Posts for September 21st 2009
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
Fresh Lasagna Noodles, (you will need only 1/2 of the batch), cut into 4-by-13-inch strips and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked
4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, mozzarella, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
- Melt butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add sage, and cook until light gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash 1/2 of it with the back of a wooden spoon, leaving the other 1/2 in whole pieces. Gently stir in sage-butter mixture and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta mixture in a 9-cup baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the butternut squash mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles. Repeat layering once more (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta). Sprinkle Parmesan over ricotta mixture.
- Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Main Dishes, Pasta
1/3 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas; not toasted)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon mild honey
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
4 cups packed spicy salad greens, such as radish greens, watercress, and/or arugula, tough stems discarded
4 cups packed frisée (French curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces
1 (1/2-pound) piece Manchego cheese, rind removed and cheese shaved into 32 thin slices (preferably with a cheese plane)
8 small red or yellow Bartlett pears (preferably with stems)
- Cook seeds in 1 tablespoon oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until puffed and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels and reserve oil. Season seeds with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and reserved oil from skillet in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
- Divide greens and cheese among salad plates. Cut off 2 opposite sides of each pear (reserve for another use), leaving a 1/2-inch-thick lengthwise center slice with stem and core. Arrange a pear slice on each plate and drizzle dressing over salads. Sprinkle with seeds.
Make ahead: Pumpkin seeds can be toasted 2 days ahead and kept separately from oil, covered, at room temperature. Greens can be washed and dried 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped in paper towels, in a sealed bag.
- Salads, Greens
Deep red in color with heavily marbled traces of fat, speck is served thinly sliced as an appetizer, or is used to flavor cooked dishes. For a less traditional application, try it in a salad with apples and arugula.
Note that speck from Alto Adige or Tyrol, which enjoys a protected designation of origin, should not be confused with the German usage of the word, which refers to lard.
Source: Flickr User dags1974
I wasn't expecting to be blown away by the results, but, as it turns out, Cruzan came out on top. With its musky vanilla overtone and slight — but not overly aggressive — hints of oak, the rum had the most prominent palate entry. But perhaps most impressively, the Cruzan had a cooling, soothing aftereffect compared to the others, which left more of a burn.
These qualities, along with a reasonable $17 price tag, have convinced me to make Cruzan my regular light rum. What light rum do you tend to buy at the liquor store?
3 strips thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 small plums, sliced into thin wedges, or 4 fresh purple figs, quartered
One 5-ounce bag of baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup marcona or other salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, such as Cabrales
1/4 pound thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto (8 slices)
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot, vinegar, mustard and thyme.
- Scrape the dressing into a large bowl. Add the plums and spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss.
- Add the nuts and crumbled blue cheese and toss again. Transfer the salad to plates, top with the sliced ham and serve.
- Main Dishes, Salads
So whether it's a guest that shows up empty handed or your roommate's uninvited friends crashing, do tell: When planning a party, what behavior bugs you?
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup nutty old-fashioned-style or freshly ground peanut butter
1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour 8-inch square baking pan.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. If oil has separated from peanut butter, stir to blend. Add peanut butter to butter; beat until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally
- Beat in brown sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
- Add to peanut butter mixture; beat until blended. Stir in chocolate.
- Transfer batter to pan. Using spatula, smooth top.
- Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 40-50 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.)
Makes 9 large square brownies.
- Desserts, Brownies
Could Subway be the world's new McDonald's? It sure looks that way. In the next few months, it will become the world's largest food chain. Although McDonald's has a total of 32,158 eateries worldwide, it has largely curtailed expansion efforts, preferring to hone in on existing store sales. Subway, on the other hand, has been multiplying exponentially, with outposts in China, Qatar, India, and France. This week, it's expected to exceed 31,800 total stores.
At a time when restaurants and fast-food establishments are struggling, Subway turned a profit in the last year with its its $5 foot-long sandwich promotion. Yet in overall sales, McDonald's remains untouched. According to industry experts, the average US McDonald's generates $2.3 million in sales, compared to $445,000 for Subway. I'm surprised — I had no idea that Subway was so ubiquitous in other parts of the world. What about you? Would you rather patronize a Subway or a McDonald's?
Source: Flickr User zyphbear