October and Ocracoke Vacation 2022 Food

Welcome back (to me, finally getting back to posting after a few week’s hiatus)! Here are the highlights of October food in our house, the wonderful food we made on vacation in Ocracoke, and notes on the cookbooks the recipes came from.

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

Beets and Greens Phyllo Pie from Melissa Clark’s book,  Dinner In One. I took the suggestion in the recipe notes and swapped roasted butternut squash for the beets, and I only had feta on hand (not the washed-rind cheese Melissa suggests), but this was still delicious and 10 out of 10 would make again — and will follow the recipe next time b/c it seems a funky cheese would only make this crispy, hearty, veggie pie even better.

crispy Phyllo Pie on a cutting board

Grilled picanha steak w/ romesco sauce, fried plantains, coconut rice and beans. This was my birthday dinner and the recipe is… basically in the title. Simple and delicious, and note to self to include more plantains and coconut rice in my life. What really made this meal sing for me was the smoked almond romesco sauce, which I do have a recipe for and it’s included at the end of the post.

Brazilian steak, rice, and beans on two plates

A bloomer loaf and a rye, ale, and oat bread from Paul Hollywood’s Bread. Anyone else glued to the current season (and every past episode, ever) of The Great British Baking Show? I can’t get enough of it, mostly because of Noel Fielding. But a couple years ago, the show also inspired me to buy Paul Hollywood’s bread cookbook and learn to make bread, from scratch, by hand– not a stand mixed or a bread machine in sight. IDK what it is but something about making a loaf of bread with my hands makes me feel like I’m in total control of my life and am awesome. I love this book b/c it explains the why behind the how which, it turns out, is pretty important with bread-making.

Pizza with caramelized onions, homemade buttermilk ricotta, roasted mushrooms, and shaved brussles sprouts. Agh, my heart is aching that I don’t have a piece of this pizza right now. It checked every oniony, creamy, earthy, crispy greens box for me. And I MADE the ricotta! What! That recipe came from  To the Last Bite by Alexis deBoschnek and was easier than I thought. I want to be the person who always uses leftover buttermilk to make ricotta. Then puts it on a pizza with mountains of brussles sprouts and mushrooms.

And now on to the real fun… our Ocracoke vacation!! Here’s some of what we ate:

Scacciata from my one true cookbook love: Italian American by Angie Rito and Scott Tachinelli. My best description of this dish is a layered pizza? It has about 3 pounds of swiss chard and spinach cooked down with lots of garlic and wine, and loads of mozzarella. You make the dough, spread the filling, fold and repeat until it’s small, bake it, slice it, and all your friends say, “Wow“.

Oysters! My husband and friends foraged for and caught these oysters and were dining on them with lemon juice and hot sauce within about 30 minutes of pulling them out of the water. I mean… rockstars.

Smoked pork butt, ribs, and wings! It’s not an N.C. vacay without them.

Caramelized Onion and Short Rib Ragu with Pasta and crostini with smoked ricotta. Mmmmkay, the onion and short rib ragu is maybe one of my top 10 favorite things on earth and it is from, once again, Italian American by Angie Rito and Scott Tachinelli. I don’t think I need to explain why a ragu with that name tastes so good. We had it for dinner then again for lunch while dinner was on the smoker and I decided to become a badass for 15 minutes and smoke some leftover ricotta (with advice from Via Carota by Jody Williams and Rita Sodi). NBD.

Brief interlude for some 1718 Brewing food. The fried cheese cuuuuuurds:

Steamed buns and coconut curry pork meatballs. Yessss! These buns are on repeat from earlier this month, I will love them forever. And the coconut curry pork meatballs are a staple in this house from How Sweet Eats. The meatballs are so easy and the sauce is creamy and rich with a great punchiness from lime juice — fabulous.

Baked eggrolls for lunch. Molly Yeh strikes again — this recipe came from her book  Home Is Where the Eggs Are except instead of beef and store-bought coleslaw, I used leftover pulled pork and the Crunchy Asian Slaw from that same Molly Yeh book. I’m pretty sure you could fill these eggrolls with any combo of meat and cabbage-y thing and be successful. And yes, the eggroll wrappers and flour tortillas, but are still completely satifying.

baked eggrolls on a pan

Clean-out-the-fridge fried rice. This last-night-of-vacay dinner consisted of rice, pulled pork, minced up smoked chicken wing skin and meat, minced smoked rib meat, diced leftover roasted cauliflower, potatoes, and brussles sprouts, leftover coleslaw, and some croutons made from leftover brioche buns. Essentially, a masterpiece of leftovers.

fried rice in a pan

I’m terribly sad vacay is over. But, a good smoked almond romesco sauce recipe can help me move on.

Print

Smoked Almond Romesco Sauce

Brazilian steak, rice, and beans on two plates

A smoky, tangy sauce to serve with steak, grilled tuna, or as a spread on sandwiches.

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 C salted, smoked almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 2 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey + more to taste
  • 2 TBS olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the first nine ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary — sometimes, depending on how sweet the roasted red peppers are, I like to add an additional squeeze of honey.

Keywords: quick romesco sauce, easy romesco sauce, almond romesco sauce, smoked almond recipe