Pasta with Mushrooms and Prosciutto

With on already in college and the other headed there next fall, I find myself more frequently cooking for two. When we were just married, I didn’t have the skill set I do now, nor was I brave enough to attempt to use the ingredients I now love.

So this is new ground for me with my current repertoire. It’s also a mental challenge because I’ve been looking at recipes and determining if they are scalable, just in case we had extras stop by, trying to think about what I can reduce is different. I don’t frequently like to go out, but I find myself considering it.

In looking through my recipes today, I came across this gem. I have actually made it for about 12, it was a challenge, it came together very quickly for 2. I didn’t even go to the store until 5. I had to get the mushrooms and prosciutto along with a few things for dinner and dessert tomorrow.

When I went to select my mushrooms they had a great variety so I picked one I knew and one I hadn’t cooked with before, Shitake and Maitake. While the names are similar the appearance and taste are dramatically different. I removed the tough stems and did a few rough cuts with my knife and tore any large remaining pieces.

Don’t be tempted to increase the Proscuitto, the amount is perfect, it adds a richness to the dish, but you don’t want to overwhelm the mushrooms. Do make sure you use fresh thyme and definitely save some for the top. It was amazing.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Prosciutto

College Option, Entrées, Pastas, Pork, Quick Meals, Tested and Approved!

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (about 6 slices)

1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as chanterelles, maitake, oyster, crimini, and/or shiitake), torn into bite-size pieces

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for serving

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

12 ounces pappardelle or fettuccine

 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Arrange prosciutto in a single layer in pot and cook, turning once or twice, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same pot over high. Cook mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender, 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallots and 1 tsp. thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until shallots are translucent and softened, about 2 minutes. Add stock and reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer and cook until only a thin layer of stock coats bottom of pot, 5−7 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.

Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with mushrooms and add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Crumble half of prosciutto into pot. Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and liquid is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add cream, return to a simmer, and cook, tossing, until pasta is coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add butter, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with more thyme and crumble remaining prosciutto over; season with pepper.

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Squash for Breakfast

My mom brought me a ton of squash from her garden; this is a treat for me. Unlike my sister, who opposes all orange vegetables, I love squash. I flagged this recipe immediately when I saw it in my October issue of Bon Appétit.

Aside from neglecting to mention the eggs in the recipe, it’s perfect. Definitely leave the egg yolks runny so that the yolk drips down into the hash.

Butternut Squash and Chorizo Hash

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz. fresh chorizo, casings removed

1 lb. butternut squash (about ½ of a medium squash), peeled, cut into ½” pieces (about 4 cups)

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

4 eggs

Lime wedges and cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. Cook chorizo, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon; reserve skillet with fat.

Add butternut squash and onion to reserved skillet and cook over medium-high, adding more oil if needed and stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in chorizo. 

In a separate skillet cook eggs sunny-side up. Serve the hash, topped with an egg then squeeze a lime wedge over and top with cilantro. Serve with additional lime wedges for squeezing over.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

My husband has been posting more pictures of the meals I prepare that I do, this is an issue and I will try to focus on being more diligent with my writing.

I store in my recipe files a number of recipes for later, things that catch my eye that I want to eventually try. While doing my menu planning on Sunday I came across a recipe for Cajun Shrimp Pasta that I had saved; it was originally posted by another blogger, The Cozy Apron. I’ve tried a few of her recipes with good success. My only complaint on this one is that it’s a bit mild for my taste buds.

It came together very quickly, so definitely do your prep work first. Gather your ingredients:

I only had linguine, so I used it, but the fettuccine, a wider pasta, would have been nice. Bow tie pasta would have also been good.

Rather than a small onion, I had half of a red onion leftover from another recipe, I simply chopped them to a finer dice. I also only found diced fire-roasted tomatoes, a quick spin in the food processor converted them to “crushed”. Last but not least, I firmly believe that garlic cloves should all be large, the head I peeled open today was full of tiny cloves, so I used about 12 so that I had the right amount; they were wonderfully fragrant when I added them to the skillet, perfect.

