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Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli Specks

In Food, Italian, Pasta on January 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm


Sit back, relax and prepare to enjoy an 88 cent pouch of generic Alfredo Broccoli Noodles. Yes, Jay was out of town. No, I couldn’t do better for myself. This is my version of a bachelorette dinner. What do you want from me? I added fresh parmesan, it was the least I could do. The absolute. least. I could do. And I almost used a cotton napkin. But then, I remembered Baby Girl drug them all out of the drawer and across the floor today playing ‘Superhero’.

This lovely dish is paired well with a Bud Light Lime from a can. You just can’t go wrong. Mmmm.

P.S. Dearest Jay, please never leave home. It puts my palate into severe distress.

P.P.S. “Mom, your cooking rocks my WORLD!

P.P.P.S. “Why no, Mom. I did not stick a green marker up my nose. It was blue.”

 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Risotto, Wild Mushroom Bisque and Caesar Salad

In Food, Italian, Pork, Risotto, Soups 'n Stews on January 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

This, my friends is a lovely meal to make for friends or to welcome your cousin to the U.S. It just so happens that we accomplished both with this one. My gorgeous BFF Kara shares the result.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

In the summer we grow lots of fresh herbs but they cost a fortune in the Winter. Jay recently found this little gem in the fresh produce section at the market. It is blended fresh, organic herbs in a squeeze tube. The Italian version has basil, marjoram, parsley, sea salt, rosemary and thyme blended with oil.

Smear pork tenderloin generously with Italian Herb blend, Kosher salt, minced garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Roast uncovered at 350 until you hit an internal temperature of 160 in the thickest part of the loin. Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes then slice to desired thickness.


Pesto Risotto

–       1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

–       1 garlic clove (pressed)

–       1 ½ Cups medium grain white rice

–       4 Cups chicken broth

–       3 Tbsp. butter

–       1 Cup dry white wine

–       1 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

–       Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

–       3 Tbsp. pesto

Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add rice and stir to coat with butter.  Saute an additional 2 minutes.

Add wine and simmer until wine has almost completely evaporated.

Begin stirring in broth ½ – ¾ cup at a time.  Give each addition of broth time to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next ladle.  Continue until rice is tender, yet firm, and mixture is creamy.

Remove from heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and pesto.

Return pan to heat until warm throughout.

Classico is a great prepared pesto to use in the Winter months.

Better Than Bouillon is the best prepared chicken broth on the shelves. It’s delish. Go get some and you’ll never unwrap tiny chicken cubes again. Unless, of course you like that sort of thing.

Wild Mushroom Bisque

–       1 medium size red onion, thinly sliced

–       1 tsp. freshly chopped garlic

–       2 lbs. mixed mushrooms of your choice (i.e. shitaki, baby bella, oyster, white, etc.), cleaned, stemmed, chopped

–       1 stick butter

–       1 ½ Cups chicken broth

–       1 ½ Cups beef broth

–       2/3 Cup Sherry

–       1 ½ Cups heavy whipping cream (sub ½ & ½ for lighter version)

Melt butter in large, thick-bottomed sauté pan.

Sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent.

Add mushrooms and sauté until softened, and most liquid has evaporated.

Remove pan from heat, add sherry and ignite.  Let flame burn out, then return pan to heat.

Add chicken and beef broth, and bring to a strong simmer.

Simmer until liquid had reduced by 1/3 – 1/2.

Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.

Transfer mixture from food processor to a medium-sized sauce pan over med-low heat, and bring mixture to a low simmer.

Slowly mix in the heavy cream until thoroughly heated.

*Serve with a Basic Caesar Salad: Romaine, Creamy Caesar Dressing (we like Ken’s Steakhouse), croutons and anchovy filets.


Classic Risotto with Prosciutto and Mushrooms

In Food, Italian on November 23, 2010 at 9:31 am

Risotto is one of our favorites year-round and works into the cooking rotation even more often as an autumn chill hits the air. The basic recipe is delicious and is similar to a fried rice in its adaptability. We usually plan ahead to make a specific riff but this is also a great dish for emptying out the fridge.

Pull out the good stuff for this one… use wine tasty enough to drink and the best aged parmesan that fits your budget. You won’t regret it.

Make it as a one-bowl stand-alone or as a side with a protein. Steak, pork, seafood…you name it. Pretty much anything is great with this chameleon.

We have innumerable riffs on this classic. This is just one. We’ll share more in the weeks to come. Check back this weekend for a special Thanksgiving Encore Risotto to use those yummy leftovers!

Classic Risotto with Prosciutto and Mushrooms

–         1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

–         1 garlic clove (pressed)

–         3 cups chopped mushrooms (Wild, cremini and portobello are flavorful options for this dish. Mix or choose just one.)

–         1 ½ cup medium grain white rice

–         4 cups chicken broth

–         3 Tbsp. butter

–         1 cup dry white wine

–         1/3 pound sliced prosciutto (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

–         1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

–         Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the pan. Sauté until onion is translucent.

Add rice and stir to coat with butter.  Sauté an additional 2 minutes.

Add wine and simmer until wine has almost completely evaporated.

Begin stirring in broth ½ – ¾ Cup at a time.  Give each addition of broth time to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next addition.  Continue until rice is tender, yet firm, and mixture is creamy.

Reduce heat to medium-low setting. Stir in prosciutto. Heat until warm.

Remove from heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

*Serve with a dollop of ricotta blended with pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.