Mushroom and Chive Fettuccine Alfredo

A slightly ~*~fancy~*~ version of a comfort food classic. Eat with crusty bread and a nice white wine.

Mushroom and Chive Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 30min
Total Time: 30min


Ingredients

1 lb fettuccine
4 TBS butter
1 lb sliced white or baby portabella mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parm + more to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped chives (half added, half as garnish)
1 tsp salt + more to taste


Cook the pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and 1 tsp salt and cook until soft and dark brown, about 12-15 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine, then allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Toss the pasta with the sauce in the pan until coated. Add the parmesan and 1/2 cup chives and toss again until cheese has been evenly incorporated into the sauce. Add additional salt at this point if you’d like.

Serve immediately topped with reserved chives.


Zucchini Mascarpone Galette

I’ve never been a huge ricotta fan. I know it’s supposed to be bland, since it serves as a base for other flavors, but it usually leaves me wanting something with a little more oomph. So when I realized how much I liked Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini and Ricotta Galette, I figured I could make one I liked even better if I replaced some of the ricotta with a slightly more flavorful cheese. Enter: mascarpone. A little creamier and with a more pronounced cheesy flavor, it fit the bill perfectly.

Zucchini Mascarpone Galette

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1hr 30 min


Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour, chilled in freezer for 30 min
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup very cold water

Filling:
1 lb zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Make dough: Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle butter pieces over flour and use your hands to combine until the pieces of butter are no larger than small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, lemon juice and water and add to the butter-flour mixture. With your hands, combine until large lumps form. Gently pat the lumps into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for no longer than 20 minutes (remove to the fridge if you need more time to work).

Make filling: Spread the zucchini over two layers of paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let sit 30 min, and then blot the zucchini to remove water on the surface. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and minced garlic together – set aside. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 tsp of olive oil mixture and add salt to taste.

Flour a large flat work surface (I like to lay down parchment paper and then flour to contain mess). Roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the zucchini, with slices slightly overlapping, in concentric circles from the outside edge of the cheese mixture to the center. Evenly drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the zucchini. Gently fold the plain edge dough over the very edge of the zucchini circles, pleating to keep together as needed. Brush the exposed dough with the egg yolk/water mixture.

Bake the galette about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese has puffed up a little and the zucchini are slightly translucent. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and then transfer carefully to a serving plate. Serve in wedges.


What I Cooked Last Week – August 12

Yet another short week of cooking – took off for Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a work trip. Kept it (mostly) light in anticipation of the eating and drinking associated with conferences. Tuesday includes another zucchini recipe to add to your repertoire, and a perfect no-cook one at that for the hottest days of summer (and smokiest, if you’re in pretty much any of the PNW).

Sunday

Baked my Gâteau aux Pommes again to get some updated blog pictures. I always forget how good this cake is, and how surprisingly easy it is to throw together. Don’t let the French name scare you away! Also, leftovers make great breakfast – it has apples, so it’s fine, right?

Ended up making the Mushroom and Chive Fettuccine Alfredo that I’d originally planned to make last Saturday before life happened. It was still a bit cooler than it has been outside, so it was the perfect comfort food. I’ll have a recipe up for that in the near future!

mushroom alfredo.jpg

Monday

I got a pound of purple carrots in the CSA this week, and felt inspired to make a recipe that I’ve been eyeing for a while – Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt. It’s simple to prepare with a complex flavor payoff, and won’t make you feel guilty if you follow it up with some ice cream. This one is pictured as the title image for the post.

Tuesday

Had to pack for my work trip so I scheduled the most hands-off meal for Tuesday – a sous-vide sirloin steak (throw in the sous vide and wait) and a simple Zucchini Carpaccio Salad to make use of some more delicious CSA summer squash. I actually wrote most of this blog post while I was waiting for the food to mostly prepare itself!

Lamb and Zucchini Sandwiches

Lamb and Zucchini Sandwiches

Loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 1hr
Total Time: 1hr


Ingredients

Lamb Patties
2 large slices french bread
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper

Tzatziki Sauce
17.6oz container Greek Yogurt (I usually just use one of the medium Fage containers)
1 large cucumber, shredded
2 TBS fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Assembly
1 lb zucchini, sliced thin on a slight diagonal (mandoline is great here)
4 large pita
Salad greens
Olive Oil


Make the patties: In a bowl, cover bread slices with lukewarm water and set aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze the bread to get as much water out as possible and place in a large bowl.

