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Carnival Squash Scarpinocc with Sunchoke

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Carnival Squash Scarpinocc with Sunchoke

Still on my pasta kick after a few months ago getting back from Italy. This recipe is celebrating the different squashes during the winter months. I made a soup with butternut squash and made the filling for the pasta with carnival squash. I decided to make another pasta shape Scarpinocc. It is a fun shape to make and probably will take a few extra minutes to shape. It originates from northern Italy, Scarpa, which translates into shoe, though to me it doesn’t really resemble a shoe but who am I to judge. The pasta shape isn’t hard to make at all you start off with a rectangular shape and place your filling ( in this case squash and cheese) then you fold over the pasta once over the filling and then one more time to seal it. You pinch both sides of the rectangle and then using your finger make a little dimple in the top of your filling. Unfortunately I am not a very good blogger because I don't have a video out there to show you but I think there are some online. I do have a picture of the raw shape along with some other shapes of pasta. Here is the pasta recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Carnival Squash Scarpinocc Pasta with Sunchokes

1 1/2 cup of roasted carnival squash

1 ricotta cheese

2 oz parmesan cheese

1 tbsp of chopped basil

salt and pepper


Basic Egg Pasta see recipe

Butternut squash soup

1 small butternut squash roasted

4-5 cups of chicken broth

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 onion sliced thin

3 cloves of roasted garlic

Salt and pepper to taste


12 oz roasted sunchokes (2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, roast for 25 min 375 degree)

3 sunchokes shaved thin and fried chips

3 tbsp of pumpkin seed oil

3 tbsp of chopped chives


For the Filling,

Place roasted carnival squash, ricotta, parmesan cheese, and basil, into food processor along with salt and pepper.  Puree until the mixture is completely smooth.  Then place into a pastry bag with a plan tip.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up the filling slightly.

 
For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting.  If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting.  One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1inch by 1/2 inch rectangle. Place a dollop of filling in the center of the rectangle pasta. Then you fold over the pasta once over the filling and then one more time to seal it. You pinch both sides of the rectangle and then using your finger make a little dimple in the top of your filling. Should look like this picture in the upper left corner ( the sides are pinched and there is a dimple in the top of the filling )

Pasta.jpg

For the Soup,
In a small sauce pot add butter and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes and then add roasted garlic and roasted butternut squash. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Place in a vitamix and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

To Finish,

Place a pot of boiling salted water on. In a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil and butter. Slice roasted sunchokes and add to the pan. Place scarpinocc pasta in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Then strain out and pasta and place in the saute pan with the sunchokes. Season with salt and pepper. Then in your bowl add some of the butternut soup. Add a few pieces of the pasta with the sunchokes. Top with some fresh parmesan cheese. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and seeds. Top with sunchoke chips and chives. Serve and enjoy!

squash scarpinocc with sunchoke.JPG


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Sourdough Crusted Onion with Olive and Balsamic

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Sourdough Crusted Onion with Olive and Balsamic

Here is a simple dish that really turned out amazing. A few good ingredients that are executed correctly and that is what good cooking is all about. The key to this dish is really cooking the onion to where the onion is cooked all the way through with it still upholding its structural integrity. This is a great vegetarian appetizer that will really be a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Onion Sourdough

4 medium to large cippolini onions

2 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wood chips


Onion purée from scraps

2 tbsp of butter


Green olive purée see recipe

Sourdough bread gjusta

Aged Balsamic vinegar


For the Onion,

Place onions and wood chips on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle onions with olive salt and pepper. Place in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until just tender all the way through. Take out and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled peel the outer layers of the onion and save for the puree. Reserve for the onions for later.

Place peeled outer layers of the onion into a vitamix. Puree until smooth with 2 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Olive Puree,

For the green olive puree (tapanade) place olives and garlic into a food processor.  Puree and add the oil during the process.  No need to season because of the saltiness of the olives.

For the Sourdough,

Take slices of sourdough bread and take a round cookie cutter just a hair bigger than the onions and punch out 8 rounds. Set aside until ready to serve.

To Finish,

If the cipollini onions are really big you can cut then in half width wise (think of an orange cutting it on its side to have two perfect sides of the fruit). Otherwise you can trim the tops and bottoms if need be. Season the onion with a little salt on both sides. Then add a few spoonfuls of the green olive puree on top of one side of the each onion. Place the round sourdough on top of the green olive puree. Then take a large saute pan and add 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Place the onions face down so the sourdough is in the pan and you are looking at the onion. Cook for 3 minutes and then place in a 400 degree oven and cook for 5-7 minutes. Take out and flip over and let them rest for a minute in the pan. While they are resting place a spoonful of the onion puree in the middle of the plate. Then take aged balsamic and drizzle around the plate. Take the onion out of the pan and place right on top of the puree. Top the onion off with a touch of salt and micro greens. Serve and enjoy!

