Monday, June 27, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sage, brown butter and walnut mashed cauliflower. Delish!
Sure, it sounds like the oddest compilation of ingredients since putting cheese whiz on a steak sandwich, but similar to the famous Philadelphia cheesesteak, you have to just absolutely trust that it is worth eating. And, as many know, there is nothing quite like the taste of a whiz wit cheesesteak... or whiz witout!
The main ingredient to this recipe that really makes it tick is the red wine. Actually, it's really the best component to just about every one of my dinners.
Red wine, huh?
Yes! Red wine! Take a glass and keep it in your hand to accompany you while the food processor does all of the work.
The great thing about mashed cauliflower is that it will fool a great number of people into thinking it's mashed potatoes; and it obviously has fewer carbohydrates than spuds. A win-win situation!
Cauliflower has a safe and mild flavor, like the potato, that serves as a beautiful canvas upon which to layer a great number of flavors that enable this side dish to take the main stage! After all, the best part of most meals are the side dishes.
Sage, Brown Butter & Walnut Mashed Cauliflower
Yields 4 to 6 servings
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cauliflower florets onto a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes. When there is 5 minutes' time left to the roasting, add the walnuts to the baking sheet.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I wish that I had something more sophisticated and Jane Austen-esque to say about this ice cream other than, Hooo Doggies.
Who am I kidding? If Queen Elizabeth were to taste this herself, she would absolutely exclaim Hooo Doggies!!! (I am hoping that you are also getting an incredibly amusing mental picture!)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
When Emily asked me if I wanted to do a guest post exchange, of course I was on board right away. She is, after all, fabulous, as all of you loyal readers of her blog are undoubtedly already aware.
But everything is more fun with a theme, right? So we put our heads together and came up with this: We would each put our own spin on an iconic dish from one another's respective cities. Emily would create something original representing my city of Baltimore (you can check out her yummy creation here on Tasty Trix) and I would make my own version of something famous from Emily's amazing city, Philadelphia. (I not-so-secretly wish I lived there.)
Now, most people think that Philly food begins and ends with the cheesesteak, but I think the city's sandwich culture is much richer than that. To me, the truly iconic Philly hoagie is roast pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a seeded roll, and if you ask me, nobody does that better than Paesano's, one of the best sandwich shops in the world (I am not exaggerating). Behold their "Arista," made from juicy roast suckling pig:
For my Philly creation, I wanted to capture the flavors of this sandwich, but in a new form. I also wanted to incorporate Italian American influences, given that community's profound historic influence on shaping the city's food culture. And so I came up with ...
... broccoli rabe and sharp provolone ravioli, smothered in a rich pork ragu:
Yes, it is every bit as good as it looks! Be warned, though, it's definitely a weekend dish - you've got to start the sauce in the morning and just let it simmer all day until it's thick and porky and infused with layers and layers of flavor. Then, if you're unlucky like I was, your pasta rolling machine will break and you'll spend half of your afternoon hand rolling your ravioli dough in a 300 degree kitchen. I don't recommend it.
But, all's well that ends well. Just have a gander at these beauties:
Considering the fact that I am not an Italian grandma (or granddaughter, for that matter), I had to roll the stuff by hand, and this was my first-ever attempt at home ravioli making, I don't think they turned out too badly! Here's what you do:
First, get your sauce going. In a large stockpot over medium heat, gently saute 2 medium onions, 3-4 celery ribs, and 2-4 carrots, diced small, in 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil. To this, add a few slices of chopped prosciutto and a dash of sat and pepper. Next, add 1 pound each of ground pork and sweet Italian sausage that's been removed from its casing. Don't let the meat brown - just cook until it's fragrant and loses its pink color. Now add one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and one 28 oz can of San Marzano plum tomatoes. Give everything a stir, turn the heat down very low, and just let it all come together for hours, stirring occasionally. Once the meat is cooked you can start tasting the sauce for seasoning, but don't go crazy with the salt too early because your sauce will continue to reduce and concentrate in flavor.
