Homemade Tagliatelle

Do you ever have a day when you have no idea what to cook? As inspired as I am, even I have the occasional day where I am peering into the depths of my pantry, as if by looking some sort of idea will just pop into my head. It works, sometimes. On days where even staring into the pantry (or fridge and freezer) and nothing seems exciting, I recommend making pasta.  It is simple, satisfying, and guaranteed to please even the pickiest of palates.

You can make many different shapes, but I admit – I was feeling lazy. So I rolled it out and cut it into strips. I have been reliably informed this version of making pasta results in a shape called tagliatelle.

 

Ingredients:

2 C all purpose flour

3 whole eggs

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

extra flour for dusting

 

  1. Combine salt and flour, then make a mound with a space in the center (well) for the eggs

 

2. Add oil, eggs, and very slowly, starting from the edges of the mound of flour combine together all ingredients to form a dough

 

3. Flatten ball of dough to a disk, wrap in plastic, place on room temperature surface and leave sit at least 1 hr.

     

4. Cut the disk into 4 equal peices, then roll into balls. Working with one quarter at a time (refrigerate the remaining pieces during this time), roll the section out as flat as possible.

5. When you have, cut the dough into strips. If you wish, you can then take each strip and twist it a little.

6. Boil at least 6 quarts water and add a generous amount of salt.  When water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta.

7. When the pasta floats to the top, it is done. Serve immediately.

 

 

Easy Shoulder Roast

It’s been over a year since I put anything on the blog – I’ve gone through some major life changes. The first was I had a baby 6 and a half months ago – a sweet girl we call Darling Girly. The second was a few months ago, when we moved into our first home. I still can’t find half of my things, but we are settling in.

These days, recipes are kept pretty simple as my kitchen time is limited thanks to a teething Darling Girly who is starting to try to crawl. My older kids recently requested that I make a ‘yummy roast, the one with no wine or fancy stuff ‘.

Mommy heard you, kids!   Here is the recipe, for other rushed-off-their-feet parents looking to make an easy roast.

 

 

1 roast, about 5 to 7 lbs (shoulder is best, but French will work nicely as well)

2 bags carrots, ends cut (you can peel if you prefer – I don’t, I scrub well)

2 medium Spanish onions cut into quarters

1/2 tbsp  salt

1/2 tbsp  black pepper

1/2 tbsp granulated garlic

2 oz dried parsley

 

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 295F. In a large roasting pan, lay out the carrots to form a plank for the roast to rest on.
  2. Scatter quartered onions along edges of pan

3.Add the spices and parsley, starting with salt, then pepper, garlic, and ending with parsley

4. Loosely cover roast with  heavy-duty foil, place on top shelf.

5.Cook at 295F for 3 hrs, the remove from oven and let rest for 2 hrs more.

 

 

 

 

Easy Silvertip Roast

From the second week of September until this past week, I have been very busy cooking for, preparing for, and enjoying the Jewish High Holidays. This is my favorite time of year because there are so many chances to cook (and enjoy) so many delicious foods in relaxing, sit-down meals with my family. Some have religious significance, like smearing honey on the challah (Sabbath) bread  or eating kreplach (meat-stuffed dumplings) before Yom Kippur and Hoshanah Rabah. Others are more in keeping with the traditions of our family – since it is the start of the New Year. it is always a good idea to start off right and cook the best and most well-loved dishes on honor of the holidays.

One of my favorite things to make is a roast. I usually prepare a French (also known as square or brick) roast, or perhaps a brisket. This year, I was able to get my hands on a delicious looking 5lb Silvertip roast that was begging for me to take it home for the holidays. I was very happy to oblige. This is my recipe – easy and delicious.

