Archived entries for fancy on the cheap

Tender Meat For Tender Moments: Pork Tenderloin

Last winter, while grocery shopping, I found this pork tenderloin on super sale and it called out to me saying “Take me home!  I would make for the perfect candle lit romantic meal.”  (I never get freaked out by talking meat).  So I did, but I never got around to actually making it.  I’m still working on cleaning out my freezer and this pork tenderloin was at the top of this list.  After 12 months in the deep freeze, I finally hauled this little guy out and got to business.  Although, I’m sure it wasn’t as great as it would have been if I hadn’t neglected the poor thing for so long, but it did turn out very well and it was a very special meal full of special tender moments.

I’d never made a tenderloin before, so it was a bit of an adventure.  Although, I went maverick on it quite a bit, I based my recipe on this food network recipe with a few ingredient additions and substitutions. I used hard apple cider as the marinade and gravy base, since the apple flavor is such a traditional pork side-kick, although you can beer as the original food network recipe uses.

Tenderloin ready to be roasted

Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Cider Gravy

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 22 oz. bottle Hard Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 (3 1/2) pound boneless pork loin, tied
  • 1 Tbs butter, sliced into tsp slices
  • 1 large garlic clove sliced
  • sage leaves
  • 1-2 Tbs butter for roue
  • 1-2 Tbs flour for roue

Evening before or morning of meal, prepare your marinade: In a sauce pan, melt butter.  Saute onions and garlic in butter until nicely browned, about 5 minutes or so.  Stir in dried spices and allow to saute and toast for about 1 minute.  Add apple cider and mustard and bring to a boil.  Allow to cool.

Marinate your pork loin: Place your raw pork loin in a container.  Pour the prepared marinade over the pork and cover.  Refrigerate 8-24 hours.

Prepare your tenderloin for roasting: Remove loin for the marinade and set marinade aside.  Using a meat tenderizer or the flat side of a cooking handle of a random tool.  Hit the tenderloin a bit to make it flatten out a bit and to tenderize the meat.  Season the tenderloin on all sides with sea salt or kosher salt and pepper.  Place the butter and garlic slices along with some sage leaves, dried or fresh, along the center of the meat.

Truss your tenderloin:  Using string, tie your tenderloin up into a circular log.  I’ve never done this before, so I sort of just winged it.  I started wraping the string around one end, and then tied it off on the bottom of the log, or the opposite side of where the meat overlaps.  I tied a knot and then bring the sting forward, holding it in place.

Wrapping the string around the meat, I pulled the string behind where I was originally holding the string forward and pulled it around, securing the string in place.  I repeated this until I got to the end of the roast.

If you didn’t get that, which I can understand, check out this video demonstrating a slip knot method, skip to 54 seconds to see the process.  My garlic, butter and sage, did squeeze out a bit when tying up, but I just slipped as much of the filling under the string again as I could.

Brown Tenderloin: Using a skillet over medium-high heat, brown all sides of the tenderloin to prepare it for roasting.  This helps trap the juices inside the meat and keep your roast nice and juicy.

Roast Tenderloin: On a baking sheet, roast tenderloin at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads about 155-160.  Remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil until ready to serve.

Make Apple Cider Gravy: While the tenderloin roasts, prepare gravy.  Take half of your marinade and place in a sauce pan.  Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat.  Meanwhile, mix together your roue paste by forking together an equal amount of butter and flour until it forms a paste.  When sauce is boiling, add the roue paste and stir occasionally until your sauce thickens to a gravy.  You can start out with just 1 Tbs of roue paste and add the second if the sauce is not thickening quickly enough.

Get Ready For Romance: Slice your tenderloin.  Serve your tenderloin with mashed potatoes and a salad or vegetable side.  Spoon your apple cider gravy over the tenderloin and your potatoes.  Get plates on table, Barry White on the stereo, light the candles and step into something a little more comfortable! This meal is definitely going to spice up your life.  Have fun!

Delicate and Divine: Lavender Wafers

The delicate and subtle flavor of lavender always conjures up ethereal images of dreamlike romance. Incorporating this flavor into food guarantees a nosh for the most sophisticated pallets. When paired with the delicate cakey-ness of this cookie, you’ve got a recipe which simply cannot be beat!

Although dried lavender is not easily found at a general grocery store, you can find pretty inexpensively at specialty spice shops as well as growing in your neighbor’s summer flower bed. The lavender I used was given to me frozen from my parent’s summer stash.

Lavender Wafers
makes 6 dozen

  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 well beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried lavender
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • additional dried lavender for topping (1-2 Tbs)


  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. water
  • couple drops of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add beaten eggs, vanilla and lavender, and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well blended.

