Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home-Made Ravioli

My husband and I had a brilliant idea the other day when we sat down
to plan our menu for a dinner party we were hosting.

What do Italians make for company - pasta!
but not just pasta how about home-made Ravioli.

Having never made ravioli from scratch we did a little
research ~ on utube ~ where we could watch others make pasta
with their KitchenAid Pasta Makers before we got elbow deep in flour.
We did learn some valuable techniques by watching a few of the videos.

I will confess that at first we did encounter a few problems.
On our very first try when we put the long noodles into the machine,
filled the top with filling and turned the crank a few times ......
AHHHH we have a disater.
The noodle got caught and wrapped around the back of the machine pulling
both sides through at the same time making a mess of noodle and sausage filling!
After a few deep breathes we were able to give it another try learning as we continued the process.

Here is my photo documentation of the process:

Making Ravioli from scratch is quite a process but the Sausage and Sage Ravioli turn out excellent.
So I guess wether or not you should make home-made ravioli depends on how adventurous you are and if you have the patience for the process. :)

Lime Blueberry Tiramisu

Now this is one interesting rendition of tiramisu ~

Lime Blueberry Tiramisu by Paula Deen

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 (3-ounce) packages unfilled ladyfingers
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 (21-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
Fresh mint leaves, optional

In a large bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer at medium speed until thickened. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Gently stir in cheese until combined; set aside.

Split ladyfingers in half. Line a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with ladyfingers, cut side up. Brush ladyfingers with limeade concentrate.

Spoon half of cheese mixture over ladyfingers. Top with half of blueberry pie filling. Repeat procedure for the next layer with remaining ladyfingers, limeade, cheese mixture, and pie filling.

Cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into squares to serve.

This dessert was pretty easy to make a quite yummy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Making Pasta

For my birthday my husband gave me several, different pasta attachments to my Kitchen Aid. I have been sad looking at the boxes just sit there because I did not have the time to break them open and start rolling out pasta noodles ~ until this weekend.

We used a basic pasta dough recipe for this first try.

Things went smoothly but we did learn a few things along the way.
After we rolled out the lasagna shaped noodle, the noodle was easier to work
with after brushing it will flour.
It is also easier to manage this process with two people.

The end result was some great pasta!

The dough:

The Noodles:

The Fettucini Noodle

Naked Noodles in a bowl:

"Mangia bene, vivi felice"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chicken Florentine

I don't know if you are like me.... but I look for easy dishes to make during the week because of a busy schedule. This is one of those dishes that is very good and easy to make. I think it is the combination of spinach and cream that makes it so good.

Chicken Florentine

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed, drained
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute until heated through. Season the spinach, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the spinach over a platter. Place the chicken on top the spinach. Pour the sauce over and serve.

I know you will enjoy this recipe so give it a try.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Evening of Good Food

My husband and I recently attended the Viking School of Cooking for an Italian Dinner Class. We usually sign up for the hands-on class where we actually prepare and enjoy the meal but this time we experienced Chef's Table. The chef cooks and we sit around the table watching and learning new cooking techniques.

The Menu:

Open-Faced Seafood Ravioli with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

I enjoyed this dish but I have to say it appeared to be quite a bit of work.

Tournedos Saltimbocca

These pork medallions wrapped with bacon were excellent!

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Reggiano Parmigiano

Strawberry Semifreddo in Almond Crisps with Glossy Chocolate Sauce

Dessert was excellent!

What a great way to spend the night! If you have a Viking School of Cooking in your area I highly recommend taking a class or two. It is very fun, you get to eat good food and you leave with four great recipes.