Porcini & Parmesan Farro

October 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup farro or barley, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, or other dried mushrooms, such as shitake or morels
1 cup hot water
¼ cup white wine
1 cup mushrooms, vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese such as Asiago, Manchego or Pecorino)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, tarragon, chives, oregano and/or sage

Directions

Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil, then add minced shallots. Sauté until translucent. Add drained farro and cook until a toasty fragrance emerges. Add wine and let cook for a minute, stirring often. Add reserved mushrooms and stir. Slowly add reserved mushrooms soaking liquid, being careful not to disturd the sediment. Add stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid, placed slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check farro for tenderness. (If not tender, continue to simmer, checking at 10-minute intervals until tender, adding more water if grains seem dry). Taste for seasoning. Add freshly ground pepper and grated cheese, stirring until incorporated. Taste again; add salt only if necessary. Add herbs and stir to mix. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Emily Casey

Prebuggiun per la Pasqualina (Spinach & Herb Fresh Pasta Pie)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

Lingurian Pasta (3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, made into a pliable dough)
Linguarian Prebuggiun Mixture
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Roll out the dough and place in a greased pie plate. Place the mixture in the dough in the pie plate evenly and make a whole in the middle and crack and egg, cover the top with more dough and connect the bottom layer to the top sealing the edges, like a giant ravioli in a pie tin. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Cut and serve like a pie!

Savory Herbal Curd

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch
¼ cup grated cheese, parmesan or cheese of choice
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice, chopped fine
4 large eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a medium low heat, whisking slowly until mixture is thick. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

Red Pepper, Crab & Corn Pies

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 pie pockets

Ingredients

2 roasted red peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 cup lump crab meat
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
Savory Herb Curd (recipe follows)
Savory Pie Dough
1 egg beaten
Coarse Salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 ° F .Roll out the pie dough and cut into 8 circles about 8 inches in diameter. Place a few spoonfuls of the herbal curd down in the center, next place a few spoonfuls of roasted peppers, crab meat and corn, sprinkle with the fresh herbs and fold then empanada style by rolling form one side to the other. Brush with the beaten egg and place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Savory Herbal Curd
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch
¼ cup grated cheese, parmesan or cheese of choice
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice, chopped fine
4 large eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a medium low heat, whisking slowly until mixture is thick. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

Parmesan Tomato Herb Straws

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes about 24 straws

Ingredients

1 package puff pastry (one large sheet)
Flour
1 egg beaten
½ cup sundried tomato, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon basil, chopped superfine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Maldon salt

Directions

On a floured surface roll out the puff pastry and brush with the beaten egg until the dough is moist. Sprinkle over the dough the tomato, basil and parmesan, evenly. Fold the dough over in half and roll out again, pressing all the ingredients into the dough. Cut dough into long strips about ¼ inch thick, and twist into spirals, place eon a lines baking sheet and refrigerate before baking about 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400° F and bake until golden brown of about 10-15 minutes, turning once. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with maldon salt.

Zucchini, Chili & Mint Panini with Parmesan

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 Paninis

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, cut into ribbons (using a mandolin)
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped superfine
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Salt
12-18 slices parmesan cheese
Ciabatta bread slices

Directions

In a mixing bowl mix together the zucchini, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over it and sprinkle with chilies, pine nuts and salt and mix well. Let the zucchini sit for about 10 minutes. After the zucchini has marinated place some parmesan on each side of the bread slices, layer the zucchini ribbons on the cheese and drizzle a little dressing on. Fold the bread over and cook in a panini press making sure that the outside of the bread is greased or oiled for optimal crispness.

Trofie Al Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Trofie is a simple rolled flour and water pasta widely seen in the Lingurian cuisine. It’s like Linguaria’s version of Gnocchi. It’s a hand rolled pasta typically served with pesto and because of the extreme labor intensity is generally served in small portions. Trofie is not widely available outside of Italy and is relatively simple to make with just time being the main component. The dish is often served with boiled potatoes and green beans and you will find very few variations to this regions dish. Never fear the beauty of this dish is that the trophies are supposed to look rustic and so don’t sweat too much if yours are not perfect, the key is long thin tubular strips with a little corkscrew shape to them, cooked always aldente!