Sourdough Onion.JPG


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Strawberry, Avocado, and Pepper Salad

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Strawberry, Avocado, and Pepper Salad

Here is a great salad using peppers from the farm in Michigan Sunset. One of the largest green house organic farms in the country. They also have amazing strawberries. My boss had made a stop at this amazing farm and brought back cases of both ingredients. Strawberry season is just starting for some states and spring is almost here. So I decided to share this strawberry and pepper salad to get us ready for that warmer weather. This was a salad that both Jp and Eloise absolutely loved!. There is obviously some sweet to this dish but there is also acid and heat. This gives the dish a well rounded flavors that really worked well with one another. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry and red pepper salad

2 roasted red peppers deseeded and large diced

2 red radish sliced

1 cup of strawberries sliced

1 avocado diced

Micro cilantro


Strawberry and pepper “chutney”

1 cup of strawberries

1 1/2 red pepper diced

1 Jalapeño diced

1/2 small onion diced

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

Salt to taste


For the Chutney,

In a small pot add 1 tsp of oil with onion and jalapeño. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rest of the ingredient. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and holds together. Turn off and allow to cool to room temperature. Reserve for plating.

To Finish,

Add a spoonful or two of the chutney onto your plate. Then some of the roasted peppers on top. Add the diced avocado and season with salt. Finish with radishes and strawberries. Season everything again lightly. Then garnish with micro cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

strawberry and Pepper salad.JPG


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Tortellini En Brodo

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Tortellini En Brodo

Here is a take on the classic recipe tortellini en brodo. My version is without pork and doesn’t have chicken in the broth but don’t let that fool you that this isn’t as good if not better than the original. This is a straight forward recipe using ground wagyu beef to make a meatball stuffing. Then placing the tortellini in smoked beef broth and topping it with a little fresh parmesan.

Wagyu Meat Filling
1 1/2 lbs wagyu ground Meat
1 egg
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves grated
1 1/2 cup panko
4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
2 tbsp of fresh chopped chive
1 tbsp of fresh chopped thyme
1-2 tbsp salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Basic Egg Pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp of salt 


Smoked bone broth 5 smoked beef rib bones 1 onion 1 leek and 1 fennel 1 garlic bulb 10-12 cups of water 2 celery ribs and 2 carrots chopped Salt to taste

For the Smoked beef broth,

Place all the ingredients into large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until you have about 4 cups left. Strain and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm

For the Meat,

Grind the meat yourself making sure you have ice cold attachments for your meat grinder or have your local butcher grind it for you. (short rib is an expensive cut to grind so you might want to use a less expensive fatty cut like brisket, chuck, or round).  Add all the other ingredients to stainless steel bowl and season.  Take a small saute pan on high heat with a tsp of olive oil and cook 1/2 oz of the meatball mixture.  Taste the meatball to see how it tastes.  If everything tastes perfect then set aside for the pasta, if not adjust the meatball to what you think it needs.  

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting.  If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting.  One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1/2 by 1/2 inch squares. Fill each pasta with just a small amount of meatball filling.  Brush each one with water and then fold over into a triangle, then pinch the ends together to make a tortellini shape.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.


To Finish,

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Place another pot on medium heat with the bone broth. Place 20-25 tortellini pastas in the water and allow to cook for 2 minutes.  Strain out and place in the sauce pan with the beef broth and cook for another minute to finish cooking the tortellini’s to al dente. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if need be. Then portion the tortellini en brodo in 4 bowls. Top off with parmesan and chives. Serve and enjoy!

tortellini en brodo.JPG



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French Onion Soup

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French Onion Soup

Here is the classic french onion soup recipe. This is with a vegetable stock and you would never know it by the taste. The caramelized onions is what marries together with the vegetable stock along with a few splashes of worcestershire gives you an illiusion of meatiness to the soup. No frills, no secretes, no long recipe, this is just straight forward easy to follow and great for those cold winter nights. Here is the recipe great for vegetarian dinners and even the meat eaters won’t know the difference!


French Onion Soup

3 yellow onions sliced then

1/2 red onion sliced then

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp of worcestershire sauce

2 quarts vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste


Vegetable stock

1 onion charred

2 leeks

3 stalks for celery

4 carrots

2 parsnips

1 celeriac

1 cup of mushroom stems if you have them 

5 cloves of garlic

2 bay leafs

1 sprig of thyme

12 cups of water


4 Sourdough toast

8 oz Gruyere cheese


For the Vegetable stock 

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and reduce by half or until the stock (water) taste flavorful.  Strain out and season with salt. 

For the French Onion Soup,

Add oil and butter to a soup pot along with all the sliced onions. The key here is to not add salt to the onion (that would draw out the water in the onion) and let the sugars in the onions caramelize completely. They should be dark caramel in color without burning. Once they have all cooked down (25-30 minutes) add salt to the onions and your vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then season with worcestershire and salt and pepper if need be.

To finish,

Simply place soup in bowls add a piece of toasted sourdough and grate gruyere cheese over the top. Place in the broiler until the cheese has browned and melted. Serve and enjoy!


french onion soup.JPG





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Chicken Liver Mousse with Black Pepper Tuile and Hatch Jam

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Chicken Liver Mousse with Black Pepper Tuile and Hatch Jam

Here is an appetizer I made recently from chicken livers. JP loves chicken livers but for me, chicken livers aren’t my first choice. I don’t mind the flavor of chicken livers if it isn’t too strong. The best chicken liver mousse I ever had was in London at The Laytmer. This was so light and airy with a mild flavor that it was hard to stop eating it. Now foie gras (duck or goose liver) is a whole other category and I have no problem eating it. This really turned out well and you would of never known that it had mascarpone in the recipe, (which is optional). The amount of butter in this recipe gives the mousse a Chicken Foie Faux flavor because of the amount of fat being added to it. Don’t worry that the amount of butter in this recipe because this makes a large bowl full of mousse. And you only put a few dots of mousse on each tuile. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken liver mousse

1 lb chicken livers cleaned

1 cup of milk

2 shallots minced

1/4 cup of cognac

1/3 cup of cream

1 cup of mascarpone (8 oz optional )

2 sticks of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Black Pepper Tuile

4 tbsp of all purpose flour and 1 tbsp of rice flour

2 tsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of salt

1 cold egg white

4 tbsp of room temp butter

2 tsp of black pepper

Hatch Chile Jam

5 roasted spicy hatch chile

5 roasted mild hatch chile

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of water

2 tsp of salt

2 radishes sliced thin

Micro greens and rosemary flowers for garnish

For the pepper jam,

Place all the peppers including the seeds if you want it really hot into a food processor. Puree for 15-20 seconds. You want to puree until the peppers are a small diced size, don’t puree to mush. Add the peppers to a pot with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

For the Tuile

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Then place in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. I used an old silpat that had been worn down and using a cookie cutter cut out a round template out of the silpat. You can use other things as a template but this works well. Line a sheet pan with a silpat and place the template on top. Using a off set spatula take a little bit of the of the tuile batter and spread in a small layer inside the template. Smooth all over and then remove the template, you should be left with a circular dough on the lined sheet pan. Continue the process until you have 6 or so on the sheet pan. Then place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. Take out and allow to cool completely. Then place in air tight container.

For the Chicken Liver Mousse,

Clean chicken livers of any sinew and place them in a bowl. Pour the milk over them and let them soak for an hour or two. Then strain off and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Using a medium saute pan on medium heat and 2 tbsp of butter and the chicken livers. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip over. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the cognac and reduce by half. Then add the cream and reduce by half. Pour all of the ingredients into a vita mix and puree until smooth. While the blender is still running add the butter to the liver puree. Now you can stop here and the mousse would be a typical recipe. I actually over salted mine a touch and wanted a little lighter tasting liver flavor so I added the mascarpone to lighten and make my flavor just right because of my heavy hand with salt. Place in a bowl and chill for at least 4-6 hours or best overnight.

To Finish,

Place liver mousse in a plastic pastry bag. Take a tuile and spread a little hatch jam on top. Pipe dots of chicken liver mousse all over. Finish with radish, herbs, and flowers. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Liver Mousse .jpg

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Tunisian Lamb Meatballs

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Tunisian Lamb Meatballs

This is a fantastic dish for anyone who loves meatballs and spice. And who doesn’t love that? Harrisa paste is a typical north African mixture of chile’s and spices. These flavors go perfectly with lamb and tomato. The yogurt is the compliment that cools your mouth from the spice. A very easy recipe to pull off at home and could be a great alternative to the usual super bowl food. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Tunisian Meatballs

1 1/2 lb of ground lamb

2/3 cup of panko

1 egg

4 garlic cloves minced

1/2 onion minced

1/3 cup of spicy harrisa paste

1 tbsp of dill

2 tbsp of dried harrisa spice

1 tbsp of sumac

2 tbsp of ras al hanout

1 tbsp of curry spice

salt and pepper to taste


Tomato sauce

1 onion diced

32 oz of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup of water

3 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of harrisa paste

1 tbsp of paprika

salt and pepper to taste


1 cup of greek yogurt

dill sprigs to garnish


For the Meatballs,

Grind the lamb meat yourself making sure you have ice cold attachments for your meat grinder or have your local butcher grind it for you. Add all the other ingredients to stainless steel bowl with the meat and mix well.  Take a small saute pan on high heat with a tsp of olive oil and cook 1/2 oz of the meatball mixture.  Taste the meatball to see how it tastes.  If everything tastes perfect then set aside for the pasta, if not adjust the meatball to what you think it needs to be perfect (more spice? more salt?, more herbs?). Once you have the taste just right, using a wet hand form the meatballs and place them in a large saute pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip the meatballs over and add the onions from the sauce to the pan.

Meanwhile in a vitmix blender add garlic, diced tomatoes, water, harrisa, paprika, and salt to it. Puree for 20 seconds. If it is a little bit chunky its okay. After another 4 minutes of cooking the other side of the meatballs pour in the tomato sauce over top the meatballs. Cover the pan and lightly simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the tomato sauce and adjust the seasoning if need be.

