Monday, April 8, 2013

April Here

Gypsy Slow Down


This was a good day.
 74 degrees and a chair in the sun with a painted over pedicure. I just cleaned the office and Witt was vacuuming out my car and I was thinking of the crostini with wild mushrooms I was going to make while we grilled out. I don't know if it's for real but it almost looks like we finally have some spring weather which by the almost middle of April it's like alright already. 

Ya'lls sweet comments on my last post really meant a lot and I just want you to know that.



Gypsy Slow Down



It was Olive's first trip outside (Pepper watched from the safety of the window). I think it will also be her last because once she got over her timidity she almost ran up a tree. It was just so warm out I wanted her to experience it for a little bit. 
She basked in the sunshine like a true Davis.




Gypsy Slow Down



Witt has been working on the garden, planting the early spring stuff like lettuce and arugula and even though he went through and told me everything, which was a lot, I can't remember any of the other things. Except that he planted sunflowers! That makes me happy.




Gypsy Slow Down



Back in March, Cathy invited me to a cooking class at Southern Season's in Chapel Hill. It was really fun to spend an evening with her and a really neat class on late winter Italian fare with Sheri Castle. We watched a demonstration on how to make crostini with wild mushrooms, robiola cheese and prosciutto. Stracciatella soup with spinach. Roasted sausages with black grapes. Creamy polenta with herbs and walnuts. And ricotta tart with dried fruit compote. And we got to eat the food while sampling some yummy wines. 
I think we decided our favorite was the crostini so when we were at Witt's parents for dinner the other night Cathy let us try the crostini she had made from the class recipe. And she generously gave me some of her ribiola cheese so I could make it as well. 



Gypsy Slow Down



Gypsy Slow Down



It was just as delicious as I remembered!

We were grilling out chicken and I wanted to make a mango chutney and the kitchen was a disaster from the crostini so I set up a station outside. That's how we roll in the little brick house.



Gypsy Slow Down



Gypsy Slow Down



Gypsy Slow Down



Tomato, avocado, mango, red onion, garlic, lime and lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.




Gypsy Slow Down



Olive is like, kindly unhand me I wish to frolic.



Gypsy Slow Down



Gypsy Slow Down



It's a scary world out there, Pepper. 


Grilled eggplant, grilled pineapple and grilled chicken. So good.



Gypsy Slow Down



Crostini with Wild Mushrooms, Robiola Cheese and Prosciutto by Sherri Castle

I couldn't find prosciutto last minute so I used thinly sliced ham and I found a yummy 7-grain baguette. I also sprinkled the tops of my crostini with freshly grated parm cheese which is not authentic to the recipe but was delicious.

Ingredients: 
16 baguette slices cut on the diagonal, each about 1/4-inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter, divided
12 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms, stemmed if necessary and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces fresh robiola cheese, cut into small pieces and at room temp (brie is an acceptable substitute)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley

For the crostini: Prehead the oven to 375. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temp.

For the topping: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1/3 mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and browned about 3 minutes. Pour onto a large plate and spread the mushrooms into a single layer so they will not turn soggy. Cook the rest of the mushrooms the same way adding 1 tablespoon of butter to each batch. After the last batch is done return the mushrooms to the pan. Add garlic and cream and simmer, stirring often until the liquid cooks away about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese, stir until it melts. Stir in the prosciutto  Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over very low heat (I put mine back in the oven which was still hot). Mound a generous tablespoon of the mushroom mixture onto each crostini. Top with chopped parsley and serve warm.


I hope you're getting some Spring evenings where you are!



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