Based on my earlier comment definitely use the cayenne pepper and the red pepper flakes.

After the prep the cooking is quick and dinner is served. I also made a quick garlic bread.

 
Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Entrées, Pastas, Shellfish, Tested and Approved!

INGREDIENTS

    10 ounces uncooked fettuccine
    1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp (16/20 count)
    Avocado oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons cajun creole seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    Salt
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 small onion, finely diced
    1/2 cup (about 4 ounces by weight) finely diced roasted red peppers from a jar
    6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
    Pinch red pepper flakes
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    14.5 ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
    3/4 cup chicken broth
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

Cook the fettuccine about 1-2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package instructions, and keep warm.

Add the shrimp to a bowl, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, and sprinkle in the cajun creole seasoning, the granulated garlic, and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, if using; toss to coat.

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil; once hot, add the shrimp and sear it on the first side until golden-brown and crusty, about 2 minutes; flip and sear a minute or so more, until crusty on the other side; remove from the skillet and set aside.

To that same skillet add in the butter plus another small drizzle of the avocado oil if needed, and add in the diced onion along with the diced roasted red peppers, and stir; saute together for about 2-3 minutes, until softened and slightly golden.

Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using), along with the tomato paste, and cook for about 30 seconds or just until aromatic. (I even like to sprinkle in an extra dash of the cajun creole seasoning that I used on the shrimp at this point as well.)

Add in the crushed tomatoes, the chicken broth and the heavy cream and stir to incorporate, and allow the sauce to gently simmer for about 2-3 minutes just to slightly thicken; then give it a little taste to see if any additional salt is needed.

Add the fettuccine into the sauce, along with about half of the shrimp plus about half of the chopped parsley, and gently toss to combine, cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the pasta is cooked.

If serving directly from the skillet, top with the rest of the shrimp and the parsley, and serve “family style”. Or, pour the pasta into a serving dish or platter, and then top with the rest of the shrimp and sprinkle over the rest of the chopped parsley.

Recipe Testing

Today, I’m testing a Bon Appétit recipe. It looks amazing, but one reviewer panned it: Slow-Roasted Cod with Bell Peppers

The bell peppers look awesome! The first thing I’ve done is split them and removed the stem, ribs, and seeds, and given them a coating in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Into the oven they go!

Know your broiler, mine is really good, so it only took 10 minutes to char the skins compared to the recipe’s stated 15-20.

Now they are in a bowl tightly covered with Saran Wrap; after they steam for 10 minutes the charred skin is easily removed.

Rather than tear the peppers I just gave them a coarse cut before tossing them in my dish with their juices, garlic, pepper flakes, and vinegar.

Then I “nestled” in the cod and seasoned it.

While it baked, I made the caper onion dressing.

Dinner is served!

Bowl Meal

Bowls seem to be the trendy thing right now – your whole meal in one dish, think of the time savings – you should read my sarcasm in that statement. Silly me.

As I was doing my meal planning this weekend, I scrolled across a recipe in Epicurious, I saw the picture and I was hooked. Then I read the ingredients and the amount of work and I was sold.

It’s August in Michigan, everything is in season, but most importantly CORN. Michigan corn is the best, I might be biased. If you live in another part of the country, I will say buy local corn if you can, it is less starchy and far more delicious. I bought mine today at 5:45, we had dinner at 8:15 when my son finished mowing the lawn.

The ingredients for both the bowl and the sauce are simple:

I don’t normally use quick barley, but I had it, and I wanted to see if it was any good for my college kid. He wants to cook, but needs easy meals that you can cook in a closet sized kitchen. I used skirt steak, flank would also work…you can see my preference. I trimmed it thoroughly before grilling; I also let mine sit at room temperature for an hour, steaks simply grill better when they are at room temperature.

