Quick Eats: Parmesan Truffle Fries

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Last week, I had mentioned dinner plans I had made with friends at Grass Fed JP in Jamaica Plain- and how their Parmesan truffle fries were so good that they had made me want to try my hand at whipping up a batch of my own. Well, this past weekend- in preparation for the Chiefs/Steelers game (and I’m still pretty bummed out about the Chiefs losing!)– I picked up the handful of ingredients I needed to make my own version.

But here’s the thing- truffle oil is kind of a pain to get. I checked three different stores around where I live and none of them had the stuff. The closest place, a good twenty minutes out of my way- had some priced at about $35 for a small bottle. The oil is apparently like liquid gold and twice as hard to track down.

Fortunately, the internet had plenty of helpful suggestions when it came to substituting other oils for truffle oil that would still keep the fries tasting good. Below is a recipe I scrounged up that originally included truffle oil, but I added some notes for anyone else who has trouble finding some and/or doesn’t want to spend a small fortune to get it.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 3 large russet potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons truffle oil (**or substitute extra virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F

2. Leave the skin on the potatoes. Cut each potato in half the long way, then each half in half the long way. From there, slice the wedges into strips- the width of your choosing depending on how thick you want the fries (I kept mine on the thinner side, but you can cut them into bigger wedges or shoestring pieces if you have the patience!)

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3. In a bowl, toss the cut potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out flat on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn each wedge over and roast for about another 15 minutes or until browned and tender.

4. Remove hot fries from sheet pan and place in a large bowl and toss with truffle oil (or extra virgin olive oil), chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.

5. Serve the fries hot and with your preferred dipping sauce on the side.

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Even without truffle oil- these fries tasted so good! They were crisp and full of flavor- and were the perfect pre-game snack to reach for instead of the usual chips, pretzels or crackers. What I like best about making these, apart from the fact that they don’t take long at all to prepare and cook- is that you can be pretty lax with the ingredients. You can substitute oils, add more or less cheese/parsley/salt and pepper/etc. and they’ll still taste great.

Of course, if you have any suggestions for these fries for the next time I prepare them (which will be in like a day or two, probably!) feel free to share! I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions!

xx

Bundling Up and Burgers…

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Jamaica Pond, 1/8/17

When you live in New England, making concrete plans between the months of late November through mid-March can be a tricky thing. Our weather is unpredictable, to put it mildly- and snowstorms/blizzards can delay even the most local of get-togethers. If walking along Boston sidewalks is stressful enough- then NOBODY wants to brave driving or public transport to get where they’re going. Nobody.

Such was the case this past Saturday, when Winter Storm Helena rolled through the Northeast and left highway pileups, plow/sanding delays, and dangerously cold temperatures in her wake. The storm seemed to be a surprise birthday present for my best friend Sean- who had made dinner and drinks plans with a large group of us to commemorate his special day well before anyone even knew the storm was coming.

Sadly, Helena hit earlier in the day than expected- leaving me trapped in Central Massachusetts where I had been running some errands until early Sunday morning when the roads were finally clear. I had attempted to get back into Boston in time for Sean’s party- but after the third or fourth time my poor Elantra began fishtailing on the ice was when I eventually gave up and turned back.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate in our own way, however. Once I was back in the city on Sunday- Sean and I (as well as our friend Stephen) made dinner arrangements at Grass Fed JP, an all-natural burger joint on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain that cooks up some of the best burgers (and truffle fries!) I’ve ever tasted. I went for The Cali Burger and have no regrets. It was delicious.

They also offer up some tasty sounding alcohol-infused milkshakes, but since I was driving- I opted to save trying those for another time (and also it was way too cold out for milkshakes!)

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I’m actually tempted to try my hand and making my own truffle fries this coming weekend- so be on the lookout for a recipe post at some point next week! I doubt they’ll be as awesome as Grass Fed’s, but it’s worth a shot.

After dinner- Sean, Stephen and I popped around the corner to grab our caffeine fix (although I stuck with hot chocolate since I was still running on a jet fuel level espresso I had earlier that afternoon) at 7 Pond Coffee Bar. It’s a cute, quaint, and tiny hole in the wall that you may miss if you blink as you pass it- but if you’re ever in the area- you have to drop in. Their cocoa is some of the best around- and Sean couldn’t get enough of his cappuccino, either!

