Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Foods of Italy for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC


Last night I had the great pleasure of presenting the following recipes for a cooking demonstration for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square  MLCC.  Beverage pairings to follow soon.  APC Education Coordinator Bonnie Tulloch presented on the great plants used in cooking in Italian food and Cindy, Product Consultant of the MLCC provided excellent beverage pairings.  
Photos coming today!

Come in to Arkadash Bistro and Lounge to try these items or many others. 

Foods of Italy � January 22, 2013

1. Tuscan Squash Salad

1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts
� cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
� tsp kosher or sea salt
� tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
� cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400�F. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the honey. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and brush with the remaining honey. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Some varieties take longer to cook.

While the squash is baking, toast the walnuts lightly. Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Toss the greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates. Top with 3-5 slices of squash. Sprinkle with the walnuts and feta, season and serve while the squash is still warm.

2. Sage Butter pasta (Burro e salvia)

1/3 cup butter.
Bunch of fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Black pepper.

Wash and dry the sage leaves. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sage. Cook very gently over a low flame taking care not to let the butter burn. Pour over cooked pasta and stir through well together with freshly grated parmesan. This super-quick sauce is ideal with 'naked ravioli' (ravioli filling without the pasta) but is also suitable with any short pasta. In this case, drain the cooked pasta keeping back a little of the water. Return the pasta to the saucepan, add the sage and butter and stir over a low heat for a minute.

Remove from the heat and stir in a good helping of grated Parmesan.

The sauce should look smooth and creamy; if it has dried out too much, add a few drops of milk or fresh cream. Grind a little black pepper over when serving.

Enjoy!

3. Osso Bucco
This is the adaptation of Tyler Florence�s recipe for Osso Bucco. The wine that he recommended using was Amarone. Personally, I'd really rather enjoy drinking the Amarone  but have used it today especially for your pleasure.
It makes an elegant winter comfort meal.

Osso Bucco:
 1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces Beef, Bison or Elk shank
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1-3 tbs butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
1 head garlic, cut horizontally through the middle
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth (I had homemade chicken broth on hand instead)
1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed

Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the meat, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned meat to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You're going to use that to create your sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using the same pot, saut� the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the meat back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the meat tender and nearly falling off the bone.
Remove bay leaves.

Enjoy!

4. Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Recipe By: Karen
Serving Size: 36

1/2 c butter softened
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
4 tsps  Frangelico
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c +2tsp white flour unbleached
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c Sliced Almonds
� cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325�F. Cream butter until fluffy and add sugar. Cream again until fluffy and add the eggs, beating well until mixture is smooth. Mix in Frangelico and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat into butter mixture until just incorporated. Stir in almonds and chocolate.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces on a lightly floured board. Roll pieces into long cylinders about 1 - 1 1/2inches in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and flatten to rectangles. Bake until light brown, about 25 minutes.
Cool the rolls and slice diagonally to make 1/2 inch biscotti. Lower oven temperature to 300�F, lay the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until dry, about 5-10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


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