I modified the bowl recipe a bit (way too much oil and barley, needs more cheese); otherwise the recipes are good as is. They were a huge hit tonight for dinner.

Grain Bowls with Grilled Corn, Steak, and Avocado

Beef and Lamb, College Option, Entrées, Grilling, Tested and Approved!

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Servings: Yield 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

lb. skirt or flank steak

tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more

4 ears of corn, shucked

1 cups cooked barley

4 oz. crumbled feta

4 scallions, thinly sliced

cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 avocado, peeled, thinly sliced

Creamy Jalapeño Sauce (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Season steak with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30-60 minutes.

Prepare a grill for high heat or heat grill pan over high. Grill steak and corn, turning occasionally. Steak should be grilled until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of steak registers 120-125°F for medium-rare (~3-4 minutes per side for skirt; 4-5 minutes per side for flank). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes or until cool. Meanwhile, grill corn until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool.

Slice corn off cobs into a large bowl. Add grains, feta, scallions, oil, lime juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Divide corn mixture among bowls.

Thinly slice steak against the grain. Top bowls with steak and avocado. Drizzle jalapeño sauce over; season with salt and pepper.

NOTES

Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Do Ahead: Steak and corn can be grilled 3 days ahead. Transfer to separate airtight containers and chill; allow to come to room temperature prior to serving.

If you don’t have access to fresh corn, frozen corn can be substituted, char it in a medium skillet over high heat in a neutral oil for 3-5 minutes until well charred.

Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

College Option, Sauces and Marinades, Tested and Approved!

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: About 1 1/4 cups

INGREDIENTS

5 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or canola)

¾ cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

DIRECTIONS

Pulse jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a blender or food processor until puréed. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until a thick sauce forms. Add cilantro and pulse a few times until chopped and incorporated. Taste and add more jalapeño, if necessary.

Do Ahead

Sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

NOTES

Sauce will be thin.

Instant Pot

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas; to be honest I didn’t even know it was a thing much less a full movement in cooking. I had been talking about getting out the pressure cooker I store in the basement (I’m fairly certain it’s older than me) to figure out how it works so my husband suggested to my MIL that it would make a good gift.

The first week I just looked at it in the box, uncertain, it simply wasn’t a tool I knew how to incorporate in my cooking. I’m still not fully sure, but I’ve done a bit of reading, joined a couple of facebook groups, and eventually started trying.

I began with Detroit Free Press’ Susan Selasky’s recommendation for Beef Barbacoa. I followed it exactly and was very pleased that it came out well.

I neglected to mark it as a tested recipe and thought that this would be a week to try it. It was so good, that today I came directly here to my blog to write it up and post it and found this half completed post.

If you are looking at your instant pot and debating what to do, this is the reason to use it. The meat used is a chuck roast, not an expensive meat, it takes a lot of work to get it tender. It is one of the meats that I like to use for crock pot recipes since they cook long enough to make it tender. The instant pot reaches this accomplishment with much less work and time and an equally amazing result.

Today I served it with a homemade salsa using tomatoes from my mini-garden, even my husband and eldest who are anti-fresh tomatoes enjoyed it thoroughly. Both recipes are originally from Epicurious.com, one of my favorite sources.

Grilled and Fresh Tomato Salsa

Appetizers, Sauces and Marinades, Tested and Approved!

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: About 3 cups Source: epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS

4 medium tomatoes (about 3 ounces), divided

Olive oil (for brushing)

1 large white onion, cut into 1/4″ rounds

1 jalapeño, seeded if desired, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a grill or grill pan for medium-high heat. Slice 2 tomatoes in half and brush each half with oil. Brush onion with oil. Transfer onions and tomatoes halves to hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until slightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Remove seeds from remaining 2 tomatoes and cut into 1/4″ cubes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add jalapeño and salt and toss to combine. Finely chop cooled onions and tomatoes, then add to raw tomato mixture and toss to combine.

Do Ahead

Salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and chill.

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Beef and Lamb, Entrées, Instant Pot, Mexican, Tested and Approved!

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Servings: Yield 6 servings Source: epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of most fat and cut into large chunks

1/2 cup reduced-salt chicken broth or All-Purpose Chicken Stock

2 bay leaves

Small (6-inch) corn tortillas, for serving

Salsa or pico de gallo, for serving

Cotija cheese, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, chipotle, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Press Sauté and use the Sauté or Adjust button to select the highest temperature. Place the vegetable oil in the inner pot. Wait until the display reads “Hot,” about 5 minutes, then add the beef. Cook with the lid off, turning the beef every 2 minutes, until the beef is browned on most sides, about 8 minutes.

Add the vinegar sauce and the chicken broth, and then the bay leaves. Stir to combine.

Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing. Press Cancel, then press Manual or Pressure Cook and use the Pressure or Pressure Level button to select High Pressure. Use the – or + button to set the time to 30 minutes.

When the cooking cycle ends, press Cancel. Allow the appliance to cool and release pressure naturally, about 20 minutes.

Remove the lid. Discard the bay leaves. Use tongs or a large spoon to remove the beef from the inner pot and place it on a cutting board. Shred the beef using two forks: Use one fork to pull off a chunk and then use two forks to shred that piece, holding down the meat with one fork and pulling at it with the other. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Serve the beef hot, piled into corn tortillas and topped with salsa and a sprinkling of Cotija cheese, if desired.

NOTES

Beef Barbacoa and its juices will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the beef in a shallow baking dish with enough of the juices to reach a depth of about 1/4 inch. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until hot, about 15 minutes.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

It’s summer and the eldest will be headed back to college soon, with a new challenge: apartment living. Both of these are pushing me towards a simple food portfolio. For a recent Sunday dinner I elected to make an antipasto salad and linguine with clam sauce.

An antipasto salad is really simple and incredibly delicious, it can be served as a salad course or on its own. I found this recipe and modified it just a touch to make it perfect, the original recipe was a bit onion and pepper heavy, this allows you to taste all of the independent flavors. The “lettuce” of the salad is the basil, so the trick is to be gentle with the leaves when washing them so as not to bruise them.

Antipasto Salad

Italian, Salads, Tested and Approved!

Servings: 4 servings Source: bonappetit.com

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove, minced

cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ tsp. crushed dried oregano

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1-2 Cubanelle or Shepherd peppers, thinly sliced into rounds

½ small red onion, thinly sliced, rinsed

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, halved

8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces

¼-⅓ salami, preferably fennel, thinly sliced

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 lemon

2 cups basil leaves

DIRECTIONS

Mix garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add sweet peppers, onion, artichokes, mozzarella, and salami and toss to coat; season with salt and black pepper. Let sit, tossing occasionally, at least 15 minutes.

Zest half of lemon over salad and add basil; toss to combine. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed.

Do Ahead: Salad (without lemon zest and basil) can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Linguine with Clam Sauce is a little more complicated, but there are some tricks to make it simpler. The biggest time saver is frozen clam meat: no scrubbing and they are typically precooked. With the eldest’s fish allergy, I skip the anchovies, but enjoy them if you can. With any pasta dish, the most important ingredient is the pasta, select a good pasta, Italian if available, and for a simple sauce like a clam, a rustic (rough) pasta that the sauce will stick to is best.

Linguine and Clams

Entrées, Italian, Pastas, Shellfish, Tested and Approved!

Servings: 4 servings Source: bonappetit.com

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more

10 cups water

12 garlic cloves, divided

4 ounces sourdough or country-style bread, crusts removed, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving

cup dry white wine

2 pounds littleneck clams (about 24) or cockles (about 32), scrubbed*

12 ounces linguine or spaghetti

½ cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS

Bring salt and water to a boil in a large pot.

