This recipe is inspired by the bistecca alla fiorentina lunch we had on day 1 of our trip to Vinci, Italy. Two of the sides served that day were creamy borlotti beans and a big pile of steamed greens dressed in garlic olive oil. I decided to marry the two, using a creamy, Pinot Grigio-infused risotto as the base. Each bite is wonderfully rich with pops of earthy white bean, tangy Parmesan cheese, and slightly-bitter melting greens. A comforting dinner on a cool winter evening. Continue reading for the recipe plus the second half of my DaVinci Storyteller Experience.
Hello friends and happy Friday!!
I’ve got some fun things to share with you all today, including a tasty biscuit recipe, details on a new cookbook, AND a cookbook giveaway. Let’s dig in.
Russell van Kraayenburg of Chasing Delicious recently released a new cookbook called Making Dough: Recipes and Ratios for Perfect Pastries, and it’s suuuuper interesting. The book features a number of dough ratios like pie dough, puff pastry and biscuit dough along with recipes that utilize each ratio. To better understand ratios and the relationship between ingredients, Russell explains:
“Doughs comprise up to five primary ingredients: flour, fat, eggs, liquid and sugar or other sweetener. Not every dough includes all five… The relationship between the amounts of these ingredients (ratios) is what define each dough recipe and distinguish one dough from another.”
For example, if you use 8 ounces of flour, 7 ounces of fat and 2 ounces of liquid, you’ve got pie crust. If you use 8 ounces of flour, 3 ounces of fat and 5 ounces of liquid, you’ve got biscuit dough. Same ingredients, but different ratios! This is just a simple explanation, so if you want to get more into it, I would recommend checking out Russell’s book.
I find the ratio cooking method interesting, because all you have to do is memorize the ratio, and then you can make 100’s of variations. Let’s think about biscuits for a moment. Start with 8 ounces of flour, 3 ounces of butter, 5 ounces of milk, baking powder for lift, and salt for flavor. From there, you can let your imagination run wild. Try adding fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley or basil. Or cheeses like cheddar, manchego, gouda, and mozzarella. Cooked crumbled bacon, prosciutto, ham or chicken skin would be fantastic. Along with hard spices like caraway, fennel, or coriander. Mix and match add-ins any way you like! You can also play around with the flour, fat and liquid components. The biscuits could be made partially with whole wheat or rye flour. Use coconut oil instead of butter. Unsweetened almond milk instead of cow’s milk. The options are seemingly limitless. Continue reading for my biscuit recipe plus a cookbook giveaway!
I don’t make macaroni and cheese that often, but when I do, I go all out.
This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, creamy and infused with all sorts of autumn. The base starts with onion, garlic and thyme sizzling in a pan of hot butter. A cheese sauce is then made with the addition of flour, milk and grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar. Before the cooked shells are folded into the mix, the sauce is flavored with butternut squash puree, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper. Finished with a layer of fresh breadcrumbs, chopped sage and Parmesan cheese, the casserole cooks in the oven until golden and bubbly. This mac and cheese is tangy, earthy and peppery with wonderful pops of crunch and herb from the breadcrumb topping. This is comfort food to the max. Like a warm blanket on a cool autumn evening. Continue reading for the recipe.
I’ve got some exciting news to share with all of you today!!
In just under one week, I’ll be heading to the Tuscany region of Italy to embark on a weeklong DaVinci Storyteller Experience sponsored by DaVinci Wine! AHHHHH, so exciting!!! Set in the picturesque town of Vinci, Italy (the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci), this immersive experience is focused on the Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, an innovative growers’ cooperative committed to producing authentic Tuscan wine, including the flagship DaVinci Chianti.
Throughout the week, I’ll be diving into all things Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, including vineyard tours, culinary experiences, delicious food and wine galore, plus meet and greets with local chefs, wine growers and other personalities in and around Vinci. Joining me on this trip are some food blogger favorites including Alana from Fix Feast Flair, Molly from my name is yeh and Rebecca from Foodie with Family. This is going to be such a fun week!
In anticipation of this trip, I’ve developed a new tomato sauce recipe infused with the flavors of Tuscany. Particularly mushroom and Chianti! Continue reading for the recipe plus more on DaVinci Wine.
I’m diving into a new realm of delicious DIY today with this recipe for Plum Butter.
I was at Specialty Produce several weeks ago when I spotted an entire section of ripe, fragrant plums, each colorful variety separated into various boxes. After sampling most of them, I decided to get a couple pounds of these Honeysuckle Rose Plums. I’m not sure if the naming of the plum influenced my flavor perception, but at first, juicy bite (a juice explosion really), I swear they tasted of honeysuckle. Sweet, tart and just a hint of floral honey. With a bag of speckled rubies in hand, I headed home, determined to make them into preserves.
During the summer months when gorgeous fruit is abundant yet fleeting, I just love making all sorts of preserves (jams, jellies, and now butters). This allows me to enjoy seasonal flavors several months after the actual fruit has gone out of season. I usually make jam, so this year, I wanted to tackle something new: fruit butter. Continue reading for the process plus a bonus toast recipe.
I should start by saying that turkey isn’t really my thing.
Year after year, I’ve failed miserably at making that perfect, picturesque Thanksgiving turkey. The first Thanksgiving I hosted in 2009 (pre-Kitchen Konfidence) was the worst. The night before Thanksgiving, I was fumbling around trying to wet brine a 22 pound turkey, salt water and turkey contamination splashing all about my kitchen. The next day, I got the turkey out of the brine (hands burning from the salt), dried, and on to the roasting pan. A roasting pan that I later realized was too big to fit in the oven. At the time, I didn’t own a meat thermometer, so I kept the turkey (which was sitting cramped in a 9 x 13 baking dish) in the oven until it “looked good.” I remember the smile on my face as I brought the glorious golden turkey to the table, and the disappointment that quickly followed as I started to carve. The turkey was bone dry with the texture of powdery saw dust.
