Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Five Star Meal

This week's puzzle night's dinner turned out to be fantabulous!

Andy made is famous barbecue chicken in which he cooked to perfection. My sister and I both went with new recipes for the sides. She thought my green bean dish was great and I thought her salad was awesome. The funny thing is that we both used recipes from Fine Cooking magazine, different issues no less. I tell ya, you cannot go wrong with a recipe from this magazine.

I only have a few pics for this post - I had no intention of blogging last night's dinner but everything looked so beautiful on the plate and it was just too good not to share.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Bitter Greens with Cherries and Pancetta

Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Niçoise Olives

We finished off our meal with the coffee
ice cream I made over the weekend.

Life is good.

Bitter Greens with Cherries and Pancetta
Serves 4

4 large handfuls mixed bitter greens (Laura used spring mix with added arugula)
¾ lb. fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
6 ½-inch-thick slices pancetta (she used bacon)
1 shallot, finely diced
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar; more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Put the greens in a large bowl and have the cherries ready.

Warm a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbs. of oil, swirling the pan to lightly coat the bottom, and add the pancetta. Sauté the pancetta on both sides until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Pour off all but 3 Tbs. of the pancetta drippings (if you don’t have quite 3 Tbl. fat, make up the difference with olive oil) and return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the shallot to the pan and sauté until just wilted and softened, about 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits clinging to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the vinegar, and season with ¼ tsp. salt. Taste with a leaf of lettuce and adjust the vinaigrette with more vinegar or salt if necessary.

Add the cherries to the bowl of salad greens and season with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Gently toss the salad with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

With a delicate hand, transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates, evenly distributing the cherries. Tear the pancetta into pieces and tuck them here and there. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on and around the plate. Finish with several shavings of Parmigiano and serve immediately.

Fine Cooking/Special Issue/Summer Eats 2012

Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes
and Niçoise Olives

¾ lb. green beans, trimmed
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 ½ Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. minced shallots
½ cup pitted, chopped Niçoise Olives (you can substitute Kalamata olives)
½ tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain and cool under cold running water. In a large bowl, combine the beans with the cherry tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar and shallots. Stir in the olives, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Fine Cooking/June-July 2012

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