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Archive for June, 2010

SLD is excited to welcome Guest Dish Kristin Fritz, culinary enthusiast and editor of the the terrific woman-to-woman website wowOwow!

What is a scallop anyway? A mollusk, a symbol of fertility and the state shell of ol’ New York. To me, though, it’s always been a special treat – something my mom would make for the two of us in a years-old small, white baking dish – to sit alongside the fried flounder that appeased my brothers’ pickier adolescent palates. The odd-looking scallops were delicious – and we kept this our little secret.

Ingredients (for two people):

8-10 good-sized fresh sea scallops
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp of garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 lemon


Heat up your broiler. Place the scallops in a baking dish that’s been misted with a little nonstick spray. Using the back of a spoon, swipe the top of each scallop with the melted butter. Then, squeeze the juice from about half a lemon over the top. Finally, lightly sprinkle garlic salt over the top of the scallops and follow this with a light sprinkle of paprika (though if you don’t like paprika, skip this part). Place the scallops under the broiler. I broil the scallops for 10 – 12 minutes, but I like them completely opaque. If you like yours a little rarer, stop at about 8 – 9 minutes.

There’s little I don’t think is a good accompaniment to broiled scallops, but for now let’s go with another of my favorites – asparagus. You can always steam your asparagus and toss it with a generous amount of lemon juice, salt and pepper, but I want a touch of crispy cheese with my dinner (obviously).

1 big bunch of asparagus with the hard ends snapped off, washed
2 tsps olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 – 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread it all out into one layer. Broil for 8 minutes, turning the asparagus (asparagi?) over once about halfway through. Carefully pull the dish out of the broiler and sprinkle the cheese over the top of the spread. Place it all back under the broiler and leave for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese on top is slightly browned.
I
f you’re desperate for a carb, a steamed red potato with a pat of butter or a dollop of sour cream goes great with this. Oh, and the bonus value of this meal? No need to keep an oven going for eons on a hot summer night!

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From Dish Jodi:

I arrive home late last night after a week in New York (home of all my other Dishes!) for work. Was a great week, productive for my job, but full of good meals and good friends. This morning, after a night of dreaming of lunch at Lupa and dinner at Rye in Williamsburg with Dish Rachelle, I awoke to face the good and bad reminders of my life in LA.

The bad – the commute to work, in my car. Man how life and my literature consumption would be different with public transportation.

But the good – the discovery that my roma tomato plant went gangbusters while I was gone…giving me so many glossy juicy fruits to gleefully pluck. And my insane basil bush that I can never tame was of course going insane. So, still jet lagged, and home alone, I did a fridge and garden clean-out meal…which i share here:

Ingredients:

A handful of angel hair pasta
1 shallot sliced
3 big cloves of garlic
a few slices of prosciutto
4 good sized roma tomatoes, cubed
a handful of basil, roughly chopped
a half cup of fresh mozzerella
Olive oil

Fill a pan with olive oil and start to crisp up your proscuitto, add your garlic and saute until toasty (I like a toasty taste to go along with the fresh flavors.)

Meanwhile, toss the pasta in salted boiling water and cook as directed.

Toss in the shallot, give it a little head start, then toss in tomatoes, give THEM a little cook for about a minute. Then turn off the heat.

When the pasta is done, toss it, the basil and mozzarella together and serve. Fresh and yummy.

Get ready for lots o’ tomatoes this summer.

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From Dish Erin:

This is one of my favorite meals in the world. It’s hearty, low-fat, supremely nutritious…and it’s SIMPLE and CHEAP. If you have the staples, this will cost you about 3 bucks to make. It’s my go-to dish when I don’t feel like cooking much, when I’m sick, when I’m broke, when I’m cranky. It’s a traditional Italian peasant dish and it comes out a little different every time I make it, which is one of my favorite little quirks about cooking. You can surprise yourself. Sometimes it’s spicier, sometimes I add more beans, sometimes I add little elbow pasta or barley. And on occasion, I skip the whole ‘soup’ part, add only a touch of chicken stock and use it as a side dish for chicken or fish. It’s comfort food at it’s finest.

Side note: I use a fabulous flavor trick for this recipe that I highly recommend for soups, but is not crucial. Slice off the rind of a Parmesan cheese hunk and throw it in the soup while it simmers. Yes, the part you usually throw away. It’s totally edible and thickens, salts and gives depth of flavor to the whole pot. I wish I didn’t have to admit that I learned it from Rachael Ray, because frankly, she irks me. But it’s a damn good chef’s secret.

Ingredients:

1 large head of fresh escarole
Olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Rind of Parmesan cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Wash the escarole and discard the fibrous bottom and any hard internal leaves. Chop it roughly into 2 inch pieces. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

2. Coat the bottom of a dutch oven or a pot with a generous amount of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the escarole, a stir to coat, until the escarole wilts and turns a dark green color.

4. Add the chicken stock, 1/2 the can of beans, Parmesan rind (if using), and a few grinds of pepper. Cover and let it cook for about 12 minutes.

5. Throw in the rest of the beans and taste. I don’t like to salt this dish until this point because between the beans, stock and the Parmesan, it does a pretty good job of salting itself. You decide if you want more. Then cook a bit more, just to heat the rest of the beans up, another 2-3 minutes.

