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Butterbean Pesto Pasta

9 Jul

Fresh pesto is always worth making and is quite easy. Pesto can be made with many combinations of herbs, nuts, cheese, and lemon juice or vinegar. The classic Genovese pesto is basil pesto: masses of fresh basil, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, and (optional) pine nuts crushed together in a mortar and pestle or food processor.

I mixed my homemade pesto with whole wheat pasta shells and fresh butterbeans from the Farmer’s market: summer and freshness embodied (and excellent with a Riesling). Enjoy!

Fresh Butterbean Pesto Pasta

Avec Eric

20 Jun

I realize I am way behind on recommending this show, but Georgia Public Broadcasting doesn’t air it.

I finally got around to watching Avec Eric on tonight. Avec Eric (French for “With Eric”) stars Eric Ripert, the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Le Bernardin in New York. Much like the gorgeous Diary of a Foodie by Gourmet Magazine, the show features travel, food, and fabulous restaurants. Both are half hour TV shows that will inspire, enlighten, and make you drool.

Rethinking “The Minimalist” TV show: Sweet Potato Salad

13 Jun

As I have continued to watch Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist on the Cooking Channel, I like it more and more. Recent shows on desserts and healthy cooking have been great and have inspired a few of my cooking adventures. The dessert episode had a good recipe for sorbet, which morphed into my strawberry-mint daiquiri.

Tonight I worked off of Bittman’s Sweet Potato Salad recipe. I used his basic idea, but used the ingredients I had on hand. I roasted my sweet potatoes and onions with smoked paprika and cumin. I didn’t have bell pepper but added pickled banana peppers instead. It was delicious with a faux-jito (mint and lime juice muddled with sugar and doused with tonic water).  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salad with Faux-jito

The 2011 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards: The Winners

12 Jun

While I certainly haven’t had time to look through all of these, a few of my favorite blogs did jump out at me while perusing the 2011 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards including Smitten Kitchen (see previous post) and La Tartine Gourmande. yum.

Roasted Pepper Soup

11 Jun

One of my favorite Savannah restaurants is Cha Bella. While there on my last birthday, I had the soup special as an appetizer, roasted green pepper soup. It was a pureed soup with goat cheese. I loved it and decided to try my own version.

This time, I tried a nice mix of peppers– red and green bell peppers, cubanos, and poblano chilies.

Peppers!I sliced the peppers in half and removed the seeds and pith, placing the pepper halves skin-up on a baking sheet. I tucked two cloves of garlic under one of the peppers to roast as well. I broiled the peppers for 10 minutes then put everything in a covered bowl to continue cooking. Meanwhile, I began to caramelize some onions. After 15 minutes, I removed the peppers’ skin and pureed them in a blender with a little bit of parsley, lots of thyme, salt, and pepper, adding the caramelized onions at the end.

Next time I will roast the peppers in two stages: the thin walled poblanos and cubanos at ten minutes and the thicker-walled bell peppers longer. The bell peppers weren’t as fully cooked as the other peppers, and so instead of a smooth texture, I had a chunkier soup. The velvet texture is one of the appeals of the original. I’m sure the original also contained a small amount of cream or olive oil to add smoothness and richness.

To finish, I topped with soup with extra thyme and a chunk of goat cheese. I ate my soup with these amazing cream biscuits from Smitten Kitchen, topped with creamed honey.  Enjoy!

Roasted Pepper Soup with biscuits and honey


Last of the Strawberry Mojito-Daquiri

6 Jun

After a rough day, I decided to make strawberry sorbet. These are the very last strawberries of the season, and I had de-stemmed, cut, and frozen them yesterday. Into my food processor went one shot of spiced rum, half a shot of lime juice, generous amount of mint leaves, and a heaping tablespoon of sugar. I microwaved the strawberries for about a minute to loosen them from the container and added them to the processor.
This was my mistake that transformed my sorbet into a daquiri. I have made sorbet before with blueberries, and it blended up well with only a small squirt of lime or lemon juice. I had a little too much liquid in this batch. But it made a fabulous daquiri the tasted like a strawberry mojito! Enjoy!


Pickle Salad

14 May


This salad is very similar to a summer salad my Mom makes. I start by chopping some onion (we have vidalias local and in season now). Cover the onions in vinegar (any type will do) and let them sit. Next I prepped the green beans by trimming the ends and cutting them into bite size pieces. While I steamed the beans, I chopped the cucumber. Once the green beans were cooked and cooled, I drained and rinsed the onions. The vinegar soak helps to deflame the onions, so they don’t overwhelm the dish.
Combine all of the veggies and cover with plenty of  balsamic and red wine vinegar, salt, and roughly cracked black pepper. Add a little bit of olive oil and rosemary, and stir in oregano if you wish.
The salad is more pickled veg than veggies with vinagrette, so don’t skimp in the salt. Also this means the salad will need to sit in the frig for at least an hour. The original was just cucs and onions, but I added the green beans for extra nutrition. I love this as a summer salad because it is so refreshing and tangy. Enjoy!

Carrot Top Pesto video

13 May

This video is from the Perennial Plate author, Daniel Klein. I always wondered it carrot tops were good for anything.  Forget the compost bucket—toss those carrot tops into the blender for pesto! [VIDEO] | Grist.

Meditations on Toasters

13 May

Meditations on toast and the rampant consumerism in most of our lives from the brilliant minds at The Improvised Life: dept of unnecessary things: electric toaster « The Improvised Life. I love the low-tech alternatives to the electric toaster. More so since the upper heating element on my toaster oven no longer works.

Design*Sponge » herb-infused vodkas

7 May

Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » small measures with ashley: herb-infused vodkas. This sounds like a great summer project that would make easy, fun gifts for friends with summer birthdays.

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