When I first read this first challenge, the very wide question, "What defines you as a food blogger?" my mind immediately set off in a million different directions, spinning completely out of control. What defines me, Am I a home chef? A foodie? A kid playing house? Someone with a little too much free time? Well, I guess I am a little bit of all of those things. Simply, I am a girl who loves food and loves sharing (I learned my kindergarten lessons well). So, while I cannot physically feed you all, and believe me I wish I could, I can share my creations, my recipes, and my meals with you. I could write you a novel on how much I love food, and how much joy this blog brings me, and maybe you would start to understand why I cook, why I blog, what makes me as a food blogger, and why I want to be the next Food Blogging Star. But instead I want to show you, so allow me to invite you to dinner...
Trout with Crispy Shallots:
1 lb of trout fillets, 3-4 fillets
1 lemon, plus additional lemon for serving if desired.
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium shallot
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Slice and separate shallots so that they form small rings. Cut a few slices out of the center of the lemon, and quarter the rest for juicing. Put the shallots and the lemon slices in the oil. While they are in, salt and pepper the trout on the non-skin side, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper each (or to taste), Squeeze the lemon juice over the trout. Put in the pan skin side down (the shallots should already be a bit crispy at this point). Cook for 4 minutes then flip over, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fresh lemon and the crispy shallots from the pan.
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh goat cheese
A few fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp of truffle oil
Pre-heat oven to 400. Salt and pepper asparagus and drizzle with the olive oil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the asparagus are tender and the ends are crispy. Poach the egg: In a small sauce pan, boil some water and then reduce to a simmer, crack an egg into the water. Maintain a constant simmer and cook egg for a few minutes until the white is set. Top asparagus with the goat cheese, then the egg, then the fresh Parmesan.
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup of white wine
2 medium shallots
1/4 cup of dried fruit, I used raisins and apricots
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tbsp of olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a small pan, over medium-low heat. Dice the shallots and add to the oil. When they begin to stick add the white wine and the fruit, allow to simmer until the wine is reduced and almost evaporated. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Salt and pepper broth to taste. Add the quiona, cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook covered until the visible liquid is gone and the grains look split, about 30 minutes (My box of quinoa says it cooks in 15 minutes, but it does not, not even close). In a small pan toast the pine nuts over medium heat, stiring frequently. This could also be done in an oven, just be careful not to burn them. Stir pine nuts into quinoa.