Sunday, February 20, 2011


There are a few problems with my new project that have been causing me to put it off. It's not for lack of ideas and yummy cooking that's for sure! One problem, I don't make plates. They are finicky, difficult, use a lot of clay, and for some reason never work for me. So I foresee some interesting cup presentations. Two, all of my pottery is packed up from the last show I did. Three, I need to clear a path to my photo area and set it up so that I can take stellar photos instead of mediocre ones. The list goes one...but enough excuses. I will be doing some pottery/recipe posts this week, however I have some recipes that are too delicious not to post, although I didn't manage to take any photos until they were half demolished.

A Heart Shaped Chocolate Spelt cake, with Candied Blood Oranges and fresh whipped cream. It is essential that this cake be eaten with fresh whipped cream, and be shaped like a heart! If you've never made fresh whipped cream it is so easy that I can't really believe we eat it out of cans. Buy a carton of heavy whipping cream (I certainly advise you buy organic, the small Organic Valley carton makes a great deal of delicious whipped cream), pour into a tall bowl and use an electric mixer or whisk to beat into fluffy whipped cream. You may also add sugar or vanilla to taste. I usually eat it plain. Another word about the cake, it can be a little dry, so I recommend subbing maple syrup for half the sugar, and pouring all the syrup from the blood oranges on top. Also I use white spelt flour, and instant coffee powder if I can't find espresso powder.
Next up from one of the richest meals ever.....Pesto Risotto!

I love making risotto. Lately I have been making a great butternut squash sage flavored dish, but on our family trip to NYC, we were lucky enough to discover the Risotteria, via a good friend. This is a great choice for those who can and can't eat gluten. Their risotto menu is amazing, so for Valentine's day I made up this rich dish. I used the basic risotto recipe here, but instead of chicken stock I used veggie. I wanted a rich flavor, so I used half porcini mushroom stock half veggie, and also steeped fresh thyme and sage in the stock. Also I usually use less butter. Prior to cooking the risotto I whipped up a fresh batch of pesto-

Pecan Pesto
2 Cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup fresh parmesan, grated
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

To make the pesto first mince garlic, I do this buy putting it in the food processor first and processing alone. Next add pecans and cheese, pulse together. Finally add the basil and oil, reserve some of the oil to stream in while the rest is processing. Add vinegar or lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste. Process one last time. I usually use pecans or walnuts in pesto, because I just can not spend the money on pine nuts....they have gotten so outrageous! Also, I prefer the taste of the lemon here, but vinegar preserves the green of the basil better, so it's up to you.

Prepare pesto, dollop a quarter cup or so on top of freshly made basic risotto....enjoy all the calories!

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