Blog Archives

Pasta Fun

I am so lucky.  I have great friends and the vast majority enjoy eating and cooking and baking as much as I do.  This leads to some pretty fun cooking dates.  So the other day I got together with Stephanie, and she taught me how to make pasta-from scratch!  She’s always a big hit at parties because she makes homemade perogies and homemade pasta, and I was dead set on learning her secrets.

Well, one of the things I learned is to get a pasta maker.  You can roll out pasta by hand but it would take you FOREVER to do.  Luckily, Steph has one (and they are darn fun to use too!)

Pasta is actually really simple.  It’s just egg and flour, and if necessary, water.  You can make poor man’s pasta by using just water and flour too.  The ratio of egg to flour is 1 egg to 3/4 to 1 cup of flour.  We each made some pasta and used 2 eggs and 2 cups of flour.

Make sure you have a clean surface to do this on-and be prepared for a bit of a mess.  Pile up the flour and make a well in the center.

Add your egg or eggs in the middle of the well.  Work the flour in slowly, either using a fork or by hand.  You want to work it so that eventually it comes together as a ball of dough and it’s a bit elastic.  Work in more flour or water as necessary to get the desired consistency.

Once you get it into a nice elastic dough, wrap it and chill at least 15 minutes.  Then you break out the pasta machine and roll out your pasta nice and thin.  We cut out squares and filled them with two fillings: one was a spinach and ricotta cheese filling and the other was a beef filling.  They were so delicious!  Thanks Steph!

 

EM

Back to School, Back to Blogging

Hello all!  I had way too much fun this summer with friends and family-lots of breakfasts (with Jan), dinners, hot pot gatherings, potlucks, BBQs.  In short, I was so busy eating, I never got the chance to blog about it!  So I am going to play catch up.  Starting now, while I should be paying (more) attention in class.

Being back at school means that I have to really plan my meals.  I usually like to cook a batch of something that will last me a week for several lunches or dinners.  One of my favorites is the pulled pork recipe for sandwiches.  Right before I left for school however, I visited my friend Gretchen, and she had made me Chicken Cheese Lasagna!  (she knew I was visiting and made sure to have good food around-all the more reason why I love her so much!)  This is a fairly simple recipe and I think I could make it.  I have yet to attempt it, but I thought I’d put the recipe up because it was so good (I had two giant portions of it…along with some sort of fruit tart dessert).

Chicken Cheese Lasagna

  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (or 2 cups spinach)
  • 2-3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or other cheese)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles (9-10 noodles)
  • 2 cups creamed cottage cheese OR 1 container ricotta cheese (425 g)
  • another 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or mozzarella

Heat margarine in 2 qt saucepan over low heat until melted. Add garlic, onions, and mushrooms, then chicken.

Stir in flour and salt. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth until mixture thickens. Keep adding remaining broth slowly, and then milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

Stir in mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, basil, oregano, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until cheese is melted so that it makes a thick sauce. Let it sit for a while, to continue thickening.

Make three layers: pasta, ricotta, and sauce, then top with the rest of the mozzarella / parmesan.

Cook uncovered in 350°F degree oven until noodles are done, 35-40 minutes (with noodles already cooked,  cook it for 20-30 minutes until nice and bubbly). Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting (to firm up a bit). Makes 12 servings.

DELICIOUS.  Thanks Gretchen!!!

EM

Chicken with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Sauce

A couple weeks ago Jan and I had dinner together (he cooked the entire thing and I sat nearby diligently taking notes and photos), and we had chicken with butternut squash and blue cheese sauce, steamed broccoli with butter and lemon juice, and white rice.  The sauce stole the limelight-it was so easy to make and so tasty!  The blue cheese really adds a nice flavour to the squash.

For the chicken, we had chicken breast with bone and skin on-this adds more flavour.  Saute half a yellow onion in olive oil and add the chicken and brown it in a pan.  Season with some salt and pepper.  After browning, add some vegetable stock, cover, and let the chicken finish cooking.  But of course, the feature of this dinner was the SAUCE for the chicken, so here it is!

Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Sauce

  • about 1/2 of a butter nut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • a cup or so of vegetable stock (just eye it)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • tablespoon of blue cheese

Fry the squash in olive oil until tender.  Add the onion and fry until tender…at this point the squash will start to get even softer.  Add the vegetable stock and season everything with salt and pepper.  Here’s a pic:


Cook a bit longer and mash everything up.  Add the cheese (you can use more or less according to your taste); we used a Danish blue cheese.  Melt it in, and then you’re done!  Serve over the chicken.

I also want to show a pic of the steamer “basket” that was used for the broccoli:

This is one neat kitchen gadget.  The basket folds up to fit whatever pot you use, so if you use a smaller pot, it just folds upwards.  I thought it was cool!  Apparently also very inexpensive and available at Superstore.  Love it!

All in all, a great night and great dinner.  Thanks Jan!

EM

Filipino Breakfast with Jan

Hello everyone!

It’s been a busy month, as I was working and studying for an exam at the same time, BUT I am finally done the exam and can get back to blogging!  Some posts to look forward to include egg-less pancakes, coq au vin, and butternut squash and blue cheese sauce.  Everything tastes excellent, let me assure you that.

This post is about another breakfast I had with my friend Jan, and he cooked a Filipino breakfast.  Unfortunately, no pics because I was not patient and starving so the photos were not good at all.

Our Filipino breakfast consisted of fried eggs (I had mine done over easy), sliced tomatoes, white rice, and a marinated meat that was cooked in a cast iron skillet.  Here is the recipe for the meat:

Marinated Meat

  • Beef round roast, cut thinly against the grain, and smashed to tenderize
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic

Mix ingredients above for marinade and place meat in it and coat thoroughly and leave overnight in fridge.  Fry in a touch of oil.  The meat has a salty-sour taste with a hint of sweetness.  You can play with the marinade so that it is made to your taste.  It was a very filling and delicious breakfast!  Thank you Jan!

EM