Since it's a weeknight, the menu is fairly simple. However, the recipes I plan on using are created by acclaimed chefs from New York City. When the girls arrive, I'll have Daniel Boulud's warm Camembert with wild mushroom fricassee ready and waiting.
For the main course, I'll throw together Mario Batali's spaghetti with shrimp and chiles. On the side, I'll serve a simple mixed green salad. For these scrumptious recipes,
1/2 cup walnut pieces
One 8-ounce wheel of ripe Camembert in its wooden box, at room temperature
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound wild mushrooms, trimmed, caps thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large sage leaves, minced
Sourdough toasts, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Lower the oven temperature to 300°.
- Remove the Camembert from the box and unwrap it. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes longer. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and sage; season with salt and pepper.
- Invert the Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon over the cheese. Serve with the toasts.
- Appetizers, Spreads
2 tablespoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 fresh Anaheim chiles, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound bay or small gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
10 ounces spaghettini
1 bunch arugula, washed, spun dry, and chopped into ribbons (2 cups)
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons salt.
- In a 12-inch saute pan, saute the garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat until lightly brown, about 1 minute.
- Add the chiles and continue cooking about 30 seconds longer. Add the wine and butter and boil over high heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, stirring until just cooked, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remove from heat.
- Add the spaghettini to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions, until tender but still al dente.
- Drain the pasta and add the spaghettini to the saute pan with the shrimp. Place the saute pan back over medium heat. Stir gently until the spaghettini is coated with sauce, then toss in the arugula. Stir quickly until combined and arugula just wilted, about 30 seconds. Check the seasoning and transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.
- Pasta, Main Dishes