Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fettucine with Lemon and Peas

This is a simple easy pasta with a nice lemon flavor.  I used peas, but you could easily use asparagus or broccoli.



Fettuccine with Lemon and Peas
1 pound fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup whole milk, half & half, or cream
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half lemon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving

Cook fettuccine according to package directions in well-salted water.  Add the peas to the pasta pot with 3 minutes left in cooking time.  Drain.  Meanwhile, combine olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add wine and cook until reduced by half, then add milk and lemon zest.  Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until slightly reduced.  Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and black pepper, then remove from heat.  Toss pasta and peas with the sauce, then plate and top with Parmesan cheese.

Chipotle Hummus

A variation on my basic hummus recipe, this one is quite tasty with the smokiness and heat of chipotle peppers.  Even though I don't like cilantro, you could easily add a handful of cilantro as well for a brighter flavor, and it might be interesting to try it with lime juice instead of lemon.  The great thing about a recipe like this is that everything is completely to taste, so use more or less of anything to suit your own taste.  I ate mine with fresh pita bread, but it would also be good with some pita chips baked in the oven with a little lime or lemon juice and cumin sprinkled on them.  Enjoy!



Chipotle Hummus
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained, 1/4 cup of liquid reserved
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 or 3 chipotles in adobo, with some of the sauce
juice of 1/2 lemon
handful of cilantro

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, including reserved liquid from chickpeas, and process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency, scraping down sides as necessary.  If the mixture seems to dry, you can always drizzle in a little more of the chickpea liquid, water or olive oil to thin it out.  Serve with pitas or vegetables.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

French Bread...my favorite white bread recipe

I love a soft white bread and warm french bread is my favorite.  I found this recipe and adapted the proportions some so that I could bake it in loaf pans.  This bread seems to be fool proof, it always rises beautifully for me, no matter the weather.  We use this bread for everything, and while it is fantastic on its own with a little butter, it also makes a great grilled cheese sandwich or yummy french toast.  Enjoy!


French Bread
adapted from AllRecipes

15 ounces warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
5 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 1/2 cups of the flour.  Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.  If using a stand mixture, allow the dough hook to knead the bread for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.  (About 8 minutes if kneading by hand.)  Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn dough around to coat.  Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrapped sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about an hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half.  Shape each half into a loaf and place in lightly greased loaf pans.  Cover the loaves and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake loaves for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes on a rack before removing loaves from the pans.
 

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