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Sunday, May 1, 2016

White Spelt Pizza with Swiss Chard, Olives and Sundried Tomatoes

Spelt is an dicey flour to work with; on the one hand, it is softer than wheat yet it absorbs more liquid and thus requires less than traditional wheat flour. And if you have ever tried to make the perfect pizza dough, you know that the prospect of changing ratios of liquids and solids is not a simple one. So when I finally - finally!! - figured out how to make a good spelt crust, excitement abounded!

The best crust I ever produced was following Peter Rheinhart's instructions - and if you google his name, you will find that great pizza dough/crust and his name are synonymous. Thus making a great crust with spelt that could come close to what his instructions produced was a key goal of mine.

The secret is in the cold rise in the refrigerator. No kneading involved. How simply wonderful is that! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marinated Portobellas with Chimichurri Sauce

Despite the fact that describing mushrooms as having a "meaty" taste and texture is so cliche and unoriginal, it does not belie its truth, and portobella mushrooms in particular. While I find that description so meat centric, it did inspire this dish!

Chimichurri is the bright green condiment from South America that is traditionally served with steak (as the link for the recipe displays it). But it is equally (if not better!) with these marinated 'shrooms. Totally delightful and unexpected! These could easily be made with little cremini mushrooms (baby bellas) with a dollop of chimichurri for a delightful little amuse bouche! Hmmmm, ideas abound...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Seared Fennel and Orange Salad

My love affair with Gjelina continues...

It seems that they just adore searing vegetables in a hot pan and then adding a few choice ingredients to bring out the best of the vegetable's flavor. How can you argue with that! It certainly is making my hubby see vegetables in a whole new light, and eat ones that have never passed his lips to date. That's a win in my book!

This is not the exact recipe as listed in the cookbook, but we were happy with the results! Clearly this dish is best in the winter when citrus is most plentiful. But do not let that deter you, eat some fresh spring fennel with those non-seasonal oranges, I won't tell!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cauliflower and Roasted Poblano Enchiladas

The last gasps of winter - you hope - will let you make this delicious but very gringo-minded enchilada...with cauliflower! Yes, it sounds crazy but think of tender roasted cauliflower smothered in a cheese and roasted chile sauce. You see the appeal!

It looks like many steps, but once you've made enchiladas this is an easy one to add to your repertoire, and so veggie-licious. This combo makes me think of other non-traditional fillings like roasted yams and chile or sauteed summer squash and chiles. The possibilities are endless!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Brussels Sprouts and Parsnips with Bacon and Dates


Yes, Spring is upon us, but in some places Winter still has a grip on the land, and that means Brussels Sprouts are still firm and sweet. Scoop some up and make this utterly amazing dish!

This is yet another wonderful vegetable dish from the Gjelina cookbook. Really, I can't gush enough so buy it already! You will not regret it!

Since there were a few parsnips laying in the larder they went into the mix and were just as tasty as predicted.

Just for this dish, bacon made it's way into our pescatarian home. He was shocked, "Is this bacon!!" Yes, it was and it was good.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Classic Linguine Carbonara

Can you believe I have spent nearly five decades on this earth and a few weeks ago was the first time I ate, let alone made, pasta carbonara? Me neither!! Who knows what failure that was, or whose fault, but no more!

Trying out a pasta machine that was recently gifted to me I decided it was time to end the strike against carbonara. Let me say it again, WOW! Make some fresh pasta and douse it with eggs, yolks, bacon bits and lots of cheese and you too will be in heaven!

What could be simpler? Quick fry bacon into cubes, cook pasta, whip eggs and yolks and grate in some cheese and then stir it all together and presto! Pasta ecstasy!