Monday, January 30, 2012

49 meets 50! The best of two worlds

The 49th state (Alaska) Copper River Red Salmon and the 50th state (Hawaii) Big Island Macadamia Nuts combine to provide a fabulous meal!

1 lb. Copper River Red Salmon
1 egg white
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 TBSP. Olive oil to cook the fish
1 TBSP. butter
1 TBSP. parsley
1 TBSP. lemon juice

Bone the salmon, season both sides with salt and pepper, dredge in beaten egg whites, and toss in chopped macadamia nuts mixed with parsley. Brown in hot oil for 4 minutes on each side or until flaky. Drizzle with melted butter and lemon juice.

I served this with a light salad of roots and herbs, buttered yams and steamed rice. So simple and quick. Humky hubby loved every bite and ate 3 helpings of fish.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ravioli Fever!

I can't seem to get enough of playing with my new pasta machine and ravioli maker. I've now made two batches of spinach ravioli and am on to now experimenting with butternut squash with sage and brown butter sauce and then try a lobster ravioli. With each batch I get better at mixing, feeling and creating a better pasta. The first time I made ravioli I made a garlic alfredo and added in some roughly chopped crimini and white mushrooms. Delicious! I have a marinar sauce with sausage, mushrooms and pepperoni that I am going to try with this batch. The key is to knead the pasta dough for at least 10 minutes and then letting it rest wrapped in plastic for at least an hour. I'm combining two recipes for my dough. From "Ultimate Pasta" by Julia Della Croce (ISBN: 0-7894-2086-4 and "Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family" by Art Smith (ISBN: 0-7868-6854-6). The second book is one of my favorites and I highly recommended getting this one to add to your collection.

~2 cups flour (more for dusting the pasta and the machine)
3 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil

Weigh the flour (should be 1 lb which is about 2 cups), add salt. Slightly beat the eggs and oil. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in egg. Using a fork, gradually add flour into the egg mix as it comes away from the sides of the bowl. When the dough is well incorporated and is too stiff to work with a fork, turn onto a lightly dusted surface and begin to knead into a ball. Continue kneading until a soft ball is made. Important: Knead the dough for a minimum of 10 minutes. Put on some music to keep your eye off the clock. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour.

While dough rests, make your filling.

Spinach Filling:
1 lb. cooked, drained to almost dry and finely chopped spinach
7 oz. Ricotta Cheese
3.5 oz grated Parmesan Cheese
2 egg yolks
1 TBSP. Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper

Cut the dough into 2-4 smaller sizes to work with, keeping the dough you are not working with wrapped in plastic. Feed the dough through the pasta machine on the lowest setting at first, gradually tightening down the width after passing it through the machine each time. You will end up with a long, thin sheet of pasta. I like to end up on either 6 or 7 because it needs to be slightly thicker than say fettucini because it will be sandwiched. Cut off the tapered ends and fold in half.

Place the ravioli attachment onto the pasta machine. Fold the dough in half and feed the middle of the dough into the machine turning about 1/4" to begin the first seal.
Place the hopper on the attachment and spoon the filling into the middle. A sheet of ravioli will look like this:

Gently remove the edges of the ravioli (I actually saved these "noodles" and put them in a soup (waste not want not!)

Your ravioli will look like this:

Voila! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grandma Hazel's Homemade Noodles

I've always loved my Aunt Bubble's egg noodles, but recently found out when I went home to visit that the noodles were actually Grandma Hazel Johnson's (my aunts mother-in-law's) recipe. Aunt Bubbles always made a pork roast to accompany her noodles, but mom used them after Christmas day in her turkey soup. After watching how easy it is to make pasta, I drug out the old pasta machine I had received as a gift over 10 years ago but was too chicken to experiment but for a few times and a huge mess later. Well I promptly broke the blasted thing..something to do with the plastic gear that turns the paddle. Those who really know me know that I won't be daunted by a little bump in the road. I set out on a mission to get a new pasta machine like moms...ALL METAL this time and found one at the Country Kitchen store on Airport Dr. No electronics to go bad this time and pasta is extruded by human work. Well, sitting right next to this little thing was a ravioli maker that I had to have as well.
The outcome was a success! The egg noodles are drying on the table to be stored in a glass jar for whenever I want noodles. In the meantime, I've made another batch of linguini that we had last night and bought some fresh spinach and cheeses to make ravioli.
Grandma Hazel's Egg Noodles 3-4 cups flour (I mixed 1/2 Semolina and 1/2 bread flour) 4 egg yolks dash of salt egg shell-to measure water (4-5 shells--or enough to just moisten and stick together) Make a well in the flour. Add eggs, salt and water. Begin to incorporate the flour, eggs and water a little at a time until a ball begins to form. Knead the dough for ten minutes (don't skimp on this step). The dough should feel tough and difficult to knead--not crumbly and not sticky.
Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for one hour. (Aunt B doesn't let it rest at all, Mom lets it rest for 10 minutes, but I like one hour because it seems easier to work with.) Cut the dough into six portions and, work with one ball of dough at a time keeping the rest of the dough wrapped so it doesn't dry out. Pat the dough into a rectangle or circle thin enough to feed through your pasta machine (or roll out into a thin sheet and cut noodles if you don't have a machine). Keep the noodles and the machine or working surface lightly dusted with flour. Use the noodles right away or dry and store them to be used later. Take care not to overcook the noodles. They only need about 10 minutes in boiling water or broth--check to taste al dente. Voila! Now I am on the lookout for new pasta recipes!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Seafood Pasta I know it's New Years Eve and I'm supposed to post something that includes black-eyed peas or dark green veggies....The black eyed peas are already cooked and on the stove and I took out a can of 2010 turnip greens that I will heat up tomorrow morning. I did make it to midnight 2012. I just can't buy into the whole 2012---the sky if falling idea...sorry...I won't be Chicken Little. If the end of the world is coming...then let it come. I don't voice it in public but I do completely believe in T. S. Eliot's quote, "The world will not end with a bang, but with a whimper." I've tried to live my life by this quote. ready for it at any time. Don't be forced to ask for forgiveness at the last moment. Live every day as though it is your last and give everything you have to those around you. Go out of this world with no regrets. Believe in karma and always try to do for others and be kind. What will be will be and we can't stop it. I could expand on my thoughts but that would be a whole different venue. Instead......I made a fabulous dish of wild caught jumbo shrimp and Alaska caught scallops. Just coming back from New Mexico...I had some fabulous hot green chile that begged to be cooked. I found a recipe by mom that called for both ingredients and a salsa and green chile mix served over pasta.
3/4 cup chopped green onions 2 garlic cloves, diced Olive oil 1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine 1 1/2 cups salsa 4 oz. green chile 1 TBSP lime juice 1 Lb. shrimp uncooked, deveined 1 Lb. bay scallops, cubed 12 oz. pasta Prepare pasta according to directions. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add broth or wine and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in salsa, chile and lime juice. Add shrimp and scallops, cook for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and scallops are done. Serve over pasta and top with parmesean cheese. Happy New Year!