I promise i did not photoshop the color on this image. The risotto really is that shockingly pink! This recipe is only moderately tweaked from Gourmet.com. Even though I eat it often, this is my first time making risotto and I was nervous. Joe is a risotto master. Luckily the condo we are staying in on St.Simon’s Island has only nonstick pans, so i could be a little less attentive than at home.
- 3 medium beets (1 1/2 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
- 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz)
- 3 cups water
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups Arborio rice (14 oz)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, made with a vegetable peeler
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
- Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.
- When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- While beets are cooling, bring broth and water to a bare simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.
- Cook onion in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
- Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.
- Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes. (Reserve leftover broth.)
- Stir in beets, salt, and pepper (mixture will turn bright pink) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Thin as necessary with some of leftover broth, then stir in cheese and remove from heat.
Joe is such an amazing cook!!! As soon as his exams were over last week, he started cooking for me every night. So far everything has been terrific. Last night was the first night that i finally got the camera out. We have been making plain semolina pasta with our beautiful new pasta machine quite a bit, but this was the first time we tried a new flavor. The recipe originally comes from The Silver Spoon – one of the greatest books of all time.
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 3/4 C 00 flour
- extra flour for dusting (plenty!)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- generous 1 C spinach, cooked, well drained, and chopped
- sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a counter.
- make a well in the center and add the eggs and spinach. using your fingers, gradually incorporate the flour, then knead for a few minutes (about 5). This is my favorite part.
- If the spinach is very damp, add more flour, a little at a time. Shape the dough into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes.
- roll out on a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a fairly thick sheet.
- The pasta may be used for lasagna, tagliatelle, tortellini and ravioli, but with enough flour works for fettuccine.
- After boiling for 3-4 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water, Joe finished the pasta in a saucepan of heated, red pepper-infused olive oil and grape tomatoes. A little Parmesan on top – perfect. ENJOY!
We have missed two ‘Pizza Friday’s’ in a row and couldn’t hold out one more before trying out our new cast iron pizza pan. My parents got us the pan for Christmas and this was the first time that we had gotten to use it. We have completely given up on pizza stones – after breaking only FOUR of them over the 2 1/2 years we have been married.
I just realized that the pizza looks like an amorphous blob – I will be sure to form the pizza myself this week.
Toppings: Sun dried tomatoes, olives, lots of onions, and mozzarella cheese.
Crust recipe to come…
Joe gets all the credit for this fantastic meal. All I did was drive my wonderful husband crazy by taking pictures the whole time. He asked me a few days ago what i wanted him to cook for my birthday dinner, and I responded completely out of character and requested his french onion soup. It has become one of Joe’s specialties over the past couple years, but my memories of the soup date back to early childhood. For special dinners when I was little, my family would go to a restaurant called Checkers – what is now the Kitchen Table Bistro – in Richmond, VT. Now every time i eat the soup, I picture the cozy inside of that old restaurant.
Joe’s french onion soup recipe:
- 6T butter
- 2 T evoo
- 1 lb onions, sliced thin
- 1 t sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2T flour
- 2 1/2 C hot beef stock/ broth
- 4 T brandy
- 4 1/2 oz Gruyere cheese (expensive, but SOOOO worth it)
- salt and pepper to taste
Croutes (toasts on top)
- 8 slices of french bread, 1/2″ thick
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- Melt butter with the oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium high heat. Stir in the onions, sugar, salt and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20-30 min, until the onions are a rich, dark brown. Uncover and stir constantly so they do not burn.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and keep stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the stock/broth and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- To make the croutes preheat the broiler to high, and the oven to 400F (for later). Arrange the bread on a broiler rack and toast about 1-2 min on each side. Rub with garlic while the bread is still hot, and set aside.
- Stir the brandy into the soup and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into separate bowls, or ramekins and distribute the bread slices on top. Top each with 1/4 of the cheese and place the bowls in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is gold and bubbling.
And here is our salad:
- Spiced Walnuts (coriander, cumin, sugar, honey, and cayenne pepper)
- Blue Cheese
- Grape Tomatoes
Joe also made a batch of BEAUTIFUL carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo. The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, but substituting a little applesauce for the oil.
This was one of my first ‘specialties’. It is a really healthy soup and made with one of my all time favorite vegetables; butternut squash. Depending on how much you blend it, it can come out silky, creamy smooth or slightly chunky and brothy. Tonight I served it topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and with a side beet salad with a dill-garlic-yogurt dressing. AND a slice of Pane Siciliano – BBA Challenge #23 – blog post on that coming soon!
- 1 medium (2lb) butternut squash
- 2 small potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 32 oz. chicken broth or stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake at 375 F for 1 hour
- brown all veggies (including baked squash) in a large pot for 5 min.
- add stock/ broth and simmer for 40 min over low heat
- blend with immersion blender until smooth (or regular blender)
- add salt and pepper to taste and serve! (good with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt)
It REALLY feels like fall now here in Boston. It dawned on me today that i have been donning my fall wardrobe all week long!
Now that i am back to working hard, I am cooking quicker meals (when i do cook). Tonight was breakfast for dinner. These turned out to be the best pancakes that we have ever had.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1 C buttermilk and 1/2 C regular)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- Preheat oven to 250F. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Mix egg, milk, pumpkin puree, and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir dry ingredients into the large bowl, just until combined. You may want to add a bit more milk at this point. Mine was looking very thick so I added about 2 T.
- Pour 1/3 C batter a time into a buttered skillet over medium heat. Be careful while flipping these – they are fragile and have a tendency to wrinkle.
- Keep the finished pancakes warm in the preheated oven.
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: carrots, collard greens, ethiopian, lentils, potatoes, tomato, vegetarian
To celebrate my new job, Joe and i were going to go out for Ethiopian. After my first excursion to the grocery store since ‘the accident’ my ankle was not feeling very good. Plus the fact that it had been raining all day, made it tempting to stay home. So I decided to make it myself instead. Joe bought the Injera at a place called South End Food Emporium, just a few blocks from the Prudential Center in downtown Boston. It felt pretty good to get back in the kitchen. Now that I have a pretty demanding job, it’s hard to find the time to get into cooking during the week. Also, my ankle has healed to the point that i don’t mind standing in the kitchen for a while (especially if i get something as yummy as this afterward).
1. Yataklete Kilkil (Vegetable Stew)
- 6 new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ discs
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T chopped ginger
- 1 T niter kebbeh or butter
- 1 t ground cardamom (I used 6 whole pods)
- 1 C vegetable broth
- 1 t fenugreek
- 1 1/2 t tumeric
- combine carrots and potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add 2 t salt and bring to a boil. Boil the vegetables for 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Drain, set aside.
- Puree onion, ginger, and garlic in a blender or food processor.
- Add onion puree to pot with butter, fenugreek, and tumeric (or nitter kebbeh) and saute for 5 minutes (do not brown).
- Add cardamom pods (or ground) and stir a few minutes more. Add vegetables, 1 C broth, stir, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep on low heat while preparing the other dishes. This stew only gets better as it sits.
2. Yemiser W’et (Spicy Lentils)
- 1 C red lentils
- 3 C water
- 1 C onions, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1/4 C niter kebbeh (or 5 T butter)
- 2 T berbere (this is a tad spicy – but not as spicy as takeout)
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 T sweet paprika
- 2 C tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/4 C tomato paste
- 1 C vegetable broth
- 1 C grean peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 t fenugreek
- 1 t tumeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil and simmer lentils until soft – about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. This should yield approx. 3 C lentils.
- Meanwhile, saute garlic and onion in niter kebbeh or butter in a large saucepan until translucent, but not brown. If you are not using niter kebbeh, I advise adding 1 t fenugreek and 1 t tumeric to mimic the spiced butter.
- Add the spices and continue cooking for a couple minutes until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, paste, lentils, broth, and peas (if desired) to the saucepan and simmer (stirring every couple minutes to keep from sticking) until it is sufficiently thickened to eat with injera (about 30 minutes).
3. Gomen (Collard Greens)
- 2 big bunches collard greens
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 T niter kebbeh or 3 T butter (i’m sure they use about 6 T in restaurants)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- wash collards, drain, and trim stalks from leaves. chop the stalks into 1/4″ pieces and coarsely chop the leaves.
- saute garlic and onion in niter kebbeh (or butter + 1 t fenugreek + 1 t tumeric) until soft.
- Add the stalks to the pot and saute until softening, about 10 minutes. Then add the leaves and cook until soft and dark, about 20 minutes. Stir every couple minutes to keep from browning on the bottom.
