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    Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

    Meyer Lemon Vinagrette

    Meyer Lemons have a distinct flavor of lemon and mandarin orange which makes for an interesting sensation. I used the juice left from my [panna cotta recipe] to create this easy yet delicious salad dressing which can also be used as a marinade for fish or chicken.

    You will need:

    Meyer Lemon Juice – approx. 1 cup
    Red Wine Vinegar – approx 1 TBSP.
    Olive Oil – approx. 2 cups
    Dijon Mustard – approx 2 tsps.
    Sea Salt/Pepper – to taste.

    Combine all ingredients in a jar large enough to hold all and shake well. Alternatively put ingredients into a bowl large enough to hold all and whisk until combined.

    Lemon/Fennel Chicken

    If you like that tang of lemon and the sweet taste of fennel this one is for you. I used chicken, however this would work as well with a good white fish. It is a simple fast preparation and I think you will like it as well.

    You will need:
    Chicken Breast – boneless/skinned approx. 6 to 8 oz/serving
    Fresh Lemon Juice plus zest- One good sized/serving
    Fresh Fennel Frond – approx. 1 TBSP/serving – use the bulb as a veggie side.
    Sea Salt/Pepper – to taste.
    Olive Oil

    In a sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken heat one TBSP/serving of the olive oil until it shimmers add breast(s) to hot oil and sauté until a rich brown color is achieved, flip breast over and continue until second side has a rich color also. Place breast on an oven proof dish and place into a pre-heated (350 F) oven until internal temperature reaches 160 F.

    Meanwhile, pour any oil from sauté pan squeeze as much juice as you can get out of each lemon and scrape up the fond left from the chicken, add the lemon zest and reduce to about half, add the fresh fennel frond to the sauce and cook for a few minutes more. Remove the chicken from the oven and add back into the sauté pan turning to coat. Place chicken on a serving dish and pour the lemon/fennel sauce over the top. Enjoy!

    Mushroom/Ricotta Cannelloni

    After making a batch of pasta dough and having some left over from making linguini I decided to use a part of it to create this recipe for all to enjoy. I’ve also used my homemade Ricotta Salata and Maitake Mushrooms collected this fall. Not to worry I will also show replacement items.

    You will need:

    For the dough:
    400 g bread flour
    4 Large eggs
    Cold water
    Olive Oil.

    For the Ricotta Salata:
    One gallon whole milk.
    4 TBSP White Vinegar
    Sea Salt.

    For the filling:
    6 oz. button mushrooms
    6 oz fresh Maitake Mushrooms
    One sprig fresh thyme
    Sea Salt/Ground Pepper

    2 cups marinara sauce, either your own home made or purchased. I used my Sunday Gravy recipe.

    Prepare the Ricotta – in a stock pot large enough to hold the ingredients put the milk in and turn the burner on to low (and I do mean low) slowly incorporate the vinegar stirring as it is introduced. Place a double layer of cheese cloth in a colander or strainer and once the curds have all floated to the top of the whey scoop them out and put into the lined sieve. Drain until all of the whey has been removed and it is cool to the touch. At this stage you have fresh ricotta to turn it into salata incorporate a one tablespoon of sea salt and wrap the cheese tightly in the cloth. Place a plate on top and add some weight to further remove any excess whey.

    Prepare the Pasta – You can use either your stand mixer or food processor – Place flour, eggs and a little salt (1/2 tsp) in the machine mix well until all of the flour is absorbed and it pulls away from the sides of the machine, if all of the flour is combined and the dough does not pull from the sides add a little water mixed with olive oil. (Use just enough to get the dough to pull away). Remove dough from bowl, form into a disk, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

    Prepare the filling – Chop mushrooms, combine with the thyme and salt/pepper to taste. Sauté the ingredients in some olive oil until all of the moisture has been removed and they are of a paste consistency.

    Form the cannelloni – Cut enough of the dough to make four, four inch square sheets, roll the dough out to between number 6 and 4 on you pasta maker anything thinner will just make the cannelloni fall apart. Dust sheets lightly with flour an set aside. In a bowl large enough to hold the mushrooms and ricotta add them along with some chopped basil and one large egg. Stir ingredients to combine. Place 1/4 of the mixture at the end of each of the pasta sheets and roll into cylinders.

    Place about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of an oven safe pan, carefully place the cannelloni, seam side down on top of the sauce, pour the remaining sauce over the cannelloni making sure to cover all of the pasta, sprinkle some additional Ricotta on top along with parmesan to taste and chiffonade of basil. Cover tightly with aluminum boil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

    If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making the cheese and pasta simply use store purchased ricotta and drain it well, purchase either no cook lasagne noodles, softened in water then rolled or large shells also softened in water for ease of handling.

