Monday, January 31, 2011

Salt Baked Branzino

I have been progressing on my quest to cook and eat more fish quite nicely. Today I have for you a Salt Baked Branzino. I actually have eaten a lot of Branzino, it's one of my mom's favorites and she grills them whole all the time. I decided to bake mine in a salt dome, which is something I have always wanted to do. It looks and sounds impressive and tastes wonderful and it is very easy to do. The hardest part in getting the fillets out of the whole fish after they cook. Some of the pieces turned out nicely, but some fell apart. Be gentle, is the best advice I can give, it's a delicate fish. And while you are eating the fish, be careful for little bones that might be left. I realize this doesn't sound like a really winning endorsement but I assure you the fish is absolutely delicious and worth the little extra effort! I served the delicious fish with simple roasted Brussels sprouts (one of my favorites!) and some leftover corn bread that I had made for my ribs night. Enjoy!

Salt Baked Branzino:
1 14.5 oz container of unrefined sea salt, fine crystals
2 egg whites, possibly more
2 1 lb whole branzinos, cleaned
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 lemons, plus more for serving
1 tsp of pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the fish and pat dry. Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season inside the slits of the fish with peeper, and stuff each one with 3 sprigs of thyme. Cut one lemon into 6 thin slices and reserve ends for juice. Place 3 lemon slices on the inside of each fish, over the thyme. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish. Mix salt with egg whites, one at a time, until the mixture looks like wet sand. Divide the salt between the two fish and cover the fish with salt, packing it down slightly. Bake fish until the sand has a slightly golden tint, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and crack the salt to remove fish. Check the fish for doneness, and if they aren't cooked through return to the oven (without the salt is fine) for a few minutes. When the fish are cooked, remove the lemon and thyme for the fish. Cut off the head and the tail and open the fish from the slit. Gently lift fish away from the bone and serve with a piece of fresh lemon for squeezing. (adapted from Epicurious)

The fish stuffed and ready for their salt dome:

Salted, baked, and ready to be cracked and served:

Brussels Sprouts:
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 lb of brussel sprouts
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 425. These can really be cooked at any temperature, I started them at 425, then lowered the oven to 400 when I put the fish in. Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts and wash them. In a large casserole dish toss the Brussels sprouts with salt pepper and olive oil. Cook the sprouts on the top rack until they are tender and browned in spots, about 35 minutes, but will vary by temperature.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Short Rib Tacos

This past weekend I was watching Barefoot Contessa do he thing in the kitchen, and she was talking about her love affair with high-low foods. I absolutely loved this idea, taking something fancy, gourmet, and expensive, and adding it to something typically made with cheaper, common ingredients, bringing the food off it's pedestal and back to us common folk. Later, at Wegmans, I happened to see the most perfect and beautiful looking short ribs, so I bought them. When planning my slow cooker madness, I remembered what Ina had said, and decided these short ribs were just meant to be tacos. And they were. The pictures didn't come out as fantastically as I hoped, but I simply had to share this with you, because this is, in my opinion the most delicious and best thing I have ever cooked. I am being serious. I cannot ever remember a meal I've made being so delicious, so incredible, so amazingly perfect. For a slow cooker meal, this is more work than I typically like, but it is totally and completely worth it. So make a batch and enjoy.

For the Short Ribs:
1/2 tbsp oil
1-1.5 lbs of boneless short ribs
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of chili powder

For the cooking sauce:
1 red pepper
1/2 onion
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of sherry
4 cloves of garlic
1 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 lemon, juice
3 whole peeled plum tomatoes (canned), plus 1 tbsp of their juices

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Rub the short ribs with salt, pepper and chili powder. Brown the ribs on each side (all 4) for 2 minutes. Transfer ribs to the bowl of a slow cooker. Dice the onion and red pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. In the meantime in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, chili powder and corn starch. When the onions have softened, add the sherry to the pan, and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Add in the soy sauce mixture and cook stirring until the sauce thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Transfer contents of pan into a food processor or blender. Add the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, and tomato juice and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Up to this point can be done the night before, just refrigerate the slow cooker bowl over night, and cook the next morning. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or according to the directions of your slow cooker. After cooking, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and transfer to a bowl. Shred the meat with two forks (this will be very easy to do). Ladle the cooking liquid to another bowl for serving, if desired. Serve the ribs with taco fixings (listed at bottom) and salsa verde.

