Archive | March, 2011

Fettuccine with Peas Asparagus and Bacon

29 Mar

This one’s for all you pasta lovers out there (myself included). If you are looking for the ultimate comfort meal, this is it. It’s that time of year when the weather is changing every other day – one day you’re sitting outside drinking beers out of a growler, the next, you’re bundled up under the blankets in your living room wondering what you should order for delivery, because there’s no way you’re going grocery shopping in these frigid temperatures. So pick up these ingedients on a warmer day and make it when its -1000 degrees out a day later. Its the perfect “I’ve-had-such-a-long-day-and-I just-want-to-binge-on-comfort-food-but-I-should-really-eat-my-veggies” kind of meal.

I used bacon because I couldn’t get any pancetta that day, but you can use either one. I found the pea level in the original recipe to be a little high, so I’ve cut it down a bit for you in this recipe. I also cut out the cream from the original recipe to make it a bit less heavy. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Fettuccine with Peas Aspargus and Bacon

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

12 ounces fettuccine or penne

3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped

1 1/4 lbs asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces (cut diagonally for fatter asparagus)

1 1/2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched one minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup finely crated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, dark green parts of green onions, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

For Japan with Love

18 Mar

Fatty ‘Cue (PIG’S HEAD)

17 Mar

Hey guys!

I wanted to share with you some photos of my most recent trip to Fatty ‘Cue. My good friend Samantha of Krauted Haus was in town from Berlin last week, and, as a fellow foodie, she wanted to try as many places as possible that she had been missing out on since leaving NY. We went back and forth for awhile about whether to go to Fatty ‘Cue or Momofuku Noodle Bar, but, having had Ramen just two nights before (and also one night before for me…) we landed on Fatty ‘Cue.

For those of you who don’t know, Fatty ‘Cue is a restaurant in South Williamsburg that serves a cross between Southeast Asian and American Southern BBQ food. From their website:

“Our goal is to balance quivering fatty morsels of deliciousness with bright citrus notes, fiery chili heat, rich fermented and briny washes and complex, unrefined, natural sweetness. Or, in a less obtuse manner, fun, tasty food! Our two Ole Hickory smokers are the main cooking elements in the restaurant, even providing the bar with many of their condiments”.

I’m gonna have to start using the phrase “quivering fatty morsels of deliciousness” more often.

 

Please enjoy your Nice Chinese Food with Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history and culture.

The minute we sat down and glanced over the menu, Sam said, “Guys, I want to get the Pig’s Head. My friend said they give you rubber gloves and lots of bao buns”. Clearly, that’s all it took to convince us.

Now, Pig’s Head isn’t normally on the menu – you usually have to call ahead and reserve it. We asked him to check if they “had any pig heads just lying around” and our waiter (whose name I don’t think we caught but who was FABULOUS) went into the kitchen and returned with a smirk on his face telling us that indeed they DID have a pig’s head, and if we wanted it, it was ours. We immediately ordered it and they stuck it into the smoker for us. We ordered a couple of appetizers and some blue points, since we had a 45 minute wait. The appetizers we ordered were:

-Coriander Bacon

-Dragon Pullman Toast with a Side of Master Fat (yup.)

CORIANDER BACON. NOT THE BEST SHOT. I TOOK IT QUICKLY.

 

Ten minutes later, our server showed up to our table with round of  gingery shots and a Smoked Catfish Nam Prik – which is essentially a catfish “dip” or “salad” if you will, into which you dip pork rinds, carrots, ginger, etc. He told us it was his favorite dish on the menu and I can see why – the dip is smoky tasting with the texture of whitefish salad, and um, who doesn’t love pork rinds? Upon our waiter’s recommendation, we tried different combinations of pork rinds and veggies to dip it in, and it was amazing.

Ten minutes after we finished that…a bowl of ribs. Apparently we had become the hit of the kitchen, being a table of five 20 something females specifically requesting a pig’s head to eat. The ribs were obviously delicious. Better than you are imagining.

Finally the Pig’s Head arrived (but not before our latex gloves arrived) and I’m not going to go into detail (you have to try it yourself) but I’ll just say that its not for the faint of heart. You really have to “get in there” (phrase of the night) and find the meat. You have to be willing to just embrace the fact that you are eating a pig’s head. Blue Point helps.

All in all, it was a successful dinner out. Megan caught her hair on fire. Amanda had the chicken.

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

16 Mar

My interest was peaked in this dish when we first moved to Williamsburg and I ordered it from a restaurant called Beco in the neighborhood. I was of course thrilled that there would be a place nearby where I could get pao de queijo delivered. I ended up ordering what they call the mocequa on the menu, a hot stew of coconut milk, shrimp and tomato served over rice. Upon googling, I discovered that mocequa tends to have various kinds of fish in it, often white, sometimes other shellfish or calamari. I’ve never been one for mixed fish stews (though I could eat New England Clam Chowder for B,L,and D and believe me, I have), so I stuck with this Gourmet recipe for Brazilian shrimp stew, which seemed the most similar to the one I ate from Beco.