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Ingredients

1 5lb Silvertip roast

1/2 of a 750 ml bottle of dry red wine ( I used Tera di Seta Chianti Classico)

6 large cloves of garlic, minced fine

1 C fresh basil, chopped fine

1C fresh parsley, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

1 bag carrots, cleaned and ends removed

1 sleeve celery, cleaned and bottom removed

 

  1. In a roasting pan, pour the wine over the roast, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning over once to marinate completely.
  2. Discard excess wine after marinating, and set roast aside. Preheat oven to 225F.  Line the bottom of the roasting pan with the carrots and celery, then place the roast in the center of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the garlic and fresh herbs over the roast, and a bit into the roasting pan itself. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place on top rack of oven.
  4. Roast at 225F for four hours, then remove from oven and let rest for one hour more. Carve against the grain at the thickness desired. This preparation will give you a very moist and tender roast that has a tiny bit of pink in the middle.
  5. If you like, you can take the carrots and celery, along with the pan drippings, and puree with a hand blender to serve alongside the roast.

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Coq au Vin

The air is getting a tiny bit crisp, and I can feel autumn in the air. It’s one of my favorite seasons for many reasons – I stop to look and smile when I see the leaves change color as they wave on the trees, then dance in the air as they fall to the ground. I am thrilled at the abundance of late summer produce that beg me to prepare and and store them for a sweet taste of summer in the colder months soon to come. I love the High Holidays – happy times with family seated around the table enjoying delicious food and wine. This recipe is one that will grace my Rosh Hashanah table – it is easy to prepare and freezes well. Traditionally, coq au vin calls for chicken with bones in it, but it is still considered coq au vin if you use large skinless, boneless chicken cutlets such as these.  It is important to remember not to overcrowd the pan- use two pans, or work in batches if you need to. This recipe makes quite a bit, so feel free to halve the recipe if needed.

Ingredients:

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5 full chicken cutlets, cut in half to make 10 individual pieces (boneless/skinless, cleaned of fat)
5 packages of button mushrooms (cut into quarters)
1 750 ml bottle of Cabernet or other dry red wine (not marsala or anything fortified)
2 large Spanish onions, diced
packed 1/2 C each fresh basil and parsley, minced
4-6 large garlic cloves, minced
Flour for dredging
4 tblsp black pepper and dried tarragon
2 tblsp salt
oil for sauteing
1) Prepare chicken breasts by making sure they are very dry by patting excess moisture off with a paper towel. Add the salt, pepper and dried tarragon to the flour, mix to combine, dredge cutlets, set aside. (as shown in picture above).
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2) Heat oil in the bottom of TWO high-sided frying pans (just barely to cover the bottom) and when hot add the onions. 5-7 on mid high til starting to get color.
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3) Add garlic and fresh herbs. Lower heat, cook, stirring often for 3-5 mins.
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4 )Add mushrooms, and stir to combine. Add1/4 C of  red wine, cook til mushrooms are just starting to shrink, about 10 mins. Remove from fire and reserve.
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5) Add oil to bottom of the same two pans, enough to make a thin layer, and in batches pan fry the cutlets (about 5 mins per side, but do not cook through) til you get light brown color on the outside.
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6) When all chicken is cooked, divide between both pans ( it’s okay if it’s a bit tight) and re-add the reserved mushroom mixture.
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7) Cook on low uncovered for about 20 mins, stirring carefully once or twice. It is done with the chicken is soft and cooked all the way through (cut a cutlet open if need be to test), mushrooms are only 1/4 of their original size, and the wine has reduced at least 1/3 of original amount.

Pepper Steak Ziti with Mushrooms

School has started again (my boys started school this past week; my daughter starts next week) and when dinnertime comes, they act like they haven’t eaten all day. They need something to eat that is healthy and filling -and in a hurry. The best way to distract your kids from their hunger pangs while this cooks is to do what I did: get them to help with the prep! They will be thrilled to help, and more willing to eat something they helped make!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. pepper steak

3 portobella mushrooms, sliced

1 pk crimini mushrooms, cut in half

2 shallots, sliced thin

3 garlic cloves, minced fine

6 large fresh basil leaves, minced fine

1 C dry red wine

1 tsp. dried tarragon

1 tsp dried parsley

3 tblsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

32 oz vegetable stock

16 oz ziti noodles

olive oil for sauteing

 

To Prepare:

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Heat a chef pan or pot, and add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom. Add the shallots and saute on high heat til they just start to brown, then add the garlic.

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When the garlic starts to brown, lower heat and add 1/2 cup of the red wine.

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Add the portabello and crimini mushrooms, cook for 7-10 mins on medium heat, then add the pepper steak.