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 cup potatoes, boiled and chopped fine
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut
Salt
Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions

Place the flour down on a flat surface and sprinkle in the salt. Make a well or a volcano shape and pour the water in the center. Using your fingers begin to mix the flour in, making sure to keep the water in the center. Mix until the dough is together, the dough should feel tacky and slightly damp. Knead the dough a few minutes until your fingers can move across it without sticking. Then clean the work surface and re-knead the dough for another 5-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic; super smooth! Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and let stand to rest, refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

Shaping the trofie

Get a large baking sheet line with parchment paper and sprinkle with semolina flour. Prepare a clean work surface as well and sprinkle with regular flour. Keep the dough covered in the plastic at all times when not using it. Divide the dough into about 4-6 small balls. Take each ball and roll it out using two hangs into a thick rope about 13 inch thick. Cut that rope into ¼ inch pieces. With each ¼ inch piece, roll it into a longer thinner rope. With each longer thinner rope place it down on the table and roll it into a 2-3 inch long thin strip. Using the back side of your hand and pinky finger (if your thumb is facing straight up and the back of your pinky touching the table) roll in an upside down V shape, starting with the right side roll up starting with the right side of the pasta strip and moving into the center as you roll up to the bottom part of your hand, slowly without lifting the hand, change the position of your hand to start to roll back down through the left side of the pasta strip rolling the pasta as your hand rolls down to the top of your pinky touching the pasta. Repeat this process with all the dough and until you have enough to make a batch.

Cooking the dish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place in green beans. Cook for one minute and then slowly add the Trofie. When the Trofie begins to float, about 3 minutes they are done, toss in the cooked potatoes and take off heat. Take out all the goods using a large slotted spoon and place in a large serving bowl. Add a little of the pasta water and spoon in some pesto. (About 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of pasta, 2 for those who like it bold). Mix together the pasta and the pesto until a smooth silky sauce is rolling around the Trofie. Serve with finely grated parmesan.

Tomato Basil Frittata Cups

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 eggs
¼ cup of your preference of milk (dairy, soy, rice, or almond… unsweetened and plain)
½ pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 handful of basil, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup parmesan
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small skillet brown garlic and tomatoes for about 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool, then mix in chopped herbs. In a large mixing bowl, whip eggs, milk and salt & pepper till frothy. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each muffin hole ¾ the way up with egg mixture, then dollop in a spoonful of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 minutes or util a toothpick comes out clean. To store, plane cooled frittatas in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat each one in the microwave for 35 seconds.

Pesto Pasta Carbonara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

A classic recipe herbalized, just the way summer basil likes it!

Ingredients

10 ounces orecchiette or small shell pasta or pasta of choice, cooked
¼ cup fresh pesto (using herbs and pesto of your choice)
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 slices thick cut bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine

Directions

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta to al dente, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. Whisk together the eggs and parmesan cheese and pesto, slowly whisk in the pasta liquid. In a large sauté pan on medium heat cook the bacon until crispy, drain the bacon on a paper towel and let it stand for a few minutes, break it into lots of pieces, set aside. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is well heated. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir until the sauce is creamy and the eggs have cooked into a velvety sauce. Take off heat, be careful not to overcook the egg sauce! Stir in the bacon and garnish with additional grated cheese and a basil leaf!

Bacon and Eggs Pasta Carbonara

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 pound Spaghetti
Olive oil
¼ pound bacon or pancetta bacon
2 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 large eggs
1 cup parmesan, shredded
Ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. While pasta is boiling, set up a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon/pancetta and sauté (render) until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and shallot and sauté until soft, under 1 minute. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and parmesan until incorporated well. Once the pasta is done, drain it while reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. While the pasta is hot, toss it in the sauté pan and coat it with the fat for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg and cheese mixture quickly, so as not to scramble the eggs. This must be done while the pasta is hot for it to cook the egg mixture, but off the flame. If the sauce is too thick, add in some of the reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Season with ground black pepper and parsley.

Spring Garlic Bread Sticks

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24 bread sticks

Ingredients

Basic Pizza Dough (Ger-Nis)
1 cup spring garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Maldon salt (flake sea salt)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare 1 batch of Ger-Nis Pizza Dough. In a blender add the spring garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, parmesan and red chili flakes. Blend until smooth. Shape the pizza dough in 24 long thin sticks (5 inches long and about ½ inch thick). Twist the breadsticks holding each side and twisting in opposite directions. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the garlic mixture well and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of oven and sprinkle immediately with the Maldon salt.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fien
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fien
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
3 cups baby spinach
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Roll about a tablespoon of mixture at a time into 1-inch balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery, fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Salt Baked Baby Potatoes with Spring Herb Pesto

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 pound baby bliss potatoes
3 tablespoons spring garlic stem, chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup cashews
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup parmesan, grated
4 cups kosher salt, extra for seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour 4 cups of salt into a baking dish. Evenly spread the potatoes pressing them into the salt. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

In a food processor, put your garlic and cashews, pulse two or three times. Add in basil and while blending slowly pour in your olive oil. Then add in parmesan and season to taste.

When potatoes are done, let them rest for 5 minutes. Brush off any excess salt, slice into quarters and toss with pesto.

