Sunday, July 29, 2012

Halibut a la Moi! (a la Barigoule)

delicious meal for one or ten - such great flavors 
cippolini onions softening - love these little guys

Back by popular request - I initially published this back in April. This is a great summer fish dish, and perfect for Sunday night! I love halibut because it is mild, delicious, easy to handle, and appealing to a lot of fish eaters. It's not like some stronger types of fish, that will make some people turn up their noses when you mention you are serving fish. This halibut dish is adapted from a recipe in the fabulous (buy it asap!) Balthazar Cookbook. I use cippolini onions instead of pearl onions, because they have a better flavor, add cauliflower (I had some left over one time), leave out the white beans (I forgot to get them one time), and add capers at the end, because I like a touch of tart caper flavor. I also, as always play around with spices to adjust them to my palate. It's a really good one for entertaining, and as gour-maybes will appreciate - it is deceptively simple, yet looks like Julia Child herself has risen from the dead to cook dinner at your house.

Jump for the recipe:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Savory Sweet Potatoes and Leeks

I am a HUGE fan of swine, ergo, this recipe includes two different pork products: delicious thick-cut porterhouse pork chops and crispy pancetta. Adding more would kind of be pushing it, but don't let me stop you! Sweet potatoes are another fave, I feel like I gravitate toward them more in the fall, but when I realized I had two leeks just waiting to be used, this whole din came together as a summer pork chop and sweet potato extravaganza. This was inspired by a recipe that everyone seems to have- Smoked Gouda Sweet Potatoes. The Junior League of Houston's Peace Meals has a version that is delicious, but I wanted more savory flavor which I got by using leeks and pancetta. This is super easy and can be scaled up and down for guests or just dinner for two. Full recipe after the jump!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gour-Maybe C.A.E.sar Salad (Cheese, Anchovy, Egg)

This Caesar has cheese, anchovy and raw egg. If you are opposed to any of those ingredients, just freaking skip this salad all together, because in my opinion, this is Caesar dressing the way it should be. The homemade dressing is easy, and if it's made in advance, the whole salad takes about 15 minutes! Great with grilled chicken or shrimp or a pasta. Recipe after the jump.

Gour-Maybe Entertaining Essentials - Cheese Plate - COW'S MILK

from top left, clockwise: Stilton, Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, Brillat-Savarin a la Truffe

Last night, I had a great excuse - aka, it was Saturday - to try a few new cheeses I had purchased. The reviews are in! All were cow's milk cheese (one way to organize a cheese plate) - I think it's really interesting to see the amazing range of cheeses that each milk variety yields.  I threw in a Stilton (COW), which I eat all the time, because I almost always have a blue cheese option on any cheese plate. Gour-maybe reminder - ask your cheese store or grocery store to cut the pieces to whatever size you need, especially if you are trying something for the first time. Don't want a wedge of wasted fromage! First new cheese - Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk (COW). I love the Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam - also a delicious pick, but Red Hawk is a little bit stronger. It tasted even better with some fresh honeycomb.   Next, Brillat-Savarin a la Truffe (COW). As you might have guessed from "Truffe" this has truffles. Need I say more? No, but I will! It's got a great texture, almost like whipped cream cheese, and just melts in your mouth. Plain or with honey, on crackers or just as is. Bottom line. Each was memorable and I'd recommend them to most cheese lovers. If you are looking for a new cheese, try one of these! We drank it with a bottle of 1919 Malbec - also a good, cheap choice at $10.00.

Monday, July 9, 2012

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato Salad

Spicy, Savory Three Potato Salad (Pictured with Ribs and Wickles!)

This salad needs three adjectives, to describe it's three-potato amazing-ness. So i'll go with savory, spectacular, and spicy.  This is the potato salad I made last week for 4th of July. The three-potato combination was inspired by a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Fried Chicken & Champagne. However, I felt like the dressing needed significant adjustments to fit my palate, so I added green onions, chives, white wine vinegar, cayenne, Dijon mustard (Gour-maybe stating the obvious - I feel sometimes like I add Dijon mustard to everything, but it seems to always make it better, like salt! Right?), a little lime juice and additional salt and pepper. I also think potato salad always tastes better after it has chilled with its dressing for a while (by "a while", I mean 8 hours – overnight). I’d recommend making this the day before. The flavors are truly delicious! Ps - the pickles in the top center of the pic are Wickles - if you have not had them, they are an essential part of any Gour-maybe barbecue plate. Get the scoop on the spuds after the jump!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

May the 4th Be With You...

I did a lot of drinking cooking on 4th of July, so it's taking me a while to sort through photos and get the recipes up, but stay tuned for Bacon, Mustard and Three Potato Salad, Ribs with Homemade Barbeque Sauce and Bloody Mary recipes coming your way soon! They are a perfect meal for any summer day - not just the 4th. In the mean time, I will tantalize you with some pics.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

As American As Apple.... CROSTATA?

As a person who is passionate about pie, it's hard not to celebrate the 4th of July with ye old traditional Apple Pie. But rules are made to be broken, and I like my meals to be unexpected, so instead of pie, I did an Apple Crostata (aka a pie, just not in a pie pan). I'm such a rebel! I used my favorite pie crust/quiche crust recipe, I swear it works for everything The filling was adapted from one of my favorite places, Epicurious. It was apple-mania - heaps of Golden Delicious apples, spices, and sugar combined to form a really easy, elegant but rustic looking dessert. If you have the pie crust made and in your freezer like we talked about back on the quiche post (eh-hem), this should take about 1.5 hours, and only .5 of those are working hours. Enlist a friend or your significant other to peel the apples and you're home free! We served it with a homemade caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Get the recipe after the jump.