Meanwhile, make your dough. You can use AP flour or, ideally, farina tipo "00." Basically, figure you'll need 1-2 large eggs per cup of flour. I used 3 cups of flour and ended up needing 5 eggs. Make a well with the flour (add a good pinch of salt), put the eggs in the middle and mix until the dough comes together. Don't knead for too long or the dough will get tough. I did a pictorial on it here. Let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
Now make your filling. Blanch one large bunch of broccoli rabe for one minute in boiling salted water, and immediately plunge into ice water. Dry thoroughly and chop very finely. To this, add 2 ounces of grated sharp provolone, one beaten egg, and enough ricotta to hold everything together.
When you're ready to make the ravioli, roll the dough out into thin sheets, and place one-inch balls of filling at even intervals. Fold the dough over the filling, and cut the ravioli to your desired size. I started out using a ravioli cutter, but I found that in my hot kitchen it was pinching the dough, and I had better luck with my trusty bench cutter and a fork.
You know the rest: Boil the ravioli in salted water for just 3 minutes, top with that luscious sauce, grate a little sharp provolone on top, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
The flavors of my favorite Philly sandwich - slightly bitter rabe, garlic, pork, pungent cheese - really were present in this dish, but in an entirely different configuration. Just look at that ravioli filling ... I could eat pounds of it. I think I actually did:
Thank you Emily for having me as your guest - I had a great time! And thank you to Emily's readers for checking out my post - don't forget to go check out her fabulous Baltimore-style creation on Tasty Trix!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
We Malloys grill quite often, as often as the weather will allow us, that is. If the sun is out, our charcoal grill is going!
Considering all of the above, we have become quite experimental and persistent with our grilling because there is no way on this green earth that I am turning on that oven or stove. Ah! So grilling it is.
Ah, I love to come home to the smell of the charcoal getting ready in the chimney grill starter. It just comes in through the windows and smells like heaven!
My absolute favorite thing to grill is asparagus. The smokey charcoal taste on this little wobbly green vegetable is amazing. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Top it off with Parmesan cheese?! Stick a fork in me. I'm done for.
1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and ends removed
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Brush the asparagus with olive oil.
2. On a grill- charcoal or gas- cook the asparagus using indirect heat (not directly over the coals, but pretty close to them) or on medium (if using a gas grill).
3. Cook for approximately 1 to 2 minutes per side, rotate until all sides cooked. The asparagus should brown beautifully.
4. Top with cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I will never forget the first time I ate gelato. After I had taken my first bite, I was strolling down Via della Paneterria in Rome, listening to the sounds of the birds singing their afternoon song and children’s laughter. The sun kissed my face as I watched a group of nuns quietly whisper and smile as they crossed in front of me. A man resembling Fabio had mistaken me for a young Sophia Loren.
The euphoric state continued with..... AH! Continued with what?!?!? Click here to find out, silly goose!
Monday, June 6, 2011
A good breakfast should wake you up and fill your mind with awe and wonder.
With each bite, you are thrown into a complete state of euphoria. You realize that your feet are no longer touching the ground as you are lifted high upon a cloud. In the distance you hear the soft voices of cherubim and seraphim.
You are at peace and all in the world begins to make sense. The puzzle pieces come together, including the true meaning behind James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and its idiosyncratic language. Why did you ever flunk that exam in high school?!
Oh, yes! Not only do you understand this, but you have come up with the true path to world peace, yes, it all is coming together now...
...until you realize that in 30 minutes that you have to be at work and that your hair is still sticking straight up from your sleepless night and you have black eyes from the mascara that didn't fully wash off the night before, the dog still has to go for a walk, and you never took out the trash.
...But, who really cares because you have just had a breakfast that made your day. And your day has only just begun. And you wonder to yourself, could this possibly be the best egg scramble I have ever eaten?
Yes, dear soul, yes you are correct. It is truly the best egg scramble you have ever eaten.
Scrambled Eggs with Arugula, Crab, Artichoke Hearts, and Tomatoes
Yields: 4 Servings
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Photo courtesy: Dolce Seaview Resort
Stop by if you're in the area this weekend and see some of ShopRite's Potluck Bloggers at ShopRite's Pavilion tent! It should be a beautiful weekend!!