Friday, April 24, 2009

Lemon Frittata with Leeks and Goat Cheese

Food alla Puttanesca, recipe originally from The Kitchn

  • 7 eggs
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, cut lengthwise and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

  1. Pre-heat the broiler. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until slightly bubbly and well-mixed, then stir in the lemon zest. Crumble in the goat cheese.

  2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. It can be cast iron or another metal; just make sure it can go in the oven. Trim the leeks of any dry or browned edges on the green tops, then slice the remaining stalk into half moons. Toss everything into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes or until the leeks are softened. Stir in the parsley and cook just until wilted. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool for just a minute or two, then pour the cooked leeks into the bowl with the eggs and stir.

  3. Put the skillet back on the heat and film lightly with just a bit more olive oil. Pour the egg and leek mixture in and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the frittata has mostly set. Use a spatula to lift up the edges and make sure it's cooking evenly, letting the uncooked eggs run down into the bottom of the pan.

  4. When the frittata has set, put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Flip out onto a platter and serve immediately.

Notes: I thought this was missing something-- if I make it again, I would add some garlic and maybe some red pepper flakes. I liked the flavors together, but it didn't wow me.

Liz's Rating: 8/10
Tim's Rating: n/a

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce

Food & Wine

  • 4 (10-ounce) pork rib chops, 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup veal stock or canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Add the pork chops and cook over moderate heat until golden, turning once, 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet and roast until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the remaining oil and heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1/2 minute. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook over moderately high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the mustard and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pork to plates and spoon the sauce on top.

Notes: I served the pork chops over sautéed leeks... delicious.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TWD: Chocolate-Orange-Almond Bread Pudding

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate Bread Pudding!

I had never made bread pudding before and was excited to try it. I am trying to use up items in my pantry since we are moving soon, and I had some orange chocolate that I thought would work well in this recipe. It did! We loved it.

You can find the recipe at A Baking Blog and find links to all of the TWD bakers at the home site.

Tim's Rating: 9.5/10 "Tastes like chocolate French toast!"
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Next week on TWD: Chocolate Cream Tart

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bittman's Ma-Po Tofu

The Amazing Race's pit stop in China
and Mark Bittman

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or other oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, green part only
  • 1/2 cup stock or water
  • 1 pound soft or silken tofu, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced cilantro for garnish, optional

  1. Put oil in a deep 10-inch skillet or wok, preferably nonstick, and turn heat to medium-high. A minute later, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, and cook just until they begin to sizzle, less than a minute. Add pork, and stir to break it up; cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses most of its pink color.
  2. Add scallions and stir; add stock. Cook for a minute or so, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon if necessary to loosen any stuck bits of meat, then add tofu. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce; taste, and add salt and red pepper flakes as necessary. Garnish with cilantro if you like, and serve.

Notes: We are moving in a few weeks, and I am trying to use up items in my freezer and pantry. This recipe fit the bill, as I had ground pork and a lot of rice on hand. Apparently this recipe isn't very authentic (due to the lack of black bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns), but it was quick and tasty. Tim loves the combination of ginger, garlic, and scallions, as do I. Next time I might try a more authentic recipe. Meat lovers may want to use 1 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound tofu. We used 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes and didn't find it very spicy.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: China (again). Any suggestions?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad

Cooking Light

Notes: A great recipe for lunches, summer barbecues, tailgating...

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sausage Risotto with Mustard Greens

Bon Appétit

  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, Swiss chard, or mustard greens (12 ounces), tough bottom stems removed, leaves cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces mild Italian sausage (about 1 1/2 links), casings removed
  • 2 cups arborio rice (13 to 14 ounces)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

  1. Cook greens in boiling salted water just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain; cool.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; sauté until brown, breaking up with spoon, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until wine is almost absorbed. Add 1 cup broth. Stir until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining 4 cups broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more. Mix in greens after 10 minutes. Cook until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 25 minutes total. Mix in cheese and remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Serve risotto, passing additional cheese.

Notes: Tim stirred. He says stirring is his best kitchen task, and as we all know, risotto needs some good stirring!

Vegetarian Option: Replace sausage with additional greens or mushrooms and use vegetable broth.

Tim's Rating: 9.5/10
Liz's Rating: 9.5/10

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pad Thai

The Amazing Race's second pit stop in Thailand
adapted from a recipe found on

  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried flat rice noodles
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons Asian chile pepper sauce (Sriracha, depending on spice tolerance)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 8 ounces medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 6 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 cups bean sprouts

  1. Fill a large bowl with hot tap water and place the noodles in it to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oyster sauce, chile sauce, chicken stock and peanut butter. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, stir in garlic and cook for about 10 seconds. Add shrimp and chicken; cook, stirring constantly until shrimp is opaque and chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Move everything in the wok out to the sides and pour the eggs in the center. Cook and stir the eggs until firm. Add the noodles to the wok and pour in the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the noodles are tender. Add a bit more water if needed to finish cooking the noodles. Stir in 3 cups of bean sprouts and green onions. Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped peanuts. Taste for seasoning, adjusting the spice or lime juice if needed.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and remaining bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side.

Notes: When I lived in Madison, I ate a ton of Pad Thai. I would order it from the Sukho Thai cart on Library Mall for lunch... at least once a week. Tim and I ate at the restaurant many, many times when we were first dating. (Googling it shows they closed in 2007--so sad.) I didn't think it would be this easy to make! Pad Thai traditionalists will note the lack of tamarind paste, but I think the flavor is pretty close to most Pad Thai I have had. These leftovers will make a great lunch.

Vegetarian/Vegan Option: replace the fish sauce with soy sauce, the oyster sauce with vegetarian "oyster" sauce, and the chicken and shrimp with tofu or additional veggies.

Tim's Rating: 10/10 (loved it)
Liz's Rating: 9.5/10