Salsa Verde:
6 medium tomatillos, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
1 jalapeño
1/4 large red onion
1/2 a lime, zested and juiced
salt, pepper

In a small pot, over high heat, cook the tomatillos and garlic until they are soft, about 7 minutes. Drain the pot of the liquid and add tomatillos and garlic to a blender or food processor. Add red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Puree until smooth. Add the lime juice and zest and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. This makes a lot of salsa, serve some with the tacos and keep the rest for chips and salsa snacking later on.

Taco Fixings and assembly:
Small flour tortillas
Sour Cream
Queso Blanco/ Queso Fresco
Diced red onion
Salsa verde
Lime wedges

Queso Blanco (Queso fresco is very similar), in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a delicious mild soft/crumbly Mexican cheese. It has a nice salty bite, and is really just delicious. It's great with these tacos and also with guacamoles.

Heat the tortillas on a hot pan on both sides. Add a scoop of meat to the tortilla, then sprinkle with onion, salsa verde, cheese, and a squeeze of lime. Serve with sour cream for dipping (or on it). Enjoy the insane high-low deliciousness!

Happy Eating.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pan Seared Swordfish

Part of my blog-a-versery goals for this year was more fish to makes it's way here. This goes amazingly with one of my New Year's resolution, which is to eat more fish. Hmmm... Cook more fish, eat more fish, that definitely goes well together. So far I have been doing very well with the eating more fish, and I am moving along nicely with the cooking more fish. Today I have this delicious swordfish steak for you. Swordfish is a great "beginner" fish, it has a very mild flavor and it cooks similarly to a steak. It is great for grilling, broiling or pan searing. I pan seared mine very simply, and served it with roasted potatoes, onions and turnips. Eating the side reminded me of the cold and how much longer there is left in winter, but the fish tasted very fresh and summery. I think the plate definitely reflects my weather attitude, that is if it is going to insist on being this cold, I would like some more snow, but otherwise bring on the warm weather! Either way, this swordfish is delicious and great if you are not a big fish lover. If you are a fish lover (like me) stay tuned because I have a more "advanced" dinner coming up.

Pan Seared Swordfish:
1 lb sword fish steak, about 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 lemon
1/2 lime
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and pepper, squeeze with the lime juice, and the juice of half the lemon. When the pan is hot, place fish in the pan and cook for 2 minutes, lower heat to medium and cook an additional 3 minutes. Meanwhile dice the shallots and the garlic and add them to the pan. Flip the fish and cook for 5 minutes. Cut the fish into 2 steaks for serving. Serve with a lemon wedge from the reserved lemon half.

Roasted Potatoes, Onions, and Turnips:
1/2 lb of red potatoes
1 large turnip, peeled
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of chili powder
2 tbsp of olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the potatoes, turnip, and onion into large bite size pieces. Lightly grease a small casserole dish and put veggies in it. Mince the garlic. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder to the dish and toss together. Sprinkle with olive oil and toss until everything is coated. Bake until potatoes are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, about 35 minutes, depending on the cut of your veggies.

Happy Eating.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Rustic Stew with Poached Eggs

I woke up to snow again today. Winter rages on, it may not be the Snow-pocolypse of last year, but this winter seems equally cold and long. Thank goodness for soups, stews and hearty winter meals. Without them I feel like I would go insane, or just be constantly freezing. I have come to love my time standing next to the oven, or above a a pot of something boiling, especially when it is creating something this delicious and simple. It's been ages since I've cooked with carrots, celery, and onions (all together, that is) and I forgot how magical a flavor combination and base it is. One bite of this stew instantly reminded me. And topping it with an egg adds a magnificent richness.

Rustic Stew with Poached Eggs:
1 tbsp of olive oil
4 carrots
1 bunch of celery
2 cup of mushrooms
3 shallots
4 garlics
2 small onions
1/2 cup of sherry wine
1 can of white beans, drained
1 cup of tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch of kale, stems and ribs removed
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper
6 slices of bacon
1 egg per person eating

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Chop the onions, carrots, and celery and add to the pot. Dice the garlic and shallots and add to the pot. Add the mushrooms to the pot as well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until it evaporates. Add the beans, tomato puree, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, salt and pepper to taste (on the light side), top with bay leaves and thyme, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaves and add chard. Cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon and poach eggs. Serve a bowl of the stew topped with chopped/crumbled bacon and an egg. (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Happy Eating.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

It's football playoff season, and even though my beloved Eagles lost, while I was freezing my little tush off at the game, I might add, there is still plenty to see. And seeing is eating (and drinking). So for long cold Sundays spent watching football, we need some good, messy game eats. How about some ridiculously large BBQ pork spare ribs? Yes, please. Ribs are so easy to make at home, I surprised I never thought of doing it before. Just remember the one cardinal rule, SLOW AND LOW, and your ribs will turn out tender, juicy, and succulent. So grab a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (or make your own, recipe at the bottom) and cozy up for a few hours while the wonderful smell of barbecue wafts threw your house.

