Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ravioli with Carrot & Ricotta Filling

Sorry for my absence this week. It seems that as we get deeper into summer things start getting more and more hectic, which is the opposite of my general expectations, but what the heck. Since I have been cooking a bit of stuff that is on my usual repertoire, I decided that I should try to be a little more creative and make something that I could share will those of you who read through my humble blog. This week I made Jumbo Raviolis stuffed with a wonderful mix of Ricotta cheese and carrots. I made my pasta using a recipe from the Food Network website. After that it was a matter of making the filling and hand rolling the pasta into thin sheets to make the ravioli. Here is the recipe for the filling:

Carrot & Ricotta Ravioli Filling

2 TBSP Olive Oil

2 Shallots (small preferable - finely diced)
4-5 Garlic cloves (Minced)
2 Carrots (Finely grated)

1 Cup Ricotta Cheese (Whole or low fat - whichever you prefer)
 Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are semi translucent and soft and the garlic is starting to brown.

Add in your carrots and saute for about 5-10 minutes, until the carrots are a deeper shade of orange.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly about 10-20 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the carrot mixture with the ricotta. Make sure to mix well so that all ingredients are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now you are ready to make your ravioli. If you do not have a ravioli maker (which I don't at the time), you can roll out your dough out into sheets about 1/8 inch in thickness (or slightly less - thinner pasta cooks quicker). The pictures below show you my process for making my ravioli.

 Place about 1 teaspoon of filling on one side of your pasta sheet.
make sure to leave about 1 inch between them and about 1/2 inch for the edges
 Fold pasta over and press between the mounds of filling.

 Cut Raviolis

 Roll edges of ravioli pillows to seal them in.

 Finished ravioli 

I topped mine off with some bolognese sauce, but you can do it any way you want (Alfredo, butter and garlic, etc...)


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Great Sesame in Everything Meal

This meal did not start with the intent to use sesame as a part of everything but little by little it turned into exactly that. I had these great pork chops that were about an inch in thickness with that wonderful strip of fat on the one side and I was trying to figure out a way to make them not only taste good but look good as well. The other thing to think about was what sides to have with the pork chops. I did not want anything too complicated so I settled on mashed potatoes and baby bok choi.

Sesame Seed Crusted Teriyaki Pork Chops

4 Boneless Pork Chops
3 TBSP Teriyaki Sauce
1 TBSP Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds
1 to 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit

Put the Teriyaki sauce and sesame oil in a medium to large deep baking dish. Place the pork chops in the baking dish and coat them in the Teriyaki mixture and allow them to sit in the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and bottom of the pork chops. Add in 1 Cup of the vegetable stock and salt and pepper.

Cover with aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. During this time check in about 15 to 20 minutes into the cooking time to make sure that there is still plenty of liquid in the baking dish. If it has started to dry out add a bit more of the stock (you should have at least 1/2" of liquid at the bottom of your dish). Once the cooking time has lapsed check with a food thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature of the meat is at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are curious about food safety and proper temperatures for any food here is a link that will be very useful to you).

Uncover the pork chops, baste them with the liquid in the pan and set your oven to broil. Allow meat to broil for 5 minutes or until you see the top start to to turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest.

While your meat is cooking you can make the mashed potatoes and bok choi. I think the mashed potatoes are very self explanatory so I will not go into the method (we all do them our own way any way). For the bok choi it was very simple. Just separate and clean your bok choi leaves. place about one tablespoon of sesame oil in a frying pan. Heat it up place the bok choi in the pan toss a few times and that is it. This is a very tender vegetable and it does not require a long time for cooking, so don't over do it. 2 - 3 minutes in the pan should be more than enough.

The only thing I did extra for the mashed potatoes was a Teriyaki sesame gravy. I made it using the left over liquid from the pork chops. I placed it in a sauce pan and added corn starch a little bit at a time until the liquid reached the right consistency (it should evenly coat the back of a spoon and not be too runny).

Well that is all. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dun Well Doughnuts - I Drool

Thanks to the lovely people from With Love From Brooklyn and their great facebook posts, I have found a new favorite place to indulge my sweet tooth. Dun Well Doughnuts is very aptly named because my oh my can they make a good doughnut. And by good I mean really good in every sense. The flavor selection is fantastic, the sizes epic, the taste tremendous, and they are completely vegan (for those of you who might care). If you like your coffee with cow milk you will not be able to get it here, but there are plenty of other milk options on hand to make it worth your while. Trust me, you will not be disappointed and the people who own the store and those work there could not be more pleasant if they tried.This place is yet another gem on the Brooklyn crest and very worth while checking out.

 Of course my daughter had to have the chocolate glazed.

 Glazed and peanut butter & jelly doughnuts

Peanut butter & jelly doughnut - An inside view