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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bacon Blue Cheese Dip

I love blue cheese.  So does Connie.  One of our favorite dishes is Chicken Elegante.  We still laugh over the fact that my ex, when served Chicken Elegante for dinner, got up from the table and fixed himself a pb and j.  Connie's taste, however, is so similar to mine as to be uncanny.  On one of our early dates, we went out for pizza.  I was gazing longingly at the description of one with gobs of anchovies.  He rather tentatively asked if I like anchovies.  Like???  I love the things.  The same is true of olives and capers and pickles and bacon and salami and ......  You get the idea.  There's not much we don't like.  When I saw this recipe with the bacon and the blue cheese, it had to go on the list for Judy's not-surprise birthday party.  Since it had to bake, it came out of the oven after most of the party guests had already gorged themselves on baked goat cheese, garlic shrimp toasts and all the goodies Carl (Judy's husband) had put out.  Consequently, we took about half home.  But, let me tell you, the half that was devoured got RAVE reviews!

On Sunday, I got home from the office just before kickoff of the Colts game.  There was no way I was going to miss that and spend the late afternoon and early evening in the kitchen.  I figured I'd give Connie some of the leftover dip to munch on and I'd fix something light later.  My bad.  I gave him the casserole dish and the bag of leftover baguette slices.  I took a little bit for myself with a few Triscuits.  Now, because I don't sit still during games, he watches in the living room and I watch in the family room.  That way I can use the computer, read the paper, clip recipes, pace...  and not disturb him.  The only time we meet in the middle - the entry hall - is when the Colts score.  At halftime I went in the living room and found an empty casserole dish.  I commented that he'd obviously just had dinner and such a healthy - NOT - dinner it was.  He was one happy camper!!!  I guess it's ok every once in a while to have something like that for dinner!! 

A couple of notes here.  This is much better warm than cold.  I upped the amount of walnuts considerably so they'd form a crust on top.  And, I used lowfat cream cheese and milk instead of the full fat and half and half.  It was still wonderful and decadent.  Many thanks to Rachel at Our Blissfully Delicious Life for this fantastic recipe. 

Bacon Blue Cheese Dip

7 bacon slices, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 8 oz packages cream cheese (I used lowfat)
1/3 c half and half or milk (I used 25 milk)
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
2 T chives
1/2 c walnuts, chopped and toasted

Brown the bacon in a medium skillet. 

Remove the bacon and drain it.  Briefly saute the garlic in the bacon drippings.  Remove the garlic.  Beat the cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the milk and continue beating.  Fold in the bacon, garlic, blue cheese and chives.  Spoon into an oven-proof baking dish. 

Top with the walnuts.  Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until the dip is bubbling.  Serve with very thin slices of baguette or crackers or flatbread. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I recently entered a contest on Foodbuzz where the prize is something from the folks who make Peppadew Peppers.  As I write this, I'm still eagerly awaiting my prize.  Eagerly is pretty much an understatement since these things are killer.  I'm not one for super hot and spicy.  You can keep your habaneros.  Nope, jalapeno is about as spicy as this gal ever gets.  How did I come to love Peppadews?  A couple of years ago before the big holiday party, I saw a container of a Peppadew dip at Sam's.  Now, I'm known for making all the food for this open house.  About 150 people.  30-40 appetizers.  I bought two so I could test one beforehand.  And, I served the other one.  Folks loved it as much as I did.  Then, of course, Sam's quit carrying it.  Time to create my own.  Fortunately, Frasiers had a couple of jars.  I bought them and started experimenting.  The dip turned out to be pretty similar to the original.  Piquant.  Not burn your tongue hot, but you still knew there was pepper in there.  A bit sweet.  Not cloying by any means.  Just that perfect mix of spicy, sweet, piquant. 

When I did the first read through of the Food and Wine magazine for the month's worth of F and W recipes, I saw a chicken thigh recipe with a lemon glaze.  I filed that under the sounds good category.  Then, when I read the recipes in depth and saw it had Peppadews in it, it immediately went on the make soon list. 

This dish was about as close to perfect as a dish gets.  The flavors were incredible even though I reduced the amount of butter by a bit and thickened the sauce with some cornstarch.  Connie had the leftovers for lunch and I snuck a bite and I've got to say this was equally good leftover.  The sauce would have been perfect with couscous.  An absolute make again!!!

