3/27/19

Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes


Knock knock. Who's there? FedEx delivering a lamb shank from Superior Farms.

Oh, this doesn't happen to you? Well, then you'll just have to go out and buy your own to make my Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes recipe.


Last week I received a free lamb shank from Superior Farms and created a quick'ish recipe that only takes 40 minutes in a pressure cooker. You could use the same ingredients and roast yours in the oven, but it'll take hours.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. I'm not getting reimbursement: I just love lamb and was happy to receive a sample. 

Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes
Serves 1, but you can easily double the ingredients

Ingredients
1 fennel, sliced into 1/4" planks
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup cider (or use wine or chicken broth)
1 lamb shank, extra fat removed, seasoned with salt and pepper
pan roasted potatoes
fennel fronds

Directions
1. Add fennel, onions, cider and lamb shank to your pressure cooker/instant pot and pressurize for 40 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for natural pressure release.
2. Spoon out fennel and onions onto a plate, place the lamb shank on top and drizzle with some of the extra sauce. Top with fennel fronds and serve with potatoes. 

3/25/19

Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe


This Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe comes together in minutes, will impress your guests, and can be served hot or at room temperature.

The recipe is inspired by and adapted from a recipe from my friend Marnely. Yes, we are friends even though we've never met in real life, which I hope changes very soon!

I changed Marnely's recipe for Plum Pistachio Ricotta Crostata by using mangoes, adding lime zest, bourbon maple syrup, and crystallized ginger, and purchasing the pie crust at the store.


Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe

Ingredients
1 pie crust (purchased or made from scratch)
1/2 cup full fat ricotta
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup pistachios, food processed until they resemble the texture of sand {I used salted roasted pistachios}
2-3 mangoes, sliced
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons bourbon maple syrup
extra pistachios for topping
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Roll out the pie crust onto a parchment covered baking sheet.
2. Combine ricotta with lime zest and pistachios and spread on the pie crust leaving about 1/2" all the way around.
3. Layer sliced mangoes. Crimp the edges of the crust and brush them with a whisked egg.
4. Bake the crostata for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush the mangoes with bourbon maple syrup and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Bake for another 10 minutes.
5. Remove the crostata from the oven and sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger.
6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

3/20/19

One Hour Brisket In A Pressure Cooker


This past weekend I was walking through my grocery store and saw corned beef on sale. I decided to buy about a 4 pound hunk of meat. Corned beef and brisket are the same cut of meat, but corned beef is brined.

I wanted to make a quick version of a brisket in a pressure cooker instead of roasting it for about 3 hours in the oven and used this recipe from Dad Cooks Dinner.

I threw away the spice packet that came with my corned beef, but did not account for the brining: the meat came out a bit too salty. Still, this was not the recipe's fault. You will only need salt, pepper and cayenne. Season the meat, add some water and a bit of Worcestershire and pressure cook for an hour!

I added chopped onion and carrots with the meat and pulverized the vegetables with some of the broth to use as the sauce once everything was tender.

To serve, I combined home-salted cabbage and beets with a bit of Russian sunflower oil and sliced scallions.

IMPORTANT: make sure to cut off as much of the fat from the meat as possible before cooking. 

3/11/19

Meatless Monday: Saag Paneer From Scratch


I don't say this often, but I was so proud of myself yesterday after making Saag Paneer from scratch at home!

It all started after a coworker shared a recipe he made in his pressure cooker for saag (an Indian spinach side). I thought I will do the same, and also make paneer (Indian cheese).

Special thanks to my friend Sangeetha for providing dried fenugreek leaves: they add a great depth of flavor to saag.



I used My Heart Beets' Recipe for saag with a few changes:

1) I used 36 ounces of spinach because I could not find mustard greens
2) I did not have ghee, so used olive oil
WARNING: use less salt than what the recipe calls for. Don't freak out about how much spinach you have in the beginning: add it to the pressure cooker in batches and allow it to wilt before adding more.

For the paneer, I used Swasthi's recipe. I had to add more lemon juice, but the final result was pretty good, if not perfectly shaped as I had to run out to a museum outing with my friend. I used the leftover liquid from paneer to cook basmatti rice.



Leftovers for lunch will be awesome!

3/8/19

Weekend Inspiration: Macrame Wall Hanging


TGIF! Happy Friday and happy International Women's Day.

I wanted to share with you the latest arts & crafts project I made last weekend: Macrame Wall Hanging. Doing this simple wall hanging reminded me of all the macrame projects I did at a summer camp in Moscow. There's something magical about completing a project that is seen daily in your home.

Go create something!

3/6/19

Preserving Italy: Porchetta by Domenica Marchetti


Would you take advice on cooking pork from a Jewish girl (me)? Maybe not. How about advice from the author of multiple Italian cookbooks? 

Last weekend I recreated Domenica Marchetti's porchetta from her latest cookbook, Preserving Italy.

After attending Domenica's workshop in the summer, I had the porchetta salt and the cookbook and decided to try my hand at this relatively easy recipe of butterflied pork butt seasoned with salt, layered with sauteed fennel and garlic (a LOT of garlic), rolled, rested overnight in the refrigerator and roasted slow and low.


I had a lot of faith in this recipe because 1) Domenica made it for the workshop and it turned out awesome 2) all of the recipes I've made from Domenica's cookbooks have always turned out great


First, I'm obsessed with the photo of the salt. Second, I would suggest you actually grind the pepper instead of using whole peppercorns because I did not like biting into them while eating porchetta. The salt mix is made up of fennel seeds, coarse sea salt, grated lemon zest, rosemary, and peppercorns.

Third, my grocery store did not have fennel (!!), so I used 2 leeks. For the garlic, the recipe calls for 12 cloves: I highly recommend you use a mini food processor to chop the garlic and be ready for the aroma to invade every inch of your condo.


Fourth: I asked the butcher in my grocery store to butterfly or roll out the pork butt. He left way too much fat and connecting tissues. I removed some, but unfortunately not enough. 

Fifth, I used reusable silicone ties instead of kitchen twine to hold porchetta together.


The final results (scroll to the top), were delicious. Instead of making a sandwich, as Domenica suggests in the book, I ate my porchetta with a simple salad of mixed greens, thinly sliced radishes, snow peas and a combination of lemon juice and olive oil.

I had A LOT of leftovers, which per Domenica's suggestion I turned into a meat sauce by simmering porchetta in a mixture of sauteed carrots, onions, celery and tomato sauce.

Here's a similar recipe from Domenica's Rustic Italian cookbook.

3/4/19

Meatless Monday: Roasted Artichoke With Garlic & Parsley


Last week I received one of the largest artichokes I've ever seen in my life in my order from the Washington's Green Grocer. Luckily, they also linked to a recipe from Tasty that was incredibly easy to follow.

You cut off the top and the bottom of the artichoke, tear off some of the bottom petals, then drizzle the cut side of the artichoke with lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt, top with microplane'd garlic and chopped parsley. I left out the cheese because I did not have it.

You then wrap up the artichoke in aluminum foil and roast it for about an hour depending on the size at 425F. I served mine (to myself) topped with freshly chopped parsley and a side of Ranch dressing. I then cut up the artichoke heart and made a salad with it with potatoes, cucumbers and leftover Ranch.


How do YOU usually prepare an artichoke?