Pulse onion and parsley in a food processor until very finely chopped, then add to bowl with bread along with lamb, salt, and spices. Mix with your hands until well combined. Form into 8 patties about 4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before grilling.

Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except salt and olive oil and pulse until well combined. With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil until combined. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl and season with salt to taste.

Toss the zucchini slices with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. On a grill over medium-high heat, grill the zucchini slices until tender, about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove to serving platter.

Grill the lamb patties over medium-high heat until firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side. Warm the pita over medium-low heat on the grill until lightly toasted but still flexible.

Serve all components separately and allow people to assemble their sandwiches with pita, salad greens, zucchini and 1-2 lamb patties. Top with tzatziki.


What I Cooked Last Week – August 5

Last week’s lineup includes two small dinner party menus, some leftover suggestions, and a bit of unexpected comfort food in mid-August. Without further ado…

Sunday

Dinner party one of two. Wanted to bake something with cream cheese (I had, and still have, a bunch in my fridge), and Smitten Kitchen’s berry filled Cheesecake Galette seemed to fit the bill, especially with the galette kick I’ve been on the past few weeks. Hers calls for blackberries and lime, but raspberries were cheaper, so I used them and lemon instead (lemon complements raspberries a bit better than lime, in my opinion). It turned out great – can’t wait until it’s full-on blackberry season and I can try the recipe as written!

cheesecake galette

For the main course, I made lamb koftë sandwiches with grilled zucchini and tzatziki. I’ll have a recipe up for that later this week! They turned out really well and worked as a great summer dinner party item – I could hang outside at the grill and talk to my friends while I worked. They also gave me a starting point for a bunch of good leftovers-based lunches later in the week.

meat patties.jpg

Monday

Lunch was leftovers round one – two of the lamb patties on a pile of spring greens mix, drizzled with tzatziki. Satisfying yet light.

This was the evening of dinner party round two. I decided on the fish sandwiches from Cravings by Chrissy Teigan. They’re… awesome. The tartar sauce the sandwiches call for is amazing, but I was feeling a second round of the sauce from Mike’s Fish Tacos. It was a great substitute. I paired them with the zucchini fries from her books, like she suggests. You can find a link to a write-up of that recipe in my Zucchini Remix roundup.

Didn’t make dessert on Monday, but my friend brought along some loganberry ice cream her mom had made and it was the perfect meal-ender.

Tuesday

I’d planned on just making a bunch of sautéed vegetables on Tuesday night as a fridge clear-out, but then, as per usual, I got a little carried away and ended up with a massive frittata instead. It was delicious and fit the bill perfectly – used up a bunch of amazing produce and eggs from our Spoonfull Farm CSA. I hate letting any of that stuff go to waste, so using up a whole dozen (!!!!) eggs in one swoop along with a large zucchini, a head of kale, and some beautiful red scallions felt great. I topped it with a dill-chive sour cream.

frittata

For Wednesday lunch, I topped a wedge of the frittata with a crumbled lamb patty and yet another drizzle of tzatziki. Yum!

Saturday

The weather interlude gave me the opportunity to take a bit of a break from summer produce (will I regret this when I’m eating exclusively root vegetables in a few months? maybe) and get cozy with mushroom and chive fettuccine alfredo. Recipe to come for that one, and I’m also planning on writing a post about the _whys_ behind a couple of pasta-water techniques, namely salting the water and reserving some for tossing with sauce before serving.

Have a great week everyone!

Summer Fridge Frittata

We’ve been so lucky this summer to have a ton of beautiful produce from our Spoonfull Farm CSA, but we’ve also been so busy that sometimes, cooking doesn’t end up happening. That means that some weeks we find ourselves with a whole mountain of produce on our hands that we would hate to see go to waste. Enter: the summer fridge frittata, so named because it’ll clean your fridge right out if you play your cards right. This is really what frittatas are made for – making leftovers new again (and getting great use out of our beautiful farm-fresh eggs in the process)!

