Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mascarpone Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

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A lot of people (read: two) have told me that when they think about mascarpone cheese, they think about dessert. Italian desserts to be more specific. Today, I am here to change that thinking with this pasta.

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I got this recipe from my friend Giada. While I usually don’t trust skinny chefs, her recipes usually impress me.

With less than 10 ingredients, this will be ready in no time.

She says it serves 6-8 but who are we kidding? It serves 4.

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sautee asparagus and mushrooms

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melt in the mascarpone

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the addition of nutmeg, walnuts and parmesan give this pasta a really unique flavor/texture

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ready in no time!

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top with grilled chicken if desired

MASCARPONE PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOMS

ingredients: 

sea salt

1 pound farfalle pasta

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

1 cup mascarpone cheese

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

instructions and directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.

courtesy of foodnetwork

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LINGUINE WTH SUMMER VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

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I’ve been slacking and only posting once a week  because I am doing some renovation work to the hizz-ouse, before we put it on the market. Half of my house is in my kitchen and nobody wants to see a food blog about Christmas decorations, a bedside table and a toothbrush. My hungry-apple-iphone-camera is full and I can’t make food in my kitchen anyway.

If you don’t like summer recipes, this may be a good time for you to close your eyes. I’m thinking the blog is going to be very summery for a few weeks so I can fit in all the recipes I have to share, before I dive into things like pumpkin and butternut squash and dreary cold weather.

This recipe is straight from Real Simple and is straight up delicious.

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i used all kinds of small tomatoes. tomatoes do not have to just be red people.

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zuchinni ribbons=an easy way to look fancy without having to actually be fancy

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summah corn

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taste the rainbow

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topped and ready to go a la 1976

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are these colors blowing your mind?

LINGUINE WTH SUMMER VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

ingredients:

3/4 pound linguine (i used fresh)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups fresh corn (from 2 ears)

2 cloves garlic, sliced

sea salt and  fresh black pepper

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 small zucchini (about 1 pound), cut into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled yourself

instructions and directions: 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the corn is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and ½ cup of the cooking water to the pasta. Cook over medium heat, gently tossing, until the liquid is slightly thickened and coats the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).

Serve sprinkled with the oregano, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Eat Here Restaurant Review! Etch

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I recently had the pleasure of trying out a new-ish restaurant, in downtown Nashville. Etch opened at the end of last summer and although I am not sure what took me so long to try it, I am sure I will be going back again.

My findings:

First thing is first. I will get the thing I didn’t like about the restaurant, out of the way so we can move on to more positive experience-shall we?

Etch is in no way relaxed. I have a laid back approach to food and like to enjoy it in an environment where I feel comfortable to throw a leg up  while my shoe sits alone on the floor and my bare foot sits under my other leg. You probably won’t want to do that here and I tend to enjoy restaurants where you can.  Excited laughing and bantering with friends will probably get  a few funny looks from other diners dressed in the usual “I just left a business meeting and came to dinner” garb. If you like that type of environment, then you are most certainly, in luck. If you don’t, try to suffer through it because the food is  well worth it.

Moving on……We were cheerfully greeting by 3 hostesses that were all accommodating and welcoming. They were also friendly as could be on the way out. Our server, Kenneth, was decidedly wonderful from the moment we sat down. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the menu and gave specific (ingredient) descriptions of each meal we ordered. His passion for food was really so evident and appreciated.

They had a short but varied (by the glass) wine list that I can’t comment on because they happened to have my favorite beer (Turtle Anarchy Portly Stout) on tap and I was in the mood for that.

Below are pictures of what we ordered with description:

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Octopus and Shrimp Bruschetta: The octopus in this was so amazing that I found myself really wishing that it was only octopus.

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Fried Short Rib App: A must order. Fancy comfort food on a plate. Creative while still being familiar.

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Venison: I thought this was the most interesting dish on the table all night. The flavors (cranberry relish, Moroccan spices, sweet potato) were sort of like Thanksgiving, in a really good way. The venison was not gamey at all and instead tasted like a very tender filet. Absolutely amazing. This dish gets a 10.

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Pork Tenderloin: This was my second favorite 🙂 It almost resembled Marsala, but it was even better. The mushroom sauce and the chorizo were  exotic and I would definitely consider ordering this next time. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly and you could cut it with your fork.

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Scallop Entree: The greens were great and the scallops were cooked perfectly, but the fried mushrooms made this dish too oily and I was wishing they weren’t there. (Least favorite entree but still delicious) Those red dots? Those are beet sriracha. Yum.

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Filet: I wasn’t surprised that they had a terrific filet. The red wine gravy was awesome. I am not a fan of mashed potatoes but these were some of the best I have ever had.  Topping things with duck butter, never hurts either.

I was stuffed but had a scoop of their homemade cantaloupe (flavors rotate) sorbet for dessert. It was so good. Could use a pint of that right now. (It came on top of some graham cracker type crumbs that I wasn’t too fond of though. They took away from how “cantaloupey” the sorbet was.)

I give Etch 8 1/2 apples. I will definitely be returning. Thanks for the fabulous food and A+ service!

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Lighter Shrimp Po Boy

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Shrimp Po Boys are a fun thing to order when you’re at the beach or a local seafood restaurant. Because they are fried and covered in delicious sauces, navigating your way through both eating them and trying to maintain a healthy diet, can be impossible.

I created (don’t I sound artistic) this recipe with healthier eating in mind. I baked the shrimp instead of frying! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. It still has french bread and a sauce, but it is MUCH better than your restaurant alternative, if you’re craving this sort of thing.

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Toss shrimp with olive oil

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Dredge in panko breadcrumbs and bake, instead of frying

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The baguette I found at the grocery store bakery that day, was still warm from the oven!

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Slice the baguette almost all of the way through but without cutting the inside, to make it easier to stuff

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Top with remoulade (i used a Ziploc bag-with a small hole in the corner-to pipe out the remoulade)

LIGHTER SHRIMP PO BOY

ingredients: 

1 pound large shrimp (about 21-25), peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

lettuce (i used mixed greens)

large baguette cut into 4 (or 4 small baguettes)

remoulade: 

1 cup olive oil mayo

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

10 grinds fresh pepper

1 green onion, finely sliced

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

the juice of half a lemon

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch of celery salt

instructions and directions: 

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the remoulade and let it set in the fridge.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge in bread crumbs and place shrimp evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Remove from oven.

Slice baguettes 3/4 of the way through, so that bread is still attached on one side. (This makes it easier to eat. ) Warm if desired.

Layer baguettes with mixed greens, 5-8 shrimp (depending on size) and top with remoulade.