The weekend is almost here and if you are anything like me, there is a good chance that you are already thinking about what you are going to do for dinner on Friday and Saturday night.
It's so tempting to order in or go out to eat on the weekend because you have worked all week, you're tired, and you just want to treat yourself to a nice meal. But surprisingly what my husband and I have often found is that when we stay in and cook it often tastes just as good, if not better than what we would get at a restaurant for a fraction of the price!
When I was catching up on a few magazines this weekend I came across Ina Garten's recipe for Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter and Stuffed Chicken in the June issue of House Beautiful, and I thought this would be a great recipe for a special dinner for two or for a dinner party!
This recipe requires very few ingredients, and almost every ingredient in this recipe is easy to find and very reasonably priced...except for the white truffle butter! Truffles are an expensive and sought after ingredient because they can only grow in certain regions of the world, which adds to their allure. The gastronome Brillat-Savarin once commented on truffles that they are "the diamond of the kitchen." This recipe is "living luxe for less" because it is simple and easy, but the addition of the white truffle butter takes the dish to the next level without breaking the bank!
Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter
Serves 4 or 5 for a side dish
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces white truffle butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package (8.82 oz.) Cipriani tagliarelle or other egg pasta
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved thin with vegetable peeler
1. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) sauté pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for three minutes, exactly. (If you're not using Cipriani pasta, follow the directions on the package.) When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta in a colander. Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water as necessary to keep the pasta very creamy.
4. Serve the pasta with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once.
Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil
Serves 4 to 6
- 6 boneless chicken breasts with the skin on
- 8 to 10 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet
- Fresh basil leaves
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Cut the goat cheese in 1/2-inch-thick slices and place one or two slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't dry out. With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Images and Recipes are from Ina Garten and House Beautiful
I hope that you enjoy these recipes and that they can help you bring a little luxury to your dinner table at a moderate price. Having a little truffle oil or butter on hand is a great way to elevate a dish to the next level, and a little will go a long way! I have not tried this recipe yet, but I am looking forward to trying it very soon!
And if you are looking for a wine to pair with this meal, you could try the Domaine St. Michelle Brut
, a sparkling wine from Washington State. This wine is typically priced between $11-$13, and according to the authors of The Wine Trials 2010
, in a blind taste test, "More than two-thirds of tasters preferred a $12 Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, a Washington State sparkling wine, to a $150 Dom Pérignon Champagne."
A sparkling wine will not compete with the intense flavors of the truffles in this dish, and the acidity in the wine will match well with the creamy and rich flavors in the pasta dish.
Is there a recipe or wine that you know you will be trying this weekend?
Have a great weekend everyone, and happy eating and drinking!