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Honeymoon Ravioli

Nutella Bread for Dessert or for Breakfast!

 

Easy Italian Pulled Pork

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Make Homemade Limoncello

 

These Aren't Pasta Noodles - They're Zucchini Noodles!

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Breakfast Fruit Walkaway is a family favorite

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A Delicious Vegetarian Dish: Pasta alla Norma

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Eating Our Way Through the Amalfi Coast

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Make Whipped Cream That Lasts

My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Green Bean, Potato, Pasta Salad with Pesto

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Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits Require No Baking

Make Pie Dough in 60 Seconds!

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

 

Spicy Bucatini all'Amatriciana - a Roman Classic

My Mom's Pork Chops

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My Five Inexpensive Kitchen Essentials

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese

Sunday
Apr272008

Farm Eggs


Look at these beauties! Remember my post back in February complaining about having to buy grocery store eggs? Well, the new hens over at Flying Goat Farms in Mason are finally laying! I've great fresh farm eggs again. What a difference. Take a look:


Can you see how orange the farm egg is compared to the paler grocery store egg? Well, that makes a very big difference in the taste. And if you look carefully at the picture, you can even tell a difference in the egg whites. The farm egg's white is much firmer and distinctive. Michael Pollan talks about this in his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? It should be required reading. If you are interested in the health differences of food like this compared with industrial food, or if you're at all interested in food and nutrition, put this book on your reading list.

Monday
Apr212008

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup

This is a really simple soup, but you won't believe how delicious it is. I had made it and photographed it, but never posted it. Then I read the latest post from Cookiecrumb over at "I'm Mad and I Eat" and I had to post this. She's been pulling out her old cauliflower and broccoli plants (sigh - she lives in California. That's why her plants are already old). Anyway, it made me think of this soup, which is a great thing to make with leftover cauliflower and broccoli. Don't skip the step of roasting the cauliflower - it adds a depth of flavor you don't get otherwise.

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower (or 1 small head), cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 head of broccoli 
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • couple handfuls of baby spinach
  • parmesan cheese

Instructions:

On a baking sheet, spread out cauliflower and roast in oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until cauliflower starts to brown a little.

In a large saucepan, saute onions in a little olive oil for several minutes, until translucent. Add chicken stock, cauliflower and broccoli and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Make sure broccoli is soft. Add spinach and cook for a couple minutes more.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot. (If you don't have one, transfer the soup to a blender and puree. But geez, if you don't have an immersion blender go out and get one right away - they're just too great not to have one).

Serve soup with a little grated parmesan on top.

Buon appetito!

Friday
Apr182008

Porchetta

In Italy, this is a common way to fix pork loin which can be dry and bland, because it is so lean. I never make pork loin because of that, unless I butterfly it and stuff it somehow and cook it for a long time. The flavors used here - sage, rosemary, salt, and garlic - are classic flavors in Italy to use with pork. Use good white wine for the sauce and then pour yourself a glass.

 

Porchetta

 

for a printable recipe, click here

Ingredients:

  • 1 center cut pork loin (3-5 pounds)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • several sprigs of fresh sage
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • kosher or sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth  

Instructions:

Butterfly pork loin, fat side down. Don't trim this outer layer of fat off - it will help keep the meat moist.

Place plastic wrap over meat and pound until flat and even.

Strip herbs off their stems. Finely chop together with the garlic. Salt and pepper the meat. Spread the herbs on top of the meat.

Roll up the meat, secure with twine. Fat side will be on the outside.

In a heavy oven proof roaster, brown the meat on top of the stove. Brown well on all sides.

Place small piece of foil on top of pork roll, tuck in around the meat. This will keep the meat from drying out during roasting.
Roast at 325 degrees for at least two hours - you can roast for three hours and the meat will be even more tender. During roasting, if you feel the pan is too dry, add a little water to keep the meat moist. Most times, you shouldn't have to do this.

Take the meat out of the pan and place on cutting board. Put roaster on top of stove. You should have some very nice browned bits of meat - fond - on the bottom of the pan. Turn the stove to medium heat. Add the wine and, with a whisk, deglaze the pan. Add the broth and stir until you have a nice pan sauce.

Slice roll and pour pan sauce over the slices.