My “Go to recipes”
Every now and then I get asked for my “go to” recipes. We all have them. I’ll share mine, if you share yours! One of my current favorite “go to” recipes came from Chef Dayna and our Fall 2015 Cooking Class. It’s Spicy Shrimp with Avocado Crostini and pairs beautifully with our Benevolent Viognier. Viognier pairs great with spicy foods and with shellfish. This recipe has them both! One recipe makes 40 to 50 crostinis and can be made in about 30 minutes.
Another favorite appetizer of mine is Crostini with Fennel Sausage. I’ve made this recipe dozens of times. It makes a substantial appetizer that everyone loves, and with only five ingredients! The sausage pairs well with all of our earthy Rhone Reds. I found this recipe years ago on Joanne Weir’s journal.
Crostini with Fennel Sausage
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed. I use turkey or chicken sausage.
8 ounces grated fontina cheese
1 teaspoon fennel seed, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (you should always have some in your garden)
1 loaf Sourdough Batard French bread (slice into 18 slices)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble sausage into a bowl. Add cheese, fennel seeds and parsley. Mix. Spread onto the bread, distributing evenly. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden and crispy. 15 minutes. I let them cool, cut them in half and serve.
My last “go to” recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Foods. While this recipe started as my favorite, recently it has become John’s “go to” recipe. In fact, he’s making it for dinner as I’m writing this.
Orechiette with Chard and Sausage
Inspired by Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Foods
1 large bunch of chard
1/2 pound of fennel sausage, remove casings (again we use turkey or chicken)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
A pinch of chile flakes
3/4 pound Orechiette
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Trim and wash chard. Chop coarse and cook in salted water until tender. Remove from water and save the water to cook the orechiette, al dente.
Heat olive oil in heavy bottom pan. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat until browned and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the sausage and add onion to pan. Saute over medium high heat until the onions soften and caramelize a bit. Season with a pinch of dried chile flakes. Add the cooked chard and sausage and cook for a few minutes, tossing and stirring. Add pasta and cheese, toss and serve.
Spicy Shrimp with Avocado Crostini
by SimpleICIOUS…Simply Delicious Food
For the Shrimp
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
40 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
For the Avocado Spread
1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
3 glove garlic
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 French baguette, sliced
Extra cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Assemble baguette slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toast in oven for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cook the shrimp; toss shrimp with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp to pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until opaque. Transfer to a cutting board, allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully slice shrimp in half lengthwise.
Make the Avocado Spread; combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Spread avocado mixture on top of toasted baguette slices and top each slice with two shrimp halves. Garnish with additional cilantro.