Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pici alla Salsiccia e Porcini

There is a common pici dish served in Tuscany that has a sauce consisting primarily of sausauge (salsiccia) and porcini mushrooms.  This isn't that recipe - at least not exactly.  In her studies at the local culinary school, Becky has on multiple occasions told me about this amazing pici with a sausage and porcini sauce.  I figured this was as good a time as any to try to duplicate it now that fresh porcini are in season and are readily available at the grocery store and fruttivendoli (fruit and vegetable vendors).  So here it is, my non-traditional-but-still-good recipe inspired by rumors of awesomeness.

  • 4 links fresh Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 - 5 medium porcini mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 lb. fresh pici pasta (linguine will work too)
  1. Crumble and brown the sausage in a large sauté pan.
  2. Add the garlic and porcini, sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (deglazing).
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.  Note that since this flavors for "sauce" come primarily from the delicate balance of salty sausage and savory porcini, I didn't feel it necessary to add additional salt.  The sausage supplements the porcini just fine on its own.
  5. Reduce heat to healthy simmer for a few minutes until the porcini are cooked and the wine has reduced about halfway.
  6. Mix cooked-to-al-dente pici pasta into the sauce and serve immediately.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Buffalo Wings and Gorgonzola Dip

Apparently a big sporting event season has begun in the Midwest (as I have been informed by so many Facebookers).  I do miss this time of year, not so much for the grand foosball shenanigans and goings ons so much, but for the food that is always floating around at such events.  One of my favorite junky appetizers is Buffalo wings.  It has been so long since I have been able to walk over to B-dubs to order a plate full of wings and drummies deep fried in goodness and slathered with Blazin' hot sauce (I don't miss the bathroom trips that inevitably followed, though...oh, the pain...).  So not to be left out, I made up this quick recipe to hold me over until I can gorge myself in the discomfort of a sports bar.  Best thing about this recipe: no need to know the difference between a midsider and a shortbacker!  Yay sports terminology!

  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. red pepper powder
  • 12 chicken wings and drummies
  • 1/4 c. beer
  • Tobasco
  • 8 oz. Gorgonzola cheese (although bleu cheese is preferable)
  • 4 oz. plain Greek-style yogurt
  1. Combine the flour and red pepper in a mixing bowl, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour mixture and set aside.
  3. After all chicken pieces are coated, add the beer and a good amount of Tobasco (I use ~1/3 of a bottle), mixing thoroughly.
  4. Dredge the chicken through the batter and transfer immediately to an oiled frying pan.
  5. When the chicken has browned on all sides, reduce the heat and cover for an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, melt the cheese in a small pan on low heat and mix in the yogurt.
  7. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-covered plate and dab off the excess oil.
  8. Give the chicken another healthy dousing of Tobasco and serve immediately with the Gorgonzola dip.