June 21, 2016
Summer is officially here! Having grown up in the Palm Springs area, I am very used to hot, dry summers with triple digit temperatures. Denver has had some days in the 90's lately, and it makes me shake my head to hear how vocal people are about their disdain for the heat. We may not be setting records for high temperatures, but we are setting records for the number of people talking about the weather! It's summer--summer is warm. :)
With summer here, I'm all about the light, fresh summer fare. This recipe combines a lot of the popular summer produce into one great salad. Who says salad always has to involve lettuce (or kale - ha!)? Lightly grilled asparagus and cantaloupe are combined with crisped proscuitto, pine nuts, and fresh mozzarella, and the salad is dressed with a light lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. It's summer on a plate! It is a light dinner, but a filling one, and all of the colors just make it feel like a happy dinner.
Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Cantaloupe Salad
Yields 4 servings
3 oz. prosciutto
1 lb. asparagus
2 cups or 12 oz. melon, sliced into cubes or balls
4 oz. fresh mozzarella balls
2 tbsp. pinenuts
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon liner. Place prosciutto slices across baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy. After crispy, remove from oven and allow to cool for about three minutes. Then, use paper towels to blot excess oil. Finally, chop the prosciutto and set aside in a small bowl.
Preheat grill on medium heat, or alternatively heat a grill pan over the stove on medium heat. In a bowl, toss the asparagus spears with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes, grill each side for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
If desired, you can toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for about four minutes.
Combine the asparagus, melon, prosciutto, and mozzarella in a large bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice, adding extra salt and pepper to taste. Then, top with the pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
May 25, 2016
I made tangerine curd months ago, and after making lemon curd this past week end in a pie class, I decided it was time to share this recipe! Tangerine curd is sweet and tangy, and with the long week end coming, it would be something fun to make as part of breakfast. It would pair well with vanilla scones, just sayin'.
Citrus curds are traditionally served with scones and tea breads or even as a pie filling. To make curds, you beat egg yolks and sugar with citrus juice over hot water. Once the mixture begins to thicken, you add butter, which helps it remain thicker. The curd will last for about two weeks in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
You could also substitute the tangerines for orange, lemon, or tangelos. I stumbled upon some pink lemons at Trader Joe's recently, and I'll be making this curd with those lemons soon.
Yields 1 1/2 cup curd
1 egg, plus 4 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Grated zest of 1 tangerine
3/4 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice
6 tbsp. cold butter
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring 1 cup of water to a low simmer. In a heatproof glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the whole egg, egg yolks, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Then, whisk in the tangerine zest and juice. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water, and whisk until the eggs begin to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Then, whisk in one tablespoon of the butter at a time, and continue whisking constantly until the mixture much thicker and forms a thick ribbon on the surface when dropped from the whisk.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap right onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the curd to cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes before refrigerating.
May 12, 2016
Happy Friday! Today's recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, Feel Good Food. I've shared recipes from this cookbook before, but there are so many good recipes from this cookbook worth sharing! This cookbook remains my most frequently used cookbook because of the creative recipes that are healthier but still elegant. Today's recipe would be a great breakfast for the week end!
Baked fruit with ricotta is a different take on the boring bowl of fruit for breakfast. An assortment of different fruit is tossed with apple cider, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and allspice and baked. After baking, it is topped with some ricotta cheese, which adds some lush creaminess to the dish. This could also even make a great summer dessert--especially with some Honeycrisp Apples and Colorado Palisade Peaches. Mmmm.
Berries, apricots, and nectarines also make great substitutes for the pineapple and peaches. You can also use frozen fruit, and there is no need to defrost it. If you don't have ricotta cheese, you could also substitute a creamy yogurt, too.
Enjoy this breakfast.
Baked Fruit with Ricotta
Yields 4-6 servings
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" chunks
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks (frozen is okay to use!)
1 cup peach chunks (frozen is okay to use!)
1 tbsp. boiled cider extract or 1/4 cup apple cider
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
Position oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray or grease with butter. Add the fruit to the dish. Pour the cider extract/cider and the maple syrup over the fruit, and then sprinkle the spices evenly over the top. Toss the fruit to coat.
Bake for 25 minutes, and remove from oven to stir the fruit. Return to oven and bake for about 25 minutes more. When finished, allow the fruit to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, scoop the fruit into bowls and top each bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of the ricotta cheese.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis' Feel Good Food
May 1, 2016
That said, I finally gave it a try. As much as it pains me to admit it, avocado toast makes for a pretty spectacular breakfast. It feels almost silly to give a recipe for it: after all, you're just spreading mashed avocado on toast.
My twist on avocado toast is to add in some peas and a poached egg. The peas bring in some extra flavor while still keeping the green. Plus, you get some extra veggies. The poached egg adds some protein. And, a runny egg and toast? Now, that's a win-win.
Avocado-Smashed Pea Spread
Yields 1 serving
1/4 cup peas, defrosted
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
If you prefer a smooth texture, in a small bowl, use a hand immersion blender to puree the avocado and pees, add olive oil and seasonings, and stir. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread on toast, and top with a poached egg!
Source: Inspired by many bloggers and cooks :)