In 2010, I surveyed all my friends and family for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Results and processes were widely varied. Bake the turkey in a bag. Roast the turkey covered in cheese cloth and baste in butter every 15 minutes. Deep fry the turkey. Start in a high oven. Start in a low oven. Cook the turkey in parts. Somehow, everyone was cooking their turkey perfectly except for me! Overwhelmed by the options, I chose what I thought was the easiest suggestion, “cook the turkey in parts.” After a significant struggle to actually get the turkey in parts, the finished bird was blasé at best.
The next year, I cooked 2 smaller turkeys side-by-side, slathered in truffle butter and fresh herbs. Results were juicy, but underwhelming. I was expecting a WOW moment given the white truffle butter. And in 2012, I reverted back to turkey in parts. Uninspired, and a bit dry.
In 2013, everything changed. Last year, I put Jorge in charge of making the turkey. He prepared this Smoked Turkey, and the finished bird was incredible. Juicy insides with a mouthwatering, smoky flavor. Our Thanksgiving guests couldn’t stop raving about it. Preparing the turkey on the grill also freed up some much-needed oven space. We had such an awesome turkey experience last year, that I just had to share it with you all this year! Continue reading for the recipe.
I’m not a big sports fan, but I sure do love game day/tailgating eats.
Like this Beer Can Chicken. Kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and black pepper get rubbed on first. Then, the chicken takes a seat on a can filled with light beer, onion, garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Cooked upright on the grill, this brazen bird gets infused with flavor from the inside out. I like to serve simply with lemon wedges. And beer of course 😉
If you’d like to take this recipe on the go (to your next tailgating party), prep everything in advance for easy game day execution. The bulk dry rub can be made a week in advance, and stored at room temperature. Give your bird a rubdown at least one hour in advance, allowing the flavors to get into the meat. The thyme, onion and garlic can be prepped and stored together; however, don’t zest the lemon in advance. If not used immediately, the flavor of the lemon oils will diminish quickly after zesting. Finally, when transporting chicken, make sure it’s well-wrapped in plastic and well-chilled on ice. Continue reading for the recipe.
I’m giving away some beef today. Are you ready for this?
And not just any beef. I’m giving away a WestRidge Big Steaks package, including two Boneless Ribeye Steaks, and two T-Bone Steaks. We’ll get to the giveaway details in just a bit. First, let’s talk MEAT. WestRidge Beef specializes in high-quality, dry-aged, antibiotic-free, hormone-free beef products. Raised outdoors in a stress-free environment, their cattle are fed only natural products like grass, grain and hay. I’m giving you these details, because they all have a major positive impact on flavor. I got to sample a number of different steaks from WestRidge, and they are all so, so delicious.
This recipe for Grilled Dry-Aged Steak features two of WestRidge’s beautiful t-bones. These steaks are dry-aged for 21 days, concentrating the flavor (as a result of moisture loss), tenderizing the meat, and adding rich notes of nuttiness and umami. The dry-aging process also modifies the aroma of the steak, amping up the beefiness while adding a funky note similar to blue cheese. I should also mention that these steaks are reddish-brown, rather than the bright, vibrant red you see with supermarket steaks.
Seasoned simply with flaky sea salt, these dry-aged t-bones are quickly seared on a screaming hot grill, adding savory flavors of caramelization, smoke and char. The steaks then rest for 10 minutes in a golden butter bath infused with garlic, rosemary and thyme. I need to tell you that these are some of the best damn steak I’ve ever had. Tender, juicy and incredibly flavorful. Once you learn this technique, you’ll want to cook all of your steaks this way moving forward. Continue reading for the recipe plus a WestRidge Beef giveaway.
Jorge and I are in Charleston, South Carolina right now!! So I’m going to keep this short today.
My recipe for Parchment Roasted Potatoes is super easy and super tasty. Petite fingerling potatoes are tossed with whole garlic cloves, rich olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and several sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage. This flavorful mix is then wrapped up in a parchment packet, and roasted until tender, creamy and just golden. Roasting potatoes in parchment locks in the aromas of the garlic and herbs, infusing more flavor into the small spuds. The dish is finished with a fresh scattering of chopped flat leaf parsley.
I first made these potatoes back in 2012, and I’ve been making them at least once a month ever since. On a busy weeknight, I can prep the parchment packet by the time the oven preheats. I can prepare the rest of the meal while the potatoes cook. So simple! Continue reading for the recipe.
Beets and turnips for Valentine’s Day? Who would have thought?
To be honest, not me. I had originally tested this recipe out as a new side dish for my Thanksgiving extravaganza. It didn’t make the cut, because I already had so many other side dishes in the works, and there wasn’t enough space in the oven to prepare this blushing beauty.
My Beet and Turnip Gratin sat dormant in my photo archives until this past weekend when I was menu planning for Valentine’s Day. Sitting at my computer struggling to find a VDay side dish, I suddenly remembered. A vibrant mix of red, pink and yellow, this Beet and Turnip Gratin is equally tasty and beautiful. Rich and earthy, the gratin is made with a variety of beets, turnips, shallots, garlic, thyme and chicken stock. The skillet cooks covered until the vegetables start to soften, then uncovered until the top is just crisp and golden. Finished with a flurry of chopped chive, my Beet and Turnip Gratin would pair nicely with beef, chicken, pork or fish. Continue reading for the recipe.