’m certainly not a Middle Eastern cuisine expert by any stretch, but what I’ve tried I have immensely enjoyed.

assembly of chicken shawarma

I chose to make Chicken Shawarma for today’s post. Shawarma is a classic Arabic dish of meat or poultry that is marinated then roasted on a spit, usually all day, and shaved off little by little for serving, usually in a pita with a delicious white sauce. I don’t have a spit in my NYC kitchen – shocking I know – so I just grilled strips of chicken thighs over high heat.

chicken shawarma

So what made me pick shawarma? Because 1) it’s delicious, and 2) it carries warm and fuzzy memories with it. The first time I had it was in Christiania in Copenhagen. For anyone unfamiliar, Christiania is a neighborhood in Copenhagen that started off as a hippie commune back in the day. The goal was to live off the grid, be environmentally responsible, and build a like-minded community free of materialistic and governmental intrusion. Today, it’s mostly a tourist attraction and an ode to graffiti, Bob Marley dreadlocks, and marijuana. Now, technically, marijuana is still illegal in Denmark, so the official party line in Christiania is that they do not sell it or smoke it. One deep breath tells you that ain’t true.

Christiania, Copenhagen

Rows and rows of outdoor vendors have tables set up selling all manner of weed paraphernalia, but not any actual pot. Apparently to get the stuff you have to ask locals in the right way and they’ll lead you to the sale. Matt and I were well behaved and did not partake. We were just there to see the place.

graffiti in Christiania, Copenhagen

After walking around and, you know, breathing, for about a half hour, we realized we clearly didn’t need to buy anything to partake. We looked at each other like, “I know we just had lunch, but gosh, I’m really hungry for some reason.” So we found the food vendors: an outdoor area with picnic tables, live music (and by live music I mean some stoned guy strumming a badly made guitar and intermittently hitting the pitch on whatever indecipherable song he chose) and a loose semi-circle of food stalls set up. Most stalls had really long lines – can’t imagine why – so we got in the shortest one, which happened to be selling chicken shawarma!

Christiania, Copenhagen

We got a couple of pitas, took them to the picnic table and noshed on the deliciousness, all the while giggling at nothing in particular through our contact highs and just generally having a wonderful afternoon on vacation with each other. I loved recreating (most of) this experience at home. You know, minus the spit, “live music”, and the second-hand buzz. This dish is unbelievable. I don’t care who you are or what your experience level with Arabic food is, I promise you will LOVE this. It’s insanely delicious, and we were truly blown away. Try it soon, don’t smoke pot, and be sure to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper team!

Chicken Shawarma

{One year ago: Apple Jalapeno Cheddar Scones}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, May 2011

Ingredients:
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, divided
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, visible fat trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
½ cup tahini (sesame paste)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
4 pita breads, warmed, cut in half, and each half split into pockets

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbs lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Add the chicken and onion and let stand 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. In a blender or mini food processor, combine the tahini with ½ cup water and the remaining garlic and remaining 2 tbs lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and puree until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt and set aside.
Heat a large griddle or grill pan over high and let it get very hot. Add the chicken and onion, along with all the marinade. Cook over high heat, turning with tongs occasionally, until the meat and onion are charred and tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to plates.
To serve, place chicken, onions, and tomato slices in the pita pocket and top liberally with white sauce.

Mezze {Appetizers}

Salata {Salads and Sides}

Main

Halwa {Desserts}

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

I’m not sure I’ve completely figured out heirloom tomato season around here yet. It seems to be the beginning and end of summer that I see them, but then I’ll see a random case here and there during other times of the year, though it’s extremely short-lived. But they seem to be most plentiful, most beautiful, and most robust in early and late summer. Case in point, for the past week or so, Whole Foods has a beautiful array, and I couldn’t resist taking home a few.

beautiful heirloom tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

I made this amazing salad with them. I adore anchovies, and they work especially well in sauces and dressings. This vinaigrette would work wonderfully on salad greens of any kind, too. Especially on some kind of bitter lettuce, maybe… The wheels are definitely turning!

heirloom tomatoes

Anywho, I wanted to share this salad while stores are still carrying the beauties, so you can run out and make it yourself. So delicious!

