Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rhubarb Glaze (great for chicken or fish)

[Apologies for the delay, all. I've been working very hard to get the next book in the Season of the Witch series ready to go to my editor.]

I consider this recipe a very significant achievement. My boyfriend is far from a foodie. He's just not the type of person who gets really excited about food. High prize from him is "it was good." That's why I was so impressed by this concoction, because my boyfriend could not stop effusing about how good it was. Since making it, whenever I mention rhubarb, he immediately says "I could go for that fish thing again." I feel I have done my job well.

However, it might be controversial among my family members as it includes an ingredient that I love, but no one else seems to like. Feel free to leave it out if it's not your taste. You'll know which one it is.

Plus it's rhubarb. One of the first foods of the spring season. My dishes are starting to look colorful and inspired again.

Rhubarb Glaze
inspired by

[What You Need] -(for a recipe to serve two with some leftovers)
Olive Oil
1/2 red onion
4-5 stalks of rhubarb 
1 T lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 T anise seeds
4 cups broth of choice (depending on what you're serving it with. I used mostly water and a T of chicken base)

[What To Do]

  1. Heat Olive Oil. Add chopped onion and sautee until tender. Then add chopped rhubarb. 
  2. Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar and anise seeds. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add contents of saucepan and broth to rhubarb, always to simmer for ~1 hour until mixture has reduced by about 1/2
  4. Serve over meat of choice. In our case we used white fish.
It may not look pretty, but is sure does taste good.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roman Braised Artichokes

The last recipe I posted was a Sicilian artichoke recipe, so this week we're going to explore an artichoke recipe from another part of Italy.

This process was a little different, and it burned my fingers less. Though I have admit, as much as I enjoyed this recipe, I still preferred Bisnonna's. Guess that means I'm more of a Sicilian girl deep down. Sorry, Bisnonno.

Roman Braised Artichokes
inspired by Simply Recipes.

This recipe, instead of steaming then baking the artichokes, calls for soaking, then streaming in a sauce (which basically consists of onions, parsley, mint, and wine) for a longer period of time. I pretty much followed their recipe exactly (believe it or not, I do that from time to time), so it wouldn't be right to copy it out again, but head on over and give it a try. I'd love to hear your thought comparing the recipes from the two different regions. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March and the struggle of an empty larder (with a garden to come)

It's April now, officially. But March, as a month, is a rough one for cooking. I was thinking about how uninspired most of my cooking was over the past month coupled with a very bare farmer's market and I began to think a lot about food and surviving a hard winter before it was possible for a person like me to go to the grocery store and pick up bananas.

It's so much harder imagining that sort of life than I like to admit.

I try so hard to eat seasonally. Strawberries are only allowed on my table in early summer. That's why we shop at the farmer's market whenever we can and are working on planting our own garden. For the first time ever, I get to work my own plot of land! No more five pots of sweet peppers hidden on the balcony. It's exciting: starting seedlings, waiting for ground to thaw (another reason I can't imagine having to rely on this garden for my food. This has been a particularly bad winter. We're just seen the ground for the first time since January about a week ago.). Really, the planning has gotten me through this truly uninspired month.

Gardening means a lot to me. 

I can remember my parent's garden and the year they accidentally crossbred strawberries and habanero peppers, creating a very interesting experience. I also remember my nonno's garden in the backyard: mostly made up of fragrant tomatoes for his famous sauce. Incidentally, we a planting a large number of fragrant tomatoes in our own plot this year. I hope to replicate that sauce someday. To make up for all of the terrible years I refused to eat it as a child.

Gardening's in my blood as much as anything.

Mi bisnonna in -her- own garden