Note: The salt can be reused up to 3 times.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Artichoke and Pancetta Farrotto with Lemon Zest Thyme Butter

May 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

10 baby artichokes
Juice of 3 lemons
½ cup pancetta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup white wine
2-3 cups farro, cooked
½ cup parmesan
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Zest Thyme Butter (Recipe Follows)

Directions

In a large bowl of ice water, add the juice of 2 lemons. Trim the baby artichokes by cutting off the stems and top quarter, remove the outer layer leaves until you are at the pale yellowish-colored leaves. Cut the baby artichoke in quarters and place immediately in the cold ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place the baby artichokes in the boiling water (straight from the ice water, we are avoiding oxidization or browning by using the lemon ice bath first). Cook the baby artichokes until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large sauté pan cook the pancetta until crispy, remove and set aside. Add the oil, garlic and onion and cook until caramelization process begins or about 7 minutes. Add the lemon zest and the baby artichokes and sauté a few minutes (about 3 minutes total), then add the wine and cook a few minutes longer. Add the cooked farro and stir well, making sure that the farro is heated all the way through. Remove from heat and mix in the parmesan. Seasonn with salt and pepper and serve with a tablespoon of the lemon zest-thyme butter atop.

Lemon Zest-Thyme Butter

Makes ½ cup butter

Ingredients

13 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 medium yellow onion
1 shallot, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto with Parsley Chive Salt Butter

May 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 cup fish stock
1½ cups asparagus stock (made from the asparagus ends and water)
1½ cups asparagus spears (about 1½ bunches)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup long grain brown rice
½ white wine
1 cup grated parmesan
Parsley Chive Salt Butter (recipe follows)

Directions

In a medium-sized saucepot combine the fish and asparagus broths and heat until warm. Keep simmering on a separate burner while making risotto. Blanch the asparagus tips in the simmering water for 2-3 minutes, remove and place in an ice bath. Set aside. In a separate medium saucepot, heat butter and olive oil to a medium heat and add shallots. Cook shallots until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink and tender, or about 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. add the rice and white wine and stir well. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Next, add 1 cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is almost cooked through, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and asparagus spears to re-warm, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and finish with the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and place about a tablespoon of parsley-chive butter onto each serving.


Parsley-Chive Butter

Makes ½ cup butter

Ingredients

13 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 medium yellow onion
1 shallot, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Raw Asparagus & Arugula Salad

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

raw apsaagus salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch asparagus, sliced at an angle
1 bunch arugula or rocolla (about 2-3 cups) chopped
½ cup parmesan, grated finely
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, arugula and parmesan, and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and combine well. Season with salt and pepper, and mix again.

Fried Artichokes Jewish Style

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

24 baby artichokes, trimmed
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Salt and Red Pepper flakes
Chopped Parsley
Grated parmesan (optional)
Lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS

Pour the oil in to a heavy pot and place over high heat. When the oil reaches 250 degrees, lower the heat.
Fry the artichokes in batches for 3-4 minutes until they soften, remove one and cool briefly, then see if the leaves will separate easily.
Drain the artichokes and cool. Gently spread the leaves from each artichoke to form a flower.
Raise the heat and bring the oil to 350°.
Fry the artichoke flowers in batches 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain and sprinkle with salt, chili flakes and parmesan if desired.
Serve the artichokes accompanied by lemon wedges.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Artichoke Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 quart chicken stock
3 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 teaspoon olive oil
â…“ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ tablespoons white wine
1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)
1 recipe baby artichokes in lemon vinaigrette, drained and thinly sliced
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped mint

DIRECTIONS

Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a sauce pan.

In another sauce pan, combine pancetta and olive oil and sauté over medium until crisp. With a slotted spoon transfer the pancetta to a paper towel line plate. Add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.

Add the rice and cook stirring for 3 minutes until opaque. Add the wine and cook until the rice has absorbed it, 1-2 minutes.

Add ½ cup stock to the rice and stir until it is absorbed, continue adding stock a ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until ¾ quarters of it has been absorbed by the rice.

Add the peas and pancetta, and artichokes. Continue cooking until all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, season with fresh ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley and mint and serve at once.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Spring Pea Risotto with Prosciutto and Basil & Mint Butter

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the pea risotto

5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 slices of prosciutto cut in small pieces
1 cup fresh peas, blanched
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

For the basil & mint butter

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped superfine
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt

DIRECTIONS

For the pea risotto

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate medium saucepot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallot until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Add rice and cook and stir for 1 minute. Next, add 1 cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is almost cooked through, about 20. Add peas and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and finish with cheese, and basil & mint butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

For the basil & mint butter

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and use to finish risotto.

Snap Pea & Mint Salad

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound raw snap peas, trimmed and julienned
¼ white onion, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens and Italian Herb Gremolata

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Italian Herb Gremolata, recipe follows

DIRECTIONS

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook till vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with mixed herb gremolata.

