Chicken Udon with Rabe and Shiitake Mushrooms

I figured, why not chicken noodle soup? Except I only had udon noodles on hand, so I went for a more Japanese rendition of the dish, and I can’t lie, the ginger helped settle my stomach too!

Swordfish Steaks with Asparagus in a Browned Butter Sauce

This past weekend, Nico and I had a little feast, just the two of us… it was a pretty healthy feast! I bought a lot of beautiful cuts of fish during my last visit to Trader Joe’s and wanted to give swordfish steaks a try.

I decided to treat them to my favorite “fish solution.” I seared the bad boys in butter and let them finish cooking in the oven. Then, I scraped up the browned bits with a bit more butter, capers, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Since my lovely friends Keith and Jackeline gave us an herb planter, and the basil is turning into a beast, so I decided to throw in some sliced basil instead of the traditional parsley. It was delicious.

Fresh Truffle Pasta with a Fennel and Anchovy Sauce

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.

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!

Escalivada of Roast Vegetables

When I first started reading about Catalan food, this is the dish that I kept seeing at the top of every “you must try this” dish. This easy and rustic dish is very satisfying. It works beautifully on its own, or as a pairing to a series of other dishes, or perhaps a platter of roast meats. I chose some of my favorite vegetables to roast, but, you can change up the vegetables by season. Perhaps some asparagus and summer squash in the warmer months. Or leeks in the winter? The best part, you can make this ahead and serve it chilled! This is an amazing quality for a dinner where you are preparing several dishes.

Salt Baked Sea Bass

Seafood is paramount in Catalan cooking! That is why I wanted to serve some whole fish for our Catalan dinner. This simple and beautiful recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but is also impressive enough for any feast! Simply stuff the cleaned, intact fish with a few sprigs of rosemary and encrust them in a mixture of egg whites, salt, bay leaves and thyme. So delicious!

Rabbit Paella with Artichokes

One of the stars of our Catalan dinner was the Rabbit Paella with Artichokes. Many of the dishes on our menu were Pescatarian, a nod to the thriving fish markets in Barcelona and the whole Catalan region. To balance this out, I wanted to add some meat to our menu. Chicken seemed boring, and I have been cooking a lot of lamb of late, so I decided to go with some game. I couldn’t get my hands on more venison in time, so I decided to go for rabbit.

Mussels in Escabeche

I was really excited to cook some mussels and decided that they would fit perfectly in the first course. I wanted something light and flavorful, that would give the guests an opportunity to make a bit of a mess and dip some bread into the delicious broth. The broth can be cooked in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve. The broth gives beauty to this fairly expensive and easy to cook dish. Slowly roasted veggies are extenuated with fish stock, paprika, and a mixture of white wine and vinegar. It is really amazing. I will keep the Escabeche on hand in my freezer for future mussel cravings! Serve it with some crusty bread like Baguette or Ciabatta!