Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce

Until now, it hadn’t quite hit me that Eric and I had bought a house.  There were a lot of questions that we’d been waiting answers on… like when exactly we’d be closing. Which then left a lot of other things open. Would we be able to refinish the floors before we moved in?  Would we be able to paint rooms? And when the heck would we even be moving? But now a lot of these questions have been answered and we can officially get excited about the move.  Currently, I’m not that stressed about the process. Yes, I know there’s a lot of work to be done. But we’re in a good place with packing and, for now, we’re basking in the joy of knowing that in just a little over a month, we will be home.

It’s hard to express how important this move is for us. We’ve been wanting to purchase a place for a long time. But, more importantly, we’ve wanted to live in a place where we felt comfortable. Living in South Boston has a lot of benefits, but it never felt like a place where Eric and I could be ourselves. We’re looking forward to becoming a part of our new town’s community; to embrace all it has to offer. And I think we both agree we’ll be welcome with open, loving arms.

Last week, we got our first container of Florida-grown strawberries in our farm share box and while maybe I should have just let them be, I was too excited. Roasting the berries doesn’t take a way from their flavor, but, instead, deepens it. Their tartness shines through the balsamic reduction. Including ice cream just brings the dessert together. And who ever passes up on a chance to eat ice cream?  Not this guy.

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
KathrynMarch 3, 2014 - 4:42 am

Congratulations on the impending move. Having a home + a community, rather than just somewhere that you live, makes all the difference in the world. I love the combination of strawberry and balsamic and this is a wonderful little tease for what’s to come in the warmer months.

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)March 3, 2014 - 8:30 am

So jealous of your strawberries! It is currently snowing here–and we are about to get a foot–so it’s safe to say that I will not have good strawberries for quite some time. This sauce looks amazing, Brian!

Stacey | Kitchen SerendipityMarch 3, 2014 - 8:32 am

YUM!!! It’s strawberry season here. So excited for you guys and your upcoming move – sounds like everything is on the right track. :)

LisaMarch 3, 2014 - 8:37 am

Congratulations on the new house! I’m patiently waiting for the day my husband and I can buy our own place! Well, I’m trying to be patient! Everything comes in time!

I love the Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce too! Strawberries don’t last long fresh in our house, but I think next time I will have to buy double so I can try this out!!

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMarch 3, 2014 - 8:54 am

I can still remember how skeptical I was when I took my first bite of strawberries with balsamic. And then being completely blown away by it. I like yours with the extra step of roasting the strawberries, bet it’s lovely!!

TieghanMarch 3, 2014 - 9:07 am

Strawberries! Mmm! Wishing for summer right now so I can make this sauce. It’s amazing!

LirenMarch 3, 2014 - 9:14 am

Those days leading up to a closing are so stressful on many levels, ice cream is the perfect antidote. Topped with this gorgeous sauce and well…what worries? Beautiful as always, Brian. I’m so excited for your move!!

Rachel @ Baked by RachelMarch 3, 2014 - 10:05 am

Good luck with the move!! :) I hope the house and new community is everything you hope it to be! Also… I could totally eat this with a spoon. Forget the ice cream ;)

LauraMarch 3, 2014 - 10:32 am

Sending some big congratulations on your new home and I hope your move goes smoothly too! We took possession of our place in October and we’re still not fully moved in because I want all the floors finished and every room to be just so. Lately I’ve accepted that I can’t do it all and that living with the imperfections is fine as long as we’re happy. And how could you NOT be happy with roast-y, balsamic strawberries on ice cream?! Cannot wait to try this one.

Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and HealthMarch 3, 2014 - 12:40 pm

im so happy that you found a place to call it your home :) so much to celebrate for. I made ice cream with roasted strawberries and balsamic – heavenly combination. I could totally top my vanilla ice cream or yellow cake with it.

