Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. Beautiful New Music From Ajimal.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
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I absolutely adore Carbonara dishes.

Bacon, pasta, eggs, cheese?

Yes, please.

Since pasta carbonara comes together so quickly and uses ingredients I always have on hand, it is one of my go to dinners.

I often make my carbonaras with cream, like this Penne à la Carbonara or add some other ingredients like this one with sausage and broccoli.

Mario Batali, the famed Italian chef, explains that a true carbonara does not contain cream. I tried his purist version and loved the simplicity and presentation. That egg yolk looks so inviting sitting atop the spaghetti. Each diner gets to mix it into their dish for a the creamiest of finishes upon serving.
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta or bacon
1 pound spaghetti
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 eggs, separated
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until just al dente. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and pancetta in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside. Do not drain the fat.

3. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta, then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute.

4. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano, the egg whites, and pepper to taste. Toss until thoroughly mixed.

5. Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a well in the center of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into it. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe from Mario Batali
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Ah Ajimal.

As beautiful as ever.

‘Nothing Touches Me’ drips with raw emotion in a way that Fran O’Hanlon excels at.

Check out Ajimal on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming shows in the UK and Germany and link to buy the music.

Cheers!

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Christmas Tree Cinnamon Buns. Side Saddle On The Stereo.

Christmas Tree Cinnamon Buns
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Recently my 11 year old son and I took a kid’s baking class at King Arthur Flour. (I am so lucky that fabulous place is right here in my town!)

The class was a lot of fun.
KAF Class

Flour everywhere?

Who cares?!

Watching the inexperienced crack eggs?

No worries!

A cheerful team cleaning up after you?

Dreamy.

We made two recipes. Well, I should say he made the recipes. I enjoyed watching.

One of the recipes was for these Cinnamon Buns baked up in a festive Christmas tree pan. Tender, soft rolls packed with that sweet cinnamon filling. Divine with or without the tangy cream cheese icing.
Christmas Tree Cinnamon Buns
Christmas Tree Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

2 1/2 – 3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs dry milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Filling (recipe follows)
Icing (recipe follows)
Christmas Tree Pan (Optional. Can be purchased here.)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, dry milk, yeast and salt.

2. Add water, butter, egg and vanilla to the flour mixture. Stir to combine.

3. Add more flour, a 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft, pliable and not sticky.

5. Lightly grease bowl. Add dough, turn to coat, then cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise, about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Roll the dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with a little water then sprinkle with the filling.
KAF Class

7. Roll the dough, jelly roll style, into a log starting from the long edge. Seal the edges by pinching the dough together.
KAF Class

8. Cut the log crosswise into 12 buns. (Using dental floss leaves a nice, clean edge.)
Using floss to slice

9. Place the rolls, cut side down, into a lightly greased Christmas tree pan or onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let the buns rise for about 30 minutes.
Cinnamon Rolls

10. Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

11. Frost buns with the cream cheese icing, if desired

Makes 12 buns

Filling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Icing

Ingredients:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter till blended, using a mixer.

2. Add the sugar and beat until creamy.

Recipes from King Arthur Flour
Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls

Queens-based band Side Saddle released their debut album ‘The Astorian’ back in September. It’s a solid offering full of folksy harmonies, inviting backing instruments and the warmth of Ian McGuinness’ vocals.

The melancholy in “Halcyon” is somewhat masked by the cheerful arrangement and the song title itself, but that is what makes the song so good.

“You know I’ve dreaded coming home
I revel in the time alone
but I just can’t bear the pain of leaving
in too far to see it “

Check out Side Saddle on the band’s Website and Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Bread, Breakfast | Leave a comment

Kale-Turkey Rice Bowl. New Music From Hiders.

Kale-Turkey Rice Bowl

Skymall…cracks me up.

Okay, now I am serious. We have a healthy dinner alert!

And that’s a good thing when there is kale and cilantro involved.

Rice and potatoes in one dish? Sure.

A lightly spiced mixture of ground turkey, cooked with kale and new potatoes, is served over rice for a warming, homey meal. For less heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeño. If spicy is your thing, leave in those seeds and add a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce before serving.

Kale-Turkey Rice Bowl
Kale-Turkey Rice Bowl

Ingredients:

1 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
1 jalapeño pepper, halved
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into pieces
1 (5 -ounce) package chopped kale (about 6 cups packed)
2 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice

Directions:

1. Purée all but 3 tablespoons cilantro with 1/2 cup water, the jalapeño, almonds and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the onion, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

4. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, the puréed cilantro mixture, the potatoes and kale. Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve turkey-kale mixture over rice. Top with the reserved cilantro.

Serves 4

Recipe from Food Network Magazine
Kale-Turkey Rice Bowl

‘Out Of Sight’ is new from Glasgow-based trio Hiders.

Messy, lo-fi, hectic beat.

I love it.

Check out Hiders on Facebook. You can buy their album “Bloom”, released earlier this year, on Bandcamp. Look for news of upcoming releases over at Rok Lok Records.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses, Turkey | Tagged | Leave a comment

Red Curry Mussels. Cool New Music From Coastgaard.

Red Curry Mussels

Got Muscle?

This mussel dish was described in Bon Appétit Magazine as ‘Sensational’. What a great word. I’ve OD’ed lately on ‘delicious’, ‘fabulous’, and even worse…’yummy’. It’s hard when you write about food you love every day to keep the adjectives exciting.

So today I offer you a sensational recipe.

Mussels star in this Thai curry flavored meal. The coconut-tomato curry broth is so good soaked into bread, too.

