Monday, March 16, 2009

Zesty





This Week's Menu:

1. Ravioli with Peas and Shallots
From Real Simple
makes 4 servings

1 1/2 lb cheese ravioli
2 T butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 10 oz bag frozen peas
1 t lemon zest
kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the ravioli according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the peas, lemon zest, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper and the reserved pasta water. Cook, partially covered, until the peas are heated through, 3-4 minutes. Divide the ravioli among bowls and top with the pea mixture.

This dish was on the menu for two weeks before I actually got around to making. I'm glad I did, it was delicious! The original recipe called for halibut which my market rarely carries, I substituted mahi-mahi.

2. Sear Roasted Mahi-mahi with Blood Orange Salsa
Modified from Fine Cooking
makes four servings (I cut it in half)

For the salsa:
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 medium navel or Valencia oranges)
3 small blood oranges, cut into segments, segments cut in half
2 T minced red onion
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T finely grated orange zest (from 2 medium navel or Valencia oranges)
kosher salt and black pepper

For the fish:
1 t finely grated orange zest (from 1 small navel or Valencia orange)
1 t chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-oz skinless Mahi-mahi fillets
3 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, position rack in center.
Salsa: In a small saucepan, boil the orange juice over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8-10 minutes. Let cool. In a medium bowl combine the reduced orange juice, blood orange segments, onion, cilantro, olive oil and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fish: In a small bowl, mix the orange zest, thyme, 1 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Rub the mixture all over the fillets. Heat the oil in a 12" ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, arrange the fillets in the pan. Sear for about 2 minutes without moving. When the fillets are nicely browned flip them and put the pan in the oven. Roast until the mahi-mahi is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Transfer the fillets to individual plates and spoon some of the salsa over each one.

This dish would be satisfying on a hot day, but with it still being winter around here, it left us both feeling like something was missing.

3. Chicken and Noodle Salad with Chili Dressing
Modified from Real Simple
makes 4 servings (I cut it in half)

8 oz rice noodles
1 T olive oil
4 6-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T sugar
1 red jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4" thick half-circles
2 scallions, sliced

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes per side. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, sesame oil, sugar and jalapeno. Slice the chicken. Divide the noodles, Chicken, lettuce, cucumber, and scallions among plates. Drizzle with the dressing.

We had this over at my in-laws on Saturday night. I decided to include it in this post because it is a favorite at that household, with good reason!

4. Grown-up Mac & Cheese

8 oz uncooked tube-shaped pasta
2 T butter
2 T all purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/8 t white pepper
dash nutmeg
1 1/4 cups half-and-half (fat free if desired)
2 oz (1/2 cup) shredded fontina cheese
2 oz (1/2 cup) shredded Swiss cheese
2 oz (1/2 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
2 T dry white wine
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 t olive oil
1 scallion, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole with non-stick cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in wine. Add pasta to cheese sauce and stir gently to coat. Pour into prepared dish and arrange the slices tomatoes around the outside edge. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with scallions. Bake 20-25 minutes, until edges are bubbly and mixture is thoroughly heated.

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1 comments:

Twila M. said...

MMMmmmm. Wish you were living down the block! I'm a cooking dud when Chris is out of town...