Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chicago Chili with Cheddar Toasts


It may be the only thing packing heat but it's good!

1/2 pound ground beef
2 cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, most of the seeds removed
1 can sliced olives
1 small can tomato sauce
1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup dark beer
2 Tablespoons molasses (I didn't measure, but that's close)
2 heaping Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tien Tisn Chinese chili pod (the red ones you make chili oil out of)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Heavy Metal Heat hot sauce (we used the whole 1/2 tsp)
one square of M.C.'s Dark Chocolate and Cayenne Fudge (or use a square of dark unsweetened cooking chocolate with a small dash of cayenne, cinnamon and ancho chili powder added).

Mix beans, tomato products, olives, beer, molasses chili powder and chili pod in a bowl (be gentle with the chili pod, you do NOT want to break it).

In a large, deep pan, caramelize the onion in a little olive oil while in another small pan you fry the beef. Roughly chop two jalapenos and add to the beef and onions as they near the end of their cooking. Mix beef and onion in the larger pot and add the tomato mixture. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook 1 hour. Add the piece of Midwest Chicks ancho dark chocolate fudge (or square of dark chocolate with the accompanying spices). Cover and cook on warm /low another hour, to blend the flavors, adding a few tablespoons beer or water if it gets too thick. Remove chili pod and serve.

Serve with cheddar toasts (you can cut recipe in half to serve 2-3)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked Paprika.
4 eggs

Melt first 5 ingredients in top of double boiler, until melted. Cool to lukewarm. Whip in eggs. Dip 12 pieces of bread into the mixture (both sides) and lay on well-buttered cookie sheet (I used some homemade, yeasty toasting bread). Bake at 350 F 12-15 minutes until just starting to brown and bubble on top (underside will be more done so don't overcook). Top with a few sprinkles of cheddar as it comes out of the oven.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Malted Milk Waffles


This recipe was adapted from several identical ones that are on several cooking blogs so I am not sure who originated it.

Malted Milk Waffles


1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup flour
1 t. baking powder (look at the date on your baking powder, if it's expired you won't get the same results, it does go "flat" after a while, so check that).
1/8 t. salt
1 and 1/2 to 2 T. granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you like them).
4 T. malted milk powder
dash of pure vanilla
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter

Separate egg into two separate bowls. You will need three small bowls, including these two. In one, beat white until stiff peaks form. In another, combine dry ingredients. In the third, whisk together butter, milk, vanilla and egg yolk until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients. When batter is smooth, gently fold in egg white (do not over-mix)

Heat up your waffle iron and get ready. This doesn't make a whole lot (3-4) so if you have kids you will want to double it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Best Corn Muffins Ever

They are moist, just slightly sweet and don't crumble under pressure.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey

Heat oven to 400 degrees (about 200 C). Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole milk and eggs. In a small glass bowl in the microwave, melt butter and then add the honey to that. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Bake in a greased 12 muffin tin, or use the little paper muffin liners. Bake for 14-15 minutes, just until golden. Goes well with Range Chili.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chocolate/Chili Bread Pudding


Chocolate Bread Pudding with Kick - for two. (photo and adaption from Gourmet Magazine.com).

2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus additional for greasing ramekins
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened or extra-bitter), chopped
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs lightly beaten'
2 pinches of salt
1 1/2 cups firm white bread (about 4 slices) NOT Wonder bread, real bread from a bakery or a loaf you made yourself, day old is just dandy.

You will need 2 8 ounce ramekins or muffin tin that makes the large 1 cup muffins.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter ramekins or 2 muffin cups. Cook butter (1 tablespoon), cream, chocolate, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs until combined, Fold in bread cubes and let stand 5 minutes.Fill ramekins with bread mixture and bake until puffed and set around edge but still moist in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

Wing Sauce

3 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
3 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup Frank's red hot sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 to 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (with 3 it's HOT!)

Saute the garlic in the melted butter for 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and mix to make a roux, whisking and cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the hot sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the red pepper, reduce heat and let simmer gently for 3 minutes.

Chicken Enchiladas.

Roast and slightly cool a medium roaster. You can get one of the ones already done at the store but get a plain seasoned one, Remove skin and shred or chop meat. Pour wing sauce over chicken in a bowl starting with 1 cup. It should lightly coat all of the pieces but they should not be soaking in it. Depending on the size of the bird you may use all of it or have up to a half cup left. If you have any left, it keeps well and it's really good on hash browns with eggs for breakfast

Creamy sauce

Mix 1 medium (look at them, they all tend to come in small, medium and large) container sour cream with one envelope ranch dip dry mix or use one medium container of the ready made ranch dip. Add one can of undiluted cream of chicken soup and mix well.

