Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells, featured in our July cooking column, has us looking at salads in a whole new light. Hailing from southeastern France, this recipe looks nothing like what is expected of a salad. Suggestion: don't ask questions, just enjoy!
Toss the shrimp with just enough sauce to lightly and evenly coat the ingredients. Add the chives and toss to blend. Taste for seasoning. Mound the shrimp salad on plates, and serve.
WINE SUGGESTION: Raoul’s wife, Flora, is the hostess and sommelier at Le Grand Pré. She introduced us to one of our favorite local white wines— Domaine Chaume- Arnaud’s La Cadène Vinsobres Blanc, an atypical blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Marsanne. This white wine has the vivacity and complexity to stand up to the pungent flavors in this dish.
The books in our July cooking column all have great summer recipes -- but what about soup? This recipe from Eat Greens by Barbara Scott-Goodman and Liz Trovato has a special tartness that makes it summer-friendly. It's the perfect meal to bring to work to enjoy for lunch, especially on a rainy summer day.
Add the broccoli and broth. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, celery seeds, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. This will have to be done in batches. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. (The soup can be made ahead of time and will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for a day.)
Reheat the soup. Cut the remaining apple into small pieces or thin strips. Spoon the soup into soup bowls and garnish each serving with the apples and chives and serve at once.
Our July cooking column features three fantastic summery cookbooks, including Patricia Wells' 12th book, Salad as a Meal. It includes over 150 recipes that each challenge and expand the definition of a salad, and this recipe is a great example of her creativity and the heartiness of her dishes. For those of us who are trying to eat healthier but finding it leaves tummies a little empty, this book is just great.
Fill the pasta pot with 8 quarts of water and bring it to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt and beans and cook until crisp- tender, about 5 minutes. (Cooking time will vary according to the size and tenderness of the beans.) Immediately remove the colander from the water, allowing the water to drain from the beans. Plunge the beans into the ice water so they cool down as quickly as possible. (The beans will cool in 1 to 2 minutes. If you leave them longer, they will become soggy and begin to lose flavor.) Drain the beans and wrap them in a thick towel to dry. (Store the beans in the towel in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.)
Prepare a wood or charcoal fire. Set the grill rack about 5 inches from the heat. The fire is ready when the coals glow red and are covered with ash.
Scrub the potatoes but do not peel them. Bring 1 quart of water to a simmer in the bottom of a steamer. Place the potatoes on the steaming rack. Place the rack over the simmering water, cover, and steam just until the potatoes are fully cooked, about 25 minutes. While still warm, place the potatoes in a small bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat them.
Season the tuna lightly with salt and pepper. Place the tuna at the 10 o’clock position on the hot grill rack. After 1 minute, rotate the tuna a quarter- turn to the right, to 2 o’clock. One minute later, flip the tuna over to the uncooked side, grill marks up, pointing to 10 o’clock. Grill for 1 minute and rotate to 2 o’clock again, cooking until the tuna is done to your liking. Transfer the tuna to a platter, season again with salt and pepper, and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat the lettuce. Place the tomatoes in another bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat them. Place the green beans in another bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat them.
Set a tuna steak at the edge of a large dinner plate. Arrange the lettuce, green beans, potatoes, eggs, and tomatoes alongside. Arrange the anchovies in a crisscross pattern on top and sprinkle with the chives. Serve.
WINE SUGGESTION: I never tire of one of our longtime favorite rosés, the legendary Bandol Rosé from the Domaine Tempier, a mineral- scented wine that is as versatile, and pleasing, as they come.
There's something truly awesome about cooking a meal that looks and tastes as if it came from some fancy restaurant. The recipes from DK's Seafood, as seen in our June cooking column, seem to specialize in both ease and style, and this next recipe could make it easy to fool your friends and family into thinking you had hired a toque-topped chef.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Sit the salmon fillets in a nonstick roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and season. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the Swiss chard in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5-8 minutes, until it still has a bite to it. Drain well, and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze over the lemon juice, and stir in the chili flakes. Divide between 4 warmed plates.
Place the roasted salmon on top of the Swiss chard, lay a slice of herb butter on each piece, and serve immediately.
Cut 4 sheets of foil about 20 inches long - fold each sheet in half. Drizzle a little oil on the center of each folded sheet, then add the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and thyme in a small bowl.
Top each piece of fish with some of the tomato mixture. Drizzle with the remaining oil.
Fold the foil over the fish, closing up and pinching the edges to seal tightly.
Place the packets on the grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is opaque in the middle—which you won’t see since they’re sealed up, so you’ll have to trust me on the time, and if it’s wrong for your grill, adjust it next time.
Put them on plates and let your guests open the packets themselves - just warn them of potential steam.
BTW: You can have these all prepped, sealed, and ready to grill, waiting in your fridge. Just remember to take them out about 30 minutes before you plan on grilling them, okay?
Whether it's a block party, family night, or a summery evening with just you and your grill (it's true love), this lamb steak recipe from Andrew Schloss and David Joachim's Fire It Up, featured in our June cooking column, will seriously redefine your idea of throwing a little meat on the grill. It's tough to pick from the 400 recipes listed in Fire It Up, but this is a good one.
