Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Giada's Recipe for Will and Kate #3: Pea Pesto Crostini

Cook Time: 2 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings



1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/3 cup olive oil


8 (1/2-inch thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old, * see Cook's Note
1/3 cup olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced


For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the crostini: Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.

Top with tomato halves and serve.

*Cook's note: If you don't have day-old bread on hand, you can dry out fresh bread by putting the slices in a preheated 300 degree F oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giada Recipe for Will and Kate #2: California-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp

Cook Time: 14 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings



1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 ear corn, husk and silk removed
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
6 colossal or 12 extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head butter lettuce, torn
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced



3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups store-bought tortilla strips (recommended: Mission Restaurant Style)

For the salad: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a large bowl add the romaine lettuce, corn, zucchini, and shrimp and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill the romaine lettuce, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop the grilled lettuce and add it to a large salad bowl. Grill the corn and zucchini for 2 minutes on all sides until crisp-tender. Remove the kernels from the corn and add to the salad bowl. Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Grill the shrimp until the meat is opaque and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the chopped shrimp, butter lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado to the bowl.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and agave nectar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Garnish the salad with tortilla strips and serve.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Giada's Recipe #1 for Will and Kate: Chicken Milanese

Cook Time: 28 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings



1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups plain bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature


For the chicken: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Using 3 wide shallow bowls, add the flour to 1, the eggs to another and to the third bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme.

On a work surface, put the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the chicken until approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

In a large, nonstick saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of the breaded chicken into the oil and cook until light golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Reserve the cooking juices in the saute pan.

For the sauce: Using the same saute pan, add the olive oil to the reserved cooking juices and heat over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over the top before serving.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mini Lasagnas with Sweet Corn and Mascarpone

Cook Time: 1 hr 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


Butter, for ramekins
12 lasagna sheets
3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (4 ounces) finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus 1/2 cup (2 ounces)
1 large lemon, zested
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp Provolone
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Special equipment: 6 (10-ounce) ramekins, each 2 1/2 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches in diameter


Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 6 (10-ounce) ramekins. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Using 2 cooked lasagna noodles in an "x" shape, line each ramekin, pushing the noodles gently into the bottom of the ramekins, allowing any excess pasta to overhang on the sides.

In a food processor, blend the corn, cream and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone, 1 cup of the Pecorino Romano cheese, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil andpulse until just combined. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into the bottom of each ramekin and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Provolone. Fold 2 overhanging pieces of pasta over the filling, (trim the ends of the pasta with scissors, if necessary). Add another 1/4 cup of filling to each ramekin and top with another 2 tablespoons Provolone. Fold over the 2 remaining overhanging pieces of pasta.

Spoon any remaining filling on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup PecorinoRomano and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins to loosen the lasagnas. Unmold the lasagnas onto serving plates and serve.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

sweet basil cheesecake

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Butter, for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (4 ounces) ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (3 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
Pinch fine sea salt
1/2 packed cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Serving suggestion: assorted crackers
Special equipment: 4 1/2-inch diameter springform pan, about 2 1/2 inches tall


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 4 1/2-inch diameter springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Place the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and goat cheese in a food processor. Pulse until mixed.

Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and salt and blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until incorporated.

Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan in an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking dish. Pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken (the cheesecake will become firm when chilled), about 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the springform pan from the baking dish and remove the foil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the cheesecake with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with assorted crackers.