Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recipe: Lamb Larb

We turned this into a salad

Lamb Larb
Bon Appetit Magazine, Feb 2017, p. 97
4.5 stars

This was a fast and healthy dish to make with a lot of complexity in flavor -- and yet with not many complex ingredients to prep.

Ingredients:  ground lamb, white rice, Bibb lettuce leaves, cucumber, mint, shallot, cilantro, garlic, red Thai chiles, lime juice, fish sauce, demerara sugar or dark brown sugar, lemongrass stalk, salted roasted peanuts, vegetable oil

  • Add red pepper to the lemongrass mix
  • I'm not a huge fan of peanuts in dishes so didn't top mine with peanuts
  • Add basil
  • Make extra fish sauce to top the dish
  • Add sriracha on top
  • Didn't have large enough leaves to make lettuce cups, so turned this into a salad!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Recipe: Chocolate Torta Soffice

Right out of the oven without the powdered
sugar and mascarpone whipped topping

Chocolate Torta Soffice
Food and Wine Magazine, May 2017, p. 107
3 stars as a regular chocolate cake;  4 stars as a chocolate tea cake

This is a chocolate tea cake, not very sweet and not suitable for a celebratory dessert.  However, as a tea cake or a non-so-sweet chocolate cake, it's good.

We had some ganache from another recipe I made;  topping the cake with the ganache, mascarpone whipped topping and a little ice cream was delicious.  We did not top it with the pistachios.

Ingredients:  flour, unsweetened cocoa, salted butter, baking powder, eggs, granulated sugar, whole milk, mascarpone, heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, chopped roasted unsalted pistachios

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recipe: Toasted Orecchiette with Veal Meatballs

Toasted Orecchiette with Veal Meatballs
Bon Appetit Magazine, Jan 2016, p. 11
4 stars

This recipe would be GREAT with some changes.

  • Definitely need to cook the bacon first to render off the fat!
  • The meatballs were not done after 20 min of cooking in the broth.  We ended up sauteing them in a pan.
  • Double the amount of kale next time.
  • There wasn't a need to fry the orecchiette -- I mean, it might have been good, but it wasn't necessary (saved the calories here).
  • Used ground beef instead of ground veal.
  • Used baby bellas instad of maitake mushrooms.
  • The recipe called for 8 garlic cloves.  We used 6 (afraid that it would be too garlicky which it wasn't), so will use all 8 next time.  

Ingredients:  smoked bacon, ground veal, ground pork, garlic cloves, onion, breadcrumbs, milk, broth, orecchiette, olive oil, maitake mushrooms, kale, Parmesan, ground coriander, red pepper flakes, allspice, hot smoked Spanish paprika, kosher salt, black pepper

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Recipe: Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower

Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower
Food and Wine Magazine, Nov 2016, p. 80
5 stars

This is my new favorite cauliflower dish!  TASTY, and I can't wait to eat the leftovers today.  I love the cheesiness of the dish along with the 'crunch' of the panko and cauliflower.

Ingredients:  cauliflower, medium shells, fresh sage, capers, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, grated Fontina cheese, fresh ricotta, panko, Italian Pecorino cheese, parsley, Kosher salt, pepper

  • Instead of capers, used peppadew peppers instead -- we like the flavor better
  • Used a little extra Fontina since we had more than was called for

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Recipe: Farro-and-Sausage Parmigiano

Food and Wine Magazine, Jan 2017, p. 48
4 stars

I was looking for a hearty dish that uses farro, and I found this recipe that I had saved from a few months ago.  What sold me on the dish was the addition of the Italian sausage and the fresh mozzarella on top.  You can't see the mozz in the image above (I topped it with a lot of panko), but it really 'made' the dish.  

This recipe isn't hard to make and didn't take long (we didn't cook the farro for 2.5 hours;  we have 30-min farro) so this is good for a healthy, weekday meal where you'll definitely have leftovers!

Ingredients:  farro, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, hot or sweet Italian sausage, scallions, yellow onion, garlic, panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh mozzarella, parsley, lemon zest, fresh oregano, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, white wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, black pepper

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Recipe: Lentil and Egg Stew

Lentil and Egg Stew
Bon Appetit Magazine, Feb 2017, p. 79
4 Stars

I thought we'd give this recipe a whirl as we had almost all of the ingredients listed -- plus the recipe photo in the magazine looked delicious!  However, this was one where I was skeptical of the recipe based on the ingredient listing and the name of the dish;  I was thinking this might turn out very bland (it's basically lentils and vegetables and no herbs), but it wasn't.  It was a nice, flavorful, healthy stew.  Just make sure to add enough salt and to cook it with the umami-laden Parmesan rind.

Ingredients:  lentils, onion, fennel bulb, carrots, garlic, tomato paste, Parmesan rind, spinach, eggs, red wine vinegar, grated Pecorino, olive oil, Kosher salt, bread for serving

  • Used grated Parmesan instead
  • Added celery since we had that in the fridge
  • Didn't fry the bread
  • Next time: Mixing in Andouille sausage would be a nice addition

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recipe: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Lots of Kale

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Lots of Kale
Bon Appetit Magazine, Feb 2017, p. 34
4.5 stars

For such a simple recipe, this was flavorful and is now a go-to weekday meal.  Nine ingredients and about 20 minutes is all you need.  I was a little skeptical (kale with spaghetti???), but it works!

Ingredients:  kale, garlic, spaghetti or bucatini, olive oil, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, black pepper, flaky sea salt

  • Used bucatini -- I consider it a "fun" pasta(!) since it's tubular/hollow
  • Make sure to use all the kale the recipe calls for;  like spinach, it shrinks down to nothing as it cooks

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recipe: Rise No.1 Souffles

Rise No.1 Souffles

A souffle = my favorite dish.  They're generally light, delicate and full of flavor -- and because of the multiple steps to make them (and the myth that they're hard to make), are special . . . kind of like French macarons.  Souffles are actually not hard to make; however, the recipes I've made have not cracked the code on how to keep the souffles from "falling" so fast.

Rise No.1 in Dallas, TX makes amazing souffles that are beautiful (perfect!) and don't fall.  They offer a souffle cookbook that I was going to purchase, but the reviews were, well, not great.  However, I searched online to see if I could find one of their recipes to test, and I found one:

Rise No.1's Jambon & Gruyere Souffle

The recipe was significantly different from others I've followed (the ratio of egg whites to eggs and the mixing process), but I decided to give it a try.  The recipe turned out wonderfully!  As you can see from the photos, the souffles rose, and they didn't fall right away!  I overfilled the ramekins a bit too much which is why the top of the souffle looks like it has shifted to the right.  The recipe from here on out is my go-to.  Give it a try along with the following accompaniments for the perfect dinner:

  • bread
  • salad made up of mixed greens, Granny Smith apple, bleu cheese, candied pecans and a light vinaigrette
  • glass of Pinot Noir 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Recipe: Grits Aligot

Shrimp and grits and salad

Look how thick and cheesy these grits are!

Grits Aligot
Bon Appetit Magazine, Sept 2016, p. 144
5 stars

The recipe is from Buxton Hall Barbecue, one of Bon Appetit's 10 Best New Restaurants of 2016.

This recipe should be called Cheese with Grits.  These are the richest, cheesiest grits we've made. . .  and we WILL make these again!  It's perfect with shrimp and a simple side salad.  Note:  This dish is not for those on a diet.  As blog contributor (or non-contributor now) the grandcruman said to me, "They're over the top!"

Ingredients:  coarse-grind grits, butter, heavy cream, mozzarella, Gruyere, extra-sharp cheddar, Kosher salt

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Recipe: Pappardelle with Summer Squash and Arugula-Walnut Pesto

Pappardelle with Summer Squash and Arugula-Walnut Pesto
Food and Wine Magazine, Aug 2015 p. 122
4 stars

I love when I find recipes that use up ingredients that we have on hand.  We had a bunch of basil leftover from another pesto dish that we made; and while this dish doesn't call for basil, we added it to the arugula pesto -- it was great!  This is a restaurant-worthy dish that we'll serve to guests in the future.  Great presentation (lovely ribbons of pappardelle and also zucchini) and a pasta/veggie dish all in one.  Plus, it's super simple to make.

Ingredients:  papparedelle, zucchini, arugula, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, lemon juice, Kosher salt, pepper

  • Added basil to the pesto