heirloom tomato salad with anchovy vinaigrette

A couple of recipe notes: if you think you dislike anchovies, you’re wrong. They do not tasty fishy in this dressing, it’s more salty and nutty – really good! Also, don’t be like me and forget to scatter the fresh herbs on the composed salad at the last minute. I know it looks heavenly and you cannot wait to dive in, but delay gratification just long enough to adorn it with parsley and marjoram, because I’m sure it tastes terrific and looks lovely that way. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know from personal experience… :/

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

{One year ago: Dr Pepper Can Chicken}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 anchovies, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes—large ones sliced, small ones halved
Fleur de sel, or other coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Marjoram leaves, for serving

Directions:
In a small skillet, combine the olive oil, anchovies, garlic and lemon zest.
In a small bowl, toss the shallot with the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.
Arrange the tomatoes on a platter in whatever fashion pleases you and season with fleur de sel and pepper. Scatter the shallot and vinegar over the tomatoes.
Warm the anchovy dressing over moderate heat to a gentle simmer and mash up the anchovies with a wooden spoon. This will help them “melt” into the oil. Pour the anchovy oil over the tomatoes. Scatter the parsley and marjoram over the salad and serve at once.

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno

Pan-roasted clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

Two of my favorite websites for recipe perusal are Food52 and Food & Wine Magazine. I scroll through and save the recipe I want to make to one of my Pinterest pages. And of course, you know that Pinterest saves a picture of that recipe along with its title, origin, and if it’s been liked or repinned.

making pan-roasted clams

And every now and then, thankfully it’s infrequent, but every now and then you’ll pin a recipe and for whatever reason the picture you specified does not appear on your Pinterest page. Instead, it’ll be this little box with the title and origin of the recipe and then a blank box where the pretty, appetizing picture should go.

clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

I suppose it displays my anal-retentiveness for all to see, but I must confess that I really hate it when this happens! It bugs me. I go to look at my Pinterest page and see all these pretty, scrumptious looking food photographs, and then there’s this ugly blank. It just messes up my page.

This was one such recipe. I pinned it from Food & Wine, and no picture appeared. I figured, the best way to fix this problem was to make the recipe, so then I can substitute my own pic. And why yes, I am quite the Type A personality with plenty of neuroses to go around, thank you for asking! 🙂

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno

But, that’s honestly why I made this recipe last week. Well, that and because it looked great. Fortunately, the recipe was fantastic, so maybe there’s a benefit to me being so weirdly obsessive?

clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

I warn you, it’s hot and spicy. The jalapenos are not kidding around! I adapted this recipe a bit; the original said to add the sliced (and thus, still seeded) chiles at the end, but that would essentially mean eating a bunch of raw jalapenos. And those have their place, I’m not saying otherwise. But if you’re not careful, they can really blow out your palate on the first bite and I didn’t want that. So I added them earlier to make sure they were cooked (read: tamer in heat level), and I think it made the dish more cohesive. The heat, though – definitely still there!

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon Bacon and Jalapeno

Source: adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients:
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
3 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup very finely chopped shallots
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons very finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup bottled clam broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions:
First, prep the clams. Immediately upon coming home from the store, place the clams in a large mixing bowl. Fill with cold water and sprinkle with a spoonful of cornmeal. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, longer if possible. When ready to cook, pour the contents of the bowl into a large colander or strainer and run under cold water to get rid of any cornmeal or other dirt lingering on the shells. The water-cornmeal treatment is to rid the clams of any grit and sand. They “eat” the cornmeal and this purges the grit within the shells.
Now you are ready to cook. Preheat a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the bacon bits and cook until the fat has rendered and they are crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
To the skillet, add the shallot and jalapeno. Sauté for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Now add the drained clams and bourbon. Simmer over medium-low heat until the bourbon evaporates.
Add the clam juice. Raise the heat to medium and cover the skillet. Cook until the clams have opened, about 5 to 7 minutes. I always keep a close watch on this process. I keep tongs and a clean bowl nearby and retrieve the clams as they open. I’ve found that they don’t all open at the same time, and some can overcook if you leave them in. This isn’t the pain that it sounds like, honest.
When the clams have all opened, transfer them to a clean bowl. If any do not open, then discard them – they’re not safe to eat.
To the skillet add the cream, parsley and crisped bacon. Cook to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then swirl in the butter and let it melt. Add the clams back into the skillet and shut off the heat. Toss to coat, then serve with crusty bread for mopping up sauce.

