Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Honeycrisp apples have a really sweet flavor and they are quite juicy. They make a great eating apple but this recipe stated that when baked long and slow, they ooze out their juices and caramelize. It sounded like these would make a delicious topping for my breakfast yogurt and indeed they did. Another positive thing about this recipe was that it made the whole house smell divine! Nothing better than the smell of baked apples with their accompanying spices.
Slow Baked Honecrisp Apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 medium honeycrisp apples (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp finely grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter four 3/4 cup custard cups or ramekins. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up in case the apples bubble over.
Mix sugar, cinnamon and ginger together in a small bowl. When butter cools, stir in vanilla. Peel apples, then core and quarter them. Slice the apples into 1/8 inch thick slices. Place a thin layer of apple slices in each prepared custard cup, overlapping slices; brush lightly with butter mixture. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp sugar mixutre over each cup, then sprinkle very lightly with orange peel. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients are used. Cover tops of cups with parchment paper then foil. Using a small knife, pierce 3-4 holes through the foil and paper to allow steam to escape. Place cups on prepared baking sheet.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Broccoli rabe is a cousin of our familiar broccoli but it is has very thin stalks, many more leaves and small, less densly clumped flowerettes. It also has a slightly bitter taste compared to broccoli. To prepare, the thick ends are cut off (approximately two inches) and then it is cut into two inch sections, parpoiled for 2-3 minutes then drained and immediately placed in ice water to stop the cooking and retain its bright, vibrant green color.
The pasta used is the shape called orrechiette which means " little ears" in Italian. This is a great recipe as it is relatively quick to make and extremely flavorful. You can increase the red pepper flakes to taste. My "pinch" made a fairly spicy dish and really woke up the taste buds!
Orrechiette with Sausage, Garlic and Rapini
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, trimmed and washed
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage (mild or hot to your liking)
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes or to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 pound orrechiette pasta
1/2 cup dried, seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reiggiano or Romano cheese
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add salt and cook the broccoli rabe until just beginning to be tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately then rinse under cold running water. Chop into bite size pieces and put in ice water and hold aside.
Rinse out pot, fill with water and bring to a boil again.
Meanwhile, bron the sausage in a large skillet set on medium-high heat. Pour off half the sausage fat and add the olive oil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, turn the heat to low and barely simmer while you cook the pasta.
Add a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water and cook the orrechiette until tender. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water. Drain the pasta well and add to the simmering sausage mixture. Add just enough reserved pasta water to make a sauce. Raise the heat and cook until the sauce has thickened, adding more water if needed. Toss in the breadcrumbs to help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Taste for salt. Toss in the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese on the side. Serves 4-6.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
On a positive note, the Winter season does bring us some beautiful citrus from warmer climes around the country and world. When it's gloomy outside, what better thing to eat than some refreshing vitamin C-filled fruit such as navel oranges, grapefruit and the amazing blood oranges that show up at the stores sometimes.