Spoon 1 tsp batter onto lined or greased baking sheets 1-2″ apart from each other.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges of cookies are brownish yellow.

Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix up your glaze.  Add sugar and corn syrup into bowl.  Gradually add water until you get the consistency you like.  I like to add a few drops of lemon juice to give it just a light hint of citrus.

Spread glaze over cookies.  While glaze is wet, sprinkle with dried lavender.  Let sit for an hour or two for glaze to dry.

Store in air tight containers.

A Quick Fancy: Roasted Cornish Hens

When your dinner plate comes complete with a whole roasted bird just for your eating pleasure, you can’t help but feel like the Queen of England (or King, depending on gender and preference of course).

Roasted Cornish Hens with potato au jus pictured here with a side of braised leeks.

The best thing about Cornish Hens are their size: small.  Everyone loves personalized portions, and because they are so small, they cook faster then their larger bird-brained cousins.  Cooking your hens over a bed of potatoes and onions adds flavoring and makes for a quick and delicious side as the potatoes roast in the au jus.  If you only have an hour or two, but still want to host your guests to a sumptuous royal feast, this dinner is for you.  And you don’t have to sell the family jewels, because this meal can be made for two for under $15.00.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Potato Au Jus
prep time: 15-30 minutes.  cook time: 45-60 minutes

  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 2 limes
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 potatoes sliced
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

If frozen, defrost poultry overnight in refrigerator.  Optional:  defrost the hens in a brine solution overnight.

The day of: preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Slice your potatoes.  Since we’re roasting these, you want them to be thick enough to hold their shape.  You can see I’ve cut mine in the pictures above to be about 1/4″ thick.  In your roaster, mix the potatoes and onions with 1-2 Tbs of olive oil, 1/2 tsp thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Lay the potatoes and onions out evenly.  Set aside to prep the hens.

Rinse the defrosted hens in cool water and pat dry with a cloth or paper towel.  Lightly salt and pepper the cavity.

Take your limes and remove a tsp of zest from each and set zest aside. Using a skewer or fork, puncture a few holes in the lime throughout.  Stuff lime into the cavity of the hen along with a few slices of onion.  Rub salt and pepper on the outside skin of your birds.

To finish the bird, you can truss the hens with string in traditional fashion.  However, I have a bunch of bamboo skewers left over from our wedding bar, so I’ve just been using these to skewer the birds together.  First I skewer the cavity shut.  Then above that, I skewer the left leg and then through the Pope’s Nose and then through the right drum stick.  Finally I pull the two wings above the bird and skewer them together as well.  Easy!  Finish the birds off with the lime zest sprinkled on the skin.

Set hens over the potatoes in your roaster.   Roast in oven for 45-60 minutes.  At 30-40 minutes, I like to brush on a bit of fruit jam or syrup to act as a quick glaze and give the hens a nice color.  Remove hens from oven when a meat thermometer inserted near the thigh reads about 150-160 degrees and the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

While your hens are roasting you can finish your dinner off with a quick side like the braised leeks pictured above or steamed broccoli.

This is easy and delicious.  Perfect for special occasions.  I made this for Ira’s birthday and we both ate like kings!

$10 Designer Meal: Stuffed Shells with Gorgonzola Skirt Steak

My chest freezer has become a despairing land of forgotten foods. I can never pass up a good sale. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have any immediate need for it, into the freezer it goes. Once that door slams shut though, out of sight out of mind, like the skirt steak I got on super sale for $1.75 lb over a year ago (….OOPS!). It’s been hanging out for quite a while in my guilt complex next to the duck breast which I finally took care of at Easter. The steak seemed sad, missing its once feathered friend, so I decided to send it the same way and maybe they could meet somewhere in the hereafter.

From its long stay in the frozen hinterlands, I was concerned about the meat being tough which can be a problem with fresh skirt steak. One neglected food deserves another, so a bottle of red wine which had turned to vinegar from months of sitting in windowsill would work for a marinade, and help tenderize the meat.

Baked shells with apple chutney sauce.

The Gorgonzola, left over from salad night would go well with the beef. In walking through my pantry, I pulled some large pasta shells which I could stuff and bake. For a filling, blue cheese is a bit strong on its own, so I would have to tone it down using a milder cottage cheese or ricotta. I just needed a sauce. A tomato sauce didn’t sound right, but when I passed some jars of apple chutney, I knew that was the ticket. All in all, I only had to run out for the ricotta which I found at the corner store (just as cheap as the cottage cheese!). Here’s how it came together.

