Category: recipe

Midterms!

It’s hard to believe that I am almost half-way through this semester!

We have our midterm this week. I personally hate midterms and exams in our practical lab. I get so stressed out because we have to make a three-course meal with a set list of ingredients. I love being able to cook my own dishes at school but I hate being constricted and trapped with a set of ingredients that don’t make sense. We are usually missing some key items that are necessary to make most dishes. In the last semester of my culinary management program, I thought this might be to keep us on our toes, but I have realized its actually just sloppily planned pantry lists that make all us students somewhat crazy. Who designs an ITALIAN exam without the option of using balsamic vinegar, basil, or parmigiano! Crazyness. We were alllowed to bring 2 ingredients that aren’t on the list. We have to be strategic in our choices…I chose to bring finnochio (fennel), because I can use the fronds for garnish and to make a fennel oil, the outer shell and stalks to flavour stock and the bulb for roasting. I also chose to bring mozarella fresca for my antipasti. I heart fresh mozzarella.

Our major protein for this exam is coniglio…yep, rabbit… little rabbit foo-foo! Personally, I like working with rabbit, although it does look a bit like a cat. It tastes chicken-like but sweeter and very tender. We have to prepare an antipasti, a primo and a secondi. I have been experimenting with the ingredients and took some poorly lit photos of my primi and secondi practice plates. They are a bit wonky, but you get the idea.

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Mozzarella

Zucchine Grigliati con la Mozarella Fresca

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Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle

Coniglio Ragu con Pappardelle


(worst photo of a truly awesome dish – recipe below)

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Rabbit Loin in Pancetta with Caramelized Fennel
Lombo del coniglio in Pancetta con finocchio caramellato

(please excuse the terrible looking fennel oil – it looked nice in real life!
also…notice the kidney peeking out in the back!)


Recipe/Ricette

Coniglio Ragu con Pappardelle

Igredienti—Ingredients:

Ragu:

Rabbit legs – 2 hind, 2 fore
50 g pancetta, diced
2 shallots, mirepoix
1 carrot, mirepoix
1 celery, mirepoix
1 leek, mirepoix
3 cloves garlic, paste
500 ml chicken stock
250 ml red wine
.6 kg tomato, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped
Bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
Parmesan, rind and garnish

Pasta:

500 g flour
3 eggs
1 yolk
Pinch of salt

Procedimento—Methodes

  1. Season rabbit legs with salt and pepper. Sear rabbit legs. Remove. Brown pancetta, remove. Set aside.
  2. Add mirepoix and garlic, sauté. Deglaze with red wine. Add rabbit, chopped tomato, stock, bay, thyme, rosemary. Simmer for 1 hour. Remove rabbit legs earlier if necessary. Set aside and let cook slightly before julienning.
  3. Prepare pasta dough. Let rest and roll into sheets. Hand cut pappardelle noodles.
  4. Puree ½ the sauce. Add back in. Reduce slightly.
  5. Add pancetta, rabbit for 5 minutes to warm.
  6. Cook pasta.
  7. Toss together and serve with parmesan and parsley on top.


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Red stalks of glory.


I love rhubarb. My dream is to have a patch of my own one day. Big dreams, big dreams.


Rhubarb is everywhere in the markets right now…and questionably out of season strawberries are everywhere….let’s make a pie!

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Lattice-Topped Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

from Bon Appétit | April 1997

Yield: Serves 8

For crust
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Make crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.


Orecchiette alla Pugliese


This week we studied the region of Puglia. We made semolina orecchiette, or “little ears”, named because..well, they look like tiny ears and the Italian word for ear is orecchio. We prepared the orecchiette dough from semolina flour, a yellow-y durum wheat flour. Our Chef told us we needed to use super hot water to make this dough come together properly. The orecchiette was tossed with rapini, garlic, anchovy, and extra virgin olive oil. Delicious. Simple. Good food. Of course, the dish can be made with store-bought orecchiette as well. No need to burn your hands.

Orecchiette alla Pugliese
Pasta:
300 g Semolina, fine
100 ml Water, hot
Sauce:
200 g Rapini, or spinach, swiss chard
50 ml olive oil
4 anchovies, salted
50 g bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic – mashed
Salt & Pepper
Pasta:
1) Combine semolina and water – knead mixture into elastic dough. Wrap and rest the dough.
2) Break the dough in pieces and roll into strips. Cut into small pieces.
3) Press the pieces into oriecchiette shape by pinching the precut dough between thumb and forefinger to form ear shape. Let them dry in a single layer on a tray.
4) Cook the greens while cooking the pasta in the same water.
5) When cooked – strain both.
Sauce:
6) Saute garlic in olive oil until golden. Add anchovies and cook on very low heat until anchovies begin to break down and melt.
7) Toss the warm greens with the olive oil, garlic and anchovies. Toss with pasta. Add extra virgin olive oil and some extra starchy pasta cooking water if extra moisture is needed. Garnish with bread crumbs.

Nice lemons…

Meyer lemons…what a blessed fruit. A cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, they are a bit sweeter than the regular old pucker inducing lemons and such a lovely colour. The skin is a bit thinner and a bit more yellow, they call to me every winter…eat me!…make me into deliciousness!


So I did.

I have a facebook group called “the Cross Country Baking Club” (CCBC) with a friend of mine who lives across the country in Vancouver. We are obsessive about delicious baking and cookbooks so we decided we would try to bake ‘together’ across the country. So every so often, we post a recipe on the facebook group and take photos and rate our results. This week was my chance to use meyer lemons with a wonderful scone recipe I got from a friend.

Pour a cup of tea, slather with devonshire cream (what a word – slather!), and enjoy.



Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Scones, adapted from Dish Cooking Studio

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 meyer lemon, zested
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup rock sugar, for dusting


*Preheat to 425°

*In bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.

*Add butter pieces, and using fingertips or pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Leave a few large pieces to create flakiness.

*Pour in buttermilk and mix with a fork until ingredients are moistened. Gather dough into a ball, pressing gently until it holds together.

*Turn onto lightly floured work surface and knead briefly, and fold dough in half several times. *Gather into circle. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with rock sugar. Cut into 8 triangles or use round cutter. 
*Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are golden and scones are cooked through.


Roasty & Toasty?

The cold has finally come. I had a miserable day at work. I walked most of the way home. Stopping for a Cherry Bomb latte and chocolate biscotti. My spirits were lifted instantaneously. They have the Wanda’s Pie in the Sky cookbook on display – I think they may use the recipes from the book in store. I swear everything made from that book is amazing. I have yet to be disappointed.

I stopped in at the grocery store for yogurt and came out with a 3 lb chicken, completely out of season organic raspberries, milk, a jalapeno pepper, and crappy grocery store garlic. Isn’t that always the way? Grocery stores are designed to make me impulse buy. Marion Nestle tells it like it is. Preach on, Marion Nestle, preach on.

The heat in my apartment doesn’t seem to be working. So roasting a chicken is the perfect way to make things toasty in here. Roast chicken is my new go-to weeknight meal. I can putter around the house while it roasts and throw in whatever I have to roast along side. Tonight, it’s one lone purple potato and two pieces of butternut squash.

Timer is dinging! Chicken time!

p.s. I’m still freezing, but at least I’m not hungry.