Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Cook Time - about 20 min
1 lb pasta (I used rigtoni)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey
red wine, for de-glazing
1 jar chunky marinara sauce (or make your own)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
A few basil leaves, torn
Cook noodes to al dente. Drain & set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and brown.
Turn heat to high and add a bit of red wine to de-glaze the pan.
Turn heat to medium-low and add marinara sauce (should be about 3-4 cups). Simmer about 10 minutes.
Add mascarpone and basil and mix together until well blended. Once blended, add pasta and toss until well-coated.
**I think this sauce would be great with some small chunks of fresh veggies - maybe some zucchini, carrots, celery, and green/red peppers.**
When I was growing up, summers were the time to go out and pick fresh berries. Apparently that isn't common when you grow up in the city, as my husband had never picked berries before.
So, my mom, husband, and I drove even further into the country to a berry farm and picked some gorgeous fresh raspberries.
Aren't they purdy?
Friday, July 25, 2008
Earlier this week, I decided to give steak with a pan sauce a go and found Ina Garten's recipe for Filet au Poivre. I figured you can't go wrong with Ina.
This recipe is super simple and pretty fun to make. In all, I think I'm more of a steak purist and prefer them without any sauce, but it was a nice change and I would definitely recommend this to friends. I do recommend, however, using a less expensive cut of meat than a filet.
Filet of Beef au Poivre
Recipe by Ina Garten
Serves 6 (I cut the recipe down by half)
Total Cook & Prep Time - 25 min
6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick (I used 2 - I don't remember the cut)
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
1 cup canned beef broth
1/2 cup good Cognac or brandy (I used brandy)
Place the filets on a board and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the black pepper evenly on both sides. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the butter almost smokes. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on 1 side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Cognac/brandy and cook for 2 more minutes (NOTE - do not lean over the pan and inhale as the alcohol is burning off. Trust me on that one). Off the heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve the steaks hot with the sauce poured on top.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Most of my readers should know by now that coming up with my own recipes really isn't my thing, but I gave it a go tonight, and I must say, I impressed myself. In fact, so much so that I'm going to submit it to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Kate at Thyme for Cooking. I didn't really measure, so the recipe below is an approximation.
Mascarpone Mac & Cheese
Cook Time - 20 minutes
3/4 lb elbow macaroni
2 TBSP butter
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
3/4 cup grated Fontina cheese
3 TBP butter
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP flour
Boil noodles to al dente. Drain & set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Add milk & cream. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer until slightly thickened.
In another saucepan or medium skillet, melt 2 TBSP butter. Once melted, add mascarpone cheese and whisk until melted and smooth. Add the fontina and mix until smooth.
Add the noodles to the cheese mixture and stir until well mixed. Add the béchamel and mix until it reaches your desired level of creaminess. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
For those of you who haven't had real gelato before, I suggest you go out and find some now (but don't buy it at the grocery store. That stuff is all crap). It's similar to ice cream, but has a higher milk concentration (rather than cream) so it is more dense and much more flavorful. A real raspberry gelato should taste just like you're eating a smooth, cold raspberry.
After doing a lot of searching online, I came across a recipe for strawberry gelato that looked like it could be easily modified for raspberry (and by the picture, it looked delicious). Our review: super simple. It was delicious, but had a little too much of a dairy after-taste, so we'll cut down on the dairy a bit the next time we make it. So, the search continues, but minimally.
1 lb. fresh raspberries
12 oz. granulated sugar, about 1.5 cups
1.5 cup cold whipping cream
1.5 cup cold water
dash of lemon juice (only if fruit isn’t “bright” enough)
Put berries, sugar and water into a blender or food processor and blend until liquid and smooth. (This is also where you’ll add lemon juice if necessary.) (I suggest straining the blended mixture to remove the seeds. It's more authentic that way, and I think it tastes better).
Whip the cream until slightly thickened - like the consistency of buttermilk.
Combine the cream with the raspberry mixture and mix thoroughly until blended.
Freeze as indicated by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker. (I suggest going out and buying the Cuisinart ice cream maker. It's wonderful).
Sunday, July 20, 2008
First the rules:
Anyone can play!
A theme will be picked by the host. Participants will make a dish that follows the theme and that somehow represents their home region- town, state, area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist.
