This recipe (Barefoot Contessa at Home) uses the same herbs as this salmon, so I had extra herbs in the refrigerator. I didn’t have any scallions left, so I used freeze dried shallots instead. I served it with some new-fangled hippie chips with soy and flax in them, so that made it healthy, right? Right?!
Tag Archives: shallots
Much like the Baked Shrimp Scampi, this recipe (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) worked just as well family style as it would have in individual servings. The bay scallops were available from Trader Joe’s, even here in the far-from-the-bay Midwest.
This recipe (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) is the type of recipe that made me want to start this project. It’s simple, it’s healthy, and it contains ingredients that we like. But before this project, I would have admired the picture, taken note of the ingredients, thought, “I should really make that sometime,” and then the time would never come. It’s not that we don’t eat salad, it’s just that I get into the routine of making the same kind of salad every time, so we get into ruts. The challenge I’ve had lately is to really focus on these great winter vegetables without over-doing any one thing until we get tired of it. Butternut squash, for example, plays a large role on the pages of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. We love it, but if we eat it more than once or twice a week, we’ll turn orange, and we’ll never want to see another squash again. So, spacing things out has been key, while still putting a heavy emphasis on seasonal vegetables. Because really, it would be kind of silly to be roasting a butternut squash in July. I used apple juice instead of apple cider in the dressing (a substitution suggested in the recipe itself). The parmesan was nice, but not necessary – there were enough other flavors going on without it.
This recipe (The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, pp. 112-113) called for turnips or rutabagas, and I’m not quite sure what the difference is between the two vegetables. I made a half-batch, using just one turnip. I ended up cooking it for less than the recommended time, as it cooked fairly rapidly. The final product turned out to be quite thin, so I think in the future I will add the liquids more slowly (and with more reserve) to control the texture. The picture in the cookbook looks slightly thicker and more chunky than our final product, but ours was still tasty. This would be a nice alternative to potatoes or rice as a starchy side dish.
I made a lot of risotto when we were first married. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients on hand, it doesn’t take too long to make, and it’s a fairly easy way to have a meatless meal. Mostly, I used Mark Bittman‘s recipe and added spinach. Then, for a while, risotto fell out of favor here, partly because my husband grew tired of it, and partly because it’s kind of hard to stir something for 30 minutes when trying to keep a toddler entertained. So, welcoming risotto back into our repertoire was like welcoming an old friend back into the kitchen. The recipe on pp. 86-88 of Barefoot Contessa Family Style is very similar to the recipe I’ve used for years, but it adds prosciutto or pancetta and roasted butternut squash. It was a delightful way to end a busy Sunday, and it didn’t even dirty that many dishes. Eating the leftovers for the next few days for lunch felt downright decadent. Note: saffron is expensive. If you know someone traveling to Spain or Israel, ask them to bring you some, because for some reason it is very affordable there. It’s a wonderful souvenir to bring home because it’s lightweight, and takes up so little space in luggage. My sister brought me back an ounce or so from her last trip to Spain, and it will last me a long time.
I will admit to being afraid of cooking with leeks. Every recipe I read that calls for leeks includes instructions to carefully wash between the leaves, as dirt can get trapped in the tight spaces between them. I saw a demonstration of cleaning leeks that included filling the entire kitchen sink with water and giving the leeks a bath to get out all of the dirt. I’m not sure I could bleach my kitchen sink enough to be comfortable with that process. Our food does not touch our kitchen sink, knowing how many times we wash our hands there. Furthermore, most recipes calling for leeks were for potato leek soup. It sounded good, but I already had a potato soup recipe from my native Wisconsin: potato cheese soup, of course. The recipe I’ve used in the past was from the (in)famous Tee Pee Supper Club in Tomah, Wisconsin. My dad owned it when I was born, and we ate there quite a bit when I was growing up. My birth was apparently celebrated there with many, many drinks. My dad’s brief experience as a restauranteur led him to talking me out of a culinary career when I was thinking about ditching the whole law school gig: ”But sweetheart, you don’t have a drug problem, or even a drinking problem. I’m not sure you’d fit in at cooking school.” (Be sure to check out the Tee Pee’s web page, by the way, especially the mission statement and the “testimonial.” It’s now owned by Ed Thompson, the Billy Carter/Roger Clinton of Wisconsin. Strange story, good soup.)
So, as tempting as potato leek soup sounded, I had never actually made it. And then a leek showed up in our CSA box, along with some beautiful yellow potatoes. I found a recipe on pp. 63-64 of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and got to work. The leeks were actually not that difficult to clean – I cut off the large green ends first, and then washed them. This recipe called for roasting the potatoes and leeks, which filled the house with a heavenly aroma. It also called for arugula, which we’d grown to like quite a lot this summer. The end result was fantastic, and when I left to spend a few days with my parents the next day, my husband ate an obscene amount of leftover soup for lunch. The shallots were a really nice addition, after being crisped on the stovetop. This soup was so satisfying that even my meat-loving husband turned down bacon as an extra topping.