Sunday, March 26, 2017

Caesar dressing

Taken from BA magazine

Ingredients

The Dressing

  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

The Croutons

  • 3 cups torn 1" pieces country bread, with crusts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

The Lettuce

  • 3 romaine hearts, leaves separated

The Cheese

  • Parmesan, for serving

Preparation

The Dressing

  1. Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
  2. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.

The Croutons

  1. Make your own. Tearing, not cutting the bread ensures nooks and crannies that catch the dressing and add texture. Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

The Lettuce

  1. Use whole leaves; they provide the ideal mix of crispness, surface area, and structure.

The Cheese

  1. Caesars crowned with a mound of grated Parmesan may look impressive, but all that clumpy cheese mutes the dressing. Instead, use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave a modest amount on top for little salty bursts.

The Assembly

  1. Skip the tongs. Use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons, and dressing, then top off with the shaved Parm.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake

We were invited to a friend's house for dinner and he made a lovely pasta bake that I then re-created at home. So good!.

Prep time: 30 minutes, tops
Cook time: 30 minutes, tops
Servings: 4 really generous or 6 slightly more moderate ones
To serve a crowd: Double it in a 9×13-inch or lasagna pan
8 ounces pasta of you choice, such as a ziti or twisty shape
1 T olive oil
3/4 lb fresh mushroom, sliced (I used pre-sliced cremini, my new favorite thing)
1 small-to-medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 c dry marsala wine (or red wine and brown sugar)
3 T unsalted butter
3 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c stock
1/2 c finely grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook the pasta: 
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.
Heat oven: To 400 degrees.
Make the sauce: 
Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat- Add oil and once it is hot, add mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. 
Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. 
Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference). 
Add butter, stir until melted.
Add flour, and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed.
Add stock, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all stock has been added. 
Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat.
Assemble and bake dish:
If you’re cooking in an ovensafe dish, add cooked pasta and stir until combined.
Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. 
Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan. 
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible.
Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.