recipe for haddock and white beans. 1/2 beans. is that 1/2 can or 1/2 cup

Anonymous

I want to say half a can. I would drain the whole can and just add whatever amount you want honestly. That’s one ingredient you can use to taste! The white beans are creamy and very delicious! With a squirt of lemon and maybe paired with a glass of wine! Man, I need to make this dish again! Thanks for correcting my recipe error! - Rachel

For anyone curious to see the post, here it is! http://shesalty.tumblr.com/post/3638600014/haddock-with-braised-escarole-and-white-beans

Is this blog abandoned?

Anonymous

I’m still around! Still cooking but I have been very busy! I hope to update my food adventures occasionally to you all! :)

The Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is a monumental event that I patiently wait for every summer. This 320-acre fair has been around since the year 1885, and has morphed from it’s original purpose (to educate about and promote the state’s farming and agriculture) to what we all can only imagine ANY fair is about these days—FOOD! Of course there are many intriguing events and even educational opportunities that the fair offers. The fair brings to light some of the amazing history, art, and talent Minnesota has to offer, but also makes us appreciate the very end of those short summer months by giving us happy memories and appreciation for the things that we love about life. 

The day that I went was a blistering 103 degrees, which made a typical 8-hour trip to the fair a 3-hour one. Although that was disappointing, I still had an absolute blast! It had been four years since I had gone to the fair because of my schooling at The Culinary Institute of America, so I thought that I would share some of the amazing foods that I enjoyed this year! 

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Hopefully next year we will be able to attend a few more days of the fair and truly enjoy it for all that it is, but for now I have had my fill! 

This Friday I will be BAKING! I will be bringing back one of my classic and perfected recipes along with a new one. Can you guess what the perfected recipe is?? 

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer! Who is already thinking about pumpkin spiced lattes? I know I am ;)

Rachel

Grilled Marble Rye with White Peach, Fresh Ricotta, Honey, Lemon Thyme, and Black Pepper Here’s a quick recipe for summer! Drizzle some olive oil on both sides of marble rye. Season with salt. Grill on medium high, both sides. Meanwhile, slice a white peach. When the bread is grilled, smear the top with fresh ricotta. Top ricotta with the peach slices, drizzle with honey, and a crack of fresh black pepper. Top with thyme leaves. You can use regular thyme if lemon thyme is unavailable. Enjoy!

We came across your blog about the Chiania Beef Farm, we were wondering if you had any contact information to reach the family members of this farm. We are Beef people from the Midwest and are planning a trip to Italy, we use to raise Chianina Cattle and want to see where they breed originated. Any info would be appreciated

Anonymous

I do indeed have the contact information but you didn’t leave yours! Please submit your e-mail so I can contact you with the information!

The Chianina Beef Farm was an incredible place, it is pretty small production, but it is worth any travel to visit. Please contact me!

Rachel

100,000 Followers!!

Hey everybody! It’s me, your old pal Rachel. I know that I’ve been somewhat of a flake lately to my beloved Shesalty blog. Believe me when I say that I have missed it all. I’ve missed the photography, I’ve missed the cooking, I’ve missed my roomie Brian (www.brianthony.tumblr.com), but most of all, I’ve missed teaching you all the amazing things I have learned here at The Culinary Institute of America. This 3-year journey has just flown by…I even graduate with a Bachelor’s degree at the end of May. 

But I’d just like to say thanks to all of YOU, for sticking by me through the years. It means so much that you all love what I do, and it’s really special that I can spark an interest in some of your hearts and minds. 

I’ve been trying to get myself back in the kitchen but it’s been hard with an 18-credit course load. I find myself doing the whole grilled chicken and veggie, cereal, sandwich thing—and trust me I’m bored to TEARS. But I see some of you liked my bolognese post last weekend which was not only an amazing day of soul food, wine, and dancing alone in my apartment all day but was also amazing in the fact that I discovered, yes—I’ve still got it, baby! 

