Friday, August 31, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
recipe from Giada De Laurentis, but used balsamic vinegar in place of the lemon juice (we've had a lot of lemony dishes lately and needed a change). The fresh tomatoes grown nearby and ripened on the vine really make the salad. The basil was also from our CSA farm and the fresh mozzarella is made in southern Wisconsin as well. There will be more tomato recipes coming in the following days.
Edit: When you follow the link, you'll see a platter filled with tomatoes of all sizes and large slices of mozzarella. Since I only had grape tomatoes, I used those and tossed them with cherry-sized fresh mozzarella balls that I halved. In a nutshell, use whatever tomatoes you have available.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Anyway, here is our delicious meal from fresco on Sunday night. For Restaurant Week, we each got to choose from one of three appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
prosciutto, summer vegetable butter sauce
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Salt and pepper
1 pound linguine pasta (I prefer fresh)
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or 4 tsp. dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon (or 4 tsp. dried)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp. dried)
2 cups chopped multicolored heirloom tomatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a serving bowl, add the crumbled goat cheese. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley, dill, tarragon and thyme. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta to the goat cheese. Pour the herb sauce on top, season with pepper and toss for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and toss gently for another minute; season with salt and pepper.
Friday, August 17, 2012
I liked that this recipe was simple, but I thought it was just a tad bit too simple, so I added a couple of garlic cloves and some dried thyme to the onions. Then it seemed just right.
Quick, Light French Onion Soup
slightly adapted from Serious Eats
2 cups dry white wine, such as Muscadet
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
4 slices crusty bread or baguette
2 cups (5 ounces) freshly grated Gruyere cheese
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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Sunday, August 12, 2012
Krupsua - Finnish Puff Pancake
1 c flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c sugar (optional)
2 c. milk
Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 (glass pan) or 375 (metal pan). Meanwhile, beat the eggs slightly. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in salt, sugar (if using), and milk. Take melted butter in pan from oven and spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Pour in batter. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until golden brown.
It's a very dense and eggy oven pancake that's great with fruit, syrup, or even just powdered sugar. We ate ours with vanilla yogurt and blueberries. The recipe is a favorite from our family friend, Suzie.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
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Monday, August 6, 2012
We've really enjoyed Pachamama's desserts before, though I've had varied luck. The first dessert I had there was my favorite dessert of all time: a dense yellow cake, drizzled with brown sugar sauce, topped with rhubarb compote, fromage blanc ice cream, and mint coulis. Nothing has ever been able to top that. I've ordered the molten brown sugar cake another time, and it just wasn't the same. Apparently they oscillate between my favorite cake and a drier, bundt-like cake with bits of brown sugar cooked in.
Anyway, I opted for the lemon creme blueberry-rhubarb napoleon. The lemon creme was incredibly fluffy and very tart. The almond tuile (basically almond brittle) was crispy and nutty and not-too-sweet. The house-made salted caramel almond ice cream was also delicious, but seemed to me like it was a separate dessert altogether. I'm still kicking myself for not ordering the dessert with the fromage blanc ice cream instead. In any case, it was good, but not my new favorite.
There you have it. Can you believe two people put all that food in their bodies in one evening? Well, we did, and we'd do it again. The creative seasonal menu ensures that there will always be something to pique our interest.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
When it comes to canning, I'm a bit lazy and a total cheapskate, so I have not made the leap and purchased a canner or canning tools. If you'd prefer the more traditional canning methods, there are fantastic tutorials online, but if you like to take a few shortcuts like me, I've given step-by-step directions for Sweet and Sour Dill Pickles here.
This recipe is from my husband's grandmother--I believe she got it from a friend of hers. It produces pickles (and onions too) that are like pickle-lover's candy, but plenty garlicky and dill-flavored as well. They're the best of both worlds. Being one of those wonderful old recipes passed from friend to friend, the amounts of ingredients are very, shall we say, flexible.
canning jars, lids, and bands (wide-mouthed jars have worked well for me)
onion, cut into chunks
garlic cloves (optional)
1 quart vinegar (white)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup salt
2 quarts water
First, prepare your cucumbers. I'm guessing I used about 2 pounds, but like I said, things are flexible. Cukes are getting to be a bit large by this point, but choose the smallest you can find. Most will need to be sliced into about 1-inch chunks.
If you're lucky enough to find some true baby cucumbers at this point, you won't have to cut them. However, this recipe does specify that you are to cut the cukes into chunks and I've never used the baby ones in the past. I'm not sure whether the babies will soak up as much brine as the sliced larger ones will. Try it anyway! Be adventurous with me!
I also love garlic in anything, so I also add one large or two small garlic cloves to each jar. Some people like to eat the pickled garlic straight up, but I haven't been so brave yet.
Wash and dry your jars thoroughly, even if they're right out of the package. This will ensure that your pickles are more sterile, and therefore should last longer. I made nine jars this year.
Next, place a few pieces of onion, a garlic clove or two, and a section of dill in the bottom of each jar. You'll need the bristly flower part of the fresh dill, not the feathery leaf part--if in doubt, look for "pickling dill" at your grocery store or farmer's market.
Add enough cucumbers, more onions, and more dill to the jar, leaving 1/2 inch headroom.
Seriously, don't skip the onions. They're delicious on brats, hot dogs, and hamburgers once they're all pickley and sweet.
Finally, you're ready for the stressful part. You'll need counter space for the jars and the hot pot of brine. You'll also need pot holders to set the pot on and to hold the hot jars while you screw the band on. It also helps to have two sets of hands ready. My husband sacrificed to assist me, as he hates pickles. In his words, he did it because he loves me.
Anyway, mix up the brine ingredients in a very large pot and heat until boiling. Ladle the hot brine in over the veggies, again leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace, but making sure everything's covered.
I fill and seal the jars one at a time. Before putting each seal and band on, wipe the edge of the jar clean. If there's any moisture on the edge, the seal may not take properly. Then, center the seal over the jar and screw the band over the top.
Phew! You're done! Let them sit out until all the lids have "popped". If the brine was hot enough, the lids should seal and will no longer pop when touched. Sometimes a slight touch to the lid will help along jars that haven't popped after several hours. Because the lids are sealed, you shouldn't need to refrigerate these pickles until after you've opened the jar. If by chance any of the jars do not seal, those do need to be kept in the refrigerator.
Please post a comment if something needs clarification. Happy pickling!