I did endive cups before and they were a good way to start a meal because they aren't too filling and it's kind of like a cool way to eat a salad. I candied some pecans by tossing them in a quick caramel that I made and remove to a plate to cool. Once they are cool (about 10 minutes later) they are crunchy and sweet. I cooked a few slices of pancetta and let those drain on paper towels. So separate the leaves from the endive and you get to a point where they don't come off easily anymore so that's where you stop. I used 2 endives for us. So chop up the heart of the endives that you couldn't separate and add to a bowl. Chop up the candied pecans and pancetta and add to the bowl. Crumble some blue cheese of your choice into the bowl. I drizzled olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the mixture and filled each endive cup with mixture. I cut some green grapes into quarters and put one quarter on the top of each endive. Really good with the sweet and crunch of the pecans, the salt of the pancetta, the creaminess of the blue cheese and the crispness of the grape.
Charred Skin Salmon
I had the idea to get the charcoal grill nice and hot, then put the skin side of the salmon down and never flip it, let it cook through on just that one side. I never ate the skin before so I thought if it's crispy like a potato chip it might be good. Well Tony ate it, I thought it was ok but too fishy tasting for me. It was a good way to cook the salmon, on the verge of being overcooked though. We only had it on for 5-7 minutes... so watch it, it goes fast.
I think fennel goes well with fish so I have done this before, nothing new here. It's just sliced thin and cooked in a skillet with olive oil for a couple minutes. I add in some chicken stock, cover and let it simmer gently until it's tender. Season to taste.
Red Skinned Sage Mashed Potaoes
I infused some milk with sage leaves by just heating the milk and sage, cover and let it steep for about 30 minutes. After the potaoes cook and are mashed I reheated the milk and poured it in along with some butter, salt and pepper. Once it tastes great serve and garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Raspberries
People raved about this on Foodnetwork.com. It's an Aaron McCargo Jr recipe. I had never made any of his recipes before. It was good, super rich...even more rich than I had imagined, like a chocolate truffle. I served it with whipped cream and raspberries and it was good....but
Two days later we had the neighbors over for the game and I had this extra round of flourless chocolate cake (I didn't have the right size pan so I used 2 smaller ones) in the refrigerator and I thought I would embellish it and serve it for dessert. I thought it would make a good layer in say...an ice cream cake. I made some vanilla bean ice cream and I got some chocolate ginger snap cookies that I crushed and mixed with melted butter. I put the crumbled cookies at the bottom of a spring form pan (no need to bake, it will firm up when the butter gets cold). On the base pour in 1/2 of the ice cream, the layer of chocolate cake, the rest of the ice cream sprinkled with some toasted hazelnuts, whipped cream and fresh rasperries. Put the whole thing in the freezer. Cut out slices as you would a cake and I think it was a fantastic way to use that 2nd round of cake!