Giada + Bacon: Fettuccine with Arugula Pesto

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/linguine-with-avocado-and-arugula-pesto-recipe/index.html

I’ve never been a fan of arugula by itself due to the fact that the smell always reminded me of a skunk.  When I saw this recipe where it was blended with avocado, lime juice and basil to form a pesto, I was intrigued.    The recipe is above and I followed it exactly until the final step.  In addition to the cheese I added some fried bits of bacon (really, bacon does make things better!) and omitted the almonds.  I love almonds, but I scorched them.  Last but not least I added some freshly chopped heirloom tomato for color contrast.  This recipe is a keeper and was wonderful again the next day for lunch.

The side dish is an old stand by:  2 cups chopped carrots boiled until just starting to get tender.  Drain the water, put the carrots back in the pot, add 1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp vinegar (your choice – I used balsamic last night) and an aromatic herb (I used Fines Herbes).  Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Cheers!

Pork Chops with Leeks and Mustard Sauce

After a long week, the thought of staying in and having a nice meal and a bottle of wine is quite possibly my version of nirvana.  Brie made pork chops in a lovely leek, mustard, bacon (oh thank you!) and yoghurt sauce featured in the May, 2009 Bon Appetit magazine. The Chobani brand of yoghurt that she used is so thick it easily replaced the sour cream/crème fraîche that the recipe called for.  Along side the entrée was a side of steamed broccoli and roasted butternut squash from the Door to Door organics delivery that arrived earlier in the week.  With the stronger flavors of mustard and bacon I decided to go with a lighter red and chose a 2006 Saint Joseph Domaine Faury Rhone Syrah.

It was a great meal and a decent bottle of wine, although I don’t think I would buy another bottle again: it was fair, but it didn’t deserve the price tag.  To top it all off, Brie is pulling out a loaf of banana bread from the oven.  Happy place, happy place, happy place!