Italian Herb Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Spinach & Three Cheese Ravioli (kid friendly)

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fresh spinach juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup parmesan, grated fine
½ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
¼ cup ricotta cheese
Butter

Directions

Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add egg, spinach juice and salt. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form dough, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Roll pasta:

Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and over rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll out into flat sheets.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the three cheeses and mix well. To assemble ravioli cut the fresh pasta sheets cut into about 2 square inches, add 1 dollop of filling. Cover with another 2 inch pasta square. Using wet fingers seal all sides of ravioli by pinching down. Place raviolis in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until floating.

Strain and dollup with butter.

Winter Minestrone

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red onion, chopped medium
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 medium yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups hot water
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup small fresh macaroni (¾ cup dried)
½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt/ pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total.

Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add stewed tomatoes to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir into vegetables and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (Tomatoes may stick to pot, but don’t let them burn.) Bring to a simmer. Stir in kale and parmesan rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop herbs, and stir into soup along with beans. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes.
Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Artichoke Pesto with Parmesan Tortilla Chips

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For Dip

2 (15-ounce) cans of artichoke hearts, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt

For Tortilla Chips

4 whole wheat tortillas, each cut into 8 triangles
Extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt
¼ cup parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place the artichokes, garlic, basil, walnuts, cheese, lemon juice, and zest in food processor. Puree, and slowly pour in oil until blended. Season with salt, and set aside.

Place tortilla triangles on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil and season with salt and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until toasted. Serve immediately with dip.

Kale & Apple Sausage Pot Pie with Apple Parmesan Whole-Wheat Phyllo “Beggars Purses”

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 Casserole Size Pie

Here is a great seasonal family meal, filled with nutrition and fit for a fancy potluch. Don’t be frightened by the beggar’s purses either – they’re a cinch.

INGREDIENTS

For the Pies

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound or about 3-4 links of turkey or chicken apple sausage
2 medium tart apples, cored and chopped
3 cups purple kale, chopped coarsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh apple cider
1 cup chicken broth
Salt/pepper

For the Beggar’s Purses

8 sheets phyllo dough
1 stick butter, melted
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tart apple, peeled cored, and chopped fine
8 fresh chives, blanched

PREPARATION

In a large sauté pan, over medium high heat, add oil. Sauté onions, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 7 minutes. Add sausage, apples, and kale, cook until sausage is cooked through and greens are wilted. Add apple cider, chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Set aside.

Cut each phyllo sheet in half to equal 16 squares in total. Make sure to cover phyllo that you’re not using with a damp cloth or paper towel.

On a flat surface, place one phyllo sheet, and brush entire surface (especially the edges) with melted butter. Place a second sheet on top in the opposite direction, creating an “X” pattern. Brush with butter again; repeat with 2 more sheets – which will equal 4 sheets in total.

In the center of the top sheet, place 1 tablespoon of apples on top, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Pull all the sides of the phyllo up towards the center to make a purse. Tie the top with a blanched chive. Brush outside with more melted butter. Continue until 8 purses are assembled.

Place purses on top of casserole, and bake.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups chicken broth
1¾ cups water
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and seeded, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¾ cup Arborio rice
½ cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth and water until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate large saucepot, sauté onion in oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sage, sugar and pumpkin. Then add rice, cook stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Next, add 1 cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and finish with cheese, butter, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Herbed Polenta

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

6 cups water
Salt
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Bring water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan to a boil, add cornmeal, and whisk well. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thick and tender, whisking regularly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and cracked pepper. Stir well until all is melted and incorporated.

Sicilian Style Herbed Meatballs with Stewed Tomatoes & Parmesan Polenta

December 20th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, ground
1 bulb garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten

Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 lbs plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

PREPARATION

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Use fingers to mix well and squish ingredients together. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal and the currants and again mix very well using fingers. Add the beaten eggs and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bind and stick together.

Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼ inch balls and set aside.

In a large, deep heavy bottom pan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil to a high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches by rolling them around on all sides until well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well so to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and the salt and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about five minutes. Turn the burner on low and add the meatballs to the sauce stirring gently until the meatballs are covered in the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Serve over polenta and pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375° oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

Parmesan Thyme Biscuits

December 20th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen biscuits

INGREDIENTS

2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 cup buttermilk
Unbleached flour for kneading

PREPARATION

Combine flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, baking soda, thyme and parmesan in a large mixing bowl, mix well. Cut in the butter and mix well until mixture resembles a course meal. Add the buttermilk and mix until a soft dough forms. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead gently until the dough is soft and pliable, this usually takes a few minutes. Roll out dough until it is about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough in rounds or the shape of your preference and set on a greased cookie sheet. Place the biscuits in a 45o° oven that has been preheated for thirty minutes and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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