Tag Archives: garlic

Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

17 Jul Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli prepped for closing

I was browsing the internet over the first weekend back in March when I stumbled across a recipe for homemade ravioli with goat cheese and spinach, two ingredients I happened to have in my fridge from my Oscar party the weekend before. There have been plenty of posts on this blog about pasta and how much I love it. What I haven’t told you is where that love came from. When I was a young kid my parents use to make pasta from scratch. Often. I have memories of crawling under drying pasta hanging from broomsticks across our kitchen back in Pennsylvania. Throughout my childhood pasta was probably on our table at least once a week. Why it took me this long to make it myself I’m not sure. I’ve always wanted to make pasta but I think a busy schedule just got in my way. And of all the pastas I could have made I chose one that is slightly more complicated since it is a filled pasta. But I still had fun and it was really yummy! I think everyone should make their own pasta at least once. Just make sure you have some extra time, especially if it’s your first time. And if you choose this recipe, give yourself at least two hours before you want to eat since you have to let the dough rise. I’m looking forward to making fettuccine since that just involves cutting up the dough and no filling and closing and cutting twin pieces to match. Ha! Enjoy!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli Ingredients L-R: Mushrooms, Flour, White Wine, Parmesan Cheese, Nutmeg, Half & Half, Egg, Garlic, Goat Cheese,  Spinach, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli Ingredients L-R: Mushrooms, Flour, White Wine, Parmesan Cheese, Nutmeg, Half & Half, Egg, Garlic, Goat Cheese, Spinach, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI (makes about 12-18 ravioli)

Ravioli Dough:

  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Hot Water
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Ravioli Filling:

  • 1/3 Cup Cooked Spinach (or 1/2 bunch raw spinach – to be cooked)
  • 2 oz Goat Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan, Grated
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mushroom and Parmesan Cream Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Mushrooms
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine
  • 1 cup Half-and-Half
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Parmesan Cheese

Make your dough first. In a medium bowl mix your flour and salt. In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, mix your egg and hot water well. Combine the egg/water mixture with your flour and knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth and firm. It shouldn’t be too wet or too sticky, ie, it shouldn’t stick to your hands just to itself. I mixed it with a wooden spoon, and then finished mixing with my hands to make sure I had the right texture. Once done, roll into a ball and wrap in Saran wrap and let sit on the counter for one hour. The recipe has you using a mold to make the ravioli and suggests making a second batch if you want more than a dozen or so. I think I made about 20 with mine and without a mold. I didn’t waste any of my dough.

Making pasta dough

Making the pasta dough for the ravioli!

While your dough is sitting in the Saran wrap work on your filling. I used fresh spinach so I had to cook it first. Be sure to cook it down until it’s all wilted and there’s no liquid left. Once it’s all cooked chop it up and set aside.

Cooking down the spinach and chopping it up for the filling.

Cooking down the spinach and chopping it up for the filling.

In a small-sized microwave safe bowl heat up your goat cheese to soften it, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the chopped up spinach and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and mix again. Set the mixture aside. It should be fairly firm. If it is a little runny (from water in the spinach leftover), place in the fridge to firm up a bit.

spinach, goat cheese and parmesan cheese ravioli filling

Mixing up the spinach and cheeses for the filling

Once you’re ready to assemble your ravioli, divide your dough into 2 equal parts. Be sure to flour both your rolling pin and your rolling surface, then roll out each section of your dough very thinly.

If you are using a ravioli mold, be sure to lightly flour it and then lay out the dough and push softly into each indentation. Place a small amount of the filling mixture into each mold section, just be sure not to overfill them. Take your second piece of dough and lay it on top. Take your rolling pin and roll along the top of the mold, which will seal the ravioli and take the air out of them. Use your fingers to separate the ravioli from each other. Then flip over the mold to release the ravioli. Set aside and re-roll the dough to make more ravioli.

making ravioli

Making the actual ravioli. Yum!

If you aren’t using a mold (like me!) then you will need to cut them individually. I used a small (sharp) paring knife and after rolling the dough out very thinly, cut a rectangle about 4 inches wide and about 10 inches long, then sliced that in half and made about 2 inch squares. I plopped about a teaspoon of filling into the middle of half of the squares, then took the empty squares and sealed each ravioli. I re-rolled the dough until it was basically all used up.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli prepped for closing

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli prepped for closing

Fill a large pot with water and put on high heat and bring to a boil. Cook however many ravioli you want that evening and then freeze the rest. Depending on the pot size you shouldn’t put too many in at once. I boiled about 5 or 6 at a time in my 3 qt pot. Be sure to drain the ravioli before serving. Because I cooked a couple batches of ravioli I used a skimmer to remove each ravioli and drain over the pot then placed on plates.

