Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Biased Interpretation of Asparagus "Parmigiana"

My favorite asparagus is grilled asparagus, but I've been known to flip the script w/ this refreshingly light take on asparagus parmigiana. The dish is simple as all hell, and comes together in minutes.  Some finesse in necessary when it comes to the parmigiana paste and the bias cut on the asparagus. Mix the grated cheese w/ some cold water until it clumps together like school paste, then thin w/ lemon juice and olive oil. Make sure to cut the asparagus on a sharp bias (diagonal) to maximize surface area.  Each thin "plank" should be about an inch long.

Great when served alone, or w/ a rich, unctuous protein like pork belly or sea urchin.

Asparagus "Parmigiana"

2 cups asparagus thinly sliced on the bias
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 TBD of cold water
EVOO, just a drizzle
lemon juice, just a bit
salt & pepper to taste
  1. combine cheese and 1 TBS of cold water in a mixing bowl. add more water, a little a time, to create a cheesy paste. it should spread like mustard.
  2. add a drizzle of EVOO and lemon juice to smooth out the cheese mixture.
  3. add asparagus and toss to combine. season w/ salt & pepper.
© 2014 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gringo Green

White people don't typically tackle Mexican food at home, and when we do, we like to play it safe: tacos, nachos, guacamole, or maybe some fajitas.

This pollo verde recipe tastes ethnic and complex, but won't put you too far out of your comfort zone technique-wise. Tomatillos might be difficult to find, depending on where you live, but most well-stocked produce markets should carry.

Pollo Verde

2# skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 TBS olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
3 tomatillos, chopped
1/2 packed cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups butternut squash, diced
1 15oz can of white beans
1/2 cup golden raisins

  1. chop the chicken into 1-inch chunks.  season w/ salt & pepper. reserve.
  2. heat the olive oil in a pot large enough to contain all ingredients.  saute the onion, garlic, and pepper. add the tomatillios after about 5 minutes. cook for an additional 5 minutes and kill the heat.
  3. transfer pepper & onion mixture into a blender. add cilantro, lime, salt, spices and stock. purree.
  4. add chicken squash and raisins to the pot. cover w/ verde mixture. add enough stock to cover.
  5. bring to a boil, the simmer until done -- about an hour.
  6. garnish w/ fresh cilantro, diced avocado and a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

© 2014 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Reading Rainbow

Reading Terminal makes the Chelsea Market look like Boston Market.

Home to Tommy DiNic's, winner of Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America title.  It's a roast pork & broccoli rabe sandwich, topped with sharp provolone cheese.  Tremendous.

The Amish have the pretzel game on LOCK.

Fresh meats and produce?  Check!

Wall-to-wall sweets? You bet!

© 2014 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -