Tuesday, November 29, 2016

11-29-16 Penne with Zucchini, leeks, and sundried tomatoes




After 4 days of turkey and stuffing, as good as it was I needed some pasta.  But saying I want pasta is like saying I want beef, or vegetables.  There are so many ways they can be prepared.  My first thought was to use some of the porch tomatoes for a sauce, but Patience requested I use them in a salad, which I was happy to do.  There was nothing in the kitchen that inspired me, and since I was planning on a trip to Midtown Market for some Provolone and Mortadella I thought I’d see what I could find there.  And BINGO, as soon as I saw the Leeks in the produce section I knew what I would do, and I did it.

INGREDIENTS:

1.     Penne pasta
2.     Zucchini sliced crosswise
3.     Leeks sliced crosswise
4.     Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil coarsely chopped
5.     Olive oil
6.     Garlic 11or 2 cloves crushed
7.     Fresh Dill
8.     Celery
9.     Chicken broth
10. Sweet Vermouth
11. Parmigiano cheese

PROCESS:

Cook the Leeks and celery in olive oil over medium heat until soft.  Add the zucchini and garlic and cook over high heat until the zucchini is browned on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  About half way through this I added about ¼ cup of chicken broth and ¼ cup of Sweet Vermouth.  Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add some finely chopped fresh dill.  When the pasta is ready add it to the pan with the “sauce”.  Add some pasta water if it is too dry.

COMMENTS:

What a sweet dish, literally.  The sundried tomatoes and the sweet vermouth gave it a distinct, and savory flavor.  It was fun to cook, and more fun to eat.

And the tomato salad?

 





Sunday, November 20, 2016

11-19-16 Front Porch tomatoes and Angel Hair Pasta




The promise of an overnight freeze led Patience and me to pick every ripe and almost ripe tomato from our porch garden, along with all the basil, dill, and parsley.  Looking at a large bowl overflowing with cherry and grape tomatoes it was clear to   me what had to be done.  And it was surprisingly simple.

                    

INGREDIENTS”

1.     Cherry tomatoes – whole
2.     Olive oil
3.     Garlic – 1 clove crushed or minced
4.     Onion – ½ medium onion chopped
5.     Celery  - about ½ stalk chopped
6.     Fresh Basil
7.     Heavy whipping cream – not much, about ¼ cup or less
8.     Angel Hair pasta

PROCESS:

Cook the onion in olive oil for 1-2 minutes then add the garlic and celery and cook for several more minutes until soft.  Add the tomatoes and basil and cook over medium high heat until they begin to break down – about 8-10 minutes.  A few minutes before the pasta is ready reduce the heat and add the cream.  When the pasta is ready drain and add to the pan, mix well and serve with grated cheese and garnish with fresh dill.    Add some pasta water if needed.

COMMENT:

In spite of my abundance of humility I have to say this was delicious and I look forward to serving it again.  Of course Patience agrees with me.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

REVISIONED PAINTING

Dark Sky   Acrylic   24x24

Dark Sky was completed in 2011, and I have been looking at it every day in its place on the wall of my studio.  Several days ago I decided it was time for a little revision.  

Dark Sky revised


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10-25-16 Angel Hair Pasta w Shrimp Scampi



As soon as I saw Patience’s vibrant crop of Dill in the porch garden I knew what I wanted to do.  Yesterday I bought the shrimp and last night did the deed.

                    


INGREDIENTS:  I cooked ¼ lb. of pasta for two.  Adjust ingredients as needed.  The amounts listed below are estimates.

1.     DeBoles angel hair pasta
2.     Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3.     Olive oil
4.     Fresh lemon juice  ½ lemon
5.     Butter 2-3 tbsp
6.     White wine ¼ - 1/3 cup
7.     Garlic 1 large or 2 small cloves crushed
8.     Fresh dill
9.     Heavy whipping cream

PROCESS:

While waiting for the pasta water to boil cook the garlic in olive but do not allow it to brown.  Add the butter and a sprinkling of finely chopped dill, followed by the shrimp, cooking over low-medium heat.  While the shrimp is cooking add lemon juice and the wine.

Several minutes before the pasta is ready add a small amount of cream, about 2 tablespoons.  Add the pasta to the pan, mix thoroughly, and sprinkle with fresh dill.

COMMENTS:

Sometimes you hit a home run in the kitchen.  This was just that.  I can’t wait to do it again.