Apple Chutney Conchiglie with Gorgonzola Skirt Steak

  • 16 large pasta shells
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. Gorgonzola blue cheese
  • 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 12 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 c. apple chutney
  • 1 lb. skirt steak
  • 1-2 cups red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the steak in wine; chill for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, boil pasta shells al dente in boiling water with olive oil.

Mix 3/4 of the Gorgonzola with the tomatoes, thyme, ricotta cheese and eggs.

Stuff each shell with filling and place in a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spoon apple chutney over shells. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

15 minutes before shells are done, remove steak from marinade. Rub both sides with salt and pepper. Saute on a cast iron grill over high heat. (3-5 minutes). You can use a regular pan if you don’t have a grill. Flip to cook second side, and drizzle cooked side with the remaining blue cheese.

Slice steak and serve over baked shells. I sided my dish with steamed broccoli. As a quick tip, I kept the water boiling from the pasta shells and placed the broccoli in a bamboo steamer over the boiling water while I was cooking the steak. After steaming for about 10 minutes, I drizzled with butter, salt and pepper.

Arrrh, this was so good! (So good, I turned into a pirate for a second). I was super happy with how well the steak turned out, especially considering how long it sat in the freezer and how crappy the wine was. This meal cost about $10 in all, if you don’t include the ingredients for the homemade chutney. Now lets play my favorite game: “how much woud you pay for this plate at a fancy restaurant.”

Brinner: Eggy Eyeball.

Its time for dinner, but you want breakfast. It happens. We can take care of this problem quick and easy.

Uova Di Pomodoro (Eggs Baked in Tomatoes)
From the Silver Spoon Cookbook

  • vine ripened tomatoes
  • same number of eggs
  • 1 tsp of olive oil for each tomato
  • dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.

Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt and lay upside down on a paper towel to allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Put 1 tsp of olive oil in each tomato and sprinkle the insides with a pinch of oregano and pepper.

Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add egg to the center of each tomato. The eggs will sizzle in the hot oil.

Place the tomatoes back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

I sprinkled the tops with Parmesan cheese and dried dill. Don’t they look like little eggy eyeballs? Is that unappetizing?

I sided the tomatoes with the left over potatoes and broccoli from our Easter Dinner. Boom, 30 minutes later and its brinner time.

Roasting Peppers: A Video

Ahh, its a video of myself! Ugh, I have the most nasal voice in the world. I’ve been wanting to try a video blog for a while, but I’m no good at video editing, so I had to do it all in one shot. I hope you don’t get motion sickness with this.

Roasting Peppers on Your Stove Top: At A Glance
Prep/Cook time: 5 minutes. Total Time: 15-20 minutes.

  1. Turn gas burner on high.
  2. Place pepper onto burner grate directly into flames.
  3. Allow skin of pepper to char until it is completely black.
  4. Flip pepper on burner to allow even heat to all sides.
  5. Remove from burner once pepper is completely black
  6. Place in a paper bag and allow to cool for ~10 minutes.
  7. Peel skin away from pepper.

Bam, you’ve got a roasted pepper.

Personal Lamb Meatloaves with Lemon Gravy

Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food (unless you’re vegetarian). For all of us meat eaters, there’s nothing like a good meatloaf to warm the belly on a cold winter night. To fancy this homey dish up a bit, I decided to use lamb meat instead of ground beef and fill it with an array of herbs and vegetables to add to the flavor and texture as well as make the meal slightly more healthy. Everyone loves personal portions, so using a muffin pan will allow for small circular loafs perfect for a solo serving. This way you’ll be sure to have enough for each member of your party, but I warn you to make a few extra because with a dish like this people often want seconds.

Lamb Meatloaf Medallions

  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. labna. You can also use yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme (remove stems and use only leaves)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (remove stems and roughly chop needles)
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 small head of broccoli with flowerettes cut in small pieces
  • 1 Tbs cumin seed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil

Lemon Gravy

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add cumin seed and allow to toast for a minute or so until slightly browned. Add carrots and cook for a couple of minutes, then add broccoli. Cook until slightly soft but not thoroughly. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, mix ground lamb and ground beef using your hands. Lamb is a lean meat, so adding a bit of beef will help the meatloaf to be moist. Add all ingredients including the carrots and broccoli and mix together with your hands.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and saute garlic for a couple of minutes. Over low heat, mix in flour, and cook until bubbly. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium low heat stirring constantly until sauce thickens. When you first add milk and lemon sauce will appear curdled, but will cook out as sauce thickens. I based this recipe off this recipe which I found to be too salty, so I cut down the amount of butter and salt. So season to taste.
Tips on the gravy:

  • If gravy is too thin, add more flour and stir.
  • If gravy is too salty, add more milk and add flour to help thicken extra liquid
  • If you have a gluten allergy you can substitute corn starch for the flour.