Pork Spare Ribs:
6 lbs of Pork spare ribs (2 slabs)
3 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
2 tsp of onion powder
1/2 cup of Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows), plus more for serving

In a small bowl mix together the sugar and all the seasonings. Rub the ribs with the spice mixture on both sides. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably longer, up to overnight. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with tin foil and place a slab of ribs on each sheet, bonier side down. Put sheets in the oven and cook for 1 hour, then flip the baking sheets (upper to lower, lower to upper), bake an additional hour. Flip the ribs again, and brush each rack with barbecue sauce. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Ribs will be tender and very easy to cut into individual ribs. Serve with additional sauce on the side, and keep second (and third) helpings of ribs in the oven while you are eating.

Roasted Chile Barbecue Sauce:
2 anaheim chilis
2 jalapeños
1 1/2 cups of tomato puree
1 cup of ketchup
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of white wine vinegar
1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste
1/2 cup of molasses
1/4 tsp of salt

Pre-heat the broiler. Wash the peppers and pat dry. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Broil until skins are charred and peppers are fragrant, about 4 minutes each side. Let peppers cool down. In a small pot over bring tomato puree and ketchup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Meanwhile, peel the charred skin off the peppers and slice off tops (discard seeds if desired). Put peppers and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is pureed. Add to the tomato mixture. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer covered for 2 hours or longer.

They are so delicious I had to throw in one last pic.

Happy Eating.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

The extreme cold rages on, I literally feel like I haven't been warm since October! So, inevitably, every night, I just want something warm and hearty, and maybe a little creamy. I spent two weeks craving macaroni and cheese before I finally caved and made a batch. My batch is lightened up, but only slightly. This was so creamy and cheesy and satisfying, with a crispy crunchy crust (the best part). Serve it up with some stewed tomatoes, or a splash of hot sauce, or just dig in and eat it right from the dish! Be warned though it's highly addictive and instead of satisfying my craving it only made me want more, so I am sure I will be whipping up another batch soon.

Macaroni and Cheese:
8 oz of Elbow Noodles
1 Tbsp of unsalted butter
2 Tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of half and half
1 cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cook Pasta according to package directions. In a small pot melt the butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour. Add in the chicken broth, until the mixture is smooth. Raise heat and bring the broth to a boil, whisk in the the buttermilk and then the half and half. Return heat to low, and cook stirring frequently until the sauce thickens slightly. Whisk in the cheddar cheese a little at a time until all the cheese is all incorporated, salt and pepper to taste. Lightly grease a 7" by 11" glass casserole dish. Pour the cooked noodles into the dish and pour cheese mixture over noodles, mix so cheese is evenly distributed. Mix together the bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top. Bake until top is crispy and golden, about 20-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Eating.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Brown Sugared Pork Loin

This recipe is beyond simple. It's also beyond delicious. And the very simple reason for that is the meat thermometer. I am currently in love with my meat thermometer, it ensures that you have a perfectly cooked roast every time. I don't have any kind of fancy thermometer, just a cheap and pointy thing you shove into the meat every so often. So get yours out, or go buy one, check it obsessively, and roast something to to it's exact delicious temperature. Also remember, the internal temperature will rise a little while resting. I highly recommend reading/browsing the Field Guide to Meat for more information and temperature times, it also has really handy charts of pretty much every conceivable cut of meat. It is truly amazing how much better meat tastes when it's cooked perfectly.

Brown Sugar Pork Loin:
1 2-3 lb boneless pork loin
3 yellow onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 cup of chicken stock
2 tbsp of olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the onions and mince the garlic, put them in the bottom of a small casserole dish. Mix together the sugar and spices. Rub the pork with the spice mixture so that all parts are covered, sprinkle any remaining mixture over the onions. Put the pork on top of the onions and drizzle pork and onions with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue cooking until a meat thermometer registers 150-155 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes, covered, before serving. This will yield a delicious and medium/medium-well cooked pork loin, with a slightly pink center. Serve in thick slices.