With hot drinks in hand and Stephen heading off to meet up with his family- Sean and I braved the arctic tundra temperatures to take a quick stroll by Jamaica Pond before eventually retreating to the warmth of my car and then the apartment after we returned to Melrose for some much needed video games and binge-watching on Netflix.

My birthday- the next in line- is a couple of weeks away, and I’m just now picking a place for my friends and I to gather for some food and a couple of cocktails. I have a few ideas in mind- but here’s hoping Mother Nature doesn’t intervene and disrupt everything again!

As part of my “blog more/create more content” pledge for 2017- I’m going to start highlighting more of my favorite local eateries, too. Whether they’re old favorites or new finds- I’m always looking for recommendations for good food and enjoy sharing them with others, too. Grass Fed JP & 7 Pond Coffee Bar are just the tip of the iceberg of excellent places to check out in the Boston area!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

December Hits List!

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With only a handful of days left in December and in 2016, period- I’ve been spending the last week or so wrapping up my end-of-the-year tasks at work and gearing up for bigger, better, and brighter things for 2017- including some long overdue maintenance here on “Legally Redhead”. I’m really looking forward to expanding my corner of the blog-o-sphere, freshening up my layout, working on some new content- and partnering with some exciting people. I have big goals and this coming New Year is when I reach them! I can feel it!

But before I get too ahead of myself (it is unfortunately still 2016, after all)– I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month. Some of the items/products I photographed were Christmas presents I received and immediately fell head-over-heels for- and the others are the random odds and ends that helped make this month a December to remember.

First things first- my stuff!

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My brother and sister-in-law completely blew my mind this past Christmas when they surprised me with a brand new Kate Spade bag/tote. I’ve been using my brown duck bag from one of my POPSUGAR “Must Have” boxes since September since the color/pattern matched my Fall wardrobe perfectly- but this black and white design is going to look so lovely with my Winter wardrobe (and Spring, and Summer, and Fall…)!

Plus, this holds pretty much EVERYTHING and then some- which is exactly what I need this time of year when I tend to overload myself with my cold weather accessories. Seriously- how perfect is this?

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Keeping up with the color scheme of the Kate Spade bag, my other brother, sister-in-law and niece picked up some awesome accessories for me- including this Wet Brush. Now, I’d heard all sorts of amazing things about these brushes before- but I’d never gotten around to actually trying one with my thick mass of curly hair ’til now and OH MY GOD it’s awesome. Where were these things when I was a kid and my mom was practically ripping my hair out to style me for school?!

Wet or dry- the bristles on this brush glide through my hair with no tangling, pulling or pain. My hair looks shinier and feels so much softer and healthier once I’m done brushing it out with this and I am kicking myself for not caving and picking up one of these lifesavers sooner!

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Shout-out to my cousins for combining my love of s’mores, red velvet-flavored anything, and all-in-one baking jars for a seriously delicious present this past Christmas. I really adore these mug desserts (and you can keep the glasses when you’re done!) especially because they look just so darn pretty! I’ve been compiling a list of things I want to bake when the next inevitable cold snap and snowstorm rolls through (New Years Eve is the next one, I’ve heard!) and these are at the top of the list. I can’t wait to stuff my face with these.

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I’ve been treating myself to deep-cleansing mud masks twice a week for a while now, but that doesn’t mean I neglect other delicate areas of my face. I’ve been obsessed with these eye and lip masks from Sephora lately. They really do hydrate and nourish underneath my eyes and my pout- which take a beating this time of year with the cold weather.

My skin looks brighter, smoother, and feels softer- and I don’t have to load up on eye creams and chapstick as much as I usually do!

Those were just a few of the things I was able to photograph for this month’s “Hits List”- but a couple of other things made the cut, too!

