Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baked New Potatoes with Sea Salt and Rosemary

I've had a crush on Jamie Oliver ever since he was The Naked Chef. He helps little kids eat healthy, his recipes are simple yet flavorful and flawless, and he's cute as a button. Who doesn't have a crush on Jamie Oliver? My boyfriend has a crush on Jamie Oliver. He even made me Jamie's risotto for my birthday.

I just purchased Jamie's America: Easy Twists on Great American Classics, and More & Jamie's Great Britain on amazon. I probably only cook a proper dinner about three or four nights per week. I'm confident that Jamie and I can change this to almost every night.

This recipe is classic Jamie - five simple ingredients, great flavors, and easy to make. Crunchy seasoned skin and with an inside like butter, these little guys make a great winter side dish to compliment meat or a plate of vegetables. This recipe was also an excuse for me to use my fancy little bottle of Fleur de Sel from The Meadow.

Baked New Potatoes with Sea Salt and Rosemary
Jamie Oliver

yields 4-6 servings

2 pounds 3-ounce Yukon gold or other small potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and bashed

Boil a pot of water. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Wash potatoes and parboil until almost tender.

When done, drain them, drizzle with jolive oil and roll in sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and rosemary.

Put the potatoes in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes until golden, or wrap them in aluminum foil and throw them on the grill for the same amount of time.

Pin It

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Creamy Goat Cheese, Basil & Spinach Pesto Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Pesto pasta has become my default when I don't feel like cooking a complex meal. It's a step above pasta with sauce out of a jar? Maybe? At least I make the pesto myself, which is really arduous: put some ingredients in a food processor and press on... Whatever. It's delicious!

This pesto is a little lighter than your average pesto, with goat cheese instead of parmesan, spinach, and no nuts. I like to add some sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes (I admit that those come out of a jar) to add another layer of flavor. I hope you enjoy this simple yet satisfying dinner (makes a great leftover lunch, too!).

Creamy Goat Cheese, Basil & Spinach Pesto

yields about 1 cup pesto

2 ounces goat cheese
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1 1/2 cups spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil

Place goat cheese, basil, spinach, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend and slowly add olive oil until desired consistency is reached.

Smother on anything. Here I tossed the pesto with some pasta and sun-dried tomatoes.

Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Over time the pesto will brown. It's still okay to eat, but looks rather unappetizing.
Pin It

Monday, October 10, 2011

Raspberry Pie

Have any of you seen the movie Waitress? I just love it to pieces. This is my I Don't Understand Turbulent Convection in Stellar Interiors Raspberry Pie.

This pie is just some good, old-fashioned, home-cooked love. Flaky crust, tart and sweet filling, and a lot of heart(s). I do not have any pictures of pie wedges, because this dessert was devoured by grad students in about three minutes flat. That does suggest, however, that this pie recipe is a keeper.


Personally, I don't like to add too much cornstarch or flour to my filling. I like a slightly thickened filling, but I don't want to taste paste, so I just sprinkle some cornstarch on the top. Any kind of berry or cherry can be substituted for the raspberries. Nothing beats fresh raspberries, but frozen ones will work just as well (I would make sure to thaw the frozen raspberries and drain the excess water so that your pie isn't soupy.). The fruit will joyfully bubble and the crust will golden, letting you know that it's ready to come out of the oven.

The taste is perfect, but what will truly win you over is the aroma. This is the kind of pie that makes your whole house smell inviting and promises a comfortable haven. If there is one slice of advice I can give you, it's this: Take some time to smell the pie.

Raspberry Pie
adapted from Saveur

yields one 9" round pie

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons ice water

4 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 tablespoon coarse sanding sugar


For the crust: In a food processors, pulse the butter, flour, and salt until it resembles a coarse meal. With the processor on, slowly add the ice water until the dough begins to hold together. Press the dough into a rough ball, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times until smooth. Divide dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other, and flatten each slightly to make a flat disk. Wrap disks individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the filling: Toss raspberries with lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

For the pie: Preheat oven to 375°. Roll the larger disk of dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 11" round, then fit it into a 9" glass pie plate. Transfer filling to pastry bottom. Sprinkle with  1 teaspoon of cornstarch and scatter the 3 tablespoons of butter over fruit. Roll the remaining disk of dough out on the lightly floured surface into a 10" round, then cut it into eight 1"-wide strips. Weave dough strips on top of filling to make a lattice-top crust, fold edges of dough under, and crimp edges. Brush lattice crust with 1 teaspoon of milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until pastry is deep golden (cover edges of crust with foil if browning too quickly), 60–70 minutes. Set pie aside to cool for several hours before serving.

Pin It

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Hummus. You've seen it at about every potluck/dinner party these days. You've probably bought a giant tub of it before. You've probably never made it yourself though, and lucky for you, it's super simple! You just chuck a bunch of ingredients into a food processor, and voila! you have a dip that deceptively makes you feel better about your hips than ranch dressing does.

I like to garnish my hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and either paprika or some sun-dried tomatoes, and serve with some cut up pita bread (that's on the list of things to bake!). But hummus doesn't just have to be an appetizer. You can pretty much spread it on whatever you like. I like to put it in my sandwiches and wraps for lunch.

This hummus takes five minutes to make, so try it out the next time that you have a party or want to switch up the lunch routine. And most importantly, enjoy.


yields 4 cups

2 16 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained of liquid
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons olive oil
7 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until evenly mixed and smooth (about 3 minutes).

Place in a serving bowl and top with olive oil and other garnishes (paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, pine nuts, cumin, etc.).
Pin It

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Roasted Green Chile & Tomatillo Salsa Verde

I know that I've been missing from the blog lately. Grad school takes its toll after the first month. That, and last week I went on a planetary surface geology field trip and camping excursion to northeast Arizona. Canyon de Chelly and the Painted Desert are pretty spectacular. Check it out:

Yet another reason to love the Southwest: Green Chiles and Tomatillos. This salsa is hot, but that's the way I like it.

Roasted Green Chile & Tomatillo Salsa Verde

yields 2 cups

8 tomatillos
3 green chile peppers, stemmed, cut in half, and seeded
1/2 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon lime juice
handful of cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 500 F. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and cut in half. Place cut side down on a lined baking tray. Place the halved green chiles on the baking tray as well. Put tray in the over for about 5 minutes or until the skins begin to blacken. Remove from oven and let cool
Place tomatillos, green chiles, onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped. Cool in refrigerator.
Pin It

What's Hot This Week?