saansaturday: (Default)
( Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:21)
My kitchen is really sparkling clean--because V was so wonderful as to clean the whole kitchen while I was out last night--and therefore calling me to come cook. Ah, I'm thinking bread this morning. Maybe for dinner, the roast chicken along with roasted asparagus. Last night watching Iron Chef America, I saw the challenger (parboil?) then cut in half and scoop out the insides of small yellow finns, then (roast?) them until a bit crispy, then fill them with Fonduta (a sort of cheese fondue of melted fontina, egg yolks, and something else I've forgotten). They were topped with bits of proscuitto and lots of shaved white truffle. They looked so good. So I'm thinking to imitate them, possibly subbing another cheese sauce for the fonduta and subbing white truffle oil for the shaved white truffles. Damn, I wish I had some truffles. I'd stuff the thin slices under the skin of my chicken and roast it like that, serve it with the potato skins and roasted asparagus. Maybe even drizzle the asparagus with truffle oil as well, make it a homage to truffles.

Anyway, tentative menu:

Italian Bread
Sexy Potato Skins
Roast Chicken infused with the flavor of (proscuitto, lemon zest, and thyme or rosemary?)
Roasted Asparagus with 10 year aged balsamico and (either unfiltered or Spanish) extra virgin olive oil

And for dessert, something with figs. Yum.
for the love of foodMmmm, 'twas a tasty weekend.

I started with a Turkish feast on Friday night--Imam Bayildi and Kabak Mücveri. Imam Bayildi ("the Imam fainted") is an almost simple combination of eggplant, tomatoes and olive oil that somehow manages to be a nearly unearthly delight. The eggplants are peeled in a striped pattern and halved lengthwise. After frying the eggplant halves in olive oil, they are stuffed with a simple oily tomato and onion sauce. A bit of water is added to the pan and they are braised in the oven. The dish is allowed to come to room temperature before the carnal indulgences begin. :)

Kabak Mücveri are zucchini fritters. Grated zucchini is drained of its liquid, then mixed into a batter with feta, eggs, flour and seasonings. The little zucchini pillows are fried in olive oil, of course. The insides are soft and light, the outsides just slightly crispy. Gods, I could eat thousands of them. They're good dipped in yogurt or mayo that's been seasoned with garlic. (Recipes for the Turkish feast can be provided upon request).

We had duck soup on Saturday. I found some yummy-looking duck pieces (legs and thighs) at the market and already had duck broth sitting in my freezer just waiting for such an occasion. The soup was simple--after browning the duck pieces and pouring off the fat for another use, I moved the duck to the edges of the pan and let my mirepoix sweat until the veggies were tender. I added lots of water and the duck stock (I only had about 2 or 3 cups of stock) along with some whole fresh herbs and brought everything to a boil. I turned it down to simmer for about an hour, then removed the herbs and duck pieces. I took the duck meat off the bones, added it back to the soup, adjusted the seasoning, then added my homemade wide egg noodles (pappardelle). I served the soup with the last slices of my Italian Bread.

On Sunday I made Truffle and Cracked Pepper Focaccia, using this recipe. The flavor is so divine with the truffle oil. I just have this thing about truffles, they give me such pleasure. It made a huge loaf, I mean huge. I'm going to think of some sandwichy way to eat it for lunch today, maybe with marinated cherry tomatoes, maybe avocado?

cheesyThen for dinner I made Itty Bitty Penne and Cheese. V was asking for Mac and Cheese, so I bought a big block of Irish Cheddar at the market. But Sunday night when I started cooking dinner I found that I didn't have any macaroni. But I did have these great mini penne. After a lot of experimentation, I finally found my favorite recipe for this dish...and it's revealed right here! )

I only took pictures Sunday night. Here's the photos of the Truffle and Cracked Pepper Focaccia and Itty Bitty Penne and Cheese )
ravioliI knew ravioli wouldn't be easy to make but even so, they were more difficult than expected. I found it nearly impossible to get them all the same size and the sheets of pasta kept coming out of my pasta machine with extremely angled ends. In the end all was good--I managed to make about eight servings of ravioli in two hours. I froze half of them, so next time I want to eat homemade ravioli it'll be easy.

I filled them with a combination of ricotta, buffalo mozzarella and parmesan. The sauce was toasted walnuts, fresh sage fried in olive oil and butter and a bit of salt and pepper. I garnished with parmesan shavings and truffle oil.

recipe and photo )


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