Monday, April 15, 2019

Duck With Mushroom and Figs

By: The Food Hunter

Although we don't make it often enough, my husband and I are both huge duck fans. This recipe brings out the ducks natural flavors enhanced by the added earthy sweetness of mushrooms and figs. Give it a try!

Duck With Mushroom and Figs
(adapted from epicurious)

15 dried black Mission figs
1 cups dry red wine
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as portobello, chanterelle, oyster and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup honey
2 boneless duck breasts, with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut 1/2 of the figs in half lengthwise. Combine cut figs, wine, broth and cinnamon in medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until thickened to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Strain sauce, pressing on solids to release juices. Discard the solids. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and ginger; sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer until most of liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir in chives. Keep warm.

Place remaining figs in small glass baking dish. Drizzle honey over figs. Bake until figs are tender and honey is slightly caramelized, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil in  heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, and cook 5 minutes. Turn breasts over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium-rare.

Spoon mushrooms into center of each plate, dividing equally. Slice duck breasts and arrange atop mushrooms. Rewarm sauce and spoon over duck. Place 4 caramelized figs on each plate. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Italian Style Steak & Charred Tomatoes

By: The Food Hunter

This delicious grilled steak comes together quickly and is sure to please the entire family. Topped with seasoned bread crumbs and served with charred tomatoes it makes a tasty meal any night of the week.

Italian Style Steak & Charred Tomatoes
2 rib-eye steaks
olive oil
cherry tomatoes
thyme springs
1 1/2tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1tbsp bread crumbs
1garlic clove, thinly sliced
splash dry white wine

Preheat your broiler.
Slice the tomatoes and place them in a broiler proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Add a few sprigs of thyme a splash of white wine.

Broil the tomatoes for a few minutes until they burst and are charged around the edges and the top. Transfer to a serving plate together with all the juices.

Meanwhile prepare your steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a cast iron pan over medium high flame and sear the steaks for 3 minutes on each side for a medium rare steak.

In a small bowl combine the capers, garlic, anchovies, bread crumbs with a few tablespoons of oil.

Spoon the mixture on top of the steaks and transfer them to the broiler for a couple of minutes until golden brown on top, making sure not to burn them. Serve steaks on top of tomatoes and drilled with olive oil.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Pork & Ricotta Meatballs in Parmesan Broth

By: The Food Hunter

It's been chilly here in Arizona this winter so I've been cooking a lot of comforting meals. These moist ricotta & pork meatballs served with pasta, spinach and peas in a warm Parmesan broth are the perfect example.

Pork & Ricotta Meatballs in Parmesan Broth 
(recipe from food & wine)

1 cup fresh ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
One 3-by-1-inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
1 cup thawed frozen peas
2 cups baby spinach
pasta, for serving

In a large bowl, stir the ricotta and 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano with the egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup of water. Add the pork and combine. Form into 12 meatballs.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning, until golden all over, about 10 minutes. Stir in the broth and the piece of cheese. Cover and simmer gently over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and the broth is slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Stir in the peas and spinach, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the peas are warmed through.

In shallow bowls, spoon the meatballs and broth over egg noodles. Garnish with grated Parmigiano and serve.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo

By: The Food Hunter

The best way to describe this dish is as giant open-faced ravioli. Rotolo is several thick sheets of pasta, spread with your favorite filling, and poached. This might seem a bit daunting at first but it really isn't that hard to make and the results are spectacular.

Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo
(recipe adapted from Theo Randall)
For the pasta dough
400 g '00' flour, plus extra for dusting
2 whole eggs
12 egg yolks
olive oil

Place the flour, eggs, egg yolks and olive oil into a food processor and process for one minute, or until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Turn the dough out into a bowl, cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Divide dough into two equal pieces. Lightly flour each piece and pass through a pasta machine several times, gradually reducing the thickness, until you reach the thinnest setting and the pasta feels smooth and elastic. Set aside on a tray and cover with a slightly damp tea towel until ready to use.

For the tomato sauce
olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1can crushed tomatoes
1 bunch basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan and gently saute garlic over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the  tomatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in the basil and mix well.

For the spinach/ricotta
1 lb spinach
pat of butter
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped oregano
pinch nutmeg
1lb ricotta cheese
freshly grated Parmesan

Blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Drain well and squeeze out any excess moisture with your hands, then finely chop.

Melt the butter in a medium pan until foaming, add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the oregano, chopped spinach and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

Mix the spinach with the ricotta cheese and set aside.

Putting it together
Preheat the oven to350.

Trim the pasta sheets into rectangles and place onto a large clean tea towel, overlapping them slightly to form one large rectangle (press the edges together to seal). Spread the spinach mixture over the pasta sheet, then roll up, using the tea towel to help wrap up the roll. Tie the ends of the towels with kitchen string.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place the rolled tea towel into the water and poach for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes before unwrapping.

Slice the rolls into pieces and place into an oiled casserole. Cover with the tomato sauce and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan. Broil for a few minutes, until the topping is golden-brown and bubbling.

Serve immediately.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme

By: The Food Hunter

This is seriously one of the best vegetable side-dishes I've ever eaten. I stumbled across this delicious recipe, on Feasting at Home, while surfing the internet, late one night. I served it along side a juicy filet and it undoubtedly stole the show.

Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme

2 ¼ -2 ½ lbs Parsnips
1 medium onion- yellow, thinly sliced
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T Fresh Thyme, minced
1 T Flour
3 large minced cloves garlic
6 -8 ounces, grated gruyere cheese (I used a mix of gruyere and cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Peel and slice parsnips to 1/8 thin. The thinner the slices the faster this will bake. Grate the cheese using a box grater.

Generously grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish with butter.

Layer the parsnips and onion with 2/3 of the cheese and 2/3 of the thyme -saving the rest for the top- and reserving the more perfect pieces of parsnips for the final top layer. Press down and make sure layers are even. It’s OK if the inside layers are messy. Place the last layer of parsnip slices in nice looking overlapping rows.

In a small pot, heat 3 Cups heavy whipping cream. Whisk in salt, nutmeg, the remaining thyme, pepper, flour and the garlic and when it just comes to a simmer, pour over the layered parsnips, slanting the baking dish to get the cream in all the nooks and crannies.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, a few more leaves of thyme and a little sprinkling of nutmeg. Cover securely with a lid or foil and bake for 50-60 minutes on the middle rack until parsnips are fork tender.

Once fork tender, remove foil and bake another 15 minutes uncovered , or until golden and bubbly. It is important to let it sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving, so it sets up and thickens.
This can be made in advance and reheated before serving.