    Zabaglione Vino Cotto di Montillo

    This version of the traditional recipe, which uses Marsala wine, is easy to prepare and provides a delicious dessert. Using the Vino Cotto provides a non-alcoholic alternative.

    Served with fresh berries and Italian cookies this will have your family and friends swoon and beg for more. The recipe will make enough for 3 to 6 people depending on serving size provided.

    You will need:
    6 large egg yoks
    6 tsp. powdered (icing) sugar
    6 TBSP Vino Cotto di Montillo

    Prepare the Zabaglione:
    Put egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl placed over a sauce pot containing about one or two cups water. Bring water up to a slow boil and using a whisk cream the eggs until they grow in volume and start to change to a pale yellow color and starts to thicken. [NOTE: You can use a double boiler instead of the bowl over pot technique.] You can’t walk away while doing this or the eggs will scramble. Briskly whisk in sugar, continue to whip to add more volume and lighten the color. Add Vino Cotto and continue to whisk. You will know when the mixture is ready as it will coat the back of a spoon.

    Pour equal amounts of the mixture into serving glasses (I use martini glasses as it makes for a classy visual). Serve warm.

    Shrimp Linguine Alfredo

    This is a real simple recipe that anybody can prepare. I takes less than 30 minutes and you will be the toast of the town with your family and friends.

    You will need:

    Uncooked Shrimp – I used 30’s for this recipe however you can use any size as long as they have the shell and weigh approximately 1/3 to 1/2 pound/serving

    Olive Oil

    Unsalted Butter

    Nutmeg – if you don’t have the whole bean do not use grated from the jar just omit. The taste will change somewhat but it will be just fine.

    Heavy Cream – approx 1/4 cup/serving

    Sea Salt/Pepper – I used white pepper here as to not speckle the final sauce but cracked black pepper will work just fine.

    Romano Cheese – approximately one Tablespoon/serving

    Parmesan Cheese – approximately one Tablespoon/serving.

    Fresh or Dried Linguine – I used Linguine Fini for this recipe but you can use the larger pasta or substitute Fettuccini if you prefer.

    NB: The sauce will take approximately 15 minutes to prepare, so be sure to cook the pasta so that it is finished when the sauce is ready.

    Prepare the Shrimp – if the shrimp you purchased was not cleaned by the fish monger make a slit on the back cutting through the shell and clean out. In a sauté pan large, enough to hold the shrimp add some olive oil and heat to a high simmer (when the oil shimmers you know it is the proper temperature). If you do not have a large enough pan, you can do this in batches. Sauté shrimp on both sides until the shell turns a nice shade of pink (do not cook all the way through, as the shrimp will be finished in the sauce). When shrimp is done place in a bowl to cool enough to be able to remove shells. DO NOT clean the pan at this stage.

    Prepare the sauce:
    When shrimp is cool enough to work with remove and discard shells. Cut shrimp into bite size pieces. In the sauté pan you used to do the first step of the shrimp, heat olive oil and butter, it will be ready when the oil shimmers. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the heated sauté pan. The time it will take to cook the shrimp will depend on the size you decided to use. When the shrimp is almost totally opaque add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring the cream up to a simmer then add the cheeses. You cannot walk away from this sauce, as the cream will burn if you are not careful. Either swirl the cream by working the pan in circles or stir regularly until the cream and cheese start to thicken. It is done when the shrimp is firm to the touch and the sauce has noticeably thickened. Drain the pasta and spoon enough of the sauce over it to coat.

    Plate the coated pasta then add the shrimp and balance of sauce. Grate a little more nutmeg over the plated pasta and enjoy.

    Sunday Gravy

    Sure, everyone has their family recipe for Sunday gravy, well that is if you were of Italian heritage, others would refer to this as Spaghetti Sauce. Well I’ve made many a Sunday Gravy, had some failures and some great successes, this recipe has always proved to be one of my best.

    This recipe will make approximately 20 cups of gravy.

