pasta

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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I always  wondered why leeks are such an underrated vegetable ?
Leeks look good, taste good, are healthy, available year-round and very cheap economical 🙂
When I was a kid, braised leeks were a common side dish on most restaurant menus. I have NOT seen leeks on any menu for years 😦
So as usual, if I have a specific food craving, I have to take care of it myself. To up the ante, instead of just featuring leeks as a side dish, I made it an equal partner to the gnocchi in this dish.
And what a great dish it is !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add eggs, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into a strainer. Saute in melted butter.
Serves four.
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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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Preparation :
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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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So this is what happened last night –
I was working on this post for ChefsOpinion.
While processing the pics from the day’s dinner, I came across this sign of love (I did NOT arrange this before I took the pics).
Not only does it look like a heart, it also resembles two stylized swans heads and necks, an image we use often in food decoration.
What are the odds ?????
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Bon Appétit !   Love is Good !
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P.S.
It would have been even more awesome if it would have happened on the 14th (Valentines Day),
but then certainly nobody would have believed that it happened by happy chance 🙂 
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  Chefsopinion
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Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers And Gorgonzola

Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers, And Gorgonzola

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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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Preparation :
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms


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Here  is another simple, hearty and delicious dish that I prepare often, since gnocchi and broccolini are some of my favorite ingredients to a happy meal.
Add cheese, mushrooms, butter and pangrattato and you’ll end up with the dish pictured here 🙂
However, if you are not a fan of any of these ingredients – just nix any one of them, or replace them with something you prefer to the original – shrimp instead of mushroom, another pasta instead of gnocchi , another vegetable instead of the broccolini, etc.
Let your imagination, wallet and available time be the guide to your pasta of the day, while using the one featured here as your inspiration 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Broccolini  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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End Of The Month Noodles

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While  we like to believe that most folks nowadays can afford any food they like, this could not be further from the truth.
Since the beginning of time, providing nourishment for oneself and ones family has always been and still is an important part and often a struggle of the majority of people around the world, although we usually are ashamed of admitting that it can be hard to feed our-self and our loved ones on a level we would love to maintain at all times, especially the good folks who live on a monthly income. Sometimes, towards the end of the month, it can be a bit difficult to keep the excitement for the next meal going, when the purses get lighter and lighter and the freezer, fridge and cupboards are getting emptier and emptier as the month stretches toward the next payday. Many will just give-up at this point, believing that a meal without meat or seafood is substandard and not worth being happy about. This opinion is of course absolutely misguided, especially since there are many food groups besides meat and seafood which are full of protein and nutrition, which can be prepared to be most attractive and yummy.
However, there are also lots of people out there who really love any type of food, no matter what its consists of, as long as it is great to look at, tasty, filling and nutritious. And sometimes, one just gets tired of the usual stuff and opts for something like the meatless dish featured here (as I did today).
To prepare such a meal is super easy, all you need is love, fantasy and “the spirit”, especially in a time when you can search for anything on the net and get a variety of answers within a split second. For a good example, please click on the “Mamapedia”  link below)
To prepare a successful “End Of The Month Dish”, you can use any kind of pasta/noodles/starch, any kind of vegetables, mushrooms or no mushrooms, any type of seasoning (curry, tomato sauce, reduced chicken stock, hoisin, etc), any thing you have available or anything which is economic to purchase, as long as it comes together as a wholesome meal.
And of course, you don’t have to be broke to enjoy a tasty dish like this!
But then, as the end of the month draws closer…………… 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  End Of The Month Tips  on  Mamapedia
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Click here for  Non-Meat/Seafood  Protein Sources
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Click here for more  Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
IF you have a sense of humor, you might want to click here to see how they make ketchup on another planet
 🙂
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End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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 End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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Preparation :
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Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are much more delicate and fragile than their wheat noodle counterparts. This actually makes them so easy to prepare that we hardly think of it as cooking.

Place all your rice noodles in a deep mixing bowl, trying to snap as few of them as possible as you remove them from the package (always a challenge for us). Bring a good amount of water to boil. Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged.

Every minute or two, give the noodles a stir to loosen them up. When they are completely limp, give them a taste to see if they’re cooked through. The thread-like vermicelli noodles used in spring rolls will cook through in just a few minutes. The flat rice noodles might take upwards of ten minutes depending on thickness. Pay attention and test the noodles frequently because they’ll become mushy if they overcook.

Once the noodles are tender, drain them and run them under cool water to stop the cooking. Toss them with a bit of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other if you’re not going to use them right away.

More Tips:

  • If the noodles will be used in a stir-fry dish like Pad Thai, you definitely want to under-cook them a bit. They will absorb more moisture and cook the rest of the way through once in the stir fry. If your noodles are perfectly cooked to start, they will turn to mush in the stir fry. Trust us, we’ve done that more times than we can count!
  • If you’re making a soup, you can cook the noodles directly in the broth. Add them just before serving and monitor closely to make sure they don’t over-cook.
  • Even with a bit of sesame oil, the noodles still tend to clump up after you drain them. They will loosen again once you mix the noodles into your dish .

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PORK AND NOODLES IN TWO PARTS – “PART TWO”

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Click here for  “Pork And Noodles In Two Parts – Part One”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Well  dear friends, here now is part two of “Pork And Noodles In Two Parts”.
As I’ve explained in part one,  “Crisp Yi Mein Noodle Pillow With Fiery Chile Pork” was not planned to exist in its final form, but I was glad it came about, because it was truly a beautiful, delicious dish I would not want to have missed.
It just goes to show that great food can be had by using simple leftovers, as long as one adds a bit of creativity and lot’s of love 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I like some of my chili dishes’ heat level to the point when the first few bites actually almost hurt, only to then morph into bliss full near-numbness and delightful tingling of the taste bud’s.
If you are less hard-core in the spice-department, adjust the heat level of this dish (or any other) by adding less chili paste.
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Crisp Chinese Noodle Pillow With Chile Pork

Crisp Chinese Noodle Pillow With Chile Pork

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Crisp Chinese Noodle Pillow With Chile Pork

Crisp Chinese Noodle Pillow With Chile Pork

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Preparation :
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Potato And Onion Pierogi With Grape Tomatoes And Cracked Black Pepper In Beurre Noisette


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Pierogi  or  Vareniki   are half circular dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed (singularly or in various combinations) with mashed potatoes, cheese, farmer’s cheese, bryndza, cabbage, sauerkraut, meat, mushrooms, or other ingredients depending on the cook’s personal preferences. Dessert versions of the dumpling can be stuffed with a fresh fruit filling, such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, peach, or apple; stoned prunes are sometimes used.
Mashed potatoes mixed with farmer’s cheese and fried onions is a popular filling in Poland and Ukraine. In Poland this variety is called Ruskie pierogi. A popular filling for pierogi in Canada is mashed potatoes mixed with grated cheddar cheese .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more info on  Pierogi,  Vareniki  and  Pelmeni
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Click here for a link to the above pictured   Pierogi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Beurre Noisette
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P.S.
If the tiny black spots in the butter bother you, strain the beurre noisette after browning through a cheese cloth,  then  saute the veggies and the pierogies.
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Ingredients :

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Method :

Saute onion in butter until translucent.
Stir into the mashed potatoes, add grated cheese and yogurt,
season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix well.To make the dough, beat together the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder; stir into the sour cream mixture,
mix well and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until firm and smooth.
Divide the dough in half, then roll out one half to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut into 3 inch rounds using a cutter or drinking glass.Place a small spoonful of the mashed potato filling into the center of each round.
Moisten the edges with water, fold over, and press together with a fork to seal.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough and filling.Cook in boiling saltwater until dough is done, about 4 to 5 minutes,
depending on the thickest part of the dough. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain.
Saute in butter, duck fat, chicken or pork schmaltz to your liking – soft without color, lightly browned or browned and crisp.
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Preparation :
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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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This  dish is one of my  “go to”  dishes when contemplating endlessly without resolve in my mind what I will cook for the next meal.
Although I am a sucker for real curry, pasta sautéed in curry powder and “stuff” is something I can eat happily any time of the day, as often as twice a week.
Usually the basic ingredients are items I have always stocked in my fridge, freezer or cupboard:
Pasta, beef, shrimp or chicken, any type of vegetables, curry powder, a bit of kecap manis, chili paste, soy sauce or maggi seasoning, onion or scallion, eggs and herbs.
An added bonus to this dish is that it reheat’s wonderfully. (Some say it’s even better when re-heated) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Curry  on  ChefsOpinion
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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Preparation :
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Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi? Check!
Almonds? Check!
Brown Butter? Check!
Grape Tomatoes? Check!
Brussels Sprouts? Check!
Parmigiano Reggiano? Check!
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Wonderful, Beautiful , Tasty Dish? Check! Check! Check!
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
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Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pasta With Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew-Pesto And Ricotta

