Tag Archives: recipe

Sea Salt & Browned Butter Brownies

Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
Cold nights and long days require delicious sweet treats. I rarely bake as I don’t want to single handed-ly eat everything I make that’s just a bit excessive but after having to work this past weekend nothing sounded better than home made brownies. Something warm and gooey, sweet and taste-y perfect with a cup of warm tea on these cold nights we have been having here in New York.
Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
Now I did not just want any brownie I wanted something a bit more grown up that your normal fair which is why I decided a sea salt and browned butter brownie was the perfect choice. Something salty but sweet and with more depth than your usual brownie, I added in chopped chocolate for that extra burst of chocolate and texture. As for texture I love my brownies soft and fudge-y not cake like and I think this recipe comes close to perfection at least for me.

SEA SALT & BROWNED BUTTER BROWNIES

Makes one 9″x 9″ pan

1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 Cups AP Flour + some for dusting the pan

2 Cups Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

8oz Browned Butter (see below for instructions)

4 Large Eggs

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2oz Chopped Chocolate (I used 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar)

Sea Salt for finishing (about 2 Tsp) something large grained is best

Butter for greasing the pan

9″ x 9″ Baking Pan

Mixing Bowls

Sieve

Small offset spatula (optional)

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 300°F

Grease your pan and dust with flour and set aside

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, brown butter, and vanilla extract. Make sure the eggs are slightly whisked before you add the butter to make the process easier. Add the brown butter to the eggs right after you have strained it add it in slowly in a stream while whisking to keep the eggs from coagulating.  The egg mixture with thicken up a bit once everything is incorporated after thoroughly mixed add in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together until the dry mix is fully incorporated.

Mix in the chopped chocolate and about 1 tsp of the sea salt

Pour out the mix into your prepared pan and use the offset spatula to even out the top. Hit the pan a few times on the counter to make sure all air bubbles are out.

Sprinkle a bit more of the sea salt on the top of the brownies

Cook for 30-45 min until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean

Let cool and turn out and cut into squares (use your offset spatula to help release the brownies from the pan if you are having a hard time getting them out)

Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
BROWNED BUTTER HOW TO

technique adapted from Bouchon Bakery

8oz Butter

Large Sauce Pan

Mixing Bowl

Whisk

Sieve

Cheesecloth

TO PREPARE

Over your mixing bowl place a sieve with two layers of cheese cloth over it for straining the browned solids once you have browned the butter.

Place your large sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter.

As soon as the butter melts start whisking to keep the butter from separating.

Once the butter comes to a boil turn up the heat and stop whisking.

Keep cooking the butter whisking occasionally so it does not burn until the bubbles lessen indicating most of the moisture has evaporated.

Once the butter is a caramel color remove from the heat and strain the solids out and use in your recipe.

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Granola Bars: The Master Recipe

Granola Bars

Over the past year I have been working on perfecting a Granola/ Oat bar recipe (Like here and here) and I think I finally managed to perfect my master recipe. I have been tweaking it a lot but I think I have finally  solid reliable recipe that I can easily change out the components as my pantry allows and as I wish.

The key to this base recipe and technique is using very overripe bananas. As I have, pretty much everyday weekday, for breakfast I have Greek yogurt with banana and flax seeds I tend to have bananas that get a bit ripe for me to eat as is (I like them more on the unripe side). When this happens I put them in the freezer to keep them for later and then just defrost them to make these granola bars. This ensures they are extra soft and easy to mash but any over ripe bananas work just fine.

GRANOLA BARS

As this recipe is a master recipe the key ingredients are the Oats, Bananas, Dates, Soy Milk, and Salt everything else can be adjusted from those, see the some variables options below.

Makes 8 – 1 1/2″ x 4″

2 Cups Oats

2 Overripe Bananas (or frozen and defrosted to make sure they are soft)

6 (about a cup loosely packed) Medjool Dates diced into 1/4″ pieces

1/3 Cup Soy Milk

about 1/4 Cup Goji Berries

1/4 Tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Flax Seed + Some for dusting

2 Tbsp Wheat Germ

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Fresh ground Nutmeg

Non stick spray or butter

Medium mixing bowl

7 “x 8” baking pan

Granola Bars

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 350F Degrees.

