Monday, November 19, 2012

No Respect

Brussels sprouts get such a bad rap.

But saute a bit of shallot and pancetta and you've gotta be out of your freakin' mind if you don't inhale these suckers.

At least this is my humble opinion.

The Husband: "That's a complete waste of pancetta."

He made this statement BEFORE eating the Brussels sprouts that I lovingly Catholic-guilted him into eating.

He DID go for seconds on his own accord. Honest to goodness. Yay, Husband!

I also informed my Moms that I will be schlepping over my fantabulous Brussels sprouts on Thanksgiving, which believe it or not, has totally turned into my most fave holiday in my old age.

It used to just be a day during which I nursed a massive hangover and tried to block out the hours upon hours of football being forced upon me.

But now, I unabashedly look forward to all that family time of eating and drinking and reminiscing with some laughing and crying thrown in for good measure. Wayyyyyyyyyy less hectic than Christmas, fo sho.

I use Italian bacon aka pancetta, which I always keep on hand in the freezer. But the recipe works with regular old Americana bacon, too. Obvi.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
By Rachael Ray

3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger spouts halved
  • Salt and pepper, to your taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, 1 turn. Add shallots to the pan and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels spouts and coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften, then add broth. Bring broth to a bubble, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer sprouts to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and top with cooked bacon bits.

Friday, November 2, 2012

That Girl

You know those annoying posters on food Web sites who say they made the recipe BUT they changed this, this and that? God, those people are the WORST.

Yeah. I'm THAT girl today.

So the recipe I'm rockin' out to y'all involves grilled bread, but The Jersey Girl lives in a grill-less house. Say what?!?

I know.

It's a long, boring story that I've probably mentioned previously on my dusty blog. In a nutshell, The Jersey Girl's humble abode stands atop Jersey land that is surrounded by blueberry fields (natch) and when the wind howls across our terrain, it's pretty fierce and strong and insanely loud and it decided to take down The Husband's shiny meat-cooker one too many times. Therefore, my better half's cooking pride and joy swims with the fishes in a Jersey landfill somewhere over the rainbow. Of course a grill will be in the mix, when Deck Project Jersey Girl Style 2013 comes to fruition. (See, Husband. I'm writing about the fantasy deck to make it seem.... real.)

So I made my Grilled Bread with Prosciutto by using the oven's broiler. It's totally fab as are all the Barefoot Contessa recipes that I try. Totally recommend with a glass of wine. Really, what doesn't go with some vino, that is the question. Serve at your next cocktail party, mmmmkay?! Cause you know, parents of toddlers are ALWAYS throwing cocktail parties. (With themselves and Elmo.)

I am including some pics of the yumminess as well as my almost-2-year-old yumminess, Evan. He's been loving the whole Halloween scene. He rocked his pirate costume three times. (Totally worth the dollas. Thanks, Party City!) And we took him on a hayride extravaganza in Egg Harbor City on the Saturday before Hurricane Sandy. The romp in the hay - awesome; the storm - not so much.

In case you were wondering, all The Jersey Girl familia is safe and sound.

Grilled Bread with Prosciutto
(Makes 6 slices)
From "Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?"
By Ina Garten

6 slices good Tuscan round bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick
1 large garlic clove, cut in half
Good olive oil
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn in pieces
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, grated
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Prepare a charcoal grill with medium-hot coals or turn gas grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the bread for 2 minutes until golden on one side. Place the bread grilled side up on a platter and immediately rub the cut side of the garlic clove over the surface of the bread. For really garlicky fettunta, rub hard. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each slice of bread.

Place the torn prosciutto over the grilled side of the bread and top with the grated mozzarella. Return the bread to the hot grill, cover the grill, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes - just long enough to melt the cheese and rewarm the toast. (Be sure the vent is open so the fire doesn't go out!) Drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper and serve hot.

Please note: The Jersey Girl made her toasts using her oven's broiler.