Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Manchego, French Mustard, and Homemade Pickles

Fresh Black Eyed Peas with Roasted Tomatoes, Olives and Feta

I found fresh black eyed peas in the market today so we decided to adapt Hank Shaw's recipe for a Greek-inspired salad. By keeping the beans warm, along with the roasted tomatoes (as opposed to sun-dried), we made it into less of a salad and more of a hot meal. Yum!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Spaghetti with Quick Tomato Sauce and Garlic Bread

Erik's been craving spaghetti, and the heatwave earlier this week made my tomato plants explode with fruit, so I decided to make sauce. I just sauteed some onion with marjoram and dried chilies, threw in a couple of whole garlic cloves, and then added the tomatoes and let them caramelize. The result was amazingly sweet, and perfect with bread smeared with salted butter and roasted garlic.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Arugula Salad with Watermelon and Lemon Verbena; Smashed Chickpeas on Toast with Preserved Lemon and Chilies

Pear Almond Tart with Custard

Another River Cafe recipe, made with Warren pears from my dad's orchard, and served with warm vanilla custard... yummmm.

Hand-Rolled Fennel Pollen Pici in Fennel-Tomato Sauce

Inspired by this amazing blog post, and Hank's recipes, Erik and I went foraging for fennel pollen last week. After about a half hour of gently shaking fennel flowers into a tupperware container, we had about a tablespoon of pollen and at least as many bugs. Newly convinced that the price of imported, dried pollen was worth it, we gave up and bought a jar. Making the hand-rolled pasta (which has the pollen in it) was surprisingly easy and fun- I think it would be a great meal to make with kids if you have them.

Broccolini with Garlic and Chili

Whole Halibut Baked in Salt

We made this using a combination of instructions from Jamie Oliver, River Cafe, and an episode of Two Fat Ladies. It was a little scary at first but turned out amazingly!


with homemade ricotta, arugula, olives and chilies

with smashed chickpeas and sauteed chard

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers, Onions and Chili

This is my go-to meal when I don't have anything else in mind. I always have the ingredients in the pantry, so it's quick and easy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Buccatini with Oregano

When Erik picked this recipe out of one of our River Cafe cookbooks, the first thing I thought of was "Veronica, I made your favorite- spaghetti with lots of oregano!", so of course we watched Heathers while we ate. I must say that this recipe- which calls for 1/2 cup of dried oregano plus "two generous handfuls" of fresh oregano, tossed into the pasta with a bit of olive oil- was a bit much for me. This is only the second River Cafe recipe we've tried and disliked (I know, I really should change this blog's title to "Recipes from River Cafe and Jamie Oliver")... really it was just too much oregano. The pasta was bitter and woody (why did it need the dried oregano?), and desperately needed something to balance it out like some ground pine nuts or walnuts maybe, or even some cream or butter. The fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden were a nice, sweet reprieve, but I definitely did not go back for seconds. Oh, well...

ADDENDUM: We figured out that the problem arose from using Mexican dried oregano instead of Italian! The Italian variety comes in big, leafy bunches, whereas the Mexican is ground up and includes lots of stem pieces.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hopple Popple

A childhood favorite, and the perfect thing for recovering from strep throat this week: split pea soup with hot dogs. Recipe here.

15 Minute Cake

This is yet another flourless chocolate cake from River Cafe and the richest yet! No sugar, just eggs, dark chocolate (70% cacao), and butter. Yum!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Breakfast Salad

Inspired by Jamie Oliver: crispy pancetta, roasted tomatoes, shaved parmesan and toasted croutons over greens, with a poached egg.

Chocolate Walnut Cake

From River Cafe, like a giant, buttery brownie. Mmmmm.....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lentils with Boudin Blanc and Braised Fennel

Another Cafe Rouge sausage put to good use. I can never go to their butcher shop and just buy one thing...

Penne with Tuscan Sausage Sauce

From the River Cafe "Italian Country" cookbook. I made this with some delicious fennel sausage from Cafe Rouge, and tomatoes from my garden.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lentils with Duck Sausage and Homemade Peach Mostarda

The sausage came from Cafe Rouge, and I made the mostarda following the River Cafe recipe for Pears in Mustard Syrup, using peaches instead of pears and mustard seeds and powder instead of "mustard essence," which I couldn't find. I also added some thyme from the garden.

Roasted Satsuma Plums with Custard

Made with dad's amazing Satsuma plums, cooked with just a little brown sugar and vanilla. I packed this in jars so Marina and I could eat it while working at the craft show this weekend. Not very pretty, but pretty yummy.