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Archive for December, 2011

This is one of my family’s favorites!  Simple, fast and filling.  Serve it with some warm, crusty bread and you’ve got it made! 

  • 1 pound dry linguine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 3 dozen neck clams, scrubbed
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, seasoning with salt and tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook pasta according to directions.

In large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and 1/3 stick of butter.  Add garlic and sauté over medium heat until garlic begins to soften and slightly brown – about 3-4 minutes. (Don’t burn!)  Add pepper flakes and cook another minute.  Add wine, lemon juice and c lams and cover – shaking pan often until all the clams are opened (about 6-7 minutes.)  Remove clams with tongs or basket ladle and place into large bowl.  Remove a dozen of the clams from their shell and add back into broth mixture.  Add remaining ½ stick of butter, salt, pepper, basil and parmesan –  simmer for 3-4 minutes whisking thoroughly.  Add pasta into sauce  – pour onto platter and top with remaining clams.

Want to change it up?  Add a splash of Pernod (liquor) to the white wine before adding the clams.

For a little color and different flavor you can also add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes when adding the remaining butter, basil and parmesan at the end – let simmer an additional five minutes.

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One of our favorite (and easiest) appetizers are what we call smoked salmon soldiers. 

(My guy Joe calls the toast points soldiers because they stand so straight!)

  • 4 pieces of dark pumpernickel – toasted and cut into ‘soldiers’
  • smoked salmon
  • mascarpone cheese
  • dill

Lightly spread each toast piece (you can use any kind of bread you like, or rye crackers are good too!) with a dollop of marscapone, top with a thin slice of salmon and sprinkle with dill.

It’s quick, easy and they fly off the table!  They are great for a dinner party or even a brunch!  Enjoy!

 

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You’ve got to love the standing rib roast for a beautiful holiday (or anytime) dinner!  I loved it even more when they went on sale at the local Publix for just $5.29 a pound!  That was just the temptation needed to decide on what we’d have for our Christmas meal this year.

If you too are a fan of roast beef (or roast beast if you’re channeling Dr. Seuss’s Grinch) – try this recipe on for size. 

  • 1 5-pound standing rib roast
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 celery ribs (rinsed)
  • 2 medium onions – cut in half

Let roast come to room temperature (about an hour).   Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  In the bottom of a shallow baking dish place celery and onions.  Mix horseradish, worcestershire, sugar, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over the entire roast.  Place roast fat side up on top of celery and onions.  Roast at 435 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast for additional hour to hour and a half or until internal temperature is 145 degrees for medium rare.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before carving.

For the au jus, I like to take the pan drippings, add a 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 water and 1 beef bouillon and whisk together.  With a wand mixer I also macerate the celery and onions into it.  Mmmm….

Enjoy!

 

 

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