Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And So it Goes.....

the set up......

This whole blog thing started off well. Cooking, havin' fun. Then......well, like most things that I start, I got caught up with other things. Don't get me wrong, I have done three recipes since my last, I just haven't blogged about it.....oops. But here is my attempt to get back on the wagon in one fowl swoop.

It's a really good thing that the three recipes I have done in the last three weeks or so were the easiest recipes I have maybe ever done, maybe. So this should be quick.

Recipe #1: Bruschetta with Frisee, Proscuitto, and Mozzarella


18 diagonal slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head of curly endive or frisee leaves, separated into 2-inch strips
1 (7-ounce) ball fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 18 thin slices
18 paper-thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows


18 diagonal slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head of curly endive or frisee leaves, separated into 2-inch strips
1 (7-ounce) ball fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 18 thin slices
18 paper-thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the bread slices on 2 heavy large baking sheets. Brush 3 tablespoons of oil over the bread slices. Bake until the crostini are pale golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Wrap 1 curly endive and 1 slice of cheese with 1 slice of prosciutto, allowing the tops to extend 1-inch over 1 long side of the prosciutto. Arrange the crostini on a platter. Top each crostini with a prosciutto roll. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and serve.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups

what you need to know......

What is Frisee?

Basically Frisee is just another type of lettuce. But technically: French "frisée" (curly). "Lettuce" from the Latin "lactuca."An edible plant with long, wide leaves in shades of green or sometimes red, or simply edged with red. As its name suggests, frisée is a curly lettuce whose long tender leaves are joined to a short whitish stem which somewhat resembles the base of the fennel plant. It's lettuce, whatever.

the story......

So this is a recipe that I wanted to make for my closest Friends Christmas or Friendsmas as we like to call it. Basically, it's just a gathering of my closest four; Max, Sheena, Katie and Ali. We get together and eat really good food, drink anything alcohol, and exchange presents. I was all ready to make this recipe and couldn't wait to try it because it looked so so good.

So. It's the night before the party. My other dear, dear friend Marissa was in town from Seattle visiting so her and my other great girlfriends; Alex, Anne and Carissa, all head out to of all places Williams in Uptown. ISH. Just saying. But we went all the same. We all were just thinking it would be a really simple quiet night with the ladies and we would all head home early. Yea......that didn't happen. [When does that EVER happen?]

Cut to: Bar Close. Me wasted in the back of Anne's roommate [Jackie]'s car on our way to McDonald's. No worries. Got a save ride home. Ate my nasty junk food and went to bed. Oh. Did I forget to mention I didn't quite finish the double cheese burger? Yea.... so I set it on my night stand. The next morning I woke up, still a little drunk. "Ummmmm, morning burger." I thought. I reached over and ate the rest of the burger thinking nothing of it.

I went along with my day with a little hang over but nothing too bad. Got my groceries and started to make my recipe for the party. Something wasn't quite right. I, all of a sudden, was the sickest I have ever been in my entire life. You would think I'm exaggerating, but I assure you I'm not. Just ask Max, Katie, Sheena and Ali who all had to take care of me all night. It was offical, Nurse Ali confirmed it.............I had food poisoning. I was throwing up from 5pm to 3am.

Ish. McMorning Burger!!! NOOOO!!!

Needless to say, I didn't even get to try this recipe seeing as my head was in a toilet most of the night. So this one is a do over.

Lesson Learned......
Don't eat McMorning Burgers. Ever.

Recipe #2: Little Stars with Butter and Parmesan


Any small noodle
Parmesan Cheese

[seriously, that's it]


Boil water. Cook noodles. Add butter and Parmesan. [seriously, that's it]

what you need to know.......
Absolutely nothing.

the story.......

There is no story other than my dear friend Alex loves butter noodles so we decided to make this one from the book. It was the easiest and cheapest recipe I think I will make from the book. It was Delicious though. Try it sometime. Yum.

I did, however, decide that in good conscience I couldn't possibly eat just noodles, butter and cheese for dinner. So. I decided to make green beans with sauteed shallots [my recipe]. All you have to do is blanch [that just means you boil any vegetable in salted water for 3-8 mins depending, drain them and toss them into ice cold water so they stop cooking] the green beans. While they are cooking, I just sauteed one shallot in a pan over medium-high heat in some olive oil. Then, I added the green beans to the shallots for a couple mins. That's it. But it's so so damn good. Also, it went along with the pasta so well and made it a little more of a complete meal.

Recipe #3: Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese


1 cup dried orecchiette pasta
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), chopped
1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

In medium bowl, mix the salad greens with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and Parmesan. Top with warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and wilt the greens. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired, and serve.

what you need to know.....

What is Orecchiette?

It's basically just a shape of pasta. Technically: Orecchiette are a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, hence the name (orecchio, ear, orecchiette, little ears).

the story.....

My dear friend Anne chose this recipe. We hadn't seen each other in quite awhile so we decided to have a night of wine and food. Alex came as well and supplied us with amazing red and white wine, bread and some of the best dessert ever. it turns out Orecchiette is available to buy, it's just really hard to find. I blame the traffic. I was stuck on friggin' cross town for like an hour in dead lock and was so irritated by that and the whiny child I nannied for all day that when I didn't find the right shape of pasta and the first store I went to, I said "Screw it" and decided to used whatever I had at home. [Turned out to be plain old Rigatoni.]

This dish, like all the others I have so far made from Everyday Pasta was so super simple. Cook pasta. Put ingredients in bowl. Add cooked pasta. Chat with friends. Get a little loopy from the wine. Eat. Just the way I like it.

So. If you don't like goat cheese, or don't know if you do like goat cheese, I wouldn't recommend this dish. It is a very strong flavor, [that I happen to love love love] but some don't and that's the main things you taste in this. My hat came off for the Mediterranean Greens. I'm sold. If you like salads with a sturdier lettuce but still want flavor, Mediterranean greens are the way to go. And they stood up with the pasta really well.

All around it was a really nice, simply, flavorful dish that I can't wait to eat again.

in conclusion.....

So. There you have it. I'm all caught up. Finally. Hopefully this whole "Kecia is really lazy thing" won't happen again......but I'm not making any promises.

next up.....

Max's Birthday Dinner Party!! [unless I get bored before then]

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