Sunday, January 31, 2010

Minestrone Soup

It has gotten soooo cold in New York, so I'm starting to make a lot of soup. Since its been getting pretty cold in New York lately, I've been thinking about soup a lot. On Friday I made Split Pea Soup and Corn Bread again (by the way, I didn't have any sour cream or plain yogurt so I used ricotta. It works great too!!).

Tonight's minestrone was pretty easy to make and it tasted gooooooood. I soaked about a cup and a half of cannellini beans during the day and then quick boiled them with a few bay leaves and half an onion. I sauteed an onion, about 4 celery ribs, 5 carrots and a few garlic cloves in oil. I use dried chili flakes in almost everything so at about this time I added in a pinch or two. In the meantime I boiled some water and poured it over a few whole dried porcini mushrooms and some sundried tomatoes. After about ten or fifteen minutes of soaking, I gave those a rough chop and threw them into the pot. I poured in about half a cup of white wine (red would have been fine if you have that) and let that cook of for about two minutes. I poured in a can of tomatoes and some vegetable broth, then threw in a parmesan rind, a ton of fresh parsley, thyme and a pinch of dried rosemary. I let that simmer for about an hour. When the soup started tasting good, I added in the beans and some roughly torn up cavolo nero (kale). At about this time I started cooking the pasta (any kind of small-ish pasta works, I used a half empty box of orechiette). When the pasta was done cooking, I spooned a nice big helping of soup into a bowl and topped that off with some pasta and a ton of parmesan.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spinach Spaghetti with Cream, Dried Porcini, Fresh Portabellos and Lots of Parsley

Over the holidays I procured over a pound of dried porcini mushrooms - possibly my favorite cooking secret. I came back to New York this week, excited to make one of my favorite pasta dishes! I had some spinach spaghetti on hand so decided to try it out. The sauce was super simple to make.
First I sauteed some onion in butter and olive oil, then added in the sliced mushrooms. After cooking the mushrooms super briefly I took them out of the pan. Put the pan back on the heat, poured in some cream, a little bit of vegetable broth and a few spoonfuls of my porcini powder. When the pasta was ready, I mixed the mushrooms back in and threw in a toooonnnn of parsley. On the side, (sadly no pictures) I made a super sour salad with sherry vinegar, dijon and olive oil. It was a nice hearty meal.

The last picture looks kind of weird, but I thought I should include it anyways.

P.S. Sorry about the ugly lighting in these pictures. Unfortunately my kitchen does not get nearly as much light as it does in Topanga.

My Favorite Sandwich

I've been eating honey mustard and cheese sandwiches for as long as I can remember. The sandwich has been through many variations, but after discovering the mustard seed Gouda at the East Village Cheese shop on 3rd ave, the honey mustard and cheese sandwich has finally been perfected! Luckily, the very same cheese shop that supplies me with the cheese also supplies me with a lovely baguette from the Balthazar Bakery. I lather on my favorite honey mustard, (of which I always keep at least three extra jars on hand in the pantry ever since the discontinuation scare I experienced last year) and layer the cheese on along with a ton of romaine lettuce leaves. So simple, I know, but I could literally eat this sandwich every day.

Two angles that are basically the same but equally beautiful:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Florida Food

I went to Florida with my dad last week to visit my grandparents... here are a few of the meals we ate.. some of which I did not make. I also got a chance to make tamales again - they turned out just as well as the first time I made them a few weeks ago!

Whole Roasted Pompano:

Roasted Acorn Squash:

These are my favorite plates ever. They belonged to my great grandmother!

Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Cream:

I'll admit that this isn't the best picture, but the pasta was delicious! I made cappellini with a slow cooked red wine/rosemary/carrot/zucchini/celery tomato sauce.

And finally, my very favorite raspberry torte/ cake:

I'm finally back in New York, so expect more posts soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


With potato, onion, garlic, a jalepeno and cherry tomatoes. Plus lots of butter and olive oil.

I love making frittatas for breakfast - they're so quick and easy to prepare and you can literally throw anything you have lying around in the fridge in them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010


I spent almost all day working on these tamales and their sauces. The first was a roasted tomatillo and garlic salsa with onion and cilantro. The second was a roasted tomato and smoked chili salsa with both regular sun dried tomatoes and smoked ones. I'm not very familiar with tomatillos so the sourness was a little shocking at first, but the flavors of both sauces worked perfectly when eaten together (the richness of the tomato salsa helped balance the tang from the tomatillo salsa and the cilantro gave it a perfect coolness).
I used a Rick Bayless recipe from his website for the tamale batter and I was extremely happy with my results. I didn't use the lard, so instead used vegetable shortening and a little bit of butter. I stuffed the tamales with monterey jack cheese, roasted poblano and jalepeƱo chilis, and a little bit of raw corn. Super delicious.

me cooking:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Scrambled Eggs with Shallot, Chili and Homefries

This was breakfast this morning. Very satisfying and much better than my Spanakopita!


I made spanakopita last night and made the worst mistake!!! I salted the spinach to my liking before adding the feta (which is by itself super salty!!) I was very disappointed. Next time I won't add any salt until the end!!!