Monday, August 4, 2014

Dinner for Two

To celebrate my husband's recent birthday, I made a special dinner for two followed by a big Golf cake so my kids could join in on the fun.  I made Rigatoni with Lemony Kale and Pecorino Pesto and Butcher Chop Chicken which served as a token of my love for the birthday boy.  The golf cake was also a huge hit.


PC: Food and Wine
Recipes after the jump:

Rigatoni with Lemony Kale and Pecorino Pesto:
Servings: 4-6

1 1/2 pounds Tuscan kale, stemmed
1 pound rigatoni
3 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 ounces Pecorino Toscano cheese, coarsely grated (1/2 cup), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
Pinch of Aleppo pepper, plus more for seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1) Bring 2 large pots of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the kale to one of the pots and cook for 1 minute, until bright green and just tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain again. Transfer the kale to a work surface with some water clinging to the leaves and chop.
2) Meanwhile, add the rigatoni to the other pot of boiling water. Cook until almost al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
3) Transfer the kale to a blender. Add the garlic and pine nuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup of Pecorino and the lemon zest. Season to taste with the Aleppo pepper, salt and black pepper.
4) Return the pasta to the pot. Add the pesto and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, adding some of the pasta water if it seems dry. Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with additional cheese and Aleppo pepper and serve.

Butcher Shop Chicken:

Servings: 4

  1. 2 shallots, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    1 celery rib, chopped
    2 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
    2 whole chicken legs
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt
    Black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
    1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
    3 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
    1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
    2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

  2. Directions: 
    1) Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small roasting pan, scatter the shallots, carrot and celery in an even layer.
  3. 2) Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then generously season with salt and black pepper. Arrange the chicken skin side up on top of the vegetables in the pan. Sprinkle the rosemary, thyme and 1 tablespoon of the basil over the chicken.
  4. 3) Roast for 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°. The skin should be golden brown and the juices should run clear.
  5. 4) Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds, until golden brown. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and vinegar; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes are softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the tomatoes with the roast chicken.

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