Rabbit Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms

I wanted to do something special for Valentine’s day, so I searched through my pantry for amazing ingredients to serve as inspiration. I saw my reserves of Porcini mushrooms and started thinking of something to pair it with. Remembering a beautiful Rabbit and Porcini Bourgignon I created last year, I decided to mushrooms with rabbit, but to go in the white wine direction. I purchased a big hunk of prosciutto from the market and I had a plan! A delicious slow cooked stew of rabbit and mushroom flavored by white wine and prosciutto would fit the bill!

Easy Ciabatta Bread

Generally, ciabatta is made with a sponge mixture, but that means you have to prepare it at least 12-24 hours in advance…but what if you get home at 6pm and decide you want Ciabatta with your soup that evening?? What, go to the grocery store and buy one? Lunacy!

Creamy Semolina Polenta

I posted my Civet of Venison recipe yesterday and hinted at a beautiful polenta for it to sit on, so I wanted to share my new polenta recipe today! Polenta is so filling in the winter and so incredibly easy to make, I am obsessed! You can buy “polenta” in beautifully decorated baggies or boxes for $6 to serve four, or you can stroll to the international market and buy a couple pounds of Semolina for a dollar or two. I choose the latter.

Mushroom Stew with Porcini and Chanterelle

We have been planning a lot of soups and stews here to get through a rather chilly January, and I have been looking forward to making a stew with some of the beautiful dried mushrooms I brought back from the open air markets in Barcelona. I wanted something healthy and hearty and full of earthy flavors, and decided to use Porcini and Chanterelle mushrooms for my stew.

Berry Tiramisu

I wanted something relatively light and bright to finish the meal. But what? A cheese plate didn’t feel right. I had a few tubs of berries in the fridge and a container of Mascarpone that needed to be used in some way or another before it’s expiration date. I decided to make a trifle of sorts, well as far as I understand a trifle. Really… I wanted to make a Fruit Tiramisu. I whipped up my Mascarpone with a bit of whipping cream. Instead of soaking my lady fingers in coffee and rum, I soaked them in orange juice to moisten them up a bit but to brighten up the flavors. I was doing this all on fly and was nervous for the result.

Split Pea Soup with Prosciutto

When I was in Philadelphia last month, I bought a bit under a pound of prosciutto chunks…you know, just in case! I decided today was the day to use them. I was craving peas, and wanted to make a split pea soup. I did not have any smoked ham-hocks left, and have never liked the flavor of chunks of regular ham, so in went the prosciutto! Smoked meats give this soup a really lovely complex flavor.

Lobster and Summer Truffle Spaghetti

I was leafing through Alain Ducasse’s book and came across this combination of lobster and fresh truffle, perfect for our fish eaters. I had recently bought a little jar of fresh Summer Truffles since this cookbook required truffle for almost every recipe, and decided Thanksgiving was a great moment to serve it out. I loved a lot of Ducasse’s recipe and was inspired by his flavor profile, but have simplified this recipe to make it easier for the home cook.

Leek and Whey Risotto served with Seared Scallops in Brown Butter

Risotto is a mainstay in the fall for me. I have loved it since my friend Kikki in Brooklyn made some for me with ingredients she brought back from her second home in Bormio. Every time I make it, I think about her bringing the big hunk of Parmesan out of its packaging and grating it liberally into the dish.