Sunday, February 28, 2010

Food 365 February and Weekly Menu

Food 365 February
1. #59 - So bad but so good, 2. #58 - Grape & Apple Pizza, 3. #57 - Punjabi Dum Aloo, 4. #56 - Farfalle with Lamb Ragu, 5. #55 - Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon, 6. #54 - Meatball Bánh Mi, 7. #53 - Shiitake & Pea Risotto, 8. #52 - Juicy Blue-cy, 9. #51 - Sausage Waffle and Egg, 10. #50 - Sausage Waffles with Peppers & Onions, 11. #49 - Salmon with Mustard Crumb Crust, 12. #48 - Valentine's Bonbons, 13. #47 - All-American Classic, 14. #46 - Kid Food, 15. #45 - Classic Breakfast, 16. #44 - Banana Spring Rolls, 17. #43 - Poutine, 18. #42 - Pot Roast Chili, 19. #41 - Mo's Dark Bacon Bar, 20. #40 - Ad Hoc Chicken & Dumpling Soup, 21. #39 - Sweet & Tangy Pot Roast, 22. #38 - Duck Confit & Pomegranate Pancakes, 23. #37 - My favorite pizza, 24. #36 - Minnesota Chicken & Waffles, 25. #35 - Panatone Bread Pudding, 26. Warm Lentil Salad, 27. #33 - Ad Hoc Duck Confit, 28. #32 - Roast Chicken

On to Menu Planning Monday for the first week of March


Pasta with Pears, Prosciutto & Blue Cheese

Jansson's Frestelse - This time I got Swedish Anchovies to make it

Pizza with Sausage, Spinach & Red Peppers

Roast Chicken

Ad Hoc Brined Pork Tenderloin

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fork the Fire

Twin Cities Restaurants Host Fork The Fire!
Three Special Events on March 14th To Help Heidi’s and Blackbird Restaurants Recover

There’s nothing like the power of food to bring everyone together. That’s why over 55 restaurants will rise up in force to help Heidi’s and Blackbird - two Twin City restaurants that lost everything recently during a tragic fire in south Minneapolis.

Choose one of three delicious ways to be part of this awesome outpouring of support. Pick your spot, book your table and join chefs and staff across the city for
Fork The Fire!

1. In the largest display of solidarity ever on one day, restaurants across the twin cities will use a full plate of creative ways to raise money for the cause on Sunday, March 14th. Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at your favorite place with your favorite chefs and help Heidi’s and Blackbird through this devastating time. See a complete list of all the fabulous places to sip and savor for a wonderful cause at Fork The Fire on Facebook.

2. Bring a group to Mission American Kitchen where chefs from 12 of your favorite restaurants including D’Amico Kitchen, La Belle Vie, Vincent’s, Edina Grill, The Dakota, Cave Vin, Pierre’s Bistro and more will serve you their specialties from 2:00-8:00. Come early and get a chance to chat with Heidi’s Chef/Owner Stuart Woodman. Your $30.00 door price goes to the relief fund. Cash bar and complimentary parking at the IDS.
Call (612) 339-1000 for information.

3. Owners Linda and Todd Haug of Café 28 and Surly Beer will host talented Blackbird’s chef-owner Chris Stevens who will be cooking at this deliciously fun $25.00 event.
Call (612) 925-2800 for information.

List of Participating Restaurants Follows:
Vincent, a Restaurant
Victory 44
Restaurant Alma
Sen Yai Sen Lek
Brasa
D'Amico Kitchen
Meritage
Al Vento
Hell's Kitchen
Rinata
Turtle Bread Co
2021
Café Twenty Eight
Modern Café
Cave Vin
Fire Lake Grill House
Dakota Jazz
Herkimer Pub and Brewery
Café Ena
Prima
El Meson
Heartland
Grand Café
Pierre's Bistro
Mission American Kitchen
First Course
Café Maude
The Living Room Bar
SpoonRiver
Prohibition
Saffron
Craftsman
Rainbow Chinese
Bar La Grassa
Lucia's
112 Eatery
The Citizen Café
Sea Change
Victor's 1959 Cafe
La Belle Vie
Manny's Steak House
Birchwood Café
Chino Latrino
Mancini's
Il Gatto
Strip Club
Burger Jones
7
Muffuletta
Coffee & Tea Limited
Salut Bar American
Broders' Pasta Bar
Good Earth
Broders' Cucina Italiana
Pittsburgh Blue

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, February 26, 2010

Farfalle with Lamb Ragu

We've had a half pound of lamb stew meat sitting in the freezer for awhile that needed to be used soon. A quick run through the meat grinder attachment of our Kitchen Aid turned it into the perfect meat for this pasta dish.
Farfalle with Lamb Ragu
I will say Matt was dubious about dinner. He just doesn't like lamb as much as I do but once he started eating it he declared loved it. For a quick cooked sauce it had a nice rich flavor. The original recipe called for less tomatoes than I used & some chicken broth. I decided to just use all tomatoes & added some tomato paste. I think the broth & the pasta cooking water they also wanted you to add, would just water the sauce down. The ricotta was a wonderful in this, when you stirred it in the whole dish began lovely & creamy.

