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Monday, November 29, 2010

Pissaladiere with Proscuitto and Pesto

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family. No turkey for us though...I made my once a year beef tenderloin roast.Traditionally this is our Christmas meal, but since family was home and will not be for Christmas we made it our Thanksgiving meal. I will post that later, because it is a meal you may wish to consider for Christmas.

Stepping back to the weeks leading up to the holiday here is a weeknight meal, which is adpated from the recipe Pissaladiere in the Bistro Style Cuisine cookbook. The addition of chopped proscuitto and using some pre-made pesto (basil, garlic and pine nuts) made the strong flavor of the blue cheese less biting. I do love blue cheese but not always as the dominant flavor.

Entree: Pissaladiere with Proscuitto and Pesto. Using "store bought" rolled pizza dough I kneaded chopped garlic and chopped fresh rosemary into the dough. It was extremely difficult to spread the dough into a pan even using a rolling pin. The next time I will purchase an unbaked pizza shaped crust and just press the garlic and rosemary into the dough. However if you are a skilled baker your own dough would probably be the best.

After spreading (fighting) the dough into a baking dish I mixed the pesto with olive oil and spread it on the dough. I partially cooked the dough following the time on the package. I removed it from the oven topped it with the olives, proscuitto and blue cheese and finishing baking.

Wine: a nice italian wine from Banfi


Monday, November 15, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Torts with Chicken

This tort dish was once again a creation of what I had on hand and some left over chicken breasts. It turned out quite tasty, but what made it a dining experience was the wine. It was a wine suggested by the owner of our favorite local restaurant. We liked it so much we purchased three bottles.

Entree: Spinach and Cheese Torts with Chicken: The torts were Barilla and boiled according to package direction. The pine nuts, zucchini and roasted red pepper were sauteed with garlic and olive oil. Those ingredients were set aside and to the pan I added chicken demi glaze, Marsala, and white wine. When that was reduced I added a 1/2 teaspoon of butter and a tablespoon of half and half. I rarely cook with butter or cream, but thought a tad would not be too unhealthy and would add body to the sauce. The nuts, zucs, pepper and garlic were added to the sauce just to reheat while the pasta finished and then all were tossed together and topped with basil leaves and grated Parmesan.

Wine: 2007 Lemelson Pinot Noir (Thea's Selection)


Yes it was Tuscany....for those who read under the Tuscan Sun (1997 - hard to believe it was that long ago) and imagined what the Tuscan region would be like...well it was just as imagined. Breathtaking, vineyards, olive trees, rolling hills and "peachy-pink" homes and villas.

The Villa that we stayed in for four nights produced wine and olive oil. The wines were very good, and the Olive Oil was just bottled. Superb!!!

I did take a cooking class from the young assistant evening to remember. I will post photos on a later blog.

There was so much good food and places that we ate, and tasted wine, that I could do days of blogs on just that, but then what would you do for dinner!!

So I will return to my cooking ideas....for know imagine Tuscany and its splendor.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And Where in the World Were We

So I am back from my once in a lifetime trip...unpacking and trying to get organized. So busy, too busy to think about dinner, so I am posting a photo of where we were...for your guess. Think food...Think wine....and Think beauty! Not sure what the first person to guess correctly will get, but maybe I will name a dinner after them....