BLT Pasta

BLT Pasta

Just a couple of things..

The initials BLT stand for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, and it’s traditionally consumed between two pieces of toasted bread (which has been smeared with Mayo)

If you choose to make a BLT sandwich, you should be choosing only top quality ingredients, pay an extra dollar a pound and get the heirlooms, find good quality romaine lettuce, and please, make an effort to buy top quality bacon, I know it’s getting expensive, but you can taste the difference.

Armed with that knowledge of what a good BLT sandwich should be, let’s transfer it to a pasta recipe!

What you’ll need:

4 strips of thick bacon, diced

1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

1/4 cup of dry vermouth

1/2 cup of chicken broth

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/8 teaspoon chili flakes

1 cup of baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1 cup of french bread, cubed

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon, olive oil

Misenplace:

Wash and cut the Cherry tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Prepare the Spaghetti as directed on the packaging.

For the Recipe:

In a saute pan, cook the bacon until the fat has been completely rendered out of it and it’s crispy.

Remove the bacon from the pan, set it aside for use later. In the same saute pan, remove all of the bacon fat except 1 tablespoon. Add the grape tomato halves, sugar and cook on medium heat.

Cook for approximately 4 minutes. Then add the Vermouth and cook on medium low.

Once the liquid has almost evaporated, add the vinegar, chicken broth and red pepper flakes.

Cook the sauce on low until the liquid reduces by 1/3.

Add the Spinach, Bacon and Thyme and cook for 2 minutes, were just looking for the spinach to wilt.

At this point, the sauce is finished, toss with your cooked pasta and serve it hot.

I topped the pasta with garlic breadcrumbs, i’m not sure I’d include them next time, it’s a bit strange to me. (partially why I decided to leave them out of the recipe)

(recipe inspired by here

Coconut and Lime Cookies

Coconut and Lime Cookies

There are a few things about the coconut lime flavor that I love, mostly the flavor reminds me of a tropical setting, and that’s pretty much all it takes to make me think of my wife. (this happens on many subjects, what can I say? I love the woman)

Some of the other things include a Candle from Yankee Candle (lime in the coconut, it’s amazing!) A song by several different musicians (Put the lime in the coconut) and last but not least, there’s a drink with lime and coconut that’s also not half bad.

This cookie method is pretty normal, it follows the “snickerdoodle” family of cookies as the dough is rolled in sugar before it’s baked.

What you’ll need:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups white sugar

1 egg

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Teaspoon lime zest, minced

3 Tablespoons lime juice

1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut

For the recipe:

Preheat your oven to 350*

In a medium bowl, sift the Flour, Baking soda, Baking powder and Salt.

In a larger bowl add the sugar and the room temperature butter.

Using a hand mixer, cream (or mix) the butter and the sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. It should take about 3 minutes.

Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, add the Lime Zest, Lime Juice, Egg and Vanilla Extract.

Beat on medium until the mixture is combined.

Now, were going to slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter. Once the flour and butter has been combined, add the toasted coconut.

Using a medium cookie scooper, scoop out 12 cookies and roll them in granulated sugar. Place the cookies, flat side down on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake each batch of cookies for 9 minutes. If you follow this, you’ll have slightly underbaked cookies, which I prefer, if you want overbaked cookies, cook for 10 or 11 minutes per batch.

The cookies will appear very puffed up when you remove them from the oven, but they will deflate and flatten out nicely once they cool off.

Serve with Ice Cold milk.. or perhaps something that has rum in it!

 

recipe modified from here

Sausage and Potato Chowder

Sausage and Potato Chowder

This is perfect for one of these winter nights, you know, when the sky is grey, and the cold feels like it’s getting to your bones. When you can see your breath while you wait for the car to warm up. When all you really want to drink is hot chocolate and watch happy movies about families that have a tragedy and find some way to overcome it.

If you are adventurous enough, you could even add some pumpkin puree to this and make it an early fall treat. I prefer it exactly how it is.

What you’ll need:

1 pound Spicy Sausage (I used Jimmy Dean, if you use sausage with casings, remove the casing)

5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 carrots, peeled and cubed

2 leeks, sliced thick and rinsed well

1 large onion, cubed

4 ounces of light cream

48 ounces of chicken stock

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/2 teaspoon of chives, chopped

1/4 teaspoon of sage, chopped

1 tablespoon of cornstarch and water mixed together

Misenplace:

Peel the carrots and cube them evenly, peel and cube the onion, Slice the leeks and rinse them thoroughly in a water bath (leeks can have sand in them, it’s better to take the extra step),

For the recipe:

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots, onions and leeks.

Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften (about 10 minutes)

Season the vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt and a few cranks of freshly cracked black pepper. Add the Italian sausage.

Brown the sausage completely and then drain the fat. Don’t worry about getting all of the grease out, were going to skim the top of the chowder later. Place the vegetable and meat mixture into a larger sauce/stockpan.

To the stock pan add the 2 bouillon cubes, the chicken stock and potatoes.

Bring to a boil and then lower heat to low and allow to simmer until the potatoes are that wonderful state of fork tender.

See that fat floating on the top of your hard work? Well, were going to remove it. How you ask? with a ladle, of course! just skim the edges around the pan with the edge of the ladle, if you do it correctly, you should remove a good amount of fat and very little liquid. The alternative of this would be cooling down your soup at this point, putting it in the fridge and waiting one day. The next day the fat would have solidified and you could just pull it off the top with ease. But who has that kind of time!?

When the potatoes are soft enough for your tastes (but hopefully not neglected or overcooked) add in the cream, turn the heat to low and allow the cream to warm through.

Add the cornstarch slurry, the soup will thicken up quickly, you can add more or less depending on your preference. Turn off the heat and finish the soup with the sage and the chives.

I wanted to serve this in a bread bowl, I knew that’s how I was going to present it when I was creating the recipe in my head.

I bought a loaf of peasant bread and pre-heated my oven to 400*

Cook the bread for 10 minutes, carefully remove the bread from the oven and cut the top of the bread off with a serrated knife. Carefully scoop the hot bread insides out with a spoon. Do this carefully, you don’t want to break the bread, or remove too much of it.

Ladle the soup into the bread bowl and top with some herbs and crushed red pepper.