September 30, 2013

the start of fall

while i consider myself a lover of summertime, i have to admit i have thoroughly enjoyed kicking off this first week of fall.  living in oklahoma, the temperature doesn't normally drop and have that crisp autumn feel until mid to late october.  not this year.  our mild summer has segued into cool, dewey mornings and nights where its criminal to be indoors.

we celebrated the first night of fall with sunday dinner in my backyard.  i'm already beginning to crave the warmth of comforting fall dishes and after pulling inspiration from the modern italian episode of unique eats (my favorite show on the cooking channel!) i decided recreate a featured carbonara dish that was topped with a slow poached egg and then added sauteed leeks and baby portobellas.

[ fresh, homemade linguine ]

all i have to say is that chefs need to be more convincing about how quick and simple it is to make homemade pasta. no lessons from your traditional italian grandmother or years slaving in a professional kitchen needed here - just flour, eggs, and a hand-crank pasta maker and you're practically mario batali!  but seriously, its worth it. try it.

[ daron breaking his yolk to finish the carbonara ]
and how fun is this take on carbonara adding the twist of topping each individual plate with a slow-poached egg so that the eater gets the final hand in "finishing" the carbonara after its set in front of them. amazing. definitely a dish to remember if you're wanting to impress your guests without actually being too difficult. it'll be our secret.

[ pasta carbonara with sauteed leeks and baby portobellos, topped with a soft-poached egg ]

the outdoor activities continued tuesday night with a showing of dirty dancing at the guthrie green.  our excitement for the show had been put on hold from the previous thursday due to severe daytime storms but it turns out the extra time only allowed for me to come up with a fun themed picnic menu for my friends and i to take to the park.  its definitely not the most creative thing ever but i like to think it added to the fun.  i prepared "nobody puts baby in a corner" paninis served with chips and "baby" champagne bottles.  the paninis were filled with roasted chicken, sauteed baby portobellas, baby spinach and melted baby swiss on ciabatta.  its been forever since i've watched that movie and may or may not have slightly annoyed the ladies seated in front of us with my reenactment of the singing and dancing numbers.  oops.

[ "nobody puts baby in a corner" panini & "baby" champagne ]

finally, to round out the week, a friend organized a b.y.o. brunch and watch party for the osu and ou football games.  thunderstorms stole our ideal patio party but food, drink and company were enjoyed nonetheless. i jump at the opportunity to bring a brunch dish to a get-together as brunch is one of those meals that is typically always held at a restaurant because people sleep in past normal breakfast hours and most likely are in need of a little hair of the dog. its easy on those days to call a few friends, split a couple (or few...) mimosa carafes and indulge in greasy meals before slipping back into bed for that perfect afternoon weekend nap.  gosh i love brunch.... well, that rant was just to say that i don't get as many chances as i'd like to try out a dish from my collection of brunch recipes. yes, my brunch pinterest board.

[ brown sugar and salt brined pork belly ready to roast ]

maybe it was the thought of football that triggered the word pigskin in my head or maybe because the popularity of this cut of meat has caused it to show up on just about every menu but pork belly immediately came to mind for my dish and that was that.  also, because i have a tendency to make everything into a stack or a slider, pork belly breakfast sliders it was!  roasted pork belly, gouda scrambled eggs and baby arugula on a homemade brioche bun drizzled with hollandaise - i'd say this was a pork belly benny turned slider and it was mmm mmm good.  i joked that my scrambled eggs baked in a jelly roll pan and cut into squares resembled the "egg" on a mcdonald's sausage, egg and cheese biscuit but until they start including gouda (and maybe real eggs) i think i can be proud of my method to make sure the eggs not only fit but didn't slide off the buns. win!

[ roasted pork belly breakfast sliders ]
this week is already shaping up to be a continuation of our fall festivities as the tulsa state fair is in town, i get to see the lumineers in okc on thursday, we're celebrating the birthday's of two friends and we have hopes of a pumpkin decorating party for a sunday funday. pumpkins and pot roast anyone? yes, please!

until next time...

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