Monday, August 13, 2007

Hors D'Oeuvres Smorgasbord...and a Stomach Ache

That's a lot of foreign words.

A zany burst of energy yesterday evening led me to create five different snacks in less than two hours. One of these items seriously bothered my stomach, and I found myself embarrassed to answer the question, "Well, what did you have for dinner?" since there was neither rhyme nor reason to my kitchen madness.

I made baked sweet potato chips based upon a meal the day before at the Blue Mermaid in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They were good, but lack of frying made them lack crispiness, too. I'll try again.

We had 90% of the ingredients from our farm share to make gazpacho, so I filled in the blanks with a trip to the grocery store and made Ina Garten's recipe, which we loved.

Friday's Boston Now had a recipe for soy honey-roasted walnuts that looked very good (and good for you) and I felt compelled to try it. Although we both gave it the thumbs-up, I have a gut feeling (pardon the pun) that this snack is what caused my stomach pain:

Seasoned Walnuts
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Toast 2.5 C shelled walnuts on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, where they are just beginning to toast. While walnuts are toasting, whisk together:

1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Toss walnuts in this mixture. Add cracked black pepper to taste. Return pan to oven and allow to bake for another 10-13 minutes, until walnuts are crunchy and dry.

Finally, I made the recipe that Rachael Ray seems most obsessed with: Elsa's Jumbo Shrimp with Sage and Pancetta...only I just realized I used prosciutto, which I also wrapped around some sliced honeydew. We will make this again. With prosciutto!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Simple Sage Sauce

In the pasta class I took, our instructor made a sage-infused garlic butter sauce (or perhaps a garlic-infused sage butter sauce?) with roasted cherry tomatoes - all to top off the gnocci we had made. I realize it's not the healthiest sauce, but it was quick and basic and wonderful - a perfect topping for our store-bought cheese tortellini.

Purely Pistachio?

My dad's favorite ice cream is pistachio, and I have been excited to make him some homemade pistachio ice cream for months. I have often wondered how companies end up with green pistachio ice cream. Sure, the nuts are kind of green, but not the freakish mouthwash green that we're used to seeing. The ingredients attested to the un-naturalness of this color (um, and flavor):

So, I thought mine would be a nice off-white hue. It was not. To make this ice cream, I used farm-fresh eggs, the yolks of which were much more yellow than store-bought eggs. So, my pistachio ice cream was yellow. Yolky yellow. But it was much better than the fluorescent "Purely Pistachio" from the store:

Grilled Chicken Burritos

This was the first charcoal-grilled chicken I had ever had, and the large size of the chicken breasts made the result extra moist and delicious. I marinated the chicken briefly in olive oil, salsa and Sazon and - wow! This simple meal was one of the best I have ever made. We topped the chicken with sliced avocado, some leftover mango salsa and a little cheese. I love this grill!

Here's the un-rolled burrito: