Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A little 3 course dinner for your next date night! Roasted Garlic with Bread, Black Forest Ham and Spinach Risotto, and Charred Pineapple with Ice Cream
Fresh Roasted Garlic with Bread
Preheat oven to 350
Cut off the top 1/8th or so of the bulb of garlic from the tip (not the stem) just so that you expose the tip of each clove of garlic. Do not peel garlic. Set each bulb cut size up on a piece of tinfoil about 12 by 12". Drizzle garlic with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and wrap garlic (keeping it cut side up) so that it is completely sealed. Set on rack in oven, roast for about 40 minutes. Test one bulb for done-ness: carefully open tinfoil and check for cloves of garlic to have softened completely and turned golden brown. When cloves are all soft, garlic is ready. Keep wrapped in foil (so it stays warm) until ready to use. To eat, simply squeeze the garlic onto bread, make sure to sprinkle each crostini with a bunch of salt (or it won't be as good) and enjoy!
Black Forest Ham and Spinach Risotto
You will need to use your biggest pot to cook this. Preferably one with a rounded bottom, but if that isn't an option, just use your biggest pot and make sure when you're stirring to get in the corners of the pot or the rice will stick and burn. You will need a second, slightly smaller pot to hold the chicken stock. To begin, heat the chicken stock to a boil (you can even throw some herbs in there if you want to- like a bay leaf and some fresh thyme if you have it). Reduce heat to a simmer once it has reached boil. You need it to be hot to use as you cook the risotto.
Wash your spinach well and slice it lengthwise (same direction as the stem) into thin shreds. The best way to do this is make small stacks with it facing the same way and cut one stack at a time. Cut the ham into thin strips as well. Heat 1 TB of EVO and 4 TB of butter over medium heat until the butter melts- but does NOT brown. Add the finely chopped onion and sautee until is soft and starting to turn golden (about 5 min) DO NOT BROWN.
Dessert: Charred Pineapple with vanilla ice cream Heat broiler with rack in top oven position. (You can also grill the pineapple if that works better)