To Finish,

Simply add a few meatballs to a bowl with sauce. Top each meatball with yogurt. Garnish with dill, a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

meatballs.JPG


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Radish, Blood Orange Salad with Bacon Avocado and Mint

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Radish, Blood Orange Salad with Bacon Avocado and Mint

This is one of the easiest recipes I think I have. This recipe will take about 10-15 minutes to make. It is perfect for winter or summertime when citrus is ripened and the radishes are being harvested from the ground. This is light and refreshing and it will be hard not to eat the whole plate. A great vegetarian and vegan dish that really everyone can love unless you don’t like citrus, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like citrus. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 watermelon radish peeled and sliced 1/16-1/8 inch thick

2 avocados sliced

2 red radish sliced thin

2 blood oranges peeled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

4 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Blood Orange Dressing

1 blood orange juiced

1/4 cup white balsamic

1 tsp of salt

For the dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt. Stir together until ready to plate.

To Finish,

On a plate add sliced watermelon radishes all around the plate. Season aggressively with salt. Then add the sliced avocados to the plate and season them well. Then add the blood oranges slices to the plate. Take your dressing and spoon all over the radishes, avocados, and fruit. Drizzle the plate with olive oil. Then add the sliced red radishes to the plate and finish with the fresh mint. Season again with a pinch of salt all over and a dash of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

bacon avocado, raish, citrus.jpg


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Culurgiones

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Culurgiones

Here is the signature pasta dish from Sicily. I’ve been to Italy several times but never had the opportunity yet to visit Sicily. I look forward to that opportunity if I ever get that chance. In southern Italy a semolina style pasta dough is more common than the northern style with eggs. You can choose whatever dough you are more comfortable with but the one I gave is the semolina style dough. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!


Pasta see recipe

Culurgiones

1 russet potato boiled and mashed

2 oz mozzarella

2-3 oz each Parmesan and manchego

2 tbsp of chopped tarragon and chives

3-4 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of creme fraiche

Salt and pepper

Tomato butter see recipe

Pesto sauce see recipe


For the Filling

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the pasta

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then take your dough and pass it through the pasta machine and work it down to the 2nd to last setting. Repeat the same process. Then use a 3 1/2-inch ring mold to cut out circles. Then take your filling and place in the center of the round disk. You want to over stuff the round. Then fold the pasta into a “taco” shape around the filling. Fold in the bottom of the taco and pinch the edges together. As you are folding the seam you should be pushing the filling out the the round. Continue this step until the pasta is sealed tightly. It should look like a zipper. Continue until you all have no more filling

culgionies .JPG


Tomato sauce

Take tomatoes and cut in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place on the hot part of the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes until charred a bit.  Place the grilled tomatoes in a small pot and add cream.  Cook for 5 minutes on low heat, then add to vita mix with basil and puree until smooth.  Slowly add the butter to the blender until all is incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.


For the Pesto,

Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 15 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth paste. If you want a thicker pesto use less oil to make a thick paste. If you want a more runny sauce use more olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.


To Finish,

Place a pot of salt water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place the culurgiones in the water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain out and place in two different pans. Place some of the pesto in one pan and place the tomato butter in the other pan. Season with salt and pepper and place in a bowl. Shave a few pieces of parmesan on top. Serve and enjoy!

culgionies1.JPG


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Chestnut and White Truffle Pasta

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Chestnut and White Truffle Pasta

Here is a seasonal winter pasta recipe using chestnuts and white truffles. Chestnuts are rich and flavorful with the earthiness of white truffle gives this pasta an over the top flavor. I love stuffed pastas and I thought a little cheese with the chestnuts would round out the dish. Nothing to difficult just a few expensive ingredients. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut and cheese filling

10 oz of boiled chestnuts

8 oz of ricotta cheese

2 oz of petite basque

salt and pepper

Pasta dough see recipe

Celery root puree see recipe

1 1/2 sticks of butter

6 oz of pasta water

1 tsp white truffle oil (optional)

1 white truffle shaved

For the Filling,

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place in a plastic pastry bag and keep cool.

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and raring

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends (one long tube of filling).  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and extra semolina flower to help prevent sticking.   Set aside while you aside while you repeat the same process with the other half of the pasta ball.

To Finish,

Place your chestnut agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan with a little bit of pasta water, add the butter to emulsify into the water and pasta. Season with salt.  Place a spoonful of celery root puree in the bottom of the bowl. Then place 3-4 pieces of the agnolloti on top. Spoon a little of the butter sauce on top. Grate fresh parmesan on top, add chives, and fresh shave white truffles (add a little truffle oil if your truffles are lacking in a flavor). Serve and enjoy!

chestnut and white truffle .jpg

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

Here is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that everyone immediately fell in love with. At first glance this really doesn’t look or sound like an exciting dish but the surprise is underneath the vegetables. The secrete sauce is creamy in texture but without the fat. It is basically a indian flavor romesco sauce that was fantastic with the cauliflower. This is a go to vegetarian dish that is bound to make any guest go wild. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower

1 lb of riced or diced cauliflower

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder

2 tbsp of olive oil and butter


“Indian Romesco Sauce”