This recipe turned out to be a little more tomato-y than I would have liked. The next time I make it I will probably just add a whole can of cononut milk as opposed to just the one cup.

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

Adapted from Gourmet

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1/2 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 14-15 oz can diced tomatoes including juice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

5 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk ( I would use a whole can)

1 tablespoon dendê (palm) oil (available at Kalustyan’s)

Serve with: white rice

Toss shrimp with black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, and lemon juice and marinate, covered and chilled, 20 minutes.

Purée tomatoes with juice in a blender until smooth.

Cook onion and bell pepper in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cayenne, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato purée and simmer briskly, stirring, until mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil, then add shrimp mixture and cook, stirring, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in dendê oil and remaining 4 tablespoons cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Oatmeal Blueberry Pecan Muffins

10 Mar

When it comes to muffins, if theres a way I can make a couple substitutions to make them healthier, I will. I’ve experimented a lot with healthy cookies made with whole wheat flower, flaxseed, dried fruits and nuts, etc, but in the long run I prefer to keep my desserts desserts. Muffins are a different story. I think of them as being more of a breakfast food, not a dessert.(Although I certainly have never been opposed to smearing some cream cheese frosting over the top of my banana or carrot muffins. Or some powdered sugar. Or some chocolate.)

So when I was doing my weekly browsing of epicurious, adding ideas to my recipe box, and I came upon these, I was thrilled. They’re called “Oatmeal Muffins”, a misleading title because they are so much more than that. They’re really like a bowl of oatmeal in muffin form. They use no butter and very little flour, and considering those are usually the main ingredients in muffins, these are almost a different breed of food altogether. They’re also completely stuffed with blueberries and chopped pecans, both excellent toppings for oatmeal in its traditional form. And, they contain Wheat Germ, one of my favorite power foods. Wheat Germ is basically a concentrated version of essential nutrients: Vitamin E, Fatty acids, Zinc, Magnesium, and our favorite, Folic Acid. I know I’ve talked about folate before but if you need a refresher on all its health benefits you should read the Wiki page.

If you are making these in the summer, feel free to use fresh blueberries. Otherwise, go with frozen. Frozen blueberries will be perfectly ripe, even sized, and easy to deal with. Plus, you can use the leftovers to make Blueberry Acai bowls or smoothies, or just eat them straight out of the pack still frozen (one of my favorite late night snacks). You could also try different variations, and use a mixture of berries instead.

These make a great eat-breakfast-on-your-way-to-work food.

Oatmeal Blueberry Pecan Muffins

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 8 large or 18 standard muffins

Ingredients

Nonstick vegetable oil spray (or butter + flour, or whatever your chosen greasing method is)

2 1/3 cups quick oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons natural oat bran

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1/2 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 large muffin cups (1-cup capacity) or 18 standard muffin cups (1/3-cup capacity) with nonstick spray. Whisk oats and next 9 ingredients in large bowl. Add buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla; whisk to blend. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 28 minutes for large muffins and 20 minutes for standard muffins. Cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack; cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chicken Paillards with Clementine Salsa

8 Mar

I’m coming off the tail end of a long string of time in which I hardly cooked any chicken. I’ve been eating tons of seafood and  eating more red meat. (I, like most women, have a bit of an iron deficiency). This past fall I was cooking whole roast chickens like it was my job. I eat a lot of Mexican food (my friends love Mexican so much they instated a Mexican Saturday to the weekly schedule) and my Mexican food almost always contains chicken. Last summer I was all about fruity and mustardy skewars on the grill. Let’s be honest, I’m never gonna get sick of anything that’s on the grill, but the rest of the year is a bit different. I don’t know about you, but I find myself seeking out countless ways to make boneless skinless chicken breasts. Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic in a pan, orange-marinated in a stir fry, coconut and cumin-crusted in a taco,  you name it. A lot of people seem to be going the red meat-free direction these days, and although I’m not one of them, I know what its like to cook and eat a lot of chicken.

Let’s face it – chicken is boring. You can only eat salt and peppered strips on your salad so many days of the week before you start questioning if you should get tofu instead. This recipe is here to save the banal day. So get your manual meat tenderizers out and get ready to flatten some chicken.

Chicken Paillards with Clementine Salsa

From Bon Appetit

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

4 5-ounce chicken boneless skinless chicken breast halves

4 clementines, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quatered

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup finely diced celery

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 serrano chile, seeded, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup fresh clementine juice (from about 6 clementines)

Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets plastic wrap or parchment paper, spacing apart. Using mallet, pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Mix clementines and next 8 ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Salsa can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.

Uncover chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until slightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter. Add clementine juice to skillet; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Drizzle sauce over chicken. Spoon salsa over and serve.