Friday, July 9, 2010

Bowtie Pasta with Tomatoes, Onions, and Spinach. Giving this a try tonight. Will report back.

White Gazpacho

White Gazpacho Recipe
The recipe calls for stale bread because this soup is an excellent use of old bread that is too hard to eat. Sometimes when we buy freshly baked bread we don't eat it all, and the leftovers get dry and hard within days. We keep the bread to make bread crumbs. So, this is what you would typically use. If you don't have any old bread lying around, you can use white bread, with the crusts removed. Use a good quality white bread, such as a French or Italian loaf.
2 cups of crustless stale bread, broken into pieces
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup slivered blanched almonds (must be blanched, the skins are bitter)
2 cups green seedless grapes, sliced in half
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-3 chopped garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you want the result to be)
2-3 Tbsp sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Chives for garnish
1 Heat the stock until it's steamy. Turn off the heat and add to the stock the broken up pieces of stale bread. Let cool.
2 Put the almonds, salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are pulverized. Add the soaked bread and any stock that was not absorbed by the bread into the food processor, then add the grapes and cucumbers. Pulse until the mixture is a rough purée.
3 Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and pulse a few seconds to combine. Taste and add the other tablespoon if it needs it – grapes can sometimes be acidic enough to leave out the final tablespoon of vinegar.
4 With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off the motor and taste the gazpacho. Add more salt if needed.
Chill before serving, garnish with chopped chives.
Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Tomato Fresh Pasta Sauce

Courtesy of my friend Faylynn Owen. I bought some beautiful local tomatoes yesterday. I'm gonna give this a try tonight.

Subject: tomato sauce
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch pieces,
1 clove garlic minced fine
1 small onion minced fine
8 large basil leaves chopped fine or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 dried
11/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
Place tomatoes in a bowl, add everything else and mix well. Serve sauce at room temp
I usually blanch the tomatoes in the water that I'm going to cook the pasta to make them easier to peel. This sauce can also be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Saw this in a mag a couple of years ago. Sort of like grilled Ceaesar if you use parmesan cheese.

!/2 Romaine head per diner

Shredded Parmesan cheese or crumbled blue cheese, whatever fits your mood

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

your home-made vinagrette (or something like Newman's oil and vinegar)
just keep the vinagrette simple.

fresh tarragon...this is key to spicing up your simple vinagrette

1. Make your vinagrette, add some chopped fresh tarragon. Set aside
2. Wash heads of Romaine, dry thoroughly, then slice in half lengthwise (discard any tough outer leaves)
3. brush cut side of the romaine head with olive oil. sprinkle with salt and pepper
4. heat grill to medium, an place the heads cut side down on the grill.
5. heat for approx 1 to 2 mins, or until the oil leaves a light scorching on the cut side of the romaine (lines of the grill show.)
6. remove from grill, serve cut side up. sprinkle a little lemon juice on the romaine. add your vinagrette and then the cheese of your choice. (if we use balsamic vinagrette blue cheese seems to taste a little better.

yummy. good with a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa or a nice Cotes du Rhone Blanc from southern France.

Romaine, Asparagus Tips, Tomato, Blue Cheese, Vinegarette

Romaine leaves pulled off one by one and washed, don't tear or chop.

Lay on plate, 3 or 4 leaves with 3 or 4 asparagus tips.

Find the best tomatoes you can find. It should be easy this time of year, slice and put on salad. A tablespoon of so of blue cheese per plate.

Cover with your favorite vinegarette dressing.