Posted at 9:37 am , on October 11, 2013
I have a pasta maker sitting in the pantry but I haven’t pulled it out and made any pasta in awhile. Pasta is relatively easy to make, it’s just a combination of flour, eggs and salt with a little olive oil and extra flour as you roll it through the pasta roller. But like pie dough it takes a little practice. Until now I’ve only tried ravioli once and without a ravioli tray I had a hard time of it. So I decided that next time I tackled ravioli I was going to get myself a ravioli tray and roller. I have to say I am so glad that I did, it made the job so much easier. The cheese filling went a lot further than I anticipated and I was able to put up several dozen ravioli in the freezer. Now we can pull out just the amount we want for a quick meal. When frozen they hold together better when placed in boiling water and cook in as little as 6 – 7 minutes. And if you like toasted ravioli just thaw them first and they can be pan fried a couple minutes on each side.
Posted at 8:26 am , on May 21, 2013
I’ve found that you can make pizza with almost anything. Whereas pizza might have been considered Italian in the past, it’s now anything you can imagine. Some of our favorites are Greek pizza, Verde pizza, Flatbread pizza, Barbecued Chicken pizza and Breakfast pizza. If you’ve ever eaten at California Pizza Kitchen you know they sometimes add a scoop of coleslaw or black bean and corn salsa in the middle to enhance the flavor. I find it appealing and another layer to add to the flavor of the pizza. So when I had leftover Chipotle pulled pork and sauce, it was logical to make pizza and add a scoop of coleslaw to go on top. Josh ate it morning, noon and night until it was all gone!
Posted at 8:39 am , on April 9, 2013
I’m ready to get back in the kitchen after a much needed Spring holiday in New Mexico. I’ve been wanting to bake some bread and after cleaning out my refrigerator, I had enough space for a bucket of Artisan dough that I could use over the course of two weeks. The master recipe for “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” can be found online, and I’ve had the best results using their method. The chilled dough is easy to work with and you can use as much or as little dough needed for most any bread, whether it be a loaf, baguette, or rolls. I took half the chilled dough and made two baguettes which have a crusty exterior that is perfect to go alongside a stew or pasta dish. A couple days later I tried out some dinner rolls. They were more delicate than the baguettes but had a nice top crust to each roll. These were a favorite warmed with a dollop of butter and a bit of jam for breakfast.
Posted at 8:42 am , on March 5, 2013
Ever have that feeling that you’re craving something but you just don’t know what that something is! That happens to me all the time, wanting something salty . . . or something sweet. . . or something comforting but nothing particular in mind. Sometimes you have no further to look that in the freezer. That’s where I found the blueberries that I had packaged up last summer when they were abundant and so good. What was I saving them for? I could think of nothing specific so I pulled out a small package and decided they would be perfect for a batch of scones. I topped them with a cinnamon streusel that gave them a little bit of crunchy sweetness.
Posted at 8:52 am , on February 22, 2013
Ever had a Verde Chicken Pizza? Until recently I hadn’t either but it’s quickly become one of my all time favorite pizza’s. So much so that I’ve made several in the past month. Most pizzas are made with the traditional red tomato sauce, sometimes a white sauce, maybe pesto or even a barbecue sauce, but what I had in mind was something a bit more New Mexican. I decided on a verde sauce with a Mexican melting cheese and cooked seasoned chicken. The dough comes straight out of the “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day”, which mixes Corn Masa flour in the dough to make the most aromatic dough when baked. Fresh toppings and crumbled Cotija cheese round out this pizza.
Posted at 8:30 am , on December 21, 2012
Posole is a New Mexican tradition that some natives serve on Christmas Eve while others serve up a bowl on New Years Eve for good luck. I’ve always been of the opinion to just have a bowl of posole anytime around the holidays and all will be good. It’s comforting and reminds me of my New Mexican roots. Last year I made Blue Corn Posole with dried blue corn and red chile. This year I’m making a Green Chile Posole with white hominy, green chiles and poblano peppers. And just for fun I am also trying out a new corn husk muffin where you line your muffin pans with strips of soaked corn husks, ladle in the batter and out comes these cute little muffins that look like they grew right out of a corn stalk. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year!
Posted at 8:57 am , on December 11, 2012
I have a couple of cook books (I call them recipe books) that I keep out on my entry table. I love the ones with the beautiful layouts and pictures so I keep them close by for when I have a few minutes to sit down. One of my favorites is a Junior League of Greater Covington book called “Roux To Do, The art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana”. It not only has beautiful Louisiana festival posters but most of the recipes are very inspired. A lot of them come from area Chefs that share their most popular recipes. I came across this recipe called Gruyere Cheese, Arthichoke and Tomato Pie. It sounded so delicious but it had a plain pie crust which I wasn’t in the mood for. I remembered a recent post from Roz at la bella vita who made a tomato pie with an herbed buttermilk biscuit crust. That’s the crust I envisioned so I made her crust and filled it with big slices of tomatoes, a layer of artichokes and lots of gruyere cheese. It reminded me of a deep dish pizza pie!
Posted at 8:42 am , on December 7, 2012
If you love fig newtons you are going to love these sweet rolls. Peel away the layers of this sweet brioche dough to find a sticky fig walnut paste that reminds you of the newtons you always loved. The maple icing over top goes well with the fig flavors and makes your fingers sticky delicious! I have to send a Thank You to Joan for the figs as she always sends home a treat whenever we visit. My guys thought the figs were up for grabs and as I started seeing them disappear I set aside a small amount to make sweet rolls. Getting started on the brioche dough a day ahead made the rest a breeze.
Posted at 8:46 am , on November 13, 2012
I’ve found several recipes that include brioche bread so I decided to try out the artisan style brioche dough from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. It is really easy to make and once you have the dough you can make it into anything you want. I made the sweet dough but there is also a savory variation. I had in mind french toast and bread pudding so I made loaves that I can slice or cut into pieces to fit my recipes but you can also make cinnamon rolls or individual rolls; really anything is possible. We toasted a couple slices and slathered some pumpkin butter on top. Umm, really good!
Posted at 9:02 am , on October 2, 2012
My new favorite book “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day” has changed the way I think about pizza. The master recipe makes a big batch of dough that can be made ahead of time and placed in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Once the dough has been made you can take scissors and snip off just the amount of dough you need for any size pizza. The crust will taste fresh and crisp just like you taste in a pizzeria. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about working with cold dough out of the fridge, but honestly it was very easy and the results were amazing. The major differences in this dough is that you don’t knead it ahead of time, just incorporate all the flour into the wet ingredients and let it sit at room temperature to rise. Also the dough takes on that crispy crust by cooking on a pizza stone or a cast iron griddle at very high heat. Already having a stone and cast iron griddle, I invested in a pizza peel in order to transfer the pizza on and off the hot stone. With the master recipe I was able to make 5 pizza crusts although I probably could have squeezed out another one or two if I had made thinner crusts. It’s all in your preference of how thin or thick you like your crust.