Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day and a resolution

OK, I am back, and this time I am going to seriously try to a least record what I cook daily for the next 30 days.

Today is Saturday, so I'll start here (and not mention much the timpano I just made the other day, the wonderful panna cottas with a raspberry sauce, and so much more...)

Today I made dinner with a spring theme. I did a classic white risotto and it was fabulous, making me and my family wonder why I don't make this simple dish more often. I paired it with a salad of watermelon, feta and baby arugula dressed with a citrus ginger dressing and also some green beans with almonds toasted in butter. For dessert I made a blueberry pie with a twist! I covered it with butter cookie stars in 2 different sizes...

It was a lovely meal and not all that hard to put together. Then I made a quick brine for a chicken which I will smoke tomorrow and serve with some caprese skewers and corn on the cob and a simple salad. Oh, I also made a fruit salad encased in jello - but with unflavored gelatin and juice, I used strawberries and blueberries and attempted to layer it in a pretty mold. I'll see if I can actually unmold it tomorrow.


Basic White Risotto
(this is a great dish on its on and the basis for so many other risotto's)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 finely chopped shallot if you have one, or not
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup carnaroli rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbs additional butter

Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet. Saute onion, shallot and garlic over low heat for about 10 mins until soft but not at all browned. Stir in rice and coat each grain with oil. Add wine and stir until mostly evaporated. Add 1/2 cup hot stock and stir until almost all incorporated, continue until all stock is used and rice is creamy, stir firm but not hard. remove from heat and stir in parsley, cheese and additional butter. Serve immediately (risotto does not hold well)

Blueberry Pie with Star cut outs

  • Pie crust
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup instant (minute) tapioca
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup very cold butter cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs ice cold water

Preheat over to 400 F. Mix berries with tapioca, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Let sit 15 mins. Pour into crust and dot top with butter. Bake in 400 over for about 1 hour, use foil to cover edges if they start to brown too much. Let pie cool completely on wire rack.

Combine flour, sugar and a touch of salt in food processor. Cut in butter. Add water and process until dough forms a ball. Shape into a flattened circle and refrigerate 1 hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface and cut out stars in two sizes, 2 inches and 1 inch. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for about 1o mins or until edges start to turn golden. Cool on wire rack. Randomly arrange stars on top of cooled pie.

Watermelon, feta and Arugula Salad

Cut 1/8 of a seedless watermelon into 1 inch chunks. Combine with 8-12 oz of crumbled feta and about 6 cups of baby arugula. Mix 1/2 cup orange juice with 1 Tbs lemon juice and 1 tsp ginger juice. add 1 tbs honey. Using a whisk or shaking in a jar with a lid add 1/2 cup olive oil. Pour about half dressing over salad. Serve remainder on the side.

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