Participants will have 3-4 weeks (host discretion) to complete their recipes and post them to their blog (or email the pics and text), and notify the host. The host will then post the results and then let everyone know via email or message board the results are up! An explanation of your dish is required; it can be a story about the local custom or ingredient, how you came about eating/ making the recipe, or an explanation about how your creative dish fits the theme.
Fresh and local foods are encouraged!
When the round is done, the host will announce their favorite dish by updating their blog. Favorite is completely subjective to the host- no one expects the host to make and taste test all the dishes, it is just something that strikes the host’s fancy! The creator of the fave gets the honor of hosting the next round, if they so choose!
Now, onto the fun part:
The theme for this round-up is...
I hope you all have fun with this topic and put your culinary creativity to work. I'm anxious to see what you come up with (and hopefully, I'll get some great new pizza recipes to try out). If you've never participated before, don't be shy.
To participate, please send an email to elizabethscookingAThotmailDOTcom with “HomeGrown Gourmet 10″ in the subject, with your name, blog name and URL, location, and permalink to your entry. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please submit your recipe and pictures to the above email and I will post them for you. Please try to have a picture of your dish in your post. Deadline for the event is Monday, August 25, 2008. I can’t wait to see all of your entries and pick a winner for the next round!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Stupid name aside, this dish is great. The Neelys are now three for three in our house. It reminded me a bit of chicken cacciatore, only without peppers and with rosemary. The flavors complimented each other perfectly. I recommend using fresh herbs instead of dried, if you can. I think fresh herbs give food a little extra something. I'd definitely make it again and would recommend it to anyone who wants a healthy, hearty dish (yes, I know that sounds contradictory). Enjoy!
Get Yo Man Chicken
Recipe by The Neely's
Serves 4-6 (I cut down the recipe for 2)
2 TBSP olive oil
6 chicken thighs, skinless (I used boneless thighs)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 tsp dried thyme (I used basil)
1/2 TBSP dried rosemary (I used fresh)
1 TBSP lemon-pepper
Hot buttered rice*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper (I also used garlic powder). Brown the chicken, meat-side down first, and turning once, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate to reserve.
Pour off all but 1 TBSP of oil from the pan.
Add onion to the pan and saute until tender, roughly 3 minutes. Add the stock and wine and stir, scrapping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to high and reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the herbs and lemon pepper. Add the chicken thighs back in. Cover and cook on medium low for about 40 minutes.
Remove chicken from liquid and serve on hot buttered rice. Ladle the sauce on top and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
*I make this recipe exactly, except I omit the shallots and thyme.
I recently found out that I'm the winner of Homegrown Gourmet 9. The theme was pasta, and I submitted my Swedish Meatball recipe. I'm totally, completely honored. Thanks, Meghan!
Now, this means that I get to host the next round. Check back soon - I'll be posting the details of the next roundup within the next 10 days
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
What was I doing ten years ago?
I was just getting ready to start my senior year of high school, working very part time at a local video store.
What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
1. Grocery shop (just did that)
2. (Rental) house hunt
3. Play with cats
4. Cook dinner
5. Watch TV
Five snacks I enjoy:
4. Chocolate chip cookies
5. Cheese & crackers
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Quit working
2. Move to Ireland
Places I’ve lived:
1. Fergus Falls, MN
2. St. Paul, MN
3. Minneapolis, MN
4. London, England
5. Bloomington, MN
Jobs I’ve had:
1. Cashier/clerk @ small-town video store
2. Music librarian
3. Salesperson @ Eddie Bauer
4. Public Defender law clerk
I will be tagging:
1. Annie at Well, that would be telling
2. Annie at Annie's Eats
3. Samantha at Sweet Sam
4. Sarah at The Good Wife
5. Carrie at Carrie's Sweet Life
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Anyway, I've had this dish on my "to make" list for at least a couple of months, but I couldn't find Marsala wine at any liquor store in my area. Then, on Saturday, I decided to ask an employee at Trader Joe's. He'd never heard of it, but when I explained it's a fortified wine similar to a sherry, he pointed me to where he thought it might be, if they had it. To my delight, there it was, on the very bottom shelf.
So, I got out of work at a reasonable hour and decided tonight was the night. My husband somewhat begrudgingly went along (he doesn't like mushrooms either).
In the end, I liked it, but it's probably not something I'll put in my regular rotation, unless I discover that the sauce tastes similar without the mushrooms and Marsala wine becomes more readily available. However, I still don't like mushrooms. They're just weird. While it was really good, it was a bit too labor intensive for a regular, weeknight meal. I do hope you enjoy it, but consider yourself warned that it takes longer than it seems it should. I served this with some roasted garlic mashed potatoes with fresh rosemary (which ended up being a little too pine-y tasting Note to self: add less rosemary next time) and steamed broccoli tossed in a bit of oil.
from America's Test Kitchen, adapted
4 chicken breast halves, pounded lightly (I used boneless, skinless thighs)
flour, for dredging
Salt & pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
2 oz pancetta (I'm not sure what this adds)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (I used 4 oz canned mushrooms)
1 tsp tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Marsala wine
4 TBSP butter
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Season the chicken with salt & pepper and dredge in flour. Add to the pan once oil is hot and shimmering, but not smoking. Pan fry until no longer pink, or about 3-4 min per side. Remove from pan and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
Add pancetta to the pan and fry until lightly crispy (again, not sure what this added and will probably omit if I make this recipe again). Add mushrooms about 1/2 way through cooking the pancetta. Stir frequently, scraping up any brown bits. Once the mushrooms are brown and their juices have released, add the garlic and tomato paste and stir. Cook about 1 minute, or until the tomato paste just begins to brown.
Remove from heat and add the wine. Turn heat to high and keep stirring until the alcohol burns off and wine reduces and starts turning syrup-y. Once it reduces to about 1 1/2 cups of liquid, add the butter and stir. If the sauce isn't to your desired consistency, whisk in a couple tsp of flour.
Transfer to a plate and spoon sauce over the chicken and enjoy!
Monday, July 7, 2008
I've never made risotto before. Well, I've never made it intentionally, that is. That time I sort of accidentally turned basmati rice into risotto doesn't exactly count. Coincidentally, I've also never made or even eaten dirty rice.
This recipe was really easy. I found it a little annoying to need to stand over the stove and stir constantly for about 25 minutes, but that was only a small issue. We both really liked this dish and I will definitely make it again, though probably on a less hot day, or when/if we finally get central air.
Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis, adapted
Total Cook & Prep Time - about an hour
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP butter
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
6 oz Italian turkey sausage
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used a mix of red & green)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 TBSP chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat. I'm not sure this was necessary, as I started with room-temperature broth.
In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat.
Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Family Recipe (true source unknown)
18 Rhodes frozen roll dough balls
1 package butterscotch cook & serve pudding (NOT INSTANT)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Grease a bundt cake pan.
Place the frozen dough balls in the bottom of the pan. I like to do it so there is an inner and an outer layer when it cooks.
Sprinkle the dry pudding mix on top of the dough.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and combine it with the brown sugar. Once mixed together, pour over the top of the dough and dry pudding mix.
Place in a cold oven overnight (or about 8 hrs, if not overnight). Turn on oven to 350 and bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Don't bother to take them out to pre-heat the oven. Just turn it on and set a timer for 25 minutes and walk away. When the timer goes off, the caramel rolls should be done.
*Let them sit about 10 minutes before flipping and removing them from the bundt pan. When it's time to do so, I suggest covering the top of the pan with a plate and flipping the whole thing over as fast as you can. Make sure to keep watch for any caramel that slips out the sides.
Makes about 3 cups
Recipe from Mangia Bene
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk, divided
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped*
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, & salt. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of milk to dissolve the cornstarch.
Gradually stir in the rest of the milk.
Cook over medium heat until it thickens and begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Add cream and vanilla and whisk.
Refridgerate for at least 2 hrs. Transfer to an ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer's directions.
*Use the best chocolate available to you. If you use cheap American chocolate, your gelato will taste like just slightly better than your average American chocolate ice cream.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Chicken Piccata Pasta
Recipe by Rachael Ray
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
One boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 TBSP butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 TBSP flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1 TBSP capers, drained
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2/3 - 3/4 lb penne pasta, cooked to al dente
Chopped or snipped chives, for garnish
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat.
Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes.
Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce.
Stir in capers and parsley. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce.
Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped chives and Parmesan cheese.
* I really wouldn't do much differently. While the chicken was a nice touch, I don't think it was necessary. I don't think you'd be missing much by leaving it out or putting some veggies in its place. I want to try this with boneless skinless thighs in the next time, given that they have slightly more flavor.