Monthly Archives: November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

from us to you!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Super Salad

Music: Try it On – Interpol

We made a super salad for dinner on Monday.  I had to share because, generally, I hate greens.  We’ve been really busy lately and its been more difficult to cook the elaborate meals we have in the past.  But, I swear, I’ve been craving this salad ever since we made it!

What you’ll need:
smoked salmon
toasted nori
yellow tomatoes
red tomatoes
red onions
avocado
cucumbers
arugula
oil and vinegar
salt and pepper

We just cut up the pieces and threw them into a beautiful bowl and dressed it with our best olive oil and vinegar.  Pretty simple and I can’t wait to make it again.

1 Comment

Filed under Appetizer, Greens, Salads

Madeleines – Sweet Thursday

Music: Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

I’ve always wanted to try Madelieines.  I always thought they were something too difficult to perfect in the home.  But thank goodness for my trusty guide through Parisian pastry, The Sweet Life of Paris (and a thank you to David Lebovitz for moving to France).  We recently purchased a Madeleine pan having always wanted one (does food that requires special tools intimidate you? – It intimidates me…).

There is a longstanding debate on whether or not to include baking powder in ones Madeleines (I did).  It has nothing to do with affecting the taste, just the appearance.  That signature “bump” is not necessarily historically accurate and when you speak with Frenchies, they might disagree about the bulbous shape an American Madeleine has taken on (I sense a social commentary brewing).  It is entirely up to you if you want a pregnant Madeleine.

We made these little treats for our Massachusetts road trip. I was shocked by how good they were straight out of the oven – so spongy and sweet.  Admittedly, they didn’t really taste the same a day later, but they were still good dipped in rich hot chocolate while sitting in a cozy 17th century home in New England (jealous?). Here are the sweet results!

What you’ll need:

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup  flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Melt butter in a small pot.

  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with sifted flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.

  • Let the rest of the butter cool to room temperature.
  • Using an electric or hand held mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 6 minutes until frothy and thickened (seriously, that long)

  • Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter.
  • Add the lemon zest to the room temperature butter, then teaspoon the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time.  Continue folding to incorporate the all butter.

  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  • This is kinda the tough part.  Remove Madeleine pan from freezer and add enough batter in the center of each indentation to fill it 3/4 of the way. Do not spread it.

  • Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown around the edges nearest the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

  • Eat immediately.

Leave a comment

Filed under cookbooks, Dessert, How to..., Kitchen Things, Sweet Thursday

Saffron and Sage Risotto with Butternut Squash

Music: Little Miss Queen of Darkness – The Kinks

Here we go! Back to Ina…and the fall.  Love me some butternut squash! This was a flavor bomb in my mouth.  To be honest, it might have been a little rich and, next time, I would take out half the butter. I’d also remove the bacon after it was cooked and add it back in at the end.

What you’ll need:

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces bacon, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 sprigs of fresh sage
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender.

  • Heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and saute the bacon and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.

  • Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.

  • Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.
  • Continue until the rice is cooked through about 30 minutes total.
  • Add sage and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix well and serve.

2 Comments

Filed under Butternut Squash, Pasta, Recipes