You are currently browsing the Ted Kennedy Watson posts tagged: Wine & Dine Wednesday


Pappardelle with Sardines, Romanesco & English Peas

This Wine & Dine Wednesday post is a quick supper I whipped up a few weeks ago out on the island. We often keep cans of tuna and sardines there for an easy meal. They are super versatile, convenient and hugely flavorful to anything you mix them with. This is really about assembling as much as cooking as it is a one bowl meal that comes together quite quickly.

Cut the Romanesco into bite sized pieces, laying them on a sheet pan sprinkling with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in 400 degree oven until some of the edges turn brown. Set aside. Salt a big pot of water and cook the pappardelle according to the package instructions. While that cooks away, shell the peas. Crack open a tin of sardines packed in olive oil, straining out most of the oil. Grate a few handfuls of Parm. Once the pasta is done, drain, put it all back in the hot pot that it cooked in. Add the peas. The heat from the warm pasta will cook them ever so slightly. Add the sardines, the Romanesco and the cheese. Toss. The sardines will break up and coat the strands of pasta. Add a bit more cheese if needed. Finish with a heavy hand with the pepper and taste to see if salt is needed. Enjoy!



 

 

Pasta Mélange

Mister Sive is at the helm this fine morning for our Wine & Dine Wednesday post, whipping up a family favorite.

Readers of my husband’s blog know our love of barbeque. This dish captures that char and smokiness, here from veggies and sausages, and melds it with pasta and cheese. Yum! Like many of Ted’s and my favorite things, you can vary what you put in to capture whatever looks good at the market or strikes your fancy. This version highlights the local sugar snap peas which are so phenomenal this time of year—they take well to the BBQ, holding up to the heat and developing a wonderful caramelization.

Prepare your barbeque. You’ll want a full bed of coals, to fit a mixture of different foods cooking at the same time. Hot, but not super-hot. Don’t worry about a little bit of black char on the veggies; when mixed in it just adds to the BBQ lusciousness. As your foods finish cooking, wrap well in aluminum foil so they stay warm.

1 head of Romanesco, leaves trimmed, the large florets cut off the main stem, well brushed with olive oil.

1 head of Cauliflower, prepped the same.

1 pound of Sugar Snap Peas, with ends trimmed and the center string removed.

2 medium to large Sweet Onions, cut into 6ths, through the hard core (so the slices in each chunk stay together while cooking), rubbed with olive oil.

4 cobs of fresh Corn, shucked, and rubbed with butter.

10 links of good Sausage (these were Ulis from the Pike Place Market); we like a mixture with both some sweet and spicy Italian.

As you’re finishing the last phase of grilling, put your pasta pot on. When the water is boiling and before you add the pasta, dip 1 pound of English Peas, shelled, into the water for just a minute. Drain, put aside, and cover. Cook 1 pound of pasta; we like Farfalle, as it catches the bits and pieces so well. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add a couple good glugs of EVOO, and half of a 1/2 pound of grated hard sharp cheese, such as Asiago or Romano.

Uncover your veggies one at a time, and chop the larger pieces up a bit—you want big chunks, but nothing that needs a knife. Add to the pasta mix, covering the pasta mix between batches of mixing in veggies to keep it all warm. Cut the corn off of the cob and add. Slice the sausage and add. Add the second 1/2 of the grated cheese, along with 1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used used thyme and oregano from the WestWard herb pots). Lastly, top with the quick cooked English Peas.

We served this with a simple arugula salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and a caprese salad. Partnered with a glass of chilled rosé, you’re now ready for Summer!



 

 

Brie, Ham & Fig Jam

Combinations of flavors can make a memorable stellar sandwich. I had one recently that sparked me making these the other day. They are our Wine & Dine Wednesday pick of the week–Brie, ham and fig jam. The pungent soft cheese mixing with the salty ham with the tart, yet sweet fig jam is really quite something. I initially had it on a croissant, which added a flaky, buttery goodness. I was not finding any to my liking at the grocery store the other day so opted for rolls that were made in the bakery on the premises. Rolls of this sort always take me back to my childhood visits to my grandparents in Wisconsin, where rolls were served at almost every meal. A crusty baguette would be divine, as would a seeded bread. You are only limited by your imagination. We stock this most extraordinary black mission fig jam by INNA jam that is out of this world that I am always looking for ways to incorporate into meals. Though any good quality fig jam would do. Just be generous in your spreading of it, as you want the flavor in each bite. I did the top and the bottom of the roll so both the ham and the cheese were in contact with the fig jam. The Brie, make sure you leave it out for a bit first, so it gets a tad soft and runny, making it easier to spread. Plus, that is when the complexity of the cheese really comes through. The Black Forest ham looked best at the grocery store, so I opted for that. Choose any ham to your liking. Then prepare to be transported for a short while as you enjoy one heck of a tasty concoction.



