Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tonight's Dinner for Two

I've been planning this menu a couple of days now. The smoked ham and the bosc pears used were from our boxes bought from Angel Food Ministries.

Sauteed Bosc Pears With Toasted Walnuts, Balsamic Reduction and Basil

* One bosc pear, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (I used all 4 pears and doubled the other ingredients)
* 2 tsp butter
* Cinnamon to taste
* 1/4 c. walnuts (no walnuts, so used pecans)
* 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
* 5 basil leaves, chiffonade into strips (picked fresh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, core and cut bosc pear into 1/4 inch slices.

Place balsamic vinegar in small sauce pan and gently heat until simmering. Allow to reduce, swirling occasionally until reduced to 25-30% volume, about 10 minutes. Reduction should be dark and thickened. Test by seeing if it coats the back of a spoon (and tastes good). Do not over reduce.

While vinegar is reducing, place walnuts on a cookie sheet and put in oven. Toast walnuts, turning once or twice for 6-7 minutes. Do yourself a favor and set a timer. It is very easy to burn toasting nuts. I set the time for 3 minutes, toss the nuts, then reset for another 3 minutes. Remove nuts from oven, allow to cool, then coarsely chop.

Heat butter in a pan on medium heat until it begins to foam. Add pear slices and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook gently until slightly tender, about 3 minutes on each side. Turn with a thin spatula.


I cooked the pears til they were tender. I had to google online about when pears would be ripe, and found out that bosc pears are better for cooking than eating out of hand. Then found this recipe online here. This was delicious!!!

Here is the recipe for Ham and Spaghetti Parma from the cookbook Casserole Treasury, which is just one of my over 300 cookbooks. :-)

1 lb. cooked ham julienned
8-oz. pkg spaghetti, cooked
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 lg. mushroom sliced
2 tbs. minced or grated onion
1/4 c. flour
2 c. light cream or top milk
3/4 c. dry white wine
1/3 c. sliced green olives
1 pimiento cut in thin strips
1/4 tsp dried oregano or 3/4 tsp fresh, chopped
1/8 tsp fresh-ground pepper

1. Cook the spaghetti as directed on the package, but be careful not to overcook it -- it should be al dente, as the Italians say.

2. Drain and immediately toss it with q/2 c. of the cheese. Spread it out in a large buttered casserole and keep barely warm.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet and cook the mushroom and oion in it, over medium heat, 3-4 minutes. Skim out of the skillet and set aside.

4. Into the fat remaining in the skillet belnd four and gradually stir in the cream. Whin it thickens stir in the wine, cooked mushroom and onion, ham, olives, pimiento, oreagano, and pepper.

5. Spoon this mixture carefully over the spaghetti in the casserole, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and broil 4-6 inches from the heat until golden. Serves 6-8.


I only used about 8 oz. of ham, used a 4 cheese blend instead of Parmesan, did not have mushroom, used whole milk, 1/4. c. of Southern Comfort since I didn't have any wine, no pimiento, except in olives, and I sprinkled in Italian seasoning and minced dried garlic. I also did not broil it.

This was also delicious. I am so thankful that I 'love' to cook. It gives me great joy to create wonderful tasting food.

That's it, I've got to head off to the scullery to wash dishes before Survivor comes on.

Have a nice evening.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL


janie said...

Lady, I am on a diet! This sounds soooooooo delicious! I bet I could eat those pears on this diet. It doesn't have anything that is bad for me- only 2 tsp of butter, I could handle that.

I will try it. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow the recipes sound delicious -you really put the angel food to good use.

Sylvana said...

The pear recipe sounds delicious! I prefer pecans to walnuts, good choice there.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

That sounds like a yummy meal. I wish I had picked some basil to try to root before it froze.

I had to laugh about your over 300 cookbooks. I don't remember counting mine, but I have lots, too. I used to use them more than I do these days. I hope to go back to using them. Even when I do, though, I usually make a change or more, like you did with your nuts.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

What a yummy post! I am drooling...

FlowerLady said...

Good morning everyone. Hope your Friday is off to a good start.

Janie ~ You will love those pears. They were delicious.

Vicki ~ Enjoyed making use of the food from them. Look forward to making more. In fact, I think I'll make up meatballs with the hamburger from that box, and cook them in spaghetti sauce all day while I'm at work. Sounds like a plan. That will mean another pasta dinner but that's ok.

Sylvana ~ We like pecans better too.

Sue ~ I got started with my collection of cookbooks as a newlywed when I joined a cookbook club. I would say that most of them came from yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores.

Tatyana ~ It's making me hungry again just thinking about it and reading all of the comments posted here.

Have a great weekend folks.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting seeing how you are using the ingredients from the angel boxes. Can't wait to see what else you'll come up with. BTW, love your music!


Nell Jean said...

I tried not to read this post, but couldn't help myself. Sounds too tasty. We sell pecans and buy walnuts with the money, as oatmeal cookies are just not the same without walnuts.

I had to chuckle at the
Southern Comfort instead of the wine. I would have just splashed in a little vinegar, probably.

L. D. Burgus said...

What a wonderful meal. You are an artist in the kitchen.

Martha said...

What a terrific meal -- love anything with pears!

gld said...

This meal sounds delicious! You can always tell a good cook by how she ad libs her recipes.

You sound like my sister; she collects cookbooks. I have no idea how many she has but she reads them like novels!

Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

Hi Flower Lady, I love the way you describe the process, and the changes you made. You are obviously a very good cook! What doesn't become magical with the addition of reduced basalmic! It looks divine. :-)

Becca's Dirt said...

Sounds yummy. I am so hungry now.