Have 2 cups of shredded Colby and cheddar cheese standing by. (Those often come premixed together)

Place a good heaping spoonful of chicken in the middle of a flour tortilla. You will need 8-10 depending on how stuffed you make them. Drizzle with a spoonful of the ranch dressing mix (separate spoon). Sprinkle on a bit of cheese (a good pinch of the fingers worth). Roll up and place in a 13 x 9 pan that you have sprayed lightly with non stick cooking spray. When all of them are assembled, cover with the remainder of the sauce to which you added any little drips of wing sauce left in the bowl (not more than a 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon though) Top with remaining cheese, and if you are EXTRA brave, a dash of Penzey's Allepo pepper (not more than that, trust me).

Cover with foil and bake at 350 until hot and bubbly. Abut 20-35 minutes for most ovens. Good with rice and salad.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hotscakes!

3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (trust me on this one)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla (I use Penzey's)

several pices of bacon per person

Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour". Sour milk is often used as a substitute for buttermilk, but you don't have to waste a container of buttermilk that won't get used up, and the apple cider vinegar sour milk mixture gives it a really good flavor you don't get from straight buttermilk.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg,  melted  butter and vanilla into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and gently whisk until lumps are gone.The mixture will foam up when you stir.  Once the biggest lumps are gone, do not restir.

While batter sits for 20-25 minutes (repeat after me: do not restir), heat a large griddle and cook up some bacon.  When bacon is done, remove to keep warm.  Remove most of the drippings by pouring off the grease, leaving just a bit in the pan or griddle.  Blot and rub gently, ensuring the surface is evenly covered with a slight sheen of grease but not so much that it puddles on the pan.

Pour 1/4 to  1/3 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook on medium heat until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges appear slightly dry. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.Serves 2-4 people.

Honey butter - whip a cube of softened butter, 3-4 tablespoons of honey and a tiny pinch of cinnamon with a hand held electric mixer until light colored and fluffy.  Also good with maple syrup and a tiny pinch of cayenne in place of the honey and cinnamon.

Turkey With Red Chili Gravy


Recipe/food photo from Lillian Chou. Courtesy of Gourmet Magazine (one of my favorites)

It blends toasted guajillo and ancho chiles with a range of spices and aromatics to create a brick-red adobo sauce that seasons both the bird and its gravy. After a long marinate, the adobo permeates the bird’s juicy meat during roasting. (If you haven't tried red chili gravy before it's worth the time - Brigid)

GEAR: kitchen string; a 17- by 14-inch flameproof roasting pan with a flat rack; a 2-qt measuring cup or a fat separator

ADOBO:
4 dried guajillo chiles (2 oz), wiped clean
3 dried ancho chiles (1 1/2 oz), wiped clean
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 stick, cinnmon, smashed
2 whole allspice
1 clove
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


For turkey and gravy
1 12- to 14-lb) turkey, neck and giblets (excluding liver) reserved for turkey stock
2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

About 4 cups turkey stock, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Melted unsalted butter if necessary

Make adobo:

Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a large heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles in batches, opening them flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until more pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds per batch. Be careful as not to char them.

Transfer to a bowl and cover chiles with boiling hot water, then soak until softened and plumped. about 15 minutes. While they soakm toast the spices in a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Drain chiles, discarding liquid and purée in a blender with spices, garlic, herbs, vinegar, water, oil, and 2 tsp salt until very smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside 1/2 cup adobo for gravy.

Marinate turkey:

Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Sprinkle 2 tsp salt evenly in turkey cavities and all over skin, then rub remaining adobo (a scant 3/4 cup) all over turkey, including cavities. Fold neck skin under body, then tuck wing tips under breast and tie drumsticks together with string. Transfer to rack in roasting pan and let marinate, covered with plastic wrap and chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 24

Roast turkey

Let turkey stand, covered, at room temperature 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lower third.
Add 1 cup water to pan and roast turkey 1 hour.
Brush turkey with oil and add remaining cup water, then tent loosely with foil and rotate pan. Roast (if bottom of pan becomes dry, add 1/2 cup more water) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into fleshy part of each thigh (test both; close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 3/4 to 2 3/4 hours more (total roasting time: 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 hours).Carefully tilt turkey so juices from inside large cavity run into pan. Transfer turkey to a platter and let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (temperature of thigh meat will rise to 175 to 180°F


Make gravy while turkey stands
Straddle the roasting pan across 2 burners, then add 1 cup turkey stock and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into 2-qt measure and skim off fat (or use a fat separator), reserving fat. Add enough turkey stock to liquid to bring total to 5 cups. whisk together flour, 6 Tbsp reserved fat (if there is less, add melted butter), and reserved 1/2 cup adobo in a heavy medium saucepan, then cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 3 minutes (mixture will be thick). Add pan juices and stock in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt


Serve with roasted vegetables, and pureed sweet potato.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sweet and Spicy Empanadas



Sweet and Spicy Empanadas (double or triple the recipe if needed, heats up well in a crockpot after frying the beef and veggies).

