All posts filed under: Main Dishes

Goat Cheese and Beet Plin with Tarragon

  My husband and I recently visited my family in Philadelphia and finally had the opportunity to visit one of Chef Marc Vetri’s restaurants, Osteria.  I have followed Vetri for a few years and own two of his cookbooks: Rustic Italian Food and Il Viaggio Di Vetri.  Everything always looks amazing in his cookbooks and on his menus.  I’m a pasta freak, especially fresh pasta, and I am actually embarrassed to admit how long it took us to finally visit one of his restaurants.  We were not disappointed.  From the bread to the salads to the pasta… the pastaaaaaa.  Glorious.  The most amazing part was that the best thing we ate at that meal was something we didn’t order–it was something that was comped to us (long story as to why.)  It was the beet and goat cheese plin with tarragon. Paper-thin pasta sheets, creamy beet filling, sweet butter sauce, salty cheese all topped with tarragon–a spice I never would have thought of–all together, heaven.  “Plin” meaning a “pinch” are the teeniest agnolotti/ravioli you can …

Chicken Celery Scallion and Cilantro Dumplings

Yummmmm… dumplings.  So comforting, so many flavors and textures.  Most Asian restaurants offer some sort of dumplings, some better than others, but I always feel that New York City has the best offerings.  From Dumpling Man in the East Village to Dim Sum A-Go Go in Chinatown, my mouth just dances from the salty, meaty, crispy goodness.  After reading issues of Lucky Peach and past issues of Bon Appetit, I finally got the bug to make my own.  The process was actually much easier than I thought (once I figured out how to get my dumping ‘crimps’ just right,) it just took some time and patience.  The essential way to get the crimp right is to make sure you don’t use too much filling.  In my case, I had to use pre-made wonton wrappers (trimmed to a circle shape with a biscuit cutter,) I used 1 tsp of filling for each. I started with the filling–made it up mostly with what I had on hand.  I’d encourage you to experiment.  The key is that your …

Grilled Zucchini + Lentil Quesadillas

When in the guts of Summer, when temperature highs are in the 90s (or 100s) and humidity is giving you a new hair-do, the real high points for me are AN OUTDOOR GRILL and OUTDOOR FARMERS MARKETS.  This week browsing the New York City Stuyvesant Farmers Market with my friend Sarah, the real stars were pit fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums,) tomatoes, and zucchini.  Nick and I stocked up on all of the above.  Inspired by the gorgeous yellow and green zucchini, I set out to make a vegetarian main course using this versatile vegetable.  Using what I had on hand (tortillas,) I decided to go for quesadillas.  For added protein and fiber, I added lentils.  The end result was so delicious.  You should see this recipe less as a “recipe” and more as a template.  You could easily substitute grilled eggplant or red/green peppers for the zucchini and your favorite cheese will work as long as it melts well.    An important tip: be SURE to cook your veggies first. If you don’t, they’ll put out …

Cacio e Pepe with Fresh Whole Wheat Fettuccine

Fresh pasta is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  So many of us are carb junkies, and pasta is my drug of choice.  As much as I love eating it, I always love making it.  This time around, I kept it simple.  On a recent weeknight, the craving hit hard.  I could have made something fancy, but I’ve been trying to challenge myself to cook with what I have on hand.  Living in the city, it’s so easy to run out for this or go pick up that.  But not this time–I created this dish with only what I had on hand.  I also didn’t want to be a slave to cooking for the night (it WAS a school night.)  Start to finish, this took about 2 hours.  The result was pure comfort.  I didn’t have to grocery shop for anything in this recipe, and with the whole wheat flour mixed in, I didn’t even feel guilty about eating it.  After all, a little butter and cheese never hurt anyone, right? For all of …

Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu

Summer rolls are one of my favorite, healthy Asian restaurant options.  I usually see them prepared with shrimp, thin rice noodles, cilantro, cucumber, carrot, and lettuce.  I had a package of extra firm tofu in the fridge for a while and decided to experiment with it–thus vegetarian summer rolls were born.  These are incredibly healthy, low in fat, low in carbs, easy to make, and the best part… you can eat a lot of them.  While I really enjoyed my invention (recipe below,) I would encourage you to try any combination you like. Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu Servings vary based on spring roll wrapper size and how stuffed you like them. Ingredients 1 package extra firm tofu 1 package of spring roll skins or wrappers 1 tbsp. granulated brown sugar 2 cloves garlic, minced and smashed 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, grated on a microplane grater 1 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks 4 …

Apple and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Yogurt with Granola and Dried Cranberries

When I tell you I eat this all of the time, I mean ALL of the time.  Like 5 times a week.  Every time I eat it, my body thanks me.  It’s easy and delicious to buy packaged yogurt with added sweetened fruit.  I’ve found from tirelessly reading yogurt nutritional labels that for a real protein boost with low sugar, my best bet is Fage 0% plain yogurt.  Mixing plain yogurt in a blender with frozen fruit and honey for a smoothie is delicious at home, but for going to work, it’s not practical.  This recipe is an even better alternative as you get so much more flavor and texture: creamy and tangy yogurt, crunchy granola, sweet sugar, chewy and sour cranberries, and tart and crisp apples.  It’s loaded with protein and fiber–a true power breakfast.  I like to make a batch on Sundays for the week, each day’s worth packed into individual containers so they’re ready to grab in the morning. Apple and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Yogurt with Granola and Dried Cranberries Serves 1 …

Spaghetti with Clams

We all have our simple food pleasures.  Spaghetti with Clams can be found on virtually any Italian menu in the country.  Variations on the dish can be subtle but make all the difference.  Every year at Nick’s cousin’s Christmas Eve party, Spaghetti with Clams is served as part of the delicious buffet for 50+ people.  Every year I devour it.  Second, third helpings.  I discovered that the recipe is a well-kept family secret, and one that I’m not yet privy to. (Gerome family–this is my official BEG.  I’m begging!)  So I tried my best to recreate here for you.  If the family does bless me with the exact recipe, I’ll be sure to share it here. Spaghetti with Clams Serves 6 Ingredients 1 pound dried spaghetti, I like Barilla Plus for added nutrients and fiber 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 pounds of littleneck clams, well rinsed of sand and grit 1 bottle of clam juice 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus 1/4 cup chopped reserved 1/2 cup dry white …