Thursday, September 25, 2008

A couple of interesting recipes...

Both of us love to snack on pears - when I buy them for a recipe that I plan on making later in the week, one of us usually snatches them up before I get a chance to use them. This happened again (it wasn't me this time though...) - I had to have Jeff stop by the market (well... he ate them!) on his way home to pick one up so I could make this Pear and Prosciutto "Carpaccio" as tonight's side. While I know carpaccio is typically referred to using raw beef, veal or tuna, I didn't name this recipe - however, it does give it a fancy ring!

Before I started working on the pears, we reduced a half cup of tangy balsamic vinegar until the dark liquid turned very syrupy after a few short minutes on the stove. When that was almost done, I thinly sliced a crisp pear and neatly arranged the slices between two plates. A pile of ribboned salty prosciutto was mounded near the bottom and the thick syrup was drizzled over the top, staining the white flesh. Fresh ground pepper for a snappy bite is then sprinkled on top (which I forgot to do before the pictures - oops!) to serve. Very simple, yet quite elegant (screaming to be served at a dinner party if I do say so myself?), both of us loved the marriage of sweet pears, concentrated balsamic and the ever-pleasing prosciutto. I don't know if it would work well, but I'd love to try this again and work in some fresh figs (swoon!) when they start showing up at the market.

I've had half a bag of tiny pita bread in the freezer for a bit and have been wondering what I could use them up in. I was almost ready to just slice 'em up and bake them for pita chips, but decided we could use the little rounds with this dish of Moo Shu Vegetables I made for dinner.

In a skillet drizzled with pungent toasted sesame oil, we added a few whisked eggs and let them cook just long enough until they were set, but still very moist. At this point, you are not really looking to scramble them - think more along the lines of an open-faced omelet. The eggs are turned out and fresh ginger, along with a couple cloves worth of minced garlic, are tossed in.

Once their fragrant aroma reached my nose, broccoli slaw (which usually contains shredded cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and red cabbage if you've never had it), bean sprouts and green onions are stirred in. To season the mixture and help soften the veggies with steam, soy sauce and rice vinegar are poured into the skillet. Once tender, the round of cooked eggs are added, along with a couple tablespoons of thick hoisin sauce, and the mixture is tossed around the skillet to incorporate the ingredients and break up the eggs. You could serve with whole-wheat tortillas, but we piled the mixture on the split pitas for a fun presentation. While Jeff and I both thought this was good and quite healthy, it needed a little attitude to liven it up as it was just kind of plain - maybe a couple dashes of sriracha to give it a little kick or maybe just a bit more hoisin?


  1. I'm drinking a glass of wine as I read your post, and now I can't stand not having this carpaccio alongside it. What a great concoction. Can I add you to my blogroll?

  2. Lovely platter of moo shu veg :)

  3. Hummm, the pears look great, I love balsamic syrup/reduction, it is so good! It make some dishes look so fancy!

  4. Edible - Sure thing!

    Tiger - Thanks!

    Ana - Me too... thick, syrupy and sweet with a bite!

  5. Oh, Joe, your "carpaccio" looks amazing! But I guess you get that all the time....