You could easily substitute ground beef for the lamb in this recipe though the flavor will be a little different, still good but different.

Farfalle with Lamb Ragu
(Adapted from Cooking Light March '10)

1 T olive oil
8 oz ground lamb (beef would work too)
kosher salt
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c white wine
2 c crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T tomato paste
pepper
8 oz farfalle
ricotta

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb & cook through, breaking it up as you cook, about 5 minutes. Remove the lamb from the skillet draining any fat. Season the lamb with a pinch of salt & set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet & stir in the onion & carrot. Cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Add the rosemary & garlic then cook for a minute more. Return the lamb to the skillet. Stir in the wine & bring to a boil. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, a few grind of pepper & a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered until reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes depending on how liquid your tomatoes were.

While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain. Stir the pasta into the sauce.

Sprinkle some ricotta over each serving.

4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon

Another tasty salmon dish this week. This was one I found in an ad for Norwegian Salmon in Cooking Light.
#55 - Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon
I think what really appealed to me was the idea of the sweetness of the brown sugar & maple syrup with the oily fish. The fish cooks with the brown sugar on top caramelizing into the flesh. The sauce that goes on top mixes the maple syrup with a a tangy mustard and a little dill. Its a bit like a honey mustard sauce but the syrup has a deeper flavor & the dill is just a good pairing with the fish.

This is a super fast & easy dish to make, perfect for a busy weeknight but I also think good enough to serve to company. If I was making this for entertaining I'd have the fish chilling with the sugar on it & the sauce made before guests arrive. Then all that would be left to do would be cook the salmon. I'm betting it would be good cooked on a grill too.

Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon with Maple Mustard Dill Sauce
(adapted from a Norwegian Salmon ad)

2 T brown sugar
1/2 t ground pepper
1/4 t kosher salt
2 salmon filets, about 6 oz each
1 T olive oil
2 T maple syrup
2 T country-style Dijon mustard
1 t dried dill

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix the brown sugar, pepper & salt together. Rub on the flesh side of the salmon, using all the mix. Place on a plate & cover loosely with plastic wrap & chill for 15 minutes.

Coat a small baking dish with 1 1/2 t olive oil. Put the salmon on the oil, skin side down. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until desired doneness.

Stir the syrup, mustard & dill together to create a sauce.

Serve the salmon with the sauce over the top.

2 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Meatball Bánh Mi

We are trying to make a real effort to eat some of the things that have been lingering in our freezer. We discovered quite a few items in the bottom of our chest freezer when we ungraded to an upright freezer last week including some Asian meatballs & garlic scape pesto which led to this sandwich.
#54 - Meatball Bánh Mi
In the last year, I've really discovered the yumminess that is the bánh mi. There is just something about the mix of flavors & textures that just works. For me a bánh mi has to have a protein, something pickled, something crunchy, something spicy & something creamy all on a crispy baguette.
Meatball Bánh Mi
For our protein we used some leftover Asian Meatballs. When we originally made these we cooked them all & then froze half. To use them on this sandwich they just required thawing & a quick reheat in the microwave.

For something pickled & something hot we had some pickled jalapenos we canned this summer & quick carrot pickles I made in the morning.

Quick Carrot Pickles
(adapted from Emeril at the Grill)

1/2 c rice vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t crush red pepper flakes
1/4 t salt
1 carrot, sliced thin diagonally

Put the vinegar, sugar, pepper & salt in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for one minute. Stir until the sugar & salt are dissolved. Cool. Add the carrots. Cover & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The longer they sit they more pickled they will be.

Makes about 1/2 cup

The carrots are also the crisp in the this sandwich along with fresh cilantro.

For the creamy element, Matt took a little garlic scape pesto we had frozen & mixed it with some mayo. It also made a good dipping sauce for the few meatballs that wouldn't fit in our sandwiches.

We didn't use baguettes for these. I had tested a hamburger bun recipe for a friend this weekend & made a few hotdog bun shaped to use for this. They were a little soft for bánh mi though tasty.

