"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Wednesday’s Pasta – Gnocchi with sauce parmesan

    This is why I will die of chronic cholesterol. It is also why I will die happy…. For those of you who have read my post about hedonism, this is quite indulgent, and ooohhh so simple. There are many rewards to using only the freshest cream and butter, the finest of cheese, and the best of pasta. Truly, a RogueChef classic.

    The word gnocchi is Italian for dumplings and they are a cross between a dumpling and pasta. The gnocchi I purchased were made fresh at a local specialty store, and were mostly mashed potatoes, wheat flour, seasonings and salt.

    They are shaped like little balls or tiny loaves of bread, are solid and make an excellent side dish or main dish when served with a hearty sauce. You can make your own gnocchi but it is a time consuming process. (We’ll save that for a video post)

    Classically, the sauce would be made with Pancetta, Italian bacon that is cured but not smoked. You can use regular bacon. You can find Pancetta in most supermarkets these days, again “You can take quality out of a dish, but you can not add it back in. Start with the best ingredients possible.

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  • Fat Tuesday – Sauteed Mixed Veggies

    Close to one of my clients, there is a small Mediterranean / French lunch counter. I have been going there every time I am in the area, and sometimes make the trip there just for lunch.

    For years I have asked the chef about his vegetable saute, and he has always just smiled and shook his head. He FINALLY relented, and allowed me to watch him prepare it… As he did so, He gave me a bit of a lesson in his cuisine. Quite the eye opener.

    Background
    Mediterranean cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian- and vegan diets, as it relies so heavily on vegetable dishes. Though food on the coasts tends to use a great deal of fish and other seafood, for the most part Mediterranean cuisine is based on foods that grow out of the ground. Meat has traditionally been very expensive, and a great deal of vegetarian dishes have developed to work around this absence.

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  • Meatless Monday – Veggie Joe’s

    Ok, It’s Monday after Irene, and I am wiped from all the running about over the weekend. Long hours waiting for the arrival, and then the less than spectacular arrival. Just enough chaos to be troublesome, but not enough to be truly exciting.

    I’m all for a quick meal, and a dive back into bed early this evening..

    Yeah comfort food,and with the healthy healthy …

    A staple of Southern School systems, and a favorite from my youth, chunks of less than Gucci beef simmered until the fat and the collagen start to break down, then added to a savory tomato sauce and served over buns and topped with grated cheese. I speak of course of the Sloppy Joe. The twist is I’ll remove the meat and replace with veggies and legumes.

    Sloppy joe is dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun. The Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. The original is still available and consists of ground beef in a sweet rich tomato sauce, with onions, peppers and spices. Hence the sandwich was named for the establishment.

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  • Wild Card – Cheese Biscuits

    So, the great Hurricane of 2011 has passed, and since I had made a “hot meal” prior to it’s arrival and we have a good bit left. I’ll not make any big entree today.. But bread is always welcome, and perhaps a quick bread in the form of a biscuit will go well with the Beef Roast / Stew I prepared.

    Now I am known to buy store bought biscuits, and biscuit powder, but making your own allows for much better quality control, a lot less chemicals, and a whole world more flavor, texture, and pleasure in making.

    But I want real flavor, perhaps add cheese, and a beer…

    A biscuit is basically flour, leavening, shortening, and a liquid. In this case I’m using a dark beer, for flavor and color.

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  • Wildcard – Stocking a Pantry

    So a hurricane is coming to NYC, the Mayor and the Governor are proclaiming states of emergency, demanding evacuations, and in general adding to the chaos and panic.

    Just for a lark, I walked into my local not-so-mega-mart today at noon, (I had a taste for Ice Cream), the state there was less than impressive. The vegetable section was decimated, the frozen food was GONE, (WTF!!!), the endcap displays of water were gone, as was all the “soda” aisle. I did see bottles of water in the baby food section.

    In case of emergency, the rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day. This DOES NOT have to be bottled water. Tap water in a seal able container is just as good on the short run.

    The canned goods section was stripped of soups, the canned fruits were barely touched. All in all, a fine example of a panic. I suppose the last straw was a hipster couple walking back and forth trying to come up with ideas on how to feed themselves when the local bar and deli shutdown. (THIS IS NOT A JOKE, more like evolution in action…)

    I think my mother would have a stroke to hear that conversation. (We ALWAYS had canned goods in the pantry, “Just In Case”.)

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  • Irene Special – The Hurricane, (NOLA Version)

    The first storm of the season turns out to be a whooper, and it is doing a ‘Bin Laden’, targeting NYC. People are running like it is the end of times, and our only hope is Noah..

    The first Bad Wolf though is “KEWL, a hurricane….”, the second thought is “P.A.R.T.Y!!!”.

    Now what is the RIGHT drink to guzzle on the roof deck while the storm rages….

    A HURRICANE…… And we’ll go to the folks who KNOW Hurricanes, New Orleans….

    DO NOTE…

    IF YOU ARE IN AN EVACUATION ZONE, OR FACE EXPOSURE TO FLOODING OR DANGEROUS WINDS, GET THE HELL OUT AND GET TO A SAFE LOCATION.
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