 

 

Our Spring/Summer Order of Mariage Frères Has Arrived!

Always a happy day when our shipment of Mariage Frères tea arrives from Paris. To have the shelves nice and full and freshly restocked makes our tea drinking customers quite happy. We carry the iconic black tins filled with loose tea, as well as the boxes of muslin tea bags. With over 16 varieties, there is always one to please. We ship this daily, so please give the shop a ring to place an order at 206.652.8350. You may also shoot us an e-mail at purveyor@watsonkennedy.com with questions on our stock or to place an order.



 

 

Risotto with Fresh Asparagus & Peas

Fresh asparagus has been popping up at tons of places we have been shopping this last week. I grabbed the best looking bundle from the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store the other day, as a hankering for risotto had set in. Little did I know that the day I was going to make It world be close to 90 degrees. The process of stirring was a bit like being in a sauna, but by the time the sun set, the back screened porch had started to cool down and we enjoyed our meal out there while the crickets serenaded us. Was not finding fresh peas yet, so went with my old stand-by of a really high quality frozen bag. Opt for the larger, non-petit size. They really work pretty wonderfully in risotto. If you can find fresh, by all means use them. For the asparagus, chose the thicker the better. They hold up nicely when mixed into the hot rice. I cut them up first and roasted on a sheet pan at 400 degrees mixed with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Pull out while still a bit firm, as they will continue to cook later in the risotto. I took out all the tops and reserved in a separate bowl, as they look nice on top of the individual risotto servings at the very end.

Heat up the 8 cups of stock to not quite a boil, then turn down the heat a bit, but the stock should remain hot thru the entire risotto cooking process. Next, and here is where I like to use a good sized Le Creuset pot for cooking the risotto in, add a liberal dose of butter and cook a diced onion and shallot till they are not quite brown. Then add a good amount of olive oil to that, along with 2 cups of Arborio rice. Coat the rice with the butter and oil mixture, and sauté for a minute or two to cook through, but don’t brown the rice. All of the above is done over medium heat, but stove tops vary greatly, so adjust accordingly.

Now the liquids begin. Add one cup of white wine to the mixture. I like to use a white that we will be serving with the meal. Stir rice till the wine is absorbed. The depth of flavor the wine adds to the finished product is really noticeable.

Now the waiting hot stock takes center stage. Add one cup of stock to the mixture, stirring till the stock is fully absorbed. What holds many folks back about making risotto is there is a good amount of stirring involved. A constant stir is not necessary, but pretty close. This is where the white wine you opened comes in quite nicely. Sipping a little white wine during the risotto making process is a personal favorite–it is my break from stirring. Continue adding the hot stock one cup at a time, and the rice will become creamier as you go, as it releases the natural starches. Add the 7th cup of stock. At this point, you will be about 20 to 25 minutes into the rice cooking process. You are almost there.

Now add the bag of peas. It does not need to be completely unfrozen as the peas will defrost the moment they hit the hot rice. Stir. Now add the waiting asparagus pieces on the waiting sheet pan. Add a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Stir. Turn off the heat. Add another cup of stock. Stir. Add a dusting of salt & fresh ground black pepper. Stir. Put on the lid. Let sit for 5 minutes, have another sip of your white wine, as we are almost done. Once that 5 minutes has passed, give it one last stir, adding a bit more stock so it is nice and creamy. In a bowl add the risotto mixture, then add the asparagus tops to each bowl and finally a few sprinkles of the grated Parmesan. A bit of work, but that will all fade away when you have your first bite.



 

 

Friday Night Pizza and Martinis 

Wine & Dine Wednesday has nothing to do with wine this week but it does about dining. I have written a bunch in the past of our Friday night tradition of having guests over for pizza & martinis. The above table was from last Friday where we had the artist Mindy Carpenter and her friend Kelly over the night before she presented her floral painting workshop. Oh the laughs we had! The post today is really about starting a tradition and changing it up to fit your needs. Pizza becomes Chinese take-out and martinis become wine. It really is about getting together with friends. Tweak the tradition how best fits the eve or group of folks you are inviting. I always set the table the night before or morning of so we can come home from work, light a few candles, turn on the music, order the food and wait for our guests to arrive.



 

 

Ina’s Parmesan Chicken

This Wine & Dine Wednesday is a recipe I tried a few weeks ago out on the island, that I learned from watching my beloved Ina on her ‘Barefoot Contessa’ show. I swapped out seasoned breadcrumbs for Panko and the Vashon Thriftway had chicken breasts that were already quite thin so I did not need to pound them to make them thin. Aside from that, from memory, I think I followed her instructions pretty closely and we enjoyed one seriously tasty one plate meal.