Sini | my blue&white kitchenMarch 3, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Balsamico and strawberries – such a great, classic combination. But the mind-blowing thing in your recipe is that you also roast the strawberries! I can’t wait for summer to come so I can make a batch of this and serve with simple vanilla ice cream. And good luck with your move – exciting times!

Jessica @ Jessiker BakesMarch 3, 2014 - 3:55 pm

This strawberry sauce sounds dreamy, and I love your photos!

I love the combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar and roasting sounds like it makes the strawberries even more flavorful!

Jeff ParkerMarch 3, 2014 - 7:51 pm

Congrats on the new house, Brian… oh yeah, guess what’s about to happen to the 3 quarts of strawberries I just brought home from a job! Cheers

MissiMarch 4, 2014 - 10:25 am

B, I can make this!!! I dont’ know what I could put it on, but I will figure it out! I have a bunch of strawberries at home – I can’t wait to to try this! :)

Adrienne BurgoyneMarch 4, 2014 - 3:44 pm

I love the taste of balsamic strawberries. I can’t wait to make this sauce and put it on everything!

http://www.appetitesanonymous.com

Barbara | Creative CulinaryMarch 4, 2014 - 4:05 pm

I know you’ve wanted a place for some time so truly congratulations are in order. Now since I just moved let me share a few tips with you or at least this one. If you have a toolbox or even just a hammer and some screwdrivers and nails; put them in your car now. Mine got packed and I have yet to find them mostly because the garage is just too cold still and nothing has been unpacked. I finally broke down and bought a cheap set so I could hang a few things but I just want my own toolbox in the worst way!

Beyond that? I got a box of the most fabulous strawberries last week. Yes, the speak Spanish but who cares; I wanted something, anything that would help me remember spring is on the way; this is a great way to use them too. Simple is good!

JoanneMarch 5, 2014 - 6:59 am

I’m SO excited for you and your move!! Having a place that you can really call home, that is yours, is definitely something special.

I think you went the right route with these strawberries. I am a sucker for a good balsamic bath, and it is especially perfect on top of intensely sweet strawberries!

Toni | Boulder LocavoreMarch 5, 2014 - 1:30 pm

What a delicious breath of spring this is Brian! Takes the edge of our continuing frigid winter temps. Congrats on the house. There is nothing better than feeling ‘home’ in your house but also in your community.

This Week’s BestMarch 7, 2014 - 8:30 am

[...] Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce – Brian Samuels of A Thought for Food has some of the most impressive food photography I have [...]

Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenMarch 7, 2014 - 9:45 pm

I don’t pass up ice cream wither, especially when it’s covered in a lovely strawberry sauce like this one!

[...] balsamic roasted strawberry sauce. um, i want it on [...]

Jenny @ BAKEMarch 8, 2014 - 9:20 am

I’ve only had strawberries and balsamic as part of a salad but I am in love with idea of having them as a dessert. Your photographs as always are absolutely stunning.

Nicole PodestaMarch 8, 2014 - 12:58 pm

What brand of ice cream is that? It looks perfectly creamy and amazing…and I’ve been craving ice cream basically all winter so it might be time to give in

[...] balsamic roasted strawberry sauce. um, i want it on [...]

Los | The Man, The Chef, The DadMarch 9, 2014 - 10:19 am

First off, huge congrats on the new home! It’s an enormous sense of accomplishment to be handed those keys. I absolutely hate the process of moving with all my heart, but in the end it’s worth it. I hope you two enjoy it!

Secondly, amazing pictures! It’s my first time here and the recipe and the pictures just gave me a one-two punch. Great post, I have to try it.

Esther MedinaMarch 12, 2014 - 3:58 am

Yummy, I had no ice cream but I put it over some homemade plain yogurt… want more

Ladies Winter Whiskey Party – Style Me Pretty Living

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
TieghanFebruary 27, 2014 - 8:56 am

Stunning photos!! That bowl of cherries is gorgeous!

