Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lemon Pepper Fettuccine



I love Italian Cuisine.  One of the things I love is fresh pasta.  Making your own pasta is a satisfying way to work with your hands to create something delicious from ingredients you choose from your pantry. This is my first try at making pasta and I think it came out pretty nice.  There are so many ways to make homemade pasta these days, but I wanted to start out by taking a basic pasta recipe and put together some wonderful flavors for my first attempt.  

Kitchen Tools to Make Homemade Pasta
  • My hands ( smile )
  • KitchenAid 2 piece pasta cutter set.  Includes Pasta Roller and Fettuccine Cutter.
  • One of my wine racks to hang the pasta to dry. This tool was a last minute creative drying rack. In my next pasta making adventure, I will have the real thing and that is “Pasta Drying Rack”. 
Basic Pasta Recipe


  • 1 ½ cups (350 grams) Pasta Flour, Unbleached All-Purpose, or Semolina.  (I used Semolina for this recipe.)
  • 3 large eggs @ room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice ( about the juice of 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup grated lemon zest ( about 3 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly milled black pepper

You will need extra flour for dusting your board and pasta roller/cutter.  Also extra 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to make softer pliable, dough that’s easy to roll.

Steps
  
1.     Place flour in the center of your pastry mat or large wooden board or other work surface.  You may also use a large bowl.  Form a flour volcano with a crater or hole in the middle.

2.     Combine eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper in a medium size bowl, blend well then pour mixture into the crater.

3.     With your hands, begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim.

4.     Once the flour has been incorporated and the mixture has formed a mass of dough, then transfer the dough to a floured work surface.

5.     Keep incorporating the flour, turning the dough mass over several times while kneading so that the moist side of the dough is exposed to the floured surface, making sure the flour will be absorbed.  Scrape up and discard any leftover hard bits of dough.

6.     Use the heel of your palm to push the dough down and away, and then fold the edge back over top to keep a round dough ball.  Do this process for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

7.     Now let the dough take a rest for about 30 minutes.






























Now setup your KitchenAid Mixer with pasta roller attachment, then cut your dough into four (4) sections and flatten each section with a rolling pin.  Be sure to keep your working surface dusted with flour.  Now dust your pasta roller with flour and then feed your pasta into the roller.  (You may follow the instruction supplied by the manufacturer.)

Once you complete the rolling of your pasta, then change out the pasta roller attachment with the Fettuccine attachment to make your pasta strips.










Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake



Bring the bold and beloved fresh flavors of lemon and blueberries together to make this wonderful breakfast treat. Great with your coffee or tea.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ¼ cup of regular flour to dust blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoons fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of lemon curd
  • 1 ½ cups of fresh blueberries
Steps

  1. Pre- heat oven to 350° degrees.  Grease and flour 10” tube pan.
  2. In mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sugar ½ cup at a time, creaming well after each.  Then add lemon juice and zest mix well.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each egg.
  5. Add lemon curd and milk to the creamed mixture. 
  6. Combine and sift together dry ingredients and add little at a time to mixture mixing thoroughly until your batter is nice and smooth. 
  7. Place fresh blueberries in a bowl and add flour, coat well then sift excess flour off of your blueberries and add them to your batter.  Fold them in and be careful not to mix too hard.  You want your blueberries to be nice and plump in your cake.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until wooden tooth pick inserted in cake comes out clean; about 55 to 60 minutes.  After baking let cool for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and dust with powder sugar for an extra touch. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pumpkin Risotto



I love Italian cuisine, and one of my favorite dishes is Risotto. A good risotto can be made with Arborio Rice and basically prepared in the same way. Rice coated in butter and Olive Oil, then simmering stock is added one ladleful at a time.  What I love about making risotto is it can be flavored with an endless variety of ingredients. If you love making risotto, you’ll love my Pumpkin Risotto; it’s creamy and full of pumpkin flavor. 

Serving: 4
Prep time: 10
Cook Time: 30 – 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, plus (1 tbsp. for the end process)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ White onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine – (Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 cups Low Sodium Chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Steps

  1. Heat the chicken broth in a medium pan, and keep it simmering until needed.
  2. In medium – large heavy pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter, once butter has melted, then add onions and garlic.  Sauté onions and garlic until translucent/tender.
  3. Add rice, mixing it well to coat it about 1 – 2 minutes.  Continue stirring rice until glossy and onions and garlic start to brown.
  4. Add white wine, raise the heat slightly and cook until the wine evaporates. Then add one ladleful of hot broth, once the rice absorbed the broth then add again. Continue to stir constantly, and then add pumpkin puree and more broth.
  5. Stirring the rice with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Add a little more broth, and stir until rice dries out again, continue stirring and adding liquid a little at a time. After about 20 minutes of cooking time taste rice and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Continue cooking, stirring and adding the liquid until the rice is aldente or tender but still firm to the bite.
  7. The cooking process will take about 20 – 35 minutes, but be patient “good things come to those who wait”. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp. of butter and add cheese, blend well.  Taste again for seasoning. Allow the risotto to rest for about 2 – 3 minutes before serving.  Then garnish with fresh herbs and serve.