In your medium mixing bowl place the banana’s with out the skins and mash them up until they are all combined.

Mix in the oats and combine together with the banana.

Add in the Soy Milk, Dates, Goji Berries, Flax Seeds,Wheat Germ, and Salt. Mix everything together until fully combined and everything is distributed evenly amongst the oats.

Spray your baking pan with your non stick spray or grease the pan with butter.

Pour in your oat mixture and spread evenly in the pan patting it down with your hand our utensil of your choice to make sure the top is even.

Sprinkle on the top of the oat mix some flax seed to your liking, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Press the toppings into the mix gently with your hand.

Place in your preheated oven and bake for 20min or until golden brown at the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely then cut into squares and serve. Cover this will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Granola Bars

VARIATIONS

You can swap the dates for dried figs or add diced almonds, diced walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried diced apricots, or chia seeds amongst other things. If you are adding in dried cranberries, dried apricots, or any other dried fruit you should reduce the amounts of dates you add or else the mix will be too wet.

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Autumnal Scones

Autumn Scones
October has ended and November is here with full force which is fantastic, as it is my favorite month of the year.

The air is crisp, the breeze light, the trees are endlessly changing in color. The days grow shorter and the night grows longer which is still novel and nice. The rain sprinkles down and the air is permeated with the essence of change.

Once fall finally comes all I want to do is stay home to cook and bake through the long cold nights. This time of year also is great for all those nice and tasty hearty strong flavors. I love a good soup or stew and I adore the mix of gingery spices with everything which is why I always drawn to recipes involving some sort of ginger + sweet combination. So when I saw this for Roasted Apple Scones with Ginger from The Vanilla Bean Blog I knew I had to make something similar especially since I had just come across a recipe for Candied Ginger on Food 52 which to me just meant I had to make some apple ginger scones.

Instead of using the recipe that inspired me I decided to use my go to scone recipe from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook because you cook the scones from frozen. I like this a lot because I am usually cooking for one and I don’t need a full recipe of scones but with this recipe I can prepare them all and only cook what I want to eat. This recipe does require a lot of inactive time but the results are worth it so please don’t skimp on the resting time!

Autumn Scones

Autumnal Apple Ginger Scones

recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery

2 1/4 Cups + 2Tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 3/8 Tsp Baking Powder

7/8 Tsp Baking Soda

3/4 Tsp Salt

4.7oz Cold Unsalted Butter – cut into small pieces (aprox 1/4″ in size)

3/4cup Heavy Cream + additional for brushing

1 Small Apple

aprox 1/8cup Candied Ginger (either store bought or homemade) diced into small pieces

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon + Additional for dusting

1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg (ideally freshly ground for maximum flavor) + Additional for dusting

Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment

2 Sheet Pans

Parchment Paper or Silpat

Pastry Brush

TO PREPARE

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Powder, and Salt. Mix on the lowest setting for 15 seconds to combine

With the mixer off add in the butter cubes into the flour mix.

Mix the butter into the flour on the lowest setting breifly to incorporate the butter into the mix, then mix on the second lowest speed (“Low” on Kitchen Aid Mixers) and mix for about 3 minutes or until the butter is broken up and incorporated into the flour mixture. If any large pieces of butter remain break them up and mix them in by hand with the mixer off.

While the butter is being incorporated add to your cream the Cinnamon and nutmeg

With the mixer still on add in the cream mixture, pouring it in slowly, mix for 30 seconds or until all the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough starts to come together.

Turn the mixer off and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl.

Add in the Apple and Ginger pieces and mix in on the low speed until incorporated.

Turn out the dough on to your work surface and push it together with your hands into one combined mass.

Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and shape with your hands into a rectangle of about 6 inches by 9 inches, smoothing out the top so there is an even surface and straightening out the sides of the block with your hands

Wrap the dough completely with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper

After 2 hours take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap, and with a large knife cut the dough as follows

  1. In half lengthwise
  2. In thirds crosswise
  3. Cut each of these small rectangles on the diagonal to create two isosceles triangles (you should have 12 triangles)

Arrange the triangles on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap

Freeze until solid; which should be at least 2 hours if not overnight (they can also keep in the freezer for a month. once frozen solid I wrap them in wax paper and store in a plastic freezer safe container)

When ready to cook preheat your oven to 350F

Line the second sheet pan with parchment and transfer the frozen scones to the newly prepared pan leaving at least 1 inch in between each one.

Brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg as desired

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until golden brown

Let cool completely and enjoy!
Autumn Scones

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Weekend Brunch: Shakshuka

ShashushkaAs I have mentioned numerous times on this blog I love brunch/ breakfast foods I really really do. When I am home on the weekend it is one of my favorite things in the world to make a delicious breakfast and a full french press of coffee and catch up on some TV, Podcasts, etc. from the past week. It is a great way to get into the weekend mood and wind down from the work week.

This past weekend I went full force both days on, Saturday I made the Mushroom English Muffin that I posted last weekend and on Sunday, since I had some tomato ‘sauce’ left over and had just made harissa, I thought it would be great to make Shakshuka. I also had recently bought a mini cast iron pan for spice toasting etc. so that turned out to be the perfect vessel for this delicious breakfast.

If you are unfamiliar with Shakshuka it is a popular breakfast/ lunch food that originated in North Africa just as Harissa. If you want more information about Shakshuka and other variations you can check out this video from the NY Times, the recipes in both Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi and Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi amongst other places on the interwebs.

While I made this for one person this is a food that is easy to scale up for more people making it a great, easy, and impressive food to make for when you have friends over for brunch. Another thing that makes this dish amazing is that you can very it in so many ways, as long as you have some tomatoes around you can make all sorts of variations based on what you have on hand.

Shashushka

SHAKSHUKA

Serves 1

1 egg

1 shallot sliced

1 clove garlic minced

1/4 can of crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

1 bay leaf

1tbsp harissa

1tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Pepper to Taste

4 leaves chiffonaded basil

1 toasted english muffin or any other bread or pita

Finishing salt if desired

Small sauce pan

Lid to fit pan

Shashushka
TO PREPARE

Heat up your small sauce pan and add the butter and garlic

Saute the garlic until light brown then add the crushed tomatoes

To the tomatoes add the bay leaf, some salt, and pepper

Let everything simmer together for about 5 minutes on low while stiring occasionally

Add in the Harissa and Shallot and simmer for another 5 minutes or so

Remove the bay leaf and add in the basil

Create a small indentation in the sauce and add the egg

Keeping the heat on low and cover with the lid

Let cook for about 10 – 12 minutes

Once the white is opaque your egg is basically done you can cook longer or shorter depending on how runny you want your yolk.

Sprinkle with salt to finish

Serve in the pan with your toasty bread on the side and enjoy!

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Weekend Brunch: Mushroom English Muffin

Mushroom Toast

I love breakfast foods so of course I love brunch. On weekends if I don’t have plans for brunch with friends I love making a single serving of something for my self. Today that meal was a fried egg on top of a mushroom saute served on a toasted English muffin. I was inspired by the Mushroom Toast my friends got when we were at Five Leaves a few weeks ago. I made a version of this last weekend when I was visiting family in California and I like it so much I thought I would make it again for 1 today and add ricotta to it since I had it on hand. You can easily omit the ricotta and it is still delicious, it is also especially great on toasted baguette as well.

This is something that is pretty quick and easy to make and can be easily scaled up and down depending on how many people you want to serve and can be varied endlessly. While I made a fried egg today to top my mushrooms a poached egg is also excellent because you have the muffin to soak up the runny yoke.

Mushroom Toast
MUSHROOM ENGLISH MUFFIN
Serves 1
1 English Muffin
1 Cup Mushrooms (I used sliced white button mushrooms but anything you have will do)
2 Tbsp Ricotta Cheese
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Egg
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Salt to Taste
Chiffonaded Basil for garnish
1 Large Saute Pan

TO ASSEMBLE
Toast your English Muffin, I suggest toasting it a little crisper than you normally would since they will soften up with the mushrooms and egg

Heat up your Saute pan on medium heat and add in your butter. Once the butter is hot add in the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the mushrooms until soft and they start picking up some color.