2 roasted yellow peppers

1 Serrano

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp of graham Marsala

1/3 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1 head of purple cauliflower

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of ras al hanout

Salt to taste

1/2 cup of roasted sliced almonds

Cilantro


For the Romesco,

Place all the ingredients into a vitamix except for the olive oil and salt. Puree all the ingredients for 30 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

For the Cauliflower, Preheat oven 400

Place the cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Season with salt, and ras al hanout powder. Toss to incorporate everything evenly. Spread evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil ( optional, I do this to make clean up easier ). Place the cauliflower in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile

To Finish,

In a small pot add butter and oil to a pan along with the rice cauliflower add a tsp of salt. Cover and turn on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the curry powder. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Using a round cookie ring add some sauce in the bottom of the ring. Then add the riced cauliflower on top of the sauce. Then take the roasted cauliflower and place on top of the riced cauliflower. finish with toasted almonds and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


Rice Cauliflower .JPG


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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

How To Make Home Made Pasta Gnoccetti-Rocchetti

What is one of the easiest and classic pasta recipes to make? Pesto pasta! How about home made Gnoccetti or rocchetti. Southern Italy uses more of the duram wheat or semolina flour without the use of eggs in their pasta dough. This is a great pasta for anyone who is allergic to eggs. The key to using the semolina flour is using warm water which hydrates the flour. Traditionally the pasta is just semolina and water. I added a little bit of 00 flour which makes the pasta, I think, a little softer and tender, than just all semolina. This pesto sauce you use can be the traditional recipe if you using pine nuts but in this case my son is allergic to all nuts; so I’ve made pesto for him a few times using pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts and he absolutely loves it! Another win for pasta because he doesn’t like tomato sauce. We now have another alternative for school lunches instead of sandwiches everyday. He can easily take this to school and eat it cold for lunch. Not only do the kids love it, which they normally complain about anything green, pumpkin seeds are a lot cheaper on the wallet than pine nuts. I saw recently they were almost $20 a pound. Not cheap. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


Pesto

4 oz basil

2 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of roasted pine nuts ( pumpkin seeds if nut allergy)

1 oz of parmesan cheese

1 -1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Take the slices and roll using your hands into a rope. Cut the rope into dime size pieces that are round. Then using a pasta board take your thumb and apply a little pressure and flick them off the board. Here is a video I made to show you the technique. This is exactly what you would do if you were making gnocchi hence the name Gnoccetti.

For the Pesto,

Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 15 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth paste. If you want a thicker pesto use less oil to make a thick paste. If you want a more runny sauce use more olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

To Finish,

Have a pot of salted water on high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling add the gnoccetti to the water and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to float and are tender. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp of pesto to a saute pan on medium heat. Strain out the pasta and add 4-6 oz of pasta water to the pan with the pasta and pesto. Toss the pasta around a few time so the sauce coats the gnoccetti ( you could easily add cream and a little butter to make it a little richer but I didn’t here). Then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Check seasoning and then place a few spoonfuls on to a few plates. Grate with fresh parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this easy pasta dish!

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

“Twist on Thai”

Want a new and exciting sweet potato dish that is not only delicious but healthy too? If you are like my wife and not the biggest fans of sweet potato this is a recipe bound to convert all those haters into believers. Not only is it easy but it is absolutely delicious!

This recipe could be served as an appetizer or an entree. This was a huge hit with Jp and his guests that I served recently. This dish has everything from sweet, to spice, to crunch and acid. A great balance of flavors and textures that is bound to make any guest extremely please. This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that could easily be a whole meal in itself. This a not a time consuming recipe as well and the sauce can be made ahead of time and just reheated when you need it. Here is the recipe on a asian inspired sweet potato. I hope you enjoy it!

Red Curry Sauce

1 finger of ginger sliced

1 lemongrass stalk sliced

1/2 onion sliced

4 garlic cloves

1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 limes Kaffir lime leaves (if you have them)

2 red peppers chopped

2 cans of coconut milk

4 oz of red curry paste

2 1/2 oz of palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 tsp of fish sauce (optional)

2 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 cup of each fresh thai basil, mint, cilantro leaves

4 white sweet potatoes roasted

1 cup of wild rice fried (see recipe)

Pickled Myoga Ginger

6 myoga ginger cut in quarters

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup of sugar

Black Garlic Mayo

2 bulbs of black garlic peeled

1 cup mayo

salt

micro cilantro

For the Red Curry,

In small sauce pot on medium heat add sesame oil, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon stick, red pepper, star anise and kaffir lime leaves.  Cook for 10 minutes without browning.  Then add sugar and red curry paste and cook for 1 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.  Then add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat, add fish sauce and your herbs to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, keep warm until ready to use. You might need to adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Take sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting and place in the oven.  Cook sweet potatoes for about an hour or until tender.  Take out and let them rest. 

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

For the pickled myoga,

Place vinegar, salt, and sugar into a pot. Bring to a boil, place sliced myoga in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot vinegar over the ginger. Cover and allow to come to room temp.

