Burst media_leaderboard

Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Homemade Fettuccini

Canon and Lily have been so sick and miserable the last few days!  Well today I've had my fill of the rocking chair and children's programming on TV.  The only thing that perked Canon up was when I asked him if he wanted to help make some noodles.  He seemed to have found a new lease on life - at least for a little while.  So he and Brady helped me make some pasta, which we ultimately ran through the fettuccini cutter into beautiful ribbons.  I think they came out just gorgeous.... but I'm sure it was because of the wonderful help I had in the kitchen!

Homemade Fettuccini Noodles with Marinara and Meatballs
 Ingredients:

    * The funny thing was after we finished, Brady said "THAT's all there is to making noodles?"  I think he was a little disappointed at how utterly simple the whole thing is.  Notice, there's not much to the recipe.
1 2/3 cups      flour
2 large           eggs
1 tablespoon  olive oil
A pinch          sea salt
Directions:

1. Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center with your fist.
2. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil and a pinch of salt to the well.
3. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using the fingers of one hand, bringing the ingredients together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

4. Knead the pasta until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Lightly massage it with a hint of olive oil, pop the dough into a plastic food bag, and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.

Pass the dough through the pasta machine:

1. Start to feed the blob of pasta dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. As the sheet of dough comes out of the machine, fold it into thirds and then feed it through the rollers again, still on the widest setting. Pass the dough through this setting a total of 4 or 5 times. This effectively kneads the dough, ensuring the resulting pasta is silky smooth.
2. Pass the pasta through the machine again, starting at the widest setting and gradually reducing the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta achieves the required thickness. The pasta sheet will become very long—if you are having trouble keeping the dough from folding onto itself or are making ravioli, cut the sheet of dough in half and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best for ravioli and any other shapes that are to be filled.
3. After the pasta has reached the requisite thickness, hang it over a broom handle or the back of a chair to dry a little—this will make cutting it easier in humid weather, as it will not be so sticky. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can dust the pasta with a little flour and place it on clean kitchen towels and let it rest for just a short spell.
I just LOVE this photo!
4.  Shape the pasta by hand or pass the pasta through the chosen cutters and then drape the cut pasta over the broom handle or chair back again to dry just a little, until ready to cook. You can, of course, again toss the cut pasta lightly in flour and lay out in loose bundles on a tray lined with a clean kitchen towel. Use as soon as possible before it sticks together.

 
Since the fresh pasta has no preservatives, it cooks in only about 3 minutes in boiling water.

Working on the marinara - from scratch

Making the pieces small for the picky people in the house

The marinara with Italian meatballs

Yummo!  The finished dish.... topped off with chopped fresh herbs and Parmesano.
The taste tester.



Directions:

1. Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center with your fist.

2. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil and a pinch of salt to the well.

3. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using the fingers of one hand, bringing the ingredients together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

4. Knead the pasta until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Lightly massage it with a hint of olive oil, pop the dough into a plastic food bag, and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.

Pass the dough through the pasta machine:

1. Start to feed the blob of pasta dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. As the sheet of dough comes out of the machine, fold it into thirds and then feed it through the rollers again, still on the widest setting. Pass the dough through this setting a total of 4 or 5 times. This effectively kneads the dough, ensuring the resulting pasta is silky smooth.

2. Pass the pasta through the machine again, starting at the widest setting and gradually reducing the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta achieves the required thickness. The pasta sheet will become very long—if you are having trouble keeping the dough from folding onto itself or are making ravioli, cut the sheet of dough in half and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best for ravioli and any other shapes that are to be filled.

3. After the pasta has reached the requisite thickness, hang it over a broom handle or the back of a chair to dry a little—this will make cutting it easier in humid weather, as it will not be so sticky. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can dust the pasta with a little flour and place it on clean kitchen towels and let it rest for just a short spell.

4.  Shape the pasta by hand or pass the pasta through the chosen cutters and then drape the cut pasta over the broom handle or chair back again to dry just a little, until ready to cook. You can, of course, again toss the cut pasta lightly in flour and lay out in loose bundles on a tray lined with a clean kitchen towel. Use as soon as possible before it sticks together.


Since the fresh pasta has no preservatives, it cooks in only about 3 minutes in boiling water.





