Monday, April 26, 2010

Ruth Reichl Cancelled

Her Boulder book store and Denver Tattered Cover readings are cancelled. Apparently she broke her foot. Now I have no excuse to not go to the Cub Scout Pack meeting. :-(

Another Reason to Love Asparagus

Eat Asparagus to Prevent a Hangover

My favorite way to eat asaparagus is to brush it with pesto and grill it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Orecchiette with Rapini, Sausage, and Garlic Crumbs

Orecchiette with Rapini, Sausage, and Garlic Crumbs

This dish was a huge hit in our house!

I get a weekly delivery from Door to Door Organics, a company that delivers organic food to your house. It's kind of like a CSA, but of course, in the winter, you're not getting much local food. They do try to do local as much as possible. It's fun to try cooking with new vegetables. This last week I got rapini or broccoli rabe, which I've eaten but never cooked with before. I searched the internet and found this recipe, which is going to stay on our regular menu rotation.

For garlic crumbs:

2 cups fresh (not dry) breadcrumbs (made from approximately 5 slices bread)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil

For meat sauce:

4 sweet or mild Italian sausages, casings removed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1 bunch (about 1 lb. / 450 grams) blanched rapini, chopped into 2" pieces
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 (500 g) package orecchiette or penne

To make garlic crumbs:

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic and sauté on medium heat for about 20 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and stir until all crumbs are coated with oil.
Sauté crumbs on medium heat, watching carefully, until they turn brown and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Crumbs can be made in advance and kept in a dry, covered container.

To blanch the rapini:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil rapini for 4 minutes and drain. Plunge rapini immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.

To make meat sauce:

In a deep skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté on medium heat for about 25 seconds. Add sausage meat and break meat up with a spatula or spoon.
Cook sausage meat until browned and cooked through. Add blanched rapini to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes.
While meat is browning, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 2 Tablespoons of the cooking water.
Add drained pasta to the meat and rapini mixture and reserved pasta water. Stir together until all ingredients are evenly combined. Add garlic crumbs to pasta and toss to coat. Add a drizzle of olive oil if the pasta seems dry.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

This made quite a lot, so at first I added only half of the bread crumbs to half of the pasta. That way the breadcrumbs didn't get soggy for leftovers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken Sausage, Sweet Onion, and Fennel Pizza

This pizza was the bomb! Even my 6 year old loved it (we won't talk about the 8 year old, who didn't try it. But that was good because it left more for the rest of us). It also proved to my husband that fennel bulb tastes different than fennel seed--not so licorice-y. (See, honey? I'm always right.)

We served it with a nice salad and it made a perfect week night quick meal.

Chicken Sausage, Sweet Onion, and Fennel Pizza

3 ounces chicken apple sausage, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) prebaked pizza crust
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gouda cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.

3. Add oil to pan. Add onion, fennel, and salt; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

4. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese, and top evenly with sausage. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with chives. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Dish Here, A Dish There

Seared foie gras with fried bacon bread pudding and fig compote at Solera:


Crappy picture. Great dish.