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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.