Sunday, January 30, 2011

Zucchini Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock and can be served hot or cold. On this cold winter's night, I'm definitely eating mine hot! In this recipe, zucchinis are also included as an ingredient, and it marries well with the leeks and potatoes. For a vegetarian version, simply substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock. This soup is easy to prepare, especially if you use a handheld blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools) to purée. It has an earthy but simple and smooth flavor. Garnish with chives or even oyster crackers!

Source: Zucchini Vichyssoise, Barefoot in Paris


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon good olive oil

5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (4 to 8 leeks)

4 cups chopped unpeeled white boiling potatoes (8 small)

3 cups chopped zucchini (2 zucchinis)

1½ quarts chicken stock or canned broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Fresh chives or julienned zucchini, for garnish


Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot, add the leeks, and sauté over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then process through a food mill fitted with the medium disc. Add the cream and season to taste. Serve either cold or hot, garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soupe Au Potiron

This Winter Squash Soup is not to be missed! Soupe Au Potiron translated is "pumpkin soup" and this recipe combines a can of pumpkin purée with butternut squash. For a vegetarian version, simply use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. For the amount of flavor in this soup, you'd never believe the minimal effort it takes to make it. To purée the soup after simmering, I used a handheld blender instead of a food mill because it's easier, faster, and less messy. The crème fraîche garnish was an added touch of richness and just a bit of tartness against the sweetness of the winter squash. Absolutely delicious!

Source: Winter Squash Soup, Barefoot in Paris


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon good olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks

3 cups chicken stock or canned broth

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup half-and-half

Crème fraîche, grated Gruyère, or croutons for serving (optional)


Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot, add the onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the pumpkin purée, butternut squash, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the butternut squash is very tender. Process the mixture through the medium blade of a food mill. Return to the pot, add the half-and-half, and heat slowly. If the soup needs more flavor, add another teaspoon of salt. Serve hot with garnishes, if desired.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

Okay, I know I have a number of eggplant parm recipes on my blog already. What can I say...I'm a junkie when it comes to this dish. So when I came across this recipe as I was flipping through my Martha Stewart Living magazine, well, I had to try it. This dish does take some time to prepare, but it's a tasty casserole that feeds a crowd (or a couple for several nights) and worth the effort. Yummy!

Source: Eggplant Parmigiana, Martha Stewart Living, January 2011


For breading and frying:

2 cups fine plain fresh breadcrumbs

½ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 large eggplants, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

For assembling:

6 cups marinara sauce

3 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (12 ounces)

¾ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1½ ounces)


Bread and fry the eggplant: Combine breadcrumbs, Pecorino Romano, ½ teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Put flour, eggs, and breadcrumb mixture in 3 separate dishes. Dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. (Oil is ready when a breadcrumb sizzles when dropped in.) Working in batches, fry eggplant until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. (If oil gets too dirty, discard, and heat an additional ¼ cup.)

Assemble the dish: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread ½ cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant on top, overlapping slightly. Top with 1 cup sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and ¼ cup Pecorino Romano. Repeat twice to form layers with eggplant, sauce, then cheeses. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

I made this dinner for close friends of ours. Who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs? These meatballs are made with ground turkey, sweet Italian sausage, prosciutto, and Asiago cheese for maximum flavor. The best part is that the meatballs are baked in the oven and come out perfectly. Serve with a simple salad and crusty bread and enjoy!

Source: Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?


3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed

⅔ cup whole milk

2 pounds ground turkey (85% to 92% lean)

½ pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped

1 cup freshly grated aged Asiago cheese

½ cup minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the meatballs

2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

3 (24-ounce) jars good marinara sauce, such as Rao’s

2 pounds dried spaghetti, such as De Cecco

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.

With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.

Pour the marinara sauce in a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package. Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with 3 meatballs and lot of sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

This cauliflower side dish threatens to steal the show from the main dish. Vegetables are always so much more flavorful when you roast them, and cauliflower is no different, especially when roasted with a head of garlic. The garlic imparts a complementary sweet flavor.

Source: Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?


1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets

4 ½ tablespoons good olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, peel, and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil, the parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another ½ teaspoon of salt, toss well, and serve hot or warm.

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

I've been craving salmon lately. It's a healthy, filling fish that cooks quickly. The herbs and lemon juice in this recipe add such a fresh flavor. I served this with Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower for a light but flavorful dinner.

Source: Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?


1 (2- to 2 ½-pound) skinless salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup good olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)

½ cup minced fresh dill

½ cup minced fresh parsley

¼ cup dry white wine

Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the salmon fillet in a glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel roasting dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges.