Archive | March, 2012

Toasted Ravioli – Party in my Mouth

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Pop these in your mouth and it’s officially a party! Let these yummy ravioli tag along and you’re sure to leave the shindig with a hottie wrapped around you.

By the way, different fillings = great icebreaker…I’ll tell you what’s in mine if you tell me what’s in yours. *wink*

Toasty Party Ravioli
4 to 6 servings

1 lb fresh ravioli (be adventurous with your fillings, people!)
3 large eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 c cow boob juice
2 c breadcrumbs
3 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil
1/2 c parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce

1. Spread the ravioli on a baking sheet without overlapping. Freeze until hard (30 minutes).
2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a shallow dish.
3. Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in another shallow dish.
4. Dip the ravioli in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
5. Return the coated ravioli to the baking sheet and freeze until hard (15 minutes).
6. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F.
7. Fry the ravioli in 2 or 3 batches (turning as needed) until golden brown – 5 or 6 minutes per batch.
8. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.
9. Immediately sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with marinara sauce.

Carbonara over here

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Orecchiette pasta resembles little ears. This recipe is so delicious looking, you’ll want to whisper sweet nothings into your bowl. To top it all off it is quick to prepare, so you might want to start thinking about what you’re going to say…

Orecchiette Carbonara

1 box orecchiette
9 slices thick bacon
2 leeks (white and light green parts only) washed, halved and sliced into 1/3″ pieces
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 bag baby peas (steam-in-bag)
3 egg yolks (at room temperature)
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c parmesan (plus more for topping)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

1. Cook the bacon until crispy (leave the fat in the pan).
2. Drain the bacon on paper towels, then crumble into small pieces.
3. In the same frying pan, cook the leeks and garlic until tender (about 6 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in 4 quarts of boiling water and microwave your steam-in-bag peas.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and parmesan.
6. Add just a splash of the pasta water (reserve a little more on the side in case you need to loosen the sauce later).
7. When the pasta is done, toss it into the skillet with the leeks and heat the mixture on low until the leeks begin to sizzle.
8. Remove the skillet from the heat and toss in the crumbled bacon and the egg/cream/cheese mixture.
9. Continue tossing for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens (until eggs are no longer raw).
10. If necessary, you can add a little of the pasta water that you reserved earlier to loosen the sauce.
11. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle on extra cheese just before serving.

Irish Stout Pasta – Nibble on this!

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In the name of all that is Swiss and holy! These Irish Stout 3-Ways are guaranteed to get you (and your liver) through any St. Patty’s Day celebration. You can’t drink on an empty stomach, so eat a ramekin for dinner Saturday pre-mania. Then what the hell, indulge in another one or two whenever you wake up Sunday. Brilliant hangover fooooood.

Irish Stout 3-Ways
Serves 6
*sub cheeses only if your supermarket is shit*

3 t butter
2 t chopped shallots
3/4 c Stout beer
2 c heavy cream
1/2 c Kerrygold Irish swiss cheese (grated)
1/2 c Kerrygold Vintage cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 c Dubliner cheese (grated)
3 1/2 c creste di galli or large elbow rigate macaroni (cooked and cooled)
3/4c panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins.
3. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of the butter.
4. Add the shallots and cook until soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the stout and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the cream and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes more.
7. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
8. Melt remaining 2 teaspoons of butter.
9. In a bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cheese, and cream mixture. Spoon into ramekins.
10. Top with bread crumbs and spoon melted butter over the top
11. Bake for 30 minutes, until bread crumbs are lightly browned and sauce is bubbling.

Chedd’r? I barely know ‘er! My girl friend Steph contributed some of the snappy phrases for my St. Patrick’s Day blog. Mass props! She’s so good I may need to have her visit my kitchen sometime…. Kiss my pasta, it’s Irish!

Ok, one more….. 3 cheeses are better than 1. There, I’m done.

Spinach Pesto – Giving the Green Light

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It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, so I thought I’d offer up something green. Fresh spaghetti with a pesto that will make you scream and beg for more! But, this is no regular old basil pesto – no, no. It’s time to mix things up and explore the freaky side of us Irish-folk…

Spaghetti with Spinach Pesto and Turkey Meatballs
Serves 4

Tip: Cover leftover spinach pesto with a thin layer of olive oil and tightly cover with plastic wrap – you’ll eat for days. The lusciously sweet dried fruit meatballs work so well, but are optional (to make this dish vegetarian).