Meanwhile, pulse 3 garlic cloves in a food processor until chopped. Add bread and pulse several times until fine crumbs form.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add breadcrumb mixture and cook, stirring often, until crumbs are golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add lemon zest, season with salt, and toss to combine; set aside.

Wipe out Dutch oven. Using a mandoline if you have one (if not, use a really sharp knife), very thinly slice remaining 9 garlic cloves. Heat ¼ cup oil in Dutch oven over medium. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add anchovies, if using, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden all over and anchovies are dissolved. Quickly stir in wine and simmer until only a couple of tablespoons of liquid are left in pot.

Add clams and toss to combine. (If using clam meat, add and proceed to next step.) Cover and cook until clams are open, 5-7 minutes (about 4 minutes for cockles). Uncover pot and transfer clams to a medium bowl, leaving liquid in pot. If any clams are still closed, cover pot again and cook a few minutes longer, then transfer to bowl with others (discard any that have not opened at this point). Tent clams with foil.

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes. Using a ladle or heatproof measuring cup, scoop out about 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with clam liquid. Add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook, tossing constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid a splash at a time if needed, until pasta is al dente and sauce is glossy and thick enough to cling to noodles, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add parsley and butter and toss until butter is melted. Sprinkle about one-third of breadcrumbs over pasta and toss to combine (you can add more or less depending on how much liquid is in bottom of pot-you want them to absorb some of the sauce but not make it dry). Give pasta a taste; you probably won’t need additional salt, but you can add some if you’d like. Divide pasta among shallow bowls and top with reserved clams, more breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of oil.

NOTES

*Fresh clams can be replaced with frozen meat: ¼ lb. frozen meat/ 1 lb. fresh clams

Dining at Disney – Morimoto Asia

Knowing that we would be well in the midst of cold weather in Michigan, we planned a long weekend in Disney to cure the winter blues and visit family who winter in Florida.

We took the opportunity to visit an Iron Chef Restaurant, Morimoto Asia. My husband and I remember watching the original Iron Chef from Japan dubbed over in English, Chef Morimoto was always awesome to watch there and on Iron Chef America.

The restaurant offers a variety of dishes that represent several Asian countries, on our last visit we had Peking Duck, which is delicious, and reminded me of when I enjoyed it in Beijing.

This time we started with a Spicy Salmon Roll and Toro (tuna) Tartare and our youngest had the Chicken Wings. (Note: he said the wings were really good, but that the sauce that was described as spicy in the menu was very mild.) I also tried the Morimotini with sake and vodka, it was a very nice cocktail.

For dinner, my husband selected the Ebi Chili, a stir fried jumbo shrimp with a chili sauce (wonderful heat, actually spicy for those of you who avoid it) and fried rice with a slow cooked egg that’s added at the table.

My son selected the duck ramen, the flavor was rich and delicious.

I selected a Korean dish, one that Chef Morimoto originally served to win an Iron Chef battle: Morimoto Buri-Bop. It is a rice dish served in a clay pot heated to 400F. When they bring the dish out the fish and egg yolk are raw.

They move the fish to the side of the bowl to give a light sear meanwhile they break the egg yolk over the hot hot rice.

Finally they toss the ingredients together.

It was amazing.

For dessert my husband and I split a 12- year Yamazaki; my son elected the Chocolate Cream and Crunch to be able to enjoy a tempura Oreo.

If you get the chance, enjoy!

Time to Cook

I have been absent from my blog, I have sat down to write, in fact I have 9 drafts in my folder, but I haven’t seem to have had the time to finish any.

I have decided to write about a favorite I had forgotten, Roast Salmon with Sweet Chipotle Glaze and Hominy Purée. It was from a a Bon Appétit in April 2011, unfortunately it was a rarity that I got to make it since my eldest is allergic to fish. I was scrolling through my recipes to pick a menu for this week and came across this recipe; with him off to college it was an easy selection.

The recipe needed no modification, it scales easily to serve more as needed.

