It is only Tuesday…

October 27th, 2009

More than one person today has lamented that it is only Tuesday… stumbling around the law school building, groggy from lack of sleep, slurping coffee and groaning at the loads of work that await me… at least I am in good company… it has been a really rough semester. This morning I was hit with the shock that I have a little more than a month before exams…. yikes! Thankfully (or should I say unfortunately), I’ve been through the whole exam process twice now so I know what to expect… sort of… It is going to be a long month.

On top of this, I have not had much time to cook. I’ve been so busy… eating staples and be boring… A few weeks ago, M&J came over for dinner. I made Hazelnut Chicken with Butternut Squash- Sage Orzotto. Both a huge hit! Making a risotto with orzo is so easy that I definitely will do it again in the future. Recipes will be coming tomorrow… but for now Tuesday is almost over and I need my sleep…

ok, now I’m more rested… the recipes:

Hazelnut Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 egg, whisked with a fork
1 cup of hazelnuts, chopped in a food processor

1. Heat the oven to 400.
2. Dip the chicken in the egg and then the hazelnuts.
3. Bake for 30 min or until the chicken is cooked through.

Butternut Squash- Sage Orzotto

12 oz butternut squash, chopped, cooked and pureed (see Note)
2 cups orzo
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
4 cups of chicken broth (perhaps more depending on the absorption)
1/2 cup of parmesan, grated
4-5 sage leaves chopped

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Saute the garlic and shallots until the shallots are translucent.
2. Stir in the orzo and the white wine. Keep stirring until the white wine has been absorbed.
3. Then add the chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly until the pasta absorbs the chicken broth.
4. Continue until the orzo is tender.
5. Mix in the butternut squash, parmesan and sage leaves.

Note about Butternut Squash: I boiled the butternut squash until it was soft and then pureed it. It was still good but I believe roasting would be a much better idea.

Sometimes you just have to laugh…

September 28th, 2009

On Sunday morning, I stumble into the kitchen for my morning coffee only to discover that my refrigerator door has been left ajar… In my groggy state, I stare annoyed at the spoiled milk… drink my coffee black… close the fridge tightly shut… and leave the house for my Sunday adventures…

Sunday night rolls around… I make a pb&h and continue to ignore the mess in the fridge… getting annoyed every time I open the fridge and the door refuses to shut… Monday comes and I call the maintenance department to let them know my fridge won’t shut properly… throw away everything that went bad…

The maintenance guy looks at the fridge for a few minutes and then, with a bemused smile on his face, shows me how the egg carton has gotten wedged in the door making it difficult to close unless you really slammed it hard…

honestly,  haha!

With school being so stressful and busy, there are moments when I’ve found, as many of my classmates would probably attest, you lose track of what is going on outside the law school bubble.  You become so absorbed in the competitive, workaholic environment that it is easy to forget other things… Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends and family who understand that and do a good job of keeping me centered but… When small things go wrong, such as the “broken” fridge, it reminds me that I need to laugh, not take life so seriously and remember that even though I’m in law school… I’m still allowed to have a little fun… occasionally… after my reading is done… haha!

Today I made the Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup from Giada’s Kitchen, which I won on a give-a-way from Debroah. The recipe is here. I halved it, adding an extra sage leaf. I made provolone grilled cheese to go with it. It was very good!  I’m going to submit this recipe to Joelen‘s Event,Tasty Tools, featuring Stock Pots.


August 5th, 2009

Sometimes making a dish triggers the oddest memories.  This soup I found in Saveur beneath an article about a 73 year old Sicilian chef, Margherita Chiaramonte.  Not a soup person, I was drawn to this recipe by her photograph and the comforting flavors of the ingredients… sage, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, lemon…

Then I started to remember a scene in a Cinderella book that I once read where Cinderella was drinking soup that her fairy godmother made her.  I have always loved Cinderella.  As a child, maybe it was the sparkly slippers, the singing mice or the magic pumpkin, that caught my attention.  Soon my interest branched out from Disney and I began to read every Cinderella version that I could find.  I liked the ones where the Cinderella character was independent and resourceful.  She did not wait for Prince Charming to find her but worked hard to make her own happily ever after.  As a very independent and driven girl, I relate to that character.  Although, sparkly slippers and a Prince Charming does not sound that bad either…

This soup was delicious and very simple to make.  It does make six very, very generous portions.  Having eaten it for five days straight, you may want to half it when making it for smaller numbers.  The lemon, olive oil and pecorino really do add a lot to the flavor.  I recommend it with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

Zuppa Di Grano Cuturru/Sicilian Greens and Bulgar Soup
(adapted from Saveur)

5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1⁄4 tsp. chili flakes
8 cups chicken broth
1 1⁄2 cups bulgur wheat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. escarole, washed and roughly chopped
6 tbsp. grated pecorino
1 lemon, sliced into 6 wedges

1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions, cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Add rosemary, sage, and chile flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute (Smell it!!! So delicious!!!). Add broth, bulgur, and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until bulgur is soft, 20–25 minutes.

3. Add escarole and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Divide soup between 6 bowls. Drizzle each with some of the remaining olive oil; sprinkle with the pecorino. Serve with lemon wedges.