Rosemary Almonds

It’s chilly today and cabin fever is hitting an all time high. A warm and toasty nibble is just the thing to brighten my day. Is that sad? Maybe, lol. (Deep sigh.) Anyways, back to that cabin fever…and comforting bowl of almonds…

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mix of finely and roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a non-stick pan, heat the oil and rosemary, until fragrant. Add in the almonds and season with salt and pepper. Saute on low-medium high heat for five minutes. Enjoy nice and warm. You’ll start hearing a little pop here and there. Sprinkle with crunchy sea flakes for extra saltiness. Serve on its’ own or on a cheese platter. Enjoy!


Persimmon & Proscuitto Appetizer

Thanksgiving is this Thursday! I’m sure you are planning the menu by now or have already done your food shopping. Let’s talk about an appetizer for the big day. Instead of a cheese, nut and cracker platter, why not try something a little different? Persimmons are great in flavor and give the taste buds something to celebrate. They are sweet, fresh and exciting! Especially when combined with prosciutto, rosemary and tart balsamic vinegar. Fresh ground black pepper gives it a little bit of a kick. And if you really miss the cheese, you can pile some Parmesan shavings on the platter. If you have guests coming to dinner that like to help out in the kitchen, have your bread toasted, and your guests could wrap the prosciutto around the persimmon slices. On second thought, it may not be that great of an idea…I’m not too sure how many will end up on that platter! ;) Enjoy!

  • 1 persimmon
  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 3-4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto, each piece torn into 3-4 pieces
  • unsalted butter
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • fresh rosemary, minced and some for garnish
  • balsamic vinegar with pear pulp

Trim your persimmon stem and peel the skin. Cut your persimmon in half and lay the halves down on the cut side and slice into thin slices (about 1/8th of an inch) into the shape of stretched out half moons and set aside.  Trim the ends of your ciabatta roll and reserve for another use like bread crumbs. Slice your roll into about 1/4 inch slices. Cut each slice in half, creating the same half moon shape as the persimmon slices. Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and place in a 425 pre-heated oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted, longer if your like your toast darker and flip halfway through. Let your toast cool slightly and lightly butter one side. Wrap your persimmon moons with a piece of prosciutto. Place your prosciutto wrapped persimmon on a piece of toast and repeat until all your toasts are covered. Lay them on a serving platter or board and serve with freshly ground pepper, minced rosemary and the balsamic vinegar so everyone can top their toast as they like. Make 12-16 toasts.

Slow Roasted Pork Loin with a Pear & Rosemary Sauce

Autumn means dropping temperatures, cozy blankets, apples, leaves in the yard and roasts in the oven. They create that warmth in the house, that only a slow cooked meal creates. This slow roasted pork loin is so juicy. It’s perfect for a weekend, where you make it early on in the day and let it sit on the stove, while you go rake some leaves, coming in and out, sneaking in a bite or two, with its’ luscious sauce. Its’ intoxicating scent, still lingering in the air, making coming into the house, all the better. This is a nice roast to make for your family and it’s great for company. Serve with a nice savory pear salad with blue cheese and serve the pork with buttered green beans on the side and end the meal with a pear crisp. Happy weekend!

  • 2 pound boneless pork loin
  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear, peeled and cored & chopped
  • 10 red seedless grapes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay wine
  • 2 tablespoons fig marmalade
  • 1 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 2 oz. light cream
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a sauce pan, melt the unsalted butter on medium heat and add the grapes and pear, let it saute for a few minutes. Add in the wine, vinegar and fig marmalade, combining everything well and heat until bubbling. It doesn’t take long, about 5 minutes. Add in the rosemary and juniper berries, combine well. Drizzle a little olive oil into a heavy bottomed baking pan. Salt and pepper your pork loin and place into the pan, fat side up. Spoon the fruit around the pork and pour the liquid over the it. Place in a 325 degree pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes, uncovered, until cooked though. Average about 20 minutes per pound, until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. (If making a larger piece of loin, just extend the cooking time, averaging the 20-minute-per-pound-rule.) Remove your loin to a smaller warmed baking pan and cover, while you make the sauce. Let your pork sit for 15 minutes, so the juices stay in the meat. Remove the juniper berries from the sauce and discard. Into a blender, or using a hand-held immersion blender, blend your sauce away, adding in the cream. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve alongside the pork and enjoy! Serves 4.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Mushrooms

The cooler weather has me craving good old comfort food, that sticks to your ribs and leaves you happy. And gnocchi never disappoint! I had about a cup of pumpkin puree left over from making my “Corn & Pumpkin Soup with Wild Rice” (October 2nds’ post) and wanted to make gnocchi. I never made them before and was excited and I used Hank Shaws’ recipe that was featured on Simply Recipes and it came out great! What a nice recipe! I adapted it a little bit because I was in a rosemary and mushroom mood, and when a rosemary and mushroom mood hits, you gotta go with it! lol Nice recipe to make on a weekend where the leaves and temperatures are falling outside but the temperature inside is nice and warm from the gnocchi boiling away on the hot stove. Enjoy and happy weekend!

