Last week was so crazy (hence the single post). Weeks of going through closets and boxes culminated in a very successful garage sale. Yippee! To celebrate, I got everything I needed for a recipe that I was saving from Saveur. Oooohhh I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone; snapper baked in foil with clams, lemon, smoked sausage, fennel, olives, orange zest, shallots, fingerling potatoes, white wine… sounds amazing, right? It wasn’t. It just wasn’t good. DANGIT. I hate it when that happens!
So, I’ll share a faithful old stand-by instead. I used to make this all the time when I first started cooking… somehow it has left the regular rotation. We had it for lunch today and I was reminded of why we used to eat it so frequently! This is a very elegant take on red beans and rice; it’s extremely comforting but also a little refined. I love the soft orzo and the mixture of sweet peas, salty prosciutto and freshly grated parmesan. It’s herby, elegant, delicious, and you can get it on the table in about thirty minutes. Nice! Today I added a little green salad on the side with a quick dressing made from lemon, dijon, marmalade and white wine vinegar, topped with toasted, slivered almonds. It was the perfect compliment.
I have big plans for the rest of the week – lots of things from scratch – thai red curry paste, worsteshire sauce, pickled okra and fresh ricotta ravioli (my first attempt at homemade pasta) – I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, let me know if you make this and what you think of it. Oh, and if anyone has any tips on making pasta dough, I will be very grateful!
red beans and orzo
- 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups orzo
- heaping 1/4 cup chopped onion
- heaping tsp of italian seasoning or herbes de provence
- one can of red beans, rinsed and drained (use dried of you’re feeling extra special)
- one ounce of proscuitto (de parma is best) cut into little strips (you can use ham if you must, or smoked turkey if you don’t eat pork)
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh sweat green peas
- a good handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- a generous handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese for each serving
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- bring broth and water to boil in a medium saucepan
- add orzo, herbs, onion and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; reduce to a simmer and cook for twelve to fifteen minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender (do remember to stir every now and then)
- add beans and peas, and cook for a minute or two more to warm through
- stir in the prosciutto and serve with freshly grated parmesan on top – be comforted!
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Posted in Fish and Seafood, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, tagged brodetto, garlic, lemon zest, lemons, mint, parmesan, peas, salmon, shallots on April 9, 2009|
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Does it matter that it’s April and it snowed this week in Atlanta? No. Is that going to keep me from craving the flavors and brightness of Spring? No. I persevere. I pray for warm weather. I eat springy food. Actually, I eat this dish year round because it is so mind-blowingly delicious; however, the flavors are delightfully green and fresh and therefore appropriate for Spring. In fact, this dish is what turned me on to salmon. I’ve never really loved the fish; the strong flavor was not appealing to me. Providence and this recipe lured me into trying it in my own kitchen. What a wonderful day that was. Now we eat salmon at least once a week in varied marvelous preparations that are also gorgeous and amazing.
These flavors are astounding; you can’t imagine them until you’ve tasted for yourself. The brightness of the peas with a little mint and garlic and the velvety, lemony brodetto sauce make the salmon taste like butter. Fresh – beautiful – delicious. I love to let the salmon get a crispy crust on the outside – so, so good. This dish is a favorite with my husband and the regulars in our home; the sight of green peas evokes a silent hush and then a whispered question – “are we having the one with the peas?” Oh, yes. That’s the one.
This recipe is from Giada DeLaurentis (bless her). It serves four. I love to serve it with roasted or grilled asparagus or squash and zucchini. Please get in the kitchen and cook it immediately so that your world can be changed.
favorite salmon on peas with lemon brodetto
for the lemon brodetto:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- the juice of two lemons (meyer lemons if you have them)
- the zest of one lemon
- 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
for the pea puree:
- 2 cups of frozen petite peas, thawed (do NOT cook – will alter the flavor of this dish)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- kosher salt to taste (at least 1/2 tsp)
- freshly ground black pepper (at least 1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (no cheating with the fake stuff – a good wedge of fresh parmesan cheese is one of the best kitchen staples anyway)
- 4 fresh salmon filets, skinned (your butcher can skin the salmon for you)
- start the brodetto by warming the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat – add in the shallots and sautee until tender but not browned (7 minutes or less)
- add the lemon juice, zest and broth – bring to a simmer and keep warm, covered over low heat
- next, put thawed peas, 1/4 cup mint leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor, and pulse until well “chopped” and combined
- then, slowly pour the 1/2 cup of olive oil into the food processor while simultaneously pulsing to combine
- scoop the puree into a bowl and mix in the parmesan (taste it this point to test for salt) – set aside
- heat a grill plan or skillet over medium with some olive oil – season your salmon filets with some salt and pepper and put in the hot pan
- cook salmon about 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on thickness, only turning once (this will allow for a lovely brown crust to form)
- meanwhile, mix the remaining mint into the brodetto, saving a little bit to garnish the salmon
- serve with a few spoonfuls of brodetto on the plate, topped with a generous mound of pea puree, with the salmon crowning the top – sprinkle a little fresh mint, serve and become famous
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