Archive for ‘Leeks’

December 5, 2011

Early Winter Heaven | Turbot with Chanterelles and Melted Parsnips

Turbot has become my new favorite fish.  At first blush, it’s light, mild, and delicate.  But a heartbeat later you realize its meaty, dense, and packed with beautiful flavor.  Pair it with this seasonal and politely assertive sauce and you’ll really get your loved one’s attention on a cold December night.  Most importantly, the ingredients are familiar and the techniques are pretty basic.  It’s a can’t miss weeknight meal that’s quick, healthy, satisfying and elegant.  I can hardly believe something so simple could make such an impact.  It’s a beautiful dish.

Turbot is popular on European plates, but lately it seems to be making its presence known in American eateries and grocery stores as well.  If you can’t find it, ask your fishmonger.  The success of this meal is directly related to the quality of the ingredients.  Find the best mushrooms you can.  These were from the Greener Grocer and perfection.  This is a modified version of a dish found in Rick Stein’s Complete Seafood.  You must own this book.

Early Winter Turbot with Chanterelles and Melted Parsnips, serves 2

2/3 to 3/4 of a pound Turbot fillet

3 strips of bacon, thickly sliced

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April 11, 2011

Meatless Monday | Orecchiette with Leek and Pea Shoots

It’s been so rainy today that everything in sight is a variation of green: the yet-to-be-mowed grass.  The budding trees.  The trembling stalks supporting the heavy heads of daffodils.  My dinner of orecchiette bathed in butter, chartreuse leeks, backyard mint and verdant parsley.  Tiny pasta ears cradle pale green edamame, the whole bowl crowned with pea shoots.  It was as close to a taste of spring in a bowl as I’ve come in a long time.  It is long overdue.

Orecchiette de Aprile, serves two, plus a little one who’s almost 4

1/2 pound orecchiette pasta

2 T butter

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January 26, 2011

Potluck Party | Crab Pot Pie with Pimento Cheese Biscuits

I was so excited to be invited to a cool little supper club started by a friend here in Columbus.   The ingeniously-themed meet up was entitled Showcase of the Crusted Arts.  Meaning bring something with a crust on it somewhere.  The smart and gracious hosts cooked up a beautiful whole striped bass in a salt crust.  Other clever folks brought goat cheese pizza, clementine pie, Hot Pockets, pork pie, spanakopita, all sorts of deliciousness.

I wanted to make something that would travel fairly well and have something substantial and savory, if perhaps a bit non-traditional, as a crust.  Enter a pot pie of sorts with crab and shrimp, topped with Georgia-inspired pimento cheese biscuits.  Kosher it ain’t, but it was good.

Greensboro Pie, serves plenty folks

For the Pie:

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 T butter (made some quickly with all the Snowville cream I had)

3/4 c white wine

3/4 c vermouth

1 1/2 c homemade fish stock or chicken stock

3/4 c heavy cream (Yup, Snowville)

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December 29, 2010

“Wow” | Crab, Leek and Ricotta Rollatini (with Truffles)

There are fireworks on New Year’s Eve for a reason.  It’s a time for the best we’ve got.  A dinner like this requires a lot of you.  But oh my, is it worth it.  And the one you make it for will think so, too.  And I’m sure they’ll be grateful.

I cooked a lot today.  I picked one and a half pounds of snow crab.  Kind of tedious.  Made a stock from the crab shells and froze it.  Easy.  Cooked up a batch of ricotta.  Simple, but a little time-consuming.  Mixed up a big batch of homemade pasta.  Great workout.  Rolled said pasta into lasagna noodles.  Time consuming, but simple.  Assembled said pasta and crab, etc. into rollatini.  Pretty simple.  Bake.  But my oh my, look what happened to the time!  Nothing today was difficult, but it all took time.

That seductive, elusive siren:  time.  Everyone (hello, Thirty Minute Meals) will tell you that you don’t have enough of it, that you have to squeeze more out of what you’re given.  Don’t believe them.   Take pleasure in the cooking tasks in front of you.  Your end results are what nurture you and those you love.  For a real wow factor, make something at home that is worth both your effort and your time.