Mushroom Cream Sauce

Making the mushroom cream sauce.

While you’re boiling your ravioli you can make your pasta sauce at the same time. This is a basic cream sauce, and one I’ve basically made before. You want to slice up your mushrooms thinly and dice up your garlic. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium high heat and saute your mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are a golden brown. Add your half and half and cook until it starts to boil. Turn the heat down to low and add in your Parmesan cheese and mix until it’s nice and thick. I like to add in a little white wine to my pasta sauces too. Season with salt and pepper and serve over ravioli and garnish with fresh parsley or chives. Enjoy with a nice glass of white wine!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce

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Oscar Party: Shrimp Plus Quinoa and Rice Salad

12 Jun Black forbidden rice and quinoa

In addition to the buffalo wings we also made a shrimp dish and a quinoa and black rice salad for the vegetarians. I love shrimp so in my searchings I found a yummy sounding shrimp recipe and then I stumbled upon a recipe with quinoa and black forbidden rice, which I happened to have just enough of in my cupboards from previous recipes. (Remember the Giada dish that used black rice?)

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Ingredients L-R: Shrimp, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Brandy, Parsley, Olive Oil

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Ingredients L-R: Shrimp, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Brandy, Parsley, Olive Oil

SPICY GARLIC SHRIMP (serves about 8)

  • 2 lbs Large Shrimp (Shelled and Deveined)
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Dried Red Chilis (or 2 Tsps red chili flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Brandy
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley

This recipe I found on Epicurious.com and turned out absolutely delicious! Rather than buy dried red chilis though we used red chili flakes that I already had in my cupboard. Most shrimp recipes are super easy and this one is too! If you’re not into spicy, feel free to add less (or no) chili flakes, or if you love spice, add more!

Slice your garlic into thin slivers then sautee in olive oil with the red pepper flakes.

Slice your garlic into thin slivers then saute in olive oil with the red pepper flakes.

Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Sauté garlic until browned, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and chiles and sauté until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes. They should turn a nice pink color.

Add in your shrimp and stir occasionally until they turn pink.

Add in your shrimp and stir occasionally until they turn pink.

Add your brandy and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and either serve in a platter or in a bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and enjoy! Great to make for a dinner one night too!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Spicy Garlic Shrimp ready to serve!

Now on to the vegetarian dish (or even a yummy healthy side dish!).

Quinoa and Black Rice Salad Ingredients L-R: Cumin Seed, Cilantro, Black Rice, Garlic, Avocado, Lemon, Yellow Onion, Quinoa, Parsley, Bay Leaves

Quinoa and Black Rice Salad Ingredients L-R: Cumin Seed, Cilantro, Black Rice, Garlic, Avocado, Lemon, Yellow Onion, Quinoa, Parsley, Bay Leaves

CUMIN SCENTED QUINOA AND BLACK RICE SALAD (serves about 8)

  • 1/2 Cup Black Rice
  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa (we used regular)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

This was another recipe I found on Epicurious.com, however that recipe called for avocado and lemon wedges for garnishing on top. And while we did buy the avocado and had a lemon, in the hustle and bustle of the party they were sadly forgotten. C’est la vie. It was still delicious!

Black forbidden rice and quinoa

Black forbidden rice and quinoa

You want to start your rice and quinoa cooking and then you can move on to some mise en place. Finely chop your onion, mince your garlic and chop your cilantro and parsley.

Chopped Parsley & Cilantro

Chopped Parsley & Cilantro

Diced onions and minced garlic sauteed with cumin seed.

Diced onions and minced garlic sautéed with cumin seed.

Click here for the full recipe. Epicurious has great recipes and everything is very clear in this one. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Finished black rice and quinoa gets mixed together.

Finished black rice and quinoa gets mixed together.

Black Rice and Quinoa Salad ready for serving

Black Rice and Quinoa Salad ready for serving

Linguine With Beef Sauce

30 Apr

Pasta. It’s the food that most people have a love-hate relationship with. I’m on the side that pasta is our friend. But like everything else in the food world, eat in moderation and eat the right pasta. You can now buy whole wheat, gluten-free, and even spinach pasta. There are so many options when it comes to pasta that every diet can find their own version of pasta that doesn’t break any rules. I’ve had a lot of posts about pasta. The thing I love about it is the amount of variation you can have with your sauces. I stock my cupboards with linguine, spaghetti, shells, elbows and penne. Always. (I personally like Barilla’s pasta, especially their whole wheat line.) Along with canned tomatoes and the little cans of pasta sauce and tomato paste it’s always easy to whip up some fresh tasting sauce. I found this great picture diagram of the different varieties. What are your go to faves?pasta shapes

So one night I needed to make some dinner and I looked in my fridge and freezer to see what I had. There was some left over ground beef, a few mushrooms, a chunk of onion, chives and half a green  bell pepper. I had spinach too and I thought I would use it but I didn’t. Oh well, no harm done. I paired this with linguine. Hope you enjoy! What do you like in your pasta sauce?

Linguine with Beef Sauce Ingredients, Spinach, Bell Pepper, Canned Diced Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Garlic, Onion, Chives, Ground Beef, Linguine

Linguine with Beef Sauce Ingredients L-R: Spinach (not used), Bell Pepper, Canned Diced Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Garlic, Onion, Chives, Ground Beef, Linguine

LINGUINE WITH BEEF SAUCE (serves 2 or 3)

  • 4 to 6 oz of Linguine (2 oz per serving)
  • 4 to 6 oz of Ground Beef (2 oz per serving)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper
  • 3 Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • Chopped Chives for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large pot boil about 4 quarts of water. While you wait for your water to boil prep your veggies. Slice your bell pepper into thin slices, chop your onion, slice your mushrooms thinly and dice your garlic clove.

Sliced mushrooms, bell peppers and diced onions

Sliced mushrooms, bell peppers and diced onions

In a large saucepan (the one I used worked but I wish I had used a larger one) heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Once it’s hot add in your garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then add in your chopped onions and sauté for a minute or two. Then add in your bell peppers.

Sauteing your veggies and ground beef together.

Sauteing your veggies and ground beef together.

Push all the veggies to the outer rim of the pan and then add in your ground beef in the center to cook. Once browned reduce the heat to medium and add your mushrooms and combine all veggies and meat together. Cook for another few minutes until the mushrooms are browned.

When your water is boiling add in your linguine (or pasta of choice) and cook for about 6-8 minutes until al dente. Taste a piece for doneness. Be sure to stir the pasta every minute or so so that it doesn’t stick to itself.

Linguine into the pot of boiling water

Linguine into the pot of boiling water

Once your mushrooms are browned open your can of diced tomatoes and add to your sauce pan. Reduce heat to low and add in salt and pepper. (If you want, now is also the time to add any additional seasonings like basil or oregano-dried or fresh.) Stir to combine all ingredients. Let cook over low heat until your pasta is done cooking and you’ve drained it, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add in your diced tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes.

Add in your diced tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve the pasta sauce over the linguine and garnish with chopped fresh chives. Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine!

Linguine with Beef Sauce ready to eat!

Linguine with Beef Sauce ready to eat!

Breakfast Hash For Dinner

25 Mar

Breakfast for dinner. So popular that many IHOPs are open 24 hours a day and a number of other restaurants serve breakfast all day. There’s something about pancakes and eggs for dinner that make you feel like you’re having a real treat. I love having breakfast for dinner so much that for my winter formal my junior year of high school, my friends and I chose to go to IHOP for dinner before the dance! We definitely got a few odd looks walking into the Visalia IHOP in our formals and suits. So one day I was poking around Joy The Baker’s website and I found her recipe for Breakfast Hash. I knew I wanted to make it eventually and while she made hers for breakfast, I ended up making mine for dinner. It was absolutely delicious and made enough that I had leftovers for a couple of nights. This is a great dish to share with a family or roommate too!

Breakfast Hash Ingredients L-R: Spinach, Ground Sausage, Egg, Onion, Baby Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Garlic, Mushrooms, Chives, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Breakfast Hash Ingredients L-R: Spinach, Ground Sausage, Egg, Onion, Baby Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Garlic, Mushrooms, Chives, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

SPINACH AND POTATO BREAKFAST HASH (serves about 3 or 4 depending on serving size)

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Fingerling Potatoes (russet or new potatoes will also be great)
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Oz. Sausage (pork, chicken, turkey or vegetarian sausage all work)
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds (I did not use)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Egg for each serving

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Begin by slicing up your potatoes into bite-size pieces and arranging them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. The smaller the chunks the less time they need for baking.

Colorful baby potatoes

Colorful baby potatoes

Roasting Baby Potatoes

Baby potatoes ready for roasting

Before you start cooking the rest of the hash you want to prep all your vegetables, ie. mise en place. The original recipe calls for 1 bell pepper, but since I already had half of a red one so I bought a green one and used half of that as well. Feel free to use whichever colors you want. Chop your bell peppers into small bite-size pieces. Do the same with your onion. Mince your garlic cloves as well.