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After 5 mins, add your herbs, 1 C of vegetable stock, 1 tblsp of the salt and the black pepper. Stir well to combine, lower flame and let simmer as you prepare the pasta.

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Using the remaining vegetable stock, as well as an additional 3 cups water and 2 tblsp salt, boil the water for the ziti. Add pasta when water is at a roiling boil.

Cook pasta for 5-7 mins, then strain and add to the pepper steak mixture with 2 cups of the pasta water.

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Cook on medium high for 10 mins more, lid covered, stirring once or twice in between.

When pasta is done to taste, turn off flame and let sit covered for 5 mins. Stir and serve immediately.

Lamb Meatballs with Pepper-Tomato Broth

It’s been an interesting few weeks – we made the move from big-city Brooklyn to the suburbs of New Jersey.  I’ve been busy with all the things people need to do when they move, especially from one state to the other. Between making sure my husband had a way to commute to his job on Brooklyn everyday to finding ways to keep our children (9, 7, and almost 6) entertained, I am just starting to settle in. It took a bit of time to get used to my new kitchen, but things are coming together and delicious food is being made once more!

When I made this recipe, I served it with polenta (and it was completely delicious!) You could serve this with your favorite grain or starch – rice, pasta, or even quinoa would be just as tasty. Or you can eat it as is for a delicious, light summer soup.

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For the Lamb Meatballs:

2 lbs ground lamb

10 oz plain panko crumbs

3  extra large eggs

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp dried tarragon

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp rubbed sage

1 tsp porcini powder

1. Combine all ingredients well. Form into golf-ball sized balls.

2. Chill in fridge raw to firm up until you are ready to cook, about an hour. Make 3 dozen small meatballs.

 

For the Pepper- Tomato Broth

4 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped

3 yellow bell peppers, sliced

3 orange bell peppers, sliced

2 medium white onions, sliced

1 750 ml bottle of Chardonnay ( you will want one not aged in oak -I used Abarbanel)

32 oz vegetable stock ( I used Imagine Foods Organic)

6 oz tomato paste

3 oz each dried tarragon and dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for sauteing

1. Heat a large stockpot (at least 12 Q) and add oil. When oil is hot, add onions and cook on high for 5-7 mins, stirring often

2. Add the tomatoes and peppers, lowering flame to medium low. Cover and let vegetables sweat for 10-15 mins, stirring once or twice.

3. Add the wine, stock, paste, as well as the herbs and spices. Stir well to incorporate and bring to a simmer.

4. Simmer vegetables covered for 30 mins, stirring once.

5. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients well, making sure they are no large pieces left behind.

6. Raise tempertaure so a few, lazy bubbles appear on the surface, and add  the previously made meatballs directly into the broth. After 3 mins, take a spatula along the sides of the pot to stir carefully.

7. After 5 -7 mins, remove one meatball and cut in half. If the meat is cooked all the way through, it is done. Serve while hot.

Pot Roast

It has been so cold lately! I’m talking flannel pajama, hot water bottle, three- pair- of -socks cold. On nights like that, I like to make a stew like this. It’s simple, hearty and warms the body as it fills the belly. This preparation is very similar to a pot au feu – the biggest difference is the presentation. I serve this as a one course meal- broth, meat and veggies all together in one bowl. Pot au feu is served as two separate courses – the broth is served as a starter, and the meat and veggies are served as the main, along with some boiled potatoes, mustard, and other accompaniments.

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I plan on serving this for one of my Purim seudot as well – we make two, one around 11 in the morning and one around 4pm- because it is that simple and delicious. You might notice the lack of onions and garlic in this recipe- it is deliberate. To boost the flavor but stay away from onions and garlic, I cooked the shallot til very brown, and added a large parsnip and a turnip. All this gives the stew a fresh sharpness so I don’t miss the onions and garlic!