Side note - in the mis en place photo I couldn't bear to crop the persimmons.  We put a tree in last year and this year I had 13 persimmons.  Not enough by a long shot to really do much.  But, I'll figure out something!

Chicken Scarpariello


4 small skinless, boneless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, halved and smashed
2 large rosemary sprigs
1 c chicken stock
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 c Peppadew peppers or other pickled peppers, sliced

Heat the oil in a small skillet until it's shimmering.  Dust the chicken with the flour, salt and pepper.  Saute the chicken in the oil over high heat.  It'll take about 10 minutes per side.  The chicken should be brown and crusty. 

Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for an additional three minutes. 

Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the rosemary and the garlic in the skillet.  Add the stock to the skillet and cook until reduced by half.  Scrape any fond up as you stir.  Add the lemon juice.  I added about a teaspoon of butter and an equal amount of cornstarch instead of the tablespoon of butter.  Or, you can throw caution to the wind and add the whole tablespoon!  Add the peppers. 

Stir until the sauce thickens.  Put the chicken back in the skillet and coat it with the sauce.    Cook for about 3 minutes. 

adapted from Food and Wine

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream

This is a VERY special occasion appetizer.  It's rich and wicked and incredibly wonderful.  One of those dishes that when you take the first bite your whole mouth aches.  I've made it for family get-togethers but not for the big party.  So, I thought I'd take it to Judy's birthday party and see what other folks thought.  Turns out they love it as much as we do!

San Giovese is a restaurant on the north side of Indy.  They've been through a couple of owners over the years.  Several of my favorite dishes have disappeared.  But, this dish has stayed the course.  Hopefully, you'll have the opportunity to try it and you'll see why. 

When Connie and I met there for our first date, we had a different appetizer.  Our second visit there, I talked him into trying the Goat Cheese.  He was hooked.  The waiter gave me a very important hint - add some goat cheese to the cream.  From there I was able to recreate the dish. 

If you've got leftovers, this makes a killer pasta sauce.  You may need to thin the cheese with some milk or half and half or if you're really throwing caution to the wind, more cream.  I typically add sauteed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and sauteed zucchini then use penne or rigatoni.  It's also a great sauce for pork or chicken - which you can put in the pasta sauce too.  Last, but not least, you can use this as a stuffing for pork or chicken.  Just tuck it into some prosciutto or ham. 

Unfortunately, thanks to forgetting our camera, we have no photos of the finished dish.  Suffice to say, it looks as decadent as it tastes!

Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream

1/2 c cream
2 sprigs rosemary
8 oz log goat cheese
1 roasted red pepper

On very low heat in a small saucepan, steep the rosemary in the cream. 

You want the cream to reduce but more than that you want the rosemary to infuse the cream with flavor. 

Cut off about 1/4" of each end of the goat cheese log. 

Put the goat cheese log into an ovenproof serving dish.  About 15 minutes before serving, cut half of the red pepper into strips.  Chop the rest of it.  Lay the strips across the top of the cheese.  Bake for 15 min at 350.  Strip the leaves off the rosemary and put them into the cream.  Dispose of the stem. 

Add the goat cheese log ends to the cream. 

Stir until the cheese dissolves.  Pour the warm cream around the goat cheese after removing it from the oven.  Serve with very thinly sliced baguette. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Judy's 50!!!

Judy's husband, Carl, is a super guy.  He carefully planned a surprise party for Judy's 50th.  Then, when a lot of the email addresses didn't work for Girls Night Out, he asked one of the other gals to forward his email.  She did. To everyone.  Including Judy.  Ok, so much for the surprise.  Watching the emails go back and forth was very amusing, actually.  I was just REALLY glad I wasn't the culprit!  Judy and Carl live on Fort Ben in one of the old officer's houses.  Many years ago, Fort Benjamin Harrison was shut down.  The redevelopment has been amazing.  It's been tremendous for the city because there's been a lot of new commerce out there.  The officer's houses are actually huge duplexes.  Judy and Carl have done an amazing job of renovating their house.  Now, the bonus for them is their neighbors.  Fantastic neighbors.  When they have their famous (infamous?) Halloween parties, the whole Girls Night Out crew is invited as are all their neighbors and some other assorted friends. Consequently, I knew that if I volunteered to bring some goodies to Judy's birthday party I'd have a great tasting group.  There were several recipes that I wanted to try out for our big open house in January.  I figured that I'd make a few and eliminate half and we'd have some newbies for our party. The best laid plans of mice and men.  There's only one I'd elminate.  And, I made SEVEN...