Please visit my Recipe Index for more soups and lots of different ideas to cook with/for your family!   Here are a few different things:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Italian Sausage Calzones with Homemade Marinara


Friday afternoon was spent with my mother and my neice in the kitchen on a creative bent.  I just bought a "calzone maker" from Williams Sonoma and was dying to try it.  This little gadget would be great to make fruit pies, etc with as well.  We had a great time and it was definitely worth the dirty countertops!  Everything was from scratch today - the dough, the marinara, and the filling!


And if you are really pressed for time, you could get by with using a pre-made pizza crust.  They are sold in the cooler by the canned biscuits in your grocery market.  You can also stop on the way home and pick up a dough ball at a pizza shop!  :)

Marinara Ingredients:
28 oz can         crushed tomatoes with basil
1 Tbsp             extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves           garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup            diced onion
1/3 cup            diced carrot
fresh herbs       oregano, basil, parsley, thyme
1 cup               red wine (I used a shiraz)
1 1/2 tsp          pizza seasoning (a blend of dried herbs)
1 1/2 tsp          salt
1/4 tsp             red pepper flakes
1 tsp                sugar
1/4 cup            freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • sauted the garlic, onion, and carrots in a pot for several minutes until they start to soften.
  • deglaze with red wine
  • add crushed tomatoes and rest of the dry seasonings to the pot
  • simmer for 30 minutes or so until you develop the flavor you like
  • add a handful of mixed, fresh herbs in the last few minutes and then remove from heat. 




Dough:
Get the pizza stone preheated at 500 F from the very beginning!  I just love putting some fresh herbs into the dough because it has such a prettier finish with all the specks of color in it... and putting the parmesan cheese into the dough gives it a little more saltiness and changes the texture of the finished product. 
  • 2-3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 tsp each dried herbs (oregano, basil, italian seasoning)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    1. Start adding flour (at least one cup) before adding salt, then add cheese and herbs, then more flour.
    2. Kneed the dough for 5 - 8 minutes... stretching and turning each time. It will get nice and elastic with a silky feel.
    3. Put the oil in a large bowl, turn the dough ball over a couple of times in the oil to coat. 
    4. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and microwave at Power 1 for 2 minutes, then let rest 10 min. Repeat until dough doubles.
    5. Punch down, divide into 6 pieces, and roll out just before ready. 
    The dough after rising for a while
    Filling:
    I would say here to knock yourself our and go crazy with whatever kind of filling you desire.  I'm really thinking that chicken, artichoke and spinach in a bechamel sauce would be delicious.  Maybe next time!





    • 1 lb Italian sausage
    • 1 cup marinara
    • sliced roma tomatoes
    • chunks soft fresh mozzarella
    • handful chopped fresh herbs
    • your choice of cheese blend
    ** I hardly EVER recommend pre-grated cheese, because it has much less flavor than cheese you grate yourself, but a "pizza blend" of cheeses would work really well here (yes - the kind in the bag!).  If I had one criticism of my final dish, it was that it needed to be more gooey with cheese.... so add more cheese!!
    1. Remove the sausage from the casings and break apart in a skillet.  Cook until the sausage is browned through, but still soft.
    2. Mix the sausage with a cup of the marinara that you have simmering in that pot and smelling up the house.
    3. Have other filling ingredients ready - cheese, tomatoes, herbs, etc.

    chunks of fresh mozzarella
    sliced roma tomatoes

    The building process:
    This is really the fun part - and the part where you bring in the kids and let everyone participate in the assembly!

    Roll out a piece of dough on a floured surface until it's approximately an 8 inch circle. Don't forget to flour your rolling pin as well! You can use the open calzone mold as a guide if this is the method you are using.
    An 8-inch dough circle
    Sprinkle the mold with just a tiny bit of flour.
    Lay the dough over the open mold and add your filling of choice - I added 1/3 cup of the filling as above, then layered it with thinly sliced tomatoes, chunks of mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkling of more herbs. If you don't have a calzone mold, just add your filling to one side - being careful to not get any filling on the edges.
    cover mold
    add fillings
    • Flip the dough over and close the mold, pressing to seal and crimp.
      fold
      crimp
    • If no mold, use your finger to dampen the edges of the dough with water and close the dough, then crimp with a fork to seal.
    Brush the top of the calzone with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the top with herbs and grated