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Ingredients:

1 piece of chuck or pot roast, between 2 to 3lbs

1/2 of a 750ml bottle of dry red wine

1/3 C orange juice

1 sleeve celery, cleaned and chopped

1 large parsnip. peeled and sliced

1 turnip, peeled and sliced

2 lg carrots, peeled and sliced

1 shallot, sliced thin

1 large handful fresh parsley (leaves only, minced)

Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

1) Add salt and pepper to the roast on both sides. Sear on both sides, about 8 mins per side. Remove from pot and set aside

2) Lower flame, then add the shallots and celery, cooking until the shallots start to get very brown

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3) Add the carrots and parsnip,the red wine and orange juice. Keep flame at a mid-low setting and let the vegetables sweat, til you have a very good broth started.

4) Add the meat, and top with the parsley and turnip. Add a small amount of salt and pepper, and water til everything is just barely covered.

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5) Cook for about 1 and a half hours on low, or until the meat is fork tender.

Arroz con Pollo (Rice and Chicken)

The inspiration: A trip to the local market

I went to the local market down the street from my house for one thing. Just one! Does that ever happen to you – you need one thing and walk out with a whole cart load of stuff you have to have? That’s what happened here. I saw the corn and peppers outside, and I had to have them. Then of course I needed everything else I bought too… Anyway, I came home with a whole box of delicious produce and now had to decide what to make.

 

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The innovation: not using onions or garlic for flavor, but still managing to get a delicious, well-rounded flavor

Since starting the FODMAP diet, the biggest challenge I have is to get intense flavor without using garlic and onions ( big no-nos on the diet) It has led me to start exploring with different herb and spice combinations I normally wouldn’t use. In this case, the strong herbal flavor from the parsley (you can use cilantro but I am not a fan) leaves AND stems plus the addition of red chilis added great flavor – not too hot, but with a definite kick. The use of vine tomatoes (more expensive but more flavorful) also boosted the flavor as well.

My reinterpretation: Arroz con Pollo

 

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless dark chicken meat

3 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob

2 red bell peppers, sliced

2 orange bell peppers, sliced

3 vine tomatoes, diced

2 red chili peppers, minced fine or ground with a mortar and pestle (I prefer a mortar and pestle)

half a bunch of fresh parsley (about 1 cup), minced fine

2 C water

1 C white rice

Salt and pepper

 

To Prepare:

1) Get a large stockpot (at least 6 qt) very hot, and add your chicken. Sear on both sides, each side about 7 mins, adding salt and pepper while you sear. Remove from pot and set aside.

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2) Lower flame to low, and add the corn as well as the red and yellow peppers. Cover and let sweat til vegetable soften, about 15 mins.

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3)Add the tomatoes, chilies, and parsley, stirring well to incorporate. Cover again and let sweat for about 5-7 mins, or til tomatoes start to soften.

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4) Add the seared chicken meat, mixing into the vegetables, and lower flame. Add a bit of salt and pepper and taste. Cook for about 15 mins, or til chicken is mostly cooked through.

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5) Add the water and the rice, stir well, and bring fire to a low simmer. Simmer for 20 mins, or until the rice is soft but not mushy. Serve immediately.

Gluten Free Pasta with Peppers and Capers

The inspiration: A need for a quick meal and to clean out my fridge

Sunday afternoons find me with a need to make a quick meal to feed my family. We’ll have Shabbat leftovers for dinner, but lunch is always about using up what is in the house. Since starting FODMAP, the definition of a ‘quick’ meal has changed. Even so, I didn’t have 30 minutes or an hour to make something. So what to make that would be hot, filling, taste good, and FODMAP friendly?

The Innovation: Using a corn/rice blend pasta instead of completely rice pasta

I’ve tried making rice pasta – it was a mushy overcooked disaster. But at the same time I bought the rice pasta, I also bought a bag of corn/rice blend GF pasta as well. If I’ve never seen it before, I always want to try it. It cooks quickly, too – about the same time and way you’d cook regular pasta. While the pasta cooked, I could saute some peppers I had in the fridge, and add something for a hit of acid. Capers are lovely for that – cooking them a little reduces the astringency a good bit, leaving a lovely almost citrus flavor in its place.  When my two younger kids demanded second helpings, I knew I had a winner.

My Re-Interpretation: Gluten Free Pasta with Peppers and Capers

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Ingredients:

2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips

1  8 oz bag of GF corn/rice pasta (I used Landau’s)

2 heaping tablespoons of large capers

Olive oil for sauteeing peppers, plus a tiny bit extra

Juice of half a lemon

Juice from the capers to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste.