My hopes are that throughout this summer I can WOW you all once again with many food adventures. Don’t worry! I’m still around reading countless books and magazines of inspiration, attempting but failing at every herb garden I try to grow, and telling cute little grandpas at the grocery store how to buy a fresh fish. 

Boy am I ready for summer…

Thank you all again. Truly! I feel honored.

Love,

Rachel a.k.a. Shesalty

Cookin’ All Day!

Something pretty great happened in my kitchen last Saturday when I came to the realization that I had absolutely nothing to do. Take a look!

Steamed Mussels with Onion, Garlic, Hot Soppressata,Tomato, Parsley, White Wine, Parsley, and a bit of Anisette (an Anise Liqueur)  

7-Hour Braised Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Egg Pasta

Needless to say, I had an amazing Saturday cooking, jamming to music, and drinking wine.

I graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in May! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

Rachel

This is my new go-to meal. Chipotle Orange Chicken with Brown Rice including orange and green bell peppers, kidney beans, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. 
I used chicken tenders because a) they are cheaper b) you can portion them the way you want and c) they are very tender!!
I rubbed the chicken with a mixture of chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. After I pan-seared them I removed the chicken and added some orange juice, chopped chipotle peppers (chili in adobo), orange zest, and some maple syrup. I reduced it to my liking and then tossed the tenders in the sauce. (The recipe for the sauce was the juice of 1/2 of an orange, 1 tablespoon of chipotle, and 1 teaspoon of maple, plus some zest).
It was quick. It was easy. And it tasted AMAZING. 
Try it. Seriously. You will love yourself.
Rachel

This is my new go-to meal. Chipotle Orange Chicken with Brown Rice including orange and green bell peppers, kidney beans, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. 

I used chicken tenders because a) they are cheaper b) you can portion them the way you want and c) they are very tender!!

I rubbed the chicken with a mixture of chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. After I pan-seared them I removed the chicken and added some orange juice, chopped chipotle peppers (chili in adobo), orange zest, and some maple syrup. I reduced it to my liking and then tossed the tenders in the sauce. (The recipe for the sauce was the juice of 1/2 of an orange, 1 tablespoon of chipotle, and 1 teaspoon of maple, plus some zest).

It was quick. It was easy. And it tasted AMAZING. 

Try it. Seriously. You will love yourself.

Rachel

Grass-fed beef with green beans and salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, my pickled red onions, and balsamic. :)
Have a fun filled weekend!
Rachel

Grass-fed beef with green beans and salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, my pickled red onions, and balsamic. :)

Have a fun filled weekend!

Rachel

What would finals week be without distractions like this? 
Less stressful for sure. 
But, as usual, I just couldn’t help myself. 
Rachel
P.s. It’s banana bread…with golden raisins : ) 

What would finals week be without distractions like this? 

Less stressful for sure. 

But, as usual, I just couldn’t help myself. 

Rachel

P.s. It’s banana bread…with golden raisins : ) 

Day 11, Italy - Organic Pasta Production

On Day 11 of our Italy Tour we visited an ancient monastery that highly philosophizes clean and natural organic agriculture. Though the fields had just been harvested, the view was still gorgeous and pristine, surrounded by hills, valleys, sea, and snow-capped mountains. Below are some pictures of the production of dry pastas grown from their wheats.

After the tour we were treated to a beautiful lunch made by them!

The first course was a chickpea soup—no cream! This was a beautifully prepared puree soup (usually a pureed vegetable or bean/legume with stock and herbs, spices, etc.)

Then we had a carbonara and another with radicchio and walnuts. Their pasta had a very silky texture. Plus, I love that they only grow natural and healthy wheats. In many places around the world (including the U.S.), we primarily use bleached or unbleached flour. This means that the germ and bran of the wheat are removed completely (these parts are healthy for our bodies). Seeing as pasta is an obvious carbohydrate, it’s best to use the healthiest version possible. It still tastes great! I even bought some spelt pasta, which was dark brown. Can’t wait to cook it!

For the meat course we were served roasted duck, rabbit, and chicken with lots’ of herbs. I absolutely love rosemary with roasted meats. Such a hit!

Dessert was a ricotta and blueberry cheesecake!

After that we visited a large olive oil producer, Azienda del Carmine. This producer was non-organic, but I did learn about the more commercial side of olive oil. I have to admit the oil was very delicious! They have this unique machine that shakes the trees to help drop the ripe olives onto a net, making the process quick and efficient.

This first course was a panzanella salad, a salad typically made with sourdough bread, tomatoes, and olive oil. This one additionally had shredded celery which I love in salads!

The pasta course was nice and light! Canovacci short pasta with olive oil, zucchini, tomatoes, and marjoram sauce.

Man did I love this dish. I’m not entirely sure on what the brown was but I’m guessing some sort of pureed bean because it tasted like refried beans but a million times better. On top was a poached egg and some crispy bacon. This was some serious soul food! But again, light!

Dessert was also incredible! It was a citrus-scented olive oil ice cream. This may have been my favorite dessert on this trip. I pretty much ate everyone who didn’t eat all of theirs.

I am SO exhausted everyone! I’m a few posts behind but in reality tomorrow is my last day in Italy! More on that later…

Ciao!

Rachel

Day 10, Italy - Perugina Chocolate Factory and Prune Smothered Roasted Pork

Here we go with another update from Italy! On Day 9 we visited the Perugina chocolate factory, a large chocolate factory owned by Nestle that is located in Perugia, Umbria. They are very hush hush about the production of chocolate. But we did get a quick tour of the factory before we were invited to a chocolate-making demo! I have made chocolate several times before this, but we all had fun getting messy and enjoying the afternoon together.

Oh, that is pure chocolate by the way! Perugina is known for their signature chocolate Baci, which is chocolate with a hazelnut at the center.

This is my new buddy Ilana! You should check out her food blog, Whisked! At www.ilanafreddye.com

Me, Ilana, and Angela getting ready to temper chocolate.

We made limoncello ganache-filled chocolate!

The first step was to melt white chocolate with lemon zest. Then we added limoncello and butter which completed the filling.

After that we tempered the chocolate on the table. This is one of a few ways to temper chocolate, and not my favorite way (I prefer seeding), but it was fun and interactive for sure! The idea is to spread the chocolate on the counter and scrape and fold it a lot to cool it down. You want the chocolate to be about body temperature so it will harden once again. If chocolate isn’t tempered correctly it will stay soft. 

After the chocolate-making fun we went to a visit and tasting at Antonelli San Marco where we learned a little more about the production of wine and olive oil. After that we watched a cooking demo on how to make the perfect roast pork. 

This chef roasted the pork with prunes and olive oil before turning the prunes into a delicious puree. He seared the pork in the oven first and then turned the heat low to finish. It was the most succulent pork I have EVER had in my life. I will be trying this dish at home for sure!

He pureed the roasted prunes with olive oil and ground almonds. :)

Look at all the gnocchi he made! Incredible and time-consuming. They were fluffy like pillows once he cooked them. I really need to be patient and make them at home one day. 

While we waited for the meal to cook we snacked on some salumi, cheese, and antipasti.

Chickpeas! Can’t get enough of those on this trip or ever.

The sauce for the gnocchi was pretty much all fat. It had guanciale (an uncured Italian bacon made from pork jowl—mostly fat!), butter, olive oil, heavy cream, and red wine. 

I know it’s kind of hard to see from the picture but the pork was just absolutely perfect. So moist, and the prune spread was so soul-foody.

We had watched the movie Bridesmaids earlier on this day and kept making fun of (and have continued to make fun of) Helen’s ‘Fritz Bernaise” line. 

Well there you have it! It’s late and bedtime for moi!

Ciao! Rachele.

Day 8 - Italy, Olive Oil Production

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been M.I.A all week, we have been non-stop busy and also our last hotel didn’t have internet service. Anyways Day 7 wasn’t terribly interesting so I’m going to go ahead and move onto Day 8 which was a day full of olive oil production. We have now been to 2 other olive oil producers but I thought this was the best one so I’m only going to use pictures from this day!

