Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

Made this Italian classic (my favorite) last night for friends. I've tried different variations, and this is the best. I used to fear the anchovy, but don't fear it, it makes the meal.

Besides this being a classic meal, you can always tell the story of the name of this meal. Puttanesca refers to "puton" or "whore"- basically the ladies of the night are thought to have made this dish as it was easy and they had time later (or before?) to perform their tasks.

Just an aside- I do make all of my meals organic. I feel it makes a great meal.

This meal was taken from Jamie Oliver.

1 pound (455 grams) dried spaghetti, the best you can get- I actually prefer penne.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (You can go 3-4)
1 handful capers, soaked in water and drained
2 handfuls big black olives, pitted
12 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
3 small dried red chiles, crumbled ( I used a little red pepper flakes instead.)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 ounce/400gram) cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 good handful fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile fry the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chiles, and oregano in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until you have a lovely tomato sauce consistency. Remove from the heat, plunge the drained spaghetti into it, toss it over, and cover with the sauce. Rip all the basil over it, correct the seasoning, and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil.

Fancy dinner for Pete

I forgot to post about the dinner I made for Pete. It was from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook that my sister had bought me for Christmas. Really simple, but really delicious.

Cornish Hens

2005, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved
Show: Barefoot ContessaEpisode: Thanksgiving
Rated: 4 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (41)
Filed under: Poultry, Chicken, Poultry, Vegetables, Celery, more
Cook Time:35 min Level: Intermediate Yield: 2 servings
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1 large Spanish onion, sliced
2 Cornish hens
Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the sliced onion in the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove the giblets from the hens, and rinse them inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outsides dry. Place the hens on top of the sliced onion.

Pack the cavities of the hens with the cornbread stuffing.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the hens. Rub the hens with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the hens for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Cornbread Stuffing:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups cornbread
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Break the cornbread into pieces and place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture to the cornbread. Add the celery, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix together.

Yield: 2 servings

Here is a link to the recipe on the food network:

OMG- awesome breakfast casserole.

OMG. This is one of the best breakfasts I've ever made. I made it with Challah, and sprinkled it with Confectioner's Sugar. Also, I served it with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

I only had dark brown sugar available and it was so amazing, I am not sure I'd go with the light brown sugar. Thumbs up!

from Virginia Willis, BON APPETIT,Y’ALL

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 loaf brioche or challah bread, sliced into 1 1/2 inch slices

8 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Confectioners’ sugar for accompanimen

Pure Maple Syrup

-Combine the melted butter and sugar in the bottom of a baking dish.
-Make a nice even layer of the mixture to cover the entire area.
-Arrange the bread slices on top, squeezing them in place.
-Whisk the eggs, add all the remaining ingredients except the pecans.
-Pour over the bread, letting it soak in.
-Top with pecans and cover with plastic wrap. (The casserole will not look real moist, don’t worry I promise it will be so when you eat it)
-Keep refrigerated for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours.
-Set out at room temperature for 20 minutes before popping into a hot oven set to 350 degrees.
-Bake until lightly browned and set, 35 to 40 minutes.
-Remove and slightly cook if you can wait a few minutes.
-Serve hot or warm with sorghum, cane or maple syrup.

Serves 8