Sunday, June 16, 2013

Open-Faced Salmon Sandwiches with Sweet Mustard Sauce


Salmon is so deceivingly easy to cook, healthy, and delicious ... so I make it fairly often. Now if only we could get a good seafood market in Greenpoint. One day ...

The sweet mustard sauce on this would make for a good salad dressing as well.

Serves 4

Open-Faced Salmon Sandwich with Sweet Mustard Sauce
Adapted from: Serious Eats

Ingredients

1 lb salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
4 thick slices crusty bread, brushed with olive oil
1 egg, hard boiled and sliced
1 avocado, cut into slices
1 tomato, sliced thinly
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 handful mixed greens
1 1/2 teaspoon capers
2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing salmon and bread
Kosher salt and pepper

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together Dijon, honey, olive oil, and the juice of one of the limes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat the broiler. Brush each side of the salmon fillets with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Broil, skin side down, until just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

3. While the salmon is cooking, toss the onions and tomatoes in the sweet mustard sauce to coat and spread them in a broiler safe dish. Add the bread slices to the dish and broil until the vegetables are just tender and until the bread is golden.

4. Arrange some mixed greens on top of each slice of bread and then to each sandwich, add a salmon fillet, onions, tomato, avocado, egg slices, capers, and the juice of the second lime. Drizzle remaining sweet mustard sauce over each sandwich. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Croxetti (or Corzetti) with Green Ricotta


I snuck out of work early a few Fridays ago to go to the Croc's store in SoHo where Mario Batali was signing his cookbook Molto Batali. I didn't know what to say to him besides "thank you for Eataly," which I meant. He signed my cookbook and I went on my merry way to buy new running shoes, which I knew I'd need after cooking through this book.

There are a ton of delicious looking recipes in the cookbook, all family style, and this is the first one that caught my eye because I love greens in pasta and also pesto, which this resembles. I did a bike tour of half of Manhattan looking for croxetti pasta the next morning and eventually found it at (duh) Eataly.

This recipe taught me the importance of having a very large pasta pot for cooking large portions; my pasta stuck together in my small(ish) pot quite a bit.

Note: Serves 8-10 as a first course, 6 as a main. You can easily cut this recipe in half.

Croxetti with Green Ricotta
From: Mario Batali (Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals From My Home to Yours) 

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds croxetti pasta (also called corzetti)
1 pound baby spinach, trimmed
1 cup fresh ricotta
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Set up an ice bath nearby for the spinach.

2. When the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the spinach in the water and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain the spinach and submerge it in the ice bath. When the spinach cools, drain it in a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible.

3. Transfer the spinach to a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the ricotta, goat cheese, nutmeg and 1/2 of the pecorino. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture from the food processor and keep in a large bowl (to mix with the pasta).

4. In a large pasta pot, bring 8 quarts of water to boil, then add 2 tablespoons salt. When boiling, add the croxetti and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructs. Just before the pasta is ready, use a ladle to remove a 1/2 cup of pasta water; add this water to the ricotta mixture. Drain the pasta and toss with the ricotta mixture until the pasta is nicely coated. Top with remaining pecorino and add salt and pepper to taste.



Croxetti are "Ligurian hand-stamped pasta coins."



Mario Batali at the Croc's store and my signed book: "peace thru pasta!" Amen to that.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Raspberry Walnut Tart


This was very delicious and nicely balances sweetness and tartness, though next time I might try to reduce the sugar somewhat. The recipe takes a bit of time with all the baking and cooling, so it's a good dessert to make when you have other things to do around the house. 

Raspberry Walnut Tart
Adapted from: Simply Recipes

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

Filling

3/4 chopped walnuts
10 ounces fresh raspberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. For the crust: lightly grease the inside of a 9 to 10-inch tart pan with butter. Combine the crust ingredients in a food processor until dough forms, about 30 seconds to a minute. Place the dough in the tart pan and use your fingers to spread out the dough and press evenly all over the inside of the tart pan. Free for one hour or longer.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pre-bake the crust for 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Spread the chopped walnuts evenly over the bottom of the crust and then spread the raspberries evenly over the walnuts.

3. In a small bowl, beat together the remaining filling ingredients - the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt - until smooth. Pour this mixture evenly over the raspberries and walnuts.

4. Bake in the middle rack of the oven (at 350 degrees) for 40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the filling is set. The center of the tart will still wiggle just a little. Take a sharp knife around the edge of the crust to separate it a little bit from the side of the tart pan (this will make it easier to remove slices). Let cool before serving.


Crust:



Raspberries:


With filling:


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Reduction


You can't go wrong with grilled cheese but you really can't go wrong with this grilled cheese. The balsamic gives it a tangy bite that nicely complements the gooey melted cheese, and it just doesn't get any better than that. The presence of brussels sprouts also makes you feel mildly less guilty for indulging in so much cholesterol.

This grilled cheese, as any other, goes nicely with some homemade tomato soup.

Note: Serves 4.

Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese
From: How Sweet It Is

Ingredients

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces sliced cheese (havarti or mozzarella work well)
8 slices whole grain bread
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Softened butter for spreading
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add shredded brussels sprouts and toss with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until wilted and slightly golden, stirring occasionally, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.

2. Make the reduction:  Add the balsamic vinegar to a small skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vinegar reduces by half and is slightly syrupy. Set aside.

3. Butter the outsides of each slice of bread and layer the sandwiches with cheese, shredded sprouts, a good drizzle of the balsamic reduction, and another layer of cheese. Top with bread, buttered side up.

4. Heat the same skillet you used for the sprouts and cook each side of the bread until golden and the cheese is melted (it helps to press lightly on the top of the sandwich with a spatula).


Fo' drizzle:


Friday, February 22, 2013

Basil Vinaigrette

The show must go on while I repair the image-less posts, so here goes ...


The people I babysit for generously brought me a delicious salad one night when I came over. This is big for me because I'm not a huge salad person. It was mixed greens with quinoa, avocado, and melon with a basil vinaigrette. I've been imitating this salad for my work lunches and varying the salad ingredients, and the basil vinaigrette gives it a really nice bite.

Basil Vinaigrette
Adapted from: Simply Recipes

Ingredients

2/3 cup chopped basil leaves
1 shallot
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 olive oil
1 teaspon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar

1. In a food processor, combine the shallot, basil leaves, mustard, salt, and sugar and pulse several times to combine. Scrape down the sides of the processor, add the vinegar, and pulse again.

2. Gradually add in the olive oil (if you have the opening in your food processor, cover it with your hand while pulsing as mixture will splatter). Scrape the sides of the processor down again and pulse until everything is pureed. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Under Construction

My poor blog is broken at the moment. I accidentally deleted the corresponding photo album in Google + and it deleted all of the images from the blog. Google forums say there is no way to recover the photos, so I'll be going on a treasure hunt to find them on my computer and replace them. Tears.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto


This is a good side for chicken, or whatever else. The chive pesto is delicious.


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto
From: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped pine nuts of walnuts
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potato halves in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast potatoes about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

3. While the potatoes roast, combine 1/2 cup chives, parsley, nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse into finely chopped. Gradually add olive oil and pulse until it's incorporated. Transfer pesto to a small bowl and add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer potatoes to a platter and toss with half of the pesto. Top with extra chopped chives and serve with remaining pesto.