Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Love Cauliflower

I love cauliflower raw, steamed, blanched, roasted, mashed, whole, ... you get the idea. 

Last night, my friend, Elaine, gave me the following recipe. I am not ashamed to say that I licked the bowl clean.

You will need:

2 T butter
A squirt or two of grape seed (or other vegetable oil)
1 small onion
1 head of cauliflower
1 handful pine nuts
1/2 a handful currants
Salt and Pepper

Add butter and oil to a pan. Dice a small onion and saute it until it starts to caramelize. 

While the onion is cooking, cut the cauliflower into very small pieces - saving the stems for another dish (like a stir-fry or to add to mashed potatoes).

Toast a good handful of pine nuts in a pan on the stove taking care not to burn them.

Add cauliflower to the onions and cook for a couple minutes.

Add pine nuts and half a handful of currants.

Cook until the cauliflower is slightly browned and tender but not mushy.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Runaway Birds

Another delicious dish I learned in Italy. The sage leaves make the chicken look like it has wings and might run away!
6 chicken breasts halves, pounded thin
6 slices prosciutto
6 slices pecorino cheese
6 slices pancetta
18 sage leaves
2 large, thin scrambled egg omelets cut in 6 pieces
2 T butter
3 T oil

Layer the following on top of the chicken breast:
Sage leaf
Piece of omelet
Slice of prosciutto
Slice of cheese

Roll up and wrap with a slice of pancetta.

Tie with string, tucking another sage leaf on each side of the rolled up bird.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and fry birds until cooked through. The outside should be a deep brown and crispy.

To serve, remove the string and cut in half.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lemon Turkey Soup

I made this today with turkey instead of chicken - for obvious reasons. It was fabulous. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coccolare - A Little Bit of Heaven

In Italian, Coccolare means "to cuddle." One of the most memorable foods I ate in Italy was called coccole, which my hosts told me means the same as coccolare.

Coccole is fried pizza dough sprinkled with salt. At the table, I was instructed to wrap the dough in the finest prosciutto and pop it into my mouth.

My taste buds were dancing. The dough was light and puffy with a little bit of a crunch on the outside. The prosciutto was paper thin but with a bold flavor.

I've been afraid to try it since I've been home for fear of it not living up to my memories. Maybe one of these days I'll give it a shot.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Plan and Organize

Two keys to a successful party -- Plan and Organize

I am having at least 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner -- with six on the "maybe" list. It's a little scary until it's  spelled out clearly in front of you.

More detail to come!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chickpea and Parsley Salad

My new favorite salad!

Drain and rinse 2 cans of chickpeas. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the zest of one lemon and the juice of 2 fresh lemons.
Press 3 cloves of garlic into the lemon juice.
Add a little salt and a good amount of pepper.
Chop about 1/2 bunch of parsley and 10 leaves of basil - add to bowl.
Add chickpeas.
Add two big handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese.
Drizzle with EVOO.
Toss. Enjoy!

This is best if it sits a few hours. I also sliced another lemon and added it as garnish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Berbere (Ethiopian Spice Mix)

I mentioned using berbere in my last post and thought I should include the recipe. I double the batch and store in a glass jar.

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/4 cup ground dried New Mexico chiles (or crushed red pepper)
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice