Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rigatoni with sausage

Papa Joe made this and sent it to me. It sounds like an easy family recipe. You might want to try this with hot Italian sausage too.
 1 medium onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound ground pork
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
 1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 pound mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano plus more

 PREPARATION Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Purée tomatoes with juices in processor; set aside. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 min-utes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes. Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Add reserved meat and tomato purée and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Ragù can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat before continuing. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce; stir to coat. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan.

Sweet and Sour Brisket

I made this brisket this week, and I thought that it was really good.  The original recipe was from, but I have changed it a little.  I served this with mashed potatoes and a salad.

2 lb corned beef brisket
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tbl dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper

1 tbl cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbl water

Leave the fat cap on the meat to ensure moistness.  You can remove it after it is cooked.  Brown brisket on on sides in a dutch oven.  Remove, reduce heat and add onions and garlic.  Stir until onions are translucent.
If the fond (brown stuff in the bottom of the pan) looks like it's getting too brown, add a little water.  Return brisket and add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  You can cook it on top of the stove or in a 350 oven for about 2 hours. When it is tender.  Remove the brisket to a carving board, cover, and let rest.  Degrease the sauce and thicken with a little cornstarch mixed with water. I pureed the onions into the sauce, but it is not necessary.

Caramel Cake from Cook's Country Test Kitch

I made my old stand by 1-2-3-4 cake and topped it with this icing for Phillip's graduation party. The icing was very easy and delicious. I will make it again. As the recipe says, the icing will harden after a few minutes. So, you don't have time to play around with it. Slather it on-it's incredibly wonderful!  

Serves 8
In step 5, the cooled frosting stays soft and spreadable longer than other recipes, but it will harden over time. If the frosting does begin to stiffen, you can microwave it for about 10 seconds (or until it returns to a spreadable consistency).

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups Confectioners' sugar, sifted
1. For the cake layers: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in large measuring cup. With electric mixer on low speed, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, until only pea-sized pieces remain. Pour in half of buttermilk mixture and beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add remaining buttermilk mixture to bowl and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.

2. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

3. For the frosting: Heat 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and salt in large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan (see photo at left), 4 to 8 minutes. Whisk in cream and cook until ring of bubbles reappears, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in vanilla.

4. Transfer hot frosting mixture to bowl and, with electric mixer on low speed, gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting is pale brown and just warm, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. To assemble: Place 1 cake round on serving platter. Spread ¾ cup frosting over cake, then top with second cake round. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Serve.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas From Food Network Kitchens

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time:20 min
4 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
One 8-ounce piece deli ham, diced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
Preheat the broiler to high heat.

Melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and thyme and continue to cook until the ham is lightly browned.

Add the chicken broth and 3/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Add the gnocchi, stir well, cover and cook until the gnocchi is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Uncover and stir in the peas, cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and broil until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Serve.

Queso Napolitano-delicious Latin dessert

This dessert is somewhere between flan and cheesecake, and it is DELICIOUS! I first ate this in Yucatan and it was love. It is, hands down, my favorite Mexican dessert. The English translation follows the Spanish. I baked this at 325 convection in a ring mold, and it was ready in 1hr and 10 minutes. Next time, I'll set the timer for 1 hr and check it. I also added the grated rind of a lime.

1 taza de azucar granulada
3/4 taza de azúcar granulada  
1 lata (12 fl. oz.) de leche evaporada CARNATION Evaporated Milk  
1 lata (14 oz.) de leche condensada CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk   
1 paquete (8 oz.) de queso crema, ablandado   
5 huevos grandes  
1 cucharadita de extracto de vainilla  

PRECALIENTA el horno a 350º F.   

CALIENTA la taza de azúcar en una olla pequeña de fondo grueso sobre fuego medio-bajo, revolviendo constantemente durante 3 a 4 minutos o hasta que se disuelva y adquiera el color del caramelo. Rápidamente vierte el caramelo sobre el fondo de un molde con capacidad de 2 litros. 

COLOCA la 3/4 taza de azucar, la leche evaporada, la leche condensada, el queso crema, los huevos y la vainilla en el vaso de la licuadora y tápalo. Mezcle hasta obtener una mezcla homogénea. Vierta la mezcla en el molde caramelizado. Pon el molde dentro de una fuente para horno de 13 x 9-pulgadas. Llénala con agua tibia hasta que alcance una altura de 1 pulgada. 

HORNEA por 1 hora y 20 a 30 minutos o hasta que inserte un cuchillo cerca del centro y salga limpio. Saque el flan del baño María; enfría a temperatura de ambiente en una rejilla de alambre. Refrigera por varias horas o durante toda la noche. Desliza un cuchillo alrededor del borde del molde; agita el flan delicadamente para desprenderlo. Voltea el flan en un plato para servir.

1 cup grqnulated sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 8oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
5 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350.

Make caramel:  Heat the 1 cup sugar in a heavy bottomed pan on medium low heat, swirling constantly for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar is caramel-colored.  Rapidly, pour the caramel into the bottom of a 2 liter oven-proof mold.

Place the 3/4 cup sugar, milks, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Turn the mixture into the caramel-lined mold.  Place the mold into a 13 x 9 inch pan and fill with about 1 inch of water.

Bake for 1 hr and 20 minutes - 1 hr and 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Take it out of the oven and out of the bain marie.  Cool and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Run a knife around the mold and unmold onto a serving platter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Papa Joe recommended this recipe.  He made it last week and thought it was great.  How could it not be with garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese?

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 sliced medium onion, 4 thyme sprigs, 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.

Veal Piccata

Tonight, for Valentine's Day, I made this really delicious veal picatta. I served it with risotto and a green salad. This is a super-fast dish to make. Just have everything assembled, including your serving platter, before you start.

For 2 

1/2 lb veal scallopini
1 egg, beaten with 1-2 tbl water
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
1 tbl butter
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine
1-2 tbl capers
Juice of 1 lemon

Pound all the veal cutlets to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness
Dredge first in egg wash and then in seasoned flour.
Heat butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When foam subsides, brown the cutlets about 1-2 minutes on each side or until brown. Add chicken stock, wine, and capers and cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove veal to platter and continue cooking sauce until thickened.  Add lemon juice and pour over veal. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Sara Moulton's Peruvian Chicken Thighs

I made this tonight, and it is delicious.  I made Curtido de Repollo (Yucatecan cole slaw) to go with it, rather than the sauce Sara made. I also made a tortilla casserole with leftover corn tortillas, egg, milk, cheese, and green onion, but rice or corn tortillas would be nice as well.

Sara Moulton's Peruvian Chicken Thighs

Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 15 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
3/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 c soy sauce (low sodium, if you prefer)
3 T distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 T vegetable oil
1T ground cumin
1 1/2 t hot paprika
3/4 t dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic
12 small bone-in chicken thighs with skin (about 4 pounds)
Green Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Combine the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, cumin, paprika, oregano, and the desired amount of cayenne in a blender; press in the garlic (about 2 tablespoons) and puree for the marinade. Combine the marinade and the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag once.
2. Place an oven rack on the top shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade, and pat the chicken dry. Arrange the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and cooked through. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (Reserve 4 baked thighs for Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa Nachos.) Top each portion with green sauce.
Green Sauce: Combine 3 large scallions, trimmed and halved, 1/4 cup sliced Serrano chile with seeds and ribs, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup), 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup half-andhalf in a blender and puree until smooth.