Happy Eating.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breakfast Bacon Casserole

I love breakfast! An obscene amount. It is totally my favorite meal. It can be sweet or savory, healthy or sinful and it's all delicious! I tend to favor more savory breakfasts, now. I think because during the week, my breakfasts tend to be sweeter (oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, etc), so on the weekends I like to gorge myself on glorious egg dishes. For example, this delectable, savory, cheesy-bacony-eggy casserole.

*This post is entered in Denny's and/or Foodbuzz BACONALIA challenge

Breakfast Bacon Casserole:
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 lb of potatoes
1 green pepper
2 small onions
1 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt
6 slices of thick bacon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of cumin
3 oz of Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a medium glass casserole dish. Grate potatoes and onions using the large wholes on a box grater or the grating blade on a food processor. Chop the green pepper. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites and yogurt until well combined and slightly fluffy, add in seasonings, and Gruyère, and stir. Add in vegetables and pour mixture into casserole dish. Chop bacon (raw) and sprinkle on top of the egg mixture, then top that with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until set, about 40 minutes. Turn on the broiler and bake an additional 2-3 minutes, until top is golden. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Happy Eating.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Surf and Turf Skewers

Sometimes, even though it is freezing cold and 100% winter, I need a little taste of summer to keep me going. I need to pseudo-grill, and I am willing to pay exorbitant prices for fresh herbs that I used to have in my garden (for free, well not free, but pretty much). Sometimes I really want fish, but the boyfriend really wants steak. And I think, hey I think there is a name for that, I believe they call it "Surf and Turf". No I don't have lobster for you, I wish I did, but it's a little harder to (and more expensive) to come by, but I do have a smaller shellfish cousin (and some steak) in a lovely herbaceous and garlicky marinade, to chase away all your winter blues.

Surf and Turf Skewers:
3/4 lb of shrimp
1 Strip Steak
1 green pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 onions
1/2 cup of parsley
1 cup of cilantro
1/2 shallot
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 lime, juiced
3/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

In a food processor pulse the parsley, cilantro, shallot, and garlic until finely chopped and slightly paste like. Add in the olive oil and citrus juice, and pulse a few times until incorporated. Stir in salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cut the steak into large bite size chunks, roughly the same size. Put them in a plastic bag, and spoon in about a third of the marinade, enough to coat the pieces. Marinade for at least 30 minutes. Soak bamboo skewers in water. Pre-heat the boiler with the rack in the upper third of the oven, and line the broiler pan with tinfoil and grease. Peel and devein shrimp, put in a container with an additional third of the marinade, stirring so all shrimp are coated. Cut the peppers and onion into large bite size pieces. Skewer the veggies. Place them on the broiler pan and into the oven. Next, skewer the meat. Add them to the pan when the veggies have been cooking for about 5 minutes. Finally, skewer the shrimp, and add them to the pan when the meat has been cooking for about 4 minutes. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until meat is cooked to desired level and shrimp are pink and curled. Remove from the oven. Serve with rice or your favorite starchy side.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fruit-in Biscotti

My favorite cookies from this year Christmas cookie plate were definitely the Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies, however I was definitely in the minority. The overwhelming favorite was the fruit-in biscotti (I didn't make up the name, everyone just started calling them that). They are not to sweet and have a very satisfying crunch. They tasted amazing in my after dinner coffee, but just as delicious by themselves. The original recipe is from Tate's Bake Shop Cook Book, which I won from Cake Duchess along with samples of their cookies (thanks so much). I really wanted to make something from the book, and the biscotti just sort of jumped out at me. You can easily make these your own by change up the flavor profile, sub out different fruits, sweeteners, nuts and extracts. I will definitely be whipping up another batch soon.

Fruit-In Biscotti:
1/2 cup of sugar
3 Eggs
1/4 cup of grade A maple syrup
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 tsp of almond extract
3 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
3/4 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 cup of dried cherries
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup of craisins

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Add in the maple syrup, oil, and almond extract, stir until combined. Add the baking powder, salt, spices, and 1 cup of flour. Mix until flour is incorporated. Add an additional cup of flour, and mix until incorporated. Repeat with final cup of flour. Add in almonds and dried fruit and mix them in so they are distributed throughout the dough. Separate the dough in half and shape each half into a log that is about 2 1/2 inches by 14 inches (it's more important that the dough be 2 1/2 inches on the short side, than that the long side be 14 inches, so if yours is shorter or longer that's fine). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the logs 3 inches apart on the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes. When you remove the biscotti from the oven they will not be golden at all, and will not look finished. After they cool slice each log long ways into 1/2 inch pieces (so the cookies are 2 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch) and return them to the parchment lined baking sheet (they are done rising so you can put them very close together). Cook for 20 minutes longer, until they are toasted and golden. Serve with coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or by themselves. (adapted from Tate's Bakeshop)

Happy Eating


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Well friends, exactly one year ago today, I decided to start a food blog. Well, not so much of a food blog, but a blog about my hobbies cooking, knitting/crafts, and also my dream hobby (it grows a little more every year but is still a dream) gardening. I had wanted to blog for a very long time and never felt like I had anything to say. I would write a post, then quit, try again and quit again. Then I found some focus, and something delicious to eat, and a true passion was born. It started slow, to be honest, I didn't know if anyone would read it (besides my parents, boyfriend, and handful of friends). The more I posted the more inspired I was to cook, to grow, to learn new things, and to post. Although I still dream of gardens and knit, I have been happy to let them fade and to feed the true passion I have discovered in the kitchen. I have come so far this year, from just saying what I was making, no pictures, barely a recipe, to recipes people can (and have) follow and pictures. I have found a wonderful community of foodie friends through Foodbuzz and Twitter. I have conquered personal goals, participated in challenges, tried new things, and grown as a cook and a person. I thank you all so much for a wonderful year and being such a big part of my life.

Some highlights from this past year (In no particular Order):
1. Participating in Project Food Blog
2. Making Macaroons
3. Being featured on Glamour Magazine's Blog Vitamin G
4. Cooking for my mom
5. Roasting a whole Duck
6. Making Jam
7. Learning to make Gifitle Fish with my aunt
8. Having the girls for a giant 3 post brunch
9. Making the boyfriend's birthday cake
10. Making the Foodbuzz Top 9
11. Seeing (and being seen) on The Martha Show
12. The first time someone told me they made one of my recipes
13. Eating my way through Argentina
14. Deep frying Indian samosas

So what's next, well I have some goals for next year...
1. Make Bread
2. Get something on Taste Spotting
3. Make beautiful ravioli
4. Work on my photography
5. Grow lots more herbs and veggies, and cook with them
6. Cook something from a new country
7. Host a cocktail party
8. Decorate a cake
9. More fish!
10. Keep cooking, eating, feeding, posting, and having fun

So once again thanks again, I couldn't have asked for a better first year. And a very special thanks to my first readers, for encouraging me always and trying all my food (good, bad, and works in progress). Keep reading and keep those comments coming, I love reading every single one! Here's to another year of me, in the kitchen.

And as always, Happy Eating.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Homemade Spinach Pasta

Guess what I got?!! A Cuisanart Food Processor and a pasta roller! That can only mean one thing... Homemade pasta and lots of it!!! The pasta was so much fun to make, and tasted amazing. So fresh, plus it cooked in about 2 minutes. To add a little extra veggie to my meal, I decided to make spinach pasta, which was a fantastic idea. It's a beautiful green, with just a hint of veggie flavor. For dinner, I made a red sauce (my all short cuts, easy for winter, the tomatoes in the store are terrible, and don't even try to find fresh herbs, sauce) and meatballs. The for lunch the next day I ate the left over pasta with grilled chicken, goat cheese, spinach, and a little olive oil. Both were excellent. The pasta was so much fun to make I can't wait to use it again, maybe on some ravioli...

The pasta recipe is from Williams-Sonoma. I halved the the recipe, rolled it out to the seventh setting, and cut the pasta with my thinnest slicer blade.

Rolling out the pasta:

Needed the boyfriend's help by the end...

The pasta freshly sliced:

The pasta all cooked and ready to be sauced:

Winter Tomato Sauce:
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dice onion and garlic and add to the pan. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add wine and tomato paste. Stir together. Add sauce and seasoning to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to sit on low heat for about 20 minutes.

1 lb of ground beef (your preference of leanness
1/2 small yellow onion
1 egg
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1 tbsp of olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and grease it. Dice the onion. Mix the beef, onion, salt and egg in a bowl. Add the bread crumbs a little at a time, mixing. When the mixture looks like it will hold together and isn't runny, it does not need any more bread crumbs, you may not need the whole 1/4 cup. Form the meat into balls and space evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the meat is brown and the balls stay together, about 10 minutes. Finish the meat balls my adding them in the simmering sauce and cover.

Happy Eating.