– TECH/APPS –

  • Electric Shovels – We had a surprisingly severe snowstorm a little more than a week ago (it was supposed to only be a dusting but turned into much more) which left my car stuck in my driveway and the roads difficult to navigate over. It seemed like a good time as any to try the electric shovel my uncle had given me- which cut my time outdoors in half. That thing HAULS ASS. It’s like a miniature snow plow for people who don’t necessarily have the space for one- and I had cleared my driveway, walkway, and some of the road in a fraction of the time it would have taken me with just a regular shovel. If you live in a Wintery area- I highly recommend one!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Going Blonde – Yes, you read that right. I’ve been gradually lightening my hair over the past few weeks with help from my amazing long-time stylist, Barbara, in an attempt to get blonde enough where I can color my hair a shimmering rose gold tone. I really wanted to start 2017 completely different- including an entirely new look- and the transformation from bright red, to brunette, to light brown with bright blonde highlights has been such a trip to watch unfold! I know this blog being titled “Legally Redhead” is a bit dated with this recent change to my hair color- but I’m pretty sure calling it “Legally Blonde” wouldn’t exactly fly (especially with Hollywood!)
  • Getting my 2017 Resolutions in Order – I’m so excited for a new year and all the opportunities that come with it. I’ve been compiling my “In a Nutshell’ post for 2016, which includes looking to the future- and it feels remarkable to actually have goals and hopes again after what turned out to be a dreary and soul-sucking year. I’m really looking forward to sharing my resolutions for the coming year with everyone on New Year’s Eve!

And I think that’s it for my December hits. Here’s hoping I find some new things to love and adore in January of 2017!

xx

Quick Eats: Harvest Chicken Skillet

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We’ve officially reached uncomfortably cold temperatures here in New England- which has prompted me to go seeking out warmer comfort foods to chow down on while I bundle up in as many layers as possible and crawl under every fleece blanket I own. I stumbled upon this recipe from Well Plated– a seasonal dish similar to one I used to order from a small, family-owned restaurant in my hometown a few years ago during lunch breaks at one of my former jobs- and one I haven’t had in a while (but have always wanted to try and replicate at home!)

This recipe takes less than an hour to prepare and cook (and serves four) which is perfect for people like me who want something warm and filling in a hurry- and really- who ISN’T super busy this time of year?

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.

2. Reduce skillet heat to medium low. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and brown and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan.

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3. Increase skillet heat back to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, onion, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and the onions begin to look translucent, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook 30 seconds, then pour in 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the reserved chicken and remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon and serve warm.

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There are so many flavors in this dish and all of them are fantastic- the chicken and the bacon are salty and crisp, the vegetables are sweet and soft- and the cinnamon and garlic just melt in your mouth and bring everything together so, so perfectly. I had a lot of this left over after getting my fill at dinner- and it tasted just as incredible re-heated for lunch at work the following day.

I’d like to try this recipe again but maybe incorporate some other ingredients, as well- like Yukon gold potatoes or zucchini. It’s such a versatile dish and it definitely helped keep me warm while I ate it!

xx

Quick Eats: Cheesy Cauliflower Bread

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It’s been a short while since I’ve shared a recipe post, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped experimenting with new ideas and ingredients in my kitchen. My current “flavor of the month” is cauliflower. When I’m not eating it raw or mixed in as part of a vegetable stir fry- I’m researching the ways I can include it in my diet with new and tasty dishes I wouldn’t have thought to try before.

I love garlic bread, and I definitely love cheesy bread- so finding a recipe that combined both, but without the actual “bread” part- pretty much made my week. This low-fat, low-carb, healthier-with-cauliflower-substituted-for-dough combination takes just under an hour to prepare and cook- and the results are so good- you’ll never guess that this isn’t really bread at all!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 4 cups of riced cauliflower (about 1 large head of cauliflower)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (1-2 cups will be used for topping)
  • 3 teaspoons of oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dipping sauce(s) of your choice

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. While the oven is heating, prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Make sure your cauliflower is chopped in florets. Add the florets to your food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.

3. Place the cauliflower in a microwavable container and cover with lid. Microwave for 10 minutes. From there, place the microwaved cauliflower in a large bowl and add the 4 eggs, 2 cups of mozzarella, oregano, garlic and salt & pepper. Mix everything together.

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4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a rectangle for the bread sticks.

5. Bake the crust (no topping yet) for about 25 minutes or until golden. Once done, sprinkle the top of the “bread” with the remaining mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes- or until cheese has melted.

6. Slice and serve with dipping sauce of your choosing.

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I can’t stress how good these things taste (without making you feel bloated or gross the way typical bread sticks can.) If I hadn’t prepared them myself, I would have just assumed they were a thinner, crispier bread instead of a vegetable. They were crunchy and cheesy with just the right amount of garlic- and when topped with marinara or ranch- I could have eaten the entire pan all on my own (for the record: I shared these!)

