Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fall Menu Ideas featuring Field Roast Stuffing

Fall has arrived in Seattle as though a curtain has dropped, ending the summer act and beginning the autumn intermission. The days are slow to start, and quick to end, with raindrops battering against windows as we all feverishly try to hold onto the glorious sunny days we’ve just left behind.

Seattle Skyline

Seattle in the Fall…what a beautiful place to be.

With this transition comes the inevitable shift in behavior. Days on the lake are replaced with afternoons spent reading on the couch, the soft snore of a puppy interrupting thoughts and inspiring a refill to a glass of wine or bowl of truffle popcorn. Evening BBQs and bonfires quickly turn into game nights, where a crackling fire provides the backdrop to the hoots and howls that come from confessions of Cards Against Humanity, or the poorly hummed tunes of Cranium.

Fall Menu Ideas

With a dinner this grand, appetizers can be modest.

Of course the blissful suppers of Capreses and Cava no longer seem quite right, but what replaces them is something while perhaps less glamorous, no less delicious. This Fall Sunday Supper, is relatively easy to put together and a perfect feast to begin or end your weekend. The Field Roast stuffing is the dark horse, making a table even sans Turkey a worthy destination.

What are your favorite Fall traditions?

Fall Menu Ideas: Roasted Acorn Squash with Nutmeg and Cinnamon

Fall Sunday Supper

  • Olives, Hummus topped with Chili Sauce, Crackers, and Cheese
  • Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries in a Anchovy Infused Balsamic Dressing
  • Roast Chicken
  • Field Roast Stuffing
  • Roasted Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Malarkey’s Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Field Roast Stuffing

Fall Menu Ideas: Field Roast Stuffing

With this hearty yet sophisticated Field Roast Stuffing you don’t even need a Roast Chicken or Turkey

  • 5 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 Field Roast links, diced
  • 4 TB Butter
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  1. In a 400 degree oven, toast the cubed bread on a cookie sheet until golden brown about 5 – 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the shallot and field roast in the butter until beginning to slightly brown, 5 – 8 minutes. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large bowl combine the bread with the shallot/field roast mix and stir well to combine.
  4. Slowly adding the broth a few tablespoons at a time, mix until slightly moistened. Pending on how stale your bread is this will take anywhere from 1/2 – 1 cup of broth.
  5. Add to a 9×9 glass baking dish and bake at 400 degrees until warmed through, about 20 minutes.

Fall Menu Ideas_RoastChickenFall Menu Ideas: Spinach Salad

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

15 Minute Meals: Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers

This past weekend was lazy. The kind of lazy that almost makes you more tired and gets into your bones, but is sometimes exactly what you need. Reading for hours, tucking in at nine o’clock, and considering laundry a triumph was what I was all about. Duke and Lou were oh-so-pleased to oblige.

Lou is growing like a weed…weighing in at 50+ lbs at 6 months. Looks like we’re going to have ourselves a heavyweight champion. Duke remains a saint of an older brother.

Come Monday though, all that changes. The week is filled with endless tasks, to-dos, demands, and delights. There’s work, dog walks, friends, food columns, blog posts, restaurant reviews, and frantic attempts to get in some much-needed exercise to preserve both my derrière and my sanity.

Incidentally, my boxing instructor (yes, I box…it’s a riot..and I love it..and someday I will be tough… and able to do a push up) scolded me the other day, “Erina…you’re very precise. But you’re also stiff. Very stiff. You have to feel it more. You have to loosen up.”

I’m still working on that one in the ring, but in the kitchen it’s one of my favorite ways to cook. This dish is the epitome of that, bringing together great ingredients and then getting out of the way. It takes only as long to make as the pasta does to boil and can be easily altered pending your desires and your pantry. The addition of the toasted panko simulates breaded scallops without all the trouble or the calories and the fried capers give each bite that little punch of “wow” you were looking for.

What’s your favorite 15 minute meal?

Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers
Serves 2 generously

Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers

1/2 lb fettucine

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

2 TB Olive oil + a glug

1/4 cup capers, drained

1/4 lb bay scallops

2 TB Butter

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to instructions.
  2. Meanwhile toast panko bread crumbs in a dry skillet until golden brown. Remove to bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet heat the 2 TB olive oil over medium high heat, and cook the capers until fried and crispy, occasionally tilting pan to mimic a deep-fryer, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
  4. Once the pasta is done, drain and toss with sun-dried tomatoes and corresponding oil + a glug of olive oil if it looks like it needs it.
  5. Just as the pasta is done add the 2 TB butter to the same skillet and melt over high heat. Add the bay scallops and cook until beginning to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes, turning once.
  6. Add the scallops and any remaining melted butter to the pasta and toss.
  7. Top with fried capers and toasted bread crumbs and serve.