Gin and Orange Juice Braised Endives

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I found this recipe in an older issue of Food & Wine Magazine, and while the article didn’t specify as such, I like to think this dish was inspired by Snoop Dogg. I know I had the song “Gin and Juice” stuck in my head while I was cooking.

“Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ endo
Sippin’ on gin and juice
Laaaaiiiddd back
With my mind on my money
And my money on my mind”

Ahh, Snoop Dogg. Good memories…

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This dish is a bit less controversial than the rapper as it demands no hash alongside and it won’t speak obscenities at you, so I think it would actually make a lovely addition to a holiday table. It would also grace a fancy dinner party spread quite nicely. The addition of honey cuts through the endive’s natural bitterness and let’s face it, gin and orange juice do complement each other quite well. I never thought to pair them with an endive, but it really does work.

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Take your time searing the vegetables. You want them to get nicely browned on both sides. This is key to proper texture of the dish, which is intended to be very soft and wilted. When they’re done, you place them on a platter and then garnish appropriately, and the presentation really is stunning. Your guests won’t believe what you’re able to do with such a humble leafy vegetable! I guess that’s part of why I loved the dish – it’s basically elevating a simple and oftentimes overlooked ingredient to a show stopper of a side dish. So channel your inner Snoop Dogg (or not!) and make it soon! Enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, February 2011

Ingredients:
1 ½ tbs olive oil
5 medium Belgian endives, halved lengthwise and any outer leaves that are icky or wilty removed
¼ cup gin
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tbs unsalted butter
1-2 tbs honey
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 tbs roasted, salted pepitas
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the endive halves, cut side down, and cook until richly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Slowly pour the gin into the skillet and cook until it’s reduced by half. Turn the endives over, season with salt and pepper and add the orange juice. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the endives are tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the braised endives to a platter, cut sides up. Add the butter, honey and stock. Boil over high heat until reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the endives and sprinkle with the scallions and pepitas. Drizzle with some balsamic and serve immediately.

Blood Orange Margaritas

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I can hardly believe it, but this is my 100th blog post!!! I think it deserves a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail? And as an added bonus, how about a seasonal cocktail? Blood oranges are beautiful and delicious, and unfortunately only available up here in the winter. So I take as much advantage as possible while I can.

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Anyways, back to my 100th post party. I have absolutely loved writing this blog. Cooking and baking are such passions of mine and I’m so honored to be able to share them. I’m beyond thankful for my faithful readers; I love reading your comments (and your blogs). There’s a certain salvation to be found in blogging; it’s a terrific creative outlet for me, and one that actually encourages and validates my obsession with all things cooking, baking and eating. That means more than you’ll ever know.

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I’m not going anywhere; I have more ideas bouncing around in my head and on notepads and on my computer files than I can probably ever hope to share, but I relish in the attempt. I’m very proud and humbled to be part of the food blogosphere. It’s vast and diverse, and extremely high quality. And though my place in it is very small thus far, it’s an honor to be here, to be constantly challenged to improve my craft, to be more and more creative, and to hone my photography skills more and more.

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Thank you all for reading. Cheers to 100 posts and to many, many more! And go make this delicious drink before blood orange season runs out!

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Source: adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, November 2007

Ingredients:
3 blood oranges
2 limes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 cup plus 1 generous tbs silver tequila
Ice

Directions:
Juice 2 of the blood oranges. Slice the third into wedges. Juice the limes.
Run an orange segment over the rim of each of 2 martini or margarita glasses. Dip the rims in kosher salt.
Combine the citrus juice with the orange liqueur and tequila in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Working in 2 batches, pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into each glass. Garnish with a blood orange wedge and serve immediately.
Makes 2 cocktails.