Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dalton's Restaurant - North Branford CT

Duck Breast and Mushroom Ravioli in a cream sauce topped with mushrooms

Many wonderful meals are shared with family and friends on a Sunday afternoon or evening.  Lately, some of my favorite meals have been eaten out at some really great local restaurants in the New Haven county area.  Dalton's in North Branford, CT is one of those places where the locals can go for some classy gourmet style Italian food in a small, warm, comfortable setting, with excellent friendly bartenders and wait staff.

What's interesting about Dalton's is that you can see the kitchen and the kitchen staff hard at work through the panes of glass at the back of the restaurant.  My husband and I had eaten here before and often eat at their sister restaurant, Ludal's in North Haven, CT.  We like the fact that it's low-key here and quieter.  While Ludal's has a large beautifully modern, zen-like bar area, Dalton's is a smaller quieter bar that sits open to the dining area. We ate at the bar this Sunday night and were treated to not only great service but excellent food as well.

For starter's we tried the Meatball Salad with three meatballs on iceberg lettuce and an order of Escargot.  I've tried meatball appetizers in a few restaurants and this one is the winner of all.  They were held together perfectly, not too solid, not too garlicky, I just loved them!  I could have just eaten that and been happy and in fact will be back again to do just that.  The escargot was not your normal snails swimming in butter, these tender morsels were in a cream sauce joined with thin slices of shitake mushrooms.  It was creamy rich, yet not buttery creamy rich where you don't feel like you can't eat another bite.

Next came the dinner.  The Duck Breast was a special that night.  In fact there were many awesome specials so it was hard to choose.  I heard "Duck" and that was it.  I was trying to get as close to paleo eating as possible, have some duck breast and pick a little at the ravioli.  I did not hear the "creamy" word.  So I had creamy dish no. 2.  And, had the most wonderful mushroom ravioli I have ever tasted.  The Paleo plan disappeared in the joy of pasta Heaven... Hubby, aka Carb Man, had the Cavatelli with Sausage.  It's made with Broccoli Rabe, oil, garlic and a bit of marinara sauce.  And did I mention the beautiful large white plates and bowls they use at Dalton's and Ludal's?  Yes - come check out these bowls! Plenty of leftovers as well.

Ok so we didn't have dessert.  Some sacrifices must be made :-).   Go try the dessert yourself.  If it's anything like the rest of the meal you will be happy for sure!

Thank you Daltons!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Coconut Banana Pancakes


I had a couple of ripe bananas that I needed to use up and a husband that wanted to have pancakes for breakfast.  Coconut Banana pancakes here we go.  He got his pancakes and we had some sausage with sautéed spinach to go with it.

This recipe is a coconut pancake recipe that I made a few tweaks to from Nom Nom Paleo's site.   I added more coconut milk to get it thin enough to pour well.    And the pancakes were sweet enough to not even need any maple syrup.   I have found also that you have to make sure the ingredients are room temperature or this mixture will be a big glop of goo and you'll be lucky to get two mini pancakes out of this.  As it was I could not believe that this recipe could produce 12 pancakes but yes there are 12 pancakes in that photo.  You can also get an idea of how that is possible as you can see in relation to the egg the actual size of these.  So in essence, be prepared to eat sparingly if it's for 2 of you.  That's why we had the sausage and spinach as well.  

  • 2 large eggs preferably free range locally sourced  - and make sure they are room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk (I used Goya brand coconut milk -  Full fat) - room temp.
  • ½ mashed ripe banana
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • coconut oil (for frying)
Mix together the eggs, coconut milk, mashed banana, apple cider vinegar and the vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients and combine with the wet ingredients.   Coat the pan with the coconut oil on med heat and fry till you see some bubbles then flip them over for a few more minutes.   You need to watch these because they can overcook and brown too quickly once the pan gets too hot.  

Enjoy!