Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
12 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 dry pint fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 kiwi, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Stir the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of cream in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/3 cup of cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until semi-firm peaks form. Fold the ricotta into the whipped cream. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to stiffen and yield a creamier filling. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Toss the strawberries, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to combine. Let stand until juices form, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the kiwi.

Spoon the fruit mixture into 4 dessert bowls. Dollop the ricotta cream atop the fruit. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

I love this recipe, and since I am snow weary I wanted a recipe that brought a little spring into my home. I make this delightful dessert anytime I need a crowd pleaser! And it just so happens that this is delicious on top of crepe's or Belgian waffles.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Double Potato and Halloumi Bake

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson
1 large sweet potato
1 large red firm potato
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced as thinly as you can

(Meikel's note: I ALWAYS add yams & vidalia or yellow onions to this, I often leave out the cheese, red & yellow pepper to give it a different feel. I always double this recipe, it is great as left overs. Chop it up and put it in an omelet, it's delicious)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sweet potato into rough 1 1/2-inch cubes and the red potato slightly smaller (1-inch cubes) as the sweet potato will cook more quickly. Halve the red onion, then cut each half into 4 to 6 segments, discarding any tough outer skin. Seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch squares, and separate the cloves of garlic. Put everything into a 2-quart casserole dish, or whatever you want to use (it should be big, otherwise use 2 dishes) and, using your hands, give the vegetables a good coating of olive oil. Season with black pepper, but no salt as the cheese will make it salty (and anyway, the salt will make water leach out).

Bake for 45 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked through and here and there tinged with brown. You'll need to turn the oven up to maximum heat or light the broiler for the endgame: so place the thinly sliced cheese on top of the bake, and put it back in the very hot oven or under the broiler until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown on top, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve straight out of the casserole dish.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
This is my absolute favorite way to prepare red potatoes. This recipe is so versatile you can really go as simple or elaborate as you would like. I uphold the belief that good olive oil salt and pepper make everything taste amazing. This is a great dish for crowds, and a great healthy substitute for fries.

12 Red potatoes (or as many as you would like to make, I prefer the small reds.)
Equal parts: (You can start with a tablespoon or so each and go from there)
Dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper
Sea or Kosher salt
Dried parsley

1tsp Cheyenne Pepper (more or less depending on the heat level you want to achieve)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (get the good stuff and grate it yourself, it is absolutely worth it!)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the Oregano, Parsley, Cheyenne, salt & pepper together in a small bowl, set aside. Wash and quarter the potatoes, make sure they are dried properly so the olive oil will stick to them. Put them on a large cookie sheet with a lip. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. Using your hands gently toss the potatoes in the olive oil so you coat every piece. Sprinkle 1/2 of your spice mixture over the potatoes and toss again to coat. You can use the rest of the spice mixture (I do, but I eyeball it you don't want to over do it) or choose to omit it. Put in the oven (I turn all the potatoes so the white side is facing up, but no need to bother with that if you don't want to). It takes anywhere to a 1/2 hour to an hour depending on your oven and amount of potatoes. You want them to become golden and beautiful, then sprinkle the Parmesan over them and put them back in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. For you vegans or just if you don't have cheese you can definitely skip the cheese and still have fabulous potatoes. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My love of food

For quite some time I have wanted to create a blog dedicated to my love of food. So I give you NOSH, it will have all of my musings, experiments, recipies, stories, and all things food related in my life. Food is a large part of my life, and I intend to share all of my experiences with you.
Bon Apetit!
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