I. Cannot. Sit. Still. I have become hypersensitive to my body since ‘the accident’, though Joe would tell you that i have always been this way. My bruised (?) ankle recovery rate thus far does not bode well for the marathon in three weeks. AAAHHH.
This was my first venture back into the kitchen since the accident. Maybe I went a little crazy, but I had a good time. As a note, the pumpkin photographed immediately below is not done. It needed another 15 minutes after this shot was taken, but at that point I was ready to eat and not taking any more pictures. It was good! And the spiced pumpkin seeds I made after this were pretty tasty too! I served the soup with some wheat rosemary olive focaccia. See that recipe below.
Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin
- 1 5 lb. pumpkin, w/ stem
- 5 T butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 C fresh white breadcrumbs, toasted
- 1/2 t ground nutmeg
- 1/2 t ground sage
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 C grated swiss (all i had was cheddar) cheese
- 3 C chicken stock (I used bullion cubes)
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clean pumpkin inside and out, cutting a 4″ diameter hole for the lid. Set the seeds aside
- Melt 4 T butter in a medium skillet and saute onions for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and sage, and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese.
- Rub remaining 1 T butter (softened) on the inside of the pumpkin. Scoop onion mixture into the pumpkin, then fill with chicken stock to within 1/2″ of the rim. Add bay leaves.
- Bake pumpkin for 1 1/2 hours, or until outside is browning and pumpkin flesh is soft.
- Before serving, use a long handled metal spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin and mix the flesh in with the soup. Serve.
- 5 C flour (I used 2 C bread, 2 C all purpose, and 1 C whole wheat)
- 2 1/2 t yeast
- 1 2/3 C warm water
- 1/4 C olive oil
- dried rosemary
- 1/3 C chopped olives
- sea salt
- Stir together 1 2/3 C lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 C flour, 1/4 C oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed (woohoo!) until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Press dough evenly onto a spray oiled and salted (optional- but good) baking sheet. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Make shallow indentations in the dough with your fingertips. Gently brush or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, olives, and sea salt and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Although i have made other recipes that called for them, this is my first time actually using Japanese Panko breadcrumbs. They were fantastic!
The whole meal went very well together. The stir fried bok choy was soft and salty, and the panko ‘fried’ chicken was crunchy and spicy on the outside and moist and tender inside. The following recipe made enough for dinner and lunch for two of us.
Panko ‘Fried’ Chicken:
(adapted from Gourmet Magazine)
- 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1/2 t red pepper
- 1/4 t ground ginger
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/3 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1 whole chicken breast (equivalent to two conventional breasts + two tenderloins) rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 10 serving pieces
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Meanwhile, toss breadcrumbs with red pepper, ground ginger, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking pan.
- Mix together butter, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in a bowl. Coat chicken pieces with butter, dredge in breadcrumb mixture, then arrange on baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Stir Fried Bok Choy
- 2 heads of regular bok choy
- 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 2 slices ginger, julienne cut
- 3 T soy sauce
- 1 t sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 C water
- After thoroughly washing bok choy, separate stems from leaves. Cut the leaves across and the stems on diagonal.
- Heat oil over medium in large skillet. Add ginger slices and fry until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add bok choy stems, stir for a minute, then add the leaves. To save on dishes, I quickly mixed up the soy sauce, sugar, and salt while stir-frying the stalks.
- After adding the ‘sauce’, turn heat up to high and cook for a minute.
- Add water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: beets, carrot, leeks, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetarian
2 BEETS, 3 CARROTS, 8 GARLIC CLOVES, 1 LEEK, 1 ONION, 2 RED POTATOES, 2 SWEET POTATOES, and 6 CHERRY TOMATOES.
Did i forget anything? This was all i could find around the kitchen to roast tonight. I tossed the beets, potatoes, garlic, and carrots in a couple T evoo and some salt and pepper then popped em in the 475°F oven. After 12 minutes I added the onion and leek (and some rosemary). After 25 minutes more, i added the tomatoes and cooked 5 minutes more. I then sprinkled a little parmesan over the whole thing and gave it 3 final minutes… at that point after opening and closing my little oven door, i bet it was down around 425°F or less.
I served it over parmesan couscous with a side salad.
This should be good fuel for our long runs tomorrow!