This week I asked what dishes have you wanted to make, but found yourself backing away with intimidation. The response: risotto and aspic.
I made my first Risotto for a guy I was dating, furthermore it was the first meal ever I was cooking for a boy I liked. This was waaaaay before I learned to do much in the kitchen. Scampi Risotto was my favorite meal a friend used to make and so with some peer pressure I decided to make this poor sweet man risotto. He is from the South of France so I didn’t even have the “American” palate to save me from any mistakes. Oy.
I will tell you, risotto takes a little practice, but once you get the feel for it, the patience, the mood for it it will be smooth sailing. My biggest advice: the first step of making risotto is to put on some “in the mood” music and pour yourself a glass of wine- no really, do this, this is the first step- this is the secret of success. Take your phone of the hook/ringer on silent. It’s just you and the mood for risotto.
As for the guy, he choked it down, bless him, and we went out a few more times. Another period in my life I would have appreciated more a wonderfully, great gentleman who was willing to choke down that crunchy riotto and still want to go out, but I was young.
To make a risotto choose short-grained round or semi-round rice like Arborio, Vialone Nano, and Carnaroli.
Most risotti are made from same basic steps:
*Begin by mincing a 1/4 cup of onion and any herbs the recipe calls for
*Saute onions/herbs in olive oil or unsalted butter, and when it has browned remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
*Stir in all the rice the recipe calls for and saute it too until it becomes translucent (this will take 7-10 minutes), stirring constantly to keep it from sticking.
*Return the sauteed seasonings to the pot and stir in a third of a cup of dry white that you have previously warmed (if it is cold you will shock the rice, which will flake on the outside and stay hard at the core).
*Once the wine has evaporated completely, add a ladle of simmering broth; stir in the next just before all the liquid is absorbed, because if the grains get too dry they will flake.
*Continue cooking, stirring and adding broth as the rice absorbs it, until the rice barely reaches the al dente stage.
*At this point stir in a tablespoon of butter and the grated cheese (if the recipe calls for it), cover the risotto, and turn off the flame. Let it sit, covered, for two to three minutes, and serve.
In honor of that date night with David, here is a recipe for
3 lbs. lg. shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried, crumbled tarragon
1/3 c. olive oil
3/4 c. dry white wine
1 1/2 cubes butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp. chives or green onions, minced
Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet. Place on medium-high heat; add garlic and stir 30 seconds.
Pour in wine, increase heat and reduce wine by 1/3. Add lemon juice and boil. Remove from heat. Swirl in butter 1 piece at a time, blending until creamy. Stir in parsley, chives and tarragon. Season with salt/pepper. Spoon sauce over shrimp and serve with risotto. Serves 4.
1 c. rice
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 tbsp. butter
2 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. warm dry white wine
In medium saucepan, cook 1/4 cup chopped onion in 4 tablespoons butter until tender. Remove onion, set aside. Add rice and a warmed 1/3 glass of dry white wine, stir constantly until translucent. Return onion to pot. Slowly add broth, adding a laddle at a time of broth, stirring, adding more as rice absorbs liquid. When all liquid has been absorbed stir in Parmesan.
I don’t have a date story for aspic, truth be told I have never made it, but I have eaten it. I decided to find some info for you as this is not a very common dish in the U.S.
(the following is from Wikipedia)
Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Similar dishes, made with commercial gelatin mixes instead of stock or consommé, are usually called gelatin salads.
When cooled, stock that is made from meat congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the meat. The stock can be clarified with egg whites, and then filled and flavored just before the aspic sets. Almost any type of food can be set into aspics. Most common are meat pieces, fruits, or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates so that the gel will not melt before being eaten. A meat jelly that includes cream is called a chaud-froid.
Nearly any type of meat can be used to make the gelatin: pork, beef, veal, chicken, turkey, or fish. Gelatin is also found in cartilage. The aspic may need additional gelatin in order to set properly. Veal stock provides a great deal of gelatin; in making stock, veal is often included with other meat for that reason. Fish consommés usually have too little natural gelatin, so the fish stock may be double-cooked or supplemented. Since fish gelatin melts at a lower temperature than gelatins of other meats, fish aspic is more delicate and melts more readily in the mouth.
In Poland(known as “galareta”), in Ukraine(known as “studinets”), Latvia (similarly known as “galerts”), in Russia (known as “kholodets”), in Serbia (known as “pihtije”), in Croatia (known as “hladetina”), in Hungary (known as “kocsonya”) in Romania (known as “piftie” or “rǎcituri”) in Sweden (known as “aladåb”) and in Finland (known as “aladobi”) aspic often takes the form of pork jelly, and it is popular around the Christmas and Easter Holidays. In Asia, among the Newars of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, buffalo meat jelly is a major component of the winter festivity gourmet. It is eaten in combination with fish aspic, which is made from dried fish and buffalo meat stock, soured, and contains a heavy mix of spices and condiments.
Ok, education over. Let’s get cooking Aspic:
4 – 6 fresh pork hocks
1 pound veal or dark chicken meat
1 bay leaf
1 celery stalk
1 carrot (optional)
1/2 envelope gelatin (optional)
salt to taste
Wash and dry pork hocks thoroughly. In a large kettle or Dutch oven, cover all meat with cold water and bring to boil. Skim off the froth. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer slowly for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls from the bones (If you are using chicken, it will be ready much sooner than the pork).
Strain stock, reserving carrot, and separate meat from bones. Place meat on a large platter and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, return stock and pork bones to saucepan and continue simmering until stock is reduced by half.
Set out a few small dishes to use as moulds and rinse out with very cold water. Slice the cooked carrots and sprinkle on the bottom, if desired, for some colour. Dice the completely cooled meats into 1/2 inch pieces, including pork skin, but remove any excess fat. Meat should fill bowls only about two-thirds full.
Remove stock from heat and strain to remove bones, etc. If you want the aspic to be very, very firm, dissolve the 1/2 envelope of gelatin into the stock, but normally it will gel well without adding gelatin. Cover the meat with the stock until the dishes are full. Store in the refrigerator overnight. Cover dishes with foil or plastic, if refrigerating longer than 8 – 12 hours.
To serve: using a knife, carefully loosen the aspic from the mould. Invert onto a serving platter, and slice to serve as needed. Serve with vinegar, mustard, and/or horseradish.
This week’s menu was a fan request for cheese, but she’s not a fan of brie, swiss, or goat cheese (some may have snuck it’s way in below). This is bittersweet because I LOOOOVE cheese and ever since we learned of my son’s dairy allergy cheese has been a food scarcely found in our house. If I do eat it, he’s usually asleep and I am making pleasure groaning noises listening for footsteps that will interupt my moment. So let’s get cheesy this week!
Sunday Short Rib Grilled Cheese
Monday Southwestern Tart
Tuesday Beet Ravioli with Poppyseed Butter
Wednesday Baked Penne
Thursday Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
Friday Cauliflower Souffle
Saturday Zuni Roll with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Short Rib Grilled Cheese
I would take some of the extra arugula and make a side salad to serve along side, just squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.
5 pounds beef short ribs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup low-salt beef broth
1/3 cup medium-dry Sherry
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 large fresh thyme sprig
1 tablespoon butter
2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 6 cups)
4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Butter, room temperature
16 slices country-style crusty white bread
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
4 cups baby arugula
For short ribs:
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook beef until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, Sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour.
Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig. Spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4 -to 1-inch pieces, trimming any fat. Return meat to pot.
Pickled caramelized onions:
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; cool.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper. Butter 8 bread slices; place 4 slices, buttered side down, on each prepared sheet. Divide short rib mixture among bread slices, about 1/2 cup for each. Divide cheese among sandwiches. Spoon about 1/4 cup onions over each sandwich. Place large handful of arugula atop onions. Top with remaining 8 bread slices. Spread bread with butter.
Heat griddle or 2 large skillets over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface. Cut each in half. Transfer to plates and serve.
