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.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Pear & Prosciutto Crostini with Goat Cheese

By: The Food Hunter

Looking for an easy yet elegant appetizer for your next dinner party? Look no further, these Pear & Prosciutto Crostini are super simple to make and will have your guests believing you spent hours in the kitchen.

Pear & Prosciutto Crostini with Goat Cheese
Serves two
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
balsamic glaze
4 pieces of thinly sliced and toasted crusty bread
spreadable goat cheese
4 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto

Grill or broil pear slices until soft and warm.  Spread each piece of toasted bread with a thin layer of goat cheese. Top with a piece of prosciutto and a grilled pear. Drizzle balsamic glaze over top and serve.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Steak Oscar

By: The Food Hunter

Decadent Steak Oscar is what you make when you can't decide between a perfectly cooked piece of meat or a delicate cluster of buttery seafood. It's the ultimate surf and turf dish perfect for a special occasion or date night dinner. Though typically served with a Bearnaise Sauce, I prefer it without.

Steak Oscar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and black pepper
two14- to 16-ounce ribeyes, New York strip steaks, or T-bones, excess fat trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
6 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place the butter, parsley, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, in a medium bowl and stir until combined. Set the butter aside while you cook the steaks.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Rub both sides of the steaks with the olive oil, and season with the remaining salt & pepper. Place the steaks in the hot skillet and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak and whether your steak is bone-in or boneless). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat should register 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium.

While the steaks are cooking, toss the asparagus with a tablespoon of olive oil and place on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and roast until asparagus are crisp-tender and lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the skillet and baking sheet from the oven; let the steaks stand for 5 minutes before serving.

In the meantime heat another  skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture. Add the crab-meat and cook, until the crab-meat is warmed through.

When ready to serve, top each steak with several spears of the asparagus and place the crab-meat on top of the steaks.