Once your English Muffin is toasted and while the mushrooms are still cooking place about a Tbsp of Ricotta on each muffin and place on your plate.

Once the mushrooms are soft and have picked up some color spoon them out on top of your english muffin and ricotta.

In the same pan fry an egg to the doneness of your liking and plate on top of the mushrooms.

Sprinkle your chiffonaded basil on top and sprinkle some more salt and pepper and serve

Mushroom Toast

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Ouefs en Cocotte (Eggs in Ramekins)

Oeufs en Cocotte_08

I was inspired to make Ouefs en Cocotte ( Eggs in Ramekins) this weekend by the post on Sassy Early Grey’s blog. I absolutely love eggs for breakfast and usually make my some sort of fried egg sandwich on the weekends and mornings where I give myself more time to get ready for work. Since the eggs are cooked in a water bath it is hard to over cook them

Oeufs en Cocotte_06

QUICK AND EASY OUEFS EN COCOTTE

Serves 1

2 Eggs

2-3 Tbsp Grated Cheese ( I used Monterey Jack)

1 Tsp Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

Any other spices you want ( I used Sumac, read about it here, which I had not used until I bought it this weekend at whole foods. I had read about it so when I saw it at WF for a reasonable price I had to get it, it has a really nice taste that is not quite like any one more spice)

Toasted Bread, Bagel, or crackers

Ramekin

Cake pan (small if cooking just one larger if cooking multiple cups)

Enough hot/ boiling water to reach 3/4 inch up the side of the ramekin(s) (Place all Ramekins in pan before adding the water)

Oeufs en Cocotte_05

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat oven to 375F degrees

Place about 1 tbsp of the grated cheese into the bottom of the ramekin

Crack both eggs into the ramekin

Pour the cream in and then top with the rest of the grated cheese

Top with salt, pepper, and any other spices you wish

Place ramekin(s) in the cake pan and pour in hot water until it reaches 3/4″ up on the Ramekin(s) and put the pan in the oven

Cook for 8-10 minutes until the egg white is set

Serve with toast and enjoy

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Mini Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

Yesterday's dinner of mini chicken pot pies = today's lunch #recipecomingsoon

I always fine that my best ideas come to me at the most random of times, like this one for Mini Mexican Chicken Pot Pies. I had been fixated on pot pies for a while for some reason which I thought was weird because I have never been a big fan but one day, probably while browsing the internet, the idea popped into my head to make Mexican chicken style pot pies. Since my go to chicken prep is some version of my Taco Truck Chicken I thought it would be great to use some version of that as the filling for the pot pie, I jotted this idea down in my notebook and that was that I figured I would get around to making them you know someday… So this past weekend when I was going through my cookbooks looking for some pulled pork inspiration and came across the pot pie recipe in Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller and decided that I was going to try out my chicken pot pie idea right there and then. I set off to the grocery store which is were the mini idea came about. I was looking for small pie pans, because I was only cooking for my self I did not want to make a giant pot pie that would be too much for one serving and would not save very well and of course the grocery store did not have small pie tins (I was basically looking for tart pans) but they did have muffin pans which is when it hit me that making mini pot pies would be perfect (which they were). Using the muffin pans meant that the pies could easily be portion controlled and the leftovers can be frozen for a quick dinner or lunch for another day.

While the inspiration for this recipe came from Ad Hoc in the end I did not use any part of the recipe from the book, I only used it as a guide for the parts needed in the final pies. All in all I think these Mini Pot Pies turned out great and while amazing as a main dish they would be also be a super great appetizer for a dinner party!

