I like this recipe a lot because you can substitute with abandon. No fish stock? Use chicken or vegetable! No lime leaves? Use some zest. It continues on like that…I’ve made this once with all the right ingredients and once with a lot of substitutions and both turned out delicious. They didn’t taste exactly the same but this is a recipe that lends itself (imho) to experimentation and variation. Also, jwa, who generally dislikes fish soups/stews loved this. That’s high praise right there, people.
This last time I didn’t have any lime leaves, green onions or lemongrass. My substitutions: strips of lime zest, a little lime juice, chopped white onion and two herbal lemongrass tea bags. Stash Lemon Blossom, to be exact.
Oh and also this is a great use of frozen scallops. Scallops are very expensive and you need the fresh, dry-packed ones to sear. This recipe is nice in that the scallops are cooked in the soup, no searing involved. So, if you find good frozen ones that you like (the Trader Joe’s Wild Japanese Scallops have always been sweet and tender for me), this is a great budget scallop recipe!
Asian Scallop Soup
Adapted from a recipe . . . → Read More: Spicy & Satisfying Asian Scallop Soup
The other day, I found myself with a container of ricotta that needed to be used. The weather wasn’t really cooperating for something with pasta, so I set out to find a recipe for something a little different. I came across this one and thought, “Oh! I can use my oven on a 95F degree day!” and decided to make some muffins. Because I have no sense.
Anyway, I got these baked before it got too terribly hot out and was rewarded with delightful, melt-in-your-mouth, lemony, blueberry, almond-y muffins. Now, I normally make pretty healthy muffins but these are not those kind of muffins. These are ricotta cheese + butter kind of muffins. Sometimes, you just need to shrug and grab that stick of butter.
I used a jumbo six muffin cup pan. The recipe should also make 12 regular-sized muffins. In fact, with my bigger muffins, I had a little leftover muffin batter that I baked in a smaller dish. Oh and the almonds and sugar on the top is delicious, don’t skip that part if you can help it.
Lemon Ricotta Blueberry & Almond Muffins
Adapted from the recipe, Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Biscuits, by Giada De Laurentiis
1 2/3 cups all-purpose . . . → Read More: Lemon, Ricotta, Blueberry & Almond Muffins
Is it hot out? Make this then. There’s a little stove-top time with the pancetta, but only for a few minutes. Besides, it’s totally worth it!
The pancetta in this salad is from a recipe for Frisee with Pears and Honeyed Lardons in The New Spanish Table (my new favorite cookbook, it seems), but I kind of just used what I had rather than following the recipe completely. So, I ended up with spinach, dried apricots and pecans. Not a bad combination at all!
Spinach Salad with Candied Pancetta, Pecans & Dried Apricots
3 ounces pancetta, diced
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (+ 2 tbsp more for dressing)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bag baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/4 cup toasted pecans
course sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Garnish: Cheese — shaved parmesan, asiago or something like that works well, I used Robusto (hmmm, I think feta would also be quite tasty)
Place pancetta in a small skillet and cook, over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, until it starts to render its fat. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until it’s light brown. Pour a little fat out if there is too . . . → Read More: Spinach Salad with Candied Pancetta, Pecans & Dried Apricots
Mostly pictures today! We went to the Dayton and Dundee area a couple of weeks ago and I took a lot of pictures. It was a beautiful day — sunny and not too warm. A great day for buying an olive plant and tasting some wine!
First stop, Red Ridge Farms, 5510 NE Breyman Orchards Rd, Dayton, OR. I love this place. I could wander around here all day.
Rosemary for sale!
Olive plants — they had three varieties that supposedly thrive in Oregon. A Greek one, a Spanish one and an Italian one. I believe we got the Greek variety.
More olive plants.
Fields of lavender.
Sokol Blosser winery. 5000 Sokol Blosser Lane, Dundee, OR. It’s actually just up the road from Red Ridge Farms.
Pinot Noir grapes.
Close-up of grapes.
A big tree at the winery.
Grapes outside the tasting room.
. . . → Read More: Pictures in Wine Country
I think a good alternative title for this recipe would be, “here, piggy, piggy!” Pork three ways — pork chops, prosciutto and pancetta. Delicious! I pretty much followed the recipe as is, except I brined my chops and I crisped the potatoes up in a pan before placing the chops on top for the oven.
I thought this was wonderful, but then I’ve really come to expect that from any Jaime Oliver recipe. Even the picture in the cookbook makes you want to just reach through the page and grab a chop. Sadly, that doesn’t really work, so just make the recipe instead!
Basic Pork Chop Brine
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 sage leaves, torn
Mix all the above together, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolves. If it’s not already, transfer it to a container (that has a lid) that’s big enough to also hold the pork chops. Submerge the chops, weighing them down with a small dish if needed. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Pork Chops with Sage or Costolette di Maiale con Salvia
From the cookbook, Jamie’s Italy…I halved this . . . → Read More: Pork Chops with Sage or Costolette di Maiale con Salvia