Here is a picture of the picked olives that are ready to be pressed. As you can see there are both green and dark purple olives. The green ones are less ripe while the darker ones are more ripe. But first the stems, leaves, and pits must be removed. 

Once the machine removes the stems and leaves the olives pass through a quick rinse of water to remove any remaining dirt and impurities.

After that everything is pressed and mixed into a big paste.

This machine removes the pits and separates the oil from the water.

This is what fresh olive oil looks like! It’s neon greenish and kind of cloudy. Over time the oil will purify itself and it will eventually look like the olive oil you buy in stores.

After the tour of the factory we went to the old mill where the olive oil used to be pressed manually. 

We also saw some of the farm animals!

After the full tour we had a delicious lunch featuring their olive oil. Above we tasted the fresh olive oil with bread and black celery. Fresh olive oil tastes kind of spicy and even a little garlicky. Some people like it and some don’t. I certainly do!

Then we enjoyed some cured meats, pecorino, and chicken liver spread on toasted bread.

Everyone really loved this pumpkin pasta! The pasta itself was chewy, and the sauce was just pureed pumpkin and olive oil Truly special!

They also brought out some desserts. I like the apricot cake the best!

In addition to the production of olive oil, this producer also grows saffron! The red part of the flower must be hand picked, making saffron a very delicate and expensive herb as some of you may already know!

Sorry that this post wasn’t as in depth as the last ones. I’m a little behind on the posting and the information isn’t as fresh as a week ago. Forgive me! I have a whole week of posts to make now plus a few. Hang in there and see you soon!

Ciao!

Rachel

Quick Update!

Hey everyone! We have been in the region of Marche for the past couple of days. Our hotel doesn’t have internet (well it does but only in the lobby and very poor reception) so I won’t be posting for a few days.

All is well here though and I’m stuff learning a lot! I’ll be posting when I get the internet back. 

Ciao! Rachele

Day 6 - Italy, A Day with Vissani - Italy’s Top Chef

Yesterday may have been one of the best opportunities I may have during my career as a cook. We were lucky enough to spend half of the day with Italy’s top chef—Chef Vissani. Upon arriving the restaurant we were all blown away by it’s extravagant dining room setup. We were guided to his back demo room where there was a small kitchen demonstration table. Then Vissani himself entered the room, standing big and tall with a stern look on his face. He told us about the importance of ancient Italian cuisine and how Italian food has been transformed into some new and not so good. He really accuentuated the point that he would like to see traditional Italian cuisine return to Italy—that was his philosophy (and also something I would like to do as well). Ever since I was a child I have had this certain fascination with the Italian people, their cuisine, and their rich history and culture. Being here now, I don’t ever want to leave. I have decided that for sure, the focus of my career will be Italian cuisine. 

The first demo dish Vissani prepared for us was blue lobster, a small breed of lobster that lives first in fresh water (sweet water) before joining the sea. These lobsters are typically found in Norway and Sweden. 

He taught us how to cook a perfectly straight lobster! Typically when you cook a lobster, the tail will curl under itself, making it difficult to keep the shape and construction of the lobster once you remove it from it’s shell. In ancient Rome, the Italians used to tie the lobster to a wooden board and throw it into the boiling water to cook. Now Vissani presses a long wooden skewer through the live lobster and boils it briefly (not all the way through). This keeps the lobster tail straight for a beautiful presentation while also making it easier to slice. 

Then he marinated the flat lobster tail in a mixture of  oil, rosemary, 1 parboiled garlic clove, and Hawaiian coffee grounds for about 4 hours.

Here you see the tasting portion of the finished dish.

And this is the full plated version. Lobster with coffee and red pepper balls with Bartlett pears and pecan nuts. 

Vissani was an incredible speaker. He was very animated and interactive with the students as well as a funny guy. His passion shines through his character. He treated us like he would treat any other chef, giving us advice and bringing new things to light that we had never thought of before. He encouraged questions and answered thoroughly. He is definitely the type of chef I would like to apprentice for or work with someday. 

