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Archive for April, 2008

These tarts went perfectly with the Carrot Fettuccine (see below) as a light and “springy” Family dinner. I used store-bought dough for time purposes and because making my own dough scares me. I am happy to say it tasted delicious and looked exactly like the image below! (Again, too eager to eat to remember to take a picture- this is from http://www.williams-sonoma.com).

Ingredients

2 rolled-out rounds savory tart dough, each 12 inches in diameter (homemade or store-bought)

5 Tbs. olive oil

4 yellow onions, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 oz. mixed salad greens

2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

Place the dough rounds on separate parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the thyme, parsley and 2 tsp. of the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Spread half of the onion mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the dough up and pinch together at 2-inch intervals. Lightly brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg. Bake the tarts until the crusts are golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar, the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette. Top the tarts with the mixed greens, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese. Drizzle salads with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

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Carrot Fettuccine

In honor of Spring’s long awaited arrival, we decided to make a light and “springy” meal for Family dinner. Immediately this dish came to mind. My mom made it for Easter two years ago and I’ve been wanting to have it again ever since. She said she got it from the Sara Moulton Cooks at Home cookbook. Since my father and I are both allergic to shrimp, she left it out when she made it. However, for Family dinner we decided to do one batch with shrimp and one batch without. We also made a few other adjustments to the recipe. For one, instead of peas we added asparagus. We also doubled the recipe. However, for eight people we definitely could have used another bag of carrots! This dish is so fun because it really looks and tastes like a pasta dish. So
grab your vegetable peeler (and a chair) and get started!

* this is a poor image (from http://www.sarahmoulton.com)- we were so eager to eat I forgot to take a picture myself 😦

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound medium shrimp (peeled with tail intact, deveined, rinsed and patted dry)
2 large shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
one 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
10 large carrots, about 1.5 lbs cut into ribbon like strands with a vegetable peeler
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup asparagus tips (or thawed frozen peas)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil and butter in large skillet over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook until the shrimp turns just pink, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl. Add carrots to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until barley tender, about 5 mins. Transfer to shrimp bowl.

Add the wine to the skillet and boil until it’s reduced by half. Add the cream and stock. Bring back to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the shrimp, carrots and asparagus to pan and simmer until they are just heated through, about 2 mins. Season to taste, serve hot!

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Lemon Dijon Dressing

I started making my own salad dressing- usually only when I make a salad worthy of the effort (like my Spring salad- see below). I have tried different variations, basically attempting to avoid using olive oil. This one came out very well. It was a bit bitter, but adding a pinch of sugar really helped. The rest of the proportions are estimates. I usually just keep adding and tasting, and adding and tasting, until I get the right mixture!

Ingredients

Dijon mustard (1/4 cup)
Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
Apple Cider Vinegar (2 tablespoons)
Honey (2 tablespoons)
Sugar (just a pinch to cut bitterness)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and immediately serve with salad! Simple!

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Spring Salad

Inspired by the turn of the season (at least that’s what the calendar tells me- so why is it still dark and freezing outside?) I decided to make a healthy salad for dinner. I saw a recipe for a salad with radishes in Shape magazine, so I knew I wanted to include them. I picked up the other ingredients while strolling through our local organic market. Served with a cup of soup and warm bread (pumpernickel loaf for us!), this salad is a great, light spring dinner.


Ingredients

Green leaf lettuce
Radishes (thinly sliced)
Red D’Anjou Pears (sliced)
Sunflower seeds
Goat cheese

Toss ingredients in a bowl and serve topped with Lemon Dijon Dressing.

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