Tag Archives: parsley

Jumbo Shrimp in Cilantro Sauce (Camarones en Salsa Verde)

I Really Meant to Name This “Shrimp in Crack Sauce”

I live for the moments in life where a mere bite of a particular dish makes me giddy.  Stupid giddy.  Giggling to myself like a goddamn lunatic in between bites and watching my plate like a sentry making sure that no one tries to sneak a bite.  The first time that I tasted this deceptively simple dish of shrimp swimming in garlic, cream and herbs, I was actually depressed.  Not because it didn’t elicit the effect that I described above.  It was because my sister fucking ordered it, not me, and she felt as strongly about the shrimp as I did.  With a butter knife poised to stab me in the hand if I tried to steal a bite.  Ugh.  Dining FAIL. Continue reading Jumbo Shrimp in Cilantro Sauce (Camarones en Salsa Verde)

Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The March 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, aka Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

Love is a Thistly Warrior

Good things come to those who wait, and this month’s Daring Kitchen was proof of that fact.  When I think of my two favorite braised dishes, I crave fork-tender beef short ribs with crimini mushrooms that have greedily sucked up all of the surrounding juices, and braised chicken thighs with shallots, tarragon and cream. Both are stunning and ever-so-yummy, but are wintry treats perfect for curling up to replete with the roaring fire and snifter of cognac.  I wanted something appropriately light and savory for the warming weather here in Arizona, and our host of the month had a perfect suggestion.

On Carol’s list of recommended recipes, she listed Michael Chiarello (swoon!) and his Lemon Braised Artichokes.  I thought that it was simple and gorgeous and would pair perfectly with a pan of chicken piccata.  Turns out that the two were a match made in heaven, and I was treated to bites that sparkled with lemon, briny capers and tender chicken.  You’ve gotta love it when a good plan comes together! Continue reading Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes

Israeli Cucumber Salad

Cooler Than a Fucking…Well, You Know

This salad is too cool for school – it just stares you down like it’s the reason that your life is spectacular and you should adore it as such.  The recipe is wicked simple – just a little chopping and a light vinaigrette of olive oil and lemon juice to hold it all together.  It’s versatility, though, is the selling point – meaning that you can serve it with any and all things grilled or top it with feta or mix in some orzo and BAM BOOM, you’ve got yourself a new dish and a new recipe to save for the treasure trove.  Don’t thank me – thank the Olive Tree Cafe for the inspiration.  They hooked me on the stuff and I had to craft a similar recipe for myself. Continue reading Israeli Cucumber Salad

Simple Tabbouleh

Despite my undying love for New York City and all of its glories, I hate that sunshine there is at a premium.  With much of the year swathed in gray, there’s something endlessly appealing about the 364 days of sunshine that Phoenix has to offer.  I’ll probably never truly fit in here on the left coast (I’m an out-and-out East coast ex-pat, who bleeds 100% DC love when cut), but lemme just say that when Cali kids speak of their junkie-esque need for light on the regular, I kind of get it.  My move out here to the lawless desert has provided me with blissful sunshine and true blue skies that could cure the seasonally depressed in an instant, and I’m totally hooked.

Nothing speaks more to my adjustment to the bright perfection out here in AZ than my urges to whip up all sorts of cold salads.  From chilled pastas and crisp veggies sopping up vinaigrettes, to a simple toss of fresh berries, splashes of liquer and a chiffonade of mint, these chilled dishes keep my kitchen cool and my mood light.  Tabbouleh is a favorite of mine – this herby salad is a quick accompaniment to grilled meats, a homey companion on a mezze platter of hummus and olives, or a throw together potluck favorite that pairs up with any and everything on the buffet line.  Best of all, it’s a throw-together dish that is forgiving in terms of time – you can prep it ahead or even serve it right away.  Arabic for “little spicy,” tabbouleh is the marriage of tart, spicy, savory and sweet – all that you want for a cool summer supper. Continue reading Simple Tabbouleh

Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms

Foodbuzz 24 x 24 | An Ode to Orvieto

This recipe was a part of a special menu for Foodbuzz’s June 2011 food blogger party, 24×24. Showcasing posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. Read more about my meal along with all of the other recipes at An Ode to Orvieto.

No hyperbole employed, the first time that I ate this pasta, everything was illuminated.  My good buddy and a beautiful soul through and through, Lauren S., was a huge fan of this itty bitty restaurant in Orvieto called Mezza Luna.  While we all had our favorite lunch spots (mine was Al Pozzo Etrusco and their pappardelle con cinghiale), occasionally we’d branch out and hit up a friend’s spot of choice.  In a true moment of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” I ordered the same as Lauren – a simple green salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar, a bottle of Orvieto Classico, and a plate of the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.  The dish emerged from the kitchen, delicately sauced with butter and wine, brightened by a bit of parsley and just swimming with an abundance of the earthy mushrooms.  It was ridiculously simple home cooking, begging the question as to whether could replicate this lunchtime joy back stateside.  It was destiny that I would at least try.