 The next dish had a beautiful combination of flavor. Duck and puffed rice with stewed black cabbage and sour grape.

He seared the duck and then added botrytis wine to the hot pan to deglaze.  

This is the tasting portion. The black cabbage tasted SO good!

This was the full dish.

Chef Vissani took a 5-minute break to enjoy a shot of espresso before his next two demos. I took a look around the building and found myself at a window viewing into the kitchen. They use all copper pots (!!) which are very expensive and somewhat difficult to maintain and keep clean but, they are known for their precise distribution of heat. The jars in front are different types of salt found in the world. 

Found some jars of candy as well!

He then showed us a quick demonstration of a pasta that was actually made with bread dough! I had never known that you could do such a thing. The pasta itself was a little chewier then more pasta but I truly loved it. He used dried peppers in his tomato sauce, too, making it spicy. I enjoyed it all too much. The wine he paired with it was the best pairing together I have ever had with a dish. The spiciness in the sauce brought out a spiciness in the wine that was addicting! 

After that he prepared a dish using Chianina beef (remember yesterday’s post?). The beef was prepared perfectly. It was marinated with honey, apple, aoy sauce, ginger, and toasted sesame seeds for 3 hours.

After the demonstration portion of the day we were guided to the dining room that had a fairytale-like atmosphere. There were wooden trees coming out from the walls and wooden crescent moons on the ceiling.

The tables were extravagant, too, with a crystal statue sitting prideful in the center of the table, small glass jars with fresh roses, decorative plates and glassware. It was over-the-top, but not overdone. 

The top chef of Italy gave me a kiss!!!!! SO glad I got a picture of this. He even told me how to pssst conquer a man. **Blush**!

In America we eat bread and butter a lot. But in Italy they are known for their olive oils. Therefore the bread is actually used to taste olive oil. I really want some small dishes like these for my home! 

Even the butter had presentation, something I will remember for the home as well as for the restaurant. Behind it you see fresh grissini. 

The first dish was a true eggplant parmesan. I was SO happy to see that real tomato sauce is actually kind of orange in color. Whenever I make it at home it looks like this but I feel like it’s ‘wrong’ because in America tomato sauce is so red. But this is real tomato sauce. There was also more eggplant than cheese. In the states we tend to smother everything in cheese. This dish was about the eggplant and sauce. It had very little cheese. It was incredible. 

Oh! They had these spoons that were flat on one side so that you could scoop up sauce from the bottom of the plate or bowl. 

The second course was potato gnocchi with lamb ragout and Umbrian pecorino cheese.. The gnocchi were cut into very small pieces, which I had never seen before. But it makes me not want to have regular sized gnocchi ever again. These gnocchi were so light and literally just melted in the mouth. The ragout also was light in body. 

The next course was chicken livers and smoked papaya wafer with baby white turnip and hazelnut sauce. It was really good! Chicken liver has a really deep and full flavor. I never liked it until I went off to culinary school. Now I welcome it always. The turnips were very, very small but were bursting with peppery flavor. There were also herb and breadcrumb crusted baby onions that went very well with the dish. 

For dessert we had zabaglione with long pepper, spinach bread, and white chocolate. You would think that this would be really savory but it wasn’t. It had a tomato sauce with licorice was very light, just a hint of each to complement the zabaglione. The spinach bread was also slightly sweet. The white chocolate shavings were so authentic tasting. American white chocolate will always taste like crap now that I have tasted this. I found the dessert to be very light and enjoyable. 

After that they brought out a pastry plate with various confectionaries such as chocolate coconut bar, chocolate-orange semifreddo, and raspberry cheesecake. In the middle was homemade ‘Pocky’ of different flavors. 

I really wish I could describe this last plate they brought out but they never told or gave us a description. The yellow filling had a sort of Marsala wine. The fruit on the right looks like a tomato but was very bitter and had black seeds. I imagine this was some sort of final cleanser dish.

Alright well this was a long post so I think I’m going to call it a night and head to bed. I’ve been answering personal questions and such so don’t hesitate to send!

Buonasera!

Rachele