Friday, February 28, 2014

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

Cooked Pasta (I used Cellentani)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 yellow bell pepper, chopped
8 large mushrooms, chopped
2 scallions, sliced
Bunch of asparagus, blanched then chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup of half and half
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt & Pepper
Splash of Sauvignon Blanc (optional but recommended*)
Squeeze of about half of a lemon, or by taste (optional but recommended*)
Shredded Cheddar & Jack cheese
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil on med-high until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Add the butter, cream, grated cheese, S & P. Stir until the cheese melts smoothly into the cream. Add a splash of the wine and the lemon. Stir and put the heat back on really, really low, just to heat thru being careful not to cause the cream to curdle. At this point, toss the sauce with the pasta in a casserole dish. Add the shredded cheese, put in the oven on very low - about 200 - just until the cheese melts. Garnish with grated Parm. Enjoy. Serves about 4-6

*I can always be counted on the have Sauvignon Blanc & lemons in my kitchen at all times :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Strascinate - Fettucine with Pancetta, Eggs, & Cream

I just saw that Joyce Goldstein is teaching a cooking class at The Cavallo Point Cooking School in Sausalito next month. I'd really love to go!! It reminded me that I have one of her first, if not the first, cookbook from 1989 called The Mediterranean Kitchen. I "inherited" it from my mother in law when she passed away eleven years ago. I've made many of these recipes before, but there are so many that I have yet to try. This is one of them.

"Ingredients:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt
  • 6 ounces fresh fettucine 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound uncooked pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated aged pecorino or Parmesan cheese
 Directions:

Whisk the eggs and cream together in a mixing bowl. You may add the lemon juice and nutmeg if you are planing to cook the pasta right away. If not, wait and add it later for the lemon juice thickens the cream.

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. add the pasta and cook until tender, about 2 minutes if the pasta is thin.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden but not crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a slightly warmed pasta bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl. Stir in the lemon and nutmeg into the egg mixture if you haven't done so already and add to the noodles. Add the pecorino and quickly toss to combine. Serve at once. This pasta does not like to sit around."

"This pasta is supposedly the fifteenth-century progenitor of spaghetti alla carbonara. It originated in the Umbrian town of Cascia and is usually prepared with a wide noodle, such as pappardelle or lasagne. Fresh fettuccine is more easily available, but, if you are in the mood to make your own pasta, roll away and cut the sheets by had or with a pastry or ravioli wheel.

The verb strascinare means to drag or pull along the ground. In this dish the eggs are supposed to drag on the noodles. But most people overcook the eggs and end up with a scrambled mess. As a safety precaution, we have added a bit of cream and lemon to the eggs to make the draffing strands of egg a little more elegant and tender. Occasionally, we embellish this pasta with a few cooked peas. While not authentic, it is tasty. Serves 2"

(recipe from The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nana's Jello Fruit Parfait

My brother texted me last week asking if I had my moms Jello Parfait recipe. I told him that there is no recipe; she saw it on the back of a Cool Whip container and the rest was history. Every Thanksgiving after that, it was always on our dinner table. I, however, was never a fan of the stuff. Too, too, sweet. You will notice that I rarely post dessert recipes. But really,  I do need to start doing that. Anyway, for my posterity, here is my moms Jello Parfait "recipe".

Ingredients:

1 large 16oz container Cool Whip
1 jello packet - flavor of your choice - strawberry or orange are good ones
1 can of fruit cocktail, or any canned fruit, or fresh sliced fruit of your choice: strawberries, blueberries, pears, bananas, etc.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill. Serve.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Steakhouse Salad

Steakhouse Salad: romaine, iceberg, spinach, red onion, red bell, tomato, avocado, Pt. Reyes Bleu, & hanger steak that was marinated for 2 hours in soy sauce, red chili flake oil, garlic & rice wine vinegar. The dressing is Lawrys Vintage Steakhouse Salad Dressing. Yum.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

We went out for Easter Brunch to The Tavern at Lark Creek. We were so disappointed. :( Its so beautiful there, inside and out, but we were seated at a booth by the window...which sounds really nice, doesn't it? It was the absolute most uncomfortable table we've ever sat at before!! The table was too low...or the booth was too high...and the legs/feet of the table were just right in the way. I couldn't cross my legs, and I had to sit with the pole between my legs! Really, really uncomfortable, especially since I was wearing a dress. The food itself was fine. The service was extremely sloooowwww! We noticed that our waiter paid so much attention to the 6 top next to us, but just barely even acknowledged our presence unless we flagged him down, which wasn't an easy feat. Yes, they were busy, but really that wasn't the issue. I didn't get the impression that the kitchen was backed up. Our server didn't seem stressed, just really non-chalant. We were there for 2 solid hours, and for a Prix Fixe menu, it shouldn't have taken forever. What a bummer. I really wanted to love this place.

Moving on to a much more enjoyable experience. Easter dinner, prepared by my husband and myself - at home. I did some roasted asparagus with olive oil, garlic cloves, salt & pepper, roasted carrots with just olive oil, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. My husband made a New York Strip Roast (?!) that he studded with garlic cloves, and gravy (not pictured, for some reason). Everything turned out delicious. I think eating at restaurants on holidays is overrated. When will we learn?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup

I was going to make Baked Potato Soup for dinner last night, using my leftover potatoes from St. Patrick's Day. But then I burned the bacon. And I mean BURNT! A thought occurred to me: Maybe instead, I could make Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup with the rest of the leftovers, carrots, cabbage, & corned beef! It was very similar to Baked Potato Soup, but a very creative way to use my leftovers from St. Paddy's Day.