Le week-end!

Just a quick post and some lilacs!

I’ve decided to invest a little money into a camera, but I figure I already own a small digital camera (4 years old) and don’t really know how to use it. So I’ve signed myself up for a photography class that I’m hoping will teach me how to take photos of my food.
The camera I’m speaking of…is the very lucky COOLPIX P100 from Nikon.  I wish I had the camera now, because this weekend is going to be a little hectic.

I have to finish the 5 final recipes for the cookbook, they are for the more adventurous cook…different sauces, many components and what not.  And for tomorrows post, I’m going to make fresh falafel, but I’ll just use my camera for that!  Which reminds me I’m off to soak the chickpeas.


Good Living

I read a really interesting bit of history today and thought I’d share it:

“In the French province of Lorraine, it was once customary to propose marriage during pig-slaughtering season. A young woman who wish to accept sent back a pig’s foot decorated in laurel; rejection came in the form of a pig’s tail accompanied by a pickle.”

I love pigs, and I just wonder what the groom to be or his family would do with what they received..did they stuff the pig’s foot and eat it for dinner? Did they fry pigs tails, and serve them with pickles and dijon mustard? Or am I over thinking this…something I do often.

Zucchini was one of those vegetables that I hated as a child, but like most foods you disliked as a kid you learn later that it’s not the vegetable, it’s the preparation. Except for okra, I love all veggies.

So for a zucchini recipe, I thought of zucchini coins breaded with cheddar goldfish, the many ways of stuffing zucchini, and the endless amount of zucchini blossoms. But since I have to make dinner soon, I thought something light would do the trick, so I’m going with stuffed zucchini.

Stuffed Zucchini over Fettucine and Cherry Tomatoes – Serves 4
For Zucchini:
Olive oil
4 large zucchinis (7 to 8 oz each), tops cut off, cut lengthwise
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces mortadella, chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 egg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Fettucine:
1 pound fettucine
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For Zucchini:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a sautepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until onions are soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer onion mixture into large bowl, stir in mortadella, breadcrumbs, half the cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add egg. Mix well and set aside.

Prepare zucchini by coring out the inside. Using a grapefruit spoon can be helpful. Zucchini shell should be about 1/4 inch thick.

Prepare a baking dish by lightly oiling. Arrange the zucchinis in the dish, fill with stuffing, drizzle witha bit of oil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over. Bake for 40 minutes, then increase the heat to 400 degrees F, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Prepare pasta according to instructions, and create dressing. In a sautepan heat 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic, saute until golden but not browned. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute and remove from heat.

Drain pasta and toss in dressing. Divide pasta among 4 deep bowls or plates, and top with zucchini. Serve Parmesan cheese along side.

Don’t forget to pull out chilled white wine and share with friends and family!

Bon Cooking!

Newbie blogger…and Brie

I decided to start a blog so that I could write about my culinary interests. I also thought about the many times I would have loved to be able to reach the author of a cookbook – a way to ask about ingredients, make comments about recipes I’ve made.  So this is also a way for readers to leave comments that they want answers to.

For this entry a gooey and savory appetizer:

Brie with Red Wine Sautéed Mushrooms and Thyme – Serves 4
Semi-circle Brie
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced button-mushrooms
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Baguette, 16 1/4- inch thick slices

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the rind from the top of the brie, and place it in an oven safe baking dish and set aside.

Toast baguette slices in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add red wine and thyme to the mushrooms. Continue cooking over medium heat until wine cooks off.

Pour the red wine mushroom mixture over brie, and bake for 15 minutes, or until brie is slightly melted. Serve on a tray with baguette slices and spoons. Enjoy immediately.

Bon Cooking!