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesFebruary 27, 2014 - 11:26 pm

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Everything! Love the photos. Want a whiskey. :)

JoanneFebruary 28, 2014 - 6:59 am

I love the glasses! And your photos are great..you can almost feel the fun exuding from them.

Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Mango Puree

Eric and I are such homebodies.  It’s definitely a seasonal thing for us and with all the snow and cold weather, there are few things that can motivate us to go out. For Valentine’s Day, we stayed in and plowed through the second season of House of Cards (yeah, we’re a part of the 2% that finished it in the first weekend) and chowed down on a massive platter of sushi.

This last week, however, was full of social engagements. A few months ago, we’d made plans with Eric’s brother and his wife to go out for an adults-only dinner. It’s been years since the four of us have gone out without the kiddos and, as much as we love the little ones, it was nice to have a night where we could have some uninterrupted conversations.  Then there was dinner with friends at Alden and Harlow, a recent addition to the Cambridge restaurant scene… and, folks, if you make it out this way, you must try it.  This is my kind of food, seasonal dishes made with local ingredients, creatively prepared and, yet, completely unpretentious. There was a roasted yam that blew my mind. Oh, and if you’re a meat eater, definitely get the Secret Burger (I couldn’t resist a small bite and I’m so glad I did because it was fantastic).

Now, this was an especially busy week for me. Six shoots, three of which happened on one day. But it was nice having social events to look forward to after all that work.  Friday was particularly wonderful.  I helped dear friends of ours cook for a dinner party.  There was a ton of food: spicy peel and eat shrimp, guacamole with mango and avocado, Cornish game hens, and a wonderful pisco and pineapple cocktail that made for a very relaxing evening.  My contribution was this coconut rice pudding. Even though we were completely stuffed after consuming multiple courses (the dinner lasted over four hours), the dessert was a wonderful and surprisingly refreshing way to end the night.  I think the fresh mango puree and orange zest really brighten it up.

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
TieghanFebruary 24, 2014 - 9:03 am

I love coconut and mango together. This sweet pudding sounds delicious!

naomiFebruary 24, 2014 - 9:33 am

Yes, it is nice to go out without the kiddos sometimes! This pudding looks great–love the flavors as well.

CarolynFebruary 24, 2014 - 1:32 pm

I’ve never thought of rice pudding as very interesting but you’ve just changed my mind!

Sandy@ReluctantEntertainerFebruary 24, 2014 - 3:26 pm

We love rice pudding. Love the mango spin, Brian. Delicoius!

Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy LivingFebruary 24, 2014 - 7:29 pm

Now that’s pure comfort food and mango happens to be one of my very favorite tropical fruits!

Aimee @ Simple BitesFebruary 24, 2014 - 7:34 pm

This is totally my kind of comfort food, Brian. I will have to simmer a pot tomorrow. LOVE the idea of orange juice in with the rice.

cheriFebruary 25, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Oh I love these kinds of combinations. I just adore mangoes. Your pics are beautiful.

Mimi RippeeFebruary 26, 2014 - 12:43 am

This looks so good!

Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenFebruary 26, 2014 - 4:19 am

You know I’ve been craving mango lately and it sounds pretty perfect as a topping for rice pudding.

JoanneFebruary 26, 2014 - 7:35 am

You have been super busy lately!! I feel like all of the best restaurants came to Cambridge AFTER I left. All the more reason to go back, I suppose!

Rice pudding is one of my favorite EVER desserts. Unfortunately a certain someone HATES RICE….but in this case, that’s totally fine. More for me.

TrishaFebruary 26, 2014 - 6:39 pm

I adore this kind of rice pudding. so tangy sweet and exciting x

Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceFebruary 26, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Lovely! I usually prefer ending a big meal with something fresh and fruity.

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)February 27, 2014 - 4:16 am

Rice pudding is usually my winter comfort dessert of choice. It does get very heavy and filling very fast though, I’m sure the addition of mango puree would lighten it up. Great idea!

