End of last week: Dinner with the Lutz family
One of my go-to summer meals: Chicken and Peaches Platter (Real Simple, July 2006). Really, no recipe is necessary. One rotisserie chicken (antibiotics/hormone free from Fresh Direct, already roasted), almonds (I've used slivered or sliced, whatever you have on hand...the recipe actually calls for chopped whole), blue cheese (I use gorgonzola), 2 peaches, salad greens. For the dressing, I pour a couple tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a tbsp (or so) of white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper into a bowl and whisk with a fork. I dip a piece of lettuce into the dressing and taste for seasoning. Then pour over the platter. This dinner is the working mom's DREAM. The Kiddo eats the peaches, almonds, and cheese only - the grown-ups eat it every delicious morsel.
Remember I told you all about Mario Batali going to "the Goog"? Well, all "Googlers" got a free copy of Mario's Italian Grill. Bastards. So this is the first recipe I tried from the cookbook: Portobellos with Arugula and Parmigiano. Grill 6 portobellos on the grill (or on your stovetop castiron griddle, in my case. Mario's recipe calls for 6 shrooms...I only used 2) for 5-8 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 c. evoo, 1 tsp anchovy paste, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled. Spoon this mixture over the grilled mushrooms and let sit for 30 minutes (just enough time to give the Kiddo a bath!). Once the Kiddo was out of the bath, I tossed arugula (enough for 2 adults) with evoo and lemon juice, salt and pepper. I put the arugula on the platter, added the mushrooms, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Mario's recipe calls for 6 mushrooms (as stated earlier), but I only bought 2 since it's just us. I did, however, make the full amount for the marinade, which worked well. In the future, I will probably add another tsp of the anchovy paste - there was lots of sweet balsamic but not enough salty, fishy anchovy paste.
This is another Mario Batali recipe from Italian Grill: Fresh Robiola Wrapped in Mortadella. Forget the fancy name - I couldn't find robiola so I used fresh ricotta from Cheeses of the World. Or you can use fresh goat cheese. Have fun experimenting with Italian cheeses. I bought a dozen slices of Italian mortadella from Cheeses of the World, along with the ricotta. Make burrito-esque packets: lay the mortadella down, shape the cheese loosely into a log, place a basil leaf on top. Fold the bottom of each slice over the cheese, then fold over the sides and roll the cheese up in the mortadella. Try to get the mortadella w/o pistachios. However, if you have no other option (like me), just double it up (so I actually only made 6 packets out of my dozen slices). Place the packets on the hottest part of your grill (or stovetop cast iron grill) for 2 minutes on each side. You want grill marks and a crispy exterior. Place on platter. Toss some salad greens with evoo, red wine vinegar, and sea salt. Serve right away. These were so rich that the Husband and I ate only one packet each. The next night I had one of the packets for leftovers: put it under the broiler for about 3 minutes and you get all the gooey-cheese-crispy-meatness from the previous night. Delectable leftovers.
Eat, drink, and revel in easy-to-prepare weekday feasts!