MINI MEXICAN CHICKEN POT PIES

Makes 12 Mini Pies, Serves 12 as an appetizer and 4-6 as a main dish

1 Recipe Chicken (see recipe below)

1 Recipe Pie Crust prepped into rounds for pan (see recipe below)

1 Recipe of Bechamel Sauce (see recipe below, the recipe will yield a bit more sauce than you need, the leftovers would be great as a quick pasta sauce)

1/2 Cup Corn Kernels (either fresh cooked or frozen defrosted)

1 x 12- Muffin Tin or 2 x 6- Muffin Tin

1 Egg and water for egg wash (optional)

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees

Take the disks of your pie dough that you rolled out for the bottom of the pies out of the refrigerator leaving the rounds for the top

In each of the muffin cups place in one of the rounds, centering it with the pan and press down the center and out so that the round fits the cup just like making a pie, repeat for all the muffin cups

In each mini pie put about a Tablespoon of corn you can put more or less to your taste.

On top of the corn add in your chicken mix to each cup until the cup is filled to the top.

Pour or spoon over the chicken enough of the bechamel so that it comes almost to the top of the cup, making sure that it does not over flow.

Take the rounds for the tops of the pies out of the refrigerator and place one on each cup.

Crimp the lid to the bottom pie crust as best you can (as you can see mine were kind of messy but it worked)

Slice the top of each pie with a knife so that the steam can escape when they are cooking

If you want a crust that is more golden brown in color make an egg wash with an egg and some water and brush over the top of each pie (I did not do this because I did not have an egg on hand but it would have been nice for color)

Put the pies in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, cooking until the crust is golden brown

Remove from the oven and cool slightly and serve! You can store any left overs in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or freeze them for another day!

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

MEXICAN CHICKEN POT PIE FILLING

This recipe is a modified version of my basic Taco Truck Chicken which is my go to chicken preparation it is easy and so versatile. This version is not as spicy as the basic version, in fact is not really spicy at all the poblano pepper adds a lot of flavor but is not spicy pepper.

1/2 Medium Onion Sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

1 Large Poblano Pepper Diced

1 Medium Tomato Diced

1/4 Cup Cilantro Chiffonaded

1 Whole Chicken Thigh or 3 Thigh pieces

1 Tbsp Valentino Hot Sauce (Franks Red Hot would work too)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 12oz Lager Beer (I used Yuengling)

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Medium Sauce Pan

Lid to fit Sauce Pan

Cutting Board

Fork

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

TO PREPARE

Place chicken on a clean plate and salt vigorously

In your medium sauce pan over low heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, once the oil is heated add onion and garlic and salt thoroughly and sweat for about 5 minutes keeping the heat low, stirring occasionally to keep the onion from burning

Add in the diced poblano pepper and sweat with the onion mix for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add the tomato, hot sauce, cilantro, and salt + pepper to taste

Stir everything together and cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add chicken on top of the vegetable mix and add beer

Cover the pot with the lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through

Once the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board

Leave the sauce pan on the stove and turn up the heat to high and reduce the liquid down down to about a quarter of the current volume, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning

While the liquid is reducing, shred the chicken using your fork.

Once the liquid has reduced down to about a quarter of the original volume add the chicken back in and mix together.

Turn off the heat and use as needed

PIE DOUGH

This is a basic 3:2:1 pie dough from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

12 oz All Purpose Flour (about 2 3/4 cups)

8 oz Butter (make sure it is very very cold)

About 3 oz Ice Cold Water (amount needed will depend on the butter and flour)

about 1/2 Teaspoon of salt

Mixing Bowl

2-3″ Biscuit Cutter

Rolling Pin

TO PREPARE

In the mixing bowl combine Flour and Butter with your hands, breaking the butter into small pea sized pieces

Once the butter and flour are mixed together add salt and pour in a little bit of water at a time until the dough comes together, do not mix the dough to much so that it does not get too tough

Split the dough in half and shape into disks, put the dough in the refrigerator for it to cool back down

Once the dough is cold again take out one of the disks and roll out until it is about 3/8″ thick.

Take your biscuit cutter and cut as many rounds as you can get out of the dough. Re Roll out the scraps and Cut as many more Circles as you can get. The one disk should yield about 12-13 rounds.

Place the rounds back in the refrigerator and repeat with the second disk.

