Summer Supper – Linguine alle Vongole

I’ve been doing a bit of traveling recently and thus haven’t had time to update, so my apologies. But, now I’m back for good. Moving to Brooklyn and starting the next stage of my life and let me tell you, it feels great. As a salute to Saratoga Springs and the people that mean the most to me here, I decided to make a delicious summer supper based around one of my favorite dishes: linguine with clams. There really is nothing better in life than having a delicious summer meal with people that you love.  This meal is easy, fresh tasting and looks absolutely stunning on the table. Bright oranges and greens hint of the flavors to come and high-temp cooking leads to deliciously caramelized veggies.

Our Menu:
Belgian endive boats with blue cheese
Chilled roasted carrot salad with arugula
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Oven roasted potatoes and olives
Linguine alle Vongole (negro)
Apple Tart Tatin

Belgian endive boats with blue cheese

Serves 6 as an appetizer

You will need:

1 green Belgian endive

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

5 tbs balsamic vinegar

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Peel the endive leaves, trying to keep them intact. Line them up on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

2. Sprinkle about 1/2 Tbs of blue cheese onto each leaf and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble, serve immediately.

Chilled roasted carrot salad with arugula

It’s important to make these ahead so they have time to chill, but you can always serve them hot if you want to.

You will need:

2 lbs. of peeled baby carrots

1 Tbs honey

1 pinch salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bag fresh arugula

1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

2. Transfer to a cookie sheet coated with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 35 minutes, shaking occasionally so burn marks appear evenly. Remove from oven and cool.

3. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and add the carrots on top.

Roasted Brussels sprouts

This is my go-to, cook your pants off recipe that I’ve made hundreds of times before. It’s simple and will erase any mis-conceptions that Brussels sprouts are gross.

You will need:

2 lbs. Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 Tsp flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)

Method:

1. Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts. Remove stems and cut in half.

2. Arrange face-up on a foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour. The goal is roast the sprouts so that the bottoms become crispy and the leaves that fall off become blackened and crunchy.

Oven Roasted potatoes and olives

You will need:

1 bag (2lbs) tiny baby yukon gold potatoes

1 tbs fresh rosemary

1/4 cup oil cured olives, pitted

2 Tbs olive oil

Method: Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and place in foil packets. Cook on a cookie sheet in the oven for just under an hour at 375.

Linguine alle Vongole (negro)

Serves 5

You will need:

1 box of squid ink linguini

7 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp red chili flakes (the kind you might put on pizza)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon (juice and zest)

1 cup white wine (cheap Chardonay is fabulous)

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs. little neck clams

1 10 oz. can of baby clams

2 Tbs butter

3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Method

1. So the deal with this recipe is that it goes pretty fast once you start cooking, so it’s really helpful to have all of your ingredients chopped, zested, drained, etc. Here’s a checklist, so you’ll be all set when the oil hits the pan.

– zest the lemon and set aside (you should have about a tablespoon of zest) and then sqeeze out the juice

-open the can of clams, pour out and reserve the juice (this will make up part of the sauce) and rinse the calms

-peel and chop the garlic

-rinse and chop the parsley

-measure out the chili flakes, wine and butter

2. Boil a huge pot of salted water

3. Heat a large, tall-ish skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and pepper.

4. Cook the garlic and spices for two minutes, turn up the heat and add the wine, lemon juice and clam juice. Bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol and then reduce to simmer for about five minutes. At this point, you should add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.

5. Put the fresh (rinsed) clams into the boiling sauce, cover quickly and cook on high for three minutes. Shake the pan a few times while the clams are cooking. Lift the lid to check if the clams have opened, if not, cover again and keep cooking.

6. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the cooked clams, the lemon zest, and 1/2 of the parsley (save some for garnish). Stir the sauce a few times, add the butter and keep stirring while it melts. Add the pasta and toss with tongs, carefully…trying to avoid breaking the clam shells.

Apple Tart Tatin with Honey Mascarpone Creme

The tart pre-flip over

Serves 5

I found this recipe on the food network website, and as per usual I was missing some of the ingredients, so I had to improvise.

Note: I hope your tart tatin comes out a little prettier than mine….but mine was still delicious.

The tart post-flip over

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 stick butter, cut into pea size pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I just used 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pats
  • 4 apples, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh or your favorite baking apple, peeled, cored and quartered

Directions

To make the crust: In a food processor combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse until it looks like finely grated Parmigiano. Add the egg yolk and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture comes together. If it seems a bit dry add a little more water and pulse, pulse, pulse. The mixture should come together into a ball. Dump the whole thing out onto a clean lightly floured work surface. Knead the mixture 1 or 2 times only to make it a smooth ball. Using a rolling pin or your fingers roll or press the dough out to an even circle about 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, covered with plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the filling: While dough is chilling, place the sugar, apple cider, lemon juice, and vanilla bean seeds in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof pan. Stir to combine. Over high heat bring the mixture to a boil brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in water, if necessary. After 6 to 7 minutes the mixture will eventually begin to turn light brown. Swish the pan around gently to promote even cooking. Cook the mixture for another minute or so until the mixture becomes a much deeper amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, 2 pats at a time. The mixture will bubble up. That is okay, just be VERY CAREFUL not to get any of this on you. When all of the butter has been incorporated, begin to arrange the apples rounded side down in circles. Try to do this neatly and in a pretty way. Remember, the bottom will be the top!

Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Retrieve the chilled pastry from the refrigerator and place it on top of the apples. Tuck the pastry in around the edges of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crispy. Let the tart cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the pastry and CAREFULLY flip the platter and the pan over. Let the tart fall gently out of the pan.

For the mascarpone cream:

You will need:

1/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup mascarpone

2 Tbs honey

Method:

Using a whisk, fluff the heavy cream for about two minutes, slowly add the mascarpone
so the consistency is like sour cream. Add the honey and continue to whisk. The consistency should start to resemble runny whipped cream.

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