Sunday, September 28, 2008

What's Cookin'

Tuna and Cannelloni Bean Salad

Creamy Gorgonzola and Mushroom Polenta

So, I've been cooking up a storm and there's a few recipes that I absolutely must share with you. If I didn't pass these along, I would be a bad friend --- especially the Creamy Gorgonzola and Mushroom Polenta. Delish!

Tuna and Cannelloni Bean Salad


2 (6 oz) cans dark meat tuna, packed in olive oil

2 (15 oz) cans cannelloni white beans, drained

1/3 cup small capers, nonpareil in brine, drained and rinsed (optional)

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (you can also use red wine vinegar)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

A handful of chopped red onion, thinly sliced to 2 inch bits

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 cups fresh arugula (or 2 cups of Italian mixed greens such as radicchio and romaine)

A handful of fresh basil leaves chopped

A handful of cilantro/coriander chopped (leaves and stalks)


In a large bowl, add the tuna, reserving the oil from the cans in a separate small bowl. Break tuna into bite-size pieces with a large fork. Add the beans and capers. Into the reserved tuna oil, add the balsamic (or red wine) vinegar. You should have 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil--add more extra-virgin olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing on the tuna, bean and caper mixture and allow the flavors to infuse while slicing the vegetables. Add the onion and tomatoes to tuna mixture and toss gently. Place the arugula or greens of choice on a large platter and top with tuna mixture. Add the chopped cilantro and basil leaves over the top. Serve immediately.

Creamy Gorgonzola and Mushroom Polenta


1 1/2 cups instant polenta

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the dish

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese 1 cup (4 ounces)

crumbled Gorgonzola (or any blue cheese)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds pounds cremini or button mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (very optional - I'll probably leave it off next time)


Heat oven to 350° F. Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the butter. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the Gorgonzola. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes. Add half the shallot and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil, mushrooms, and shallot. Season the mushrooms with the pepper, thyme, and the remaining salt. Butter an 8- or 9-inch baking dish or eight 6-ounce ramekins. Stir 2/3 of the mushrooms into the polenta and transfer to the prepared dish or ramekins. Top with the remaining mushrooms and Gorgonzola. Bake, uncovered, until the Gorgonzola has melted, about 15 minutes. Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pear, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Pizzas


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 medium ripe pear, sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 6 1/2-inch or eight 4-inch whole-wheat pita breads
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in pear and cook, stirring often, until slightly soft and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is tender and coated with a dark glaze, about 2 minutes more.
3. Divide the onion-pear mixture among the pitas; sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Transfer the pitas to a large baking sheet and bake until crispy and the cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes.

Plus, last night my friend Marilyn taught me how to make homemade crepes. We filled the crepes with fresh nectarines and served them with Scottish vanilla ice cream (this ice cream is to die for good). I'll have to share the crepe recipe as soon as I perfect it!



Hilary said...

now i'm really hungry.

and inspired.

why aren't i a chef like you??

Paul and Heather said...

Kim Sunee is all inspiring ;)

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