Kara's Garlic Shrimp Toasts
Bacon Blue Cheese Dip
Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps
Wing Eggrolls with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
Spicy Dough Knots with Onion Dipping Sauce
Caprese Skewers with Pesto
Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream

Here are some of the comments:

Kara's Garlic Shrimp Toasts - I should've toasted the bread and made the spread a bit spicier.  The shrimp were too limp.  Next time, buy better shrimp.  These are really good when made correctly.  But, as an appetizer for our open house, I think they'd get soggy too quickly.  And, it's never a good idea to have shrimp sitting out...  Keep this one for smaller parties.  This recipe is from my wonderful daughter-in-law, Kara.  Here's the link to my original post on this :  Garlic Shrimp Toasts.

Bacon Blue Cheese Dip - Connie's favorite.  In fact, a lot of folks really liked this one.  LOTS of blue cheese flavor.  Easy to make ahead then heat the evening of the open house.  This one is going on the menu.  This recipe is thanks to Sara at Easy Appetizers.

Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps - This takes a good bit of work for not many appetizers.  But, one guest said these'd rank right up there with chocolate.  I've got to agree.  But, then I prefer caramel to chocolate...  These will be on the smaller parties list since I need appetizers that I can make en masse without tons of effort per appetizer.  This recipe is also thanks to Sara at Easy Appetizers.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos of this recipe.  Here's the direct link to Sara's recipe:  Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps.

Wing Eggrolls with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce - I'm sad to say these disappeared at the party.  I'd have had the leftovers for breakfast.  And, lunch.  They were that good.  Absolutely my favorite newbie.  I've got to figure out a way to make them in smaller, bite-sized portions for the open house.  Connie finally cut the eggrolls in about 6 pieces each so they'd go further.  This recipe is from Rachel at Our Blissfully Delicious Life.

Spicy Dough Knots with Onion Sauce - This is the one I'm keeping off the list.  Maybe I used the wrong kind of pizza dough.  Or, maybe because we had two hours to make seven appetizers and this was the last one we made.  Whatever.  It was a pain in the tookus to make.  The taste was pretty good.  But, when I looked at the bowls and platters, this was clearly the one that folks liked the least.  The recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Sommer at A Spicy Perspective.  Because her recipes are typically spot-on, my guess is it's my error!

Caprese Skewers with Pesto - Easy!  Good!  I have no idea where I saw this idea.  I stored it in the back of my mind.  Then, when we got our bag of cherry tomatoes and I saw the hunk of mozzarella that needed to be used up, it came to the forefront.  These pretty much disappeared as soon as I set them out.  They're very easy to make ahead.  And, I'll make and freeze some pesto with the abundance of basil we have in the yard.  Perfect for the open house.  It'll seem like a little bit of summer in the winter!!  How to make them?  On each skewer you want a small mozzarella ball and a cherry or grape tomato.  Drizzle with pesto.  Here's the link to my friend Monica's fabulous pesto:
  Monica's Pesto.

Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream - This is a knockoff of an appetizer at one of my favorite restaurants - San Giovese.  Connie and I went there on our first date in 2004.  Since then, we've been back several times and have always had incredible food.  This is absolutely going on the party list.  It's super simple to make and people just swoon over the flavors. 

Rather than have one HUGE post, I'm going to publish the appetizers not covered here in another post(s)- with the exception of the dough knots, which you can get from Sommer's blog - along with a LOT of wonderful ideas!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Agave Negro - Fun with Blackberries Part Two

While both Connie and I are pretty adventurous eaters, in drinks we were pretty staid. He was mostly a beer drinker when we met and I (love my scotch) am mostly a wine drinker. In cooking however, I have found myself building up an inventory of liquors, brandy for this, bourbon for that. I’ve always had some specialty liqueurs in the house, but never really did much with them except for cook. Connie and I decided some time ago to have a cocktail night. Usually it’s Sunday around five o’clock. Before we dig into preparing dinner, and oftentimes preparing meals for the week, we sit down pick out a cocktail and relax.

