Posts Tagged ‘juice’

Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

This was an incredibly easy weeknight dinner after a week of long and involved meals. You can also potentially use up holiday leftovers, since I pre-roasted the squash the day before and added the mashed squash right at the end. It still has all the holiday flavors, but it’s great all winter long.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1/2 butternut squash

2 cups arborio rice

zest and juice of 1 orange

3 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, warmed in the microwave or on the stove (you could substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 cup grated parmesan

Roast the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes on a baking sheet with some of the olive oil brushed over it. It will become soft and you can scoop out the flesh. Mash up the squash well.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Once they have softened, add the rice and allow to toast for a minute until they start to look a little translucent. Add the white wine and allow to cook down. Add the thyme and a little chicken stock. Continue to add stock slowly as it cooks away. It should have enough liquid to just cover, about the consistency of oatmeal.

When the rice is almost al dente, add the orange juice and zest along with the mashed squash. Stir to combine and allow to cook together for the last few minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes


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I had a bunch of the Italian ladyfingers used for tiramisu, but no time or mascarpone to make the original. This is a pretty Americanized version, but I could just call it Lemon Pudding or Lemon Trifle and that would be fine too. No matter what you call it, it was a lovely end to the meal and I would make it again.

Lemon Tiramisu

1 box vanilla pudding, cooked to box instructions

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Limoncello

1/4 cup Marsala

16 Italian ladyfingers

Combine the cooked vanilla pudding with half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and vanilla extract. In a bowl or container big enough to fit the ladyfingers (one at a time), combine the rest of the lemon juice, Limoncello, and Marsala. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time into the mixture, long enough to absorb some liquid but not so long that they get soggy. Place in a single layer in your baking dish or cups. Spoon a light layer of the pudding mixture on top. Alternate layers until you’ve filled your dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you can wait at least a couple.

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As you might know by now, I love citrus. The olives in this recipe give it a nice salty, earthy bite and balances out the bright freshness of the citrus. Cooking this couscous in the juice really brings out the citrus flavor without adding fats like cheese and butter. I happened to find kaffir lime leaves and have tons leftover after making Thai curry, so I threw a couple in here. Feel free to leave them out, but I would suggest throwing in another herb or a bay leaf.

Mediterranean Citrus Couscous

1 cup whole wheat couscous

2 cups freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice (preferably more orange than lemon but whatever you have)

zest of the citrus used

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped (optional)

Bring the juice to a boil and add in the kaffir, garlic, zest, and salt. Let it reduce down a bit and then add the couscous. Boil according to package instructions– the liquid should cook off but you can drain it if you have leftover. Stir in the olives and parsley.

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I’m a big fan of panna cotta– you can make it ahead, you don’t have to bake it, and it’s creamy and delicious. There’s an infinite variety of ways you can make it, and this version layers a vanilla bean panna cotta with a pomegranate gelatin (homemade jello, of you will). The original recipe I used for the panna cotta made it a little too….gelatinous….so I’ve reduced the amount of gelatin to make it a creamier consistency. Nothing better than vanilla creamy custard! (I know it’s not a custard because it doesn’t have eggs, but it feels the same to me…)

Vanilla Panna Cotta

1 packet unflavored gelatin

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup sugar

Over a double boiler, dissolve the sugar in the milk and heavy cream. Slice the vanilla bean along the length and scrape out the vanilla. Put the vanilla and the pod in the milk mixture and let steep for 10 minutes. The double boiler should be just barely on, you want to keep the mixture warm but not simmering. Add the gelatin, making sure it dissolves and then remove from heat. Strain through a sieve to remove the vanilla pod and any lumps. Pour into your vessels, preferably glass so you can see the layers! Refrigerate for several hours, until they have solidified.

Pomegranate Gelatin

1 packet gelatin

2 cups pomegranate juice, room temperature

2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

Combine the ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves. Depending on your pomegranate juice, you may need more or less sugar. This is the time to get creative, if you want to add other flavors, go ahead!

Pour the pomegranate gelatin over the panna cotta, creating two layers. Place in the refrigerator again for a couple hours and it will solidify.

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I won a box of avocados from Serious Eats a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been working on some recipes with them. This avocado pesto worked well with this whole wheat fresh pasta, and also as a topping for some deliciously sweet scallops from the farmers market. The avocado gives it a creaminess and richness that you don’t expect, and the lime juice gives it a little tart bite. I still love pesto genovese, but this was a nice change.

Avocado Pesto

1 avocado

2 limes zested and juiced

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 cup arugula

1 cup basil

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove

Combine all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend. I like to put the cheese and nuts in first to make sure they get ground up before you introduce the other ingredients, otherwise you might get pieces of cheese or nuts that stay whole in the final sauce. Spoon onto scallops, toss with pasta, or use in any way you might use regular pesto!

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A couple months ago I made a really delicious scallop crudo and I was craving something similar. But I had just had scallops the day before, so I decided to get some really beautiful salmon and use that. While the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, it doesn’t actually cook it so make sure you have really fresh fish for this. It will however change the texture which is pretty interesting. I don’t like raw onions, but you definitely could chop up some red onion and throw that in.

Salmon Ceviche

1/2 pound (very fresh) salmon, diced

juice and zest of 2 limes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey or agave

1 avocado, diced

After you dice up the salmon, add it to the lime juice and zest, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours and you will see the salmon slowly change texture.

Add the avocado and gently toss. It’s ready to serve, but you can add a sprinkle of parsley or cilantro on top. Serve with toasts, pita chips, corn chips, or eat it alone. You can add a sprinkle of fleur de sel over the top as well.

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I got tons of stone fruit at the farmers market this week, and I made the plum tart earlier. Then I decided on some sherbet with the peaches and nectarines that were already ripe. Sherbet is generally sorbet with some milk in it to give it a little more substance. This ends up basically tasting like a frozen smoothie and it was so yummy! Supposedly, the little bit of alcohol is supposed to change the way the ice crystals form so it’s less gritty. I’m not sure I could taste the difference, but it sounds good.

Peach and Nectarine Sherbet

3 nectarines, sliced

3 peaches, sliced

1/2 cup 1% milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

6 tablespoons agave nectar

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon Vodka or any other alcohol you would like

Combine the fruit with the agave, lime, and vodka in a blender and blend together. Chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Add the milk and cream and stir to combine. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream maker. Put in the freezer to harden up for at least an hour before serving.

If you wanted to make sorbet, you could substitute 3/4 cup water for the milk and cream.

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