To Finish,

Simply take the sweet potato and cut it into 1 inch thick pieces. Place it in the bottom of the bowl. Add some hot red curry sauce around the sweet potato. Take the black garlic mayo and place dots of the sauce around the bowl. Add the fried wild rice on top along with myoga, and cilantro sprigs. Serve and enjoy this sweet and spicy vegetarian dish!

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

Healthy Snack

Here is a great appetizer that will quench any craving. A guiltless snack that packs a big punch in the flavor face. This is a great raw, vegetarian dish that can be eaten anytime of the day. It is only a few ingredients and anyone can make it. This is a great, healthy bite after a hard workout to get your body recovering after all those calories you burned. The great thing about this recipe is people who don’t like this “healthy” kind of food will immediately be hooked. This recipe has everything from crunchy, to salty, to spicy, to creamy with the good fats from the avocado.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make it in about 20 minutes if you have all the ingredients on hand. An easy recipe that can be made before your guests arrive and can leaving you feeling stress free about entertaining for your dinner party. This is definitely one that will be a go to. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 Jicama peeled and sliced 1/16-thick

1-2 avocados

4 red radishes sliced thin

4 oz ssamjang paste

1 cup of fresh mint leaves

1 oz of micro cilantro

Black Garlic Mayo

3 black garlic bulbs peeled

1 cup of mayo or veganaise

salt to taste

For Jicama,

Peel and slice the jicama thin on a mandolin.  Lay down 7 slices of jicama in a row, slightly overlapping each slice. Add a tsp of ssamjang paste to the row of jicama slices. Then add the sliced avocados on top of the row of jicama with ssamjang paste, season them with salt. On top of the avocados add a row of the sliced radishes and season them lightly with salt. Then starting at one of the jicama roll the long row up into a a cylinder or rose shape. You might have to trim up the bottom with a sharp knife so it can stand easily. Continue the process until you have 4-6 orders.

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

To Serve,

Simply place one jicama rose on a plate. Using squirt bottle add dots of black garlic mayo on the inside of the rose. Then garnish with some of the micro cilantro and herbs. Serve and enjoy this wonderfully healthy snack!

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Pici cacio e pepi

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Pici cacio e pepi

“Cheese and Pepper”

There is nothing more basic and easy then this classic pasta recipe that is nothing more than black pepper and parmesan cheese. The secrete to making this easy pasta recipe is making the “sauce”. With the addition of butter, and a little pasta water added to the cheese; the whole things comes together as one of those sauces that hangs on to each individual piece of pasta. The French have a sauce called buerre monte. This “sauce” is simply prepared with a touch of water while you whisk in cold butter to make an emulsion, its not really a sauce. It really is melted butter that has been emulsified when its still warm and hasn’t separated from the milk solids. But you can add this warm emulsified butter to any protein or vegetable and it glazes and stick to whatever you add it to without separating. This is basically the same principle that you would use to make this cacio e pepi sauce with the addition of parmesan cheese and black pepper to the water and butter. This is the secrete to have a “sauce” stick to the pasta without having your pasta covered in a mound of sauce (like how all american pasta is cooked with loads of sauce”, I’m guilty at times doing this, I love sauce! )

Using the pasta water gives you a little salty pasta flavor that is traditional Italian cooking. Now you can use any noodle that you prefer. This recipe was one that was inspired by my recent trip to Tuscany. I have never had Pici pasta before, I don’t think I have ever seen it, before spending a week in Cortona, Italy. I had Pici on three different occasions during that week. Once was with squab that was amazing and the other two were with ground veal which was equally amazing. I was in love immediately with Pici. All three dishes had this basic butter sauce, maybe a touch of cream added, but typically what you would see in northern Italian pasta cuisine. Pici noodles are a mix between spaghetti and bucatini except the noodle aren’t hollow like bucatini. It is a basic eggless or dried pasta dough that is rolled out into ropes. Not too thin, the noodles should be a little bigger/thicker than spaghetti. I didn’t take the time to completely dry these noodles out so I used them more like a fresh pasta. Here is the easiest pasta recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


3/4 cup pasta water

4 oz of shredded parmesan cheese

1-1/2 sticks of butter

12 oz of pici pasta cooked

1-2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the warm water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Cut those slices in half again so you should have 10 small pieces of dough about an inch long or so. Take one piece and start rolling them with your hands into long ropes. You don’t want to stretch the dough but the pressure from your hands should lengthen the pici pasta. Continue rollin until you have long noodles ( you might have to cut them in half if they are really long) that a touch bigger than spaghetti. Then place on a sheet pan lines with parchment and lots of semolina flour. Try not to add a lot of flour when your rolling out the pici (this might dry out and crack your dough)


To Finish,

Fill a large pot with salt water and bring to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a large sauté pan add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the grated Parmesan and Butter. Swirl the pan around so that the butter and cheese start to melt and become a sauce like consistency (1 minute). Add the drained pasta, toss to coat the pasta well and season with salt. Garnish with black pepper and more parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this fantastic, easy pasta dish that will quickly be a go to, in your recipe book!.

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

Here is a little appetizer I made a few weeks ago utilizing some matsutake mushrooms which are very limited and normally very expensive because of the lack of abundance in the wild. It sometimes can be called a pine mushrooms because they normally grow at the base of a variety of pine trees. The matsutakes have a firm, meaty texture with a earthy flavor. In this recipe I thought it would be fun to pair the matsutake mushrooms with pine nuts. I thought a warm savory custard with cooked and raw matsutake would go great with a smoked beef/mushroom broth. Topped with a little fresh wasabi. This was a fun dish that was loved by Jp and Eloise. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pine nut custard

1 1/2 cup cream hot

2 eggs plus 2 yolks

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Salt to taste

Smoked bone broth

5 smoked beef rib bones

4 oz mixed mushrooms dried

1 leek

1 garlic bulb

10-12 cups of water

Salt to taste

6 matsutaki mushrooms quartered

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 matsutaki mushrooms sliced raw

1 wasabi fresh grated

Opal basil and cilantro

For the Smoked beef broth,

Place all the ingredients into large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until you have about 4 cups left. Strain and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm

For the Pine nut custard, Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Place cream and roasted pine nuts in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a boil place in a vita mix and puree until smooth. While the blender is on add the eggs one at a time. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Strain (if desired) and pour into 6 small ramekins that have been sprayed or buttered. Place the ramekins into a baking dish and fill the dish half way up the sides of the ramekins with hot water. Cover with foil and bake 17-19 minutes or until the custard has just set. Take out and let it cool.

To Finish,

Place the custard back in the oven just for a 3-4 minutes to warm back up. Meanwhile in a small sauce pan add olive oil, butter, and quartered matsutake. Cook for 4-5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife run your knife around the the inside wall of the ramekin. Flip the pine nut custard into the bowl. Add the cooked and raw mushrooms to the dish. Add a small fresh grated wasabi on top of the custard. Add the smoked bone broth and some herbs. Serve and enjoy!

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Legume Salad with Truffle, Pistachio, and Butter Beans

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Legume Salad with Truffle, Pistachio, and Butter Beans

I was looking to make a vegetarian dish for dinner this evening and didn't get a chance to run to the market.  I had these ingredients on hand so this is what came out.  I love these types of salads where you have different textures and flavors with lentils, quinoa, and beans. Mix in some vegetables and other bold flavors and you have yourself a wonderful starter for dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 cup of cooked italian butter beans (see merguez)
1 cup of beluga lentils cooked with leek tops
1 cup of cooked quinoa with leek tops
1 cup of diced cucumber
2 cups of roasted quartered brussel sprouts
2 red radishes sliced thin

1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto
1 cup of mint leaves
2/3 cup of roasted pistachios
2 tbsp of parmesan
1 garlic clove
3/4-1 cup of olive oil

Chanterelle Truffle aioli
1 cup of cooked chanterelle mushrooms (cooked in olive oil and butter for 10 minutes)
1 tbsp of fresh black truffles
splash of truffle oil (if desired)
3/4 cup of veganaise or aioli (mayo)
splash of sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste 

Australian black winter truffles
chervil and amaranth 

Mint Pesto,

Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor. Turn on and puree, while the processor is still on slowly add the olive oil. Stop and scrap the sides if need by, season with salt and pepper once all the oil has been added. Pour out into a bowl and set aside for later.

For the Chanterelle aioli,

In a vitamix blender add all of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside for later.

To Finish,

In a large bowl add equal parts, of lentils, beans, and quinoa. Add the roasted brussels and cucumbers. Add 1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto and mix well. Add a touch of salt if need be. Add sliced radishes to the salad. Place a spoonful of aioli on the plate. Add the salad on top. Top the salad with truffles, herbs, micro greens. Serve and enjoy!

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Tomato and Gala Melon "Terrine" with Blis Solera Vinegar

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Tomato and Gala Melon "Terrine" with Blis Solera Vinegar

This was a simple dish using just a few ingredients and take a little extra time to present it in a "fancy" way.   This is what summer eating should be about, less time in the kitchen and more time outside with friends and family.  I served this recipe for dinner guests late this summer as tomatoes were still in full swing and melons become ripen.  The garden had some amazing varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I normally wait until they are just ready to pick.  Tomatoes really only need salt and olive oil when they are that fresh.  Melon and tomatoes are a perfect combination that go together seamlessly with little added flavors to compliment one another.  In this case basil, olive oil, a really good aged vinegar and salt.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Galia melon sliced 1/8 inch thick  (Mold)
4 large heirloom tomatoes 1/8 inch thick
Blis aged Solera sherry vinegar (here)
Olive oil
Salt 

1 oz of sunflower sprouts
3 tbsp of sunflower seeds
3 tbsp of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Salt 

For the Terrine,

You will need a square pastry mold  or something similar to have the shape of the terrine.  I peeled and cut the melon into slices and then used the mold to cut perfect squares.  I continued until the majority of the melon was cut into squares (Set the scraps of the melon aside to eat later or maybe use in a gazpacho for another recipe).  Repeat the same process for the tomatoes insuring that you use only the center cuts of the tomatoes and not the skin.  Once you have the perfect squares of each melon and tomatoes, alternate melon and tomatoes inside your pastry mold until you reach the top.  Then carefully holding on the top remove the mold.  I then carefully wrapped them in plastic wrap somewhat tight and placed them in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve later that evening. Repeat the same process until you have 5 terrines.  You should have something that looks like this picture.

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To Finish,

Simply take all the ingredients for the salad and place them in a bowl.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and salt and set aside.  Take the terrine out of the refrigerator and slice the terrine in half right down the middle keep the plastic wrap on to help keep the shape (continue with the others).  Then after the terrine is cut place each half on a plate carefully removing the plastic wrap (should have enough for 10 servings).  Drizzle the top with olive oil and salt.  Place the salad next to it.  Then add some of the age blis solera vinegar to finish the dish.  Serve and enjoy!

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Artichoke and Black Truffle

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Artichoke and Black Truffle

Here is a summer artichoke and truffle recipe.  This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that uses just a few ingredients.  Artichokes can be a intimidating ingredient but it really just takes a little time taking the outer leaves away and peeling the green stem.  Once you have done that you can remove the hearts on large artichokes.  Depending on how big the baby artichokes are, you can sometimes leave the heart intact because of the maturity of the vegetable.  This recipe is really simple in concept. You cook the artichokes in a flavorful broth, add some truffle and fat to the dish and that's basically the recipe.  Jp absolutely loved this dish and hopefully you will too.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Artichoke Baragouile
3 large artichokes and 12 small baby artichokes
4 lemons
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt 

Artichoke and Black Truffle Puree
6 small artichokes cooked from above
1/3 cup of cream heated  
2 tbsp of black truffle (winter Australian)
splash of truffle oil (if desired)
1 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh black Australian truffle slices
Tarragon leaves and amaranth

For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves of the large and small artichokes (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled; the large artichokes should just be the bottoms and the small artichokes should have some of the inner leaves intact and you can cut them in half. Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt to the pot.  Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  

Take half of the small artichokes and place in a vitamix with cream, truffle, and oil.  Puree until smooth and add butter salt and pepper.  Take out and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Take the large artichoke bottoms and slice in 1/8 inch thickness.  Place them in the pan with a little of the artichoke cooking liquid, butter, and olive oil.  Take the baby artichokes and quarter them and add to the pan as well.  You are just heating the artichokes up and seasoning them with a little salt if need be.  Once hot, then add truffle puree to the plate.  Add the sliced large artichokes on the bottom.  Then add the quartered baby artichokes on top.  Add sliced fresh truffles, tarragon, and amaranth to garnish.   Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum

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Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum

June, 2018 in California was a busy time for the Dejorias, with dinner parties nearly every day. That makes it a busy time for me, too, and a challenge to think of a variety of menus. It also happens to be the month of JP and Eloise’s 25th anniversary.  A few guests were invited for the evening. What to fix? JP was not eating red meat, and I had served fish many times in the week already. I didn’t want to serve chicken or run to the store for some other protein. Earlier in the week I had visited a local organic farm. I bought all kinds of vegetables and fruit, more than I actually needed, but summertime in California means abundance of fresh produce. Depending on the weather and month, you have many wonderful varieties of vegetables and fruit, week after week: berries, stone fruit, melons, squashes, blossoms, greens, peas, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, citrus, onions, carrots, beets, salsify, corn, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and I could go on. With so much to choose from, sometimes the hardest thing is actually deciding what to make. So I decided not to run to the store and buy a protein for the main course.  This was one of the 5 courses I served that evening for the special anniversary dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!  

 

Tomato “salad” hearts of palm, porcini and chrysanthemum

1 cup of cherry tomatoes roasted
4-5 large heirloom tomatoes roasted (for tomato water see below)
1 yellow heirloom tomato sliced
1 large red radish sliced thin
1/2 cucumber shaved on mandolin
1 cup of sourdough croutons
1 porcini shaved
Mint leaves, radish flowers, chive flowers

8 1 inch pieces of hearts of palm
2 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt

Chrysanthemums oil
1 large bundle chrysanthemum blanched
1 1/4 cup oil
Pinch of salt

Tomato water here

For the Hearts of palm,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for roughly 20 minutes or until the hearts of palm are tender. (Time really depends on how thick and big the palms are).  Once tender allow to cool to room temperature and you can pour all the liquid into a container to keep and preserve the hearts of palm.

For the Chrysanthemum oil,

Place blanched chrysanthemum leaves and oil together in a vita mix and puree for 45 seconds.  Then pour into a chinos and let it strain without pushing the pulp through the chinos ( let it drip that way you don't get any of the pulp in your oil).

To finish,

Take a one slice of yellow heirloom tomato and place in the bottom of each bowl.  Season with a  pinch of salt.  Add slices of hearts of palm around the bowl.  Add the roasted cherry tomatoes, the sliced porcini, and radish the bowl.  Ladle 2 oz of tomato water to the bowl.  Finish with herbs, flowers, and croutons.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

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