Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Royler's seminar and Easter dinner, coming this weekend to a me, near me!

This Saturday is the Royler seminar at our academy, hooray! and then boo, I have to do my taxes that evening.

I know we're supposed to come up with questions for Royler.  The bummer is, all I want to ask is "How can I be great like you?"  I know the answer is train all the time, with the best.  What I really mean is-- can someone please link me up like the Matrix and just upload all that into my head?  Instead I'll settle for maybe "how do you do that pass you do."  :)

Then Sunday is Easter-- so I'm thinking about making a ham, which I haven't had in forever.  Not a spiral-sliced one, either (I think they get dried out and the glaze they're packaged with tastes chemical-y to me.)  Just a nice old-fashioned sugar-cured ham.  The glaze I make for ham is so easy-- just put apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup (maybe 1/2 cup worth?)  Add brown sugar and yellow mustard in whatever proportion you think looks good-- the goal is a slurry, not too runny and not too pasty. You can stud your ham with whole cloves, or add ground cloves to the glaze, or both. Then you paint your ham with a pastry brush. It's very yummy :)

A typical spring side dish is peas, but I can't stand them. I'll be doing asparagus instead, and maybe some roasted new potatoes. A fresh green salad to start, and I think lemon ice for dessert.

In the meantime, I'm making this for a snack when I get home from training tonight (it will be late, like 11pm, but I can't eat before class or I'll be sick.)

I got this recipe from Fine Cooking magazine and it's really fresh-tasting. It's a good side dish alongside fish, pork tenderloin, or chicken... you can toss some cooked/shelled/frozen shrimp into the pasta while you're making the gremolata and it will be thawed and tender when you're ready for dinner.  Or you can just eat this on its own.  

Linguine with Hot Chile, Caramelized Onion and Gremolata

Serves 4-6

Gremolata—a combination of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley—adds a nice, fresh touch to this and many other dishes. Try sprinkling it on a creamy pasta, risotto, grilled shrimp, sautéed spinach, or steamed green beans.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 serrano or other fresh small, hot red or green chile, seeded and finely diced (wear gloves!)
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into about 5 pieces
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 lb. dried linguine
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano; more for sprinkling

Instead of grating the lemon for the gremolata, use a zester and then finely chop the long strips of zest with a chef’s knife. This zest is a little chunkier and easier to sprinkle.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and red pepper flakes, season with a big pinch of kosher salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and nicely browned, about 15 minutes (reduce the heat to medium low if the onion is browning too fast). Add the chiles and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, add the butter, and swirl the pan to melt. Add the lemon juice and another pinch of kosher salt. Keep warm.

Cook the linguine in the boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the gremolata: Combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest on a cutting board and chop them together with a chef’s knife until the parsley is finely chopped and mixed well with the lemon and garlic. Drain the pasta and return it to its cooking pot. Over medium heat, add the onion mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Add the 1/2 cup Pecorino, quickly toss again, and add salt to taste.

Transfer the pasta to a platter or shallow bowls. Sprinkle liberally with the gremolata and more Pecorino and serve.

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