Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm Moving!

I'm moving to Tumblr!

My new blog will cover all the things I love: Food, Fashion, Photography, Design and more!

Come visit me!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Italian Stallion (x2)

Tonight brough me another Chopped-style challenge...what to make when my cupboards are bare...

It's two days before I get paid and I'm trying to use up what I've got on hand.

Tonight, my basket contained:
  • Wheat pasta
  • Garlic
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Basil infused EVOO
  • Heavy Cream
  • White Wine
  • Parmesan
  • Fresh Parsley
Boil 1/2 a package of wheat noodles in salted water until not quite el dente - drain


Saute 2-3 cloves chopped garlic until fragrant and tender in 2T EVOO. Add 3/4 can tomatoes, S&P and simmer for 1-2 mins. Add 1/2 pint heavy cream, 1/2 C white wine and a 1/4 c fresh, chopped parsley - bring to a boil. Add the not quite el denta pasta and simmer and toss until sauce is reduced. Top with parm and fresh chopped parsley. Voila!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Italian Stallion

For the last two nights, I took a pseudo trip to Italy! I normally don't cook Italian-style food because I'm too scared of the carbs! However, thanks to the Create channel, yay for public broadcasting, I learned that carbs are actually not that bad for you! In fact, they make you feel full so you don't get hungry 20 minutes after eating! On the other hand, a high protein diet is only good in regulated quantities, because your body can only absorb so much protein before it turns the remainder to fat....good to know...good to know. So, I'm not a preacha, only a blogga, but I do believe that everyone should eat food that tastes good and is good for you, whenever possible... and as local as possible for that matter, but this was not the inspiration for my post, but rather, just a coincidence...so, I digress...

My philosophy to food: Add as much fresh, natural, local, tasty and green elements as possible! 

Tonight, I made Wheat Pasta with Roasted Chickpeas, Almonds and Parmesan.

I got the recipe from realsimple.com. However, I did adapt it tsuit my tastes (which if you ask me, is a stellar element to the recipe, but if you don't have time, is easily for-go-able) by combining the chickpeas and chopped almonds and then roasted them at 400 degrees for about 35 mins until crispy. I also added a little s&p, garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the mix before roasting (I just combined in a bowl and tossed before putting it on the pan and into the oven).

What I love about this recipe is that it is so easily adaptable to a variety of flavor profiles. For instance: Doesn't the dish almost have an Asian look? Why not try adding cilantro vs. parsley? Why not add a little fish sauce to the chicken stock or better yet, why not use some Asian-style buckwheat noodles and eliminate the glucose factor? This recipe is delicious as it, but is also easily adjustable to fit any pallet. Buon appetito!

Pizza ala Chopped

Last night, I had was engaged in one of my most favorite cooking activities...the Chopped factor. That's right, I look forward to rummaging through a nearly bare fridge in hopes of combining left-over elements into a flavorful, elegant dish. One of the best ways to do this is by "doctoring up" a frozen cheese pizza! For this non-stress dish, my basket contained a frozen cheese pizza, left-over spinach and feta chicken sausage, yellow onion, fennel seed, garlic infused evoo, garlic powder and S&P. I just combined all ingredients, sans pizza, in a bowl...arranged on my frozen pie and tossed it into the toaster oven. Hint: add a little honey to the mix to get a caramelized finish! Top with any fresh greens you have or serve a salad on the side for a complete meal in about 30 mins or less! :) 

In an effort to unite all my media, please visit me on Instagram @saragomach or on twitter @gourmandiseblog or visit my website: www.listentopicturesphotography.com. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Steak and Potatoes: A New Take on an Old Classic

If you are a meat and potatoes kinda gal or guy, or someone you love is...boy, do I have the meal for you! Easy and affordable, these recipes brings classic, Indian and Caribbean flavors all into one fusion lov'n, finger lick'n entree. Combining the skills of quintessential chef Jacques Pepin, a simplistic and family friendly recipe from Real Simple magazine and the curiosity of a lesser known gourmandiser, yours truly! Of course, these recipes can all be enjoyed separately, but from last night's dinner I can tell  you that they go very well together. Savour!

