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After a week away from the Knitchen due to work events I dove into two new recipes.  Both were GREAT but very different.  Both are absoutely going to be repeated.  They will see different nights, though.

Fettuccine Capricciose: Fettuccine with Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet Garlic and Arugula.  A great, rich Mario Batali recipe.  I know the smell of sweet vermouth from my mom’s cooking growing up.  Sweet vermouth, butter, mushrooms.  Yum

Grilled Romaine with Guacamole Dressing: I read about this in Sunset last summer and rediscovered it on my Evernote recipes this evening.  SO GOOD.  The brushed oil and cayenne add a wonderful flavor.

Robin and I were thrilled to welcome our friend David Katz back to San Francisco last night.  David has spent the past three years in Washington DC working in the DOE and then the White House.  He finally snapped out of the DC haze and has come back to SF to work on an energy start up.  This is the first of many fun dinners to come.

I had spotted this recipe on Smitten Kitchen over the winter break and a cold, rainy night seemed like the perfect time to try it out.  Like the blog post suggests, I left the mascapone cheese out.  I should have also cut the amount of grits in half and doubled the amount of mushrooms.  It is a great dish, though.  I served it with a green salad and some horribly over cooked brussels sprouts.

Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms

My colleague and friend, Suzanne, lent me her copy of Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty too many months ago. I was intimidated by the beauty of the food and length of the ingredient list.  The most recent Bon Appetit, on my bedside table in Maine, featured Ottolenghi’s food and inspired me to try a few recipes.  Wow, I should have done this sooner.

Salmon Steaks with Spicy Tomato Sauce: Fantastic salmon preparation that was much easier than expected.  Without steaks available, I used fillets and it was quite tasty.

Mushroom & Herb Polenta: The cheese and mushrooms make this outstanding.