It was only then that our tastes revealed themselves. We like mixing with fruits and herbs and some of the tastier, but less potent liqueurs. For example, take Chambord. What a lovely taste. It is sweet, but not sickeningly so. Just a great mixer. In today’s post it takes tequila, (which I like, but you’re not going to catch me doing shots with salt and lime) and takes the bite out. It is similar to the previous post about the Blackbird, yet the herb flavor isn’t there. Just fruit, with a substitute of the slightly more sugary taste of tequila in place of the gin. And then, of course, there is the Chambord.  It was actually our least favorite of the three blackberry cocktails.  Please don't let that deter you from trying it, it's still a very enjoyable drink. 

Agave Negro

6 Blackberries
2 lime wedges
3 ounces of Reposado tequila (we cheated here and used Jose Cuervo Especial)
1 ½ ounce fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounce Simple Syrup (2:1, as usual)
1 ounce Chambord
Club Soda to fill

Our limes generally yield around an ounce and a half of juice. So we carved around a quarter of the lime for the two wedges. This is, after all, more of an art than a science. If you don’t get it exactly perfect, I’ll never tell.

Carve your lime wedges. (2)
Skewer the lime wedges with one blackberry each.
Muddle the remaining blackberries in a cocktail shaker.

I have no idea what happens when you muddle inside a cocktail shaker. However Connie says he can feel a certain “pop” occasionally. He tells me that more is better than less (the principle law of economics). The blackberries seem to have a viscosity that is best broken by more muddling rather than less. I will leave this to him and the more scientific of our brethren than me. Until the scientific evidence is presented and peer evaluated I will stand by my husband's claim. CRUSH THE BERRIES!

Proceeding more calmly,

Add the ice, the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and the Chambord.
Shake well and pour into a rocks glass
Stir in the club soda

Have you gotten with the program yet?  Kiss the one you love and enjoy!

adapted from Food and Wine and Franklin Ferguson

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.

A Perfect Five!

As those of you who've been reading my blog for a while know, we rank our dishes.  Five is OMG, that's good, you can make it again tomorrow.  Four is that's really good.  Three is it's ok but needs some serious tweaking.  Two is throw the recipe away.  One's don't exist - at least in our house they don't!  I can't say I've ever fixed a solid FIVE meal.  Must've happened along the way somewhere but I don't remember it.  Now, I'm memorializing one so if I forget about it later, you all can remind me... 

One evening last week, I sat down at the table with all the recipes from The Dish that I'd printed out and all of the pages I'd torn from the October, 2010 issue of Food and Wine.  Over the next three weeks we'd be eating at home together a maximum of 15 times.   At that point, I had 22 entrees on my list to try.  And, we're only required to submit four posts a week that are inspired by Food and Wine.  Now, inspired is a big word.  Pretty much anything can be inspired by something else in a magazine that covers as much territory as Food and Wine does.  I've chosen to focus on Food and Wine recipes for the month.  Almost all of the recipes we'll try over the next few weeks will be directly from Food and Wine. That's the only way we'll all get an idea of what the magazine has to offer.

Speaking of that, let's talk for a minute about Food and Wine the magazine.  Some may be put off by their focus on the coasts.  They believe most good restaurants are on the East coast or West coast.  Goodness knows, Indianapolis doesn't exist as far as they're concerned.  I agree totally with that criticism.  But, the other one that I hear a lot is that the recipes are way too far out is somewhat misplaced.  There are some recipes that I'd never in a million years make.  Many, however, are very approachable.  They don't require odd ingredients or cooking techniques.  I would say, most of the recipes are more suited to adults than kids.  I think if the grandkids came to visit for the weekend, I'd be pulling out some other recipes!  At any rate, please stop click on the link at the end of this post and leave a comment so you'll be entered to win a one year subscription to Food and Wine.  If you win, I hope you'll enjoy the magazine as much as we do!

