RECIPES

Zucchini, Garlic and Pasta AKA Spring Joy

zuckes

Spring, for some reason, makes us desperate for green food. Maybe because back in THE DAY green food was only plentiful in the spring. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason, but – no matter, this pasta will make you dance with joy! And you will sing, “spring is here!” or not. But really try this pasta. Loosely based on Marcella Hazan’s recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds zucchini ends trimmed, cut into sticks 2½” long by ¼” thick

Salt

8 or so fresh basil leaves, washed, paper towel dried, rolled and chopped

½-cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for frying

3 – 5 garlic cloves, peeled (or garlic infused oil)

4-tablespoon butter

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus cheese for serving at table

1-pound of fresh pasta like fettuccine

 

Soak zucchini in cold water for a half an hour after scrubbing off the dirt residue. Trim ends cut into sticks (matchstick sized). Toss with salt a few times. Put in the colander, salt, and place in sink and let the liquid drain for a minimum of two hours. Mostly I let it drain for two hours and then I take four or five paper towels, drop all of the zucchini sticks on the towel, wrap it up and let the towels soak the rest of the juice out of the zucchini. This is essential for the zucchini to fry correctly. Then pat dry with more paper towels. Drop zucchini back in the colander and sprinkle with flour. Shake off excess. Pour vegetable oil in frying pan up to at least ¼” and fry the garlic. Once it browns, remove, add in zucchini and fry until golden brown. Try really hard not to eat all of the crispy zucchini as it comes out of the pan. Save some for the pasta. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Cook and drain pasta. Toss with butter. Add zucchini, basil, cheese, toss thoroughly.

This is the perfect spring food. You will eat ALL OF IT and then groan. But it will be worth it. Have I ever steered you wrong? I mean except that one time in college?

RECIPES

Beer Beef Stew

irish-stew-tf2
Photo credit: tastefoodblog.com

Sundays are meant for writing, not sweating over a pot. Enter…beef stew, the yummiest, easiest dinner for happy bellies.

Beer Beef Stew

SERVINGS: 6 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 pounds Stew Meat
  • 1 whole large sweet Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (12 Oz. Size) of dark Beer
  • 4 cups Beef Stock
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. (Keep that yummy juice for later!) Cut pieces in half. Set aside.
Add diced onions to the pot. Add a pinch of salt, stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened. Add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add carrots, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes. Or if serving with noodles, add 4 whole new baby potatoes with the carrots!
RECIPES

Bethany’s Cream Scones

fnk_cream-scones-with-currants_s4x3-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-1280-960Bethany makes these scones in the book during a snow storm. They are so good. I thought I’d share the recipe! ~Katie B

Makes 8 or 12 mini scones

The easiest way to mix the butter into the dry ingredients is to use a food processor fitted with a steel blade. But the more old fashioned way (Bethany’s method) is to blend flour and butter with your fingers.  Mix the ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps.

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times. (Again, if using Bethany’s method, use your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. If using a food processor, remove the cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Stir in currants. Transfer dough to large bowl.
  4. Stir in heavy cream with rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead the dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Cut scones into 8 wedges. Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet. I use a mini scone pan – I love it! If using the mini-scone pan bake for 12 minutes. Remove from pan and reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. If you molded the scones yourself, bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature