Mixing the ingredients on a warmed platter will help them melt quickly to make a satiny sauce. For the best results, use dried pasta, which doesn’t break as easily during tossing as fresh egg pasta does. (Although for taste, fresh pasta can’t be beat. The Lady buys her fresh pasta at PastaWorks on Hawthorne in Portland. And I can confirm, it is divine…)

(The Lady likes to take this recipe to another level and she adds grilled chicken breasts and sautéed fresh asparagus. I would prefer she use grilled Scapanus latimanus, which was plentiful in the Burbank neighborhoods where I originally met and adopted The Lady and The Man. Sadly, they aren’t available here in the Pacific Northwest. I have searched the area around Salmon Creek and none are to be found…)

1 lb. dried fettuccine

1⁄2 lb. unsalted Kerrygold Butter

1⁄2 lb. finely grated BelGioioso American Grana (about 3 1⁄4 cup)

1. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. If you use fresh pasta, you will only need to cook it 2-3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut Kerrygold Butter into thin pats and transfer to a large, warmed platter. Drain pasta (do not rinse – the sauce will adhere better to the pasta when not rinsed), reserving 3⁄4 cup pasta water, and place the pasta over the butter on the platter.

3. Sprinkle grated American Grana over the pasta and drizzle with 1⁄4 cup of the reserved pasta water.

4. Using a large spoon and fork, gently toss the pasta with the butter and cheese, lifting and swirling the noodles and adding more pasta water as necessary. (The pasta water will help create a smooth sauce.) Work in any melted butter and cheese that pools around the edges of the platter. Continue to mix the pasta until the cheese and butter have fully melted and the noodles are coated, about 3 minutes.

(For a quicker preparation, bring the reserved 3⁄4 cup pasta water and the butter to a boil in a 12″ skillet; then add the pasta, sprinkle with the cheese, and toss with tongs over medium-low heat until the pasta is creamy and coated, about 2 minutes.)

5. Serve the fettuccine immediately on warmed plates.

SERVES 4 – 6

Adapted from Saveur Magazine

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Habanero Gourgeres

May 27, 2009

The Lady does not like to bake. To mis-quote Rachel Ray, she says, “If I wanted to be a baker, I would have gotten a science degree.” But every-once-in-a-while, she breaks down and makes a dish that requires precise measuring and preparation. To the delight of this feline foodie, tonight was the night…

On her recent trip to Foster and Dobbs, in addition to the Jamon Iberico, The Lady also purchased a small container of habanero-flavored salt. She does love her spicy food… and slowly, she is converting The Man as well; however, he resists…The Lady pushes; The Man pushes back…ahhh, the joys of marriage…30 years and they still “negotiate”…

A few months back she made Gourgeres (mini cheese puffs) and tonight she decided to make them again. She used a recipe she found in Saveur Magazine and added her new favorite habanero salt.

Ingredients:

5 tbsp. Vermont Butter and Cheese Company Sea Salt Butter 

3/4 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. habanero-flavored salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup grated Roth Kase Grand Cru Gruyere cheese (This is one of the cheeses The Lady made when she attended Cheesemaking 101 at Roth Kase last month)

5 large eggs, at room temperature (VERY IMPORTANT)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to one cup water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When butter melts, reduce heat to low.

3. Add flour to butter-water mixture all at once and cook over low heat, beating with a wooden spoon, for one minute, until mixture pulls away from side of pan. Remove pan from heat.

4. Add cheese to pan and beat in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Add four of the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg into the batter until thoroughly absorbed. Continue beating mixture until it is smooth, shiny, and firm. (The Lady complained throughout this part of the recipe; tedious and not much fun…)

5. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto lightly EVOO-greased parchment paper on a pizza pan (with holes) to form Gourgeres. Beat remaining egg with 1/2 tbsp. water, then brush tops of uncooked Gougeres with egg wash. The egg wash makes them shiny and adds crowd-pleasing beauty to the final product.

6. Bake in upper third of over for 15-20 minutes until Gougeres are golden and doubled in size. Remove from over and serve hot, or allow to cool to room temperature. The Lady discovered that 18 minutes is perfect in her oven.

These babies are good hot or cold. The Man shared one of his with me…the habanero was noticable but not over-powering; even The Man loved the flavor. The Lady would have liked more kick…next time…

Adapted from SAVEUR Magazine

As you know when in Wisconsin The Lady went to the US Mecca for Burrata, The BelGioioso Chase Plant. After touring the plant, Gaetano and his team treated the group to lunch which, of course, started with a cheese plate. That plate included the manna-from-cheese-heaven, Burrata.

Burrata is a decadent little pouch of fresh mozzarella with a cream center tucked inside.

Because it is difficult to find locally The Lady had to order it online and the air shipping exceeded the cost of the cheese, which is not a cut-rate to start. But, oh.so.worth.it…

She and The Man enjoyed it with endive; simple and scrumptious (with homage to The Lady’s mother who loves that word).

Then she treated The Man and her favorite feline foodie (that would be me) to a grilled cheese sandwich that can only be described as “To Die for Happily”:

Ingredients:

Focaccia Bread – split open

Jamon Iberico aka pata negra (The Lady found it for $110.00 a pound at the upscale Irvington neighborhood’s Foster and Dobbs – she didn’t buy a whole pound…boo hoo). This is a cured ham from Spain that must be 75% Iberico Black Pig to obtain the Spanish DO certification. These pigs once weaned are allowed to roam free and dine on the foliage and acorns found in the oak groves of Southwestern Spain. As slaughtering time nears, the best are further fattened on a diet exclusively of the acorns. *

BelGioioso Burrata

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Still waiting to learn how it can be “extra”)

Preparation: Pre-heat your Panini pan or griddle.