On to the perfect five.  I'd pulled out a couple of recipes to try for dinner then saw Alison's post on maple balsamic vinaigrette and the lovely salad she made with it.  That'd be perfect with the cod and potato salad.  A couple of notes on the recipes.  The original cod recipe called for crisping the olives in olive oil in the microwave.  I don't know about you but I'm not fond of the idea of heating olive oil in my microwave until it's hot enough to crisp olives...  That'd scare the heck out of me.  So, in the instructions below I show how I did them.  Also, once I made the spinach and chive puree, I felt it had too much oil - even at 1/4 cup.  So, I added more spinach.  Since dinner was almost ready I didn't take the time to blanch it and was thrilled when it turned out just fine.  Actually, because I didn't blanch it, there were lovely flecks of spinach in the puree - bonus!  As usual, I replaced the maple syrup with shagbark hickory syrup in the dressing recipe.  For the salad, I used what we had on hand - spinach and strawberries.  The recipe didn't call for putting soy sauce in with the nuts but I thought it'd be a good addition.  The sugar syrup bubbled and rolled when I added it. 

Connie and I were both intrigued by the crispy olives.  So, that's the dish we both started with.  YUMMY!  Then, on to the potato salad.  Yummy again.  Then, the spinach salad.  Again.  He looked up and said, "You know this dinner is a solid five."  It was indeed.  Enjoy!


Mustard Glazed Cod with Chive and Spinach Puree


1 cup snipped chives
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c coarsely chopped green olives
1-2 T olive oil
4 - 6 oz cod fillets
3 T dijon mustard

Blanch the spinach and chives in boiling water for no more than 30 seconds.  Drain them well, then squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.  Put the spinach and chives in a blender with 1/2 cup olive oil.  (I used closer to 1/4 cup.)  Blend until it's pureed.  You still want some flecks of the spinach and chives for appearance. 

Coarsely chop the green olives. 

Brown them in a small skillet in about a tablespoon of olive oil.  They'll get very crunchy.

Slater the dijon on the cod

Broil it until it flakes easily.

Serve with the olives sprinkled over the cod and the puree drizzled around it.

adapted from Food and Wine


Potato Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette


1 lb fingerling potatoes
2 T champagne or chardonnay vinegar
2 t dijon mustard
1/4 c olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes or until they're done.  Mix the rest of the ingredients for the dressing. 

Drain the potatoes and immediately cut them into coins and toss them with the dressing while they're still very warm. 

adapted from Food and Wine

Spinach Salad with Alison's Balsamic Maple Dressing

fresh spinach
strawberries, cored and quartered
balsamic maple dressing

for the dressing:

3 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T shagbark hickory syrup or maple syrup
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 t chopped parsley
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper

Whisk all dressing ingredients together.

for the pecans:
1/2 c pecan halves
1 t sesame oil
1 T sugar
1/4 t soy sauce

Toast the pecans in a small skillet.  Add the sesame oil, then the sugar.  Allow to caramelize a bit.  Add the soy sauce.  Remove from the heat and pour onto a piece of aluminum foil.  Allow to cool before sprinkling on the salad

To put together the salad, put the spinach in bowls, top with the strawberries then the dressing then the pecans.

Thank you to Alison for yet another fantastic recipe!!

adapted from Prairie Story

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blackbird - Fun with Blackberries Part One

Back in the days of our ancestors, I am sure that it was totally common to bring in a harvest and then exclusively eat a certain type of vegetable or fruit for that brief season. I suppose that taking a modern person back to those times you would get the response, “We’re not eating that again? Are we?”

In modern times, in our developed economies, we are more accustomed to eating whatever we want whenever we want. Strawberries in the winter; apples in the spring. Not necessarily a good thing in some ways, but it is what it is. Every once in a while, you go to the store and buy something that is a little more of an extravagance. Blackberries are not cheap. Even if you don’t need them all for what you are using them, it seems such a waste to allow them to rot. So now you have to try to incorporate them into other things that you had not originally planned.

I had picked out a drink recipe, Blackberry Mint Margarita, and posted it the other day. We didn’t use all the blackberries. Now we have to find something else in which to use them. What about another drink? We have now finally finished them, four days and three drink recipes later. I am certainly not feeling sorry for myself. They were all wonderful, but it does explain the spate of blackberry drink recipes.