Red Curry Mussels
Red Curry Mussels

Ingredients:

1 (13.5-oz) can coconut milk
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled, julienned
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a diagonal
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Toasted country-style bread, for serving

Directions:

1. Bring coconut milk, tomatoes, wine, curry paste, and 2 tablespoons basil to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and add onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Return liquid in pot to a simmer. Add mussels to pot, cover, and cook, until shells open, about 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

4. Divide mussels and cooking liquid among bowls, top with reserved vegetables, parsley, and remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve with bread alongside the bowls.

Serves 4

Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine
Red Curry Mussels

Some ‘Rose’ to go with the Red Curry.

This is new from Brooklyn-based band Coastgaard. Cool, danceable indie-pop with some super catchy riffs. Nice.

Check out Coastgaard on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Seafood | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake.

Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake
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Even though December finds lots of us baking up a storm in the kitchen, sometimes a quick no-bake dessert is a welcome change. Especially if that dessert is cool, creamy and full of cheerful kiwi fruit. The tang of the lemon curd is yummy combined with the sweet-tartness of the kiwi.

Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake
Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients:

11 ounce jar lemon curd
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups Cool Whip whipped topping
1 purchased graham cracker piecrust
4 kiwi fruit

Directions:

1. With an electric mixer, whip lemon curd and cream cheese until doubled in size; at least 3 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip topping. Spoon into piecrust; freeze 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel kiwis, thinly slice and arrange over filling. Serve at once.

Serves 6

Recipe slightly adapted from Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine
Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake
Kiwi-Lemon Cheesecake

A short song. Catchy title and wicked catchy tune.

And a sweet song.

Check out The Vaccines on the band’s Website. You can link to buy their music from Soundcloud.

Learn more about Buffalo Sunn on their Website, where you can learn of upcoming European tour dates and buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cake, Short And Sweet | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Stuffed Meatloaf Roll. Kat Quinn On The Stereo.

Stuffed Meatloaf Roll

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As meatloaf recipes go, this is one mighty good version. The meatloaf is not only stuffed with all sorts of goodies like cheese, vegetables and olives, but it’s baked inside of crescent dough.

The original recipe called for baking the meatloaf in a 9 x 5 loaf pan. As you can see in the photo in Step 5 of the directions, it was a bit of a tight fit. At the 30 minute baking mark when I drained off the fat, I decided to transfer the meatloaf to a baking sheet so it would cook more evenly and allow for better browning of the dough. Next time, I would skip the loaf pan altogether.

A simple green salad is a nice side to balance the rich meatloaf.
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll

Ingredients:

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
8 oz tomato sauce
2 (8 oz) cans crescent rolls
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped black olives

Directions:

1. In large bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion, salt and oregano. Stir in 1/2 of the tomato sauce.

2. Cut 2 pieces of waxed paper, each 15 inches long. Unroll crescent roll dough and lay end to end on top of wax paper. Press seams together with your fingers. Place second piece of wax paper on top of dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is about half its original thickness.
Crescent roll dough
Crescent roll dough

3. Remove top sheet of waxed paper and spread meat mixture out over dough. Sprinkle meat with cheese, bell pepper, mushrooms and olives. Top with remaining tomato sauce.
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll

4. Roll up meat, jelly-roll style, from the narrow end. Use waxed paper to help, then discard the paper.

5. Place seam side down in a 9 x 5 x 2 inch loaf pan. (See how cramped this is? As I mentioned, placing on a baking sheet instead worked better for me.)
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll

6. Bake at 375℉ for 30 minutes. Drain off any fat that accumulates then return to oven for 30 minutes longer.

Recipe from CookNoow.com
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll
Stuffed Meatloaf Roll

Normally on a Friday, I want to rock out in the kitchen. Well that changed when I came across this beautiful song that somehow got lost in my inbox. Kat Quinn’s lovely voice shines in this quiet, sad ballad.

“Your eyes warm me like a house of snow
And I spent months shivering, wondering why I’m cold
Your eyes are cozy like a kitchen knife
And I wish I hadn’t cut myself so many times”

Check out Kat Quinn on her Website, where you can learn of upcoming shows in NYC and MA and link to buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Main Courses | Tagged | Leave a comment

Prawn Cocktail Crostini. Maybe Listening To Axel Zaren.

Prawn Cocktail Crostini
I offer you some WTF inspired by today’s recipe.
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a.baa-Live-cocktail
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The ever popular shrimp cocktail is reinvented in these tasty prawn and avocado topped crostini. Brandy in the cocktail sauce adds a little kick.

Prawn Cocktail Crostini
Prawn Cocktail Crostini

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 Tbs lemon juice
300g cooked and peeled prawns, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large loaf of ciabatta, diagonally cut into 8 slices
8 Baby Gem lettuce leaves
Cayenne pepper and lemon wedges, to serve
Cocktail Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Peel avocados then cut into small chunks. Toss with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

2. Mix the prawns with half of the cocktail sauce. Add the avocados and stir gently to coat everything.

3. Heat a griddle pan. To make the crostini, rub a little olive oil onto each slice of ciabatta and grill for 2 minutes on each side until toasted.

4. To serve, spoon some cocktail sauce on each crostini, top with a lettuce leaf and add a spoonful of the prawn cocktail mix. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 8

Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients:

6 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs tomato ketchup
2 tsp brandy
few drops Tabasco sauce

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes from BBC Good Food Magazine
Prawn Cocktail Crostini
Prawn Cocktail Crostini

You might hit the play button below and think you are hearing a song called “Hidden”.

I can assure you that the possibility of that happening is impossible as there is no such tune. In fact, Axel Zaren may lack thought, so in the philosophy of Descartes, he is not.

Check out Axel Zaren on his Website. You can buy the music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Seafood, Starters | Tagged | Leave a comment