Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Fresh Roasted Pepper and Olive Bruschetta

There are some flavor combinations I never tire of regardless of what time of the year it is.  The classic flavors of basil and tomato with a sprinkle of minced red onion, squirt of lemon, and drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil will always entice me. Equally delicious are chopped fresh tomatos, green onions, cilantro, and jalapenos with lime juice — a combination so perfect, I can easily skip the tortilla chips and head right for a spoon to enjoy the salty-tart-spicy flavor that would never be the same without cilantro.  I think I love cilantro even more than basil.

But another combination has come close to pushing both of the others aside as being tops in my mind — or my mouth:  roasted peppers, capers, and briny olives. Ironically, the flavors in this combination would work quite well with many of the others I’ve mentioned, but I enjoy them in a mix like this one — assertively delicious with the unexpected addition of anchovies.

Anchovies?  Those little fish in the can with the curly lid that when I’m ordering a pizza to go topped with “the works” I always politely decline?  The little salty things whose absence would leave a Caesar’s salad an unappetizing plate of flavorless lettuce, and pasta puttanesca without anything to be sassy about beyond a sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes.

Do any of us ever really say we like anchovies?  Probably not, but the key to learning to stop avoiding them is to see them as an ingredient to be mixed with others instead of sitting on top of a pizza.  If the anchovies were mixed into the tomato sauce instead, it would intensify the flavor leaving us to wonder what made it so good.

Think about it.  How many other ingredients which enhance one another when mixed together are basically unpleasant when eaten alone?  Capers.  I’ve tasted them just to see, and they’re quite bitter.  Or in most recipes which call for capers, the directions will advise rinsing them first.  For years, I did just that, and to make sure I understood why, I tasted the brine.  Not pleasant.  But when it’s mixed into many other ingredients, it’s quite fabulous.  Soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar — all are less than pleasant when tasted alone.

Freshly roasted peppers, on the other hand, are perfect alone sprinkled lightly with salt, but they’re truly delicious in this mix. It’s perfect tossed with pasta for a salad when you don’t feel like cooking, or spooned over grilled meat or fish.  It’s helps make an omelet interesting and is especially excellent spread over a piece of crusty bread slathered with goat cheese.

It’s the best party food even if you’re the only one at the party, because then you don’t have to share.

Be brave.  Don’t forget the anchovies.

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Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Salmon Skewers

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here and I’d like to say it’s because we’ve stopped eating — our waistlines would most likely appreciate it if we had — but sadly, that is not the case.  With my youngest son’s last year of high school recently drawn to a close and my own reinstatement as par-boiled domestic engineer coinciding with that of my son’s accomplishment, I’ve been distracted.  I’ve spent 31 years raising my children and had a busy career for much of it, so one might think that with endless amounts of time to look forward to, I’d roll up my sleeves and get on with whatever I’d wanted to do when time didn’t allow.  Instead, I’ve been involved in perfecting the fine arts of avoidance and procrastination.  Meals I’ve prepared have been relatively simple and those I’ve experimented with and taken the time to shoot have had photos languishing on my hard drive waiting for even the tiniest hint of motivation.  It seems that impending empty nest syndrome is alive and well in Paradise.

My son will be off to college late in August and so I’ve spent quite a bit of time taking stock of our lives.  Sounds heavy, doesn’t it?  Somewhat like pushing away from the table after a huge holiday dinner vowing never to eat again — unless it’s light and healthy, of course.  From a non-food perspective, this would mean we’re taking things lightly this summer — the summer before we’re sans children in residence.  The summer before we look at one another and say, “Where did all those years go, and how did we get to be this old?”

Time flies.

It seems that light, uncomplicated, and nutrient packed food is in order — like salmon.  Maybe we can dupe our bodies into thinking they’re spry again.  It’s a start, right?

This recipe is quick, tasty, and requires little or no prep.  Perfect for warm weather and relaxing times.

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Hot Wings with Gorgonzola Sauce

Hot Wings with Gorgonzola Sauce

I’ve often accused my husband of being a fair weather fan of our local sports teams, yet it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  No, I’d qualify for the position far more than he ever could given the amount of time he spends cheering and, yes, jeering about their wins and far too frequent losses.  As much as I’ve been right there in the excitement of recent years of Super Bowl possibilities, watching the resident menfolk high-five one another after a good play, and engage in exuberant chest bumping when the Chargers squeaked out a win, this year, I just don’t have it.  Sure, the game is on each Sunday and I usually can be found in the kitchen about that time, but I’m sadly just not interested.  I’m whispering, mind you, because you just can’t say that very loudly around here.

The best I can do is think about what to cook for the “occasion” knowing that I’ll have a small group of men interested in food when the action on the field isn’t going our way — and it often seems not to.  Although they’re often subjected to my routine experimentation, I do occasionally treat them to food that is more in line with what one may want on game day.

Like Buffalo Wings — or more accurately — Hot Wings.

My husband loves Gorgonzola, so guess what’s in the sauce?  And then there’s the crazy Asian hot sauce.  Mmmm….

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Sliders and Bratwurst are Quick Game Day Food

It’s Friday, and much of the food world seems to be focused on one thing:  Super Bowl food. Okay, so maybe not, but I had to start this somewhere, right? Maybe it would be more accurate to say 50% of us use it as an excuse to have a party. What would game day be like without food?  We have to have something to munch on while watching those commercials!

This year, we have no plans to attend or host anything *yes*, but the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals just might make it a good game for a change. Too often, it’s not entertaining in my opinion, so food helps make it an occasion — and not a fancy one with a lot of prep.  We go easy on the appetizers — chips, salsa and guacamole — have a meal at half-time.

It’s casual meal usually of chili or ribs.  But it could be this instead: a spin on traditional stadium food, and which can be put out allowing people to graze at their leisure.

Southwest Sliders in honor of the Cardinals…

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…and Bratwurst Dogs with Peppers & Onions in honor of the Steelers.

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I’m not sure who I’m pulling for, but I am a Zonie by birth.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

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