Monday, April 12, 2010

Hand Rolled Fettuccine: Chicken and Alfredo Sauce

Hand Rolled Fettuccine

Hand Rolled pasta is a great treat, and my favorite thing about it is that you don't need any special equipment to make it. All you need is a large, clean, flat space, and a rolling pin! Even the ingredient list is simple, flour, egg, water, salt. Once you learn to make pasta by hand, you'll love how tasty and rewarding a treat it is. Experiment with uses and shapes! This how to has been used in iliea's kitchen for chicken noodle soup and ravioli!

I went to a friend's house and taught her how to make hand rolled pasta, then we both learned how to make Alfredo from Chef John. I have included the video we used to make this wonderful dish. It was maybe the best dinner I have eaten so far this year! We were both very pleased! I hope you try this yourself, but maybe if you beg me enough I will come and make it for you...
First a few pictures of our fabulous spread...


And now on to our fettuccine demo!


Pasta
Serves 2

1 cup flour
1 egg
2 tbs water
1/4 tsp salt

place flour on a large, clean flat surface. Create a well with your fist. Beat egg gently with water and salt. Pour egg mixture into the well. Using a fork, continue to beat the egg in the well, drawing in flour from the sides and incorporating it slowly into the pasta. Once a stick dough begins to form, remove fork, and cover dough with flour, as shown. press flour into dough. Repeat several times till a ball begins to form. Knead dough until smooth, about 2 minutes. Form dough into a ball, cut in half. Roll out as desired or as shown. Dry pasta for at least 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, reduce heat to medium high. (rapidly boiling fresh pasta can break it). Cook to desired texture, 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Today's demo features guest Photographer Sabrina Kay! Thanks for the great pictures, Sabrina!

Here is the Chicken Alfredo how-to video we followed, also see the full blog post here. Props to Chef John for a fabulous recipe! Thank you!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tostadas!--: No One Can Tell They're Vegetarian

Tostadas!



I love a quick tostada dinner! i can eat like three of these and be happy! You got everything you need, veggies, greens, dairy, whole grains, protein... and i use healthy olive oil to refry the beans and to "fry" the tostada shells... using my fast and simple baking technique.
Traditionally, you fry the tortillas in vegetable oil till they are crunchy. The method i use here is a lower fat no fry method, and it is also much faster because you can bake many at a time. Simply spread on a thin layer of olive oil to both sides of the tortillas, then bake! So easy! This technique also makes great and simple tortilla chips, simply coat the tortillas in olive oil, stack them up, and cut into wedges or strips, then bake. Try it out sometime!

Also i have included a demo on how to re-fry beans, in case you needed to know. Here i made a super healthy and vegetarian olive oil re-fried beans, but if you wanna be more traditional, they taste great with bacon fat! I quit buying cans of pre-refried beans, they tend to be pasty in texture, and pretty bland. Just don't have any character. It is not too hard to re-fry beans. I like to use pinto beans, here i used canned beans, but it is pretty easy to make them yourself. It is certainly cheaper. I will post a from scratch beans how-to in the not too distant future.

The cheese i used today is called Landaff, From New Hampshire, aged at The cellars At Jasper Hill.

Well, top your tostadas with whatever you fancy, i like this fast and simple meatless version. Surely you could grill some chicken, reheat leftover roast, shredded cabbage, tofu crumbles avocados, onions, tomatoes, get creative!



Tostadas

For 2

6 corn tortillas
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 can of pinto beans, do not drain!
dash of salt

your favorite toppings, mine were:

Fresh Spicy salsa
grated cheese
Baby arugula and baby romaine

brush or rub a thin layer of olive oil evenly to both sides of the tortillas. Place on a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in a 425* oven for 10 minutes or till crispy. remove from oven. Heat a fry pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil, and the whole can of pinto beans, (liquid too!) . Bring to a simmer. Lower heat, and smash the beans till smooth. Season with a bit of salt, simmer till thickened. Assemble tostadas as shown.

Enjoy!

Next Post:
From alfredo

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Burgers: Blue Cheese and Wine Reduction Sauce

NO Foolin' ....It's Hamburger Time!!




    Though parts of me aren't as celebratory, i am an american after all, and my love of the good ol' burger is proof. This ain't just any burger, though- Perhaps it is very californian. Or, Specifically, very San Francisco. Anyhow, this Burger, more than any of these things, is very me, and very very much how i eat my burgers, every time. 
    Anyhow, back to the burger... I start with the nicest ground cow i can find, organic grass fed for peace of mind. Blue Cheese. Some nice saute' mushrooms, such as the hedgehog mushrooms i used here, but crimini work well too. I put my burger on a rustic roll from the local bakery, but any hardy bread will do. i serve the mushrooms with a reduction sauce as a side dish, but you can put it in your burger if you are brave and have a very big napkin.





Hamburger TIME!

Serves 2!

1/4 LB Ground Cow
3 Tbs Soy Sauce (1 oz)
3 Cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
1tsp ground pepper
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (shown here, Buttermilk Blue Affine', Roth Kase, WI)

1 lb hedghog or other mushroom, prepped.
1/4 cup Wine or Mirin
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (loose) dried thyme


Crumble Blue Cheese, set aside. Mix Ground cow with soy, garlic, and pepper. Mix Very well, with hands or spoon. Form into a ball, patting gingerly to remove air bubbles. Cut ball in half, form into two evenly sized patties. Heat a heavy skillet on high to very hot. Test pan for readiness by putting a drop of water in it, if it hops right back out, it is ready! Place patties in pan. cook to your liking. about a minute before the burger is done, add cheese, cover. After one minute, place each patty on the bun it belongs to. Allow to rest. Meanwhile, in the same pan that you just made burgers in, add mushrooms and saute'. Add wine/mirin, balsamic, and thyme. toss to coat, cook till mushrooms soften, about three minutes. serve.
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