Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Gnocchi With Wild Mushroom Ragu

By: The Food Hunter

What inspires me to make the meals I do? Sometimes it's finding a cool recipe, sometimes finding an interesting ingredient and sometimes it is a combination of the two. Take this wild mushroom ragu as an example. I came across this recipe browsing the internet and I don't know if I would have necessarily made it if I also hadn't stumbled across a mushroom vendor at the farmer's market offering hard to find varieties.

All in all this was a delicious dinner idea that I would recommend you try.

Gnocchi With Wild Mushroom Ragu
 (adapted from food network)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 pounds wild mushrooms, stemmed and diced if large
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 1/2 pounds homemade gnocchi

Heat half of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add half of the wild mushrooms and cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then push to the edges of the pot. Add the remaining olive oil and wild mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 more minutes. Add the cremini mushrooms and cook 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper. 

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; cook, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 cups water, the bay leaves, coriander, fennel, red pepper flakes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat, about 30 minutes (thin with water if needed). Season with salt and pepper. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi, stir and cook for 1 minute after they float, about 3 minutes total. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the pot with the sauce and gently stir over low heat.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Parmesan Egg Bake with Broccoli Rabe and Jowl Bacon

By: The Food Hunter

Meal prepping for me is making a big batch of something delicious on a Sunday and eating it throughout the week. This egg bake is a combination of sauteed greens and moist bread cubes mixed with a Parmesan custard and topped with naturally cured jowl bacon from Grass Roots Co-op.

The jowl bacon from Grass Roots Co-op is nitrate, additive and hormone free, guaranteeing you get the best tasting meat with every bite. Of course you could substitute regular bacon but I wouldn't recommend it.


Parmesan Egg Bake with Broccoli Rabe and Jowl Bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed, cut into 1/2" pieces
salt & pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
4 cups crusty bread, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
3 thin slices bacon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rapini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until wilted, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Add rapini, bread, and 1/4 cup Parmesan; toss to combine. Transfer to a 9x9 baking dish.

Top with bacon and remaining Parmesan.

Bake until browned in spots, and set in the center, 45-55 minutes.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Rum Crusta Cocktail

By: The Food Hunter

Served in a tall sugar-rimmed glass the Rum Crusta Cocktail is the perfect pool-side sipper.

This citrus forward cocktail takes on extra flavor when made with Kauai Reserve 12-Barrel Select Hawaiian Rum. This particular rum is distilled from the finest Hawaiian sugarcane, and aged for at least 3 years, giving it a distinctly different and uniquely Hawaiian taste profile.

Rum Crusta Cocktail
2 oz Kauai Reserve 12-Barrel Select Hawaiian Rum. 3 dashes Maraschino Liqueur 
2 dashes Angostura Bitters 
Soda Water
1 Lime Slice
1⁄2 teaspoon Sugar 

Stir all ingredients, except the soda water, together with ice. Strain into a sugar rimmed highball glass. Fill with soda water and garnish with the lime slice.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Montenegroni

By: The Food Hunter

Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly consumed as a digestif. Tastes vary with brands depending on the herbs used for flavoring. Montenegro features hints of rose petals, dried orange peel, black pepper, saffron and cherry...giving it a slightly sweet yet nicely bitter taste.

Created in Bologna in 1885, Montenegro is still made using its original recipe, a secret blend of 40 botanicals gathered from around the world, collected during the travels of explorer and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi. Amaro Montenegro's secret recipe remains unchanged as does the boiling, maceration and distillation process that was practiced more than 130 years ago.

Best enjoyed neat the Amaro Montenegro is also fabulous mixed in classic cocktails like the Negroni.

The Montenegroni
2 parts Amaro Montenegro
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part Gin
2 drops Angostura Bitters

Mix and pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Veal Osso Buco With Parmesan Polenta

By: The Food Hunter

This classic Italian meat course is served over parmesan polenta for an extra boost of deliciousness. It makes a wonderful presentation and is perfect for those hard to please guests.

Veal Osso Buco With Parmesan Polenta
(adapted from Food52)

For The Osso Buco
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 veal shanks, 1 1/2 inches thick
2.5 cups white wine
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
9 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth or stock
2 small bay leaves
114.5-ounce can tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Set oven rack to lower-middle and heat oven to 325 F.

Pat dry each veal shank and tie around its center with kitchen twine, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until the oil is shimmering. Place 3 shanks in the pan and cook until they are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the shanks and cook on the second side until golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and set aside.

Take the Dutch oven off the heat and add ½ cup of white wine, scraping the pan bottom to loosen any browned bits. Pour this liquid into the bowl with the browned shanks.

Return the Dutch oven to heat, and 2 more tablespoons oil, and repeat this entire process with the next 3 shanks.

With all shanks resting in a bowl off the heat, return the Dutch oven to heat, add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and bring up to medium-high heat again. Then add the carrots, onions and celery and cook until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the 6 of the minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute longer.

Increase the heat to high and stir in the chicken broth, the rest of the white wine, any juice from the veal bowl, and the bay leaves. Then add the tomatoes and return the veal to the pot. Bring the this to a full simmer, then cover, crack the lid slightly, and move to the preheated oven.
Cook the shanks until the meat is easily pierced with a fork, about 90 to 100 minutes.
For the Gremolata: combine the remaining minced garlic, lemon zest, and parsley in a small bowl. Stir half of the gremolata into the pot, reserving the rest for a garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, remove shanks from the Dutch oven and carefully cut off the twine. Place each shank on a bed of polenta. Add some of the braising liquid, tomatoes, and vegetables and finish by sprinkling with the gremolata.

For The Parmesan Polenta
1 cup Polenta (be sure to use Polenta labeled as "pre-cooked cornmeal" in the ingredients)
6 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Start by bringing 3 cups of the broth or stock to a boil. Gradually pour in the polenta, whisking continuously.

The liquid will absorb very quickly. Add another cup of stock, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
Cook for about three minutes, continuing to add another 1 to 2 cups of liquid as it is absorbed.

Add Parmesan cheese and whisk thoroughly.

When desired firmness has been reached remove and serve immediately.