Super easy, fast to make and adds a little spice to your Monday.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 7-to 8-ounce package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 7-ounce can diced mild green chiles
1 purchased frozen 9-inch-diameter deep-dish pie crust (do not thaw)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cover and cook until just tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Cool briefly.
Whisk cream, eggs, salt, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper in bowl to blend. Mix in cheese, chiles, and onion mixture. Pour filling into frozen crust.
Bake tart until golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes.
Beet Ravioli with Poppyseed Butter
This is a beautiful dish, with a WOW factor. Any leftovers throw in the freezer for a day when unexpected company comes for dinner or you just want a treat.
2 large red or golden beets
1/2 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
1 pkg wonton wrappers
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets individually in foil; place on baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Open foil carefully (steam will escape). Cool. Peel beets; finely grate into medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs.
Place small bowl of water next to work surface. Using to wonton wrappers per ravioli, spoon 1 teaspoon beet filling onto half of each round. Dip fingertip into water and dampen edge of 1 round. Fold dough over filling, pushing out as much air as possible and pressing edges firmly to seal. Transfer to prepared towels. Repeat with remaining rounds.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and stir in poppy seeds; keep warm. Working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with melted butter; toss to coat. Divide ravioli among 8 plates; sprinkle with Parmesan.
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, cored, cut into 1-inch florets
2 large heirloom tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups coarsely grated half Gruyère and half Fontina, divided
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
10 ounces penne
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using large sieve, transfer cauliflower to bowl. Add tomatoes to pot; cook 1 minute. Remove from water; peel and dice tomatoes. Reserve pot of water.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and green onions. Cook 1 minute to blend flavors. Remove from heat. Season with coarse salt and pepper.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Cook until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups Comté cheese; whisk until melted and sauce is smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan, then crème fraîche and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Return reserved pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return pasta to same pot. Stir in cauliflower mixture and sauce.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon in half of pasta mixture; sprinkle with 1/2 cup Comté cheese. Top with remaining pasta mixture and 1/2 cup Comté cheese. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Remove from heat; mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle crumbs over pasta.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pasta uncovered until heated through and bubbling, about 35 minutes.
Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
Cornmeal (for sprinkling)
1 1-pound package purchased pizza dough
2 cups (generous) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
6 small fresh figs, cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar, divided
8 thin slices prosciutto (from two 3-ounce packages)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle large rimless baking sheet generously with cornmeal. Roll out dough on floured work surface to 12×10-inch rectangle; transfer to prepared sheet. Sprinkle Gorgonzola over dough. Sprinkle with pepper. Place figs in medium bowl; drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar over. Set aside.
Bake pizza until crust is golden brown on bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately drape prosciutto slices over, covering pizza completely. Arrange fig slices atop prosciutto. Bake until figs are just heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer pizza to cutting board. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and oil in large bowl; add arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Mound salad atop pizza. Cut into pieces and serve.
Don’t be scared! Promise I will hold your hand! Tip: Don’t overbeat the egg whites
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/4 cups finely chopped cauliflower florets
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
White pepper to taste
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
1 stick salted butter
2-qt soufflé dish
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Generously butter soufflé dish, then sprinkle with cheese, knocking out excess.
Stir together cauliflower, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper to taste in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then cook, whisking, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add milk a little at a time, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking, then simmer, whisking, until quite thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in yolks, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir into cauliflower mixture.
Beat whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until they just hold stiff peaks (they should not look dry). Stir a heaping spoonful of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whites until just combined.
Gently spoon into soufflédish (leave at least 1 inches of space at top) and bake until golden brown and top appears set, 35 to 40 minutes.
Make Brown Butter:
Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden with a nutlike fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a rich caramel brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve souffle immediately, drizzling with warm brown butter.
Zuni Rolls with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
This dinner makes me think of a warm summer day in Boston sitting out at the Parrish Cafe having a Corona and enjoying a Zuni Roll with friends.