Guinness-Brined BBQ Lamb Steaks
Guinness, the Irish stout, gives the brine for these simple barbecued lamb steaks much of its punch. Like most dark beers, Guinness has a bittersweet molasses flavor, which is great with lamb. But the hidden power of a Guinness brine is its alcohol content (about 4 percent). Alcohol accelerates the absorption of flavorful components directly into the protein structure of meat, yielding a steak that not only retains about 10 percent more moisture, but also is able to deliver a hit of seasoning with every bite. The flavors of chipotle chiles and cumin in the brine are reinforced with a smoky rub and a dark, pungent Guinness BBQ sauce. A word of warning: the sauce burns easily, so only brush it on the meat at the very end of grilling. In fact it is more flavorful served as a table sauce, although the steaks do look nice varnished with glaze.
Light a grill for direct medium-high heat, about 425°F.
Remove the lamb from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine. Coat the lamb with the oil and season with the rub. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Brush the grill grate and rub with oil. Grill the steaks for about 7 minutes per side for medium-rare (135°F on an instant-read thermometer). Baste with a thin layer of the sauce during the last minute of grilling.
Rest the meat for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the steaks with the remaining sauce on the side.
With summer in full swing, there's nothing quite like a light and fresh meal at the end of the day, and no matter where I am, seafood always tastes like the beach. Our June cooking column features a great book that tackles everything from easy seafood meals to a technique guide -- DK's beautiful and exhaustive book Seafood. I can't wait to make this recipe, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it takes almost no time to make. Talk about summer livin' in style.
Chile Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Sparkling citrus and hot chile bring out the sweetness of the shrimp.
Put the shrimp in a large bowl. Add half the cilantro and all the chiles, and mix well. Add in the butterbeans, and toss again.
Arrange the arugula in a large serving bowl or on 4 individual plates. Sprinkle over a little of the lime juice, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Add the remaining lime juice to the shrimp, stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Spoon the shrimp mixture over the arugula, then drizzle with sweet chili sauce, and sprinkle over the remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.
Summer is a time for grilling, and our June cookbook column highlights three books that will bring fresh ideas to your outdoor dinner table—like this recipe from Andrew Schloss and David Joachim's Fire it Up.
Mixed Grilled Beets with Orange-Hazelnut Gremolata
Beets contain about 6 percent sugar. When the beets are boiled, the sugar dissolves in the cooking liquid and you’re left with earthy-tasting tubers. But grill them and the sugars concentrate and caramelize, transforming the beets into a sort of vegetable candy. In this recipe, their sweetness gets a complement of pungent herb relish. Gremolata is a classic Italian garnish for osso buco. Usually it’s made with garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest, and parsley. Ours is more fragrant; we swap tarragon for some of the parsley and hazelnuts for the pine nuts.
For the orange-hazelnut gremolata: Combine the garlic, parsley, mint, orange zest, hazelnuts, salt, pepper, and sugar in a minichopper or a small food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and granular in texture, but not pureed.
Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Grill the beet slices directly over the heat until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Arrange on a platter and top with the gremolata.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of “Italian with a California accent,” don't miss Italian My Way (S&S), the new cookbook from chef Jonathan Waxman. His take on classic and delicious spaghetti carbonara will have diners licking their forks.
Spaghetti alla carbonara
I have made this classic dish the same way for years: with olive oil, guanciale (cured jowl of pork), egg yolks and Parmesan. The tried and true is perfection, please believe me. I have had cooks add garlic and onions, peas and mushrooms. Blasphemy!
I have heard a couple different stories for the source of the name. Some people say it refers to miners (carbonari) because of the flecks of black pepper, but I like the story of Giuseppe Mazzini, the revolutionary from Genoa who was a member of a secret group called carbonari, who attempted for years to unify Italy. Regardless, this pasta dish is the world’s richest and most decadent. A wonderfully gifted actress frequents Barbuto and always orders a double carbonara; God bless her!
¼ pound guanciale, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
¼ cup grated Parmesan
4 egg yolks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Cook the guanciale in the olive oil slowly for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Keep warm.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 8 minutes and drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.
3. Add the pasta and water to the guanciale pan and bring to a boil. Add the cheese; turn off the heat. Add the yolks all at once and beat furiously for 1 minute. The eggs should not scramble but turn into a smooth sauce. Season with sea salt and black pepper and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted from Jonathan Waxman’s Italian My Way (Simon & Schuster), copyright 2011, with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
Read our review of this book!
Maybe it's because we're based in the Southeast—but at BookPage, there's no argument when it comes to the utter deliciousness of pimiento cheese. In our current cookbook of the month, Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen (read a review), Foster shares a delectable recipe for this classic spread that could become a new favorite!
Whether spread on saltines, white bread, or “celery boats,” tangy, creamy Pimiento Cheese is seriously habit-forming. A simple mix of mayonnaise or cream cheese, shredded Cheddar, and jarred red peppers, Pimiento Cheese is one of those unassuming Southern classics that can sometimes be a hard sell for people who didn’t grow up on it. But when it’s made right, it’s easy to see why Southerners are so passionate about it. Try it—it may just become your new obsession.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut day-old cornbread into slices about 1?4 inch thick and 2 inches long. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon a dollop of Pimiento Cheese (recipe above) on one end of each toast and garnish with an arugula or celery leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.