Sunday, April 29, 2012


We had a groupon for Incontro in Franklin and we used it Friday night.  We shared an appetizer of prosciutto and house made mozzarella served with crostini toasts and a balsamic drizzle.  I had the special risotto which was a chicken and basil pesto with sun dried tomatoes.  Tony's main dish was Fillet Mignon Au poirve with mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms.  We weren't going to have dessert but the bartender Aaron, (we always sit at the bar to eat) talked us into it.  We shared a creme brulee which was good with a drizzle of chocolate over top and some fresh strawberries. 

Saturday we had an open house (again) and so we had to kill to lunch we went.  We just went last weekend to Armsby Abbey in Worcester with friends for the first time and we shared a bunch of pizzas, salads and appetizers.  It was so good that we decided to go there for lunch and try some more of their creations.  We sat at the bar and we were handed to brunch menu, here it is.  We shared the beet salad and the cauliflower pizza.  Then for "dessert" we shared the griddle cake stack.  For a drink I had the Fleur de Violette and Tony had a couple of the local New England Galxay brews.  We left there feeling very satisfied!

I made this risotto (maybe inspired by the one I had at Incontro of Friday) on Saturday when Tony went to a charity poker tournament at a friends house.  I used some dried porcini reconstituted, some sun dried tomatoes, rosemary and caramelized onions.  I also used some homemade chicken stock which makes a big difference.  I drizzled some really good extra virgin olive oil around the plated risotto, this really adds something. 

I wanted to bake something on Saturday night.  I thought of this homemade apple sauce that I've been making my my new cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life
.  I had an idea to use the apple sauce in a healthy cake that I would invent.  I made it and I thought it was good but it needed something.  Well the next day after it sat in the frig and got nice and cold I thought it was very good.  I'm still working on it though...

For lunch on Sunday I made some arroncini with the leftover risotto.  I thought I'd put some earthy goat cheese in the center of the risotto because all the flavors in the risotto are very earthy.  I tend to make arroncini the day after a risotto dinner because there is usually leftovers.  Form the balls with cheese in the center then coat each ball in flour, egg then Panko.  Chill in the frig for at least 15 minutes and brown in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Place into a 350 oven for about 10 minutes to heat through all the way to the cheese.  I served the arroncini over a bed of the leftover mushroom sauce (leftover from Scott Conant's gnudi with mushroom sauce I made during the week) and an arugula salad with dried cherries.

Tony smoked some ribs for tonight's dinner and damn they were good!  Nice amount of sweetness and spice and lots of great flavor (he will have to tell you what he put in it).

I made this potato and cannelloni bean "puree, gratin".  I boiled 4 Yukon gold potatoes and drained them well.  In a food processor add 1 garlic clove, 1 can of drained beans and puree; add the drained potatoes, 1 tsp of kosher salt, 2 tbsp of butter; puree with heated chicken stock until the desired consistency (like mashed potato).  Put into a buttered gratin dish and top with Parmesan.  Broil to brown the top and serve.

I had bought a big container of baby kale, so it keeps coming up on our menus.  This time I made an aioli with an egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil then added Parmesan cheese for a "Caesar" type dressing.  I added some shaved carrot strips to it for sweetness.

Here it is all together, good stuff!

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