Crab, Leek and Ricotta Rollatini, serves 4

STEP ONE:  Make Ricotta

STEP TWO:  Make the filling

Mix 2 cups of cooked crab, 2 cups of ricotta, 1 leek that’s been sautéed in olive oil, 6 stems’ worth of picked thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve a spoonful of the filling for garnish.

STEP THREE:  Make the pasta

You will find a large variety of fresh pasta recipes online and in cookbooks.  A quick guideline ratio is 1 cup of flour to 1 egg plus one egg yolk.  I follow the recommendation of the flawless Marco Pierre White.  Easy.  Accurate.  Delicious.  I grated the remainder of our truffles (three tiny ones) into the dough.  Please try to add this if you can.  It makes a world of difference.

STEP FOUR:  Assemble the dish

I rolled the mixture into rollatini (heaping bits of the mix along the length of the pasta), greased the dish with truffle butter (thank you, Snowville and Greener Grocer) and baked for 20 minutes at 350 F.  You may do as you wish.  Cut your pasta into strips for papardelle and toss with the crab mixture.  Make ravioli and use the crab as the filling.  Just know that by making your own pasta you will attain new heights of flavor.

At the end of the day, this dish is about the transformative power of cooking.  The pasta is flour and eggs.  The cheese is simply warmed milk and a bit of lemon.  The truffles and leeks are pure earthiness.  Do yourself a favor – take the time to make something extraordinary.  It’s that time of year for fireworks.

Serve with Prosecco.

Playlist included Wow, by Kylie Minogue.  On repeat.

December 29, 2010

Soup of the Week | Chicken, Leek and Beech Mushroom

How do you make this soup?

Well, first you take a leek…

What can I say?  It’s a favorite around here.

Let me know if you want the recipe for this week’s lunch.

 

 

November 15, 2010

Low Country in the Midwest | Ooh, Lah Lah Shrimp & Grits

Awww.  I live in the midwest!  I feel happy about that!  Most people confuse Ohio with Iowa.  But whatever, even Ruhlman (who is from Cleveland) visited here last weekend and was, I think it’s safe to say, gobsmacked by how great it is in little ol’ Columbus.  (It’s in Ohio, not Iowa, people.)

So.  Dinner tonight was Shrimp and Grits.  I wanted to make this because I got my hands on a super secret new product that Snowville Creamery is developing.  And they gave it to li’l ol’ Persephone to try out.  Snowville developed a uniquely wonderful dairy product by concentrating very low-fat milk 2 1/2 times with a nano filtration system.  Science!  It makes the milk kind of like evaporated milk, only without heating.  It’s so deliciously sweet and thick and almost like cream, but with the fat of 2% milk.  You want it, right?  You’re thinking, “what might I do with that?”  Well, Persephone thought grits.  She also thought about rice pudding, but that’s another post.   Being from Texas, and having spent a fair bit of time in Georgia as well, cheese grits are something that frequently comes to mind.  Can’t help it. 

So without further ado and back story:

Ooh Lah, Lah Shrimp & Grits, serves four, plus a small Cherub with some leftover grits for breakfast (yay me!)

1 cup stone ground grits (I used local grits from Stutzman Farm)

3 cups Snowville Creamery Ooh, Lah Lah (or 3 cups whole or low-fat milk; please just not skim.  Please.)

3 cups of water (or stock)

1/2  cup smoked (really!)

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November 10, 2010

Get That Baby in the Kitchen | Homemade Hummus

 

Cherub, 3 (and a half now! she’ll tell you), was a big helper in the kitchen tonight.  And as a result, she totally nom’ed her dinner.  It didn’t hurt that one of her favorite things to eat is hummus anyway.  We made some homemade tonight since we had leftover chickpeas from last night’s dinner.  I served her hummus with some sumac-dusted salmon topped with a greek yogurt and cucumber sauce and warm flat bread.  Even with the “help” from Cherub, dinner was made and on the table in 30 minutes.  It was a fun evening in Persephone’s Kitchen.  Lots of love.  You could taste it in the food, too.

Cherub’s Hummus

1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

1 small bunch of watercress, tough stems removed

1 1/2 T butter

1 T olive oil

3 c cooked chickpeas (you could use rinsed canned, but it’s easy-peasy to start with dry, just takes a little time)

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