White and Black Truffle Gnocchi

I recently had the pleasure of being able to use truffles in some recipes and have been on a dumpling/pierogi/gnocchi kick so I decided to make some white truffle gnocchi with black truffle butter.   The hardest part of making gnocchi is getting the shape just right.  I had to make a fairly large batch so decided to go the easy way and put the dough in a sealable back and cut the tip (makeshift pastry bag).  This made it easier to dole out the pasta into boiling water by just snipping the dough with scissors as it was fed through the pastry bag.

Something about winter just makes me want comfort food 24/7.  Gnocchi is another good example of such food.  A simple recipe in itself but with different additions the flavors can all be a unique experience.

5 pounds  russet potatoes
3.5 cups ap flour
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons salt
4 eggs
1/4 cup truffle butter

A primary key in making the gnocchi to make sure that the potatoes don’t have too much liquid in them.  If they do, they’ll fall apart in the water when they boil.  I find it quite enjoyable to watch the little pastas float to the top signifying that they’re done cooking.

Sadly I realized that I didn’t take a picture of the gnocchi before I served it at two parties.  Hence they were eaten before any documentation of the recipe came to fruition.

C’est la vie I suppose.

Stuffed Pork Roast

Roasting pork is a great way to get the flavor, caramelization and doneness you want.  Stuffing it first is an even better way to go about it!  Putting this on the side of roasted mushroom risotto ties out the dish.

2-3 pound pork roast
1 tablespoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary (fresh or dried)

Filling:
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/8 cup raisins
1/2 cup cooked orzo
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup onion

 

 

Roasted Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that impress friends and family when in reality it’s a fairly simple dish to execute.  It’s also great for storing in the fridge because of the moisture content that it has, it won’t dry out if you heat up leftovers in the microwave.

Roasting mushrooms before you add them to the risotto allows more of the flavor to come out of them and you can use the juice that is extracted from the dry heat cooking to add to the risotto or stock for the risotto.

2 cups arborio rice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup button mushrooms
1 large Portobello mushroom
1 large oyster mushroom bunch
4 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock (use as needed in same amount increments)
1/4 cup  butter

 

Hearty Bean Soup

Ever see those cans of beans in the store (or maybe your cupboard) and think to yourself: What in the world am I going to do with that?

Solution: Make a delicious soup that is not only delicious, but extremely healthy for you. 

1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 cups cooked potatoes (medium dice)
1 can stewed tomatoes (with or without seasoning)
1 can corn
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock (or vegetable or beef stock)
1 large onion (med. dice)
2 tablespoons minced garlic

 

Not only is it good for you, but it’s simple, tasty and  colorful.  The beans provide essential protein and complex carbohydrates while the vegetables work to sustain the body’s nutrition requirement with vitamins, minerals and fiber!

Yellow Thai Curry – neigh – Korean Brown Curry.

So a viewer of my blog wanted me to take a stab at yellow curry.  I’ll lay down some truths about curry if you’re not familiar with this particular type of cuisine.  There are literally thousands of different types of curries.  They range in degree of flavor, depth, spice and complexity.  Curries are typically thought to be associated with two types of cuisines:  Indian and Thai.

This is a common misconception as curries exist in a plethora of Asian countries and now with the intermingling of cultures worldwide, countries take their own take on curries.  I’m a huge fan of many different styles of Indian and Thai curry.  One curry that I particularly like isn’t even associated with these two countries.  It’s associated with my home country: South Korea.

For some reason when I eat this specific curry it reminds me of a place that I’m not all that familiar with.  There’s something triggered in my deep deep subconscious that makes me think: “This is what I ate when I was just a little boy!”

There are plenty of run-of-the-mill as well as pretty-decent curry mixes you can buy at a grocery store or asian market.  But I think it’s always fun to try to make something you love out of your own interpretation (of course with a little guidance).

 

Korean Curry

  • 2 tablespoons ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon red chili flakes (ground up if possible)
  • 1/2 tablespoon nanami togarashi (japanese chili flake blend)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (you can vary depending on how much you like soy, this also takes place of the salt required)
  • chicken (diced, sliced, cubed, however you prefer and however much you want)
  • 1 green, yellow and red bell pepper (med diced)
  • 1 large onion (medium diced
  • 2 cups diced potatoes (precooked and added when ready to serve)

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Hopefully you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making and eating it.  It’s another one of those foods that just warms me up inside.  I suppose that I realize more and more of my posts are focused on cold weather food.  If it would get a bit warmer I might try some other recipes!

Jean R.  Thank you for the recommendation to do a curry recipe.  I’m sorry that it wasn’t a YELLOW THAI CURRY recipe.  Maybe I will do it in the future, but hopefully this appeased your hankering for now!

 

Heirloom Recipes – a la Daniel?

I love Italian food…and I absolutely love meatballs!

They’re tasty, filling and remind me of my Dad.  He doesn’t know how to cook a ton of different things, but the one thing that I love that he makes is his meatballs.

Over the years with my culinary experience and personal taste I’ve varied the recipe a bit to include more of my preferences but the general “meat” and bones is there.  The fondness I have of my Dad cooking is few and far between.  My mom usually did the cooking when they were still together.  But when he’d pull these babies out of the pan I knew that I was going to be stuffed that night.

I’ve always enjoyed an uneven meatball to pasta ratio.  By that I mean that I would always have four or five meatballs to one serving of pasta.  These days since I can regulate my own intake of meatballs it will be 4-5 large meatballs or 8-10 smaller ones per serving of pasta.  I’m an adult, darnit!

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Meatballs:

  • 2# ground pork, beef or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion chopped (fineness depending on person eating)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme (ground is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon onion granules
  • 1 tablespoon garlic granules
  • 1 cup panko or other breadcrumbs (italian seasoned works as well)

Brown them up nicely and cover with a lid and let them get molto delicioso! Mamma Mia!!!!   They’re really tasty! Slightly crunchy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside!

Rainbow Chicken Fajita

Ever been wondering what to have for dinner and for some odd reason fajitas pop into your mind?

A: Yes.  We all have.

Usually you’ll rush the meal by just cooking up some quick onions and chicken, throw it on a tortilla and call it good.  Not today bucko!  Take the time, make some rice, pico de gallo, avocado spread (or guac) and some fresh sauteed veggies to round out this delicious meal.

It’s important for food to not only taste good but look good as well.  Adding different colored vegetables and accoutrements helps to make a meal visually appealing (which actually heightens the enjoyment of the meal as well).

Rice:
2 cups white rice
1/4 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tsp kosher salt

Avocado spread:
2 whole avocados
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup oil (olive, vegetable etc)
salt to taste

Veggies:
2 green bell peppers
2 large onion
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon  nanami togarashi (japanese chili flakes)
salt to taste

Chicken Fajitas:
2 pounds chicken (cut into large dice)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 cup oil (add as each batch is cooked)

Pico de gallo:
3 whole tomatoes (any kind)
1 serrano chile (finely minced) or 2 jalapenos brunoise (or minced if it’s easier)
1 large onion or 2 medium onions
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
salt to taste