What a whirlwind of a summer…it seriously feels like it has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Unlike other years, my hubby and I spent this one taking one of the biggest steps in our lives. We bought a commercial building (thanks to a special guardian angel looking out for us) and moved his business in there. No more rent!
The coolest part about the building is the 3 units attached that we plan on leasing out to help subsidize our mortgage payment. It gets better though. Our broker decided the space was so awesome he wanted it for himself…to put in a coffee shop and restaurant! woot woot! So now when we pull those 12 hour shifts they won’t seem so bad since we can end the night with a cocktail just five steps away. : D Apparently he plans on having about 5 different variations of eggs benedict on his brunch menu, my favorite!
Though this is one of the most amazing things to happen to us, the building that is, not the eggs benedict, it’s come at a price. I’ve had more frozen pizza over the last month than I care to divulge. The long days, exhausting build-out and move of the business means we spent an average of about an hour a day at our actual home which is where my kitchen is.
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! I promise that once we get completely settled into our new nest, I will be able to escape to my culinary world more often. Today I couldn’t bear eating another frozen pizza or eggo waffle, so instead I spoiled myself. Here’s my decadent lunch menu: Roasted Garlic Aioli with Caramelized Artichoke Hearts and Prosciutto Ribbons. Not in the picture is some baguette and mixed olives.
There’s no real recipe to go along here but if you must know how I made the roasted garlic aioli, here goes. The easiest way is to buy some already-roasted garlic cloves from the deli (where the olives are). Toss about a dozen cloves in a food processor with about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, a teaspoon of dijon, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper and pulse til somewhat smooth. I’m sure it would be even better with a little fresh thyme but I didn’t have any on hand. I sauteed the artichoke hearts in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. That’s it!
I can’t figure out why I’m having such a writer’s block when it comes to this post. Afterall, these prosciutto-wrapped halibut skewers are one of my top ten favorite things to make. Maybe that’s why. I’m struggling with finding the right words to capture how truly delicious these are. I should probably invest in a thesaurus. : ) These skewers are too awesome for words! They are the reason I counted down the days until halibut season opened last month. If you like to cook seasonally like me, now’s the time to buy halibut.
There’s a few philosophies I have about food and cooking that will become evident in a short amount of time. I’ll share one of the most important ones with you tonight since it’s relevant to the recipe.
#1. When in doubt, wrap it in bacon, prosciutto or pancetta.
Simple as that. You know how Bubba from “Forrest Gump” was the king of shrimp? “Shrimp salad, shrimp soup, bbq shrimp”….and he went on and on. Well that’s like me and bacon. I know this isn’t some revolutionary concept. Obviously everyone knows that salty pig fat is to-die-for, but I don’t think most of you embrace this food truth to the extent that I do. It provides that savory richness known as umami and is one of the elements that fuels my love of cooking.
Whenever I’m uninspired for dinner or feel the need to impress my guests, I wrap something in prosciutto and call it good. Some things I make are hit-or-miss, but I know without a doubt that anything wrapped in pig-fat will end up devoured by my meat-loving friends. So don’t be surprised when you start to see this common denominator start to crop up throughout my posts. Pancetta-wrapped pork loin, bacon-wrapped tequila shrimp, prosciutto-wrapped roasted pears with arugula….the list goes on.
Disclaimer: I’m all about eating healthy too. The trick to taking care of your body while eating bacon wrapped foods is simple. Don’t gorge yourself! Eat in moderation. Make sure the other 2/3 of your meal is comprised of fresh vegetables and whole grains. Also, because of the potent flavor that these pork products offer, you end up eating much less of it overall than you would something with a more muted flavor like ground beef.
I hope you’ll use the fresh rosemary skewer idea and run wild with it. Don’t be surprised when they take average veggie kabobs to the next level.