Summer Fridge Frittata

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min


Ingredients

12 large eggs
2 TBS half and half
1 cup + 1 TBS sour cream
1 head kale, any variety, roughly chopped
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced (I use a mandoline, see note below)
1 cup shredded/grated cheese (I used half parmesan and half mozzarella because I had them on hand)
1 bunch scallions, white/light green parts thinly sliced
1/2 TBS red pepper flakes
1 TBS garlic powder
Juice from one lemon
2 tsp salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 TBS minced chives + more for garnish
1 TBS minced fresh dill + more for garnish
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk eggs until yolks and whites are well combined. Add 1 TBS sour cream, half and half, and cheese, and whisk together. Add at least 1 tsp salt, whisk to combine, and set aside.

In a 10-12 inch ovensafe skillet (cast iron is best!), heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute. Add zucchini slices and toss with oil and scallions. Add 1 tsp salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Cook until slices start to become translucent and soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add chopped kale and allow to wilt and cook down, tossing with the zucchini and scallions, about 5 more minutes.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables and gently stir to distribute egg and vegetables. Once edges of the eggs have set, about one minute, carefully transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Allow to bake anywhere from 7-14 minutes – the eggs should be set, and the top should be slightly puffed and golden.

While the eggs are baking, combine the remaining cup of sour cream with the chives and dill in a small bowl, and set aside.

Once the frittata has finished baking, remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes on a cooling rack in the pan. When ready to serve, slice into wedges, garnish with reserved chives and dill, and top each wedge with the herbed sour cream mixture. Serve with toast, a light green salad, or both.

Note: I use my mandoline slicer at least twice per week, if not more, so I can’t recommend them enough. HOWEVER. You have to be extremely careful when using them, and never use a mandoline without a protective hand guard. I use this mandoline from OXO, which includes a protective guard.


Surprise Teriyaki Chicken & Grilled Bok Choy

So there aren’t any cool surprises about this recipe – the surprise was mine when the marinade I threw together because I thought it would taste good tasted exactly like teriyaki *facepalm*. But that’s okay, because a recipe for teriyaki chicken that you can throw together with pantry staples and class up with some grilled veggies is great in my book. And, for the record, I wasn’t wrong about it tasting good.

Surprise Teriyaki & Grilled Bok Choy

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 45min
Total Time: 45min + 8hrs for marinade time


Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut in half
4 baby bok choy
White or brown rice, prepared according to package instructions

Marinade
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 TBS chili oil
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS sugar or honey or agave syrup


Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Put chicken in the dish with the marinade and use a spoon to coat the top side with sauce. Cover and let sit in the fridge 6-8 hours (you can leave it up to 24 if needed – it’ll still be good, but a bit saltier than it would otherwise).

Once you’re ready to start cooking, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Halve each baby bok choy, leaving the tough connecting stalk at the bottom. Brush the cut side with vegetable oil. Grill, starting with the cut side, until tender and slightly charred, about 3-5 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and set the marinade aside, reserving it. Grill the chicken until there is no visible pink when cut into, or a meat thermometer reads an internal temp of 165 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil for at least 1-2 minutes (THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU JUST USED IT TO MARINATE RAW CHICKEN). It may be reduced enough for your taste at that point, if not, continue to simmer until it’s the consistency you like.

Serve chicken over rice topped with the sauce formerly known as marinade, and with the bok choy on the side.

Note: I grilled the bok choy and chicken because it’s August and I don’t want to deal with the stove more than I need to, but there’s no reason you couldn’t pan-sear both of them, or roast both of them, or cook them any other way that gets the job done.


What I Cooked Last Week (7/29)

A veryyyyy welcome week back in the kitchen, giving my stomach a break from all of the delicious food and alcohol we had in Vancouver last weekend. Got some beautiful cabbage, lemon basil, and zucchini from my CSA last week that all got put to excellent and delicious use.

Sunday

In my attempt to get back to baking at least once a week, I made a raspberry cobbler and FINALLY nailed a recipe I’ve had in the works for a few months. Eat it with ice cream. Eat it with whipped cream. Eat it for breakfast. It does it all, folks.

cobbler

Dinner was a remake of Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini and Ricotta Galette, with a twist – I’m meh on ricotta in most things, and when I had some amazing butternut and mascarpone ravioli in Vancouver, I realized I needed to try this galette with at least some of the ricotta replaced by mascarpone. It turned out… very very well. I made a some other tweaks too, which may finally move my version into a separate recipe that I will post here in the next few weeks.

