Archive for ‘Appetizers’

January 13, 2011

Winter Kitchen | Zuppa di Cavoli

Every winter kitchen needs a good, sturdy soup.  This zuppa, made with lacinato kale, pancetta and fennel, is amazingly versatile.  The leftovers even result in perfect little hors d’oeuvres.  Who knew?

While this recipe contains the classic French base (i.e., carrot, onion, celery), the ingredients are cooked slightly differently than most other soups I make resulting in a surprisingly different flavor.  Regional and cultural differences in cooking techniques really get me going.  This is because I am a food nerd, but again, you all know this.  You don’t have to be, though, to enjoy this truly delicious Italian soup.

Zuppa di Cavoli, Four Ways, Inspired by Flavors of Tuscany

1 c dried canneloni beans (you could use canned, but I wouldn’t recommend it)

Small bunch of thyme

3 oz pancetta chopped (you could substitute bacon)

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped

1 rib of celery chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small bulb of fennel, trimmed of  stalks and root end, thinly sliced

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December 9, 2010

Dining Out | Nosh

I have been meaning to get to Silo and its small plates/bar little sister Nosh for oh, well, forever.  Cue the heroic Zeus and Demeter who, very kindly, took little Cherub to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live.   We are, after all, a rock and roll kind of family. 

It’s lovely to have lots time.   We ordered started early with the cocktail menu and then ordered several times at a leisurely pace from the shared plates section of the menu. 

Nosh turned out to be everything I kind of hoped for: creative, local flavors with a bit of comfort thrown in.  It makes you realize that San Antonio is not all bar-b-que and enchiladas. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I will be having and posting about both in the next few days, to be sure.) Nosh is a perfect spot to hit if you’re a foodie from out-of-town.  It’s not far from Alamo Heights and the McNay, it’s got a decent happy hour and a creative cocktail menu.  I love Nosh’s concept of a flight of cocktails.  Especially if several are looking alluring.  Which they managed to do pretty easily.  The service is thoughtful and eager without being intrusive.

We will certainly be back again next time we’re in town, and if we lived here, it’d be a regular favorite.

 

Shrimp “corn dogs”: Tempura battered shrimp on a stick with spicy mayo
December 9, 2010

South-Texas Locavore / Shiner-Steamed Shrimp with Ruby Red Grapefruit Salsa

Tonight’s dish highlights the soul of local food.  It’s perfect for late fall in South Texas.  The grapefruit are sweet, but also a little savory.  They’re a beautiful color, and plentiful.  And because it’s coming on grapefruit season in the Rio Grande Valley, they’re awfully cheap.  Meanwhile, the local Meyer lemons are juicy and fragrant.  So when I saw the shrimp from Harlingen Farm, this idea started to take shape.  I’m honoring what’s local, now, while giving a little wink to everyone who has fond memories from this corner of the world.  Oh, and there’s Shiner.  It’s nice to be back.

Shiner-Steamed Shrimp with Ruby Red Grapefruit Salsa

For the Salsa:

2 ruby red grapefruit, supremed and diced

Juice from 1/2 Meyer lemon

1 jalapeño, diced

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October 25, 2010

Party Snack: Posh Squash

Sunday I (well, mostly Cherub) gathered some locally-grown pumpkins and squashes at a nearby u-pick farm.  Since nearly everyone has a gourd or two lying around this time of year, I thought I’d give you some ideas about how you might use them.  One minute they’re seasonal decorations on your front porch and the next you’re serving them to party guests.  Result!

Today, I used one of those squashes, the demure Carnival, for a posh little party snack.  Tonight’s do was hosted by my friend Elpis, and as I’m sure you’re aware, party season is upon us.  These nibbles are easy and sure to please, so add this recipe to your arsenal.

The basics are roasted squash, pancetta, parmesan and buttery toast.  You can go two ways with this one: quick and dirty or overacheiver.  I opted for the overacheiver version for your viewing pleasure, and to encourage you to do the same. 

Roasted Carnival Squash Nibbles with Pancetta and Parmesan

1 Carnival squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large-ish cubes

Olive oil, salt, pepper

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