Friday, April 29, 2011

Lemon(lime)drop Martini

This one will really knock your socks off!  David made this for me the other night and it was absolutely hands down the best Lemondrop I've ever had!

Serves 1


1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice (Nellie and Joe's key lime juice is perfect)
1 tablespoon cane sugar

Combine all ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 2 minutes.  Pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Veal Piccata

If you saw the "Lovely Lemons" post then you will understand where this recipe idea came from.  We brought back these mega-huge lemons from Arizona a few weeks ago and in looking for a lemon recipe, we came across chicken piccata and even better....VEAL PICCATA.  While you can use chicken in this recipe, I definitely recommend trying veal at least once in your life because it is delicious!  We served some nice buttery potatoes and broccoli on the side but you could also do a small portion of a lightly sauced tomato pasta.

Serves 2


2/3 pound of veal cut for scallopini
1/2 cup of flour
moderate salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of capers
1 lemon
3/4 cup white wine

1) Pound the veal with a meat tenderizer or a heavy skillet until thin
2) Mix flour, salt and pepper and place on a plate in preparation for dredging
3) Heat a pan over medium high heat and melt the butter
4) When butter is melted and foamed away, coat the veal in the flour mixture and put immediately into the frying pan.  It is okay to cook these in two batches if necessary.
5) After two minutes, flip the veal to the other side and let cook another minute or 90 seconds
6) Remove from pan and put on a plate
7) Once all of the meat is cooked pour the white wine into the hot pan and start scrapping the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Add the lemon juice and capers and let cook about five minutes until the sauces is nice and brown.  You have the option to add another tablespoon of butter here as well.  When sauce is done add some salt and pepper to taste.
8) Return the veal to the sauce mixture and let cook on each side another minute or so to warm up the meat.
9) Serve the meat with pasta or potatoes and veggies and be sure to spoon the extra sauce on top.  Enjoy a glass of white wine for all of your fine work!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamed Nettles and Gnocchi

Last month some awesome friends and I had a good old-fashioned staycation and we had one of the best dinners of my entire life at an amazing restaurant called "Hitchcock" on Bainbridge Island.  Very unpretentious (the chef came to our table and talked to us for a good 10 minutes) and really well priced, this restaurant is a complete deal for both atmosphere and food.  If you are in the Seattle area you have to take a ferry ride to Bainbridge and eat here for yourself.

One of the dishes we had were creamed nettles with gnocchi.  When I was at the Farmer's Market two weeks ago I saw nettles for sale and I bought them immediately.  It sounds like a weird green to eat but it was absolutely delicious and perfect for a spring dinner.  These greens will sting you until they cook so watch out.  I played around to mimic the recipe from Hitchcock and here is my best shot.  Enjoy!

Serves 4


1/2 onion finely diced
4-6 cups of fresh nettles (they sting badly so use tongs!) - you could use spinach if you prefer
1 cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature (this prevents curdling)
1/2 cup parmesan or gruyere cheese grated

1 package gnocchi or torture yourself and make your own:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees (dish looks gorgeous when baked for 10 minutes)
2) Saute onions in a tablespoon of butter about 5 minutes
3) Add greens to pan and cover to let steam
3) After three or four minutes, use tongs to turn the greens and coat with onion and butter
4) Continue to turn greens every minute and ensure they are cooking down and really wilting
5) Mean while boil water and cook gnocchi to package specifications, when those are done drain them and immediately transfer to dish for baking
6) After 10 or so minutes of "steaming" the greens remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes
7) Add the cream and cheese and stir to coat, place back on medium low heat for another few minutes while the cream does its magic.  Add some nice salt to taste.
8) Transfer creamed nettles and pour over gnocchi in the baking dish
9) Sprinkle some more parm on top and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes for a nice golden crust.
10) Serve with some fresh ground pepper and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homemade Tortillas and all of the fixings!

I have to say that I will NEVER buy store-bought tortillas EVER AGAIN.  Making my own was just too easy and too delicious to ever do anything else.  I got the recipe from Mark Bittman and topped mine with jalopeno infused cheese from the farmer's market and some roasted tomatillos and anaheim peppers but you can pretty much do anything!

Some ideas for use:

Peanut butter and jelly wrap
Hummus and veggies wrap (add turkey or ham and even some cilantro!)
Scrambled eggs and cheese
Taco night
Mini pizzas

Ingredients (makes six 8 inch tortillas)

1 1/2 cup flour (more if needed)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup warm water (more if needed)

1) Combine flour and salt in food processor
2) Pulse in the butter until butter and flour are well mixed (about 1 minute)
3) Add water slowly while processor is running and mix until all ingredients form a ball in the bowl
4) Remove from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface
5) Kneed the dough for another minute or two and then wrap in plastic and let sit for an hour (or more if you can wait)
6) Divide dough into six pieces and roll each piece out as thin as possible
7) Meanwhile heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat on the stove (leave it dry, no oil necessary)
8) Add rolled out dough to hot pan and let cook until brown spots form on the bottom
9) Flip and repeat!
10) Serve however you like!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lovely Lemons!

Quickly want to post a picture showing the HUMONGOUS lemon we brought back from Arizona compared with a store-bought lemon.  We had about five of these plus five grapefruit in our carryon luggage...TSA said "Look at those lemons!" but these fruits didn't get a pat down.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leek Risotto with Broiled Balsamic Mushrooms

Here is the spring recipe we have all been waiting for!  A delicious and yet very filling risotto.  Broiling the mushrooms separately really sets this dinner apart.


Serves 2 as a main dinner or 4 as a first dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4 or 5 medium leeks, white parts thinly sliced (green ends discarded or saved for another use)
olive oil
1 cup of arborio rice
3 cups of vegetable broth (heating on low on the stove)
10 white mushrooms cut into quarters
balsamic vinegar

1) Heat olive oil in a deep pot on the stove, when oil is hot, add the leeks and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
2) Add rice to pot and stir to coat plus another minute to develop a nice golden coat
3) Add a ladle full of broth to the rice mixture and keep stirring.
4) Continue to add broth as the liquid is absorbed the rice.
5) Meanwhile add balsamic vinegar and olive oil together and drizzle over the mushrooms.  You can use your judgment here on the amount (based on your preference) but most likely you will need 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic.  Once you have coated the mushrooms, place in the oven and cook until rice is done (about 25 minutes).
6) Keep adding stock and stirring until most of the stock is gone (you might not need all of it, the rice is done when you taste it and there is just a hint of a crunch and the rice will also stop absorbing the stock).
7) Remove the rice from heat and let sit undisturbed for five minutes.
8) Spoon rice and top with mushrooms from the oven.  Serve with fresh ground pepper and parmesan cheese!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Goat cheese stuffed peppers

As peppers start to make their way into your local markets, check out this quick but impressive appetizer!

4 oz goat cheese
salt/pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
12 small peppers (see photo for sample)

Preheat grill or oven broiler

1) Mix olive oil in with goat cheese and salt and pepper.
2) Wash and dry peppers
3) Carefully cut top of pepper ALMOST off (need to keep it attached for grilling)
4) Carefully remove the seeds and then stuff to the brim with cheese
5) Put the top of the pepper back on and use cheese as "glue" if necessary
6) Generously spray the peppers with olive oil spray
7) Grill or broil until peppers are starting to blacken and then turn oven to cook the other side for another minute or two.
8) Remove and serve!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Food Pile

In honor of Betsy we made these "food piles" a few weeks ago.  We made our own Belgian frites and topped them with a homemade vegetarian chili with the traditional cheese, sour cream and jalopenos.  This is definitely food porn pile!