Monday

I made Mike’s Fish Tacos, so named because I got the blackening seasoning and sauce recipes from Kyle’s dad after he made fish tacos for us one time. Add this sauce to the list of sauces I would happily eat with a spoon and put on almost anything. Next time I make fried halibut sandwiches, I’m using that sauce instead of tartar.

fish tacos

I alsoooo, inspired by the many cocktails I had on vacation, and the beautiful bunch of lemon basil from the CSA, made some Lemon Basil Vodka Spritzes. Light and refreshing, they’re a step up from a glass of wine at the end of the day, and you can convince yourself that you’re hydrating.

vodka spritz

Tuesday

I whipped up a soy-sauce based marinade that I thought would be tasty – and it was! Extremely tasty. Recipe will be coming next week, so that you can make it too. Only you won’t be surprised that it tastes exactly like teriyaki, like I was. I served it with some grilled bok choy and with a sauce of the boiled-down marinade and it was exactly what I needed on a Tuesday evening.

teriyaki chicken

Wednesday

Repeat of Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto and White Beans, which is rapidly becoming my favorite go-to summer recipe. It’s quick! It’s easy! It’s healthy! It’s 100% on the grill! I used Basil-Almond pesto this time (recipe also coming next week), and served it with grilled bread, because I’m pretty sure that’s a legal requirement with this dish.

Thursday

I had about half a cup of pesto-coated beans left over from Wednesday night, so I mashed them up with a splash of red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt, pan-fried a thick slice of bread in olive oil, spread some extra pesto on it, and topped that with the mashed bean mixture and a few shavings of parmesan. It hit the spot and took about 5 minutes, which is exactly what I’m looking for on nights when I’m only feeding myself. Makes me want to do some sort of “leftovers toast” recipe series, since I do something along those lines at least once a week. You can check it out in the main post image.

So I guess it wasn’t quite a full week of cooking, but it’s the summer and weekends get booked, so what can you do. This week I have TWO (2) dinners that I am hosting and a couple other evenings of cooking that I get to squeeze in, so wish me luck.

Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz

It feels more special to make a cocktail in the evening in the summer, instead of just pouring myself a glass of wine. Winter calls for red wine most nights, but this bright lemon basil spritz will hit the spot after a long day in (let’s be real) an overly air-conditioned office. If you don’t have or can’t find lemon basil, this would also be delicious with regular basil.

Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz

Makes One Drink
Hands-On Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min


Ingredients

1 cup loosely packed lemon basil leaves
1 TBS agave syrup
1.5 oz vodka
Juice of half a lemon
Can of soda water or seltzer water
Ice


Muddle together the basil leaves and agave at the bottom of a glass. Add lemon juice and vodka. Add ice. Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer. Garnish with additional basil leaves and lemon slices.


Gâteau aux Pommes

Delicious French-style apple cake. It manages to be custardy and airy all at once, and looks elegant at the end of a meal. Make sure you give yourself enough time for it to cool properly.

Gâteau aux Pommes

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 8-10
Hands-On Time: 40 min
Total Time: 4hr, including time to cool


Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs apples (preferably Granny Smith)
1 TBS white rum
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup + 2 TBS flour
1 cup + 1 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar


Prepare oven: Adjust oven rack to a lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with a thin layer of cooking spray. Wrap the outside fairly tightly in aluminum foil (springform pans leak a bit) and place on foil-lined baking sheet.

Prepare apples: Peel, core, cut each apple into 8 wedges, and slice each wedge into 1/8 inch thick slices. Microwave apples in microwave-safe dish or plate, cover, and microwave about 3 minutes, or until apples are tender. Toss apples with rum and lemon juice and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 egg, oil, milk, and vanilla until there are no lumps. Add flour mixture to egg/oil mixture and whisk together until just combined. Set one cup of batter aside for later.

Add the egg yolks to the rest of the batter and whisk until combined. Fold the cooled apples into the batter using a rubber spatula, being careful not to break the apple slices to the best of your ability. Pour batter into prepared springform plan and spread evenly, smoothing down any apple slices that may pop up.

Whisk the remaining 2 TBS of flour into the cup of batter that you set aside earlier. Pour this batter over the batter in the cake pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 TBS of sugar evenly over the top of the batter in the pan.

Bake about 75 minutes, or until a tester toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges of the cake from the pan with a paring or butter knife and allow to cool for 2-3 more hours. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar. Serve alone, or with whipped cream, ice cream, or crème anglaise.


(Pictures to come soon!)