Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leftover Brunch

Garlicky Kale
Toasted Baguette
Poached Egg on top of a Fried Mushroom Risotto Patty
-Leftovers are my greatest inspiration-

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Asiago Polenta alla Bolognese

That's what I'm calling it, anyway. Any genuine Italians out there wanna set me straight on what a Bolognese sauce is? Wikipedia describes it as "a meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese sauce is sometimes taken to be a tomato sauce but authentic recipes have only a small amount of tomato."

Browned a beef chuck roast and a pork tenderloin, removed the meat, cooked the rest of the stuff (secret), added tomato sauce, tomato paste and water, returned the meat to the pot and cooked for a couple hours. Removed the meat again, ground about 1/4 of it, then added it back to the sauce.

I made the sauce a week ago and froze half of it. We had spaghetti with the freshly made sauce, then I defrosted some and we liked it much better on polenta. Well worth the stirring time. Stirred a little Asiago in at the last stage of cooking.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Simple Soup and Bread Dinner

Parsnip Soup with Toasted Pecans and Feta
Asiago Cheese and Cracked Pepper Bread


* 4 tablespoons butter
* 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced
* 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
* 1 pound potatoes, peeled cut into 1 inch cubes
* 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 3 cups water
* 2/3 cup half and half
* 6 tablespoons pecans, toasted, chopped
* Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
* 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
* Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the leeks and sweat, stirring regularly for eight minutes or until softened. Stir in the potato and parsnips and cook for ten minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the vegetables don’t color.

Add the stock and water plus 1 tablespoon salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until potato and parsnip are tender. Remove from the heat.

Cool slightly, then blend with a stick blender (or in batches with a regular blender) until smooth. Stir in the cream and then taste. Add more salt if necessary. Reheat gently over low heat - don’t allow to boil or your cream will separate.

Just before serving, mix pecans with a small drizzle of oil to give them a nice gloss. Ladle soup into bowls and top with feta. Sprinkle over the pecans, add a grinding of black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Day Brunch

Steamin' Waffles. Mmm Mmm good!