Take the first 12-13 rounds and roll each one out a bit more until they are about 1/4″ in thickness. These will be the bottom of the pot pies. Return to the refrigerator until ready to use.

Take the second set of rounds and roll out just so they are big enough to cover the top of the muffin tin for the pies. Once rolled out return to the refrigerator.

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

SAUCE BECHAMEL

I followed the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking and while I could never do as good as a job of explaining how to make a bechamel as Julia Child and crew can I have given my own version of the directions below but If you really want a through and complete explanation defiantly check out the book.

2 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Flour

2 Cups Milk

1/4 Tsp Salt

Salt & Pepper to taste

Medium Sauce Pan

Wooden Spoon

Small Sauce Pan

Whisk

TO PREPARE

Heat milk and salt in small sauce pan until hot and set aside

In the medium sauce pan over medium low heat melt butter and mix in flour

Cook over low heat stirring until the butter and flour start to bubble and froth

Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring making sure to not let the mixture does not darken

One the mix stops bubbling remove from the heat and you now have a Blond Roux

Pour in all the hot milk and whisk vigorously

Put sauce pan back over medium heat and stir with whisk until the sauce comes to a boil

Once it is boiling cook for 1 minute longer while stirring continuously

Take off the heat and salt and pepper to taste, use right away or cover with plastic

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Mushroom, Arugula, & Ricotta Ravioli

ravioli_13_words This past weekend I was feeling a bit adventurous if you will and decided that it would be a great idea to attempt ravioli (for the second time, we just wont talk about the first time) and the testy of all thing Macrons (which is another post… coming soon!). I love making pasta and don’t make it enough, the biggest reason has been that I did not have a pasta machine. While I can roll it out relatively thin it is not super consistent so this weekend I rectified my lack of pasta machine by purchasing one. Now I seem to be on a kick of buying kitchen appliances that are not necessary while doing with out the most useful and handy appliances. For instance I just bought an Ice cream machine and I have a juicer but I do not have a blender, food processor, or any sort of automated mixing device (hand held or kitchen aid). I reason that I do not buy these ‘basics’ if you will because I want to buy a nice model , which I need to save for and living in the NYC area (Brooklyn to be exact) my kitchen space is limited. I make do with out such basics since they are in essence just making tasks you can do by hand easier but the more specialized things I can’t fake in the same way, so while that may not make a lot of sense it is my justification for such purchases.

Anyway moving on, this weekend I really wanted to make pasta and ravioli to be specific. Ravioli are one of my favorite things so I figured I might as well make my own since I have not had them in a while. I decided to make a mushroom, arugula, ricotta filling since I already had everything but the ricotta. For the actual pasta as per my usual route I went for the basic ratio for pasta dough in Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. I can not recommend this book enough, it is a great reference and makes it easy to really learn what you are doing and adapt the basic ratios for your needs. The filling was my own creation. As for making the ravioli themselves I have included a some basic instructions but if you need more guidance there is a lot of great resources out there on the web, the Good Eats: Use your Noodle II episode is an especially great basic resource.

Mushroom, Arugula, & Ricotta Ravioli

Serves 2 as a main dish

You will need

1 recipe of Pasta Dough (See below)

1 recipe of mushroom, arugula, ricotta filling (see below)

1 Large Stock Pot

Circle cutter

Egg wash (one egg whisked with some water)

Kosher Salt

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Colander or Spider

ravioli_13 The finished dish

ravioli_10

TO ASSEMBLE

Prepare your pasta into sheets as described in the pasta recipe and method. I continued to work on my floured and fabric covered surface for the ravioli assembly (See Above)

Take your circle cutter and lightly score your 1st sheet of pasta. (I made circle ravioli because I was having a hard time making uniform squares.)

Take your egg wash and lightly brush your dough at the edge of your circle imprint (trying to stay inside the circle not outside).

Using a small spoon or a teaspoon, take a heaping teaspoon of your Ricotta mix and place it in the center of each circle imprint and repeat for all the imprints.

Once you have filling on all of your ravioli spots take another sheet of your pasta and lay it on top of your sheet with the filling.