  • 1 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon finely minced rosemary plus 1/4 teaspoon finely minced for mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
  • 10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1 porchini mushroom bouillon cube *optional
  • chives for garnish *optional

First combine the pumpkin, ricotta cheese and eggs. Stir in the rosemary, pepper and sea salt. Put your mixture in the middle of a large board. Using a fork, add in the flour, little by little. I did about 1/2 a cup at a time. Once the dough was too thick to mix, I used my hands to incorporate the flour. If doing this, it’s best to have a buddy next to you, adding in the flour for you. The dough will still be sticky but form it in a ball and transfer it to a board that is coated with flour. If you can, roll your ball in flour or with your hands rub more flour on the surface of your dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 pieces.

Take each ball and form into about a foot long log, rolling and pulling the dough along. Cut your log into about 1/2 inch strips. As you cut it will flatten the dough so squeeze the ends of each cut strip with your fingertips to make it more of a gnocchi shape.

Bring your water to a boil and add in your bouillon cube. If not using the bouillon, that’s fine, you can use sea salt. You want enough water in the pot, so the gnocchi have room to cook. Drop in your gnocchi, a little at a time, in about 8 batches. I rolled, cooked along the way, each gnocchi roll was cooked in 2 batches. But for ease, having all the gnocchi formed and then boiling them is best. Cook them for 2 minutes each until they start bobbing up towards the surface. You want the broth boiling on high heat. Using a strainer spoon, take the gnocchi out and let them drain in a colander. Cook all of your gnocchi and set them aside, reserving a little bit of the cooking liquid. To make your rosemary mushrooms, in a large, heavy bottomed pan, combine the butter and the shallots. Saute on low heat until softened for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in in the mushrooms and saute for ten minutes, until they get lightly browned. Add in 2 tablespoons of the broth, if not using broth, you can skip this step. Continue cooking your mushrooms for another 15 minutes. Once your mushrooms are soft, increase the heat to high, until most of the liquid is evaporated. It doesn’t take that long, but it really depends on how much liquid the mushrooms have released. Add in your gnocchi and the rosemary. Season with sea salt and saute until the gnocchi are browned a little bit. Add in the heavy cream and stir until the cream has thickened. Garnish with chives and enjoy nice and hot! This makes 4 servings.

Oven-Fried Rosemary & Garlic Chicken Wings

Rosemary is a powerful herb. And if there is too much of it, it can be overwhelming. But when used in the right amount, it’s absolutely delicious and makes the dish even better. There was a deli in my hometown, that made the best rosemary chicken wings, using whole rosemary leaves. There were so many rosemary leaves among the coating of the chicken, I don’t even know how they weren’t overwhelming but it was a perfect union of juicy chicken and earthy rosemary, that made the taste buds happy! That deli has been unfortunately closed for many many years. And I wish I could say this is the recipe, but in their own right, these are so good! And if you are a rosemary and garlic lover, you won’t be disappointed. Serve with the garlic aioli on the side, to compliment the chicken. Serve 4 for dinner or more as an appetizer. Enjoy!

For the chicken wings, you will need:

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • heaping 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus for garnishing
  • 3/4 teaspoon Vegeta or any all-purpose seasoning you like
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 sweet paprika
  • fresh ground pepper
  • cooking spray

For the garlic aioli, you will need:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • sea salt
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light cream

Combine the bread crumbs, rosemary, Vegeta, garlic powder, paprika and fresh ground pepper. Adjust the seasoning, as needed. Set up your breading station, having a plate for each of the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Dredge your wings in the flour, then the eggs and lastly the bread crumbs. Generously spray the bottom of a heavy bottomed 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and place your wings into the pan, in a single layer. Bake your wings in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and again, generously spray the top of the wings with cooking spray. Flip the wings over, so they brown on the other side. Bake for 20 more minutes. While the wings bake, you can make your aioli. Smash and mince your clove of garlic with a little sea salt until it forms a paste and set aside. In a small bowl, slowly whisk your olive oil into the egg yolk until well emulsified. Add the garlic paste in, until well blended, followed by the mayonnaise and cream. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Garnish the wings and aioli with extra rosemary sprinkled over them, if you like.