I'm all for simple, satisfying meals that get dinner on the table, but sometimes it's worth stepping up efforts to create an elevated, restaurant-style recipe at home. The key is finding a dish, like these elegant cauliflower steaks, that packs bang for its buck; there's no point to working hard for hard work's sake. Oftentimes this means stealing a technique (searing whole planks of cauliflower until mahogany brown and caramelized) rather than attempting to replicate an elaborate meal that's only practical with the aid of a kitchen full of prep cooks. Add a sauce that hits all the marks — salty (capers), savory (pancetta), sour (lemon juice), and sweet (golden raisins) — glossed with every restaurant's secret weapon (butter, lots of it), and the result is restaurant-worthy, even magical. Give the recipe a spin in your kitchen.
Nothing against tomato and basil, but we've got a bruschetta recipe that blows all others out of the water. Thanks to chef Fabio Viviani, you'll be dreaming of this snack all season long with its caramelized eggplant, salty pancetta, and beans. When all three combine on top of bread, what you have is a dish that's inexpensive but tastes like a million bucks. Watch the video, and then get the recipe.
Chef Amanda Freitag of Food Network's Chopped and Iron Chef America had a lot to say about pork during her cooking demonstration at the San Francisco Chipotle Cultivate Festival. Bacon lovers cheered as she drew a fat roll of pancetta out of the fridge. She made a pork chop topped with crispy pancetta, and along the way shared her best practices for buying, prepping, and cooking pancetta. Seasoned pancetta cooks and newbies alike should keep reading for some key pancetta-cooking tips.
This scrumptious pie is topped with asparagus, green onions, garlic, pancetta, and basil. There's no tomato sauce, so it's not a heavy pizza. It makes a wonderful meal with a light salad. Check out my recipe — that you can totally adapt to suit your liking and what ingredients you have on hand — after the jump.
The end product is the kind of stuff dreams are made of: velvety, slightly crisp potatoes with oozy, creamy carbonara sauce. The recipe's designed to feed half a dozen or so people, but I'm pretty sure if left unattended that I could finish off the whole plate myself. For a dish that's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser this Sunday, read more.
Most recipes for the prosciutto variation cook the asparagus in the oven or boiling water. This version throws it on the grill — which imparts a rich smoky flavor that's unattainable from roasting or blanching.
Ham-like prosciutto doesn't have to be cooked, but pancetta, which is similar to bacon (and everyone knows bacon is ten million times tastier than ham), can not be consumed raw. Thus, the resulting dish is crispy, juicy, meaty, and downright perfect. It's a serious must make, so get the recipe now!
A couple of weeks ago I read an article on the Atlantic's food blog that recommended making a grilled skewer appetizer with smoked cheese cubes wrapped in pancetta. The story reminded me of a delicious tapa I had years ago in a Spanish dive bar. Anxious to re-create the dish, I headed to the store and purchased thinly sliced pancetta and smoked mozzarella.
There's really no recipe, you simply wrap a 1/2-inch cube of cheese with pancetta, skewer, and place on the grill. This is where I ran into trouble. The cheese melted before the pancetta could fully cook, sticking to the grill. I transferred the skewers to a frying pan to try and salvage them, but the cheese continued to melt, clumping together. While the final bite tasted wonderful, the technique needs some fine tuning.
Do you have any advice for getting the pancetta to cook before the cheese melts? Have you ever made cheese skewers?
Looking for the perfect appetizer to serve at Thanksgiving dinner? Look no further than this delicious mushroom and pancetta crostata. A crostata is an Italian free-form tart that's similar to a savory pie. The dough is simple to make and requires 20 minutes of chill time. The filling, a mixture of mushrooms, pancetta, thyme, and cheese is rich and luxurious.
It makes an elegant start to a party when sliced into individual portions and served with a glass of sparkling wine. If you dislike mushrooms, get creative with the crostata technique. Figs and goat cheese, grapes and ricotta, and pears and blue cheese are combinations that would make great fillings. To learn how I made it, read more