kellianne: (Default)
I made the best braised greens ever the other night. I am enjoying the leftovers now, and they are even more amazing than they were at my little dinner party! I will share them with you:

1 Bunch of Collards or Kale (or mix them up!)
6 Cloves of Garlic - chopped fine (I realize this is a lot. Use less if you'd like!)
1 Onion - diced (I used half a large)
1/4lb Bacon and maybe some salami too
2 Cups of Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup of White Wine

Heat a pan over medium, add bacon. Cook until fat is rendered out and bacon is crispy (I put salami slices in the pan as well, because my bacon was super delicious and thick- but not very fatty). Remove bacon with slotted spoon (eat delicious crispy salami) and set aside. Add garlic and onion. Cook on low heat until soft- at least 10 minutes. Add greens and cook until wilted. Stir in chicken stock and wine- cook covered until desired consistency (I like to leave them a little crispy- which is probably why my left overs are so DELICIOUS). Finish with some chipolte pepper or perhaps smoked paprika.

YUM!

I served my greens over polenta. If you leave them soupy, they'd be perfect over brown rice. You can also take that lid off and let them reduce a little.

Greens are pretty much something I always want to eat since becoming pregnant. I suppose the situation could be a whole lot worse. I recently had my cholesterol checked, and it is perfection. I couldn't believe the results since I have such a fondness for bacon fat and butter... but it's true, thank goodness.
kellianne: (Default)
Man, this Papa al Pompodoro I made (thanks to Jenn's and Buster's help) wicked fast last night is AMAZING this afternoon. I made it in a way that differed from the way Buster and I were taught to make it in Florence, and I think it is just as good! I just ate some cold and it was good that way too. It's inspiring me to behave differently with my day old bread. Usually I buy big loaves and cut the loaves into quarters to store in the freezer for warming on other dinner nights. But I'm thinking that the possibilities are endless with bread soup. I could make it a million different ways.

Here's the recipe I based my soup on last night, from The Expatriate's Kitchen:

Bread and Tomato Soup )

I didn't have any parmesan around, but I drizzled it with a delicious Tuscan olive oil. I also used fresh basil instead of rosemary. I pretty much always use cayenne pepper in my soups, too.

I am really all about the idea of roasting veggies and meat before making into a soup. A client of mine was talking to me this week about how she roasts her turkey bones to make a delicious, rich soup. I was thinking last night that roasting the vegetables gave the Papa extra flavor, too. I didn't have to cook on my stove top for very long at all for the flavors to marry.

*Edit* I ate so much that my right shoulder hurts. Does anyone else have a shoulder that hurts when they eat too much? Now I had really better go to spinning class tonight. SPEAKING of spinning, I am quite suddenly addicted. It's the best cardio workout, ever. I might even buy a dorky pair of bike shorts, because that saddle is a doozy. Spinning class doesn't make my (rather injured) body creak or ache. It just makes me feel amazing. See you later, SAD.
kellianne: (Default)
It amazes me that I never cooked with Chanterelle mushrooms before. Frankly, I never even noticed them. Perhaps they aren't as present on the East Coast? They seem to be everywhere here in Seattle right now, and - according to sources on the internets - grow here in the PNW from September until February... though the guy at my vegetable stand told me that they usually only have them for 2 months a year.

Tonight I cooked a simple dish with 1/2 Chanterelle mushrooms and 1/2 Delicato squash (which is super tasty and easy to prepare- you don't have to cut off the skin), cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I mixed the mushrooms and squash with delicious Tuscan olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper, and roasted them (450) on a jelly roll tray for 12 minutes before transferring to a fresh tray to get rid of the liquid... and then I roasted them for a few minutes more. I wasn't sure something so simple would be amazing... but OH MAN, this one takes the cake for squash dishes this week. I can't wait to eat the left overs for lunch tomorrow. I may even have to have them for breakfast!

This Italy-inspired with PNW veggies experiment is going swimmingly! Chanterelles are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as eating out... or as buying fish at the market, for that matter.

(Our first 3 courses included radicchio with maple honey and gorgonzola, a salad with beautiful escarole, apples, and celery, and left over squash soup with toasted pecans.)

Radicchio

Nov. 1st, 2008 07:42 pm
kellianne: (Default)
I am obsessed with radicchio.

It started in Italy. This time of year, you can order a plate of freshly roasted vegetables, which is a habit I got into. There's nothing better than a roasted tomato, unless you're eating that roasted tomato with roasted eggplant and radicchio. Delicious and so simple. It's the radicchio that stands out for me lately. The bitter flavor goes so well with a lot of my favorite flavors. I'm roasting some right now with olive oil and thyme (how great is thyme?!) while I cook a thyme-y soup.

While things simmer and roast, I am eating the most delicious Asian pear. While it is delicious, I feel a little guilty about eating something that's grown so far away. I couldn't help myself... I am such a sucker for the fruits they slice and hand to me at the fruit stand and am buds with all the guys who work at my particular stand, so I get to taste many many delicious things... I do try to ask specifically for the local foods, but love Asian pears. So.

Speaking of things that have to travel long distances before reaching my dinner table, I brought a big bottle of olive oil back from Tuscany. Eating the olive oil in the Tuscany region was a huge revelation to me. I never thought olive oil could be so flavorful. The depth of flavor went further than the most expensive extra virgin olive oil I ever bought here at home. I asked the our tour guide, Valentina, why I had never seen such gorgeous oil here in the states. She replied, "I think we save all the good stuff for ourselves!"

Sadly, the bottle won't last me very long.

***

I was supposed to go out tonight to meet Grace and Nikoel, but, guys, I'm broken. I am terribly sorry, I don't have either of your numbers to let you know! I really want to be there, but am so exhausted. All I can do is cook soup and listen to drone-y spaced out music with pretty girl voices. I know that I am extra lame. I know that it's Grace's last night in town and that Grace and I always somehow miss each other... but we have had 3 long, emotional, and mostly drunken days at the Benson house and I need to take care of myself a little or risk being sick. I promise to one day make up for my absence by being really fun with each of you in the near future.

***

The house smells really really good.

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