Rainier…the perfect accompaniment.

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Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Pasta, Seafood, Uncategorized

What Foodportunity Means To Me

If the old proverb, “For Want of a Nail” conveys the dismal consequences that can come from errant small decisions, Keren Brown’s Foodportunity captures the inverse; the tremendous opportunity that can come from simply meeting the right person at the right time.

I was introduced to Keren on April 3, 2012 via Katherine Martinelli, a fellow alum and brilliantly talented food blogger currently residing in Israel. Katherine possesses all the attributes that could easily make you dislike her; smart, funny, beautiful, driven, and unendingly talented. Lucky for us she is also tremendously kind, generous, and gracious.

“Keren, I would like to introduce you to Erina, my wonderful friend who lives in Seattle and has a food blog, Shut Up and Cook,” wrote Katherine, helping my naïve self who had made a declaration to try to really “make a go” of this “food thing” but didn’t have the slightest idea of where to start.

“I think you two will hit it off famously,” she continued.  “As Linda Richman of SNL’s Coffee Talk used to say, ‘Talk amongst yourselves’ :-)”

And so with those 89 small words and one cheerful emoticon, the start of something, still admittedly in progress but also undeniably exiting, was begun.

Meeting Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes…thanks to Foodportunity. Photo credit of JackieWrites.com, who I met indirectly through Foodportunity.

Keren, who possesses the rare gift to make meaningful connections and put even the most nervous at ease, invited me to a Sunday event after BlogHer Food, which was hosted in Seattle. Feeling as though I had been invited to the “cool” party after prom, I immediately began thinking about how I could possibly pay back this gift of kindness.

Invite Keren out for Happy Hour? With three children under three, something told me that wasn’t going to be the most realistic possibility. Make her cookies? What was I thinking, the woman is a published food writer for god sakes. Send her a letter? Weird and creepy, even by my manners-obsessed East Coast self.

So when I somehow (still trying to figure this out) got onto the highly coveted list for the Chobani dinner at Seattle’s elite Canlis and was invited to bring a date I thought “A ha! I have it! I bet Keren would love to go to Canlis. I mean who wouldn’t.”

Forgetting to play it cool in my eagerness I quickly emailed her to see if she would like to be my guest.

Now…anyone who has been on the food scene for more than five minutes knows that of course Keren was already invited to this…but there I was…standing on the proverbial porch, corsage in hand, looking foolish, if not slightly lovable.

A nerd back then…and a nerd today. Pouring California Ranch Olive Oil at a tasting event I found myself at via Foodportunity. Photo credit: JackieWrites.com

Keren was, of course, very polite as she gently informed me she already had a seat at the table, the dinner was, of course, utterly spectacular, and the post BlogHer Sunday affair began the seedlings of connections that are already beginning to bear fruit.

I’m still trying to think of some way to pay Keren back, but perhaps that is what Foodportunity is all about. Reaching down to pull someone up behind you, to help them achieve the enviable, but possibly not impossible, dream of getting to do what you truly love the most.

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The Little Things: Artisan Pizza Topped with Figs, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Truffle Honey

This past weekend was lovely. Not because of any spectacular event, but because of all the little things. The kind that are easy to miss, and so important not to. Lazy mornings in bed drinking tea and eating croutons. Soaking up the sun at the park while the dogs run as though their hearts might burst. Dinners that creep into the wee hours with new friends. Rediscovering a song you loved back when life was simpler, but didn’t seem as such.

A perfect Sunday breakfast.

Similar to how some create a sound track for their lives, I inevitably find myself creating meals. Breakfasts that comfort or inspire, lunches that speed along or stop to pause, dinners that celebrate simplicity or boast grandiosity.

No weekend is complete without eggs..hard boiled, deviled, scrambled, over easy. I like them all.

This pizza somehow manages to span nearly all of these. While making your own dough might seem intimidating at first, it is surprisingly easy and delivers a much more complex and affordable canvas than the store-bought variety. Easily enjoyed over a long dinner with lots of wine, it is also perfect for a bite on the go, and while there is something undeniably impressive about anything involving the word “truffle”, the minimal number of quality ingredients makes this weeknight friendly as well.

What are the little moments that you most enjoy?

Artisan Pizza Topped with Figs, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Truffle Honey

The drizzle of truffle honey is really what takes it to the next level.