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Question : Who love’s a bright-green, traditional, heavenly aromatic basil pesto?
Answer :    Just about everybody does, that’s who. (Including myself)
However, for my very own personal taste, I prefer to pair traditional pesto with light and airy gnocchi, while I love to marry a rustic pasta like penne rigate, rigatoni, farfalle or bucatini with a more complex pesto such as this Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew-Pesto.
I hope that the Italian purist’s out there will forgive me and maybe even agree with my opinion that a non-traditional pesto such as this Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew-Pesto can elevate a simple pasta to even greater culinary bliss than a one-note basil/pine pesto nut will ever be able to do. In my humble opinion, anyway……. 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Pesto on  ChefsOpinion
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Pasta With Sundried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

Pasta With Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

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Pasta With Sundried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

Pasta With Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

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Pasta With Sundried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

Pasta With Sun-dried Tomato/Cashew Pesto And Ricotta

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli In Tomato Sauce, Aji Amarillo And Pangrattato

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli In Tomato Sauce, Aji Amarillo And Pangrattato

Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli In Tomato Sauce, Aji Amarillo And Pangrattato

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After  three relaxing days of mostly doing nothing, today I decided to spend a bit of time in the kitchen and treat myself to a wonderful dish I absolutely love, but which, because of the space-constraints in my tiny kitchen, I don’t prepare often enough.
It gives me great pleasure to make fresh pasta, but in a small workspace the flour needed to dust the surface while rolling and kneading the dough can be a bit messy 😦
However, today the craving for this dish won against the aversion to mess and I went ahead and prepared what must be one of the best pasta dishes to ever come out of my (tiny) kitchen 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for Pangrattato-Instructions  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for Tomato Sauce Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Salsa Aji Amarillo:
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Ingredients :
3 oz queso fresco
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp garlic paste
4 ají peppers (seeded and deveined)
1/2 teaspoon huacatay paste
4 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp raw peanuts
kosher salt, to taste
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Method :
Chop peppers, onion, saute in 2 tblsp olive oil until soft. Put sauteed vegetables and all other ingredients into a blender, process until creamy and smooth. Check/adjust seasoning.
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Pasta Dough :
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Ingredients :
2 1cups A/P flour
3 -4 eggs (depending on size)
Kosher salt to taste
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Method :
Sift the flour onto the work surface, make a well in the center
Add the eggs, one at a time, add the salt.
Mix the eggs, then add a little flour at a time from the well, until all the flour has been used.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding flour if dough is too sticky.
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Filling :
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Ingredients :
1 cup ricotta cheese, softened
2cup pumpkin, peeled, finely diced, cooked tender, drained, cooled
1cup fresh-grated parmesan cheese
1 whole egg, beaten
fresh-grated nutmeg, kosher salt salt and cayenne pepper to taste

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Method :
mash pumpkins and ricotta, add all other ingredients, mix well
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Ravioli :
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Method :
Roll pasta into thin sheets, cut into wide strips, brush edges lightly with water
Add filling at equal distance
Fold over the sheet of pasta, squeeze-out air
Cut out the individual ravioli shapes using pastry cutter or shape cutter, press with a slightly smaller scalloped ring to give a “crimped” appearance
Cook 5-7 minutes in boiling water, depending on the thickness of the dough and filling
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Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli In Tomato Sauce, Aji Amarillo And Pangrattato

Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli In Tomato Sauce, Aji Amarillo And Pangrattato

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