Diced Vegetables

sliced cremini mushrooms

Mushrooms sliced and ready for the pan

Measure out your meat and in a small saute pan heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat and break up your meat into small chunks and cook until browned. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.

Weighing out the sausage and then browning it in a small pan.

Weighing out the sausage and then browning it in a small pan.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and add in your onions and bell peppers about 5 to 7 minutes until mostly cooked. Season with salt and pepper and then add in your minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Remove to another small bowl.

Sauteing the onions, bell peppers and garlic.

Sauteing the onions, bell peppers and garlic.

By now your potatoes should be done cooking. Remove from the oven and place in your large skillet you just cooked your onions and peppers in. Turn the heat back on to medium and add in your meat of choice and pan fry together for about 5 minutes until the meat has finished cooking and the potatoes have turned a nice golden brown. This is the point when you would add in your fennel seeds. Add back in your onions and peppers and stir to combine.

Roasted Baby Potatoes

Roasted Baby Potatoes fresh from the oven

Cooking the meat, potatoes and mushrooms first, then add in the onions and bell peppers.

Cooking the meat, potatoes and mushrooms first, then add in the onions and bell peppers.

In your small saute pan fry your egg(s) to your desired doneness. I like mine somewhere between over easy and over medium so that the yolk can be mixed with the rest of the hash. Side note, I never liked my eggs this way until I studied abroad in France and that’s how they made the eggs at school. I fell in love and with something like this hash to mix it with I think you will too!

fried egg

I fried my egg to over easy.

When you turn your egg over, turn the heat off of your hash and add your spinach leaves (only enough for the number of servings you’re eating that night/morning), stirring to mix the spinach and wilt the leaves from the residual heat. Spoon mixture onto plates or pasta bowls and add your egg on top. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, milk, or a glass of OJ.

Adding spinach

After turning off the heat add spinach leaves that will wilt just slightly.

To reheat as leftovers, add fresh spinach each night or morning you heat it up. Put enough of the hash in a small saute pan and heat over medium heat rather than nuke it in the microwave. Be sure to make a fresh egg as well. And enjoy once again!

Breakfast Hash with Fried Egg

Breakfast Hash with Fried Egg ready to eat!

Party Snacks: Hummus and Meatballs and More!

20 Feb hummus

I had a couple of friends over to watch the Golden Globes last month. Nothing fancy, but I did have a few snacks. I made Giada‘s baked meatballs, fresh guacamole, hummus and bought chips, pita bread and vegetables for dipping. All finger food and all easily made. So for your next viewing party check out these yummy recipes to impress your friends.

Last fall my mom shared her hummus-babaganoush recipe with us, but for the party I made regular hummus. It’s much simpler and quicker than making the babaganoush recipe. The great thing about hummus is it can be used as a vegetable, bread or cracker dip or a sandwich spread. The hummus went great with the meatballs too!

Hummus Ingredients L-R: Tahini, Ground Cumin, Lemon, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Pepper and Salt, Olive Oil

Hummus Ingredients L-R: Tahini, Ground Cumin, Lemon, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Pepper and Salt, Olive Oil

HUMMUS (small batch)

  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans
  • 2 to 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Paprika for Taste (optional)

Peel your garlic cloves and add into your food processor or blender along with juice of your lemon, the salt, pepper, ground cumin, tahini and half of your olive oil. Blend well.

Squeezing fresh lemon juice with a hand juicer.

Squeezing fresh lemon juice with a hand juicer.

hummus, Tahini, garlic, oil and spices

Tahini, garlic, oil and spices ready for mixing.

Open your garbanzo beans and rinse, then add into your mixture and pulse until well mixed and at your desired consistency. If it seems a little dry add in more olive a tablespoon at a time. Taste after mixing and add in more of any of your spices or tahini as your taste buds desire.

Rinsed garbanzo beans

Rinsed garbanzo beans

hummus

I like chunky hummus, just the way my mom makes it.

Once it’s at your desired taste and consistency transfer to either a bowl to serve immediately, or to Tupperware to store in the fridge. Be sure to pour more good quality olive oil on the top. Enjoy with bread, chips, vegetables, whatever your heart desires.

Hummus

Hummus ready for eating or storing!

The meatballs were easy and I’ve actually made them before with spaghetti. Giada has you use 3 different meats, but to save some money I just used ground beef. I also used bread crumbs instead of corn flakes. Once they were done baking I tossed them with a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. We ate them alone and stuffed them in the pita bread with some hummus.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Fresh from the oven and still sizzling!

Fresh from the oven and still sizzling!

Ready to eat! Yum!

Ready to eat! Yum!

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