Monday, October 5, 2009

A Very Giada Din

Recently, our dinner was all about Giada DeLaurentiis.

Or, you could just say I used her recipes. I did not over-annunciate the names of the recipes or ingredients, however. Sorry.

On the menu were Creamy Red Pepper Soup and Venetian Panino. Both recipes are available on the Food Network Web site.

Giada calls for a dab of mascarpone cheese in the middle of the soup. I ixnayed that since there’s cheese in the panini. I love me some cheese, but I don’t need to have it in everything. Furthermore, the soup is so amazingly delish, I feel like the mascarpone would mask its flavor. This is one of my husband’s fav soups, so I make it all the time. It’s a really gorgeous color and it becomes creamy not from cream but from one regular old potato.

I do make the homemade croutons. They are perfect. They make your house smell really toasty, too. Just heat up some olive oil in a big pan and toss in cubed day-old bread. I used Italian bread, because in H'town that's about the only type of bread you can find. I also season with a little salt and pepper.

I love the Venetian Panino. For some reason, Giada uses turkey instead of prosciutto.  The horror.

According to her cookbook, prosciutto is what is used in Venice, so I go with the prosciutto.

Since I’m back to my fulltime piano teaching schedule, I have to get creative with the timing of my cookery. Earlier in the day, I made the soup, croutons and spread for the panini. Then, when it was time to eat I reheated the soup and assembled and cooked the panini. So, if you’re having a busy day you could totally do a lot of this menu ahead so that it takes no time at all when it’s time to eat.

As a side note: My husband photographer Mark AKA “my very own Paul Child” wasn’t thrilled with the pics this go-around. I told him you would all be OK with that.

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