I’m thinking this recipe may make another appearance at Thanksgiving if I have the time to bake them before my family gets here. I’d like to see how many of my relatives would be able to tell if these were actually made out of cauliflower or not!

xx

Quick Eats: Creamy Spinach Tortellini

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If I was a superhero (and really- who’s to say I’m not?) my one weakness wouldn’t be some strange element from another planet, or bullets (okay- probably bullets)– but it WOULD be pasta. Whenever there’s any form of pasta in front of me- I just continue to eat it until I can’t move and am rendered useless for the remainder of the day. Add cheese to it and I’m pretty much done for.

A friend, knowing my weakness well, forwarded me this 20 minute recipe for cheesy spinach tortellini- which happens to be my favorite type of pasta- and I ended up clearing an entire afternoon so I could prepare it, eat a serving (or two) and then lay motionless for a few hours until it digested and I could stand up and walk around without needing a long nap, first.

Carb Counters beware- this recipe isn’t for the faint of heart- but if you’re feeling a little indulgent on your “Cheat Day”, I say go big or go home and try your hand at this one!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 20 oz. package Three Cheese Tortellini (or your favorite kind!)
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup Cheddar Jack or mozzarella cheese, shredded

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Cooking the package of tortellini according to package instructions.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, oven proof skillet, simmer the cream cheese with chicken or vegetable stock for about 10 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400℉.

4. Add spinach to the cream cheese sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.

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5. Add tortellini, mix everything well and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 7-10 minutes, until the shredded cheese melts.

7. Serve hot- and enjoy!

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This stuff hit the spot. It was really filling, but not in the “I feel sick” way- and that’s coming from someone who ate a pretty good sized portion. The spinach was a nice addition, too- since it broke up the heaviness of all the cheese and tortellini in every spoonful.

If I could make a recommendation, I would flavor this with a little salt and pepper, too. I didn’t do that at first- and while the completed recipe did taste good all on it’s own- I found it needed just a small amount of flavoring to really knock it out of the park. A sprinkle of salt and pepper helped enhance the taste. Just keep that in mind if you make this on your own!

I’ll definitely be cooking up this one again!

xx

Quick Eats: Lemon Butter Scallops

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Since Fall is pretty much here already, I’ve been looking into more warm, filling recipes to try as I transition out of my usual Summertime BBQ and cookout-inspired favorites. What I didn’t want to do, however- was immediately dive right into pumpkin and apple flavored anything. Not that I don’t love those types of recipes (because of course I love them!)– but I really wanted to strive for different flavors and textures in my cooking and baking endeavors for the month of September.

With Hampton Beach’s annual Seafood Festival approaching this coming weekend, I felt inspired to get a head start on my eating of all things from the sea and try a 10-minute (seriously!) scallop appetizer recipe I had found online that perfectly blended tartness and garlic flavor- all with a satisfying crunchiness to it.

If you like scallops- you’re going to love this. I promise.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

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3. Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.

4. To make the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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These were devoured so quickly it was insane. The scallops were just the right amount of crispy and chewy- and the lemon butter & garlic sauce was beyond delicious. I half expected someone to try licking the plate when these were gone (it didn’t happen- but I’m sure there was plenty of temptation!)

I have extra scallops in my freezer- and considering how quick and easy these were to make- I’m sure I’ll be indulging in more of them later on this week!

xx

Quick Eats: Snack-Safe Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough

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Do you like the taste of raw cookie dough but dislike the danger of salmonella that comes with it whenever you sneak a spoonful while you’re baking? Then do I have good news for you! In what is probably one of the quickest, easiest recipes I’ve stumbled across (three steps and only a handful of ingredients? Yes please!)– I have found an egg-free, safe-to-snack-on, and absolutely delicious alternative to raw cookie dough that tastes EXACTLY like the real thing.

Maybe even better than the real thing, actually.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the recipe. Try it fr yourself and see what you think!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1½ sticks butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups almond flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

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OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

2. Add the almond flour and salt; mix to combine. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until evenly incorporated.

3. The cookie dough can be served immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve (for up to a week).

That is legitimately all you need to do to make these. That’s it. The entire process takes roughly 30 minutes and then you’ve got yourself enough edible cookie dough to last you a week (or an hour, depending on how hungry you’re feeling.)

Want to take this recipe a step further? Try rolling some of the dough into balls, dunking them in melted milk/dark chocolate, and then freezing them for a couple of hours or overnight. You’ll get yourself some chilled chocolate-covered cookie dough bites when the chocolate coating hardens!

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xx

Day Off Date!

