Monthly Archives: June 2017

Herbed fresh pasta

 

Back in the 80’s Tricia thought it would be fun to make fresh pasta together,  so she gifted me a lovely little machine that was easy to use and made great pasta.  Thirty years is a long time and the only other time I used this machine was for a special Italian cookie made with chickpea flour.

IMG_0865After 2 trips to the basement on my handy- dandy  chairlift, I finally found it hidden behind a lot of stuff that I definitely will be going thru very soon.  I  see a “garage sale” in my future.

Lately, I am making “do” with the ingredients that I have around,  so I improvised as usual.  In other words, I used All Purpose Flour, and substituted dry herbs instead of fresh.   The results were pretty good.

Regarding the preparation of the dough, make sure the so called ” well”  that you make is high enough to hold the added eggs or you are going to have mess.   This is a technique that I will have to perfect, because it took a lot to keep this together. IMG_0861

 

IMG_0869 I used tiny capers,  heated in olive oil,  and added some crushed red pepper flakes and grated cheese.     Absolutely delicious.

Now that I have come across this little kitchen gadget,  I definitely do want to try it again using the other attachments.  I promised Tricia that we would have a pasta making night very soon, and I know it’s gonna be fun.  What’s not to like.

 

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French lentil salad with goat cheese and walnuts

When I first started to prepare  this salad I  wasn’t too interested because I am not a fan of lentils.   Jim loved his lentils any which way  he could get them, prepared as a soup with the mirepoix  of celery, carrots and onions, or just cooked plain with a drizzle of olive oil and red pepper.  That said, these French lentils are so much better than the regular brown mushy lentils I normally cooked.

I prepared the dressing while I cooked the lentils and vegetables, and combined the two while the lentils were still warm.

I did let it all come to room temperature before adding the cheese, and since IMG_0915we were planning on having this for dinner I added the goat cheese just before serving.

Normally I don’t  taste my food when I am cooking,  something that  drove Jim nuts,  but this time I wanted to make sure these lentils were cooked and  had enough flavor.  Trust me,  the flavor was there,  I could not stop eating them.  I can see why David says this is his #1 go to salad,  it is that good.IMG_0924

I served this with his recipe for Poulet à la moutarde, which of course is the photo on the cover of his book, My Paris Kitchen, but that is a post for another day.

Thanks to Tricia we had delicious roasted herbed potatoes and a mixed green salad.

Oops!  I can’t forget the delicious cheese cake for dessert.

Unfortunately, no photos of said dessert…….

A little extra note,  in the July/August issue of Milk Street magazine with Christopher Kimball, there is an article on David Leibovitz’ Lentil salad that I thought was quite interesting.  However, the article goes on to give their version on how they would make the lentil salad and ways to improve it.

After all their changes, etc. I prefer David’s version  and will stay with the original.

Hummus + 2

This week’s recipe is a simple chickpea hummus.IMG_0886

Surprisingly, it  turned out better than expected.  It was so easy  to prepare since I used a can of chickpeas rather than cooking fresh.  After blending the tahini and lemon juice with the garlic and sea salt in the food processor, I added the chickpeas and whipped it into  a very smooth dip.  I did have to add additional cooking juice and lemon to thin it out, but it worked perfectly.

I am also adding the two selections  that I missed for the month of May,  both of which were delicious.

The Frisée salad was an absolute delight. The first time I ever tasted this type of salad was in a small restaurant just off the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris.  It is amazing to think that a poached egg and lardons could  add so much flavor to a simple salad.  We have also had the same salad with a topping of toasted goat cheese rounds instead of the egg, and both were winners.

I could not find frisée in the super market so I used  a spring mix instead.

The fresh croutons,  which my grandson thought were fantastic, were quite easy to prepare,  and I used the tiny little butter potatoes.IMG_0701

Since Tricia and I were trying a new shrimp recipe that night,  we  decided to use a hard boiled egg rather than trying to cook too many things on the stovetop at the last minute.

My second  recipe is the Multi grain bread.

Even though I had  only regular flour and instant yeast, I decided to go ahead with the recipe.IMG_0844The starter turned out well after leaving it overnight,  so I continued.

I realized that I did not have cornmeal to use on the bottom of the pan but used  plain flour instead.

Not pretty, but it worked.

The bread was amazing, and tasted wonderful.