Friday, October 7, 2016

LEEK - POTATOES - ASPARAGUS & PASTA

-->
10-6-16   Leek – Potatoes - Asparagus & Pasta

Six o’clock, and I had not given any thought to dinner.  Fortunately Patience decided on a bike ride, so I had some time to come up with something.  A quick look in the fridge revealed asparagus that needed to be used,  leeks, and 2 potatoes, all that I needed for dinner.


               

INGREDIENTS:

1.     Penne pasta
2.     Leek- sliced crosswise
3.     Potatoes- diced into small cubes
4.     Celery
5.     Asparagus
6.     Garlic –Dorot frozen cube
7.     Basil
8.     Sweet Vermouth –about 1’3 cup
9.     Tomato paste – about 1 tablespoon
10. Heavy whipping cream – about 1/3 – ¼ cup
11. Grana Padana for grating

PROCESS:

Cook the Leek and celery in olive oil for about 3 minutes then add the garlic cube (or one clove of fresh garlic finely chopped).  Turn the heat to high and add the potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes begin to brown – stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the wine, basil, and asparagus.  Wait a few minutes and add the tomato paste.  Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked to your satisfaction.  The total cooking time for this was about 20-30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the pasta is ready add the cream and turn the heat to low.
When the pasta is done add it to the pan and mix thoroughly, or use a separate bowl.  Serve with grated Gran Padana cheese.

COMMENTS:

I have to credit Patience for introducing me to the unlikely combination of potatoes and pasta.  She created a dish for us several years ago, and I have borrowed heavily from that ever since.

Try it and you will not be disappointed.  Obviously there is room for any number of variations, but the key is getting the vegetables brown over the high heat

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

9-20-16 OLD & NEW

As usual, I left dinner planning to the last minute, which explains why I was staring at the open refrigerator scratching my head.  I saw several pieces of grilled chicken tenders and a small container with the half can of diced tomatoes, both remnants of last night’s dinner.  Next I checked the freezer and saw a package of shrimp, and knew immediately what I wanted to do.
  
                            

INGREDIENTS:

1.     Pasta
2.     Grilled chicken
3.     Shrimp
4.     Onion – garlic – celery – Basil
5.     Diced tomatoes
6.     Sweet Vermouth
7.     Butter
8.     Heavy whipping cream

PROCESS:

I began by preparing the Soffrito – cooking the diced onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil over med-low heat.  Next I added the tomatoes, basil, and wine, lowered the heat slightly, and cooked for about 15 minutes.  I diced the twp chicken tenders and added them to the pan.  I knew the pasta would take about 10 minutes to cook, so I waited until the pasta was in the water before I added the shrimp to the sauce.  About 5 minutes before the pasta was ready I added the butter and cream.

COMMENTS:

What a delightful dinner!  I think it could easily be repeated, using Sun Dried tomatoes in oil in place of the diced tomatoes. I started using celery in the "make ready" stage and enjoy the added flavor it gives to the sauce.  It is definitely a do over.

Monday, September 12, 2016

9-11-16 CAPELLINI WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS, & ARTICHOKE HEARTS




        

INGREDIENTS:
1.     De Boles artichoke wheat Capellini
2.     Asparagus
3.     Peas
4.     Artichoke hearts
5.     Olive oil
6.     Onion
7.     Garlic
8.     Basil
9.     Tarragon
10. Butter
11. Heavy whipping cream
12. Fresh lemon juice
13. Dry white wine
14. Vegetable broth
15. Salt & pepper
16. Grana Padano cheese

PROCESS:

I had no predetermined plan when I started tonight’s dinner.   With a limited pantry, I settled on the ingredients available: Asparagus, frozen peas, and frozen artichoke hearts. It began like almost all of my meals – sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil.  I cut the asparagus into 1” pieces, partially thawed the frozen peas and Artichoke hearts in the microwave and added them to the pan, along with a cube of frozen chopped basil, about 1/3 cup of vegetable broth, and some dried Tarragon.  Several minutes later I splashed in some dry white wine (Pinot Grigio), and a few minutes later some fresh lemon juice.  Everything simmered over low heat while waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil.  While the pasta was cooking I added a small amount of heavy whipping cream - no more than ¼ cup.  The pasta was added to the sauce, and served with a sprinkling of Grana Padano cheese.

COMMENTS:

This was as much fun to cook as it was to eat.  With my usual objectivity I am giving this a 10+.