Home-made Tortelloni

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Home-made Tortelloni

Sorry for being a bit lax the past several days, have been a tad under the weather and thus not much cooking happening. That should change by the weekend though so bear with me in the meantime.

Before taking ill, I was able to create these as part of a weekend meal. I started off by making a simple egg-pasta and rolled it out really thin. I then cut it into small squares.
For stuffing, I halved a spaghetti squash, basted with some oil and spices and proceeded to roast in the oven. In a pan I sauteed some swiss chard that I chopped up finely.
After the squash was roasted I pulled out the strands, added it to the chard, tossed in some asiago and and some romano and cooked until melted in.

After making the filling I pulsated it in the processor to make it a tad more consistent and easier for stuffing the tortelloni. I took a spoon, added some to the center of each square. I then folded them into a triangle, took the two corners from the longer side and wrapped around in a loop separate from the rest of the triangle. To cook, I just tossed them in some boiling water and let cook for about 5 minutes after they started to float.

I made a sauce with some Asiago, Parmesan, and some milk in a saucepan. I then topped the tortelloni with some pumpkin-seed oil.

Enjoy.

A Mixed Cream of Vegetable Soup

I always enjoy going to a produce market as in most instances there is a variety of vegetables you do not normally see in the grocery store and there are typically a lot of very great prices. And in times like this, I get a tad overzealous and have more than I know what to do with so I start to try different combinations and types of meals and thus I came across an interesting soup combination: Cream of Broccoflower and Asparagus with sweet onion and lemongrass- topped with mild cheddar and sauteed broccolini.

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You can choose any stock you want as a base, but since yesterday I had made 5 quarts of fresh chicken stock, I went with that. I started off by pouring in a little olive oil and sauteed the sweet onion along with the lemongrass. I diced up the broccoflower and asparagus into smaller pieces and added them to this mix.

I let that cook for a few minutes and then added in 5 cups of stock and 5 cups of warm water and brought to a simmer. I then put the lid on the stock pot and let it cook for an hour or so.

At this point, I proceeded to add in 1 and half cups heavy cream and put the lid back on again. In a separate pan I sauteed some broccolini which I would later on put as sort of an edible garnish on the soup along with the cheddar.

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At the two hour mark, I took out my immersion blender and blended the whole thing right in the stock pot (saves time and effort of transferring to a blender/mixer etc. and doing it that way. I then poured the soup into the bowl tossed in the broccolini and some shredded cheddar.

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Enjoy.

Seared Porckchops with an Apple-Shallot Compote

Since we had celebrated the holiday on Sunday, we did not have the normal corn beef and cabbage as you would on Saint Patrick’s Day- I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday celebration. Instead I decided to make some seared pork chops.

The chops were initially seasoned with salt and pepper. In a medium pan I heated up some oil along with some Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to brown the chops on both sides and near completion with them still in the pan, I deglazed the pan with a little red wine and cooked both sides slightly more.

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While all this was going on, I diced up one apple and one whole shallot, and tossed them in a small saucepan with some butter. Part of the way through the cooking process, I added in some honey and cooked it down. Near the end I tossed in some fresh oregano for some added flavor and topped the chops with this combination.

As a side dish, I did a twice-baked baked potato. I initially baked 3 potatoes whole and then as they cooled, cut them in halves (careful to keep them fully intact). Each one I had scraped out (the four halves I saved for secondary usage had some still on the sides to maintain structure while the others I fully scraped out). I then tossed this into a bowl which contained a combination of heavy cream, and sauteed garlic, kale, small bits of bacon, and some mozzarella (mainly for creaminess). I then mixed this up, spooned back into the potato halves and baked again. Near the end, I topped the halves with a little bit of cheddar for added flavor or color (I do like things to look nice and colorful).

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Enjoy.

Apple Macadamia Pancakes

After the past week of seeing numerous posts about pancakes, I figured with some free time on the weekend I’d have to get in on the action. With what I had lying around the kitchen I came up with some Apple Macadamia pancakes (topped with some powdered sugar).

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Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup all  purpose flour

1/2 cup all wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoon sugar

1 apple, peeled and diced

1/3 cup macadamia, small pieces (I used mortar and pestle)

2 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon all spice

In a small bowl i threw in the diced apple, macadamia nuts, honey, cinnamon, and allspice and mixed well.

In a separate bowl I started by pouring in the milk. I then added in both flours and mixed lightly. I then proceeded to add in the sugar, baking powder, and olive oil, and mixed thoroughly. To finish off the batter I added in the apple-macadamia combination, mixed thoroughly and let sit for a few minutes.

While it was resting, I turned on 2 burners (my griddle covers one side of the range) and added some butter. Once heated, I then poured in some batter (just over a third of a cup per pancake) let cook slightly until bottom was solid and flipped to cook the other side. Upon completion I threw on some powdered sugar.

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Enjoy.

 

Hanger Steak with a Shrimp Topping, Brussel Sprouts, and Potatoes au Gratin

Last night was kind of a mid-week celebration for Jenn’s birthday (just the two of us) as the upcoming weekend we are having a joint birthday celebration with her brother-in-law and last weekend was somewhat similar when we went down to Atlantic City (love restaurant week). So I figured somewhere in the middle I would do my own thing. Since you can never go wrong with steak, or shrimp- or why not just use a little of both, here is dinner:

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The steak I had initially marinated in some sugar, tequila, chile powder, and some worsteshire sauce. I seared it in the pan and used a little bit of honey-brown sugar bbq sauce to make a nice “sticky” coating. The shrimp I did in a oil-soy based combination along with some fresh chopped garlic and ginger.

For the first side, I cut the brussel sprouts in half, steamed them, and ran under cold water to stop the cooking process. I then took some oil, butter, rosemary, and sage, and tossed in the bruseel sprouts and gave them a nice saute until just starting to brown on the outer layer.

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For the second side, i busted out my Kobra V-slicer to make nice thin potato slices. I first poured in some oil and heavy cream into the bottom of th dish, then did a layer of potatoes followed by grating some Emmantal cheese, added some rosemary and did this for 4-5 layers (whenever I ran out of potatoes). For some color and added flavor on the top layer I added in some sharp cheddar and some panko breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to bake in the oven at 375 for about 40-45 minutes.

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Enjoy.

Some Quick Sweet-Potato Crusted Flounder

This is one of those meals that really embraces the concept of a quick dish- yet something so full of flavor and it beats eating out fast food if you are the type always in a rush. As with most “white-bodied” and mild fish, Flounder falls into the category where you can flavor it so many ways and its rather quick cooking time makes it a nice option for situation where you do not have a whole lot of time or if you do not want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.

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I initially coated the filets with some flour and then did an eggwash. With my microplane (you can utilize any type of a shredder) I took a peeled sweet potato and grated it. I tossed this in a bowl with some panko bread crumbs and some fresh chopped oregano. I then coated both sides of the flounder filets with the mixture._DSC0082

In a saucepan, I threw in a mixture of sesame (for flavor) and grapeseed oil (my normal frying type oil) and heated. I then tossed in the filets and let fry for a few minutes, then flipped the filets and did the same on the other side until the coating started to get a nice browness to it. I then added the optional soy sauce topping as well.

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I kept the side dish simple with some seasoned fries, but for a healthier take can just steam some vegetables (perhaps something along the line of brocolli would pair nicely with this dish.

Enjoy.