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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Il mio cibo preferito รจ Italiano!

pic of finished dish soon! bad lighting right now!

(prep time 45 mins)
(serves 2-3 ppl

I think the Italian's have nailed it!
I LOVE pasta!
I have been wanting to make raviolis for a long time now! Finally today I was able to get these lovely fresh pasta sheets from De Laurenti in Pike place market. They had three different kinds plain, spinach and pumpkin! I got two plain and one spinach.

I wanted something with Gorgonzola cheese and a brown butter sauce. So I searched the net and the first one that shows up is a recipe by Emeril Lagasse. How perfect is that? It isn't very often that you find exactly what you want on the first link that appears. I think he is a great chef and wouldn't mess with his recipe but I was short on some ingredients so this is a variation of Emeril's. Here is a link to the original source.
And I should prolly mention that De Laurenti also has some mouth watering pasta recipes on their website!


Gorgonzola cheese 1/2 cup
Ricotta cheese 1/4 cup
Philadelphia cream cheese 1/4 cup
Garlic powder 1/4 tsp

Mix all these ingredients together with a fork until they are smooth (small little bumps are OK). Gorgonzola needs a little work the other two cheeses are very soft and mix effortlessly.


First I folded the pasta sheets gently like paper to make marks for equal size boxes.
Then I used the back of my knife to gently draw along the fold lines to see each box clearer (you can see the lines in the picture below). I did that on all pasta sheets.
Then I smeared a little of the cheese mixture right in the middle of each box.
Leave a little space on all four sides of each box so that it can be sealed.
Moisten the edges (all the bare parts of the pasta that you see in the picture) with a little water, use your fingertip.
Lay another pasta on top and press along the edges to seal and then cut with a knife or pasta cutter. I like cutting with a knife because I feel the straight edges look more rustic!
You have just created cheese filled pillows called raviolis :-)
I pinched the sides of each to make sure it was sealed before boiling.

Boil a pot full of water and salt.
Bring it to roaring boil and gently drop your raviolis in one by one.

Fresh pasta cooks very quick. Boil for 8 mins, drain, your raviolis with be perfectly el dente!


I have to admit this sauce doesn't sound very healthy :-)
However once in a while should be fine.

Butter 3-4 Tbs
Sage 1-2 leaves
Flour 1/4 tsp

Heat a non stick pan.Add butter and sage and melt over med high heat until it turns dark brown in color. It takes less than 2 mins for butter to reach this stage so keep an eye on it and swirl your pan once a while.
Sprinkle some flour in the hot butter.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour over raviolis, toss!
Buon appetito!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Shish Tawook

With buttery wild rice and grilled red onions!

This is a very Arabic recipe for grilled chicken kebobs.
I used a dried herb called Zaater to flavor this. You can find this easily in any speciality store. Zaater is milder but very similar to Thyme. You can substitute dried Thyme but cut the amount in half.

(prep time 30 mins + overnight marinating time)
(serves 2 ppl)


Boneless skinless chicken thighs 1 1/2 lbs
Heavy cream 1/4 cup
Fresh lime juice 1/4 cup
Sumac 1 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Onion powder 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Zaater 1 Tbs (heaped)

(this will not be added in the marinade. Will be sprinkled on the chicken just before grilling)

Cut the chicken meat in 2" cubes.
Mix all the ingredients (minus the salt) in a bowl.
Marinate the chicken overnight or at least 2 hours in this mixture.
Before grilling make sure the meat is room temp.
Skewer the meat on a bamboo stick. (Its a nice practice to soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 mins to prevent burning)
Season with salt and grill for 20 mins or until cooked. Turn sides to ensure even cooking.

Marinated grilled onions

Red onion 4-5 thick sliced rings
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Chili flakes 1/2 tsp
Salt (added just before cooking)
Marinade the onions in the above ingredients overnight or at least 2 hours.
Season with salt before cooking.
Grill alongside the chicken kebabs.

I served these with wild rice which I prepared according to package instruction. I used 3 Tbs of butter for a cup of rice.
I feel some Hummus would have been nice with this as well!
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Sunday, November 1, 2009


So easy!

As Italian as it may sound, Strombolis were born in Philadelphia right here in the US of A.
It took me 10 mins to put this one together and I was done!
The traditional way would be use dough similar to french bread. And don't get me wrong. I would normally make the dough from scratch but I couldn't resist the sheet of puff pastry I had in my freezer nearing its expiration date!
Its basically bread layered with different meats and cheeses rolled up and baked.
The combination of meats and cheeses are endless!
I kept mine fairly simple to just 3 ingredients.

(serves 2)
(prep time 10 mins bake time 40 mins)


I rolled out my puff pastry over a lightly floured surface.
Then I layered slices of Pastrami all over the dough. Leaving 1/3" space from the edges.Then slices of smoked Gouda... yum yum.
I used close to 1/2 lbs of Pastrami. And 4 oz of smoked Gouda.
No need for any condiments.
The Pastrami had a nice peppery crust.
No need for any dipping sauce.The Gouda melts so gooda. (I know this is a cheesy line but since we are talking about cheese why the heck not)
Tuck the sides in and roll it up like a log.
Make a few vent cuts on top.
Paint some egg wash over it.
This is now ready for the oven.
Bake for 30-35 min (or until golden brown) in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.
Let it sit for 10 mins before slicing.
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