»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Parmesan Basket With Risotto or Rice
Mar 21st, 2012 by

Make these individual parmesan baskets and you'll impress your guests.

Make these individual parmesan baskets and you'll impress your guests.

This is a very special, yet very simple recipe, I got from my brother-in-law Billy Kelley, who spends several months each year in Florence, Italy. He isn’t a cook. He’s an artist who paints in his studio all day and then goes out to eat in some of that city’s best restaurants.

A few years ago he brought me back a small booklet from Trattoria del Carmine which contained several recipes including this one. They filled the parmesan cheese basket with a yellow squash risotto. Here I stuffed it with a plain risotto made with onions and celery.

You could use a light rice dish too. Just be sensitive not to overpower the crisp tangy taste of the parmesan cup. Be creative. Use your imagination. What else could you fill this with?

Ingredients:

  • Imported parmesan cheese (Don’t skimp here. I once tried using the cheese they sell in a jar at the supermarket and it didn’t work. The cheese would not melt and it made me wonder if it was cheese at all.)
  • Equipment: A nonstick frying pan.

What I did:

Warm up the nonstick frying pan.

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of the cheese in a circle in the hot pan.

Let the cheese melt until it becomes an intense yellow color.

Detach the sheet of cheese with a spatula and place it flat over a small cup or 2-3-inch ramekin. Poke it down into the cup or ramekin with your index finger to give it a bowl shape.

Once it cools, remove it from the cup or ramekin. Put it on a plate and fill it with risotto or whatever you decide will work.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

Simplicity at its Lemon-Roasted Best
Jan 8th, 2011 by

Roasted potatoes go well with this dish.

Roasted potatoes go well with this dish.

My friend Jeannie gave me the most beautiful cookbook for Christmas. It’s part of Williams-Sonoma’s “Authentic Recipes of the World” series. And this one focusses on the city of Florence.

Northern italians cook simply with the freshest and best ingredients at hand. And that’s what you should do here.

So splurge: buy a good chicken, not one of those thawed out ones for 99-cents a pound. And use the best lemons you can find. There aren’t too many more ingredients to this dish but here’s the list:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (1 whole bird, about 3 1/2 pounds, preferably free-range, neck and giblets removed).
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (2 tbsp.)
  • Lemons (2 small)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (I always use Kosher salt; and always, always, pepper from a grinder.)

What I did:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.

Rub outside of chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle skin and insides with salt and pepper.

Stuff the cavity with two whole lemons.

Put the chicken in a lightly oiled shallow roasting pan and cook for about 1 1/4 hours, until golden brown. Baste occasionally.

Transfer chicken to a carving board and remove the lemons. Then tent some aluminum foil over it.

When the lemons are cool to the touch, cut them in half and squeeze the juice into the roasting pan. Throw the lemons away.

Add 3 tbspoons of water to the pan and place over high heat.

Cook for about two minutes, until reduced by 1/3.

Carve the chicken and arrange on a platter. The pour the lemon pan juices over it.

Makes about 4 servings.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

Ribollita Soup
Dec 6th, 2009 by

Ribollita means to "re-boil" in Italian.

Ribollita means to "re-boil" in Italian.

Also known as “Tuscan Bean Soup,” this is a real crowd pleaser. I’ve tripled this recipe and fed nearly 50 people with it at our annual Christmas open house party.

I got this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, but incorporated a few short cuts so you can make this in about 1 1/2 hours. Using a food processor to chop all of the vegetables also helps make the work go faster.

The taste is sweet and a little sour with a punch of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a great, hearty soup on a cold winter night.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can of cannellini beans (about 19 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 pound diced pancetta
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I always use Kosher as it’s the most flavorful.)
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably the imported Parmesan Reggiano), for serving

What I did:

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot.

Add the pancetta and onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. (Stir occasionally)

Add the carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. (Stir occasionally)

Add the tomatoes with the puree, the kale, and basil. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. (Stir occasionally)

Rinse the cannellini beans under cold water. Puree half of them in a food processor with about 1/2 cup of water.

Add pureed beans to the soup. And then add the remaining half of the whole beans. And stir.

Add the eight cups of chicken stock.

Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the bread cubes to the soup and simmer another 10 minutes.

Serve hot in large bowls. Sprinkle a little freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. And then drizzle a little olive oil over it.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

»  ©2010 RootsLiving; Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa