To start our meal, we created some amazing Spinach Arancini. Arancini are sold all over Sicily, from bars, cafes, high end restaurants, fish stalls, to little carts on the side of the street or in markets. They are an institution. I have seen Arancini in other parts of Italy, but I have never seen the Sicilian Arancini, which sometimes grows to the size of a baby’s head. The tradition of making these dishes, like many other culture’s quintessential dishes, came out of reusing leftovers. The best Arancini are made from day old risotto, so I recommend making the risotto a day in advance and letting it absorb all of the flavors of the spinach and wine overnight for best results. You can also make the Arancini themselves up to a day before, but make sure you fry them the moment before you are ready to serve.
Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Ciabatta Bread Daria Souvorova 2.5-3 hours serves: Makes 1 18 inch loaf I have gotten quite into Ciabatta of late. It is so easy to make, and is really forgiving in mixing in additional flavors. The bread obsession lives on! Baguettes have always been my favorite, but we were looking to…
You can make this ciabatta recipe without olives, and it is perfectly delicious, but today, I decided I wanted to combine my Kalamata Olive Loaf and Ciabatta to create a beautiful new bread baby! It seems I make a lot of “combinations” here at Chez Nous Dinners!
Today, I wanted to “class up my pasta” by adding some truffle zest to the dough. I was having friends over, after all. My original plan was a beautiful Stuffed Porkloin with Anchovies, Olives, Tomatoes, and Capers…which was going to be the long and short of it. but a friend was Pescatarian so I wanted to make sure we had something else to serve.
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!
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!
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.
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.