Monday, June 7, 2010

A buffet of Love

We are happy that today was a bit cooler and we could actually cook. Lets start out with finally taking a look at the most fabulous delicious ribs we had on Memorial Day.
We cooked them in the oven slow and low all day long and then placed them on the hot grill and slathered them in BBQ Sauce. They were falling off the bone, literally!

As I sit here I am having a hard time typing this because I ate so much today while cooking ~ of course we have to sample everything we make ;)

Today we made 5 dishes and chocolate chip cookies.

Happy Lemon Risotto

1. Bring your stock to a simmer (you’ll need ~2.5 cups for every cup of uncooked arborio rice). [Since I had some asparagus I wanted to use up, I just trimmed it and blanched it right in the stock for 2-3 minutes until tender crisp, then set it aside.]
2. Saute some finely diced onion and celery in olive oil until softened. Add the uncooked arborio rice to the pan and saute for several minutes until it starts looking less chalky and more translucent.
3. If you have some available, add a splash of white wine (1/2 cup or so) and let it completely absorb before starting to add the stock (if you don’t have any, you can skip it without sacrificing too much). Then, start adding the warm stock one ladle at a time, stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed between each addition. My Italian cooking guru Marcella Hazan says to start checking the rice for done-ness after about 20 minutes.
4. When you’re getting close to your preferred done-ness, add your goodies [in this case the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1.5 lemons, a handful of frozen peas which I didn't bother defrosting].
5. Off heat stir in a generous amount of grated parmeggiano and a little pat of butter if it strikes your fancy. Taste taste taste and correct your seasonings. [I scattered my blanched asparagus on top. For a little zip, I also garnished with some finely chopped chives, crispy fried sage leaves (nice for texture and takes the intensity way down), a little squeeze of lemon and drizzle of good olive oil.]

Chorizo and Beans
serves 8

2 tblsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 chorizo, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano leaves (or 4 sprigs fresh oregano)
1 tblsp brown sugar
3 x 400g cans white cannellini beans
1 tblsp red wine vinegar

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, chorizo and garlic, and cook for 8 minutes until the chorizo is brown and the onions are soft.
4. Add the tomatoes, paprika, chilli flakes, oregano and brown sugar. Stir to combine, then lower the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
5. Add the cannellini beans and heat through for 3 minutes.
6. Serve the chorizo and beans in a bowl, with crusty bread.

Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese

Kosher salt, to taste
1 bunch rapini (about 1 lb.),

 roughly chopped
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3⁄4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
12 oz. orecchiette
2 tbsp. lemon zest
4 oz. goat cheese, softened

1. Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add rapini and boil until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rapini to a large bowl of ice water; chill. Drain rapini, pat dry, and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add chile flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add rapini, toss, and remove pan from heat; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer pasta and lemon zest to reserved skillet over high heat. Toss to combine and season with salt. Divide pasta between bowls and add a dollop of goat cheese to each.

SERVES 2 – 4

Thai Beef Noodle Salad


* 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
* 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
* 3 tablespoons orange juice
* 3 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon peanut butter
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
* 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
* 1 cup fresh or frozen snow peas, thawed
* 1 cup julienned sweet red pepper
* 1 cup julienned zucchini
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
* 1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cooked and cut into thin strips
* 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


1. For dressing, combine the first 10 ingredients in a blender; cover and process until blended. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the broccoli, peas, red pepper, zucchini, celery and cooked beef. Add dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Puff Pastry Braid

1 sheet puff pastry
8oz. cream cheese
touch of mustard
1 cup chopped up ham
1/2 cup peas

Melt cream cheese in sauce pan add in ham and peas

once melted place in middle of puff pastry and braid ( see photos)

We will go to bed with full bellies tonight and about 5 extra pounds.

Please do not mind the placement of our pics ~ we can not control how this happens :(

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