Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ricotta Gnocchi w. Pesto

2 Cups Ricotta
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp Salt
2 Large Eggs - Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Flour (+ More for dusting)

Combine Ricotta, Parm Cheese, EVOO, Salt & Eggs.  Add in the flour in 3 parts.

Roll out the dough on a floured service.  Cut into 4 quarters.  Roll into long ropes about 1" thick.  

Cut into 1" cubes and place a fork impression.

Place on a semolina lined tray.  Boil in salted water about 2 minutes or until they float to the top. 

Cover in Pesto and Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Apple Spice Cake

1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
3 1/2 Granny Smith Apples - Peeled & Small Dice (keep the 1/2 apple separate)
1/2 Lemon - Juiced
1 Cup Apple Cider
1 3/4 Cups Flour (+3 tbsp for dusting)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Egg - Beaten
1 tsp Vanilla

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the 3 apples, lemon juice and apple cider.  Stir to combine, reduce to low/medium heat and cook until apples are softened and the liquid has reduced by 1/2.  About 30 minutes.

Add the apple mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse.  You do not want to puree it.

In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, both sugars and salt.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the cooked apple mixture, the reserved 1/2 apple, egg and vanilla.  Stir to combine.

Butter and flour (the 3 tbsp reserved) a loaf pan.  Pour out excess flour from pan.  Pour batter into the pan and place on a cookie sheet as there will be over spill.  Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out from the center clean.

Let sit for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Really good by itself or warm with butter.  This cake comes out so moist and delicious and perfect for school bake sales.

Enjoy.  #Cheftainment

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Roasted Garlic Soup

5 Slices Crispy Bacon (save bacon fat)
25 Large Cloves of Garlic - Peeled
1 Med/Large Onion - Diced
1/2 Loaf Italian Bread - Ripped into pieces
1 Cup EVOO
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1/2 Pint Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley

In a Dutch Oven or medium sized pot over med/high heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp Bacon Fat.  Add in Garlic and Onions and brown for about 5 minutes.  Lower heat to low/med and add the rest of the EVOO.  Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until garlic smashes easily w/ a fork.

Add the thyme, parsley, chicken stock and heavy cream.  Cook for about 1/2 hour.  Add in the ripped bread and then blend with an emersion blender.  If you don't have one, put soup into the blender in stages so as not to burn yourself.  Blend until smooth and cook for another 15 minutes on a low simmer.

I topped my soup w/ roasted chicken, crumbled bacon and garlic bread.  The garlic soup becomes a sweet garlic flavor, not overpowering at all.  If you have leftovers it makes a fantastic pasta sauce.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels Sprouts - end trimmed and sliced in 1/2
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Parmesan Cheese (Or an Italian Mix)

In a cast iron skillet or oven proof pan, heat on the stove to high.  Add the EVOO, then layer in the sprouts, cut side down.

Sprinkle w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Cook until bottom of sprouts are caramelized brown.  About 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook until liquid is reduced.  Place in oven.

Cook about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over sprouts and cook about 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.