Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sauteed turnip greens and spinach with pancetta and cannellini beans over tomato fettuccine

One of the many perks of living in Chinatown is that we're right next door to Little Italy. And that means easy access to Italian cured meats and cheeses from Di Palo's (in their beautifully renovated and expanded new store!) and fresh pasta from Piemonte Ravioli, a store we just discovered on Saturday that makes their own delightfully flavored pasta. How could it have taken us so long??

This is a simple (almost) vegetarian meal that really showcases that flavors of good dry beans, fresh turnip greens (from our CSA), fresh pancetta and homemade tomato fettuccine. The spinach I used was frozen (it was all I had on hand) but I'm sure this would be fantastic with fresh spinach as well. It was also my first time making dry beans from scratch. How easy and what a big taste difference! Because I was making so few, I didn't even pre-soak them. Enjoy!

Sauteed turnip greens and spinach with pancetta and cannellini beans over tomato fettuccine

Place beans in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until beans are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Free turnip greens from the turnips and break in half. Rinse, then spin dry in a salad spinner, along with spinach.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add fettuccine. Cook until it rises to the top, then drain and set aside until greens are ready.

Halve pancetta slices lengthwise, then roughly chop. Saute in a large skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add greens, cover and cook 6 minutes, stopping halfway through to give everything a good stir. Uncover and add beans, salt, sesame seeds and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes. Add wine and cook another 4 minutes, stirring, until it no longer tastes alcoholic. Add cardamom and cook a final 2 minutes. Toss with pasta. Enjoy!

Links to other turnip greens noshes:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

CSA Week 2: Filets de poulet au sauce de moutarde, menthe et persil

Week 2 of our CSA and we had another exciting haul: 5 more garlic scapes, 4 baby turnips with their greens still attached, 3 more heads of lettuce, 1 bunch swiss chard, parsley, mizuna and field greens. Obviously, salads are in our future, but I'm also trying to come up with some scrumptious cooked dishes as well.

While not cooked, I made this sauce on Thursday night when I came home hot and sweaty with my vegetables. I wanted a tasty, refreshing, light meal that wouldn't require too much work to prepare. After browsing online for a while, I found a recipe for a Mustard-Mint-Parsley Sauce that Alosha served with salmon. The sauce sounded delicious, but I was more interested in having meat than fish. So I searched for a turkey dish that would go nicely with the sauce. I finally settled on Turkey Cutlets from Kalyn's Kitchen. After tweaking both recipes quite a bit (and discovering that there actually are no turkey cutlets to be found in Chinatown), I created my own dish which, served with a simple salad with almonds, turned into a delightful meal.

Chicken fillets with mustard mint and parsley sauce

Begin by making the sauce so the flavors have sufficient time to meld. Simply mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Reserve until ready to use.
Now make the chicken. Mix breading mix, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together on a plate. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt into olive oil. Dredge each chicken fillet in breading, then add to hot pan. Cook 4 minutes, then flip, lower heat, cover and cook another 4 minutes until fillets are cooked through. Remove from pan and serve accompanied by sauce. Enjoy!
Links to other parsley noshes:

Monday, June 22, 2009

CSA Week 1: Cabillaud au pesto de mizuna

Thursday was the first shipment of our CSA and I couldn't be happier. For those of you who don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and basically means that the Boy and I have bought a share in a farm (in this case, Norwich Meadows Farm) and, for the next five months we will be receiving an assortment of freshly-harvested vegetables every Thursday. Not only is this saving us money; it also introduces us to vegetables we don't normally use and ensures that we eat many more vegetables since we certainly don't want to be wasteful. And, it provides us with an opportunity to conveniently get organic vegetables that are not traditional to Chinese cooking. All in all, a very good deal. In a few weeks, we'll also be starting a fruit share with produce from Red Jacket Orchards. Both of these are through a delightful store we discovered purely through our quest for a CSA--Provisions on Beekman. Located right near South Street Seaport, they have local products and fantastic olive oil (I currently have a bottle of their Blood Orange Olive Oil which is absolutely delightful.

So, you ask, what did we get this first week? 4 heads lettuce, 10 garlic scapes, 8 spring onions, 2 lbs. of greens (swiss chard, kale and mizuna) and 4 oz. parsley. I've already used quite a lot of the produce, having made kale, rotelle with swiss chard and garbanzo beans and stir-fried tofu with spring onions, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. But the recipe I'm sharing with you today is one I made on Friday night, when we had my parents over for shabbos dinner.

I was inspired by a recipe I found on serious eats for Cod with Pesto. Wanting to use some of my farm produce, I decided to make a pesto out of mizuna instead of the traditional basil. Spicy and very fresh-tasting, it was a perfect partner to the rich, buttery cod. It also was a perfect opportunity to use my blood orange olive oil. Enjoy!

Cod with Mizuna Pesto

Begin by preparing the pesto. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until everything is the same texture--that of a liquidy paste. Scoop into a bowl and set aside while you prepare the cod.

Preheat a George Foreman Grill. Rub cod on both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper. Cook in grill for 3 minutes. (Depending on the size of the grill and of your fillets, you may need to do this in batches.)

Serve cod and pesto together, encouraging diners to spoon as much pesto as they like onto the cod. Enjoy!

Links to other mizuna noshes:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farfalle margherita

Now I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I do most of the cooking around here. However, there are nights when I come home so exhausted that all I really want for dinner is a bowl of cereal. Unfortunately, that's been happening rather frequently lately (hence the lack of posts) as I've been working nights again. But sometimes, the Boy comes to my rescue, as he did the other night, by making me dinner.

Dinner made by the Boy almost always consists of pasta, and this was no exception--a simple, delicious homemade tomato sauce, sprinkled with fresh basil (from the little plants on our balcony) and le coup de grace--hunks of mozzarella di bufalo, purchased from Trader Joe's. A simple, delicious late-night meal, this will be even better made with fresh tomatoes when they burst into season. A nice alternative might also be to try it with smoked mozzarella! And because the Boy doesn't believe in measuring cups and spoons, these are approximate. Enjoy!

Farfalle margherita

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add farfalle and kosher salt and cook farfalle according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red onion and saute until onion begins to soften. Add both kinds of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until farfalle is cooked. Remove sauce from heat.

Drain farfalle and toss with tomato sauce. Add basil and mozzarella and toss until mozzarella begins to melt. Serve.

Links to other mozzarella di bufalo noshes: