Roast the pecans at 450° on a flat cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Chop the apple into smaller-than-bite-size pieces.
Place the spinach in a bowl with the chopped apple. Once the pecans are roasted, let them cool slightly then chop into smaller pieces. Place in bowl. Add raspberry vinaigrette (not too much, just enough to add a little flavor). Toss, then place on plates. Top with a small amount of crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
The portions in this can be wildly adjusted to suit your personal taste. This makes a perfect small starter salad.
Preheat oven to 425°. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast about 5 minutes. Chop smaller once roasted.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, trim the ends of the Haricots Verts and add them to the pot with a pinch of salt. Cook until crisp (about 5 minutes) then drain.
While the beans are cooking, whisk the sherry vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil until fully blended (it will thicken as well). Also, grate 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest.
Add the beans and pecans, mix well. Top with the lemon zest. Add pepper to taste.
Today marks the launch of a new section here on cre8tivity lab – cre8tive kitchen.
Some time ago, I cooked quite a bit. I enjoy being in the kitchen and especially love to entertain guests and cook for them. In 2008, much of that fell by the wayside as I began to do more design work outside my day-gig; and my time in the kitchen was significantly diminished.
One of the things I am hoping to achieve in 2014 is a better balance between the things I love – spending time at home with my family, my job, free-lance design work, photography, and a couple other creative pursuits.
So, I’m heading back into the kitchen, armed with some recipes I’ve collected over the years; many of which I’ve scanned and placed into a binder which will become my standard cookbook. Invariably, I adapt everything to suit our taste (which usually means adding more garlic). I’m really looking forward to this new adventure; and since cooking is just another creative outlet, I’ve decided to share the results (or at least the successful ones!) here on the blog.
First up was this little gem – quick, easy, and tasty.
PASTA WITH VODKA CREAM SAUCE (Serves 4)
1 TBSP Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Unsalted Butter
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Shallots, Chopped
1 Cup Vodka
1 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
6-8 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped (or one 32 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes).
16 ounces of pasta. I used Penne Rigate but Fusilli or Farfalle would also be good.
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
Dried or Fresh Basil
Fill your pasta pot with water and set on high heat, add a pinch of salt and a couple drops of olive oil.
While that’s heating to a boil, place a warm skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, butter, garlic, and shallots; saute for 5 minutes. Add the vodka and reduce by half (about 5 minutes). Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.
Drop your pasta, cook to al dente.
As pasta is nearing completion, stir the heavy cream into the sauce and return to a boil, then remove from heat.
Drain pasta and toss with sauce; top with fresh or dried basil. Add parmesan cheese if desired.