For chipotle sauce:
1 cup fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Ruby Port
1 drained canned whole chipotle chile in adobo
For Zuni rolls:
two 9- to 10-inch flour tortillas
2/3 cup coarsely grated Havarti (about 2 ounces)
1/4 pound thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
6 slices crisp-cooked bacon
Make chipotle sauce:
In a small saucepan combine sauce ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. In a blender or food processor puree sauce and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Make Zuni rolls:
Finely chop scallions. Arrange tortillas on a work surface and divide Havarti, turkey, bacon, and scallions evenly between them. Drizzle some chipotle sauce over filling and gently roll up tortillas.
In a lightly oiled skillet toast rolls, starting with seam sides down, over moderately high heat, turning them, until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes. Diagonally halve tortillas crosswise and serve remaining sauce separately.
We usually have a low key Valentine’s Day, some candy, some Valentine’s Day cards, and a homemade with love dinner. My husband did surprise me this year by putting cash into my card, I playfully accused him of tipping me like a floozy, but he said it was to buy my beekeeping supplies. Awwww. We never do gifts, so this was a nice surprise and so dinner was going to be dedicated to him. This year one of my beekeeping teachers gave me guanicale (pig cheek bacon) so I decided to make a carbonara, per Chef Jason Lord’s suggestion, and my husband’s favorite dessert, German Chocolate Cake. My dear friend CB shared her old family recipe for German Chocolate Cake, which the recipe will die with me, but let me just tell you I don’t like coconut and I loved this cake, so did my husband. The leftovers went with him to work today. CB is my very favorite baker, you should check out her blog, Yeast Coast Baking (it has a great name, right?) And she is my go to for all my baking questions.
The cake took up my afternoon, especially since my kid decided he didn’t want to take his afternoon nap. It was far from the most beautiful cake, this is what happens when a 3 year old helps, but like I said the taste was awesome and it was certainly made with love.
Sunday Pan Seared Tuna Steaks
with Ginger Shitake Cream Sauce
Monday Poblano and Mushroom Tacos
Tuesday Portobello Buffalo Burgers
with Celery Apple Slaw
Wednesday Warm Chantrelle Salad
with Speck and Poached Eggs
Thursday Carmelized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Soup
with Goat Cheese Croutons
Friday Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna
Saturday Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms
Pan Seared Tuna Steaks with Ginger Shitake Cream Sauce
4 6-ounce tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 200°F. Sprinkle 1 side of tuna steaks with pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear 2 minutes. Turn tuna over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for rare. Transfer tuna to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven.
Add butter, sliced green onions, cilantro, ginger and chopped garlic to same skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds. Add whipping cream and simmer until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Spoon sauce onto plates; arrange tuna atop sauce. Serve with a lime wedge and roasted fingerling potatoes.
Poblano and Mushroom Tacos
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 fresh poblano chile, halved, seeded, thinly sliced into long strips
1 small red onion, sliced
6 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 corn tortillas
8 thin slices Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Crumbled feta cheese
Assorted toppings (such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and hot sauce or salsa)
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano chile, red onion, and mushrooms; sauté mixture until brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in ground cumin. Season to taste with salt. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer, draping up sides of skillet to fit. Divide mushroom mixture among tortillas, mounding on only 1 side. Place slice of Monterey Jack cheese atop filling in each tortilla. Fold plain tortilla halves over filling and press firmly. Cook until tortillas are brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer tacos to plates. Open tacos; sprinkle with chopped cilantro, crumbled feta cheese, and toppings
Portobello Buffalo Burgers with Celery Apple Slaw
1 medium onion, chopped
10 ounces portobello mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground buffalo
2 celery ribs
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored (left unpeeled)
1 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon sugar
Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with 1/8-inch julienne blade
Accompaniment: 4 hamburger buns or kaiser rolls, split and toasted
Cook vegetables for burgers:
Pulse onion and mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add mushroom mixture, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and rounded 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown and liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to warm, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make slaw:
Cut celery and apple into 2-inch-long thin julienne with slicer.
Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add celery and apple, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes to develop flavors.