[...] blues. And if all else fails you, there might be no better dessert than rice pudding, and this coconut milk mango variation (04) is different and nostalgic in all the right [...]

[...] Inspiration: A Thought for Food [...]

Stewed Mushrooms + Polenta

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

I’m so glad I got over my hatred of mushrooms. Between you and me, I don’t think I really had an issue with their taste or, as I often complained, their spongy consistency.  The real reason, I’ve come to accept, was because my sister loved them so much. Therefore, I had to hate them.  Makes sense, right?  The funny thing is that I ate everything as a kid.  I never turned away food.  Except, that is, if it contained mushrooms. I’m not sure when I decided how silly it was that I said I didn’t like them. I guess I started giving them a chance as a teenager, especially when I stopped eating meat. Their texture, the umami notes… all the things I missed from eating a steak… I found I could get all of that from mushrooms.

Sometimes the best dishes come when focusing on a single ingredient. I started with an assortment of fresh mushrooms and built off that.  A bit of butter and red wine helped to build a flavorful and very satisfying sauce.  The creamy polenta, rich and comforting. Nothing wrong with a little fat this time of year.  We’ll get back to salads later.  Right now, this is what we need.

Polenta + Stewed Mushrooms

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarFebruary 17, 2014 - 6:51 am

Your photos always make me want to jump through the screen. These mushrooms look perfect!

MariaFebruary 17, 2014 - 9:19 am

One of my favorite meals!

TieghanFebruary 17, 2014 - 9:22 am

This is my kind of food. I love polenta!
Beautiful photo as always, Brian!

Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)February 17, 2014 - 11:52 am

Mmmmmmm :) Perfect comfort food!

NaomiFebruary 17, 2014 - 1:32 pm

I totally agree – some of the best dishes are built focuse on one ingredient. I absolutely love this! Mushrooms are a fav of mine so this is happening in my soon.

annie @ chase that i loveFebruary 17, 2014 - 1:53 pm

Supreme comfort food. Lovely!

Alison LewisFebruary 17, 2014 - 2:15 pm

gorgeous as always!

EileenFebruary 17, 2014 - 3:34 pm

This sounds like such an amazing dish for a cold and snowy winter day! I would absolutely end up putting a fried egg on top and calling it lunch. :) Yay!

MonetFebruary 17, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Only you, my dear, could make poltena and mushrooms look so sexy! I mean seriously…this looks better than the five chocolate cake recipes I’ve been staring at today! Thank you for sharing this lovely vegetarian meal. I hope you are doing well!

LirenFebruary 18, 2014 - 12:21 am

I’m chuckling at the little Brian’s rationale for steering clear of mushrooms — my children are the same! What one loves, the other hates. In my case, my daughter loves mushrooms, my son hates them. Ha! I’m so glad you have developed a love for them, and this is my kind of meal. So creamy and comforting!

Helen @ Scrummy LaneFebruary 18, 2014 - 4:09 am

What a lovely simple recipe! I think any mushroom-hater has a good chance of learning to like them if they risk deviating from the boring white ones. Oh, and love your photos!

bev @ bevcooksFebruary 18, 2014 - 9:46 am

I want to live inside your camera. And mouth.

Arthur in the Garden!February 18, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Yummy!

FrancescaFebruary 18, 2014 - 2:12 pm

You have a few of my favorite things mingling together here. Wine + mushrooms.. count me in!

cheriFebruary 18, 2014 - 4:14 pm

I’m so glad you like mushrooms because now we have a recipe for this dish. Beautiful pics!

JoanneFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:57 am

I’m definitely working on my mushroom aversion…as it turns out I like the more expensive mushrooms way more than the cheaper varieties lol. This ragout over polenta looks pretty dreamy. My kind of comfort food.

MimiFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:43 am

Beautiful! Love the photographs!

Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy LivingFebruary 19, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Love, love LOVE mushrooms! I’ve been thinking about making polenta lately so this is so timely!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)February 20, 2014 - 8:09 am

I’ll take a million bowls of this. THANKS! :) Looks so good!

Michael LewickiFebruary 20, 2014 - 4:19 pm

Beautiful stuff, Brian! Love the action shots, specifically. Missed your space.

Sylvie @Gourmande in the KitchenFebruary 20, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Wine, mushrooms and butter? Count me in.

KateFebruary 20, 2014 - 11:56 pm

I have two younger brothers. The middle one and I were extremely picky and managed to make the youngest extremely picky by making fun of his food. Oops. I have mixed feelings about mushrooms, especially after eating so many lentil mushroom meatballs last winter (recipe testing took forever)… but I want to say that I would love this dish! It’s just beautiful.

Toni | Boulder LocavoreFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:59 pm

I love this type of comfort food. Layered flavors and so satisfying!

danielleFebruary 26, 2014 - 11:06 am

This sounds so good – pinning!

15 Different Polenta SpecialitiesMarch 10, 2014 - 3:42 pm

[...] Recipe & Photo credit to athoughtforfood.net [...]

Betsy GinaMarch 10, 2014 - 10:28 pm

Thanks I love Polenta Americans aren’t so familiar with Polenta , I’m Italian Family

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

The more I talk to people about the house we just purchased, the more it hits me: oh my gosh, I’m an adult. Actually, it’s not the purchasing of the house that makes me feel this way, but all the other things that come with it. Getting quotes for refinishing the floors.  Finding someone to take down wallpaper and paint the walls. Then there’s the furniture we’re ordering. Eric and I haven’t spent much money on furniture for our current place, instead decorating with what we’ve acquired over the years. Nothing matches. And most of it’s from friends or CraigsList. It’s time to upgrade a few items. We’ll find out in the next week or so when we’re actually moving, at which point the packing process will begin. In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed tossing out stacks of papers we no longer need. And cords to electrical devices that we’d gotten rid of a while ago.

So, here’s the backstory on why I’m providing a recipe for sous vide salmon.  The whole thing started a few years ago, when Eric and I went out to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday.  On the menu was a salmon entree with beet and crème fraîche. This was the first time I’d been served fish so perfectly prepared… it actually felt like it was melting in my mouth.  I asked the server how it was prepared, at which point he described the sous vide process. And my mind was officially blown.

Ever since then, I’ve dreamt of recreating that dish. Or, at the very least, something resembling that dish.  A few months ago, I decided to reach out to one of the leading producers of sous vide water ovens, SousVide Supreme, to see if they’d be willing to let me test out one of their units. Last month, I heard back from them saying they’d be happy to send one over. Now, I was thrilled… but Eric was elated (he’s been eying a few recipes for sous vide steak and smoked brisket).

So the unit arrived and I got up the guts to take the thing out of the box. Now, I’m terrible at following directions and often ignore the instruction manual. But, in this case, I decided to read up.  To my surprise, the process seemed simple enough: vacuum seal the ingredients you want to cook, fill the unit with water, add the ingredients, set the temperature and timer and let it go.

When preparing the fish for the vacuum sealer, I lightly seasoned the fillet with Kosher salt, though a slice of lemon might work nicely in there as well.  You really don’t need to do much and, when working with fish, I’d recommend keeping the seasoning to a minimum. Sauces and additional spices can always be added later. Though my roasted beet sauce was was different than the restaurant’s and I used Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche, the meal was superb. This definitely won’t be the last time I use the machine. In fact, I’m already brainstorming other recipes.

SousVide Supreme has also been kind enough to provide a $50 off coupon for a water oven to readers of A Thought For Food. During the check out process, just be sure to include this code: ATFF50.

Notes on discount code: Limit of 1 discount per order. Discount expires on 2/28/2014. Discount applies to SousVide Supreme and SousVide Supreme Demi water ovens, but does not apply to promo packages. Offer valid only at Sousvidesupreme.com website and for US orders only. No adjustments to previous purchases. Free Shipping applies to US mainland orders only for standard delivery. 

