All posts filed under: Main Dishes

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 …

Table for 1: Pepper Bacon & Egg Strata

One of the best parts of the weekend is weekend breakfast.  I don’t have to run out the door, instead, I can relax with my coffee and enjoy a cooked breakfast for a change.  Inspired by my mother-in-law’s awesome egg strata she recently served for an army of 12 men, I decided to do a version just for me.  I scaled down the ingredients to serve one, and I substituted egg whites for some of the eggs.  The result was so fluffly and savory.  It was like an entire hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast rolled into one dish.  And all just for me. Pepper Bacon & Egg Strata  Ingredients 1 egg 3 egg whites 1/2 cup milk 1 slice of bread (any kind will do), torn into bite-size pieces 2 slices of pepper bacon salt & pepper  Directions 1.     Cook the bacon, drain from fat, cool, and chop into 1/2 inch wide pieces. 2.     Spray cooking oil spray over the surface of a ramekin or other individually sized baking dish.  Spread bread pieces …

Torrisi Turkey, Part 2

Surely just a turkey sandwich could be replicable, right?  Try your best to copy the ingredients, get the good stuff, and voila–you’ll be a copy cat in no time.  What I discovered in this exercise, and I should have known better after gobbling them up 3 different times, is that when it comes to Torrisi Italian Specialities, it’s never JUST a turkey sandwich.  Or JUST chicken parm.  Or JUST anything.  It’s simple, yes.  Ingredient lists are likely short in this operation, but I think it’s the details and intangibles that might make this sandwich so good–the TLC in the technique–maybe it’s just that euphoria you get because “someone else made it for you.”  All of that being said, my copy was very good.  If you can’t get to Torrisi to try their turkey sandwich, by all means, make this at home.  But if you can get there, please do.  And do so soon.  It’s espcially good timing as they’ve just opened a new spot next door, appropriately called PARM.  Parm’s menu looks AH-mazing.  You can …

Grilled Skirt Steak with Smoked Garlic + Parsley Compound Butter

If you live in the NYC area and haven’t been to Eataly yet–GO–and go soon.  The crowds have definitely died down a bit since opening, and while it’s still crowded, you can navigate the aisles with more ease.  (This is not to say that its not mobbed at certain key times during the week, as would any Whole Foods around the city.)  I recently made my way there the other night with my girlfriends Marcy and Sarah, filling my basket with tallegio, house cured meats, fresh amazing breads, and 2 foot long crackers with a touch of pepperoncini.  All were over-the-top delicious, and all I would expect from the good name Batali.  What was unexpected were the fruits and vegetables imported from around the world.  Finger limes, black garlic, mango nectarines, lobster mushrooms–the list went on.  It was ‘produce porn.’  There was a whole section devoted just to garlic, and in that section I spied ‘smoked garlic,’ imported from France.  The garlic wasn’t cooked from a smoker–it was still raw–but the skins had this intriguing …

Flat Iron Steaks with Mexican Chimichurri

Chimichurri is the nectar of the garlic gods.  Traditionally loaded with parsley and olive oil and garlic, I usually find myself dipping anything I can get my hands on into this Argentinian masterpiece.  Nick and I love it so much, we served it at our wedding.  I’ve had it more on the vinegar-y side (not my fave) and more heavy on the parsley side–but garlic is always there.  You basically have to make everyone in your party eat it if they’re within 2 feet of your breath.  This time around, I wanted to try to create a version that wouldn’t clear a small village out with the garlic stench, while also reducing the fat content.  Parsley can be surprisingly strong and the olive oil adds a sort of mellowness to it.  So I decided to go heavy on cilantro this time with less emphasis on parsley and less need for oil.  And while I kept garlic in there, I left it to one clove.  Once all of my modifications swirled around in the mini-chopper/food processor, …

Sausage Mascarpone Crostini

Why is it that the best foods are usually the simplest, having the least amount of ingredients.  A sharp hunk of cheedar cheese with a slice of apple… toast with butter… bacon and eggs.  All bring such satisfaction to the palette and belly.  This is one of those foods.  It only has 3 main ingredients: sausage, mascarpone cheese, and bread.  A little spray of Pam if you like on the bread and some chopped parsley for garnish are lovely too, but not necessary.  This combination is so wonderful–I serve it all the time as an appetizer at parties or even just with a salad for a light supper.  Everyone always loves it.  I never have leftovers.  And amazingly, with such a short list of ingredients, most people can’t quite identify them. The origin of this dish is in Italy.  My mom was taking a cooking class there, and during one of the days, the chef took her to a local market for sausage.  Once back in the kitchen, the chef simply crumbled the meat, cooked …