Not as good as the bánh mi we get at the Vietnamese places down on Nicollet but certainly a decent home version. Do you have a favorite bánh mi combination?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shiitake and Pea Risotto

I can't tell you how thrilled I was when out of the blue a couple of months ago Matt announced he liked mushrooms & wanted to try more dishes with different mushrooms in them. He would eat mushrooms in the past, if I put them in a dish, but he wasn't asking for them & we certainly weren't making anything like grilled portabella burgers. I don't what caused the turn around but I'm so glad to be able to make more dishes like this. Now if I could only get him to change his mind about eggplant....
Shiitake & Pea Risotto
I've always like mushrooms in risotto so when I saw this recipe in the new Cooking Light I marked it to make right away. It's such a great combination, the creamy risotto, the earthy mushrooms & the sweet peas. I think we'll make this again but won't bother my the more expensive shittake mushrooms & opt for some criminis instead. Matt also thinks a little prosciutto cooked with the mushrooms would be great.

By the way the March issue of Cooking Light has so many great sounding recipes in it. I can't believe how many I've marked to cook so I recommend picking it up.

Shiitake & Pea Risotto
(adapted from Cooking Light March '10)

2 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 T olive oil
5 oz mushroom caps, sliced (the recipe calls for shittake but go ahead & substitute crimini if you wish)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 c frozen peas
1/2 T unsalted butter
1/2 c onion, chopped
2/3 c Arborio rice
1/2 c white wine (substitute more stock if you wish)
2 heaping T grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
salt & pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer & keep simmering during cooking.

Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms & cook until soft, 4 - 5 minutes. Add half of the minced garlic & 1/2 teaspoon on the thyme & sauté for a minute more. Turn off the heat & stir in the peas. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion & cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic & cook for 20 more seconds. Add the rice & cook while stirring for a minute. Add the wine to the pot & cook until completely absorbed, stirring from time to time. Then add the stock about 1/3 cup at a time. Do not add the next addition until the previous has been absorbed. Make sure to stir often. When you have about one addition of the stock left to add the rice should be creamy but still have a little bite to it. Add that final amount of stock, the mushroom & peas, the remaining thyme, the Parmesan & a few grinds of fresh pepper. Cook until the cheese is melted & everything is heated through, just a minute or so. Taste for seasoning & add salt as needed.

Serve with more grated Parmesan on top.

2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Menu 2/21 - 2/27/10

As you know one of our kitchen resolutions for the past couple of years has been to buy more of our meat from local farms. Thanks to a Christmas gift from Matt's parents we are well stocked with beef & this weekend we added 1/4th of a pig to the freezer.

Back in September we visited Highview Pastures in Farmington, MN just 45 minutes from our house in Minneapolis. There we saw lots of happy piglets running in the grass.
Hammy's babies
Highview pasture raises their pigs so they don't have the stress or crowding of conventional farms which means they don't need antibiotics or preventative medicines. We waited patiently for those piglets to grow up & be turned into tasty cuts of pork. Then made a trip out this weekend to pick up our butchered & smoked cuts.
#51 - Is that smoked pig parts you've got in that box there...
Do you think this guy knows we has a box full of one of his buddies in our car?

Now our freezer is full of nitrate & msg free bacon, sausage & ham as well a ribs, pork chops, pork steaks & a pork butt just calling to be smoked. Buying from directly from the farm is so wonderful, you know exactly how your pork was raised & what you are getting. Plus the cost is really quite reasonable, we bought 1/2 a pig & split it with a friend making it even better. Of course, I can never resist Michelle's farm fresh eggs while I'm at the farm. How pretty is that blue egg?
One of these things is not like the others

We got a nice show of tail feathers from the farm's turkeys while visiting too.
Showing off


On to Menu Planning Monday...

Shiitake & Sweet Pea Risotto

Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon

Asian Meatball Bánh Mi

Lamb Ragu

Punjabi Dum Aloo

Hot Dogs with Zucchini Relish & Warm Garlic Scape Potato Salad - I think Matt might be missing summer since he requested this for dinner.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sausage Waffles with Peppers & Onions

Here's an instance where we had a crazy idea & just ran with it...
Sausage Waffles with Peppers & Onions
Two weeks ago we made Chicken & Waffles which lead us to contemplating what other ways we could incorporate waffles into dinner. Thus was born the idea of making a waffle with Italian sausage in it & then topping it with peppers & onions braised in red wine. Basically the waffle is taking the place of a hoagie roll in a sausage & peppers sandwich. The waffles were very fluffy (even with the whole wheat flour in them) & the flavor of the sausage really came through. We used a spicy Italian sausage which really paired well with the sweetness of the peppers & onions.

We had some leftover waffles & plan on reheating them tomorrow to serve with eggs. You could also use breakfast sausage in the waffle recipe for a breakfast treat too, it would be great with maple syrup.