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon with Roasted Beet Sauce

Disclosure: While SousVide Supreme did provide a unit, I was not monetarily compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
annie @ chase that i loveFebruary 11, 2014 - 7:23 am

I don’t have a sous-vide cooker, but I am loving that beet sauce. I bet it would be so good on some toasty flat bread.

Sini @ my blue&white kitchenFebruary 11, 2014 - 7:34 am

One just has to love this dish. Perfection.

JoanneFebruary 11, 2014 - 7:41 am

First of all, I LOVE the new header! The handwriting-ness of it is such a nice touch.

GAH SOUS VIDE. That salmon does look pretty perfect.

And I am SO excited for you and your new (REAL! ADULT!) house!! That is just too exciting.

KulsumFebruary 11, 2014 - 9:06 am

Congratulations on the new house. I know the feeling of ‘adult’ that comes with it. Exciting!

Sandy@ReluctantEntertainerFebruary 11, 2014 - 9:42 am

I’m in LOVE with this salmon. And beet sauce, too? Perfection.

So happy for your new house!

Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and HealthFebruary 11, 2014 - 9:46 am

congrats on the house :) sous vide sounds so much fun, the salmon looks perfect.

NaomiFebruary 11, 2014 - 11:37 am

I’ve yet to try sous vide. But after this, I’m thinking I need to —STAT!

Alison LewisFebruary 11, 2014 - 3:00 pm

absolutely gorgeous

TieghanFebruary 11, 2014 - 11:34 pm

I am a huge fan of salmon this looks incredible!! cant wait to try the beat sauce too!

Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy LivingFebruary 12, 2014 - 9:26 am

I’m really excited about trying sous vide – expecting my circulator any day and salmon was one of the first things I was going to try.

Mimi RippeeFebruary 12, 2014 - 12:53 pm

I’m glad you bought a sous vide. I’m officially addicted to mine. Beautiful salmon. I need to play with fish more.

Greg HenryFebruary 12, 2014 - 7:50 pm

There’s a sous vide machine out in Palm Springs at the place we stay, so I play with it when I’m there. It’s really ideal for large dinner parties because you can make the entree and let it sit at the perfect temp until serving time. I will say make sure you strain any juices from the bag before you use them to make a sauce and the proteins seems to build up in a granular way. GREG

Toni DashFebruary 14, 2014 - 2:10 pm

I’ve been fascinated with the sous vide method (blame it on Top Chef) and the machines. I loved reading your tale of using yours and certainly the salmon speaks to the process in its beauty!

Edible Boston: Drinks Issue – Booze Époque

Edible Boston: Drinks Issue - Booze Époque (photographs by Brian Samuels - A Thought For Food)

Edible Boston: Drinks Issue - Booze Époque (photographs by Brian Samuels - A Thought For Food)

Edible Boston: Drinks Issue - Booze Époque (photographs by Brian Samuels - A Thought For Food)

View full post »

Facebook|Twitter|Pin It|Subscribe
Ashley - Baker by NatureFebruary 6, 2014 - 11:09 am

That cocktail is calling my name!

Ashley ManilaFebruary 6, 2014 - 4:08 pm

So much beauty in this post! And booze. I LOVE IT!

MonetFebruary 6, 2014 - 10:56 pm

Love the colors in this shoot, Brian. What a bright place to visit on a very very cold day. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend! Now pour me a drink!

TieghanFebruary 6, 2014 - 11:28 pm

These photos are so fun. I love the colors!

SpencerFebruary 8, 2014 - 7:46 am

Wow, the dish looks so exciting and i am now feeling so hungry! Any chance to taste such a food?

JoanneFebruary 8, 2014 - 7:54 am

I love the floral touches on these! So beautiful.

Jeanette's Healthy LivingFebruary 11, 2014 - 12:15 am

Gorgeous photos Brian – always love how you tell a story without words.