I was clicking around on the Nums the other day, and I noticed an unfulfilled promise I made back on St. Patty’s Day about a pesto recipe. As a person who places unreasonable stock in that holiday, my “luck of the Irish” will be totally whacked if I don’t rectify this, so that’s what I’m doing here.
As the title would imply, this is Ina Garten’s recipe, and aside from the usual seasoning to taste, it needs no modification. It’s a great basic pesto recipe, and The Chef can attest to the fact that I waxed dramatic about how easy and completely worth it it is to make this rather than buying the jarred stuff. (I know that’s supposed to be obvious, but sometimes you need something like this or Batali’s Basic Marinara Sauce to reteach you that fact.)
Also, this freezes incredibly well, so make a bunch for your long-term carbo needs.
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts*
3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups good olive oil
1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.
Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
*The time I made this, I was too lazy to brave the psychofest that is the parking situation at midtown Schnuck’s, and I couldn’t find pine nuts at Miss Cordelia’s, so I used all walnuts. It may not feel as fancy, but it tastes just as good.
This recipe is Ina Garten‘s, that sweet wonderful lady who spends her time having cocktail hour in The Hamptons with the gays and putting cream in everything.
Anyway, The Chef suggested I post this earlier today when the world was dark and gray and dreary, but lately Memphis weather has decided to be a rancid, sobbing manic depressive mess, so now it’s freaking beautiful outside. Whatever. We are not to be deterred. Soup was suggested, and soup you shall have.
And if you’re gonna have one, this should be it. This is perfection even if you don’t have a borderline shameful obsession with mushroom. (I literally just googled “disorder: people who marry vegetables” because I thought there might be a hilariously awesome word for crazyfolk who try to do stuff like this somewhere, but alas, I must be the first.) My problems aside, this is creamy, comforting goodness, so go get your Ina on, girl.
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
5 oz portobello mushrooms
5 oz cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 pound + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme + 1 tsp minced thyme, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
- Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Make the stock:
- Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Strain, reserving the liquid. (You should have about 4.5 cups of stock. If not, add some water.)
- Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
- Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through (do not boil).
I am currently skiing out in Utah this week for vacation. I decided there should be some sort of related theme to my postings while I am out. I decided it will be chicken (comfort foods) and après ski (mainly drinks). Enjoy!
Everyone should have a basic roast chicken recipe. There is nothing easier or better than a whole roasted chicken. That is a FACT! Most recipes are similar, but Ina’s roast chicken recipe is so easy and turns out perfect every time. There are dozens of varieties you can add to this; I encourage you to explore. I use this recipe to cook the chicken in my Curry Chicken Salad. -ts
1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chicken (4 to 5 lbs roast for 1hr 15min)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole head garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
Good olive oil
2 Spanish onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine (good)
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Cut the lemons in quarters, place 2 quarters in the chicken along with the garlic and reserve the rest of the lemons. Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken in a small (11 by 14-inch) roasting pan. (If the pan is too large, the onions will burn.) Place the reserved lemons and the sliced onions in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Pour the mixture around the chicken in the pan.
- Roast the chicken for about 1 hour, until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce, leaving the lemons and onions in the pan.
- Place the pan on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Add the stock and sprinkle on the flour, stirring constantly for a minute, until the sauce thickens. Add any juices that collect under the chicken. Carve the chicken onto a platter and serve with the lemons, onions, and warm sauce.
I do not think we discuss shallots enough on here. They are incredible, and I tend to use them for all recipes even if they are not called for. This is an amazing recipe from Ina Garten. -ts
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well.
- Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender. Season to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.