1 lb fresh spaghetti
2 c + 2 T fresh baby spinach leaves (divided)
2 -3 garlic cloves
1/4 c toasted walnuts
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c grated manchego cheese
1/8 t salt
fresh ground pepper
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 slices fresh bread (crusts removed & torn into small pieces)
1/4 c onion (finely chopped)
2 large cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 c Marsala wine
2 T diced dried apricots
2 T diced dried cranberries
2 T crumbled feta cheese
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 t salt

1. Boil 4 quarts of water for the spaghetti.
2. Use a knife to roughly chop the garlic and add it to a food processor.
3. Add the walnuts and pulse a few times.
4. Add the spinach and pulse a couple more times.
5. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture comes together.
6. Remove the pesto from the food processor and add the cheese, salt and pepper, stir to combine.

Serve over hot spaghetti (with or without balls of meaty-meat).

Meatballs

1. Preheat the broiler and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, pour the Marsala wine over the diced dried apricots and cranberries, then set aside for 5-10 minutes.
3. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent (approx. 6 minutes).
4. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients, including the apricots, cranberries, wine and the onion mixture in a large work bowl; careful not to overmix.
5. Lightly form the mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet.
6. Put them under the broiler on a middle rack for about 15 minutes. Stay close to the oven while the meatballs are cooking since they can burn quickly.
7. Move the meatballs to a higher rack for a few minutes to brown the tops (flipping once).

FYI – later in the week I’ll be showcasing a real St. Patrick’s Day pasta dish (may grow hair on yer chest). Hint: It screams “hangover cure”.

Bestiality!

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Cheap and Easy Farfalle Primavera

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It’s late, you’ve been working your hands to the bone and all you need is comfort….cheap and easy comfort. Here I come to save the day! If you are looking for a wickedly stupid-easy recipe, for next to nothing, turn to this one. And as a bonus for you ladies out there – Farfalle looks like a Chippendale’s bowtie. *wink*

Cheap and Easy Farfalle Primavera

16 oz piccolini farfalle
2 chicken boobs (diced)
1 medium zucchini squash (sliced)
1 medium yellow squash (sliced)
1/4 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 head broccoli (cut into florets)
2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
5 small tomatoes (seeded and diced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 t olive oil
Salt and pepper

Sauce:
3 T butter
3 T flour
2 c milk
3-4 T parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add to large serving bowl.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté chicken in olive oil, salt and pepper for 6-8 minutes. Once chicken has cooked, transfer it to a plate and set aside.
3. Add all the veggies (except the tomatoes) to the same skillet that you sautéed the chicken and steam/saute for 3-4 minutes with 1/4 cup of water. Add the tomatoes during the last minute. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.
5. Melt the butter in the skillet, slowly whisk in flour. Add milk, salt and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese.
6. In large serving bowl, toss pasta, chicken, sautéed veggies with parmesan sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste…and extra parmesan cheese if you like.

Let’s Duck – Roasted Duck Fettuccine

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I love me some duck. Add fresh homemade fettuccine and you have my full attention.

Pile this on my plate anyday…

Sloooow Roasted Duck Fettuccine
4 servings

1 lb fresh fettuccine
1-2 duck leg(s)
4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 T butter
1-2 T duck fat
Salt (a pinch..wink)
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon zest
1-2 T lemon juice

Prepping the Duck (rrr…oww)

Pat and dry the duck legs. Prick skin all over with needle to help render out fat. Salt generously. Place skin side up in a 300°F oven in a casserole dish just small enough to fit them without overlapping. Cook for about 90 minutes or until the skin starts pulling away from the bones and getting crispy. Turn up the heat to 375°F for 15 minutes until duck starts to get light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

1. Pick the duck meat and skin from the bone and tear into small pieces.

2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter, duck fat and pieces of duck. Turn the heat down to medium.

3. Meanwhile, put the fettuccine in the boiling water.

4. Add garlic to the sauté pan and mix.

5. Drain the pasta when it is al dente and add it to the sauté pan. Coat the pasta well, then add some black pepper and lemon juice and toss again.

6. Serve with the lemon zest sprinkled on top.

Cheesy Penne – Stick your fork in and twirl!

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Now, I’m going to attempt a Playboy move here and try to post riveting articles about pasta, but do not be mistaken! There will be oodles of mind-blowing, pin-up sized noodle pix for you, my Gnoghties!

Ahem (cough, cough)…anyway…I digress. If it’s pasta that your craving, it’s pasta you’ll get folks. Welcome in… delectable recipes await. But, for those of you who can’t wait (tisk, tisk…be patient):

Cheezzzy Penne

Serves 1-4 *wink*

  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c half & half
  • 4 oz white cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 8 oz Gruyere cheese (shredded & divided)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pasta as directed.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour constantly for 1 minute. Gradually mix in milk and half & half, whisking constantly for 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheddar, parmesan and half of the Gruyere, along with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Stir cheese mixture and pasta together and pour into baking dish(es). You can either use (1) 11×7-inch dish or (4) 8 oz dishes for individual servings. Top with remaining Gruyere cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Southern Living – January 2008

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