Monday, October 26, 2009

Seared Scallops with Wine Butter and Roasted New Potatoes, Fennel, and Green Beans

First the veg--take little potatoes (I used red skins, but any small ones will be fine) and cut them into quarters. Then slice some fennel (I used half a bulb to about a dozen little tatoes, but you can use more or less to taste) and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put them in a 425 degree oven.
In the meantime, pick the stem end off the green beans. They get thrown in later, after the potatoes have started to brown. Roast until tender and fragrant (especially the fennel).
The pour the olive oil off the pan and add some white wine. Let it reduce until it is bubbling all over and is about half of what you started with. Add some butter and swirl until it incorporates and is bubbling in every area of the pan. Once it is, pour over the seared scallops. Add some chopped fennel for color.
Then plate the potato-fennel-green bean roast.
(Thanks to Mary McHugh for this combination about a thousand Thanksgivings ago!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Night Two

Warm Orzo Salad with Steamed Kale, Red Beans, Sliced chicken and Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette with Locatelli

Make the dressing first so that you can add it to the warm ingredients. They will soak up the dressing better that way.

In the bowl of a food processor (comes out creamy this way)
Vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic.
Add a couple of sundried tomatoes.
Whiz again.
Add olice oil.
One more whiz.

Combine steamed kale, cooked orzo, red beans and sliced chicken in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss. Add finely grated Locatelli.

Two Dinners

Night Number One

Chicken thighs with Miso-Sesame Barbecue Sauce
Kale sauteed with garlic, onions, vinegar and Tabasco
Jasmine Rice

For the barbecue sauce:
Any kind of miso (the one in the picture is particularly dark Korean miso)
light bodied vinegar (originally rice vinegar, but we didn't have any so I used red wine vinegar)
sugar (be generous--it's what makes the sauce kind of glazey)
sesame oil (dark)
sesame seeds (either white or black. I used both.)

For the kale:
Chop (I like to chiffonade, which makes ribbons) the kale and blanch or steam it until bright green and tender. Sautee the onions until soft, then add kale, and garlic. When you can smell the garlic, add a little vinegar and hot sauce to taste. Salt and black pepper.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ina Garten's French Apple Tart

This tart is very simple and is made of things you pretty much always have in the house: butter, butter, butter, sugar, and a little apricot jelly or jam.

For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water
For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Use for that Charmoula from Last Night

Orzo with Veggies and Charmoula

We love orzo! So silky and such a great size to let other ingredients shine. This is a summer room temp dish made with orzo that gets dressed with charmoula as soon as it comes out of the pot--the warm pasta will absorb flavor very nicely. The I added sauteed eggplant, yellow zucchini, green pepper, red onion, one long hot chili pepper, and diced tomatoes with garlic. Add the veg, then more charmoula. We are topping ours with grilled charmoula marinated shrimp, but it would be great without them and would be totally vegan.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Charmoula! Charmoula!

Charmoula is so good that I can't believe everyone doesn't eat it all the time. It is found in Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. It works kind of like pesto. Food processor: cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, chili paste, cumin,olive oil, salt and pepper. Absolutely the best substance ever. Great with veg, fish, chicken, sandwiches, beans. Heavenly.

Cool, Neat Way to Get Corn off the Cob

My friend Carol Arnold told me about this and it works really well with a bundt or angel food pan. The pan holds the cob and catches the corn.