This is so good. Really. The flavors definitely create a party in your mouth. The saltiness of the pancetta., the slight bite of the radicchio, and the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche all meld together deliciously. And the cavatappi pasta is the perfect shape for the ingredients to cling to. If you can’t find cavatappi, you can easily substitute another shape of pasta such as fusilli.
Cavatappi with Pancetta and Wilted Radicchio
- 12 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 1-3 heads radicchio (depends on size), thinly sliced (4 cups sliced)
- ½ cup walnut pieces, lightly tasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-6 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 clove garlic, minced, grated, or crushed
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon (about 1½ – 2 teaspoons)
- juice from ½ Meyer lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche (or a combination of the two)
- Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Shavings of manchego cheese (can substitute Parmesan) for serving
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, approximately 9 minutes. Reserve some of the starchy cooking liquid, drain, and set aside.
- In a large skillet with fairly deep sides, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just becoming lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- To the pancetta, add the garlic, radicchio, Meyer lemon zest and juice, walnuts, and thyme. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until the radicchio has wilted.
- Stir in the mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
- Add the pasta to the skillet along with some of the cooking liquid, and combine well with the radicchio-pancetta mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley.
- Top with manchego cheese shaving and serve
© 2015 Kitchen Serendipity
Well ladies and gents, it’s almost Valentine’s Day! If you might be cooking for your special someone, this would make a fabulous salad course. It’s sexy, warm, and inviting with a sensational layering of flavors including balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, brown sugar, garlic (yes, garlic!), and pine nuts. Pine nuts just happen to be an aphrodisiac – ahem – and who knew. Choose whatever greens you prefer – I used a mixture of a salad blend with herbs along with the more tender inside leaves of a head of escarole, and balanced the bitter of the escarole with sweet Boston lettuce. The escarole stands up really well to the warm vinaigrette and is a welcome green in the winter months especially. Just one note – stand back when you add the vinegars to the pan because the fumes will go straight up your nose and knock you out for a second or two.
Much thanks goes out to my friend Nancy Nicosia for this recipe – my then-husband and I had dinner at her house and she made this. Definitely swoon-worthy. Enjoy!
Swoon Winter Salad with Pine Nuts and Sizzling Warm Vinagrette
- Mixed salad greens (I used a combination of 6 cups herb salad blend, 1-2 cups inner escarole leaves, and 3 cups Boston lettuce)
- ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry, non-stick pan
- ¾-1 cup shredded or 2/3 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese (reserve a handful for garnish)
- 4 scallions, sliced thinly
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- coarse ground black pepper
- Assemble the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Let is sizzle but take care it doesn’t burn, about 1 minute.
- Add both vinegars (and step back!). Turn up the heat for 30 seconds and then add the brown sugar. Return to medium-high heat and whisk continuously until the mixture is slightly reduced. Let it bubble away but again taking care to not let it burn.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and test for the desired balance of tart and sweet. Put it back on the heat and add more brown sugar, oil, or vinegars if needed and the mixture is the consistency of syrup.
- Season with black pepper and pour over the salad ingredients. Garnish with additional shavings or shredded Parmesan cheese and serve.
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity
It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday and this dip would be a perfect addition to your menu along with chips or crudites. I will be serving this delish dip accompanied by four new varieties of Terra Chips – Pumpkin Spice Sweets (kissed with cinnamon and nutmeg), Sweet Potato, Exotic Potato (sweet, Yukon gold, and naturally blue), and Beauregard Sweets (once one of the most widely available type of sweet potato). This past fall I attended the Big Harvest Potluck food blogger’s conference in Bucks County, PA and won a year’s supply of Terra Chips and have been taste-testing and determining which are my favorites since then. Two additional new flavors – Mediterranean (Taro, sweet potato, batata or Cuban sweet potato, parsnip, and yuca along with herbs and a hint of lemon) and Tropical (coconut, plantain, sweet potato, taro, and batata) are my favorites along with Pumpkin Spice Sweets. Terra Chips are non-GMO, real vegetable chips made from unique and diverse root vegetables.
When it comes to bourbon, Maker’s Mark is definitely my favorite. This recipe is adapted from one I spotted recently on AboutFood.com and it sounded like the perfect complement to the heartiness of the chips. And what the heck………pour yourself a glass of Maker’s Mark while you’re at it and enjoy.