    For the gravy you will need:
    Four 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
    One small can tomato paste
    Two cups beef stock
    One medium size sweet onion
    Carrots – enough to equal the volume of the onion
    Four or five sprigs fresh oregano
    Four or five garlic cloves
    Fresh ground pepper
    Kosher salt

    Two pounds country ribs
    Two pounds Italian Sausage (your choice of sweet or hot)

    For the meatballs

    Two pounds ground chuck
    One pound ground pork
    One pound ground veal or turkey
    Enough stale bread (I used leftover Italian bread) to equal the volume of the ground meats
    Two cups milk (or more if necessary)
    Two cups shredded Parmesan cheese
    Two large eggs
    Olive oil
    Vegetable oil

    In a heavy bottom stock pot heat four tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Place carrots, onion and garlic in a food processor and run until the vegetables are of a paste consistency. Thoroughly brown the country ribs (in batches if necessary) until a nice brown crust forms, remove and set aside. Pour off any liquid from the stockpot, add four tablespoons olive oil, reheat until shimmering then brown the Italian sausage until a nice brown crust forms, remove and set aside. Pour off any liquid, add two tablespoons olive oil, and reheat until shimmering. Place vegetable past along with tomato paste to the stockpot and cook until the mix is somewhat dry. De-glaze pot with the beef stock scraping up all the fond at the bottom of the pot. Add the four cans of crushed tomatoes, the sprigs of oregano and the ribs and sausage to the stockpot. Reduce heat to very low, place lid over pot and simmer for 5 or 6 hours. To reduce the possibility of the gravy burning I take one of the unused burner grates, place it on top of the burner you are using, make sure that it is firmly in place, put the stockpot on that tiered burner. Stir the gravy every occasionally to insure a good mixture.

    While the gravy is simmering make the meatballs. Break up the stale bread into medium to small chunks, but into a bowl large enough to hold the bread and both meats. Pour one-cup milk into the bowl, as the bread starts to absorb the milk using a fork start to mash the bread. If there is not enough milk continue adding more until you can mash the bread into a paste. Add the parmesan cheese, the eggs, the meats, salt and pepper (to taste) and using very clean hands or hand covered with rubber gloves and work the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Form the mixture into equal balls (I like mine large). In a sauté pan large enough to hold the meatballs, heat approximately one-quarter cup of vegetable oil until shimmering. Carefully lower meatballs into oil, do not crowd, work in batches if necessary, and cook until a nice brown crust forms rotate balls until all sides have that same rich brown crust. Set aside meatballs until cooled enough then place in the refrigerator. During the last one to one and a half hours of cooking the gravy, add the meatballs submerging them to cover. During the last half hour taste the gravy for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Once the time used in this recipe is completed, cool to room temperature.

    Remove the meatballs, sausage and ribs from the gravy and portion two cups of the liquid into quart freezer bags for future use. Similarly portion out the meatballs, ribs and sausage into quart freezer bags for future use.

    Pork with Pomegranate Glacé

    Over the holidays I had an excess of pomegranate, and not wanting to waste them, I separated the seeds and froze them in a zip log bag. I knew that I would be looking for something different and just recently came up with this quick dish. Additionally, I had purchased a large quantity of pork loin cut into steaks, it was a deal, price wise, so I just couldn’t pass them up. You can substitute pork chops very easily.

    You will need:
    Pork Loin Steak – approx. 6 oz./serving
    Olive oil
    Fresh ground pepper
    Kosher or Sea Salt
    Pomegranate Seeds – approx. 1 TBSP/serving
    Pomegranate juice – approx. 2 TBSP/serving (I used POM brand)
    Beef stock – approx. 2 TBSP/serving
    Unsalted butter – approx. 1/4 TBSP/serving

    Prepare the pork – heat a sauté pan (oven-proof, not non-stick) over medium high heat, brush both sides of pork with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (it is OK to be generous here). Sear pork to get a nice rich color on both sides, put into a pre-heated 350 degree F oven to finish (cook until temperature is 140 degrees)

    For Glacé – when pork is finished remove from sauté pan, keep warm by covering it with aluminum foil. Deglaze the pan with pomegranate juice scrapping up the fond. When juice starts to thicken add beef stock, pomegranate seeds and butter. Heat through until butter is emulsified into the sauce, pour over pork and serve. If you don’t have the pomegranate seeds diced dried cherries will work. Enjoy!

    Roasted tomato/garlic starter sauce.

    This simple sauce is made from a variety of very ripe tomatoes from the garden. I call this a starter sauce as it could be used, with some additional ingredients, in many regional/ethnic recipes. Here I have outlined the sauce and thereafter showed some variable.

    For the starter sauce:
    Garden ripened tomatoes – any assortment you might have
    Garlic bulbs – use any ratio depending on your personal taste
    Good quality olive oil
    Sea Salt
    Cracked pepper

    Heat oven to 350° F. While oven is heating core out the stem side of the tomato, just enough to remove the stem attachement, cut a small “X” into the other side. Place the tomatoes, cored side down on a baking sheet, cover liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Separate garlic bulb into cloves and add to the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic until skins are blistered and cracked [NB: Time needed will depend on the size of the largest tomato]. Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

    Place a strainer/sieve over a non-reactive bowl and squeeze the tomatoes to remove seeds and inner membrane. Press any solid through the strainer/sieve leaving only the seeds behind. Crush the tomatoes into the bowl holding the juices. Cut off the stem end of the garlic gloves and squeeze the pulp into the tomato liquid. Place tomato/garlic mixture into a sauce pot, season with additional salt if needed and cook over low heat until the tomatoes break down to your desired texture.