Then carefully starting at one end press down around the filling making sure to get out all the air bubbles, and repeat for all raviolis.

Take your circle cutter and cut out each of your ravioli making sure to center your filling in the middle of the cutter when you are cutting.

Once you have cut out the ravioli take a fork and lightly crimp the edges of each ravioli. Keep the scraps to the side, you can re roll it out to make more ravioli or any other pasta.

Repeat with the rest of your pasta dough. Once you have made all your ravioli you can either cook them straight away or freeze them for later. If freezing I suggest laying a piece of wax paper or parchment paper down on a sheet pan and place a single layer of ravioli on it and put in the freezer until frozen. Once they are frozen you can dump them into a Freezer zip top bag a store.

If you are going to cook them right away bring a large pot of water to a boil adding about a teaspoon of salt per quart of water so that your water is nice and salty and will season the pasta well.

Lower the heat on your water so it is just simmering and add your ravioli. They don’t take very long to cook I think I cooked mine for about 2 minutes total.Once they rose to the top of the pot I let them cook a little longer and removed from the pot with a spider.

Make sure to let the excess water drain out. To serve toss with a little olive oil and plate! ravioli_11 THE PASTA DOUGH

9 oz All Purpose Flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 Eggs (about 6oz)

Mixing bowl

Pasta Machine

Clean Cotton Fabric (a basic sewing muslin is a great choice and is available at all fabric stores for only a few dollars a yard)

In your bowl add the flour and create a well in the center and add the eggs.

Mix the eggs up with your fingers and slowly start incorporating the flour. Continue mixing until the dough starts to come together and turn out onto a floured work place and kneed for about 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes nice and smooth.

Divide your dough into 6 even pieces using your scale or by eye.

To set up your pasta making space lay out your fabric on a good long table space and clamp your pasta machine to the table over the fabric, then flour your fabric. The purpose of fabric and flour is to create a workspace that the dough will not stick to and so you can lay your rolled out pieces down while you finish the rest.

Take each piece and run it through your machine finishing at the second to the smallest setting (if you have never used a pasta machine there are a lot of great tutorials online).

Once you have rolled all your dough out you are ready to make your ravioli (above) or make any other pasta ravioli_09 MUSHROOM, ARUGULA, RICOTTA FILLING

I need to preface the below ‘recipe’ with the disclaimer that I did not measure anything when I made my filling and had some extra mushrooms and arugula. So this is more of a rough guide line of my process and the ingredients involved. Please use your own judgement and taste when making this.

1 package (about 10- 15 mushrooms) baby bella mushrooms caps only sliced into 1/4″ slices

1/2 bunch washed arugula (about 3 cups) chopped roughly into large pieces

7oz of Ricotta

1 Tablespoon of Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Large Saute pan

Small bowl

Heat up your pan on medium heat, once hot add in the butter, mushrooms, and some salt. Let sweat for about 5 minutes, then add the arugula into the pan with some more salt and some pepper and put the lid on the pan.

Let the vegetables cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms and arugula are soft and the flavors have melded well.

Transfer the mix to a cutting board making sure to leave the juice in the pan and chop everything into small 1/4″ pieces.

Transfer the chopped vegetables into the small bowl, add in the ricotta and mix together. Now you can use this mix for ravioli, stuffed shells, etc.

ravioli_12

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Oat Bars: Episode One

Oat Squares

I have been trying to eat better at work and avoid unnecessary snack trips for unhealthy and expensive snacks during the day, so while pursuing the web looking at different recipes for granola type bars I could make I ran into the  4 Ingredient Banana Nut Bars from The Kitchn. I liked how simple the recipe was so I went to work making some with what I happened to have on hand in my kitchen on that particular day, which happened to be Oats, bananas, Coconut Flakes, and dried blueberries. While the original recipe did not include any egg my mix seemed a bit dry so I threw one in to help bind everything together and add a bit of extra protein into the mix. From that first round of bars I have started to experiment with different additions and subtractions to switch it up and find what I like best.

