Monday, June 4, 2012

try this at home!

Oh my little blog, how I have missed you! May is always a busy month for catering, but this was an especially busy season for me. I worked every single day in May except for the Saturday of Memorial day weekend. So the blog has been a bit neglected. June is busy too, but things are beginning to calm down.  I actually got to take this entire weekend off!

Sunday found me wandering through Brooklyn, checking out
Bushwick Open Studios 2012

a weekend long festival of group art shows, studio tours and special events:
This bicycle is actually built into the gate. 

I fell madly in love with these pot bellied ladies forming a rope.
 A gorgeous curvaceous kitchen by Tripoli Designs
One of the work spaces we wandered into was the studio of designer/sculptor/welder Tyrome Tripoli of Tripoli Designs. His Art Nouveau inspired custom kitchen stopped me dead in my tracks. I was ready to bust out some pots and pans to give it a test run. This gorgeous fabrication is destined for Tripoli's own home. A perfect solution for a small space, the curvy cabinet houses: drying racks, a sink, a stunning slab of marble inlay counter top, and lots of clever and eye pleasing handles for hanging dish towels and spoons. I am so jealous!
Another clever use of space and Boswyck Farms stock in trade: hydroponic farming. This rooftop garden had some of the prettiest red leaf lettuce of the season and we were invited to pluck a leaf and sample it. Nothing beats a freshly picked crop. Delicious! This hydroponic system seems very contained and manageable and I am considering taking one of the growing workshops they offer.

Bushwick has it going on! Artists, designers, farmers, and plenty of attractive restaurants and cafes make this an area in the throes of transition, well worth exploring.

From my busy month I have plucked this recipe to share with you. It is perfect for a springtime dinner party with a dash of elegance, but not a lot of labor. I made this dish for a large dinner party from a recipe I pried out of a fellow cook and lovely comrade in the Wellness in the Schools program, Kristin Atkinson. Kristin's mushroom pasta dish is an easy hit with its rich flavor and special secret ingredient. This dish works perfectly as a meal with a simple salad and a good bottle of wine.

Kristin's Pappardelle with Porcine Mushrooms
Kristin insists that the addition of sherry vinegar to deglaze the sauce is the crucial secret to this dish's success and must not be skipped. I cannot disagree with her. Using fancy good quality pasta will help elevate this dish even further to company worthy heights.

-soak a small bag of dried porcine mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water for about 20 minutes, drain the softened mushrooms, reserving the liquid, mince the mushrooms.

-mince three shallots and two cloves of garlic.

-slice up a pound of baby Bella mushrooms.

-chop a cup of parsley.

-in a large saute pan, melt a knob of butter and a few glugs of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

-saute the garlic and shallots in the pan for 3-5 minutes

-add the sliced baby Bella mushrooms and let them sear in the pan undisturbed for about five minutes to get them brown, before stirring.

-cook the mushrooms for another 10 minutes and then add the minced porcines.

-add a 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan, stirring and scrapping the bottom to get all the browned bits soaked up in the liquid.

-add the reserved soaking liquid and bring everything to a simmer.

-adjust the sauce with salt and pepper

-finish with the chopped parsley and a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan.

-serve over pasta

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