    For an Italian style sauce: Add torn fresh basil, oregano and olive oil just before serving.
    For a Mediterranean style sauce: Add finely sliced red bell pepper, finely sliced sweet onion, pitted and sliced black olives and fresh oregano [NB: Simmer the added vegetables in the sauce until they wilt then add the oregano just before serving]
    For a Spanish style sauce: Add any of the following in any combination [NB: this will need some trial and error here for although they each compliment the other quantities will need to be adjusted to personal taste} ground clove, paprika, cinnamon, parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme

    Oven-Roasted Tomatoes on Foodista

    Garden Fresh Pasta

    freshpasta

    Here is an easy yet refreshing pasta sauce. If you don’t have a garden you can purchase these fresh items from your farmer’s market.

    You will need:
    Italian style plum tomatoes (such as San Marzano) – approximately five per serving
    Fresh Garlic – approximately two cloves/serving
    Fresh Shallot – approximately two cloves/serving
    Good quality olive oil
    Fresh Basil – approximately two TBSP/serving
    Fresh Oregano – approximately one TBSP/serving
    Pepperoncini – approximately one tsp/serving (if you don’t like a little spice you can eliminate this item)
    Fresh or dried pasta – I used Spaghetti Rigati for this recipe [this pasta is slightly thicker than Ange Hair – approximately four ounces dry pasta/serving

    Clean herbs well and chiffonade – set aside [NB: Lay basil leaves flat on cutting surface, stack several leaves then place oregano leaves on top, stack remaining basil leaves on top. Roll basil/oregano bundle into a tube form then finely chiffonade. This method makes it easy to work with the smaller oregano leaves]. Quarter tomatoes and remove all seeds and membrane, cut quarters in half and set aside. In a sauce pot large enough to hold all the tomatoes add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Heat oil until just shimmering, add pepperoncini, garlic and shallot, with a wooden spoon stir until garlic/shallot mixture is just translucent add tomatoes add salt and pepper to taste and cover pot. Cook tomato mixture over medium heat until they break down. When the sauce is broken down mash larger pieces to get a somewhat chunky consistency, cook pasta. When pasta is ready add basil/oregano chiffonade to sauce, plate spaghetti and top with the fresh garden tomato sauce.

    Pasta con Cinque formaggi e el Pancetta

    Pasta with Five Cheeses and Pancetta

    This is not your kids mac and cheese but they will love it too. You can adjust quantities according to your personal taste.

    You will need:
    Parmesan Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
    Mozzarella Cheese – 1/2 cup (use fresh not smoked)
    Asiago Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
    Fontina Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
    Gorgonzola Cheese – 1/4 cup
    Whole Milk – 4 qts – heated
    All purpose Flour – 8 TBS
    Butter – 8 TBS
    Fresh nutmeg
    Pancetta – 1/4 inch thick slice – 1 or 2 depending on taste
    Good quality Italian/french bread (use food processor to crumb) – approximately 1/2 cup
    Salt/pepper – to taste (if you want a cleaner sauce use white pepper)
    Olive Oil
    Tubular or shaped pasta such as penne rigate, radiatore, farfalle, cavatappi or conchiglie – 1 pound

    Prepare pasta by bringing large pot of salted water to a rapid boil, add pasta and cook until just below al dente. In a dutch oven or pot large enough to hold cooked pasta plus one quart liquid heat one tablespoon olive oil. Cut pancetta into 1/4 inch dice, when oil is heated add pancetta. Cook pancetta until crisp, remove from pot with slotted spoon and reserve. Pour off any fat left from pancetta add butter and flour and cook until combined scraping up brown bits from pan. Slowly pour heated milk into pot stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring milk to a fast simmer then add Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina cheeses stirring well to allow cheeses to melt. Add salt and pepper to taste and 4 or 5 scrapes of the nutmeg, stir well. Remove from heat, fold in cooked pasta until well coated, crumble gorgonzola cheese into mixture, combine well, cut mozzerella cheese into 1/2 inch chunks then fold into mixture

    Butter a 9 x 13 oven proof dish, pour cheese and pasta mixture into pan and level top, combine bread crumbs with parmesan cheese and cover top. Bake in a 350° F oven until top is golden brown. This works well as a side dish or main course.

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