Prepare 3 bowls. One with flour that you add salt & pepper. Another with 2 whisked eggs and a splash of water. The third with the breadcrumbs that you add freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese. With the thin boneless skinless chicken breasts make sure they are patted dry with a paper towel. Then dredge in the bowl with the flour. Next it gets an egg wash bath. Lastly, a roll-around in the cheesy breadcrumb mixture. Repeat this with all the chicken you are cooking.

Now, in a large skillet add a good sized knob of butter and a big glug of olive oil. Cook the chicken on medium heat on the stovetop until each side is golden. She said about 3 minutes a side, mine were more like 5 minutes a side.

Plate that gorgeousness up, topping with an arugula salad that is dressed in that lemon vinaigrette I wrote about the other day. Lastly, grate a bit more Parm over the entire thing. Serve. Enjoy!



 

 

Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Infused Chicken

Still working through all the gorgeous Meyer lemons our friend Betsy sent us from her home in Healdsburg. This is an incredibly simple chicken dish that does most of the work on its own, as it cooks away for an hour on the stovetop. Ladled over noodles or rice, it is a comforting meal served to guests or enjoyed simply for a week-night meal.

I used skin on chicken thighs. Any cut of chicken will do, you just want to make sure to leave the skin on and that you use a pot large enough that it all fits atop the onion, lemon and rosemary mixture in one layer.

Here goes! Salt & pepper the chicken pieces liberally adding to a heavily olive oiled pot that you are going to cook the entire thing in. The pot you choose will need to have a tightly fitted lid. Cook chicken on medium high heat until the skin side is a browned, then flip and cook other side for a few minutes. You are not cooking the meat all the way through, as it will cook with everything else for an hour in a bit. Take chicken out, put on a plate and set aside.

Turn burner to medium low. In the same pot, now add a chopped up sweet onion or two, a Meyer lemon quartered and a few whole springs of rosemary. Toss all with the oil that was remaining to coat, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Then add back all the chicken, nestling it among the mixture. Be sure to add in any juices that accumulated on the plate the chicken was resting on. Turn the heat to low, put the cover on. Let cook for half an hour, checking it to see if it needs a splash of water or white wine at that point if needed. Most likely it won’t. Put lid back on and cook for another half hour. At the hour mark, check the chicken with a meat thermometer so it reads 165 degrees. Done! The Meyer lemon and rosemary will have done their magic. Discard. Ladle the onion mixture over your pasta or rice, then top with a piece of chicken.



 

 

Monday Night at Artusi

You all know I like sharing with you favorite places we enjoy dining. I love hearing shared stories from customers & readers who travel from far and wide who get to Seattle and try out one of our recommendations. I have written often of our major fondness of the Italian eatery, Spinasse. Artusi is the sibling, living right next door. They share the same kitchen, so you just know it is going to be sublime. Dining there anytime for dinner or for nibbles with drinks is grand, but Mondays they offer something quite special. I got to have a date night with my husband the other eve, enjoying their 2 pasta special + a bottle of wine for $35. Yes, you read that right, 35 bucks. I like a good deal as much as the next guy, but it has to be good. This is crazy good! I am still dreaming of the housemade, handmade pastas we enjoyed. If you are in Seattle on a Monday eve looking for a place to dine and be incredibly happy, Artusi is the ticket.



 

 

Parmigiano-Reggiano & Roasted Cauliflower Frittata

A frittata is one of those dishes you can make with just about anything you have in your fridge. I also love them for supper in a pinch. Last eve TPS was away and I whipped this up for a solo meal. We had part of a seeded baguette that was in need of eating before it went stale. A piece of Parm and a head of cauliflower spoke to me as I stood at the refrigerator door. We always have eggs so I knew a meal was soon at hand.

Cut up the cauliflower so you are left with small florets. Spread out onto a baking pan, douse with EVOO and a dusting of salt. Into a hot 400 degree oven, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until the cauliflower starts to brown in spots. Take out of oven, set aside. Turn your oven broiler on to heat up while you get the eggs ready.

Whisk 2 to 3 eggs in a bowl with a splash of milk. Add salt and pepper. Grate the piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano as well as cube some of it. I like the variety. Then heat up a skillet that can also go into the oven, with a knob of butter. Add the egg mixture. You want the heat on the stovetop to be medium low so the bottom of the eggs cook slowly. When it starts to set, add the cubes of Parm and the cauliflower sprinkling all around the frittata. Then add the grated Parm to the top. Now put whole thing into the oven under the broiler, making sure to watch it the whole time. It is so cool to watch it rise and bubble and cook right in front of you. When it starts to take on a slight brown, it is all done. 

This can easily be made in a larger pan with more eggs for a larger group. Add a salad if you want to make it a bigger meal. Tasty really any time of the day.