linguine and clam sauce February 15th, 2011

This one came from my dad.  He used to make it at the fire station when he worked as a paramedic and perfected it over quite a few years.  I’ve adapted it for those of us that need more explicit directions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Linguine
  • 3 cans of minced clams
  • 1 head of fresh parsley
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (fresh grated is best, powdered is ok)

Directions:

Cut the parsley from the heads and finely chop it (a food processor will tend to chop it too much).  Peel 8-10 cloves of garlic and finely chop them.  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with an extra coat of olive oil (enough so that there is some standing oil).  Drain the juice from each of the cans of clams into the pan.  Add the chopped parsley and garlic.  Add several shakes of italian seasoning and a couple of good turns of the black pepper grinder.  Set the pan on a large burner at approximately 20-25% power and let it heat up and simmer while starting the pasta water boiling (if using a gas stove, decrease the intensity of the heat by stacking a burner on top of another – the clams and garlic can burn easily so stir often).  Add a few shakes of olive oil and italian seasoning to the pasta water.  It has heated enough when the sauce starts to change to a light milky color and bubbles slightly.  If you started the pasta water at about the same time, this will be about the time the water starts boil.  At this point, add all of the cans of clams to the sauce and put the linguine into the pot of water.  Boil the pasta for about 8 minutes, stirring the clam sauce frequently.  When the pasta is tender, everything is done cooking.

Scoop the pasta out into a strainer and then pour the remaining stock slowly over the pasta, allowing the oil and seasoning to stick to the pasta.  Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.  Add a generous amount of parmesan cheese (this will help thicken the sauce).  Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss it thoroughly.  Add some parmesan cheese and toss some more.  Serve on plates.  Use a spoon to scoop some of the good parts of the sauce from the bottom onto each serving.

Notes:

  • I’ve made this with pre-chopped garlic and parsley and its just not the same.  I always chop my own parsley and garlic now for this recipe.
  • Goes well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
  • 1 lb of linguine will feed 3-5 people
  • It took a while to get the timing right.  Time it all around the pasta.  Turn the heat on to the sauce and the pasta water at the same time.  The sauce simmers (prior to adding the clams) for about the amount of time it takes to get the water boiling.  Once the water is boiling add the pasta to the pot and the clams to the sauce.  Both will be done after about 8 minutes.

Enjoy.

Pear and Prosciutto Pizza February 7th, 2011

I recently had a spectacular pizza. The ingredients are below and I’m going to try to make it at home.

Ingredients:

  • Prosciutto and Pears (sliced)
  • Crumbled gorgonzola
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Crust prepared with olive oil and honey dijon mustard
  • Maybe some chives sprinkled on top?

Attempt 1

Ok, my first attempt is in the oven! Here’s what I did.

Making the crust:

  • Use Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
  • Mix packet of yeast, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 2/3 cup of warm water, 3 tbsp olive oil. Gradually add flour and knead into dough ball. I also added about 3tbsp of Grey Poupon dijon mustard to the mix
  • Transfer to pizza pan
  • Mix about 3tbsp dijon mustard and olive oil in a bowl and mix up. Top the pizza crust with this sauce.
  • Cover generously with shredded parmesan cheese (I meant to get mozarella but got home with the wrong thing) – about 2.5 -3 oz
  • Add about 3oz of sliced prosciutto to the top
  • Thinly slice 3/4 to a whole pear and and place on top
  • Add 2oz crumbled gorgonzola
  • Slice some fresh chives and sprinkle on top
  • Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes

This came out close but not quite to what I was going for.  Next time, I’ll go for a thinner crust.  Also, I would switch to mozzarella vs parmesan and pre-mix it with the gorgonzola.  Some of the better pieces either had more even gorgonzola distribution or pear slices that came with the gorgonzola and a kick of mustard.  The combination of pear, gorgonzola and mustard taste was the best part but it wasn’t even across the entire pizza.

This was a real treat when I discovered it the first time.  It’s simple.  I used to buy full trouts and fillet them but I think it will work with just about any white fish fillets.

Main ingredients:

  • Trout fillet (about 7oz) or other white fish
  • Lemon
  • Oats (not instant – a couple of handfuls)

Other supplies:

  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt an pepper

Preheat the broiler to the highest setting.  Cover a baking sheet with olive oil and put fillet(s) skin down on it.  Season fillets liberally with salt and pepper.  Smear a teaspoon of mustard over each fillet and rub in with your fingers.  Put a handful of oats per fillet in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread oats over top of fillet.  Pat down, add oil and pat again.  Broil for about 10 minutes.  Oats should be golden brown.

Adapted from: Jamie’s Food Revolution, p253

Total time: about 20 minutes

The fillets tend to be pretty small and never fill me up.  The original recipe suggests adding watercress as or babe potatoes.  Whatever it is paired with, make sure it is substantial.

Pesto Salmon With Green Beans February 7th, 2011

Salmon and Pesto, two of my favorite things.

Main Ingredients:

  • 7oz-ish salmon fillet
  • handful of green beans
  • lemon

Other Supplies:

  • Green Pesto (1tbsp)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Aluminum foil

Source: JFR p.248

Time: 15-30 minutes

Mediterranean Pita February 6th, 2011

So a few months before I left Denver, I fell in love with this new fast food place: Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill.  The main thing they do is pitas chock full of goodness and I’ve been meaning to figure out how to make them myself.  I would typically add the following stuff to it:

  • Seasoned Rice
  • Hummus
  • Red Onion
  • Vegetable Salad
  • Mediterranean Garlic or Tahini sauce
  • Chicken
  • Feta Cheese

This makes a great single serving meal and I’m going to see what supplies I need on hand to whip one up.

Quiche February 6th, 2011

I used to make Quiche’s in college and I absolutely love them.  Here’s an easy one:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a 15 oz package rolled refrigerated piecrust (1 piecrust)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped cooked ham, chicken or crabmeat (abour 3.5 oz)
  • 1.5 cups shredded swiss, cheddar, monterey jack and/or havarti cheese (6 oz)

Other Supplies:

  • 1.5 cups half-and-half, light cream or milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • ground nutmeg (dash)
  • all purpose flour (1 tbsp)

Prep: 25 minutes, Bake: 52 minutes, Stand: 10 minutes

Can also add: chopped fresh spinach (up to 3 cups), mushrooms, tomatoes

Source: BHG p238