Sausage Waffles with Peppers & Onions

8 oz bulk Italian sausage
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 c red onions, sliced
3 bell peppers, seeded & sliced (we used a combination of red & yellow)
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried basil
salt & pepper
1 c red wine
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 t red wine vinegar

In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the sausage until completely done. Break the sausage apart while cooking. Remove from the pan & set aside to cool. Don't clean the pan as you will use it to cook the peppers & onions.

Add the butter to the pan. Once it is melted add the onion, peppers, oregano, basil & some salt & pepper. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

Pour in the wine, cover the skillet & turn the heat down to simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes to soften the peppers. Remove the lid & let the sauce boil until it is reduced & thickened a little.

Making the Waffles:

Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda & salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk the olive oil, eggs, milk & vinegar together. Stir in the sausage. Pour into the dry mixture & stir until the batter just comes together, do not over mix. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Cook in a hot waffle iron that has been treated with cooking spray.

Makes 4 waffles with topping (4 servings)

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Sad Day in Minneapolis Restaurants

Morning after the fire at Blackbird
I'm sitting here watching a video of a retail block in our neighborhood burn down. Sadly that block includes our favorite breakfast place, one I just wrote about last week, Blackbird. Apparently a grease fire started in the neighboring restaurant, Heidi's. I am sick about it, just thinking of Chris & Gail's wonderful cafe going up in flames. I think about all the wonderful waitresses we've gotten to know & laughed with over breakfasts. It was a place where people in the neighborhood went every week & had a seat at the bar with friends. Luckily no one in the restaurants was hurt, though two firefighters were injured in putting out the fire, I just hope a small family business like this can bounce back.
Morning after the fire

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potato-Stuff Parathas

Yesterday, I told you about our Olympics Party featuring food from different countries. Matt chose to be India since we had gotten two great South Asian cookbooks for Christmas. The dish he decided to make was paratha, the most popular flatbread in Indian. Here it is stuffed with spiced potato for an amazing tasting snack.Potato-Stuffed Parathas
(I wish I had taken a better picture of these)
Paratha is made with atta flour because its high gluten content makes it easier to roll it thin. We didn't have atta readily available so we used regular whole wheat flour. Matt didn't have any problem rolling these thin at all so it seemed like a fine substitution.

Served with some mango chutney & our green tomato jam these were a huge hit at the party. I made the filling & dough earlier in the day then Matt assembled & fried them just as people were arriving. They were equally tasty hot & at room temperature.

Potato Stuffed Parathas
(adapted slightly from Mangoes & Curry Leaves)

Flatbread Dough

2 c whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1 c lukewarm water

Mix the flour & salt together in a bowl. Add the water & stir until a soft dough is formed. Turn out to a floured board & knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

Wrap in plastic wrap & let sit for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours. The longer it sits the easier it is to work with.

Potato Filling

3 russet potatoes just over a pound, peeled & quartered
2 T canola oil
1/2 t mustard seeds
1/2 turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion about 1 cup, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded & finely chopped
1/8 t cayenne
1 t salt

Put the potatoes in a large pot of water & bring to a boil. Boil for 15 - 20 minutes until tender. Drain & return to pot. Let sit for 15 - 30 minutes to dryl. Mash.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or skillet. Add the mustard seeds & cook for a few seconds (careful they might pop out of the pan all over your kitchen). Add the turmeric & garlic then fry quickly for a few seconds more. Add the onion & cook while stirring until the onion starts to brown. Add the jalapenos, cayenne & potato & stir together. Cook stirring until the jalapenos are soft, mashing out any large pieces of potato. Cool to room temperature.

Making the parathas

canola oil
chutney

Divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Flatten each pieces into a disc with your hand then roll out on a floured board until about 8-inches. Use a light tough & do not turn the dough over.
Making Parathas
Spread about 3 -4 tablespoons of the potato mixture on half of each round. Fold the dough in half over the stuffing, making a half circle. Then fold in half again making a quarter circle. Use your rolling pin to roll out again to an 8 - 9 inch circle (or best shape you can get). Don't worry some of the filling will ooze out.
Making ParathasMaking Parathas
Making ParathasMaking Parathas
Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Making Parathas
Grease well with the oil. Place one of the filled discs on the hot pan & cook until just turning brown, 45 - 60 seconds. Turn over & cook the second side for 90 seconds. Brush the top with a little oil & turn again cooking for 30 seconds. It should be well browned. Re-oil the pan between batches.

Serve warm or a room temperature with chutney (it was also good with our Green Tomato Jam).

Makes 8 breads

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Piragi - Latvian Ham Rolls

Friday night for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, we hosted a party where we asked everyone to pick a country to represent then bring a dish from that country to share. I picked the Baltic country of Latvia just so I could make these.
Piragi
There is a pretty big Latvian community in the Twin Cities & if you ever go to one of their events or parties you are bound to see a plate of these Piragi. Whenever I say the name people assume I'm talking about the more commonly known pirogi. Piragi though, are little loaves of sweet white bread that has been enriched with an egg & then stuffed with a combination of onion, bacon & ham. When there is a batch of them available I can't get enough, so its a good thing this recipe makes a lot (though they do freeze well if you aren't as piggy as me).
#43 - Piragi
These are irresistible hot fresh out of the oven but I think I like them just as much at room temperature. I think they are taste just the way they are but Matt thought dipping them in a little mustard was a good addition.

Piragi - Latvian Ham Rolls

Dough

2 1/4 t yeast
1/4 c warm water
3/4 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
2 t salt
3 T sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

In a mixer combine the warm milk, butter, salt & sugar. Mix in the dissolved yeast, egg & 1 1/2 cups of flour & mix well. Add the remaining flour & mix to create a soft dough. Knead either by hand or with a dough hook in the mixer until the dough is smooth. This dough is quite soft. Put into a greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel & let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Filling

5 oz yellow onion, finely chopped
5 strips of good bacon, finely chopped
1/2 lb smoked ham slices, finely chopped
1/4 t ground pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat cook the onion & bacon until the onion is translucent & the bacon is starting to crisp. Add the ham & pepper. Mix well. Cool to room temperature before using.

Assembly

1 large egg, beaten well

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2-inch circles. Place a teaspoon or so of the filling in the middle of each circle. Fold the edges in over the filling & pinch to seal. The final shape should be like a little loaf of bread.
Making PiragiMaking Piragi
Making PiragiMaking Piragi
Place on a baking sheet that is either greased or topped with a silicone pad seam side down. Let rise again about 15 minutes. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown (mine took 11 minutes).
Piragi
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 80

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ad Hoc Chicken and Dumpling Soup and Weekly Menu

We're cooking our way through Ad Hoc at Home...
One of the dishes we'd most been looking forward to make was the Chicken & Dumpling Soup. The pictures in the book just made us crave it.
#40 - Ad Hoc Chicken & Dumpling Soup
I have to that this was actually the first dish that has disappointed us from the book. Flavor-wise it was just so-so though Matt really like the mustard & chive flavor in the dumplings.
Mustard & Chive Dumplings
Actually the dumplings made from pate de choux were the best thing in this dish & we'll use that method again perhaps with our own soup base. We also felt that the amount of steps required to make this made it even more of a disappointment, all the work for eh. Let me walk you through it.
1. Chop carrots, leeks, onion & celery. 2. Cook that in butter with until tender. 3. Put those vegetables in some homemade stock & simmer for 30 minutes. 4. Make pate de choux. 5. Form the dough into dumplings. 6. Boil the dumplings in hot water & set aside. 7. Strain the stock & throw out the vegetables. 8. Make a roux. 9. Slowly add the roux to the strained stock & simmer for 30 minutes until thick. 10. Diagonal slice some celery. 11. Blanch the celery until crisp tender. 12. Drain the celery & add to ice bath. Drain again. 13. Slice carrots. 14. Put the carrots, some thyme, honey, salt & pepper in a pot. Cover with water & simmer until tender. 15. Drain carrots throwing away the thyme. 16. Shred 2 cups of cooked chicken. 17. Add celery, carrots, chicken & dumplings to the thicken stock & heat through. 18. Chop chives & sprinkle into soup. Whew...over 2 hours later eat.
Really I have no problem with recipes with a lot of steps but I felt like a lot of these steps added no extra flavor to the soup. We couldn't taste the thyme or honey in the carrots. I don't feel the simmered vegetables added much flavor to the broth (my homemade broth is really flavorful & already cooked with vegetables, perhaps with store bought broth this would make a difference). This is also the first time I've made the roux separate & added it to the broth. Despite the fact it is cooked for awhile before adding I felt like it gave the soup a bit of a flour flavor. Oh well, they can't all be winners. I'm sure the pork tenderloin we do next will be great.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

We are out for dinner Monday & Tuesday.

Salmon with Mustard Crumb Crust - a meal we never got to last week

Sausage & Peppers Waffles

Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup

Juicy Blue-cy

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sweet and Tangy Pot Roast

As some of you might know we got 1/8th of a cow for Christmas which means are freezer is full of beautiful roasts, perfect for cooking low & slow.
#39 - Sweet & Tangy Pot Roast
Matt wanted to flavor the beef with a little sweetness from the brown sugar & a little tanginess from the vinegar. He added the pearl onions & mushrooms mainly because we had them but we really loved their flavor, as well as the bacon, with the meat. Really the final product smelled & tasted a lot like boeuf bourguignon without a lot of the fuss.

Sweet & Tangy Pot Roast

4 strips good bacon, roughly chopped
3 c pearl onions, halved
2 c mushrooms, sliced
4 T brown sugar
3 lbs beef roast (we used an English Roast)
salt & pepper
1/4 t allspice
1 c dark beer
1 c chicken stock
1/4 c apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

In an oven proof dutch oven cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
Add the pearl onions & cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms & brown sugar & cook another 4 minutes. Remove from the pan & set aside.

Rub the meat all over with salt, pepper & the allspice. Reheat the dutch oven. Sear the roast about 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan & set aside.

Add the beer, stock & vinegar to the still hot pan. Bring to a boil, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the beef to the pan. Top with the bacon, onions & mushrooms. Cover & move to the oven.

Cook for about 4 hours until the meat is very tender. Remove the meat & vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon to a serving dish & tent to keep warm. Bring the juices in the pan to a boil on the stovetop until reduced by half.

Serve the meat & vegetables with the reduced sauce on the side.

6 - 8 servings.

With just the two of us we had a lot of leftover meat but let me tell you it made an amazing chili later in the week.
#42 - Pot Roast Chili

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tortilla Soup

We had some corn tortillas leftover from tacos a couple weeks ago that needed to be used so Matt decided to make us up a pot of tortilla soup for lunches this week.
Tortilla Soup
I've never had tortilla soup before & expected it to be spicy but its not at all. The broth is just full of flavor & warmth, so satisfying. Using fire roasted tomatoes adds a lot of flavor, we like the Muir Glen brand. We added some spinach in to give the soup a little green.
Home Fried Tortilla Chips
You can use store bought corn tortilla chips for this soup or do what Matt did & fry up some yourself. All he did was slice some corn tortillas (flour won't work here) into strips. Then heat up a pit with about 1/4-inch of vegetable oil in it. Fry the tortilla strips a few at a time until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. If you don't use them right away, let them cool & store in an airtight container.

Tortilla Soup
(adapted from Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday)

1 dried pasilla chile
2 T vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, peeled
15 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 t dried epazote
kosher salt
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 c spinach leaves, roughly torn
grated cheese, something that melts well like cheddar or Monterey Jack (we used a Mexican blend)
corn tortilla chips

Toast the chile over an open flame or in a hot pan until it starts to release its aroma. Let cool & then remove the stem & seeds. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion & garlic. Cook until the onion starts turning light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a blender. Add the toasted chile & diced tomatoes including the juice. Process until smooth.

Reheat the soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sauce from the blender & cook while stirring until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth & epazote. Reduce the heat to a simmer & let cook for 15 minutes. Add salt as needed.
Add the chicken & cook through, 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach until wilted.

Ladle into bowls & garnish with melted cheese & broken tortilla chips.

6 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Minnesota Chicken and Waffles

Or... Waffles, not just for breakfast anymore. (Matt wanted me to say that.)
#36 - Minnesota Chicken & Waffles
When I was coming up with our weekly menu Matt told me he had an idea for a savory wild rice waffle topped with chicken in a sauce. Chicken & waffles is something that has been around forever but typically I think of fried chicken with waffles (which I'm most familiar with from the movie Tapeheads).

Our version is just total comfort food. A fluffy waffles gets a nutty flavor & a little texture from some Minnesota wild rice. Then its topped with a creamy chicken & mushroom sauce, almost like the filling in a hot dish. We were happy people eating this for dinner. Matt is already dreaming of other savory waffle & topping combinations.

Minnesota Chicken & Waffles

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Sauce

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
4 oz crimini mushrooms, stems trimmed then sliced
1 T sherry
2 T all-purpose flour
1 c chicken stock
leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 c heavy cream
1 c cooked chicken, chopped
salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Stir in the sherry & cook until syrupy. Sprinkle in the flour & cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting thicken between additions. Stir in the thyme & the cream. Cook until bubbly & thick. Add the chicken & cook until heated through. Season with salt & pepper.

Wild Rice Waffles
(adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food)

1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 T unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 t sherry vinegar
1/2 cooked wild rice (please use real wild rice not a blend)

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk the butter, eggs, milk & vinegar together. Stir in the wild rice. Pour into the dry mixture & stir until the batter just comes together, do not over mix. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Cook in a hot waffle iron that has been treated with cooking spray.

