When we went to Naples Florida about 2 months ago, I picked up an Italian magazine to look at on the plane. It was a special addition of Gourmet Italian classic recipes. I came across this magazine when I was hunting for new recipes to make this week and thought that I would make all the courses from this magazine. I did my own spin on the main course though. Instead of a bone-in pork chop filled with cheese and prosciutto I decided to do a pork roast that I cut open completely, fill and roll back up.
We love our crostinis and this was another good one. The recipe calls for fresh fava beans or fresh or frozen edamame beans. I had the edamame in the freezer so I just used those since I think it would be hard to find fresh fava beans right now. It's 1 cup of beans cooked in boiling water for 4 minutes or so and then shocked in ice water to stop the cooking. Place them in a food processor and coarsely chopped, remove half of the beans to a bowl. Add to the processor 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup baby arugula, 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process to a smooth puree then fold in about a cup more baby arugula. Bake some slices of a French Baguette until browned and rub each with a half garlic clove, a drizzle of olive oil then spread the fava mixture on each crostini. Top with another drizzle of olive oil and a single mint leaf. So good and healthy at the same time.
Pork Saltimbocca Roulade and Baby Spinach
I got a pork roast without the bone from Whole Foods. I cut off four chops for another use. I was left with a small pork roast (enough for four portions). I cut along the length of the roast leaving a good inch thickness throughout and opened it like a book. I brined it in 8 cups of cold water and 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of salt (dissolved). I brined it for an hour, removed it from the brine and blotted it dry. Place fresh chopped sage in the opened pork roast (about 8 leaves), place 3 or 4 slices of prosciutto over the sage and a fontina cheese over that (not too much). Roll up the pork back into the shape it was originally and tie it using kitchen twine. Cover and place it in the refrigerator until ready to roast (I let mine sit for about 4-5 hours). When ready to roast combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp dried sage, scant tsp of kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Rub this mixture all over the pork then place in a roasting pan on a small rack or use vegetables to keep if off the bottom (I used 2 ribs of celery). Place fat side up in the center of a 450 degree oven and roast for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 250 degrees and cook until it registers 150-155 degrees in the thickest part, this will take about 45-60 minutes (give or take). Remove from the oven and loosely cover with foil and let it sit for 15 minutes before carving. Very good and looks nice too.
This was one thing I remembered seeing in the magazine on vacation that I definitely wanted to make. It's 3 cups whole milk and 3/4 tsp kosher salt brought to a simmer then add 3/4 cup semolina flour in a slow steady stream while whisking, switch to a wooden spoon and cook over low heat stirring constantly for 12 minutes. It gets very thick. Remove from the heat and add 3 eggs, one at a time. Add 6 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese and 3 Tbsp softened butter. Spread on an oiled cookie sheet to 1/2 inch thickness, chill, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Cut out 2 inch rounds, using a cookie cutter. Place the rounds of gnocchi in a buttered 2 quart shallow baking dish, over lapping slightly and using the extra bits, gradually tucking them in and using up all the gnocchi to cover the baking dish. Place uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour. Brush about 1-2 Tbsp melted butter over the gnocchi sprinkle with another tablespoon of Parmesan cheese over top. Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees and place the baking dish in to top third of the oven for 10 minutes, then move the baking dish to the lower third of the oven and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. This was so good, I will absolutely make this again.
Pear and Apple Crostata
I loved the idea of this because it's something I hadn't really done before...you roast the fruit first then bake it again with a brown sugar filling inside of a crust. It's a total of 2 1/2 lbs of apples and pears that you peel, core and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place that in a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 whole cloves and 1 Tbsp apple cider or juice. Mix it all together, pour onto a rimmed baking pan and roast in a 375 degree oven for 1-1 1/4 hours until the fruit it caramelized and very soft. Remove from the oven and add about 1 more Tbsp of apple juice and scrape up all the juices from the bottom of the pan, remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and let cool for 45 minutes. While the fruit is roasting make a pastry dough by combining 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 Tbsp sugar. Use a pastry blender to blend in 2 sticks of cold butter that you have cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Using a fork add 6-8 Tbsp of ice water slowly and just until the pastry holds together when you squeeze a small amount in your hand. Form into a round and wrap in plastic wrap, chill for an hour. Roll out the pastry to a 14 inch round and form into a 11 inch fluted tart pan and don't cut the excess pastry off. Make the brown sugar filling; beat 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup confectionery sugar with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs one at a time and 1 tsp vanilla. Turn the speed down and add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. Spread this mixture into the pastry shell then top with the cooled off roasted fruit. Fold the excess dough back over the fruit (it won't cover completely). Brush the dough with egg wash sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar over the top. When you preheat the oven to 375 place a large baking sheet in the center of the oven and when you assemble the crostata and bake it, place it right on the pre heated baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes. I found that mine was done at about 40 minutes. Cool for 1 1/2 hours on a cooling rack, remove the sides of the tart pan and place the crostata onto a serving plate. Yummy!! I had bought some coconut ice cream made of coconut milk, and it went surprisingly well with this.