Pan-Seared Steak- from Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin

I simplified this recipe and didn't use a marinade, he recommends a honey, soy sauce, garlic, coriander and cayenne pepper blend, I just used the cooking method, as I often do because it guarantees a perfect med-rare steak every time! I also used a locally raised, grass-fed top sirloin cut.
  • Season with salt and pepper (heavily I might add)
  • Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees
  • Heat grill or cast iron skillet until VERY HOT (like for 5 mins...and make sure to turn on your overhead fans...I didn't do that the first time and I won't forget again)
  • Cook steak for 1 1/2 mins on each side
  • Transfer to oven (steak can be held in oven up to 40 mins)
  • Let set for about 5 mins
  • Serve on a bed of baby arugula or any other bitter green
Spiced Peas with Cilantro and Lime - Real Simple magazine (May 2012)
  • Boil 2 C frozen peas in salted water - about 3 mins or just until tender - drain and set aside
  • Saute 2 cloves garlic (chopped) in 2 T EVOO until fragrant
  • Add peas, 1.5 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt - cook until warm but still retaining firmness
  • Toss with 1 tsp lime juice, 1/4 C fresh cilantro
Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries - Sara Gomach (moi!)
  • Cut one large or 2 small sweet potatoes into 1/2" rounds
  • Toss with: 2 T EVOO, 1.5 tsp all spice, dry chipotle pepper, dry basil, ground garlic, honey and 1 tsp salt
  • Roast at 350 for 25 mins or until crispy on the outside and tender in the middle

Friday, February 3, 2012

40 Cloves a Roastin'

Every Friday afternoons at 3:00pm I have the delight of escaping my workplace hum drum while I sit at my desk, ear buds in place, waiting in anticipation for Jean Feraca's "Food Friday" addition of her Here on Earth Wisconsin public radio show to start. This weekly adventure takes me through the pages of cookbooks galour as the authors inspire, entice and delight Wisconsin foodies!

Last week's guest was Michele Scicolone, author of The French Slow Cooker. I was immediately intrigued by this topic because for one, I love the French...everything about the French...the food, the wine, the culture...always have, always will. In fact, I hope to one day travel to the land from whence my paternal ancestors hailed. This author also interested me because I absolutely LOVE using my slow cooker. I try to use it once every week because I can usually knock out two dinners and a lunch for both my boyfriend and I with minimal effort.

The following recipe is a take on the traditional French dish, chicken with forty (yes, 40!!!) cloves of garlic. Don't let the garlic "over power" your desire to try this dish; when garlic is slow cooked like this, it takes on a buttery texture and a nutty earthiness unlike it's raw counterpart. Another great thing about this dish is the left overs! Or, the "tails" as I once heard them called by another "Food Friday" guest. After we originally ate this the first night, I switched it up a bit the following evening by shredding the chicken and serving it over fresh bakery rolls with a horse radish and Greek yogurt topping...yum, YUM!

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic (serves 6)
Recipe taken from http://wpr.org/HereOnEarth/archive_120127k.cfm
    2-3 garlic heads 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed 1T. chopped fresh rosemary salt and freshly ground pepper ½ C. dry white wine 2T. fresh lemon juice Separate garlic into cloves. There should be about 40. Discard any loose skin from the cloves, but do not peel them. Scatter the garlic in a large slow cooker. Sprinkle the chicken with the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Pour in wine and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. To serve, transfer chicken and most of garlic to a large platter. Cover and keep warm. Remove and smash the remaining garlic cloves and stir them back into the liquid. Discard the garlic skins. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.
*Since my original post, Jean Feraca, host of Here on Earth, has recently retired. I raise my glass of Riesling and give a huge salut to a woman who's voice, intellect and taste inspired. Thank goodness we still have the audio archives! Jean Feraca, you will truly be missed! Cheers!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yummy, Versitile Asian Dipping Sauce

Hey! What do ya know! I'm on a roll! Two blogs, two days in a row! :) Now, if I could only remember that camera...
Anyways, last week I made a really elegant Asian beef and noodle dish that I found in the February 2008 issue of Gourmet Magazine titled "Thai-Style Beef with Noodles".  What really stood out to me in this dish was the sauce! So, tonight for dinner I decided to spice up some frozen egg rolls (locally made in Wisconsin!) with a dipping sauce recreated from that recipe. The sauce has a slightly spicy, sweet and sour flavor, rich color and could be used in a variety of delicious applications. "Duzo meshiagare!" ("Bon appetit!" in Japanese!).

1 T soy sauce
1 T honey
2 T fish sauce
2 T chopped leek
1 tsp white wine vinegar (or another acid like lime juice)
1 tsp curry paste (I used red but you could also use green)
1/4 C reduced-sodium beef broth

Simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Berry Good, Light Breakfast/Dessert

I have yet to post since first creating this blog, so I thought I would start again with a tasty concoction I devised this morning while trolling through my nearly bare cupboards in attempts to make something for a post night out breakfast. Here's what I came up with from remnants of meals past.

Serves 2:

  • 2 C greek yogurt
  • 1 C frozen berries (thawed)
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t honey
  • 8 slices of French baguette sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 t All Spice
Divide 2 C of Greek yogurt between two bowls.
In a small sauce pan add 1 T butter over med. heat until melted. Add minced ginger and saute until frangrant (1 min). . Add berries and honey, simmer on low until warm. Meanwhile, sprinkle bagette slices with allspice, melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over med/high heat, add bagette slices and cook until fully toasted.
Arrange toasted bagette around yogurt and divide berries between the two bowls. Bon apetite!