The beauty if this pasta is that to get it right, you keep your flavors delicate.  True to the region (and diametrically opposed to most recipes for wild mushroom pasta), the mushrooms aren’t overshadowed by garlic or red pepper.  Simply tagliatelle, mushrooms, wine and butter, with a little chicken stock to gloss the strands of pasta into a heavenly state.  The pasta should definitely be fresh, but use whatever cut you’d like.  A fettucine width works well, but if you have fresh linguini or angel hair, they’ll be perfectly fine as stand-ins.  Also, I used dried porcini to keep an earthy flavor and the ability to cook this dish all year round.  However, if you can get your hands on fresh porcini (or even royal trumpets or ivory portobellos), by all means use them.

Recipe for

Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms

Ingredients
1.5 oz. of dried porcini mushrooms
2 1/2 c. of stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 lb. of fresh tagliatelle
1 tbs. of olive oil
1/4 c. of fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 c. of white wine
4 cloves of garlic
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 c. of the porcini liquid
4 tbs. of butter

Begin by adding the mushrooms to the 2 1/2 cups of stock.  Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  In a skillet, warm the olive oil over high heat.  Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and add them to the olive oil, along with the whole garlic cloves and bay leaves.  Add the wine and allow to reduce by half.  Add the 1 c. of stock and reduce by half.  Add the porcini soaking liquid and allow to simmer on medium-low.  Cook your pasta until al dente (about 3 minutes) and drain.  Add pasta to the mushroom sauce and plunk in the butter, tossing the pasta to form a glossy sauce.  If the pasta is a bit dry, add some more of the porcini soaking liquid.  Top with the parsley and serve with grated locatelli.

Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

Get Yer Char On

I have a wacky allergy to corn silk, but it doesn’t keep me from tucking into corn on the cob in the summertime. We always had ears of sweet, white corn boiled to perfection and perked up by sugar, salt and creamy butter. But a while back, when I was introduced to the joys of grilling corn instead of boiling it, I was an instant convert.  No need to steam up the house and the added loveliness of smoky char with the sweet corn goodness.  It was brilliant through and through.

On days that I’m not thinking ahead to grilling corn for the evening, I have my trick of getting around the usual 30 minutes of soaking in salt water and another 25 minutes grilling the corn.  I’ve got into the habit of microwaving the corn in the husk to pre-steam it before grilling, cutting the entire cooking time down to a meager 20 minutes tops.  You top the whole thing off with a delicious compound butter made of fresh basil, chives and parsley.  It’s one of those tricks for the arsenal when a bland barbecue chicken breast or ho hum hot dog is in your grilling future.  This life is too short to be bored with boiled corn.


Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

6 ears of corn
1 stick of butter
3/4 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of paprika
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/3 c. of basil leaves
1/8 c. of chopped chives
1/4 c. of parsley leaves

Begin by making your herb butter.  Put the salt, paprika, black pepper, basil and parsley in the food processor.  Chop finely and then add the butter and chives.  Blend to combine and then scrape out of the food processor with a spatula.  Chill.

Carefully pull back the husks, leaving the ends still attached.  Remove the silk and discard.  Put the husks back over the corn.  Place a wet paper towel in the microwave and top with two ears of corn.  Microwave for 2 minutes, turn over, and cook for another two minutes.  Set aside.  Repeat with the other ears of corn.

Heat your grill on high and place the ears of corn on top.  Grill for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until the husks char and the corn gets some gorgeous grill marks.  Let cool for a moment and then pull back the husks.  Slather the ears of corn with the herb butter and serve.

Middle Eastern Flatbread Pizza

Ok, hold your panties for this one folks (and sorry to all of my many friends who have a problem with the word “panties” – just pretend it didn’t happen).  This one is a middle east platter with flatbread for a plate.  You just eat away until you get to the table top and then lick it clean.  Kidding – use a plate, nasty.  But I do give you permission to lick the plate clean.  Fo sho.

This simple pizza is a riff off of the Lebanese treat, manaeesh, that’s like a pizza with ground meat and sumac.  If you haven’t tried ground sumac before, it’s certainly worth a go – it’s very slightly smoky and earthy, and can be used in lamb and beef dishes for absolute fabulousness.  Rather than marinara and sausage, you’ve got hummus and delicately spiced ground beef.  Mozzarella meets the melty craving and feta adds salty goodness.  Top it all off with cool, lemony tabouleh (which you can buy or make for yourself) and you are in business.  It’s ah-MAY-zing.  And oh so easy to prep for some random guests who decide to pop in.  Because you know those good friends of yours are total randoms.  It’s all good, though.  They always bring good booze, so certainly feed them for their generosity.