Brush the EVOO to the outsides of the Focaccia Bread.

Place a couple of slices of the Burrata on the bottom half of the bread.

Top with a couple slices of Jamon Iberico.

Top with the other half of the bread.

Grill until golden brown on the outside and the Burrata is just oozy.

Serve to your favorite feline foodie…

*You can substitute Jamon Serrano, Pancetta or Proscuitto if you prefer instead of Jamon Iberico.

The Lady with The Beechers Handmade Cheese Ladies

The Lady with The Beechers Handmade Cheese Ladies

 

The Lady attended the DPI Western Show yesterday and among the many cheese “heads” she met were the fine ladies from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese from Seattle…

As you may recall…this feline foodie’s all-time favorite cheese is Beecher’s No Woman.

Grilled Greek Antipasti Salad with Halloumi Cheese

Adapted from chow.com recipe by Aida Mollenkamp

In this take on a Greek salad, everything gets charred on the grill and served warm, with a drizzling of Oregano Marinade (recipe below). We like it best when all the elements are chopped up and tossed with the dressing, so each bite is loaded with cheese, veggies, and herbs. (For those who need/want more “traditional” protein, you can substitute chicken for the Halloumi cheese or use both.)

What to buy: Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese, sold in blocks in many specialty grocery stores(The Lady sells Halloumi on the cheese island). It has a high melting point, making it perfect for grilling. Kalamatas are a Greek variety of black olive, found in most grocery stores. Peppadews are a sweet, spicy pepper from South Africa and are available at most specialty grocers. (Kalamatas, Baby Artichoke Hearts  and Peppadews are sold on The Lady’s antipasti/olive bar.)

Special equipment: Use wooden or metal skewers to make the kebabs.

Game plan: If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes beforehand, so they don’t burn on the grill.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Halloumi cheese (or 1 pound boneless chicken pieces or half and half)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 24 Large Button Mushrooms
  • 2 cup Oregano Marinade (recipe below)
  • 12 skewers
  • 6 medium hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 18 to 24 kalamata olives (about 1/4 pound)
  • 12 Peppadews
  • 12 Marinated Baby Artichoke Hearts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Quarter tomatoes, cut cheese into 24 cubes, and slice onion lengthwise into six wedges and combine everything in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover with 1/2 cup of marinade, and gently toss until everything is evenly coated.
  2. On a skewer, thread 1 tomato quarter, 1 Halloumi cube, 1 onion wedge, 1 Mushroom; repeat.  Repeat to make 12 skewers. Place the skewers in a large, shallow dish, pour any marinade in the bowl over top, cover, and refrigerate. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat when ready to rock n roll.
  4. When the grill is heated, remove the kebabs from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip away before placing them on the grill. Cook, turning kebabs every 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender and charred and cheese is soft; total cooking time will be about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, brush romaine with olive oil, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside in a cool place until ready to grill.
  5. About 3 minutes before the kebabs are finished, place romaine, cut side down, on the grill and cook until slightly wilted and charred on the cut side, about 3 minutes.
  6. To serve, transfer grilled romaine, kebabs, and olives, peppadews and baby artichoke hearts to a large serving platter. (If desired, remove cheese and vegetables from the skewers and chop all salad ingredients.) Drizzle a few tablespoons of the remaining 1/2 cup marinade over the salad, passing extra on the side. (The Lady and The Man prefer to chop everything into a “chopped salad”.)

Oregano Marinade:

By Aida Mollenkamp

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh oregano (leaves and tender stems only)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process on high until mixture is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilled Chicken Tacos

May 21, 2009

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time:
20 Minutes
Ready in:
30 Minutes
Makes 12 tacos

Ingredients:
2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken breasts

12 taco shells or soft tortillas – The Lady prefers corn tortillas; The Man prefers flour

Shredded lettuce

1 tablespoon water

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 bunch cilantro; remove stems

The Lady likes to add black beans and chopped black olives to her tacos.

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium heat.

2. In small bowl, combine taco seasoning, oil and water until blended. In medium bowl, combine onions and 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mixture and toss until evenly coated.

3. Rub Chicken breasts with remaining taco seasoning. Grill boneless chicken breasts, turning occasionally, 15 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center registers 170°F.

4. Grill onions in grill wok or on grill screen, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add tomatoes; grill just until heated through. (If you want to heat the taco shells/tortillas, wrap them in aluminum foil and place on grill but away from direct heat.)

5. To serve, cut chicken into strips and serve in taco shells/tortillas with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro and cheese.

From Bon Appetit Magazine (The Lady added the Asiago Cheese to the recipe…)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons dry mustard, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 2-pound well-trimmed tri-tip beef roast
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces BelGioioso Asiago cheese, planed
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed
  • 1/2 white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 6 5-inch pieces French baguette, cut horizontally almost in half, opened flat

Preparation

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk oil, vinegar, and 3/4 teaspoon mustard in large bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons dressing to small bowl; whisk in sugar and 1 teaspoon mustard. Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper, then top with mixture from small bowl.
  • Grill beef until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 120°F to 125°F for rare, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. Place on cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Cut very thinly across grain.
  • Meanwhile, add tomatoes, watercress, and onion to dressing in large bowl. Marinate while beef grills, tossing occasionally. Grill bread, cut side down, until just crusty, about 3 minutes; place on plates, grilled side up.
  • Arrange beef slices over bread. Using tongs and draining slightly, top with salad. Finish with planed Asiago cheese.