Finish and cook burgers:
Mix buffalo into cooled mushroom mixture with your hands until well combined. Form into 4 (4-inch) patties.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers, turning once, about 8 minutes total for medium-rare.
Serve burgers, topped with slaw, on buns.
Warm Chantrelle Salad with Speck and Poached Eggs
3/4 cup Vin Santo or Marsala
2 1/2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 shallots, finely chopped
3/4 cup walnut oil
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, divided
1 pound fresh chanterelles, cleaned, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 ounces 1/8-inch-thick slices Speck, rind trimmed
6 3/4-inch-thick slices ciabatta or pain rustique
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2 small heads of butter lettuce, coarsely torn (about 11 cups)
6 cups mâche or arugula (3 1/2 ounces)
To make dressing:
Boil Vin Santo/Marsala in small skillet until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, shallots, then oil. Transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
To make salad:
Preheat oven to 500°F. Combine 4 tablespoons oil and thyme in large bowl. Press 2 garlic cloves into oil with garlic press; whisk to blend. Add chanterelles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread mushroom mixture on sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
Cut Speck crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add Speck; sauté until crisp, 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Toast ciabatta slices until golden; rub with remaining garlic clove. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Halve each slice lengthwise.
Fill large skillet with water and bring to boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into custard cup, then slide egg from cup into water; reduce heat to low. Poach eggs until whites are set and yolks are softly set, 3 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss lettuce and mâche with enough vinaigrette to coat. Mound salad on 6 plates. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs from water, dab with paper towels to absorb excess liquid, and place atop salads. Garnish with mushrooms and Speck. Place ciabatta fingers around salad and serve immediately.
Carmelized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed, caps halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups canned vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine
18 1-inch-thick slices French-bread baguette, toasted
8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over high heat. Add onions and thyme; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until soft, about 12 minutes. Add Cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until onions are very tender, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Season soup with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.)
Preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, dividing equally. Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top with croutons and serve.
Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry vermouth
4 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 7 1/2 ounces)
1 9-ounce package oven-ready (no-boil) lasagna noodles
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushrooms release juices and begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add artichokes and vermouth. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For béchamel sauce:
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and lightly coats spoon, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.
Spread 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Top with enough noodles to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture over. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over. Top béchamel with 1/4 of mozzarella.
Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with enough noodles to cover. Repeat layering 3 more times, finishing with a layer of noodles, then remaining béchamel. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna covered with foil 1 hour (or 1 hour 15 minutes if chilled). Remove foil. Increase temperature to 450°F. Bake lasagna until golden on top, about 10 minutes longer.
Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms
2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder chops
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 cup water
Pat chops dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably deep) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown chops in 2 batches, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining 2 tablespoon oil to skillet and cook onion and mushrooms with rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. Return chops and any meat juices from plate to skillet. Add water and simmer, covered, until chops are tender, about 30 minutes.
This past summer we took a family vacation with my in-laws to Hilton Head, SC. We decided one night to head down to Savannah for dinner at Paula Deen’s The Lady & Sons Restaurant. You don’t make reservations to go here, but what they don’t tell you is you have to line up early in the morning to get a reservation for that night. We did not know this so when we showed up at 4:30 thinking we were going to be in a line to get reservations for that night they said they were full. My father in law being the magician that he is not only got us a reservation for 9:30, but later on got us in about an hour earlier.
My only hesitation about going to the Queen of Butter’s restaurant was, well, the butter. My son has a severe dairy allergy. I was loaded up with benadryl, epi-pens, inhalers and ready for the inevitable. Yes, this looks like irresponsible parenting- but he had already eaten dinner (remember our reservation was for 9:30) so we figured he could sip lemonade and eat some french fries or just fall asleep. Well, I am going to share a dirty little secret…they use soy margerine-that’s right DAIRY FREE! The whole buffet my kid could eat, except the mac and cheese. Off the menu except for items with cream he could eat.
|Bacon Wrapped Shrimp|
|Chicken Pot Pie|