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The last time I traveled down to Mystic, Connecticut was in the Summer of 2014 in the days following my return from San Diego Comic-Con. My friend Stef and I had gone down for the day to visit the aquarium and the neighboring Mystic Village for some shopping  before we finished up with dinner at Daniel Packer Inne. Since then, I’ve been meaning to head back to spend some time in Mystic’s downtown area- which is lined with independently owned businesses, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants- but I’ve just never found the time.

Last Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the Summer so far (although this past week had been brutal temperature, humidity, and severe weather-wise), I used my day off to finally make the trip back to Mystic- solo, this time- for an afternoon by the river.

While I was there, I managed to scratch one more thing off of my bucket list: I finally had a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza. Yes, the one made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie of the same name.

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While the exterior of Mystic Pizza is straight out of the movie- the inside is much tinier and lined with a lot more movie memorabilia and souvenirs for sale. It’s cute, but still maintains a “local” vibe- which I like. I ordered two slices of pepperoni pizza, which were made fresh- and was kindly seated at a booth in the adjacent restaurant area when the main part of the pizzeria was filled up with people on their lunch breaks and I couldn’t find a spot to sit and eat- and it tasted pretty good!

The employees at Mystic Pizza are all super sweet, too- and the fact that they were playing the movie on the TVs in the restaurant was a nice touch. I’d nearly forgotten how fantastically cheesy that film was.

After lunch, I went for a stroll downtown- stopping to window shop at Peppergass and Tulip and Once A Sale, Forever A Sea before grabbing an iced latte at Bartleby’s Cafe and making my way towards Mystic Village to pick up a couple of gifts for friends and family.

After a long, hot, and lazy afternoon- I took the back roads all the way home to enjoy some more picturesque scenery.

Overall, it was a lovely day. I’d love to head back to Mystic when the weather cools down a bit and spend more time outdoors- maybe even take a harbor cruise to pass the time when I know I won’t roast under the sun!

Oddly enough, this week marks the beginning of a mini-vacation for me that I didn’t know about until recently. I had a few unexpected days off at work starting today that run through the end of the week- so I’m looking forward to taking a couple more day trips before it’s time to head back to my office next Monday!

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xx

Quick Eats: Bloomin’ Onions

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I’m just going to throw this out there in the hopes I don’t scare off any potential future dating opportunities- but I love foods and ingredients that smell pretty strong. Garlic? Can’t get enough of it. Feta cheese? 100% yes. Onions? Pile them on anything and everything and I’ll eat them with no questions asked. I keep an extra toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss in my car as backup and I always have gum and/or mints in my bag because of my penchant for ordering or cooking up the most potent of dishes. They’re just such a guilty-but-not-guilty pleasure for me.

In regards to onions- the only thing I think I love more than raw onions on my burgers, sandwiches or sliced into my salads is any variation of fried onions. Onion rings, onion strings- and blooming onions, especially- are one of my favorite appetizers to pick at. When I spotted this recipe for homemade blooming onions, courtesy of PureWow– I knew I had to give them a try (and then probably eat all of them in one sitting.)

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

FOR THE ONIONS:

  • 2 pounds cipollini onions, peeled
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil, as needed for frying

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE: In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream with the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to combine. Set aside.

2. SCORE THE ONIONS: Slice an onion in half vertically, but don’t cut all the way through to the base. The idea is to keep the bottom intact. Turn the onion 45 degrees, slice vertically again and repeat until you end up with what looks like little rectangles of onion, still attached at the base. Repeat with the remaining onions.

3. Loosen the onions a little by wiggling them around to separate the pieces slightly and create space between them. Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish and then add the onions to it. Toss well and massage the onions to get the buttermilk into the score marks.

4. MAKE THE SEASONING: In a medium-size shallow dish, whisk the flour with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and baking powder to combine.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer.

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6. DREDGE THE ONIONS: Working one at a time, remove an onion from the buttermilk and dredge fully in the flour mixture, working again to make sure the breading gets into the score marks.

7. COOK THE ONIONS: Working in batches, fry the onions until they’re golden and crisp, flipping them over halfway through cooking, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set the cooked onions on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

8. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Despite coating and frying these up in vegetable oil, these onions didn’t come out overly greasy at all. They were perfectly crisped all the way through- with just the right amount of tenderness at the center to keep them flavorful (without tasting too much like the seasoning) and not too dry. The dipping sauce was also fantastic. A little tangy- but it complimented the onions perfectly.

I’m really looking forward to whipping these up again the next time I have a group of people over, since I know they’ll be a big hit!

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xx