This is the recipe scaled for 4:

Roast Salmon with Sweet Chipotle Glaze and Hominy Puree

Cook Time: 10 minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4 servings Source: Bon Appétit | April 2011

INGREDIENTS

6 chipotle chiles, from canned chipotle chiles in adobo

4 Tbsp apricot jam or preserves

tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp ground cumin

4 salmon fillets with skin, about 6-7 ounces each (scant 1 inch thick)

30 ounces hominy, canned, drained, juice reserved

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F. Using back of spoon, press enough chipotles through fine sieve into small bowl to measure 4 teaspoons puree. Mix puree, jam, vinegar, and cumin in bowl; season glaze to taste with salt.

Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil then coat with nonstick spray. Arrange salmon on sheet; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Spread one quarter of glaze over each fillet. Roast until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree hominy and 6 tablespoons reserved juice in food processor until almost smooth. Transfer to skillet. Add butter and cilantro. Stir over medium heat until warmed through, mixing in more reserved juice by teaspoonfuls if too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide hominy between 4 plates, top with salmon, and serve.

Gnocchi

I haven’t ever made gnocchi before, but my boys love it and I find it delicious and with the weather having turned cold while I was in Germany for business, it just sounds delicious.

I found a recipe online and decided to give it a whirl.

First, I gathered all of my ingredients, including the sweet potatoes I baked on Sunday.


Set the sweet potatoes where already baked, I started on the lemon ricotta. I zested my lemon after cleaning it, then juiced a half.

  

Minced a few leaves of sage.

  

Then whisked it up with the olive oil and ricotta.

 

Then I started the pasta and found the errors in the recipe: not nearly enough flour and serves 4?!?

Since the potatoes were already baked, the only tasks were to unwrap and peel.

    
Peeling was very easy. I used an applesauce pan because I don’t have a potato ricer. Then I added the other ingredients, mixed them and determined that the flour was insufficient to form a dough.

      

The recipe called for 2 cups of flour, I added another 2 cups while kneading to make smooth dough.

        
From here I cut it into quarters and then each of those in half before rolling them into ropes.

  

I cut each rope in ½” segments.

I don’t have a gnocchi board so I used a fork to roll them by setting a piece on a floured fork, pressing gently with my thumb, and then rolling it off the end. 

      
The result was two pretty trays of gnocchi; one would have been enough for 4.


While these rested, I boiled the water and sliced the garlic.

    
Once the water was at a full rolling boil I added salt to the water and started browning the butter with the sage, thyme, and garlic.

    
The pasta only took two minutes, then I added it to the butter.

  
Meanwhile, I cooked some chicken apple sausages in a bit of hard cider with a quick broil at the end to brown them.


Fabulous dinner.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Lemon Ricotta

Prep 20 minutes ∙ Cook 1 hour and 10 minutes ∙ Makes Yield: 4 servings ∙ Source Tastingtable.com

INGREDIENTS

For the Gnocchi:

  • 1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 sage sprig

For the Lemon Ricotta:

  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon minced sage

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Wrap each sweet potato in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, 1 hour. (Canbe done inadvance and refrigerated.

2. Meanwhile, make the lemon ricotta: In a medium bowl, whisk all of the lemon ricotta ingredients together until smooth.

3. Let cool slightly, then peel each sweet potato and rice through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Add the ricotta, eggs, 2 cups flour, salt and pepper, and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

4. Transfer to a heavily floured work surface and knead with the remaining flour (as needed) until smooth. Your dough will be soft. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a long rope, ½” thick. Using a bench scraper or paring knife, cut the gnocchi into ½” pieces. (If you want, you can press the gnocchi against a gnocchi board or a fork.)

5. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, heat the butter with the garlic, thyme and sage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the butter has browned, 4 to 5 minutes. After 2 minutes of cooking the butter, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they float, 2 minutes.

6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the pan of brown butter and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates and top each with a dollop of the lemon ricotta, then serve.