1.30.2013

Honey Ricotta Bruschetta

 
Tria is one of my favorite casual lunch spots in Philly. One of its three locations is in University City (right by my place), the second is in Washington Square (by my engineering firm), and the third is in Rittenhouse Square (my weekend haven). I usually pop in with friends for a salad and a glass of Pinot Grigio. However, if I'm feeling a little indulgent I go for a couple slices of bruschetta. The "Pistachio Herbed Ricotta with Lavender Honey" is beyond delicious. The ricotta is ethereally smooth, that combined with salty pistachios and sweet honey and you've got a match made in heaven.
When I was attempting to recreate it, I decided to use white truffle honey instead. (Leave it to me to need an excuse to use truffle anything.) If you decide to make it, don't feel impelled to make it with pricey truffle honey. I'm sure regular honey would taste just as yummy.

Honey Ricotta Bruschetta
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1/2 baguette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup ricotta (whole milk)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons honey
black pepper
kosher salt
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Thinly slice the baguette on the diagonal (to get longer slices). Place the slices onto a baking sheet, drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper. Place it into the oven for about ten minutes or until it's toasty.
Next, place the ricotta into a bowl with the chopped parsley and a liberal amount of salt and pepper (since ricotta tends to be fairly bland). Lightly whip it with a fork until all of the ingredients are combined.
After removing the toasted baguette, spread some herbed ricotta onto each slice. Then sprinkle each with the chopped pistachios and drizzle it with the honey.
 
 
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1.27.2013

Spicy Kale Chips


This weekend as a part of our anniversary plans, Alex and I went to see the hilarious Jim Gaffigan at the Tower Theater. We're both huge fans of his comedy routines, which (surprise surprise) involve a lot of food humor. Part of his line up had to do with how gross he found kale to be, which I obviously do not agree with! I'm going to be really honest here, I can't handle eating raw kale. However, I absolutely love making different versions of baked kale chips. This recipe is one of my new favorites and beside the fact that it's terrific for you, it's also extremely low in calories.


Spicy Kale Chips
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 bunch Tuscan Kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
paprika
kosher salt
cracked black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, lay out the kale leaves, drizzle them with the olive oil, and sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, and paprika. Toss them to ensure that they're all evenly coated. Place the baking sheet into the oven for 6-8 minutes or until they're evenly golden.
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1.23.2013

Roasted Artichoke with Smoky Aioli

Last week my friend Bridget and I went to the most incredible Italian restaurant called Mercato. We're suckers for BYOBs and delicious food, and Mercato fit both of those bills. The atmosphere was cozy and warm, and the menu choices were astounding. The thing that I was most impressed by was the gorgeous whole grilled artichoke that we started our meal with. Now I love anything that involves artichokes, but I had never ventured to make an entire artichoke on my own. Let me tell you, it was SO simple and SO delicious. I paired it with an smoky- citrus aioli, which made for yummy dipping with each bite.

Roasted Artichoke with Smoky Aioli
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:
1 artichoke
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
paprika
cracked black pepper
kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and your grill/ grill pan to high. Start by slicing off the top inch of pointy end of the artichoke, and slice the whole artichoke in half lengthwise. Brush the interior of the artichoke with the olive oil and sprinkle them with the cracked black pepper and kosher salt. 
Place each half down onto the grill/ grill pan, allow them to cook for about 5 minutes or until they have grill marks. Next, take a piece of aluminum foil and wrap the pieces up in a foil tent and place it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
While they're roasting, cut the lemon into quarters. Next, whisk together the juice of 1 quarter of the lemon, the mayonnaise, as well as the paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Place this in the refrigerator to meld until the artichoke has finished roasting.
To serve, place the two halves on a plate with the leftover lemon quarters, and the smoky aioli. 
 
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1.20.2013

Shrimp & Grits



Shrimp is one of my go-to proteins to use during the week. I always keep a pound or so in my freezer, it cooks quickly and you can use the extra on your salad for lunch the next day. How perfect is that? Roasting is by far my favorite technique for cooking shrimp, whether it's for roasted shrimp cocktail, seafood risotto, or shrimp and grits.

Grits are another great weeknight meal idea. Now, I'm not referring to grits that are made with water and have absolutely no flavor. I'm referring to grits that are infused with hearty chicken stock, and have gorgeous additions like creme fraiche and white cheddar. This is the perfect meal for a cold winter night.

P.S.- How stunning is my new blog design? I'm obsessed with it. Aubrey from The Kinch Life Designs did such an incredible job. 




Shrimp & Grits
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 slices bacon
1 tsp rosemary, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions:
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Lay the shrimp out on a baking sheet and toss them with the olive oil, one clove of minced garlic, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Roast them for about 8 minutes or until they're completely pink. On a separate baking sheet, lay out the bacon and place it in the oven for about fifteen minutes or until it's perfectly crispy.
On the stovetop, place a pot filled with the other clove of minced garlic and chicken stock, over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, slowly add in the cornmeal while whisking constantly (turn the heat to low at this point). Continue to whisk vigorously for ten minutes. Turn the heat off, and whisk in the butter, creme fraiche, white cheddar, and a little bit of salt and pepper. 
Finally, place the grits on the bottom of a serving platter, top it with the roasted shrimp, sprinkle it with the minced rosemary, and crumble it with the bacon.
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1.01.2013

Grilled Wedge Salad




My boyfriend’s family and I recently spent a weekend in the mountains and went to the gorgeous Fern Hall Inn for dinner. The dining room was an intimate, beautiful space lit softly by a roaring fire. It is a very rare occasion that I have trouble deciding which option to choose on a menu, but every choice for every course sounded absolutely delicious. After much debate, I decided on the grilled romaine salad for my first course. It was the perfect combination of slightly smoky romaine, tangy gorgonzola dressing, sweet tomatoes, and salty bacon. This recipe is my take on that scrumptious dish.

Grilled Wedge Salad
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon heavy cream
4 slices bacon
2 hearts of romaine lettuce
1 drizzle olive oil
1 large tomato
1/4 red onion
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, as well as preheating your grill or grill pan . To create the dressing, use a fork to combine the gorgonzola, the sour cream, the lemon juice, the heavy cream, and a bit of salt and pepper. Next, place the bacon on a sheet pan and place it into the oven for fifteen minutes or until it’s crispy. Meanwhile, slice the romaine hearts in half lengthwise and drizzle a bit of olive oil onto each. Then place the romaine halves onto the grill/ grill pan for 2-3 minutes or until they’re lightly grilled. Next, dice the tomato and the red onion. Finally, crumble the bacon and assemble the salad on a gorgeous platter.
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