Recipe for

Middle Eastern Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sumac
pinch of allspice
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 c. of hummus
1/2 c. of tabouleh
2-3 tbs. of crumbled feta
1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese
2 large flatbreads (pita, naan or even 1 large piece of Afghan bread)

Begin by sauteeing the ground beef until no longer pink.  Drain and return pan to heat.  Mix in the salt, sumac, allspice, thyme and black pepper.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or use a pizza stone) and put your flatbread on top.  Spread the hummus on each of the flat breads and top with the ground beef.  Crumble the feta on top and sprinkle the mozzarella over that.  Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and let hang out for 3-4 minutes.  Sprinkle the tabouleh on top and cut into wedges.  Serve.

 

Kitchen Soundtrack

Fiddlehead Ferns with Gremolata

Fiddlehead Ferns with Gremolata © Photo by Angela GunderWhile many find themselves in the kitchen purely out of duty, I live for the moments of complete and total glory – the times where a new recipe, technique or ingredient inspire you to keep on plugging away at any new culinary quest you can get your hands on.  It’s like Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own.  And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”  Replace the shoes bit for a knife in your hand, and that pretty much sums up my quest for culinary majesty.

In planning the Feast of the Seven Boars, a lovely array of dishes with the aforementioned protein as the focus, my buddy Karen recommended we do something fun with the veggies.  Off to Marx Foods for inspiration and lo and behold, the Wild Produce Pack.  Bleedingly fresh ingredients that we’d never cooked before left us excited for a new adventure.  In addition to the miner’s lettuce and stinging nettles, we received a glorious treasure trove of fiddlehead ferns.  These little gems are an aesthetic delight – vibrant green and perfectly curled into delicate spirals.

We had learned that they tasted of asparagus and are often served with hollandaise, so in an homage to their taste-profile companion, we decided to follow one of my favorite preparations of asparagus – a quick saute with lemony gremolata.  It seemed apropos in that the addictive combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley and olive oil are as bright as springtime, and the fiddleheads themselves are a true indicator that spring is right around the corner.  How could we not all fall in love?

Recipe for

Fiddlehead Ferns with Gremolata

Ingredients
1 lb. of fiddlehead ferns, trimmed of black ends
1 cl. of garlic, minced
1 cup of loosely packed parsley leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp. of freshly cracked pepper
1 tbs. of olive oil
1 tbs. of butter
kosher salt

Begin by finely chopping the parsley leaves.  Add the lemon zest, pepper and olive oil and stir.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt.  Add the fiddlehead ferns and blanch quickly, for about a minute.  Drain well and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a skillet, melt the butter.  Add the fiddleheads and toss to warm through, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the gremolata and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.  Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Gremolata

The quest for the fall back side has one more contender in the running – this simple preparation of asparagus with a delicious italian condiment of the brightest flavor and texture is an absolute gem.  Even better than how it tastes is the work involved, or should I say lack thereof.  This is probably the simplest and most elegant side that you can put together, and should absolutely become a go-to recipe in your kitchen.

Gremolata is a lovely mixture of finely chopped parley, garlic and lemon.  It is most commonly used as a topping for osso buco (braised veal shanks) and other slow-cooked meat dishes that benefit from a lightening of flavor to round things out.  The key to gremolata is prepping it as you need it and using the freshest ingredients.  A simple toss with some asparagus and olive oil, this gremolata will bring the tender spears to a whole new level.

Gremolata is absolutely versatile – if you’re not a fan of asparagus, try it atop simple roasted string beans or tomatoes.  It also serves as a simple stir-in for minestrone and other savory soups.  Be creative and definitely take advantage of the fact that gremolata will give your one-note dishes a huge kick in the pants.  In a good way.

Recipe for

Asparagus with Gremolata

Ingredients
1 lb. of asparagus, rinsed and trimmed of tough ends
1 cl. of garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1 c. of loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/8 tsp. of freshly cracked pepper
2 tbs. of olive oil
kosher salt

Place asparagus in a shallow pan and fill with water to barely cover asparagus.  Heavily salt the water and bring water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil and the asparagus spears turn a bright green, remove them from the water and place them in a serving dish.

In a small bowl, mix the parsley, lemon zest, pepper, a small pinch of kosher salt and olive oil.  Pour over the hot asparagus spears and toss.  Serve.