Whole Baked Garlic with Bleu Cheese

One of the coziest restaurants in Rockland to sit and watch the snow fall has to be In Good Company, a small, inviting restaurant housed in a renovated bank on Main Street that feels more like a good friend’s living room than an elegant late-night spot. While we haven’t sat down for a full meal yet (and as soon as we do, you can count on a full review), we have spent plenty of evenings there either sitting at the bar or sharing a table, sipping cocktails and snacking from round after round of small plates from the restaurant’s “Nibbles” menu. This can include simple snacks, like roasted Marcona almonds, black olive tapenade, or a “tasting” menu of assorted olive oils. One of my absolute favorite dishes, though, is the restaurant’s whole roast garlic.

It’s dead-simple eating that pairs perfectly with a dry martini: a whole roast garlic bulb, served with your choice of bleu, brie, or goat cheese, served molten and bubbly. Roasted in a hot oven, the garlic turns golden brown and loses a lot of its characteristic sharp pungency. Extracted from the clove and spread on a piece of crostini or fresh bread, then topped with the strong cheese, it’s an explosion of flavor that’s instantly addictive.

While the dish is certainly affordable, our baby daughter keeps us home sometimes more often than we’d like. On those nights, Jillian whips up a batch of her no-knead bread, tosses a quick salad while I shake up a martini, and we recreate the “In Good Company” experience at home. Now you can, too.

Continue Reading

Sweet Potato Soup

The day after my birthday, I start thinking about Thanksgiving. A giant meal, a great parade, the fancy silver, wine, and board games. What is not to love? We feel especially thankful this year for our little family; we have a happy, healthy baby who has brought us so much joy. And we can’t wait to share the festive season with this magical little butt munch. The division of labor for the holiday of feasting was established long ago, when we did most of our cooking on hot plates. Malcolm is firmly in charge of the bird. Even after once stuffing a turkey with ostrich meat, I continue to have great confidence in his ability to turn out a juicy and delicious focal point for the meal. When he was put in charge of sides, he and a college friend decided to add a packet of ramen noodles to instant mashed potatoes for a starch that clings to your insides for at least a dozen years. So I’ve taken over the accompaniments. Those are my favorite anyway.

What can I say about stuffing? It is the light of my life. I could eat it every day. I would marry it and have a thousand of its babies. Stuffing, you complete me. I haven’t decided which version I’m doing yet, but I have had a few ideas about dessert. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll start with the soup. I also plan to post a great salad recipe I’m working on and maybe a special cocktail. But, the soup! It’s very good soup. The color is gorgeous, the texture velvety-smooth. It’s rich even though it only has a kiss of cream. And I love the smoky-spicy chipotle powder with sweet potato. You could finish this soup with a sprinkling of candied walnuts or pecans, melted bleu cheese topped crostini, or a drizzle of chili oil. I think a hint of lime would adds a perfect, unexpected tart kick. Good vinegar would work well here, also. I’m all about traditions with a twist. What’s on your menu this year?

Continue Reading

Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread that Italians seem to love spreading on everything, is a food item that our family has deemed strictly off-limits. It’s not because we don’t love slathering a chunk of leftover crusty baguette with a spoonful of the stuff to go with our morning coffee; instead, it’s because we love it too much, and are simply not responsible enough to have it in the house. Like Cheez-It Crackers, marinated mozzarella, and peanut butter granola bars, we just can’t have a jar around without eating it in one sitting, and so we choose to skip it altogether.

Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

But when it’s your birthday, you get to throw good sense and rationality out the window and eat your favorite things, no matter what they are. And that’s what today is: It’s Jillian’s birthday. I wanted to bake her something special, something that combined all of her favorite sweets into one over-the-top cupcake that would make her senses explode and her body start racing furiously to produce extra insulin. The Nutella buttercream was a no-brainer for Jillian’s ideal cupcake, but the real surprise here is inside, where an entire Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate candy is baked right in. They’re weapons-grade bombs of sugar, fat, and butter, perfect for special occasions or to tell someone you love them. Happy birthday, Jillian.

Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

P.S. Do not keep tasting the buttercream as you work, or by the time the cupcakes are ready, the sugar overload will have made your heart explode.

Continue Reading

On The Rocks: The Protestant Reformation

This cocktail is derived from two classics: The Perfect Manhattan and The Presbyterian. Its name I chose because, as it turns out, Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, generally considered the catalyst for breaking up The Roman Catholic Church’s monopoly on the minds and souls of western civilization, has not come up in my adult life as often as I thought it would when I was studying history and humanities in college. As I was typing this, it occurred to me that I should write a Weird Al-style song to the tune of Jay Z’s 99 Problems about this significant event. Because who doesn’t think it’s cool when a 30-something white mom from Connecticut raps? Everyone. Fortunately it’s already been done by some kids studying for the AP test. It’s totally so nerdy, but I already want to listen to it again. Thanks, internet. So, the drink. A splash of ginger syrup adds just a touch of warmth. I love the pretty orange-sugary rim, which gives it a festive fall holiday touch. I could drink a lot of these. But I won’t. You should, though. Unless you have work or school tomorrow or have kids or are under twenty-one or are on antibiotics or driving. I used Bulleit rye whiskey and orange peel by J.R. Watkins.

Continue Reading

Sirloin Steak Tips Au Poivre

I’d always assumed that so-called “steak tips,” those cut up chunks of beef slowly greying under cellophane at the bargain end of the meat case, were some sort of mystery meat, more in line with hot dogs than with actual beef. I incorrectly assumed that steak tips were a collection of scraps from the butcher, cut form multiple parts of the animal, much like those giant packages labeled “stew meat.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong. As it turns out, steak tips are a bit of a regional specialty, found mostly in New England. At as high as $11 bucks a pound, they can be anything but a cheap cut. Cut from the upper part of the sirloin, they’re a tender cut perfect for stir fries, beef stroganoff, or in this case, rolled in cracked peppercorns, seared, and served with a red wine pan sauce. It’s a quick, easy weeknight meal that you can cook with a baby resting on your hip.

Continue Reading

8 Dishes to Get You in the Thanksgiving Mood

If food bloggers have a Superbowl, it’s Thanksgiving Day. Oh, sure: There’s the giving thanks and the cornucopias and the shoes with big brass buckles and all that. There’s also no other holiday where you are given permission (nay, encouraged), to eat as much as is physically possible, pressing well beyond the point of simple satiation and into a terrifying new zone of stretched stomach lining gluttony and overindulgence. The pressure of preparing a perfect meal and the arrival of long lost friends and family means plenty of midday drinking, and that distinctly guilty feeling you get when you wake up  from an afternoon nap feeling just as fat and full as you were before you slipped unwillingly into slumber like a huge hibernating bear.

Here at From Away Worldwide headquarters, you can count on a November filled with Thanksgiving recipe ideas and tips, as we count down to the big day. Here are a few of our favorites, to help get you in the mood:

Continue Reading