Makes 3 waffles

Serve the hot sauce over the waffles.

Makes 2 large servings.



If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blackbird Cafe & Week Menu

Matt loves breakfast out on the weekends. We are funny about breakfast out & become creatures of habit going to the same place over & over again. Our current favorite is right here in our Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood, Blackbird Cafe. Blackbird is one of those great neighborhood places, it's small, friendly, a little quirky & best of all it has an amazing menu. We love their dinner & lunch menus (oh, that Banh Mi!) but their breakfast menu & creative daily specials have quickly become our favorite. Their classic breakfast is wonderful with thick cut toast & tasty sausage or thick-cut bacon. Matt is a fan of the Huevos Colleen O'Brien, basically Huevos Ranchero with housemade chorizo & avocado. But they have really helped me step out of my egg & toast rut with some amazing specials.
Lobster Scramble with Bacon Grits
A couple weeks ago it was Lobster Scramble with Bacon Grits. I could eat those eggs everyday, light fluffy & full of lobster.
#38 - Duck Confit & Pomegranate Pancakes
Yesterday is was Duck Confit & Pomegranate Pancakes topped with Herb Butter. I know this one sounds a little weird but take the saltiness of the, the tartness of the pomegranate & top it with some sweet maple syrup, heavenly! And somehow the pancakes still managed to stay fluffy. They also have their own roast of coffee which is a wonderful pick-me-up. We plan on buying some beans from them to enjoy at home soon.

Blackbird is open for breakfast on Saturdays & Sundays. They don't take reservations & can get a little busy later in the morning. We find when we get their between 8:30 & 9:30 we never have to wait.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Tortilla Soup - from Rick Bayless

Pot Roast

Ad Hoc Chicken & Dumpling Soup

Beef Soup or Chili

Salmon with Mustard Crumb Crust - from Stacey Snacks


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine's Dinner At Home

Valentine's Day is just a week away & for a lot of us that means a dinner for two. Matt & I have typically gone out on Valentine's but decided this year to stay home. Often the restaurants are completely booked so you're dealing with a rushed staff & a crowded restaurant. Plus many times you a paying a premium for eating out on this holiday.
He Holds My Heart
We thought many of you are probably in the same mood this year so we wanted to offer up some ideas for recipes for special meals. Since we are typically cooking just for two most of these recipes are already sized down for you.

Valentine's Day is on a Sunday this year so why not treat your sweetie to a special breakfast...
Bacon & Egg Bread Pudding
Bacon & Egg Bread Pudding
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Apple Waffles

Most of these dinner for two ideas look & taste really special but are a cinch to make.
Steakhouse dinner at home
Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Creamed Leeks & Greens
Miso Glazed Salmon
Pan Seared Duck Breast
Lamb with Balsamic Sauce
Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potato Ravioli & Spinach in Cream Sauce
Espresso Glazed Steak
Steak Diane with Potato & Onion Gratins
Seafood Stew

What Valentine's Day is complete without something sweet?
Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Mousse for Two
Dobos Torte
Red Hot Brownies
Chocolate Valentino
Drunken Strawberry Shortcakes with Coffee Whipped Cream

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, February 5, 2010

Warm Lentil Salad

When we were in San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival in November one of the things Matt picked up at the Ferry Building was Lentils du Puy. This salad was the reason.
Warm Lentil Salad
We've had this for dinner twice in two weeks now, it is just so good. There is something about the way the runny egg yolk tastes mixed in with the mustard vinaigrette that we just love. We added some duck confit to it this time because we had it & it seemed like a good fit. It definitely added another wonderful layer of flavor but you don't have to have it to enjoy this dish.
Warm Lentil Salad
Add a fresh green salad, a glass of wine & you have a wonderful light dinner that is completely satisfying.

Warm Lentil Salad

4 oz lentils de puy
1 T olive oil
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 leek, white & light green parts chopped
pinch dried thyme
salt & pepper
duck confit, meat from one leg & thigh (optional)
2 T champagne vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T dijon mustard
2 eggs

Put enough water in a saucepan to cover the lentils by at least 1/2 inch & bring to a boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat, cover & simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, leeks & thyme. Season with salt & peppers. Sauté until the carrots are tender about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet & set aside.

Return the lentils to the saucepan they were cooked in. Add the vegetables & duck to the lentils. Mix the champagne vinegar, olive oil, and mustard together. Stir into the lentils coat. Cover to keep warm while cooking eggs.

Fry the eggs sunnyside up (leaving part of the yolk runny). Divide the lentils between two dishes & top each with an egg.

