My Week in Food

Hi friends,

I hope everyone had a love filled Valentines day <3

Things are starting to pick up the pace around here. Sunday we had our first showing (holy anxiety), and this week we’ll be walking two properties with our potential builder (YAY). Actually, hubby will be walking the properties because this girl can’t take more time off work. We pack up and head to upstate ME later this week – bring on the moose please!

Anyway, having strangers walk around my home without either of us there, puts me on edge. It’s just weird and makes me wish we had a nanny-cam… hmm, where does one buy one of those??

As most of the country was celebrating Valentines Day this past Thursday, we were celebrating in our own special way on Wednesday. You see, three years ago Road Dog took a knee, the night before Valentines day just to be tricky. The thing is, we never had a dating anniversary, we just “were” and that was that. Since then, Valentines day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. This year I wanted to go the extra mile and make something really cool for him that he’d never had before – Alaskan King Crab. Pricey(?) oh heck yes, but worth it; if you like crab that is.

FOUR days later and I remembered that I bought a wooden seafood mallet over the summer… could have avoided a few battle wounds. What a dope!

Steamed with a TON (or maybe just a small dish...) of butter - from pasture raised diary cows of course. I added some chopped dill for flavor and color.
Steamed with a TON (or maybe just a small dish…) of butter – from pasture raised dairy cows of course. I added some chopped dill for flavor and color.

I wrapped up the evening by whipping up a port wine zabaglione, basically a boozy custard with a snazzy Italian name. Remember those extra egg yolks from the fluff?  This was the perfect opportunity to use them. Light, silky texture made in 15 minutes with only three ingredients – egg yolks, organic sugar, and Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port. Traditionally this would be made with Marsala, I like that version too but it’s fun to stray off the path once in a while and you absolutely should!

If you only saw my first attempt, yikes!
If you only saw my first attempt, yikes! Lumps, bumps, and a pout face.

This was delicious spooned warm right out of the bowl, just a few bites between us. I folded in fresh whipped cream and froze the leftovers because my better half loves a bite of something cold and sweet at the end of his night shifts. What a good wife I am, ha!

Friday night I wanted to take a stab at making my first fruit tart, it’s a good thing I started when I did because they require A LOT of waiting. I was excited anyhow because A) it allowed me to try my hand at crust once again, B) it called for pie weights which I had bought and not yet used, and C) I could finally use the tart plate my mother in-law gave me for its intended purpose.

With it being mid-February there were only a couple of choices for seasonal fruit, I ended up combining two – pears and citrus.

Poached pears in a citrus simple syrup. Next time - possibly a sweet white wine like moscato.
Poached pears in a citrus simple syrup. Next time – possibly a sweet white wine like moscato would take it to the next level.

I put together a sweet almond crust using both butter and leaf lard. Before heading down this crusty road, I learned It’s important to freeze everything including the pastry tool the night before – or at least 4 hours prior. Personally, I poached the pears (a 20 minute process) and froze the dough prep on Friday night making the rest of the steps easier all around on Saturday.

Blanched almonds, confectioners sugar, butter, leaf lard, unbleached all purpose flour, and salt.
Blanched almonds, confectioners sugar, butter, leaf lard, unbleached all purpose flour, and salt. Ice cold water not pictured.

Saturday, all I had to do was make the filling, slice the pears, assemble, and bake.I failed to take a picture of the filling in process, woops! The recipe I used was found on www.foodandwine.com using brown butter (YUM I love that smell), eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange zest (Mineola), cinnamon, salt, and flour. It ended up tasting like a creamsicle, or the best Orange Julius on the face of this planet… serious. Is there anyone else out there who loves these two things like I do?!

Although there were multiple working steps involved, this was truly quite simple – a little work here, a little work there and some time in between while things rested/chilled. I’d like to make it a few more times to really hone in on the flavors and work on my presentation before posting from start to finish. Here it is guys, my very first fruit tart:

Yum!
Yum!

We each ate a slice for breakfast Sunday morning, it was tasty thank goodness. I don’t enjoy things too sweet or overly rich and this came in right on par. The combination of the almond, pear, and orange flavors worked together beautifully 🙂

I don’t know about you all but for some reason I hold my breath whenever the first slice (typically of pie) is cut… Will it lift clean off the dish – will it fall apart – will it be over or under-cooked?! I nearly work myself into a panic hoping I didn’t mess it up.  This is the second time I’ve made a leaf lard/butter crust and both times with huge success, equal parts flavor and texture with a clean cut right out of the dish. I’ll NEVER go back to shortening again. You can count on a pie crust post 🙂

This week I plan to prep for our trip to Maine, I’ll be bringing up my version of stuffed peppers and a hearty Tuscan white bean soup that makes my face happy 😉 keep an eye out for these posts in the coming days.

Happy Monday to all ~

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