Horta, Horta, Horta!

I now fully understand why I see people at the farmer’s market hauling home trash bags full of fresh greens. Big, enormous, yard work-type trash bags. It would take at least a couple of trash bags full of greens to feed a larger family. Much like fresh spinach, even the sturdier greens cook down to nothing.

Pile of fresh greens prior to becoming horta …

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Tiny bowl of horta

Tiny bowl of horta

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Do Not Fear the Garlic

This recipe for clam and bacon pizza calls for an obscene amount of garlic. So obscene, in fact,  I was prepared to incapacitate my fellow gym goers the next morning with my manky garlic sweat. However, after one delicious bite, I knew my morning gym buddies would be spared a noxious 5 a.m. cloud of pungent funk. We are all very relieved.

Creamy Garlic Sauce

Creamy Garlic Sauce

The preparation for this delightfully mellow sauce rendered the garlic perfectly sweet, mild and savory — a glorious foil to the briny clams and rich bacon. This pizza was simply outstanding and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into another slice soon. I used a whole wheat pizza crust from Whole Foods to up the health factor and I wouldn’t change a thing. We paired it with a spicy, zesty red Zinfandel from one of our favorite vineyards in Sonoma County, Chateau Felice. What a lovely Sunday dinner!

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Weekly Menu — 10/12/2013

Week of October 12th

Saturday:
  • Out to dinner with friends this evening.  I may not be cooking tonight, but I am whipping together a homemade minestrone soup during the day to have on hand for lunches all week. We are also attending a Burgundy wine seminar, so more info to follow if we discover any fantastic buys.

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Sunday:
  • Clam and bacon pizza: I am not normally a pizza person, but this recipe looks so good I can’t help myself.
  • Simple arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil

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Monday:
  • Chicken cacciatore: this is so easy to play with and hard to screw up. To make it even easier, ignore the recipe and do the following: get yourself two large skillets. Use one to brown chicken pieces and the other to saute a mix of garlic, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Combine all, dump in your favorite marinara sauce and some wine, add fresh or dried herbs and stir. Serve with chunks of bread and a drizzle of olive oil.
  •  Butter lettuce salad with fennel, toasted walnuts, apples and blue cheese

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Tuesday:
  • Leftover chicken cacciatore. This is the kind of dish that is even better the next day. Can’t wait!

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Wednesday:

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Thursday:
  •  Grilled steaks the Italian way: top cooked steaks with a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a few thin shavings of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of peppery, high-quality olive oil.
  • Spinach salad with toasted pine-nuts, dried cherries and fresh goat cheese

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Friday:
  • A visit to the hair salon and then out. No cooking tonight!

Our Food Week in Pictures

Lobster and lamb and fresh tuna — oh my! What a delicious and varied week.

2 pound suckers from Frank's Seafood Market. Delicious!

2 pound suckers from Frank’s Seafood Market. Delicious!

Critters before the plunge ...

Critters before the plunge …

Lobster was the star of the show this week, but we also devoured the fresh fig and lamb skewers with a couple of Greek side dishes …

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Grilled Eggplant & Peppers

Grilled Eggplant & Peppers

Greek Chopped Salad

Greek Chopped Salad

And of course, fresh ahi with Livornese sauce is one of our favorites:

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Livornese Sauce

Livornese Sauce

Weekly Menu — 10/5/2013

Week of October 5th

Saturday:
  • We are headed to the Four Seasons for a celebratory birthday dinner with friends.

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Sunday:
  • Grilled lamb & fig skewers with peppery mint-apricot glaze
  • Grilled eggplant slices
  • Horta (this is so much fun to say! Try it. Horta, horta, horta.) Get yourself a huge bunch of fresh greens such as swiss chard or kale. Blanch quickly in boiling water, drain and serve with good olive oil, sea-salt and lemon juice. This is deceptively delicious.

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Monday:
  • Fresh ahi tuna from the farmer’s market. I plan to drown this in Livornese sauce with a splash or two of my new, award-winning olive oil from Portugal. I could drink this stuff!
  • The last of the farmer’s market freshly grilled corn on the cob
  • Green salad with apple, walnuts and fennel

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Tuesday:
  • Leftover lamb & fig skewers
  • Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and chunks of feta. I love this simply dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil and handfuls of fresh oregano

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Wednesday:
  • Lobster night! My husband is picking up 2 live, honking lobsters from Frank’s Seafood Market. I will keep it simple — just steam them and serve with clarified butter and lemon. Heaven.
  • Arugula salad with grapes, lemon & olive oil
  • Fresh grilled corn

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Thursday:

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Friday:
  • Date Night!