Saturday, October 25, 2008

Penne with Green Beans and Goat Cheese

So I have a pasta problem. I love it. It is important that I try new things including potatoes, and rice as far a starch goes, but I have a hard time passing up pasta. I also have a small obsession with Gordon Ramsey, although I only own one of his books, I have seen all the TV shows including the ones from the UK. In this case I had green beans in the fridge that had to be used so of course this pasta recipe was perfect. It is best eaten freshly made so the the cheese and butter don't separate when you reheat it. But it is so tasty that you and a few friends will have no trouble finding the bottom of the bowl.

Penne with Green Beans and Goat Cheese
Adapted from Gordon Ramsey's Fast Food

10 oz penne
Salt and pepper
6 tbls butter
1 red chili, seeded and minced
1 rosemary sprig leaves chopped
9 oz. green beans trimmed, and sliced on the diagonal to 1 inch length
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
5 oz. goat cheese
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Boil a large pot of salted water and add pasta. Cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan, add the chili and rosemary and heat over low heat for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the beans, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until tender but not too soft.
Drain the pasta and toss with a little olive oil, then mix with the beans. Take the pasta off the heat and mix in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and top with the pine nuts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Heart New York

Last weekend my brother Christopher, sister Michelle, and husband Robby and I took what I hope will be an annual trip to Manhattan to visit my other brother Donnie. And what a great time we had.

We drove up Saturday evening and met Donnie at Manhattan Motor Cars where he works. He was a few minutes late so I wasted no time in finding some good eats which happened to be one block away at a little convience store. I got coffee and samosas. One was Chicken which I had not tried before, I am used to just veggie. This is the first reason I love New York. It took me all of one block to find some cheap tasty eats. Not that everything is cheap, in fact most of it is ridiculously expensive but I will get to that later.

After an extensive and dreamy tour of the Bentley, Roles Royce, Lamborghini, etc. store we headed to the hotel to check in and change for dinner. Standing on the curb waiting for a taxi with no idea of where to go we started brainstorming. Did we want Italian, Mexican (Rosa Mexicana was great on the last trip) or maybe Sushi? Christopher chimed in for Sushi and then it was up to Donnie to pick the place. He decided on "Momo's" one of his favorites, and we were off.

When the taxi dropped us off and we walked into the restaurant I realized where we were. Morimoto's as in the Iron chef Morimoto. Now I am lucky enough to have eaten at one of his restaurants before in Philadelphia but this was even better. We went for it and ordered everything. Three appetisers, a Hugh plate of chef's sushi, and then entrees. I got the Duck Duck Duck which was perfect!

Oh, and the bathroom! I can't forget. Michelle tried to take a picture but I don't think it turned out. The toilets are those fancy $10,000 toilets with heated seat, spray, and blow dry for the down there parts. Crazy.

So we left full, "cleaned", and ready for more. Heading to the meatpacking district to do I don't know what. Donnie is always impressing me. We went to one of those fancy nightclubs I don't even know the name. There was a big line out front. We were inspected as Donnie talked to the man at the door. Then the rope opened and we were ushered in ahead of the beautiful New Yorkers waiting in the cold. I don't remember much from that part of the trip and I am definitely not sharing the pictures so lets skip ahead to the next day.

Get up, take Advil, drink lots of water, and shower. That is how the morning went. Then off to find food. Donnie the ever improving food host took us to a cheese shop where I got Speck (one of my favorite). This sounds funny for the first thing in the morning but it was followed by pastries from a shop down the street. Wonderful.

The day was spent shopping in Soho until we were hungry again and headed to The Spotted Pig for what was supposed to be one of the best hamburgers in NY. And it was. We waited for a little while but it was totally worth it. A blend of beef topped with Gorgonzola and placed on a flavorful grilled bun. It was so tender. I can't wait until there cookbook comes out so I can find the secret. (I asked the waitress they are working on it now)

Full again and getting late we left so our car would not turn back into a pumpkin and headed back to Maryland. Thank you Donnie, Robby, Christopher, and Michelle for a great night. Lets do it again soon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Linguine with Clams it's whats for dinner.

The adult portion...
and the two year old portion.

So believe it or not I love Costco clams. They are cheap, fresh, and so tasty. They are farmed, but for a recipe like this where garlic and chilies play a big role the clams work perfectly. I got over 50little neck clams for under twenty dollar. I used half of them for this recipe and half will be for something new tomorrow night. Wash them well and check for any dead clams before starting.

Linguine with Clams

1 cup water
24 little neck clams
5-6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 pound fini linguine
1/2 cup shopped parsley

Bring the cup of water to a boil and drop in the clams, cover, and steam until the clams open.

Remove the clams to a plate with tongs reserving then straining the liquid with cheese cloth into a bowl. Remove the clams from their shells and coarsely chop them.

Meanwhile heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes so the oil is infused with the garlic. Add the red pepper and oregano and heat on low for 4 more minutes. Add the strained clam juice and turn up to boil cooking until reduced by half.

While the sauce cooks boil water and cook the pasta one minute less than recommended. Drain pasta and return to the pot adding sauce, clams, parsley, and salt to taste cook one more minute on low. Toss and serve.