Minty Pea and Ricotta Toast with Crisp Prosciutto

Pea bruschetta

Some party food for ya today because Gina of So… Let’s Hang Out and Sherrie of With Food + Love organized a surprise online baby shower for Emily of The Pig & Quill to celebrate her little piglet. You might remember Em around here as co-host of the #SoLetsPigOut potluck last summer or a contributor to Billy’s Popsicle Week (is it time for smoked peach pops again??) and now it’s an Internet party for her!

Surprise, Em! Today is your party — #EmsPigletParty! I wish you the best as you welcome your baby girl! And of course, no celebration for a food blogger would be complete without lots and lots of great food.

My contribution to the party is a pretty and bright bruschetta. I found a bag of shelled fresh peas at the new Trader Joe’s near our house and went from there until I ended up with Minty Pea and Ricotta Toast with Crisp Prosciutto. I love the classic combination of peas, mint, and ham, so I layered all those wonderful ingredients on grilled toast with a thick smear of whipped ricotta brightened with lemon zest and a drizzle of honey.  It’s seasonal, tasty, and fresh!

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Minty peas

Grilled bread

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Gâteau Victoire: Zuni Café’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

Zuni flourless chocolate cakeI made a cake on Pi Day. I could’ve made pecan pie —my fave!— or strawberry rhubarb pie, but instead I went for a sort of high-maintenance cake: the Gâteau Victoire inspired by Julia Child and served at Zuni Café in San Francisco. This, a dense, flourless, chocolate cake on the most Pi of Pi(e) Days in years. I hope this isn’t bad luck or anything. As my little sis Lila once told me, “I have feelings about pie. But I also have feelings about cake.”

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Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage

Lentil and Sausage Soup

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I hear it’s snowing up in the northeast. Nevermind that it’s the first day of spring. I’m sorry (not sorry) to report that it’s been warm and beautiful in Tampa Bay. It feels somewhat wrong to spend 9-6 in a chilled office when it’s so glorious outside. Driving over the Howard Frankland bridge in the morning and seeing the glimmering water, I wish I were on a boat. This weekend I’m hoping to get in some time at the beach.

But! For those of you seeking warmth, I’m not just here to brag about sunny weather. I have soup.  Continue reading  continue reading

Oxtail Ragù with Garganelli and Horseradish Breadcrumbs

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This recipe was an adventure into new territory.

(1) Where does one buy oxtail in St. Pete? The only way I knew to get oxtail was on sopa de cola day at a fritanga in Miami. Locally, our first thought was Mazzaro’s, but they directed Danny to another nearby butcher shop, Tony’s Meat Market. What I did find at Mazzaro’s was an awesome new-to-us pasta called garganelli, and I used it for this recipe.

(2) Adding horseradish to your breadcrumbs. YESS!! The ‘coarsely torn’ breadcrumbs, which Danny dutifully produced according to the instructions, turned out like baby croutons, and we tossed them with olive oil, horseradish, and chopped rosemary. They were just the zippy and final touch the oxtail ragù needed, and now I think horseradish baby croutons/breadcrumbs belong on all meaty pasta dishes going forward.

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Caramel Pork Ribs

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Caramel Pork Ribs

French recipes were on my mind for an upcoming party for friends who got engaged in Paris. Danny and I daydreamed a bit while flipping through cookbooks: Cassoulet with a shortcut duck confit from David Lebovitz‘s My Paris Kitchen? Julia Child’s Moules à la Marinière? Onion Tart or Gãteau Basque from My Kitchen in France? The winner, as you can tell, was the recipe for ribs. I mean, David calls them CARAMEL pork ribs, and there was no resisting that. Also, the recipe calls for beer and bourbon. Both! Though by that point I was already all in.

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