1 to 1.2 pounds ground beef
1 sweet onion chopped finely
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot (I julienned and then chopped)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sherry (alcohol will cook out, you'll just get flavor)
1 Tablespoon wild honey
1 Tsbp balsamic vinegar (I used a 20 year old one aged in bourbon barrels)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 or 2 drops of Scoville Brothers Rockin Red Hot Sauce
small pinch of crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
dash of salt and pepper
3-4 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed and unfolded


Preheat oven to 375 F. (about 200C.). In a hot skillet, cook beef until no longer pink. Once done, drain excess fat and set aside. In same pan (which should still have a little fat adhering to it) cook onions and carrots in a splash of olive oil until onions are golden brown and caramelized, being careful not to burn. Add just enough olive oil to keep from sticking. When done, add beef mixture back in. Add in sherry and garlic (I didn't measure the garlic, but 3-4 cloves) and cook until sherry has evaporated.

Add in honey, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, dark cocoa powder, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till the sauce is thickened and there is hardly any liquid, but it's not dried out.

(Yes, you can click to enlarge the photos). Roll out thawed puff pastry, cut into 4 inch circles (I used a drinking glass to cut them out). Place a heaping tablespoon of beef mixture onto pastry. Fold in half and press sides well with a clean and dry fork to crimp and seal.

Pierce top of the pastry once with fork. If you wish, brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a splash of milk). I didn't, only in that I was out of eggs, but they were still great, just not as glossy. Bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Black Hole Brownies


• 1 C Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (250 mL)
• 5 oz. dark chocolate for baking (I used Callebaut's Intense Dark )(150 grams)
• 3/4 C unsalted butter (180 grams,about 1.5 sticks)
• 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
• 2/3 C flour (about 75 grams)
• 1/2 C Dutch process cocoa powder (50 grams) (I like Valhrona, Penzey's, and Guittard)
• 2 large eggs
• dash of vanilla (1/16 tsp)


Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Spray a 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.

Pour a cup of the stout in a measuring glass and let sit until any foam is gone and you have a level cup's worth. (Note: the alcohol content after baking is about zip).

Cube the butter and place in a microwave safe dish. Top with chopped chocolate. Cook on medium for 1 and a half minutes. The butter should be pretty much melted and the chocolate melting and wet looking. If not, microwave on medium for another 30 second. Stir. Then microwave on high for 15 seconds increments, checking and stirring until remaining chips are melted and mixture is smooth and glossy. Do not overcook. (you can also melt this using a double boiler).

Then beat in the sugar.

Let cool five minutes.

In another bowl sift together cocoa and flour until fine.

Whisk in eggs one at a time into chocolate mixture. Whisk vigorously until mixture is smooth and has a glossy finish.

Carefully stir in stout and vanilla then gently fold in dry mixture. Doing this carefully will ensure fudgy brownies.

Spread evenly in pan and back for 21-23 minutes turning the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking. Middle should just be set and edges dry. Test with a toothpick. Mixture should be sticky. If you cook took long they're turn cakey on you.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bacon Maple Whiskey Scones


8-12 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour (measure carefully)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon plus one extra dash of nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp real maple syrup
1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 425*F(220*C. for my Canadian friends.)

3. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nuutmeg and salt; mix well. Using a pastry blender cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles tiny crumbs. Form a well in center of mixture.

4. Combine egg yolk, sour cream and maple syrup together and pour into the center of the well in flour mixture. Stir mixture just until combined, adding all but a couple of spoonsfulls of bacon to it halfway through stirring. Dough will be sticky.

5. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead 5-6 times. Don't overknead but it should no longer look wet or sticky. Form a ball and pat out to approximately 6 to 8-inch circle (it should be just about an inch thick) Cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or to a light golden brown. When slightly cooled, drizzle with Maple Whiskey glaze and top with the remaining bacon pieces.

Maple Whiskey Glaze:


I'll be honest, I didn't measure. I put some powdered sugar in a small cereal bowl. probably a half a cup. I added real maple syrup until it was a thick but spoonable consistency (maybe 2-3 tablespoons). I then added half of a capful (that's CAP, not CUPful) of Jameson Irish Whiskey and stirred, which made it a nice consistency to drizzle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vanilla Ice Cream


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks (you can add 3 extra yolks if you want it more like custard)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and let it sit to infuse for one hour.
2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Note: Used vanilla beans can be rinsed and dried, then stored in a bin of sugar. That sugar can be used for baking and, of course, for future ice cream making.

Monday, November 13, 2006

King Ranch Chicken - HOTR Style


King Ranch Chicken - Home on the Range Style

Marinate 3 large chicken breasts in lime juice and a tiny pinch of cumin for a few hours, dice and cook in a pan  with a tiny bit of olive oil on the stove until no longer pink in the center, adding more lime juice to keep moist.

