Originally posted 2013-08-15 17:59:00.
Ciao for now, darling!
Originally posted 2013-03-26 14:58:00.
Darlings! A cold front moved into Miami over this past weekend and La Diva found it a most excellent opportunity to put on the oven and make a dinner that would be warm and comforting on a night that begged one to “get cozy.”
Since I’ve been blessed with family and friends that are kind enough to keep me in the latest cookbooks, La Diva has decided that I darn well better start using them! I’d scanned through my Ottolenghi The Cookbook I got as a present from my brother in law and his girlfriend last Christmas and had flagged each recipe that intrigued me, but after researching recipes for a client recently, I stumbled upon a most divine dish, a decadent fennel gratin. (To refresh your memory of this fabulous tome, click HERE.)
I decided that if if I was going to heat the oven, I might as well cook everything in the oven! So, dear readers, this post is about cooking an entire meal in the oven at 400 degrees!
The recipe includes the making of a crumble for the topping of the gratin. It was super easy, just combine 300 g* flour, 200 g of cold butter and 100 g of sugar until the texture of breadcrumbs. This was easily achieved by pulsing the ingredients in the food processor.
*La Diva LOVES cooking and shopping in metric, it’s so much more accurate. This is when a dual metric and Imperial scale comes in handy.
(Blogger Surit from The Dish has kindly replicated the recipe for the fennel gratin with cherry tomatoes, HERE. )
With a very large punnet of blueberries staring me in the face in my fridge, La Diva thought an easy and quick dessert would be to use them in a cobbler. I’ve actually had the recipe printed from Gourmet.com for years and now finally remembered to try it! This recipe was a good choice because it was for two servings (very LARGE servings!) was quick, easy and also called for a 400 degree oven. The dessert could be made and served room temperature, so I chose the cobbler to be next to go into the oven.
In order to get the dough to a texture that I could actually spoon it instead of crumbling, I had to supplement the recipe by adding a bit more cream. Also, next time I would add a half recipe more so the topping would cover the berries entirely. You can view the recipe for Blueberry Lemon Cobbler by clicking HERE.
When I asked The DJ how he’d like me to prepare his pork tenderloin for dinner, he exclaimed “barbecue!” I used a store-bought hickory seasoning mix and slathered it on the meat after coating it first with olive oil. I seared it on all sides to form a nice, spicy crust. I let the pan cool, washed it and then added a good dousing of olive oil on the bottom. I added the pork and the cubed, peeled sweet potatoes. I popped it into the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
I had a bit of Stubb’s spicy bbq sauce in the fridge and doctored up with a bit of honey. I basted the loin a few times with barbecue sauce for additional barbecue flavor. I cooked the meat until it was just done, leaving it slightly pink and juicy. After letting the meat rest for 10 minutes, I sliced it up and plated it with the potatoes and gratin.
Plated up and ready to eat: roasted sweet potatoes with hickory smoked barbecue pork tenderloin and fennel gratin with grape tomatoes.
RESULT: What a stupendously comforting winter meal! The meat was moist and tender and had a crunchy, spicy-sweet crust. The potatoes were cooked to perfection, caramelized and extra tasty from the barbecue pork drippings.
The fennel was DIVINE! Perfectly cooked to fork tender, the fennel’s usually strong anise flavor was subdued and combined well with the sweet tomatoes and the sharp, saltiness of the cheese crumble. The creamy texture made the dish very more-ish, we went back for seconds!
La Diva is usually a big fan of roasted tomatoes but I thought they overshadowed the subtle flavor of the fennel. Next time, I will omit the tomatoes altogether.
This quick cobbler was delicious! The berries worked surprisingly well with the lemon zest and juice and gave the berries quite the zingy flavor. A dollop of vanilla ice cream on top made it even better! The cobbler was dangerously quick and easy to make. Even more dangerous is the fact that I have a restaurant in the building so The DJ can run down and get two scoops of ice cream in an “emergency!!!”
All in all, the 400 degree dinner was a warming and wonderful winter meal and all made in the oven, keeping the kitchen warm and toasty.
Do you have a favorite winter time meal that you can just easily pop into the oven? DO tell, darlings, La Diva wants to hear all about it! Ciao for now!
Originally posted 2012-02-14 17:14:00.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take a bundt cake pan and butter and flour the pan.
2 sticks butter (at room temperature)
2/3 cup Crisco (I used organic shortening without trans fats)
5 eggs (at room temperature)
Cream butter and Crisco. Add sugar. Sift flour and baking powder and add eggs one at a time beating thoroughly with an electric mixer at medium high speed for about five minutes. Add flavoring and milk and mix until well blended. Add coconut last. Bake 1.5 hour @ 325 degrees. Because ovens vary, I would check the cake at one hour and every ten minutes until done. I used a toothpick to test and it came out with crumbs on it, not batter. I tend to “underbake” my cakes slightly so that they will be moist. This cake in MY oven was finished and had a nice brown crust at one hour and fifteen minutes. Allow cake to cool for a few minutes and then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
1 box confectioners sugar (that is one pound)
Let cream cheese and butter soften, mix all together and frost when cake is cooled completely.
Originally posted 2011-07-16 01:05:00.
The first thing DJ Nevah L8 said to me upon tasting this dish was:
“EEEEWWWW THIS IS TOO FISHY, I CAN’T EAT THIS” and spit it out onto his plate in front of me.
La Diva glared at him and replied:
“HELL NO, I KNOW that fish is fresh! EAT IT!”
I purchased it that day and smelled it myself before I even bought it. Apparently, hubby was not too appreciative of the smoky, medicinal flavor of the betel leaf. Yes, it did mellow with cooking but I must admit, I’m not that fond of them myself. Knowing how I feel about wasting food, hubby wisely took the leaf off and liked the fish much better! The salsa was quite tangy from the tomatillo, but pairing it with the betel leaf was not a match made in culinary heaven. It was ok, the betel leaf flavor is still very strong.
One of myeggplants was rotten inside, so I only had one to use. I DID end up using the left over chimichurri sauce on the green beans and hubby loved it! (he used the rest of the sauce every chance until it was gone!) I lightly pan fried them and then added a creamy layer of ricotta/parm cheese mixture and topped with some tomato sauce and fresh bread crumbs (all left over from the dumpling debacle) and baked them while I made a simple breaded chicken cutlet. Perhaps it was the freshly made breadcrumbs or perhaps it was the parmesan cheese, but this was one of the tastiest, juiciest breaded cutlets I’ve made to date. Just goes to show you how quality ingredients can really improve the flavor of a simple dish.
This weeks half share mystery box includes:
- Lacinato kale
- garlic chives
- carambola or star fruit (uh oh, mine came all bruised and battered)
- two tiny clementines, hardly bigger than a walnut
- 2 black sapote, one already ripe and one hard as a rock
- cabbage…a sturdy, tough vegetable
- tomatoes x 2, still under ripe and a bit pink
- avocado, hard as a rock
Tomatoes, I can always use but I must admit to being challenged by the avocado. Yes, I use it as a butter substitute on bread or could put in a Mexican soup or the usual guacamole but…what about serving it as a mash with something else? hmmm…..In any case, it most likely won’t be ripe for at least four days, it’s as hard as a rock! Good, gives me time to think and research something new!
You can read more about the upcoming show HERE.
Ciao darlings, CIAO!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment
Originally posted 2010-01-18 16:37:00.