The Last Sample?

September 27, 2011

Potato Gratin

For those of you who stopped in yesterday only to be confused by the link to “The Nobler Experiment“, I guess I owe you an explanation. It has been close to three years since the “first sample”, and there’s been nothing quite like writing this blog. I can truly say, writing is not only something I look forward to, but it has spurred on more creativity than I could have ever imagined. Yet, over the course of the past few months, I’ve noticed a dip in fervor. With time a bit more limited, I found creating daily content to be more challenging than it ever was.

But then I got to thinking. And it just so happened to be while I was drinking; bourbon to be specific. I’ve become fascinated with liquor, and not just because of that tingly feeling. I’m talking the nuance of liquor. Which is why I’m thrilled to introduce my new piece of work known as “The Nobler Experiment”. There is a ton of exciting details I have not yet divulged that will make The Nobler much more than a blog…

So does that mean this is the “last sample”? Not even close! But by posting somewhat less frequently, I promise better content then ever. Better recipes and a ton more creativity. Take this potato gratin I made for my client last night. Looks pretty standard right? Well looks in this case are deceiving. Using a sharp pecorino romano and a dijon mustard and shallot cream sauce, this gratin took on a new life of flavor!

So thanks again to all of you out there that read on a daily basis! I hope now, you will find two great blogs to read!


The Nobler Experiment

September 26, 2011

It’s a shame to drink alone…

Green Tomatoes!

September 23, 2011

Green Tomatoes

So we’re coming to the end of the garden season as the chilly nights have crept into the Northeast. But I had a ton of late-blooming tomatoes and I decided to pick a bunch before the weekend. Instead of the simple fried green tomato angle, I want to do something more exciting, something that will showcase the green tomato on its own. So I need your help…

What cuisine should I use as my inspiration for these green tomatoes?

This one’s for you Gilly!

September 21, 2011

Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Last year I became obsessed with baking zucchini bread. Partially because I love the stuff but mainly because the farm share was providing me enough of the green squash for a family of ten. But I don’t think I ever got around to posting the recipe I follow. And you’ll notice I didn’t say “my recipe”. When it comes to baking, I never take credit for anything….

SimplyRecipes is one of the greatest recipe sites I’ve ever used. I’ve never had any complaints and I find that their explanations are extremely easy to follow. In this case, I’ve modified the recipe just a touch to fit my specific preferences but no matter what, you can’t go wrong with a good zucchini bread!

Zucchini and Walnut Bread

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs. Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and mix well. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and mix. Fold in the nuts and divide the batter equally between 2 buttered 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Revisiting Risotto

September 20, 2011

Shallot and Pea Risotto with Seared Scallops

Can you guess what risotto and toll house chocolate chip cookies have in common?

For years, when asked, “what’s your favorite thing to cook”, my default has been risotto. Every client, every friend, and every family member I have ever cooked risotto for has loved the dish that I prepare. “You’ll have to share your recipe” they say. But here’s the secret! Just like those toll house chocolate chip cookies, the formula is not hidden. Because the best recipe for risotto is the one on the box in front of you!

Now, that doesn’t mean cooking risotto has to be boring or overly simple. It’s a delicate balance of creaminess and textures and that’s where the fun comes in. Whether it’s the proscuitto and corn risotto I made for a dinner party over a year ago or this shallot and pea risotto topped with seared scallops I cooked for my client last night, it’s easy to see, how delicious risotto can be. My go to formula involves cooking the risotto as the box suggests while simultaneously sautéing the vegetables of choice to build the flavors. Adding those veggies at the same time you add the cheese transforms your meal completely!

This was the first time I plated the risotto family style and I absolutely loved the look. How welcoming is this big bowl of creamy rice topped with those perfectly seared scallops!

So don’t be intimidated by risotto! Because while it may feel like a big undertaking for a weeknight meal, it really isn’t. When you scale down the portion, the rice cooks up much faster than advertised but remains as delicious and impressive as ever. Anyone out there a risotto lover?


In need of some home cooking…

September 19, 2011

Striped Bass and Clams

After another full week out of town, I was feeling a bit crazy this weekend. It’s been tough to keep up with the cooking and the result has been a heavy dose of dining out. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I had been starting to feel some lethargy. Who knows, maybe it was all mental, but I needed a good home cooked meal last night!

And as always, it’s the Green Market that gets me going. The colors are still popping as you shop but with the fall squashes now just starting to make an appearance. I picked up a kabocha squash for later in the week but that was just the starting point. I quickly filled my bags with beets and mustard greens, onions and mushrooms, and even a dozen clams and some striped bass. It made for a wonderful meal but most importantly, it made for a must needed refresher.

With a new zucchini bread recipe to post and another dinner party to cater this week, I’m feeling like it’s all coming back together!

Football is back!

September 12, 2011

Ribeye and Dirty Rice

It’s great to have football back isn’t it!

I was worried that my lack of enthusiasm for the start of the season would be tough to reverse, but all it took was a typical anxiety ridden game by the Eagles to get me right back into the flow. And with a Rex Grossman sighting and another Tony Romo fumble, I’m looking forward to another exciting season.

But football isn’t football without some grub. Wings, nachos, chili, and tons of other bar favorites were getting cranked out across the nation yesterday. Yet, after a day at the Renaissance Faire on Saturday where I consumed an entire village’s worth of beer, I needed something a little less intense for dinner. I wasn’t about to make a salad though!

A cast iron pan seared grass fed ribeye roasted in garlic oil and paired with sautéed swiss chard, guacamole, and dirty rice was hearty and packed with flavor. It hit the spot and was the only thing better than the Cowboys collapse. So here’s to another football season! What are your favorite football foods?

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