In another small pan, saute 1/2 small sweet onion, diced in a bit of bacon fat until it's softened and just starting to turn golden.  Remove from heat. 

If using pre cooked or a deli chicken In a small bowl take 3 cups leftover cold shredded or cubed roast chicken, toss with a tablespoon or two of lime juice to moisten. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes while you do the rest.

Mix -

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) HOTR Cream of Cluck Soup (on my recipe sidebar or use the store bought kind)
3/4 cup medium heat salsa with jalapeno
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Scoville Brothers Singing Smoke Hot sauce (or your favorite medium heat/smokey hot sauce)
tiny pinch of red pepper (about 4 to 5 flakes)
2 and 3/4 teapoons Penzey's Chili 9000 chili powder (this stuff is the best)
2 cups Rotel tomatoes with green chili, with any liquid drained off

Add cooled chicken and onion to soup mixture.

Tear or cut into 1 inch pieces:
 12 corn tortillas (6-inch)

Measure out:
1 and 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar/Colby Jack cheese

Place half the tortillas in a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray or VERY lightly greased. Stir chicken into soup mixture. Top the tortillas in the casserole with half of the soup/chicken mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese. Repeat layers, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake covered at 350F. for 35-40 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Top with additional sour cream  and a sprinkling of fresh cheese if you like. Serve with veggies and cornbread. Serves six hungry people.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Gluten/Dairy Free Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce


3 and a half Tablespoons of canola oil
3 tablespoons and two teaspoons Penzey's 9000 chili powder
1 teaspoon Penzey's Ancho Chili Powder
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 heaping tsp.Penzey's Italian seasoning ( or any type Italian seasoning)
1/2 Tablespoon honey (1/2 T is 1 and 1/2 teaspoons)
2 cups chicken or turkey stock (broth)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 CAP-ful of Scoville Brothers Singing Smoke hot sauce (or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon smokey hot sauce of your choice, to taste)

Heat oil on low and stir in spices. Mix in flour and honey to make a paste, still on low. Whisk in two cups of broth and whisk, raising heat to medium until it comes to a low simmering boil. Add in the "Singing Smoke" as it starts to simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes, whisking constantly. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for a week.

Range Chicken Enchiladas
1 batch of homemade enchilada sauce
1 Tablespoon oil
1 large Vidalia (sweet) onion - chopped
1 four oz can chopped green chilies
1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 and 1/4 cups chopped cooked leftover chicken
2 to 2 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( I used low fat)
8-10 flour tortillas, regular or whole wheat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until caramelized (adding another tablespoon of oil if it starts to stick) adding in drained chilies as it starts to soften and cook down. Stir in cooked diced chicken and turn off heat.

To assemble. Get 8-10 tortillas (not the huge burrito sized). Drizzle a tablespoon or so of the sauce down the center of the tortilla. Top with beans, chicken/chili mixture and some cheese (the amount you can grab with the end of all your fingers). Roll up and place seam side down in the pan. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top. Bake 20 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake another 5-10 minutes, until melted.

Note:  Low fat cheese does NOT melt like regular cheese, if you keep it in the oven to where it looks really 100% melty like regular cheese you will overcook your dish.

 Serve with salad and condiments of your choice (I had mine with just salad and vinaigrette and a iced tea.  It's smoky and you'll feel the heat at the back of your throat but it's not overpowering.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove and sprinkle extra cheese on top, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until tortillas begin to brown slightly around the edges. Remove from oven and serve immediately.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

Homemade Ravioli with Ricotta Cheese Filling

Adapted from the Food Network

Dough

  • 4 eggs, plus 2 eggs, beaten, for egg wash
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Ricotta Cheese Filling, recipe follows

Directions

In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add eggs, 1 at a time, and mix. Continue mixing and add all the flour and water; continue mixing until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, and knead the dough until elastic and smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at its widest setting. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick.

Dust the counter and dough with flour, and lay out the long sheet of pasta. Brush the top surface of dough with egg wash. Drop 1 tablespoon of cooled filling about 2 inches apart on half the sheet of pasta. Fold the unfilled half over the filling. With an espresso cup or finger, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling and form a seal. Use a crimper to cut each pillow into squares. Check to make sure the crimped edges are well sealed before cooking. If making ravioli in advance, dust with cornmeal to prevent them from sticking.

Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Ravioli will float to the top when cooked so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Lift the ravioli from water with a large strainer or slotted spoon. Plate the pasta, top with your favorite pasta sauce and grated cheese before serving.

Ricotta Cheese Filling:

1 cup ricotta cheese, well drained

1 egg

dash or two of garlic salt

pepper

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator a few minutes to firm up the filling.

Note: Top with marinara or try the Home on the Range Venison Meat Sauce