Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 16/138
When flipping through the Epicurious magazine, I was looking specifically for a recipe that could be taken to a party. That in itself can be tricky because you don't want anything that will drip or not be great after re-heating. I wanted a simple recipe that was easy to transport and that's how I landed on making this arugula salsa verde dish. For this recipe, you use a small amount of many different of ingredients and it leaves you with a very flavorful salsa verde to spread onto anything you'd like! We chose a baguette but I could see how this salsa verde would also be good for taco night or on top of steak!
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 16/138
This puts a new spin on the term "caprese sandwich"! This was a really enjoyable recipe to do and also very, very easy. I love caprese. We make this in salad form all the time so when this Epicurious magazine showed a recipe called Caprese al Forno, I got really excited... except I had no idea what al forno meant. A quick Google search later, and it turns out al forno means anything that's cooked in the oven in Italian cooking. Things like pizza, bread, and pasta.
These little stacks of tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil, are so simple to put together and tasty when served warm. Turns out they're also a little messy to eat but we figured it out! The best advice I have is the bigger the tomatoes, the easier it is to stack these babies higher and higher. We did 3 tomato slices per caprese.
Advance warning - this recipe serves 8-10. Being only 2 people, we made one each which was really easy to simplify (one large tomato, a few thin slices of fresh mozz, a few leaves fresh basil). We at this as a side dish at lunch one day.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 15/138
One of Colin's favorite pastas is a simple Cacio e Pepe pasta. Cacio means cheese and pepe means pepper in Italian. I decided that for Valentine's Day, I'd make my valentine this pasta dish, which I've never done before! It has only 3 ingredients and takes very little time to make. I loved how this turned out and how simple it was to put together.
This pasta dish has no real sauce element and the cheese truly makes the dish. If you're thinking of substituting the pecorino cheese in this recipe, choose something packed with flavor! I'm glad this challenge and this Valentine's Day gave me the excuse to finally make this pasta, something that we will make again often!
The only thing I didn't like about this recipe was how it's written. Part of the reason we wanted to start this blog in the first place was because many recipes are written in a way that just don't make sense some times. Sometimes it seems like they skip a step, sometimes the portions seem off. This recipe is the perfect example of this. It says to start with 2t black peppercorns toasted and crushed, but why when you can do that while the water boils?We tweak some recipes to how we love it before posting. All our recipes should be super simple to follow from start to finish and you can see how we work in a kitchen. Of course that's not for everyone, but it's how we cook.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 14/138
Every time I think of bolognese, I think of my dad making it for us. I have this image of the slow cooker just sitting there cooking our dinner all day long. Although there is one big different between his and mine: his is WAY spicier! This was a new bolognese recipe for me, which used pancetta (um, yes) and I was excited to try it out.
My experience cooking this dish was a humble reminder that if you don't fully read the recipe, you may misunderstand the amount of time it takes to cook everything. It's not my fault. The part where it added an entire extra hour was written differently than the rest of the timings andddd whatever, it all turned out okay! So, I decided to write in bold the two large chunks of time required to make this pasta dish. We were prepared it would take a long time, and it did, and it was amazing.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 13/138
I saw this on a Food Network commercial and thought it would be a great dessert for our Valentine's dinner! It's very easy to make. All you need is a ricer! Put the ice cream through the ricer, then top with strawberry topping (the marinara sauce), malted milk balls (the meatballs), and shredded white chocolate (the parmesan cheese). So fun!
Here's the last post for that dinner party we keep talking about! I realized before the dinner I had promised my friends an Italian style dinner and should probably serve them some pasta. Pasta is one of the first things I learned to make growing up - both fresh and from the box. But I wasn't going to overwhelm myself with making fresh pasta this time around!
This fettuccine is what Colin describes as "the best pasta I've ever had" so I guess you could say it turned out well! I like this pasta as a play on carbonara, but without any sort of pancetta or bacon, and served with fresh Brussels sprouts and shiitake mushrooms.
Side note: why were shiitake mushrooms so hard to find? Ralphs, Trader Joe's, and Vons didn't have them. Solution: Whole Foods.
We'll definitely be making this one again!
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 12/138
Look, not every recipe we make we're going to love. And instead of writing a post about something we aren't passionate about, we decided to group some of our less-than-thrilling food pics into one bigger post. So here goes nothing!
Porchetta is a savory Italian dish consisting of fatty and boneless pork roast. The pork butt is slowly roasted over a period of 5 1/2 hours, which was perfect for our recent dinner party! When I was meal planning for this dinner, I wanted to space out the dishes as much as possible so that I wasn't rushing around at the end. I was able to do the bread and the dessert the day before and this porchetta, which was our main course, was prepped in the early afternoon. All we had to do was wait five hours and serve!
Overall, this dish was pretty easy to do and didn't take a lot of effort. I love when you do just a little bit of work for a great result! The flavor was outstanding. We paired this with a quick oven-roasted asparagus. We used the leftovers for sandwiches and a really yummy pasta.
Also, if you're having any issues finding this cut of meat, go up to your meat counter, they'll help you out! This meat needs to be butterflied, so if you're getting a meat from a butcher, you can save yourselves the extra step and ask them to cut it properly for you. I wanted the challenge so I taught myself how to do this via a little thing called the internet and posted the video in the recipe.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 8/138
This recipe was paired with a bean and radicchio salad that we didn't really care for (pictured right) but we loved the dressing so much that we had to post it! One thing we don't ever want to do is write up something that we didn't love, so forget the salad, it wasn't for us! But this vinaigrette is here to stay.
You can make this vinaigrette in a matter of minutes and put it on a lot of different dishes from salads and roasted veggies to fish and steaks. We used some leftovers in mashed potatoes! Super simple. Super delicious.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 7/138