Squid Ink Bread

I figured the midnight black of the bread would aesthetically pair well with the bright orange of the Sea Urchin Uni, and the light fishiness of the flavor would work well with my dish. I even did a test-run of the flavors for Nico and my anniversary dinner the week before. It was an incredible success.

Spinach Arancini

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.

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.

Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Ciabatta Bread

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…

Shrimp and Grits

It was daylight savings time this Sunday… so I woke up late…with the realization that I was invited to a potluck brunch in a half an hour’s time. I rummaged through my pantry, fridge, and freezer, and found a half a can of crushed tomatoes, a couple of old leeks, a giant hunk of Parmesan, some grits left over from my Polenta obsession, and a pound of shrimp in the freezer.

Easy Kalamata Olive Ciabatta Bread

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!

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.