Dried parsley to taste

To Prepare:

1) Liberally salt the water for the pasta, when it reaches a boil add the pasta and stir frequently as it cooks to prevent clumps. Boil for about 7 -10 mins, testing at the 7 minute mark for doneness. When the pasta is al dente, remove from fire, drain from water and rinse lightly.

2) While you cook the pasta, add a bit of olive oil to your saute pan. When it is hot, add the peppers and parsley.

3) Saute the peppers at medium high heat for about 5 mins, or til the peppers start to soften and change color.

4) Add the capers, and cook for another 2-3 mins or until peppers are soft but not mushy.

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5) Add pepper-caper mixture to the cooled but still warm pasta. Mix in the caper juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 

Lazy Leftovers Make Super Summer Suppers: Roasted Chicken Salad with Provencal Style Tomatoes and Dijon Dressing

The inspiration: Leftover roasted chicken breasts, garbanzo beans that needed eating, fresh tomatoes, and a need for something to feed my family for lunch.

Leftover chicken breasts can be delicious, but they usually need something to accompany them to really make them taste their best. Rummaging around my fridge, I found some leftover garbanzo beans, and I had tomatoes that needed to be used up.  It was far too hot to stand over a stove to cook, and when I am feeling lazy I usually make some sort of salad. This way I feed my family quickly and it’s not too much work!

The innovation: Giving the whole salad a boost by adding seasoned, roasted tomatoes and a bit of Dijon-red wine vinegar dressing.

I had wanted to make Provencal style tomatoes for a while. I have a cookbook that I read to get inspired (The Provencal Cookbook by Gui Gedda and Marie-Pierre Moine) and I kept coming back to this recipe.  Even so, the salad still needed a kick, something to make it really delicious. I love a good Dijon dressing, and after dipping pieces of cold chicken into some Dijon mustard, I had the idea for this dressing.

This salad is full of flavors and textures – the softness of the salad greens, the bite from the Dijon and the red leaf lettuce, the smooth creaminess of the garbanzo beans, the silky texture and sweetness from the tomatoes, and the roasted flavor and heartiness of the chicken. I think that is what makes it a great salad – no two mouthfuls are indentical.

My Interpretation: Roasted Chicken Salad with Provencal Style Tomatoes and Dijon Dressing

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This recipe is a entree size portion for 2-3 adults.

Ingredients:

3 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts (already cooked and cooled completely)

2 cups already cooked garbanzo beans

4 beefsteak tomatoes

1/4 tsp of the following spices: sugar, fine sea salt, oregano, and garlic

1 (12oz) bag of butter lettuce/red leaf lettuce mix (or 12 oz of your preferred salad greens)

3 tblsp of Dijon mustard

2 tblsp of capers

2 tblsp of juice from the capers

2-3 oz of red wine vinegar

A three- finger pinch each of  sea salt and black pepper

Olive oil 

To Prepare:

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the tomatoes in half, and with a spoon carefully scoop out the seeds and white interior (set aside for another use or dispose). Turn upside on a sheet tray and leave sit for at least 30 minutes to remove excess liquid. 

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2) Oil a oven-safe baking dish with a light layer of olive oil, and arrange tomatoes in dish cut-side up. Sprinkle insides with the sugar, fine sea salt, oregano, and garlic. Bake at 400F for about 45 mins, then remove and let cool to just above room temperature.

3) Cut the tomatoes into slices – you may notice that the skin comes away as you cut, and that is ideal. Whatever skin remains after cutting, carefully peel away. Refrigerate and chill completely.

4) While you wait for tomatoes to cool assemble the dressing. Using a stick blender, blend together everything except the olive oil.  Very slowly and in a thin stream add the olive oil til mixture looks a bit fluffy and is a very pale yellow.Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

5) To assemble, slice the chicken breasts on the bias, then cut in half down the middle (for a fancier presentation leave in strips) Add the garbanzo beans, and roasted tomatoes to the salad greens. To avoid over-dressing the salad, dip the fingertips of one hand into the dressing, then fold the dressing onto the salad, gently mixing the ingredients at the same time. Save leftover dressing for another use.