Bourbon and Caramelized Shallot Dip
For dip –
- ½ pound shallots, halved vertically and thinly sliced and separated into rings. (about 2¾ cups)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup Maker’s Mark bourbon or other bourbon plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce plus ½ teaspoon
- 8-ounce container crème fraîche (can substitute sour cream)
- 6-ounce container plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Terra Chips or crudites
For frizzled shallots garnish/mix-in –
- 2 cups sliced shallots
- hefty pinch of white flour
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the sliced shallots, and season with the salt. Saute the shallots for 9-10 minutes until they begin to soften and color.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
- Add the ¼ cup of bourbon and the 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the shallots and cook over medium to medium-high heat until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the skillet and drain and cool the shallot mixture on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with a bit of kosher salt – taste first, it may not be needed.
- Add the cooled shallot mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the crème fraîche, yogurt, remaining ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon, and the nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. Combine until smooth.
o make the frizzled shallots topping/mix-in:
- Add a pinch or two of flour to the sliced shallots and toss until coated. Heat the olive or canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 6-8 minutes or until they are brown but not burned. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with kosher salt. They will crisp up as they cool.
- Garnish the dip with the frizzled shallots and serve.
© 2015 Kitchen Serendipity
It’s good to be back! This blog tends to fall by the wayside each holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day due to a substantial increase in the number of family beach photo shoots that I do. But all is said and done and edited – time to get back to recipes for you.
Without a doubt, January is a month where “comfort food” comes to mind, even here in Florida. Whether comfort is desired because it’s chilly outside or maybe because colds and the flu are going around – it feels nice to sit down to a dish that is warm, delicious, simple, and filling.
This chicken and rice recipe is just that. I made this recently for my good friend Tammy who is battling breast cancer. Why bad things happen to good people is just so unfair. She runs our school’s lunchroom service that many of us moms volunteer our time to and is the mom to four amazing boys (well two should be called young men – sorry guys). She is our hero and we have rallied our support around her to keep her chin up, her big girl panties on, and to fight this damn cancer. And YOU WILL.
I asked Tammy if I could bring something over to feed her and the boys and she happily agreed so long as it was something very plain with minimal ingredients. Plain? I can do plain. This uses economical yet delicious chicken thighs that are first sauteed to brown the skin and then braised in a wine and chicken stock bath. (Yes – there was wine in there Tammy and I will also confess that I flavored the stock with an onion and I know you dislike onions. Yes I took it out….don’t worry. And you know the old saying, “I cook with wine……sometimes I put it in the food.”) This recipe travels well and if a large quantity is not needed, this can easily be cut in half. More is better with this I think though. Hang tough Tammy! We love you. And thanks for letting me share this on my blog.
One Pot Chicken and Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- 1 onion, sliced in half
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or to taste)
- ¼ chopped fresh parsley
- lemon wedges (for serving)
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and add skin-side down into the pot. Cook until nicely browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. (Tip: Try to resist moving the thighs around when they are skin-side down and wait until they are ready to turn. Helps to prevent the skin from sticking to the pot.) Pour off most of the fat; cover and cook on low for 25 minutes.
- Add the wine to deglaze and turn up the heat to medium-high. Let reduce by about half. Then add the 2 cups of broth along with two cups of water. Nestle the two onion halves in the pot around the chicken. Add the rice, bay leaves, and ginger, season with salt and pepper, and bring the liquids to a boil. Cover the pot until the the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid, about 25 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves (and onion if desired). Transfer the chicken and rice to a serving platter and garnish with the parsley and lemon wedges and serve.
*To halve the recipe, use 4 chicken thighs, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup water, and ¼ cup wine.
Okay I’ve been promising this recipe like forever. I don’t mean to be a slacker, but sometimes life just gets in the way of finalizing and posting recipes. But here it is……it’s very basic, very simple, and I probably make this at least once a week. Because it’s very basic and very simple. And to go along with the theme of basic and simple, these are even iPhone photos lol.
Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower
- 1 whole chicken, 3 -4 pounds
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- Several springs of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
- 10-ounce package cauliflower florets, large pieces quartered
- ¼ – ½ cup white wine
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place three tablespoons of butter in a small ramekin and heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan with a rack, drizzle the melted butter over it. Season with the onion powder, most of the paprika, salt, and pepper. Scatter a few sprigs of thyme over the top, reserving some for the cauliflower.
- Roast the chicken for 20 minutes at 425ºF and then turn the oven down to 375ºF. Continue cooking until the juices run clear, about another 50 minutes depending on the size.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the baking dish and place on a plate and tent with a piece of foil to keep warm. Remove the rack from the dish. Return the oven to 425ºF.
- To the baking dish, add the wine, cauliflower, and 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Scatter the remaining thyme sprigs over the top and season with salt pepper, and the remaining paprika. Stir to combine.
- Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Carve the chicken and add the cauliflower and juices to a serving plate. Enjoy!