The Sensitive Kitchen

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fettuccine Alfredo

12 ounces pasta (I used linguine)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
1 tsp broth concentrate (such as Better than Bouillon)
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta in generously salted water according to package directions until just al dente.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour; stir to make a paste. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.

Remove 2 c cooking water from pasta. Slowly add to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in milk; stir in broth concentrate, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in 3/4 c Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts. Reduce heat to low; keep at a bare simmer.

Drain pasta, reserving some cooking water. Add pasta to saute pan. Toss to combine; add additional cooking water as necessary to reach desired consistency. Serve topped with reserved Parmesan and parsley.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Greek White Fish with Whole Lemons

This simple dish uses whole slices of sauteed lemon -- edible, rind and all -- which add a deeply flavorful tang to the fish. 

2 lemons (preferably homegrown)
1 pound tilapia fillets or other mild white fish
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley

Cut off ends of lemons; reserve. Slice lemons thinly, removing seeds. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet with lid over medium heat. Add lemon slices. Cook several minutes on one side. Flip slices carefully, reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic. When it has softened and become fragrant, add oregano and tilapia. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover and cook 5 minutes or until cooked through according to the thickness of the fillets.

Squeeze lemon ends onto fish. Remove fish to a serving platter. Carefully remove lemon slices and set atop fish filets. Stir sauce and drizzle atop fish. Serves 4. 

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Gigantes Plaki (Greek Giant Baked Beans)

We first had these at a little restaurant in Naxos, Greece. Turns out they are a staple dish in nearly all Greek households. This is my version.

1 pound dry gigantes (giant lima) beans
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, diced
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 c chopped Italian parsley
1/2 c sheep's-milk feta, crumbled

Place beans in triple their volume of water. Soak overnight. Drain liquid. Replace with water to cover; cook with bay leaves for 1 hour or until beans test done. Drain beans, reserving 2 cups cooking water.

In a large saucepan, saute onion, garlic and celery in olive oil until softened and beginning to brown. Add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cloves and reserved cooking water. Bring to a boil; cook until aromatic. Add cooked beans. Simmer to bring flavors together and thicken sauce. Top servings with parsley and feta. Serves 8. 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cherry Cake

I first tasted this at the blessing ceremony my friends gave me for my second pregnancy. I've reproduced it here exactly as written out by my friend Julie, who made it for me in my own kitchen. 

1 cup dried Montmorency sour cherries (about 5 ounces)
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted


In a bowl* macerate cherries in brandy, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours, or until brandy is almost absorbed. (*It's great if you stick the cherries and brandy in a Ziploc, the night before you bake, and just shake them every so often. --ed.)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line bottom of a buttered 10- by 2-inch round cake pan with wax paper or parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (or in a microwave oven! --ed.) melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat (or microwave! --ed.) and cool mixture.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Fold in cocoa powder until combined well (be careful not to overmix).

In another bowl with cleaned beaters (or in the same bowl if you do this step first --ed.) beat whites until they hold soft peaks and beat in remaining sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks. Stir about one fourth meringue into chocolate mixture to lighten and fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly. Fold in cherries.

Transfer batter to pan, smoothing top, and bake cake in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until center is just set. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan an invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

If ever a cake existed that honored women, mothers, goddesses and girlfriends as such, this is it.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sesame Noodles with Vegetables

Make this with hot, freshly cooked noodles so they soak up the sauce. After that point, it can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. I like it with salmon on the side (marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, Sriracha and sesame oil, then broiled or grilled), but it would also be good with chicken, strips of omelet, or any leftover protein. 

14 ozs (1 box) Barilla Plus thin spaghetti
1/4 c soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (to make 3/4 to 1 c)
3 c thinly sliced cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced, slices cut on bias
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds

Put pasta to boil in a large pot of salted water. While pasta cooks, stir together soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha and black pepper. 

When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then toss with sauce. Mix in scallions, cilantro, cabbage, carrot and bell pepper. Top with sesame seeds. Serves 8.

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