  • 2, 1-lb loaves Olive Oil Dough (recipe follows)
  • Olive Oil for Brushing
  • 1/2 lb sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 cup figs, cut in half
  • Truffle Honey for Drizzling

Utter simplicity, and yet so good.

  1. At least twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven with a baking stone to 550 degrees or whatever is your oven’s maximum.
  2. Dust one of your loaves with flour and dust a work surface as well.
  3. Flatten the dough with your hands to produce an 1/8-inch-thick round.
  4. Place round onto a liberally cornmeal-covered pizza peel (note…if you don’t have one pre-cooking the crust slightly is helpful)
  5. Brush with olive oil, and top with half the mozzarella and half the figs.
  6. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone (I find this scary AND I’m bad at it, so I usually try to coerce someone else into doing it). A number of back and forth shakes may be necessary.
  7. Check for doneness after 8 – 10 minutes, rotating if browning unevenly. Continue cooking until light golden brown, up to another 5 minutes.
  8. While pizza one is cooking, prep pizza two to minimize time sitting (and therefore STICKING) on the board.
  9. Allow to cool slightly, drizzle with truffle honey, and serve.

Olive Oil Dough
From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Makes four 1-pound loaves. Recipe easily halved or doubled.

  • 2 and 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 packets granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a heavy-duty stand mixer if you have one.
  2. Mix in the flour until well incorporated.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. You can use it immediately after that, although it’s easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

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Filed under Entertaining, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Hobnobbing: Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines

There is something simultaneously inspiring and depressing about meeting someone your age that is having great success. Double-penalty points if they are having fame and fortune in an area you’re passionate about, and triple points if they’re nice to boot.

A spectacular beer cocktail, inspired by a Mai Tai. Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Such was the case last week when I met Mark Fuller , the chef and co-owner of Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky and a James Beard semi-finalist. Not only has he managed to open not one, but two iterations of a tremendously popular restaurant, he is a phenomenal chef, and just a damn nice guy.

To see the full story on Ma’ono’s Happy Hour swing by my column in Seattleite magazine, but for those of you looking for some culinary inspiration for the weekend, look no further than below for a Mark Fuller original that he generously did a cooking demo of for me; Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines. Stone fruit is perfectly ripe this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, and while the lateness of the corn does render it a bit sweeter than the recipe originally called for the kick of the Chipotle Nectarines makes it a mouth-popping yet surprisingly delightful combination.

Chef Fuller in Ma’ono’s kitchen. Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines

Created by Chef Mark Fuller
Executive Chef and Owner of Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky, Seattle

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Marinade:
3/4 cup blue agave syrup
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Tabasco® brand chipotle pepper sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco® brand pepper sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds salmon fillet, cut into four 8-ounce pieces

Nectarines:
2 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Fresh Corn Grits:
4 ears corn on the cob, husked and each halved
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinade
Combine in a large bowl, agave syrup, soy sauce, Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce, fish sauce, Tabasco brand pepper sauce, garlic and olive oil. Add salmon fillets; cover and refrigerate about 3 hours, turning occasionally.

Nectarines
Combine in a medium bowl, nectarines, mint, olive oil, salt and Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

Fresh Corn Grits
Grate kernels from corncob into bowl. Place corn and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Over high heat, heat corn to boiling, stirring frequently until mixture thickens. Stir in Tabasco brand pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Salmon
Preheat grill to medium-high.

Grease grill. Place salmon, skin-side up on grill. Grill about 4 minutes. Turn fish: cook about 4 minutes longer or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serve salmon with fresh corn grits and nectarines.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Entertaining, Health Conscious, Lactose Free, Seafood, Uncategorized

Lights! Camera! Action!

I consider myself a good secret-keeper, but this one has been no small feat for my big Irish mouth to keep under wraps. Hence why I am so excited, nearly giddy, over-the-top pleased to share that I was chosen to be one of nine contestants on Top Chef Master Thierry Rautureau‘s upcoming Kitchen Circus show!

The general premise is this*:

Ever wonder how masterful dinners are created in a 4-star restaurant?

Each episode of Kitchen Circus features three home cooks testing their skills preparing one course of a three course meal at Seattle’s renowned Rover’s restaurant. Who will master the rigors of a professional kitchen and be voted with the best course of the evening by a FULL house of gourmet diners?

Dishes will be judged on three criteria: taste, presentation, and creativity with one home cook winner each evening. All winners from the first three episodes will move on to the finale dinner at the end of the season, where a champion will be crowned.”

To read the full press release, please visit here.

Lots more info and behind-the-scenes skinny to come soon, but for now I just HAD to let the cat out of the bag!

*As provided by Kitchen-Circus.com

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