Monthly Archives: March 2012

February Friday Dinner

Truffle Mousse on Mini Toasts

For 6 

Ingredients:

  • one package of store-bought mini toasts
  • one package of store-bought All-natural French Truffle Mousse

Recipe:

  1. Spread truffle mousse onto mini toasts
  2. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: salad, wine, fruits …

NOTES: What can I say? I sampled the truffle mousse and loved it too much to not to share. Addictive, savory snack!!

Winter Minestrone Soup

For 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 oz piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • salt and pepper

Recipe:

  1. In a heavy large pot, heat the oil over medium heat
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Sauté till the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes
  3. Add Swiss chard, potato and sauté for 2 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes
  5. While waiting, blend 3/4 cup of the cannellini beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture
  6. Simmer until the potato cubes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley
  7. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig
  9. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: all kinds of bread, hearty meat,  …

NOTES: Remember to rinse and drain the beans!! Also to save yourself some $, buy Parmesan cheese and save the rind to make this soup, getting the rind by itself cost me $4 … speechless secret ingredient. Also DO NOT use more or too much more than instructed broth, otherwise soup flavor won’t be as special and intense! Don’t cheapen on the Swiss chard, 1 lb raw Swiss chard might look like a chunky bunch but they will get cooked down to tiny bunch in no time, so delicious in soup!

Pizzas

For 6

Ingredients:

  • Trader Joe’s plain pizza dough
  • Olive Oil
  • Pizza Sauce

Toppings 1:

  • Diced pancetta (maybe 1/5 – 1/4 lb)
  • olive oil
  • 1 smashed garlic clove
  • 1/3 large bunch Russian red kale or dinosaur kale, center rib removed, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cups small red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2/3 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1/3  lb fresh, lightly salted Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 grated pecorino Romano
  • salt to taste

Toppings 2:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh bay shrimps
  • garlic slivers (thin)
  • truffle salt

Toppings 3:

  • shredded mozzarella
  • fresh basil, torn
  • 1 medium – large heirloom tomato

Toppings 4:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, stripped and torn
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, stripped
  • 8 oz assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • more olive oil for garnish

Toppings 5:

  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • 6-8 oz shredded fontina cheese (may use mozzarella or Monterey Jack)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 mild/hot Italian sausage (sliced or I squeezed out tiny meatballs out of the link)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • olive oil
  • baby arugula

Recipe:

  1. Let the pizza sought sit out for 1 hour before cooking
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  3. Put the ‘topped’ pizzas into the oven and start checking after 10 minutes.
  4. When ready, take them out, cut and serve
  5. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: salad, soup, soda, beer, wine  …

NOTES: Trader Joe’s pizza dough is the way to go! Cheap and yummy! How can you beat the $0.99 deal?! Be creative with the toppings, use seasonal fresh ingredients, just pay a visit to the local farmer’s market, I bet your topping combo imagination will run wild. Remember to either apply abundant sauce or brush on oil if not using cheese, so the pizza won’t turn out dry. But if you watch the cooking time closely, it shouldn’t be a problem. Eggs need to be tended with care but BOY sooooooooo delicious when they come out perfect, slightly runny, um um good! I definitely want to make it for myself again SOON! Most toppings can go straightly to the oven with the dough raw, but if you want to speed up cooking, cook the ingredients half way and then bake with the pizza dough. Fancy cheese totally worth the money and if you are treating yourself, don’t be stingy on spreading the cheese!!!!

Ricotta mousse with honey, pine nuts, orange peel and raisin

For 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
  • freshly grated zest from one medium-sized orange
  • pine nuts and raisins to liking
  • honey to taste

Recipe:

  1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, honey and orange zest. Whip the mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth
  2. Slowly fold the pine nuts and raisins into the cheese mixture until smooth
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving
  4. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: fruits, dessert wine …

NOTES: When ready to serve, top with some freshly grated orange zest for prettiness.

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Filed under appetizer, Dessert, Main Dish, Soup