Spoon the meatloaf mixture into your muffin tins creating a small well in the center with your finger. Add 1 Tbs of lemon Gravy into the well. This will help keep your meatloaf moist.

Bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes. Lamb has a slightly red coloration when cooked, so your meatloaf when done may be slightly pink looking. Don’t be alarmed by the color and overcook.

I served my meatloaf over a bed of beer braised fennel and red potato mash and drizzled with the lemon gravy. (Stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow!) This dish was savory and comforting, but slightly exotic with the Mediterranean / Middle Eastern spices and flavors.

Not long after I’d planned this for my menu, excited about what I thought was a very maverick form of serving meatloaf, Ira sent me a link to this Chicago Gluttons review of the Meatloaf Bakery in Lincoln Park.

“Seriously, I give this place 5 stars for even existing. A bakery full of meatloaf? A cupcake of… MEATLOAF?” -Emily S

Any time I think I am being original, I realize there is someone else doing it as well. I guess great minds think alike!

Notes on the recipe: I have used Labna which is a tart form of Middle Eastern yogurt cheese. You can easily substitute plain yogurt or even sour cream. Sumac has a lemony tart flavor, which when eating the meatloaf on its own, sets off the savory lamb flavors. The sumac is an additional flavoring which can be eliminated if you don’t have it without compromising the general flavor of this dish.

Fancy and Fried: Deep Fried Oreos

I wanted to avoid the typical ideas for an Obama inspired Dessert. When a friend suggested Deep Fried Oreos, I was intrigued. I’d never heard of this before but I soon found out its a dish commonly served between the elephant ears and the tilt-0-whirl. Chocolate and cream with a good dose of all American down home values. I just needed to reinterpret the idea to be fancy and posh enough to take over the White House. This is what we came up with:

Obama’s Deep Fried Oreos:
Makes about 3 dozen

Double Chocolate Cookie Crips:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 pound (4 oz) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Cookie Filling:

  • 1 8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese


  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c. milk

Oil to deep fry in, about 1 quart

To start we need to make our cookies: Double Chocolate crisps, based on this Martha Stewart recipe, with a few minor changes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt 1/2 your chocolate chips (2 oz) ounces of chocolate with the butter in a double boiler (a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water); let cool slightly. While chocolate is cooling, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Put chocolate mixture, sugar, egg, thyme and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, scoop 1/2 tsp dollops onto tray about 2″ apart. Bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch the cookies and when cracks develop in the surface, they should be done. Let cool on a wire rack. The original recipe says the cookies should be soft, but for our needs, feel free to let them sit out a little longer when cooling before putting in an air tight container because we want them to be crispy! Because they don’t need to be moist you can make your cookies up to a week ahead. I did!

Take two cookies of approx matching shape and size and spread filling of whipped cream cheese in the middle and sandwich together. Chill.

Mix your batter: Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and the dry. Whisk all the lumps out. I’ve used a general pancake batter recipe, but you want the batter to be a little more liquid to coat the cookie but not be overly thick, so add more milk if you need it.

Heat up your oil on a burner over medium heat. I like to use a wok because I have more control. Its not as deep but I have a wider surface to dip the cookies in. I usually keep the burner around “4″ on my dial which is just a little below medium. The oil usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get up to heat. Test the oil with a drop of batter. A small piece should not brown right away but take a minute or so, but not too long.

When your oil is ready, dip your cookies in the batter and drop them in the oil. BE CAREFUL of hot oil! Be gentle when you drop the cookies in. The cookies seem to float, so you need to flip them in the oil so each side gets cooked.

I allow them to cook until they are just golden but not longer. When done, take out and sit in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease.

To finish this dish in a accordance with my undertones of middle eastern flavor, I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream drizzled with a pomegranate syrup (just a simple syrup see recipe below) and garnished with fresh pomegranates and thyme.

Upon frying, the cookie and filling switches roles; the cookie melts and the filling cooks. When biting into this decadent but deliciously down home food, I felt immediately warmed, by all the new insulation the fat deposits from this dessert where providing my stomach and thighs.

Easy Posh: Shrimp Bisque

I’ve had a few requests from friends for the recipe for the Shrimp Bisque I made for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Delicious and decadent, this soup can be made for not too much money or skill.

A great soup for a dinner party, you can impress your guests with little to no fuss. This website is all about trying to help our readers appear more fancy then they can afford so this one is for you. Just mention the “Champagne Reduction” you made for the soup base, and all your guests will think you’re the shit, ahem, I mean, a true epicurean.

Shrimp Bisque
serves 8 as a starter, 4 as a main dish
Continue reading…

Scallop Pot PIe

The scallop pot pies we made for my Mom’s Birthday Dinner turned out absolutely delicious and the only richness required was in the flavor not the pocket book. The use of the acorn squash as bowls is so Autumnal and really made this dish perfect for a cozy fall candle lit dinner.

Scallop Pot Pie
serves six

  • 1 lb small scallops
  • 1 1/2 c. – 2 c. white wine
  • 1 1/2 c. half and half or 3/4 c. heavy cream and 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 large onion diced or two medium onions diced
  • 1 large carrot diced or two medium carrots diced
  • 1-1 1/2 cups diced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas
  • 1/4 c. frozen corn
  • 1-2 Tbs chopped dill
  • 1 stick of butter + 4 Tbs
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1-2 tsp garlic salt, onion salt or shallot salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 0ptional 1/2 lb raw shrimp chopped
  • 3 small acorn squash
  • biscuit dough for topping, recipe follows.

Being by preparing your acorn squash to use for your bowls. Cut the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff. Cut a small disk off the outter ends of each squash bowl so they will sit flat and not roll. Using a paring knife or sharp spoon, cut out as much of the squash meat from the sides as possible.

The squash at the top has been fully scooped, and the one the bottom shows the disk shape at the bottom cut for the pot pie to keep it from rolling over.

I found a spiky ended grapefruit spoon worked really great for this. Be careful not to puncture through the sides of the squash skin. You can scoop some of the squash out of the bottom if the squash is really thick, but you want to leave some in place so the pot pie doesn’t leak out the bottom. We planned on using the squash filling to make soup, but ran out of time. My recipe for roasted butternut squash soup would work well for this. Set squash bowls aside.

Prepare biscuit dough for topping and chill while preparing filling. Recipe follows.

To prepare the filling:
I like to poach the seafood first, as sometimes it takes me a while to get my sauce just right and I don’t want it to be overcooked. Over medium-low heat, saute 1/4 of diced onions and fennel in 2 Tbs of butter until clear. Add 1 1/2 cups of white wine and scallops (add optional shrimp as well). Allow to come to a boil. Once the wine is boiling remove pan from the burner and drain scallops reserving the white wine. We want to under cook the scallops here, because they will finish cooking when we complete the sauce. This step is to infuse the wine with the scallop juice so it will cook into the sauce.

Now we want to prepare a roux to help the sauce thicken. An easy roux can be made by mixing an equal part butter to flour. Using a fork, mix together your stick of butter and 1/2 c. flour. Keep mixing until you have a thick paste.

Thickening your sauce, adding roux and boiling.

Place the saute pan back on burner over medium to low heat. Melt 2 Tbs butter and suate remaining onions and fennel until clear. Add carrots and saute for a couple minutes. Don’t overcook the carrots, our goal is to retain a bit of crispness to them. Add the reserved wine you drained from your scallops and your half and half. Allow to bring to a boil and add 1/2 the roux and allow to boil. As it boils it will thicken. Keep adding roux a tsp at a time until your sauce is at your disired thickness.

Filling with all ingredients added.

Add peas, corn, dill, and onion salt and allow to cook for a minute or two. Add your scallops. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. I find a generous dose of pepper (1/4- 1/2 tsp) works well, but season to your taste.

Fill acorn squash with filling. Roll out prepared biscuit dough in a rectangle on a floured surface and cut into six equal sections large enough to fit your squash.

Brush dough with raw egg. Place dough, egg side down onto squash and trim excess dough. Pinch dough around rounded edges of squash and brush top of dough with egg yolk. Spinkle with paprika. Place squash on a baking tray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375. After 15 minutes check your dough. If it looks like it is getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil until cooking is done.

Serve and eat up. OK, I know all these directions sound complicated, but this dish is not super hard. Try it and see.

Swiss Cheese Biscuit Dough

  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4-6 Tbs chilled butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese

This recipe is based on the Joy of Cooking biscuit recipe, which I use so much I keep one of my red ribbons to keep this page permanently marked.

Mix the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or large fork, fork butter into the flour mixture until chunky. Add milk and mix with fork until dough is pretty well mixed. Empty onto a floured surface and gently kneed to form a dough until you have a desired thickness. I try not to handle the dough too much, biscuit dough is best if its not overworked. This will help it be nice and flaky. Chill dough until your ready to use it.

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