2 servings


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Steaming Bowl of Pho

Matt is a big fan of Pho & after having a big bowl of it at Ngon two weeks ago he decided we should try making our own at home for lunches.
Pho for Lunch
There are a ton of different recipes for pho broth out there using all different kinds of meat to flavor it. We decided to go with oxtail because that is what Ngon uses & because we noticed the grocery store had some. It made for quite a fatty broth but it was easy to remove the fat once the broth had chilled. I'm not sure how different the flavor was using oxtail as compared to say some meaty beef bones. It seemed to me most of the flavor came from the other things simmered in the broth, anise, fennel, ginger, etc... We have a lot of beef soup bones in the freezer so next time I'll skip the cost of the oxtail & try them.

Oxtail Broth for Pho

(adapted from Serious Eats)

1 1/2 t peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 1/2 lbs oxtail
4 quarts water
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
small knob of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1 cinnamon stick
seeds from 3 cardamon pods
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1 t fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed with the skin on
1 t black peppercorns
fish sauce

In a large stock pot heat the oil over high heat. Add the onions & cook until the are turning brown. Remove the onions & set aside. Add the oxtail & water to the pot & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer & let cook for 15 minutes. Skim foam from the surface. Add the cooked onions & all other ingredients EXCEPT the fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer & partially cover. Let cook for 6 hours, skimming any foam from the surface. Strain the soup through a strainer covered with cheesecloth. (Try not to put the bones in the strainer as straining through them will give you a cloudy stock.) Refrigerate until the layer of fat on top is solid. Remove the fat before using.

Makes about 8 cups.

When you are ready to serve the Pho, reheat the amount if broth needed (about 1 1/2 cups per serving) & season it with 1 teaspoon of fish sauce per serving & some fresh ground pepper.
#34 - Making a big bowl of steaming pho for lunch
Then comes the fun part adding all the vegetables meat & noodles. You can really add what you like but traditionally it is served with a meat (we used thinly sliced flank steak cooked quickly in the boiling broth), cooked rice noodles, fresh chili peppers (we used a jalapeno), bean sprouts, onions or scallions, basil (which Matt says is really important), cilantro, fresh lime juice, hoisin sauce & sriracha. thinly sliced flank steak which cooked quickly in the boiling broth.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ad Hoc Duck Confit and Duck Confit Pizza

I have a confession to make, I love duck confit. (Seriously, I might like it as much, if not more, than bacon!) If it's on a menu I can't resist ordering it. So, one of my kitchen resolutions for this year was to make it at home. This fits perfectly with our goal to cook our way through Ad Hoc at Home since it contains a recipe for it.
Ad Hoc Duck Confit
Last week we made the Ad Hoc Pan Seared Duck Breast leaving us with the legs & thighs from our Peking Duck. We reserved all the fat from cooking the breasts & then I rendered the rest of the fat we got from butchering the duck. (I have to say it would have been helpful if Ad Hoc at Home actually explained how to render the fat, I ended up searching out instructions online.) Next I made an herb salt from kosher salt, brown sugar, a bay leaf, peppercorns, fresh thyme & parsley. The duck got rubbed with the salt (about 1 tablespoon per leg) & then sat in the fridge overnight to cure.
Ad Hoc Duck Confit - Day 1Ad Hoc Duck Confit - Day 1
The next day I rinsed & dried the duck then fit it into the smallest baking dish I could. The duck then gets covered in the rendered fat. Here's where I ran into a problem, I didn't have enough fat from the one duck to cover the legs. According to our charcuterie book lard was a fine substitute & I just happened to have some on hand. I sealed the baking dish with some tin foil since it didn't have a lid and put the whole thing in the oven where it slowly cooked at 190 F for 8 hours.
Ad Hoc Duck Confit - Day 2
At this point the duck is tender but doesn't fall off the bone when I take a fork to it. I put the duck into a plastic container & strained the fat over it leaving any of the duck juiced behind.
Ad Hoc Duck Confit - Day 2
Then we let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days which apparently improves the flavor. At this point you can serve it by pan searing the confit skin-side down in a little of the fat until brown & crispy & then just heating through in the oven. This is what is suggested in Ad Hoc.
Duck Confit Pizza
We decided to use one of the legs & thighs on a pizza similar to the one I had on our first anniversary. We kept this pizza really simple to showcase the salty, tender duck. We started with a whole wheat pizza crust (just our favorite pizza crust substituting 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour.) with a little garlic in it. That we topped with 3 ounces of fontina cheese, one sliced leek, the confit, fleur de sel, freshly ground pepper & a drizzle of olive. Let it cook for 15 minutes at 450 F. A pizza that is simply delicious!

Sure duck confit is a little time consuming to make but most of the time is hands off & the end result was worth it!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski
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