    Parmesan.
      top and decorate
      
    Transfer calzones two at a time to a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  This will keep them from sticking and allow them to slide off onto the pizza stone.  This is the "stuff" you feel under the bottom of your pizza when you go to a brick oven pizza place.
    Bake at 500 F for 10 - 12 minutes (I baked all of mine for 10 min).
      fresh from the oven
    Remove from oven with the peel and allow to sit about 5 minutes before eating.  They are like pockets of molten lava at this point, so I don't advise biting into one right out of the oven.
    Serve calzones with a little dish of the marinara that you made for "dipping" and a little grating of parmesan.
    Enjoy!!
      the finished calzones
    This recipe yields 6 nice sized calzones.
    Notes:
    • These dough balls freeze really well and can be just thawed, and rolled out at a later time.
    • The marinara will just improve in flavor if you make it in advance, and it also freezes well.
    • So.... this recipe lends itself well to making the components ahead of time and having a "make your own calzone" party; or for most of us, prepping the components on the weekend and putting them together for dinner during the busy week.
    • FYI - the Williams-Sonoma Calzone Mold was $12.  That was a lot of entertainment for the money!
    • In a time crunch, I don't see why you couldn't just get the pre-made pizza dough from the can or freezer section.
    • sauted the garlic, onion, and carrots in a pot for several minutes until they start to soften.
    • deglaze with red wine
    • add crushed tomatoes and rest of the dry seasonings to the pot
    • simmer for 30 minutes or so until you develop the flavor you like
    • add a handful of mixed, fresh herbs in the last few minutes and then remove from heat.
    • Kneed the dough for 5 - 8 minutes... stretching and turning each time. It will get nice and elastic with a silky feel.
    • Put the oil in a large bowl, turn the dough ball over a couple of times in the oil to coat. 
    • Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and microwave at Power 1 for 2 minutes, then let rest 10 min. Repeat until dough doubles.
    • Punch down, divide into 6 pieces, and roll out just before ready.



    Please visit my Recipe Index for more soups and lots of different ideas to cook with/for your family!   Here are a few different things:
     

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Beefy Mexican Cornbread

    My mom made this all the time when I was growing up, and it's always been one of my favorite comfort foods.  This is certainly not some cornbread at a buffet with just little pieces of pepper in it.  It's a complete and balanced meal, and completely filling.


    • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 2 lg eggs
    • 2-3 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese
    • 1/3 cup diced jalapenos
      • can use jarred or fresh
      • can also use canned chopped chilies
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 can cream style corn
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 lg onion, diced small
    • 1 Tbsp canola oil
    • to taste - kosher salt
    • to taste - pepper
    • to taste - garlic powder
    Garnish
    • sour cream 
    • fresh, chopped cilantro 

    Method:
    Preheat oven to 350 F.   
    Prepare black iron skillet with oil.  Get the iron skillet real hot on the stovetop so that oil is hot.
    1 Tbsp canola oil
    In a skillet, brown the ground beef – breaking it up into small pieces with spatula as you go.  
    1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)



    In a skillet, brown the ground beef – breaking it up into small pieces with spatula as you go. When about half done, add onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Saute until beef no longer pink in middle and onions translucent.
    1 large onion, diced small
    In a large mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread with the milk and eggs. Mix in cream style corn, half the cheese, and jalapenos.
    1 box Jiffy cornbread mix, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup diced jalapenos


    2 large eggs

    1 can cream style corn

    add 2 tsp cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder

    Half of the shredded cheese
    Add half the cornbread, then the meat mixture, remainder of cheese, then remainder of cornbread – layering the dish.






    Bake in oven 50 – 55 minutes until golden brown and yummy!!
     


    Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a little chopped cilantro if desired.
    Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a little chopped cilantro if desired.


    Enjoy this recipe? I hope so.  It's not pretty but its one of my favorites!  If you haven't already Click Here To Subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing!

    Want to see more recipes? Hop on over to my Recipe Index for tons of ideas of stuff to cook for and with your family!!

    Here are a few "bonus" recipes:



    Method:
    Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a HOT skillet, prepare the black iron skillet with oil.  In a skillet, brown the ground beef – breaking it up into small pieces with spatula as you go. When about half done, add onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Saute until beef no longer pink in middle and onions translucent.

    In a large mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread with the milk and eggs. Mix in cream style corn, half the cheese, and jalapeños.  Add half the cornbread, then the meat mixture, remainder of cheese, then remainder of cornbread – layering the dish.  Bake in oven 50 – 55 minutes until golden brown and yummy!!   Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a little chopped cilantro if desired.

    Follow me on Pinterest

    Follow Me on Pinterest