6. Serve in bowls with a heaping of Parmesan cheese on top and a nice crusty loaf of bread.

7. Put your spoon on your nose and make funny faces.

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From Dish Amelia:

Living alone means a girl has gotta plan what she buys and eats and cooks for one, and occasionally another. Usually the most practical thing to do is to make one thing (a pot of soup, rice and beans, etc.) to work through in a week, and supplement that with a few items to stay the boredom. Too bad you miss out on eating the family-style assembly meals, right? No….The past little while, I have been pleasing myself (and the occasional other) with a varied diet in the taco format. Keeping a tower of prepped ingredients on hand means throwing together a nutritious and interesting breakfast, lunch, or dinner in 10 minutes.

Every meal I had was different, but I started with:

good corn tortillas (they should be nothing more than masa)
thinly sliced red onions

unsalted farmer cheese or menouri or cotija cheese
roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano chiles cut in strips


slices of limes

and variously:

spinach
cilantro
sliced mushrooms
some frozen corn
red wine vinegar
sliced avocado
sliced mango
eggs
double smoked polish sausage
black beans and red chile sauce
grated potato (fried quickly in the cast iron pan)

kimchee


Always start by heating the cast iron pan with nothing in it. When its hot, lay a tortilla down, and after a minute or two, flip it. It will transform from a nearly rubbery, dry, easily broken thing, to a flexible, crisp and steaming circle, which you should immediately tuck into a little bed made of a clean dish towel. Then heat any of the other ingredients you want hot, wake up the tortillas, and sort and pile them with whatever you wish, squeezing lime juice on them last.

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From Dish Gwen:

It’s been a busy spring and making time for housekeeping and cooking has been tough lately. But tonight my Saucy Little Boyfriend is away, I was able to take off a little early from work, and for the first time in a long time I cooked dinner for one. And did my laundry.

Our garden has just started offering up its first vegetables and one of my favorites – pea shoots – is ready for harvest. Pea shoots are just the young stems, leaves and blossoms of the pea plant, and you can harvest them from pretty much any variety of pea (I think these are snap peas but I’m not sure because Saucy Boyfriend planted them). They’ve got a delicious sweet, green, pea-like flavor and they make a great addition to salads, but tonight I’m eating them cooked in pasta.

Ingredients:

– 1 serving al dente thick spaghetti, lightly oiled and salted
– a fist full of pea shoots, rinsed and chopped to 3-4 inches
– 1 clove of garlic, sliced
– 2 or 3 thin slices of pecorino romano
– salt
– olive oil

Instructions:

Heat a small frying pan on medium-high with a thin layer of olive oil and once it’s sizzling hot throw in your garlic slices. When the garlic is browned, throw in the pea shoots and cook them for less than a minute just to wilt them. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the pea shoots and toss them a little bit, but pull them out of the hot pan with tongs before they get too soft. Toss your cooked pasta in the pan of hot garlic oil (once the shoots are removed) to warm for a minute or so and salt it lightly. Plate the pasta, then place the pea shoots on top and finish with a couple of thinly sliced pieces of pecorino romano.

Goes well with a beer, followed by TV and laundry-folding.

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From Dish Danielle:

Okay, so it’s June.

The city has suddenly decided to switch from Spring to Summer, my students are going berserk at the mere thought of finishing their final exams, and there are strawberries! …Strawberries galore coming into the boroughs from out East. It is a wonderfully transitional time of year.

I recently dined with a dear friend and culinary confidante at Rosewater in Park Slope and I must say, their seasonal strawberry salad knocked my socks off. (The baked polenta was also otherworldly, for the record.) The strawberries at Fairway seemed to be calling out to me on this muggy June afternoon. I needed to try my hand at the Summer Strawberry Salad right away.

Ingredients:

2 cups rinsed, trimmed, and sliced strawberries
¾ fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced THIN
handful of cherries, pitted and sliced
½ head of frisee lettuce, rinsed
2 large handfuls of arugula, rinsed (or watercress)
Humbolt Fog, goats milk cheese
1 cup pistachios
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ c rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp honey
¼ lemon, juiced

Toss your lettuces into a nice sized bowl. Add your sliced strawberries, cherries, and fennel.

Pour your olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, lemon juice and s&p into a coffee mug. Mix aggressively with a fork and taste…add a bit more or less of the above ingredients until you find a nice fancy flavor. Pour over the salad, reserving a bit as not to overdress the greens. Using a fork, crumble the cheese into the salad. Add as much or as little as you like (or in my case, as much as you have left before you devour it all on crackers. It’s so damn good.) Toss half the pistachios in there and mix thoroughly. Once mixed well, sprinkle in the remaining nuts so they don’t all sink to the bottom. Serve on a hot and humid June day while rocking out to ‘Schools Out,’ by Alice Cooper.

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From Dish Erin:

I love Chinese food. L-O-V-E. I mean, what’s better for a hangover? This is my healthy (er) interpretation of fried rice. You MUST, must use cold, day-old rice. This is the perfect dish for when you have tons of rice leftover after a meal, which I’m pretty sure is the only reason this dish exists.

Ingredients:
1/2 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sri racha sauce (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 large scallions, sliced
Sesame seeds (optional)

Chop all your veggies first, get that out of the way–carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Set aside.

Heat some canola oil in a sauce pan. Throw in the shrimp, cook for about 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Crack two eggs in the same pan and make ‘scrambled eggs’, and remove from heat as soon as they’re cooked through.

Add a little more canola oil to the pan and throw in all the veggies and the garlic. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from heat.

Add a little more canola oil to the pan, and sesame oil too (if you’re using), and throw in the rice. Press down into the pan. Let it sit, untouched for at least 3-4 minutes. A little bit of a crust will form on the rice. Stir lightly, press the rice down again and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the veggies, shrimp and eggs back in. Add the soy sauce, sriracha, and peas. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the scallions, and plate. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top (if using).

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