Friday, October 30, 2009

Chorizo and Butter Bean "Stew"

As I've posted many times before, I have a huge crush on Jamie Oliver. Ever since his days as the Naked Chef, I've been following his cookbooks, television shows, products, projects and now... his magazine. I love getting Jamie Magazine every other month more than any other piece of mail. It's chock full of simple, rustic recipes, including the magnificent "recipe a day" centerfold, and is a constant source of cooking inspiration for me. I am so excited for his American tv series to start!

I had leftover polenta from last night's dinner, so I decided to have it for dinner with this chorizo and butter bean "stew" from the latest issue of Jamie. One thing I love about Jamie's recipes is that they are very intuitive, so even though he provides quantities and instruction, it's pretty easy to just look at the ingredients and improvise. I made this by just sauteing some Spanish chorizo with onion, adding some canned tomatoes and beans, and simmering until it was all good and soft. It was, as Mr. Oliver would say, "easy peasy" and deliciously smoky on a cold autumn night.

*Note: I also served this on top of crostini as an hor d'oeuvre at my last dinner party and it was a huge hit! I paired them with my "Out Like a Lamb" cocktail, which really complimented the smokiness of the chorizo. To make crostini, just slice good bread, brush with olive oil, and bake for a few minutes until it gets crispy. Then top with whatever you like!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Bee's Knees!

This is a classic 1920's cocktail that I recently discovered and LOVE.

3 parts gin
2 parts lemon juice
1 part honey syrup (1/2 honey, 1/2 warm water, whisked together)

Polenta with Roasted Winter Vegetables and Swiss Chard in "Bagna Cauda"

Bagna cauda is an anchovy-based sauce that is used for dipping vegetables. At the River Cafe in London, I had it with some delicious winter vegetables, and I decided to make a main course out of it at home by serving it over polenta. I just roasted beets, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and fennel with a little olive oil, thyme, and fennel seed. Meanwhile I made the sauce with anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and a little sweet vermouth and lemon juice, and I wilted some swiss chard in that while I made the polenta. The saltiness of the anchovies really complimented the sweetness of the root vegetables. Yum!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Tacos

This is pretty much a direct rip off from Doña Tomas... except theirs were called "quesadillas" and served with an amazing tomatillo salsa. Lacking tomatillos, I just used lemon thyme instead of regular thyme to add a little citrus to the dish.

1 medium sweet potato/yam, peeled and diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
lemon thyme
goat cheese
salt and pepper
3 small corn tortillas

Parboil the sweet potato. Sautee the onion and garlic until lightly caramelized. Add the sweet potato and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Serve in small corn tortillas.