Thursday, July 30, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I’ve been meaning to share this post with you for awhile now; but hey things happen; recipes get put on the back burner and before you know it weeks go by. Back in the beginning of June my cousin Marie was visiting for a few days from New Jersey. We didn’t get to have many meals together, as her and my mom spent most of the visit in Laughlin, but the one meal we did share was really good.

We started with a large antipasto salad with homemade Italian dressing (recipe below). Besides lettuce we included: chunks of extra sharp provolone cheese, a cannellini bean salad, sliced hard boiled eggs, marinated olives, roasted peppers, hearts of palm, diced tomatoes and fresh basil springs.

The antipasto was followed by a new recipe I found in one of my Food & Wine magazines, called Corzetti Pasta with Veal Ragu.

We substituted homemade pappardelle pasta for the corzetti as we weren’t able to find them here in Phoenix. The one thing that made this ragu stand apart from others I’ve tried was the addition of the veal shanks and marrow. I think they added a very robust flavor to the sauce. I would definitely make this again.

I hope you agree that sharing this post was better late than never.

Italian Dressing
4 ounces red wine vinegar
4 ounces olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

I'm sending this over to Amy at Very Culinary for this weeks Presto Pasta Nights.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Laura from Ciao Amalfi has given me the "One Lovely Blog Award." Thanks Laura!

I'd like to pass this on to the following blogs that I enjoy:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birthday Lamb with Homemade Gnocchi

Several weeks back I celebrated my 39th birthday and I wrote an entire post about my chocolate cake; totally neglecting to mention the wonderful dinner my husband made for me. (sorry honey) So I thought I’d tell you about it now; better late than never, right? Plus it’s perfect timing for submission in Presto Pasta Nights #122 being held over at Eats Well with Others. If you haven’t been by there yet; check it out Joanne does a great job.

Now for the pasta:

Browsing through back issues of food magazines (which by the way I love to do) I came across a recipe for Lamb Chops and Ragu with Malloreddus. I know what you’re thinking…what the heck are Malloreddus?? Beats me; but the recipe said you could substitute cavetelli or gnocchi. That’s all I needed to know. I love gnocchi and I love lamb. Sounded perfect; and it was.

My husband did a great job with the sauce, pulling it together in no time and he even made me homemade gnocchi. He’s so good to me. Now if I could only get him to drive me to Vegas for my 40th!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cheese Steak on a Plate

Our friends Chris and Ed, who are native Phoenicians, finally made it to Philadelphia for vacation last year. And although they really wanted to try one; they never got to eat a Philly cheese steak their entire trip

For some reason this was in the back of our minds as we were perusing the meat case, at our local supermarket, trying to decide what to make them for dinner. Then we came across the ½ inch thick rib-eyes (thinly sliced rib-eye is the meat used in an authentic Philly steak) and the meal sort of fell in place: Cheese steak on a plate.

Provolone cheese has always been our cheese of choice when it comes to a steak sandwich. My husband was able to find a Bobby Flay recipe for provolone sauce which worked really well as a dip for our rib-eyes. We also made a ketchup based steak sauce; because yes, we do put ketchup on our cheese steaks.

Since a steak sandwich is not complete without the following options for toppings: fried onions, sauteed mushrooms and roasted peppers, we made a bunch to serve on the side. Some roasted garlic potatoes instead of fries and we had our cheese steak on a plate.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th BBQ-Recap

My husband and I wanted to do something just a little different this year with our 4th of July BBQ. Instead of having grilled burgers topped with the traditional lettuce tomato and ketchup on the standard burger bun; we made muffaletta burgers.

Topped with some provolone cheese and an olive salad; and spread with lemon garlic aioli on ciabatta rolls these burgers were a huge hit. I’ll admit I was a little nervous at first serving them to our guests. I just wasn’t sure how people were going to react. I even went as far as putting out the traditional toppings just in case. I’m happy to report that everyone decided to give the muffaletta burgers a try and they also seemed happy with them.

On the side we tried a new recipe: Julia Child’s American Style Potato Salad. Creamy with just the right amount of chopped egg, dill pickle and crispy bacon; this one is a keeper. To round out our meal John grilled some corn on the cob and I whipped up some garlic basil butter as a spread.

Definitely not traditional....but utterly delicious.