So here we have a Blackbird. It’s actually a poor name for such a nice drink. There I go complaining about drink names again! Whatever! Blackbirds are annoying and very territorial. They tend to descend on an area make a racket and chase everything else away. They are also the bane of farmers. As a drink, I’ll stop complaining. This is a wonderful drink with only a slight undertone of herb and the fruit comes to the fore. I found this to be a very interesting drink, fruity with just the hint of lemon, yet not lemon; lemon herb. It has a husky favor, a little glove on the tongue type of flavor. Try it and see if you don’t agree.  We actually found this to be our favorite of the blackberry drinks.

Don’t ever forget to toast the one you love, and enjoy.

I present you courtesy of Food and Wine magazine and Lantern in Chapel Hill NC:

A Blackbird (for two)


8 blackberries
8 lemon verbena leaves plus two sprigs (we used lemon balm from our herb garden)
1 ½ ounces simple syrup (2:1, see post)
3 ounces gin (we used New Amsterdam Straight Gin)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Club soda to top off

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the lemon balm (or verbena, if that’s your choice) and the simple syrup. As a point of note, Connie has found that muddling these sequentially yields better results. You can crush the blackberries, add the herb and get that flavor going, then the simple syrup to get the emulsion. That way you have rendered the berries into a syrup, but not totally trashed the herb. He’s no chemist, but I trust him implicitly (when it comes to bartending).  For the most part, he does need adult supervision, but that is a post for another day!

Add the ice, gin and lime juice. Shake like a fool!

Strain into ice filled rocks glasses, stir in the club soda, garnish with the sprig. Refer to the directions above about the one you love.

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prosciutto Mozzarella Frittata

We typically eat a REAL breakfast on Sunday mornings.  Eggs and something.  For some reason, those appeal to me more than waffles or pancakes.  Since we're highlighting Food and Wine for a month, I pulled up one of The Dish emails featuring breakfast dishes.  It may have even been all eggs.  At any rate, I wound up with about four recipes to choose from.  They all sounded great and had ingredients that, for the most part, I had on hand. Then, I opened the October issue of Food and Wine and found the perfect recipe to start with.  I even had a container of the little mozzarella balls that said use by 9/19/10.  Sunday was 9/19/10.  Score. 

Saturday we left the office rather early to get up to Jana and John's for a boat ride and dinner.  And, we wanted to get home at a reasonable hour on Sunday since there was the little matter of the home opener.  Peyton vs Eli.  BTW - did you see the Direct TV ad where Eli stuffs Peyton in the closet?  It's worth finding on the internet if you've not seen it.  At any rate, we wanted to get to the office early on Sunday.  That meant finding a recipe that's super easy to make.  Again, this one was perfect. 

What did we think?  We loved it.  I didn't have prosciutto so used some genoa salami.  I'd probably do the same again since the flavor was so wonderful.  I don't have an ovenproof skillet other than cast iron so chose to use a lid and cook the frittata on the stovetop.  It worked perfectly.  All in all, I can't think of a thing I'd change.  The only problem with this recipe is that you really need a garden-fresh tomato so making it in the winter will be a bit of a problem.  Unless you want to use grape tomatoes...

Prosciutto Mozzarella Frittata


 5 large eggs
2 T milk
1 T freshly grated Romano
1 T chopped basil
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely minced
1 small-medium tomato diced
4 thin slices prosciutto, cut into strips (or about 4 slices of genoa salami)
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed (or about a dozen small mozzarella balls)

Beat the eggs

with the milk, Romano cheese, basil, salt and pepper. 

In an 8" skillet, saute on medium heat the shallot and salami in the olive oil just until the shallot has softened. 

Add the diced tomato and saute just until it's softened.

Then pour in the eggs. 

Add the mozzarella cubes or balls. 

