Monday, January 6, 2014

Dinner WithThe Hawthornes.

Dear friend Maxine recently visited with us.
That always means lots of champagne,
 lots of good food, and lots of fun.

And I always try to have something we haven't tried before.
I turned to my trusty Food & Wine magazine,
which, by the way, has been cranking out a lot of good stuff lately.

Tonight I'll be making a 
Wheat Berry Salad with Kale and Butternut Squash,
adapted from Food & Wine.

Wheat Berry Salad with Kale and Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup wheat berries
1 large bunch of kale leaves, stemmed and leaves sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1 TB sherry
1 TB rice vinegar
2 large shallots, minced
1 TB minced fresh sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

The night before:
Lightly toast the wheat berries.  When they start releasing a lovely nutty flavor, take them out.
Let cool, then cover with cold water.  Let sit overnight.

The day of:
Heat oven to 400°.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 TB of the olive oil and season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Roast the squash for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Transfer to large bowl.

In a medium sauce pan, cover the wheat berries with water and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer over medium heat until tender - about 30 minutes.

Add the kale to the wheat berries, cover, and remove from heat.  Let stand until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.  Drain well and add the wheat and kale to the squash.  Add the sherry and vinegar and 2 TB of the oil to the salad.  Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and toss to coat.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 TB of the oil.  Add the shallots and a pinch of Kosher salt and cook over medium heat, until just staring to brown, 3-4 minutes.  Add the sage and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute.  Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until evaporated.  Scrape shallot, garlic, and sage into salad and toss.  Test-taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.  Toss in parsley and serve.

These are red wheat berries.
The wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel,
except for the hull,
composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm.

Butternut squash cubes.

Just-picked kale from my garden.

Add the kale and wheat berries to the squash.

I've sautéed the shallots, garlic, and sage.
Adding in the wine.

Cook it down until the wine evaporates.
Add shallots, garlic, and sage to the mix.

I love pretty dishes.
Sweet, nutty, and green!

In the meantime,
I had prepared Parmesan Crisps.
Coarsely grate Parmesan cheese
and press into rounds using a biscuit cutter to shape them.
Bake in a 425° oven,
watching carefully, 7-10 minutes,
or until lightly browned.
Drain on paper towels.

I also had some risotto action going on.
I heated a little unsalted butter and olive oil
and sautéed arborio rice for a few minutes.
Then I slowly added in heated chicken broth,
stirring, about 1/4 cup at a time.
When the rice absorbs the broth,
it's time to add in more.
I started with 1 cup of the arborio 
and used about a quart of broth.
The risotto should be creamy and slightly firm, not mushy.
At the end, I finished it with a little heavy cream,
maybe a third of a cup,
and stirred in a big handful of chopped fresh spinach
and a quarter cup of thinly-sliced sun-dried tomatoes.
First prepare the tomatoes by pouring boiling water to cover,
covering the bowl, and letting them soften for about 30 minutes.
Drain well before adding to the rice.
Finally, stir in about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan.

I happen to have some wonderful 
Blood Orange Olive Oil,
given to me by my friends, The VanderCamps of Allegan.
Thanks again!
Love this stuff.

I melted a little unsalted butter in my skillet
and gave it a few swirls of the olive oil.
When the pan is hothothot,
throw in your scallops.

Cook over medium high heat for a couple of minutes.
Deglaze the pan with white wine and serve.

Bed of risotto with Parmesan crisp,
sautéed scallops with pesto and caramelized onions.

A plate full of love!

Thanks for visiting, Maxine!


Lori K said...

I am so glad you like the olive oil!!!!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I love both!