Regardless if you follow the orignal inspiration recipe or my version below these snack bars are quick to make and great as a quick, healthy and filling breakfast, snack during the day, or as a pre gym energy snack.

Oat Squares

OAT AND SESAME SNACK BAR

Makes about 16  1 1/2″ squares

This Recipe makes a particularly dense bar which is why I suggest cutting them into such small pieces. You can make them less dense by adding some chopped dried fruit to the mix. Either way they are filling, healthy and tasty. I used powdered peanut butter because it has less fat than regular peanut butter but feel free to substitute the normal stuff in its place. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to experiment and substitute ingredients as you see fit for your tastes and pantry contents.

8oz Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 Ripe Yellow Plantain (about 5oz)

2 Ripe Bananas (about 6oz)

1 Large egg

2oz Chopped Almonds

1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds

1 Tsp Blue Agave

1 Tsp + 1/2 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

2 Tsp Powdered Peanut Butter (available at Health Food Stores)

Preheat your oven to 350°F

In a large bowl mash together the Bananas and Plantain making sure there are no large chunks in the mix. (When I made mine the Bananas and the Plantain were still a bit hard so I sliced them into pieces before mashing to help incorporate, by nature the plantain is less soft than the banana but the mix comes together with enough man power)

Once the Banana and Plantain are mashed up add the egg, powdered peanut butter, 1 tsp of the Cinnamon (save the rest for the top of the bars), Blue Agave, and Salt. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.

Add in the Oats, Chopped Almonds, and 1tsp of the Sesame (save the rest for the top of the bars) and mix well.

Once everything is incorporated turn out the mix into a non stick or grease 7×7 (or 6×6) baking pan.

Sprinkle the top of the bars with the remaining sesame seeds and cinnamon.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the mix is solid and has browned.Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack then turn the bars out of the pan on to the rack and allow them to cool completely.

Cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!

Oat Squares

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Rye Bread and Brisket Sandwich

Brisket Sandwich

This weekend I stopped by a grocery store while I was running some errands around the the city with the thought that I would buy some beef to cook, but what kind and what I was going to make I did not know. While at the store I stopped by the meat counter and ended up getting a nice piece of brisket. I don’t know what possessed me to pick it but I did, figuring that once I got home I would figure out something to do with it. While I was at the store I also picked up some rye flour for another random whim to make bread which I talk about in my Bread Galore post.

So when I got home and was pursing my cookbooks and the internet for an idea of what to do with the meat I found a nice recipe for a nice preparation of brisket that I decided I would make the next day (see more below on the brisket making). While I was letting my bread dough rise I continued to purse the internet on the subject of brisket when the idea of making a good deli style brisket sandwich came to me. As I was making Rye bread anyways it seemed like the perfect fit.

For the bread I  used the basic Ratio for rye bread from Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, but there are also a lot of great Rye Bread Recipes in Lucky Peach Issue 4.

brisket

For the brisket I pretty much followed the Nach Waxman’s Brisket of Beef Recipe with a few slight changes. I salted the meat about 4 hours before I cooked it to help flavor it and pull out the juices so it would sear better and be more flavorful. The only other change I did was add shallots to the onion mix and did not add the carrot. This recipe was great and the brisket came out very juicy and flavorful.

I also prepared a quick Cabbage slaw for the sandwich since I had some cabbage hanging around and I thought it would be a nice accompaniment to the meat (see below for my recipe).

Once everything was cooked I sliced my homemade bread added a bit of mustard to one piece of the bread (homemade mayo would be great too), added the slaw, brisket, and cut in half.

It was a delicious sandwich that I defiantly will be making again!

CABBAGE SLAW

1 Green Cabbage Diced

2 Green Onions Sliced

1/4 Cup Vegetable Stock

½ Cup White Vinegar

3 tsp Sugar

2 tsp Salt

Juice of ¼ of a Lemon

In a small bowl mix together everything but the cabbage and green onion making sure the sugar and salt are dissolved. Put diced cabbage and green onion in a large bowl, add in the liquid mixture and toss to coat.
Let sit for at least and hour to overnight in the refrigerator.

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