In Food on April 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm
On Saturday night I tried a great roast chicken recipe, and was reminded that fava beans are a royal pain in the neck. I mean, seriously: shell, blanch, drain, ice, drain, shell again. Talk about high maintenance. But even so, fava beans are worth it. Almost. I used this excellent recipe for Fava Beans, Radishes and Pecorino from chef Ryan Hardy of the Little Nell in Aspen, Co., as inspiration, though my proportions were wildly different based on the fact that I ended up with a fraction of the favas I thought my haul would yield. That is soooo fava. To make salad, just tear up some mint, Italian parsely, celery leaves and toss herbs and shelled/blanched/drained/iced/drained/shelled fava beans with some arugula, sliced radishes, grated pecorino, and drizzle with a little lemon juice and olive oil.
Hardy’s method for the accompanying lemon-roasted chicken is fabulous, and while I wouldn’t roast a chicken this way every time, I’ll certainly be adding this citrusy bird into rotation—particularly during springtime. For this juicy and zesty version, stuff lemon slices between the skin and the breast. Then, after seasoning cavity with some salt + pepper, place a chopped lemon, some fresh rosemary and oregano in the cavity of the bird.
The bird then gets brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with a little more s&p, and then put into a 400-degree oven to roast for about 55 minutes, or until skin is crispy. We all loved this bird, and will be inviting it back to the table very soon. Favas? Perhaps next year, after I will have once more forgotten how much work they are.
In Food, Recipes on September 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm
The last leg of our honeymoon a couple summers ago was spent in Rome, where I ordered cacio e pepe—pasta mixed with pecorino and cracked black pepper—every chance I got. It’s a Roman classic, and the superlative example is served at Ditirambo, near the Campo de Fiore. But it is also also a blasphemous version in that it uses goat cheese instead of the traditional pecorino. Ditirambo serves its cacio e pepe with tonnarelli pasta, sort of like a square spaghetti, which I’ve had trouble finding back here so in a pinch I’ll substitute a fat linguine. While the tanginess of the goat cheese is inspired in this dish, I still love the saltiness of pecorino, so I’ve split the difference and have arrived at the following.
The Foodinista’s Cacio e Pepe
Serves 4 as a main course
17.5 ounces tonnarelli or linguini pasta
1 1/2 cups grated pecorino (or more to taste)
2 ounces goat cheese
3/4 cup reserved pasta water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt the hell out of boiling water, add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup water. Return to pot and add pecorino, goat cheese, 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, and cracked black pepper to taste. (Add additional water if mixture seems dry.) Toss well to melt cheese. Serve with a dry white Italian wine, such as orvieto. I love the 2007 Salviano Orvieto, available at K&L in Hollywood for $12.99.
In Food on March 14, 2009 at 8:32 am
Last weekend we grabbed three cheeses from Surfas in Culver City—two cows milk and one sheep. The latter was a wonderful Pecorino Fresco, whichwas soft and mild. The other two were a sharp Vermont white Cheddar (what’s not to like?) and a small piece of St. Agur bleu. I usually go for a Stilton or Roquefort when I’m feeling bleu, but the guy behind the counter sold me on this double-cream cow’s milk blue from the Auvergne region in France. It’s kind of like a Roquefort, but milder and creamier—and not as salty as your typical blue. We went wild for it spread on Raincoast Crisp cranberry hazelnut crackers, which I got suckered into tasting at Whole Foods a few months ago before having first seen the “crunchy” packaging. The name is a total turnoff, as is the suggestion of dried cranberries in a cracker, but wow – they’re shockingly good, especially slathered with blue cheese!