Monday, October 29, 2012

Pre-Sandy Sunday Supper

I posted yesterday's pre-Sandy Sunday supper on Facebook, and got a few requests for recipes, so here we go.

The menu was penne with golden cauliflower, roasted chicken with shallots and carrots, and Greek-style green beans with tomato.

Penne with cauliflower

I bought a huge golden cauliflower from a farm stand in Lancaster County last weekend -- just a beautiful saffron-colored head.  You certainly don't need the golden variety specifically -- plain white cauliflower will do just fine.  Or green.  Or purple. 

1/4 c olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 anchovy fillets (optional, but it adds great flavor)
1 head of cauliflower, washed, and broken into florets
1/2 cup chopped olives (of your choosing -- Spanish olives, Sicilian oil-cured, Kalamata -- they all work fine)
2 Tbp capers
1/2 cup stock or water
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil.  Add the garlic, and saute until just starting to brown.  Add onions, anchovies, and bell pepper, stirring gently until softened and slightly colored.  Add florets and stir well to coat all with the oil.  Add stock or water, turn heat down, cover, and let steam until the florets are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add olives and capers.  Taste for seasoning, and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.  Add thyme.  Mix well, and bring to a simmer.  Turn off heat.  Add parsley. 

Toss with 1 lb cooked penne pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.  Add cooking water as needed if the mixture is too dry.  Drizzle with additional olive oil and serve immediately.  Pass grated pecorino or parmigiano cheese and hot pepper flakes at the table. 

Greek-style green beans with tomato sauce

A very simple preparation, and reminiscent of the tender, tomato-y beans you get in Greek diners.  First I make a simple marinara sauce.  (I would halve that posted sauce recipe for this one, or make the full recipe, and use just half for the beans.)  I blanch the beans in salted water until tender (about 6-7 minutes), and drain them.  I then combine the marinara sauce with the cooked beans, and bring it up to a simmer, cover it, and put it on the lowest heat, and let it simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the beans are very, very tender.  If you're one who likes crisp green beans, this is not the recipe for you!

Be sure to sop up the tomato sauce with lots of good bread.  "Zuppa' nu pan!" [Neapolitan dialect -- soak the bread!]

Roasted chicken with shallots

Not much to tell here -- a 4 1/2-lb chicken, seasoned and dusted with herbs from the garden*, in a well-oiled roasting pan surrounded by carrots, celery, and shallots.  Roasted for about an hour at 375°F.  About 20 minutes in, I added a bit of stock to the pan to maintain moisture. 

Out of the oven, let it rest about 20 minutes, cut it up, and arranged the pieces on a serving platter with the roasted veggies.  I drizzled all with the pan juices. 

The leftover carcass will make a nice pot of stock. 

*In the last few weeks, I've harvested all my herbs, and dried them.  I have herbs for the whole of the fall and winter -- thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage.  

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