Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gorgonzola-pear butter

It's easy. Mash together some butter, pears and gorgonzola until you get something that's nicely-spreadable at room temperature. We put it on apple juice and sage-marinated pork chops but it's also to die for on butter crackers. Try serving it with some hard apple cider.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Cranberry pesto tortellini salad

This is a perennial favorite at the Moscow Food Co-op deli, and super-easy to make. I especially love the look of it - the purplish cranberries in the green pesto and cream-colored pasta is an extremely elegant combination. If you ever need a simple dish to wow a group of girly-girls (think wedding shower or garden party) this is it.

8 oz cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 cup basil pesto
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup walnuts*
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. Allow walnuts to cool before chopping coarsely. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled.

*I had pine nuts on hand and the finished product was just as tasty.

If you liked this recipe and ever happen to be in the area, you can stop by the Moscow Food Co-op and pick up a copy of their cookbook, which has recipes for many of the favorite salads, soups and snacks served at the deli. Not only is it a great addition to your cookbook collection, but it's a lot cheaper to reproduce the dishes at home.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bell pepper and tuna rolls

My mother's 50th birthday is coming up soon, and I'm helping my father plan for her the big party that she deserves. I volunteered to take on planning and preparing most of the food, and so far have decided that we'll have jambalaya for dinner and bananas foster for dessert. Other than that, we can do a few appetizers and a bunch of wine, and I think we'll be set.

Today I made a test run of these tuna rolls, which turned out delicious. I'm taking them to a barbecue later, so I'll be able to see if people outside my household like them. The recipe comes from The Silver Spoon, which is an incredible Italian cookbook. It's got thousands of recipes, most of which have five or six ingredients and a paragraph of instruction. Simple, creative and delicious.

Bell Pepper and Tuna Rolls
1 red bell pepper*
1 yellow bell pepper*
1 green bell peper*
12 ounces canned tuna in oil, drained and flaked
1 scallion, chopped
3 tablespoons mushrooms in oil, drained
2 teaspoons capers, drained
6 canned anchovy fillets in oil, drained rinsed and chopped
1 parsley sprig, chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Prick the bell peppers with a fork, place in the pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, wrap in foil and let cool. Peel the bell peppers, cut into fourths, remove the seeds and membranes and pat dry with paper towels.* Combine the tuna, scallion, mushrooms, capers, anchovies and parsley in a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Spread the mixture on the pieces of bell pepper and roll up tightly and chill in the refrigerator. To serve, place different colored rolls side by side on a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.

* I cheated and used bell peppers from a jar.