DO NOT STIR!  Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are done. 

adapted from Food and Wine

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Girls Night Out

For the last 15 years or so, I've been fortunate to be a part of a group of women we fondly call Girls Night Out.  Way back when, we were a bunch of mostly single gals.  We'd meet once a month or so - typically at a bar.  Probably our favorite bar was Daddy Jack's.  At Christmas time we'd rent a limo, dress to the nine's and go bar-hopping.  Everyone's jaw would drop when 15 women would climb out of a limo in sequins et al.  As the years went on, some of the gals got married and others found significant others so we on occasion included the guys.  And, we all got to the point that we preferred to have at least some of our get-togethers at each other's homes.  The glue who held the group together was Shelly.  She made sure we had the appropriate number of scheduled play times.  Then, she up and moved to Phoenix and our ringleader was no more.  Judy (and her hubby Carl) has been tremendous about hosting a Halloween party (guys invited) and a Christmas party (guys can come late if they want but DO NOT show up during dinner or the gift exchange.)  Connie and I have our annual holiday party the first Friday after New Years (unless it's the 1st or 2nd, then it's the second Friday.)  But, ours is an open house for about 150 so unless the GNO folks find a great corner, it's kind of crowded!   For the last few years, other get-togethers have been pretty hit and miss.  Finally about a month ago I took the bull by the horns and suggested we put together a calendar.  I'd start with a cookout at my house on the 17th.  Then, we'd have Halloween and Christmas at Judy's.  I'd be back with the open house in January.  Deb would do a Super Bowl party, someone will do St. Paddy's, Joanie will do a garden brunch the first weekend of May, we'll do a race party the end of May and a July 4th party.  Finally, some structure. 

I warned the crew not to look too closely when they came over to my house.  Too much work and too little time to clean.  If they found dust, please either ignore it, dust it or write your name in it.  Being a group of busy women, none of us tend to be great about deciding what we're pitching in til the last minute.  All I knew was that I was doing pork tenderloins, Vicki was bringing apple salsa, Judy a salad and Deb strawberries. Joanie, Dee, Pannga and Susie, I hadn't a clue what they were bringing.  Cassi, Melinda, Kathy, Renee, Linda, Marianne and Shelly couldn't come.  Since we were celebrating Judy's 50th birthday I was more than a bit concerned that nobody would bring a dessert.  What I didn't know was that we'd wind up with a table full of appetizers, three desserts (including my desperation one,) pork tenderloin and salad.  No veggies or starch.  Our dinner plates would look rather sparse...  A few potatoes, a mandoline (yes, Christiane, I thought about you slicing your finger and I was VERY careful!!) some butter, rosemary, garlic and a bit of beef broth and we were in business for the starch.  One of the recipes I'd pulled out was for a marinated pork tenderloin.  I'd reduce the liquid and we'd have it as a rub and broil them.  My desperation dessert was Sommer's gingersnap bowls filled with blueberries and cream.  That'll get blogged about sometime since it's the third time we've used the bowls and have loved each of the desserts.  Hopefully, I can remember enough about what I threw in there to make sense!

Here's the crew along with a cryptic comment.  TNBTFN and TOAYCADETNLS.  I promised the gals I'd pass along that tidbit of info but I can't share what they mean with you - sorry!

Judy,Pannga, Vicki and Dee

Joanie the salad meister

Deb and Judy

table's ready to go

Dee, Pannga and Joanie
Deb, Judy and Susie

Now, on to the food:

Pork Tenderloin with Lemon Garlic Rub

2 - 1 lb pork tenderloins
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T crushed red pepper
1/4 c crushed rosemary
1/4 c lemon juice
2 T white wine
1/4 c olive oil

Mix the rub ingredients.  Pour half over the pork tenderloins and rub it in well.  Turn the tenderloins over and repeat. 

Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Broil or grill to desired doneness.  Make sure you allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes after removing it from the heat. 

adapted from Food and Wine

Rosemary Potatoes

6 large redskin potates, sliced very thinly (a mandoline is preferred)
beef broth

Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with potato slices.  Dot the slices with butter, then sprinkle them with crushed rosemary and garlic powder.  Repeat until you've used up all the potato slices.  Carefully pour beef broth around the edges (not over the top or you'll wash off all the good rosemary and garlic!) until the broth comes almost to the top of the potatoes.  Normally these are baked at 350 for about an hour or until the top is crusty and the liquid is all absorbed.  Since there was a bit of a time crunch here, I microwaved them for about six minutes then baked them for about 30.  Amazingly enough, they turned out perfectly. 

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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.