Archive for the 'Pasta recipe' Category

28
Jan
11

Shabbat Comfort Food


Last Friday we posted Oyfn Pripetchik… – In the Fireplace… with an unusual but interesting kugel recipe. Today we follow up with a very easy recipe for a great Yerushami Kugel. Truth is, I’ve never been a fan of this type of kugel, the idea of sweet pasta just doesn’t do it for me, but, last Monday at Chef Lévana‘s cooking demo I tasted this and was forced to change my mind:

Yerushalmi Kugel

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin noodles, any noodles (gluten-free will work too!)
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, or a little more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup water

An individual portion of Chef Lévanas' Yerushalmi Kugel

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil the noodles until just barely tender. If you started with long noodles, cut through the whole pile with scissors until you get smaller pieces.
  3. Place in a mixing bowl, and mix in the oil, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, and eggs. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the sugar, agave and water in a small saucepan.
  5. Reduce the flame to low and cook about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns a nice amber color (watch the cooking, don’t let the mixture burn).
  6. Immediately add to the noodle mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan or a greased tube pan.
  8. Bake about 1 hour, or a little longer, until the top looks set.

Delicious warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, and have a gutten Shabbos, Shabbat shalom umevorach!

CS

16
Dec
10

Cooking Pasta: Debunking the Myth


Part of coming of age and the endless struggle for self is the establishment and ascendance of individual truth, honing mind and temperament, discriminating fact from fancy, empirical evidence from legend and myth.

I thought I had arrived in so many ways and then reality hit me like a flung wet noodle against the wall of my existence. We’ll save for another venue all the charming folktales of my youth soberly and maturedly dispensed with. But there I was, sitting pretty on the comfy wine colored couch, reaching for a bleached white conch shell that sits atop a wicker woven basket poised for reminiscence, aside other brilliant priceless colored stones, crystals, odd shaped rocks and shells randomly picked for their momentary significance and tangible recall. As I held the conch to my ear, I heard the voice of my nine year old neighbor and friend – Batya – herself clearly establishing her own unique truth sets, say:

- You know, that’s not the sound of the ocean you’re hearing, that’s just the echo of the air in the shell.

- What??? That can’t possibly be true, I know it’s the ocean, the waves of the very ocean that the shell came from.

I was not going to let this cute but clearly misinformed enfant terrible wreck my personal objects de time machine recall. Of course, we did what sensible people  do in such circumstances, we checked Wikipedia online.

I shouldn’t have, I know it now….. there are certain life mysteries that are best left alone… but there it was, the total deflation of spirit and romance and everything that’s right with the world….”What you are actually hearing is the sound around you vibrating as an echo in the air within the shell.” Who the heck needed to hear that, to know that? Great! Take the technicolor out of my universe… Hey, absolute reality is not all it’s cracked up to be. I know a butterfly flitting it’s wings impacts the climate at  the opposite end of the globe, and I know with the ten percent of my brain operational part of my brain that yawning is contagious, chicken soup cures a cold and that the five second rule applies. So maybe being primordial isn’t such a bad thing… No such thing as fairy dust?!?!?!? P’shaaaaaawww! What a world, What a world!!!

So talking about cooking pasta. Here I was thinking I had reached maximum maturity when I learned that al dente is très chic, that the “if it sticks” rule really does work and that salt in boiling water is a good thing along with a few drops of oil, so that the pasta doesn’t stick. When I really pay attention, I even cover the pot after its come to a boil and let it stay on low simmer.

Anyway, here are a few things I’ve learned since. Feel free to write in and further debunk my myths.

  1. Use a one to four ratio of water to pasta – four parts water to one part of pasta. Pasta needs room to cook.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt for each gallon of water.
  3. Bring it to mighty bubbling boil, and then let it simmer for a minute or two till done.
  4. Don’t add oil… get this: oil makes the pasta slick and then all the wonderful sauces can’t adhere to it.
  5. Furthermore, after you drain the pasta, don’t rinse it. The starchiness too is a binder for whatever you will be adding to your pasta dish. The only exception is when you are making a cold pasta salad, then it is preferable to rinse the pasta first.

See? Some things are worth knowing after all. By the way, that gum I swallowed approaching the shiva house… seven years until it dissolves. Well what you can’t see can’t hurt you, right? Right?

Stir Fry Beef on Penne Pasta (adpated from 6ix Passions)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 lb beef, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 broccoli florettes
  • Mango Salsa
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the penne pasta al dente (cooked through, tender, but still offering some resistance to the bite).
  2. Stir fry beef with Spanish red onion, mushrooms, red peppers and broccoli
  3. Toss on the pasta with mango salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh parsley

Enjoy!

SYR

Stir-Fry Beef on Penne Past

31
Oct
10

Sugar River Cheese Co.


Europeans have long laughed at the pretentiousness of American cheeses (especially kosher ones), but, judging by the latest entries into the field, that situation will soon change. I’ve seen quite a few interesting cheeses at the Pomegranate isles, among them some intriguing flavored ones from the Sugar River Cheese Co. Having tasted these delicious cheeses we just had to contact them and interview Mark Rosen, the company’s President.

I found Mr. Rosen very personable, witty and a true foodie. Besides being a fountain of information on cheese making processes, he also told us some amusing stories about himself, stories that gave us a glimpse into the make up of his love of food and pursuit of quality. That carefully nurtured quest for the best led him to start this company in 2002 with the aim of bringing “natural, terrific tasting, unique, kosher Wisconsin Cheeses to the kosher consumer.” Judging by what we tasted, he certainly succeeded.

The superb tasting Sugar River cheeses we've sampled...

The Sugar River cheeses we’ve sampled were: Parmesan (aged 18 months, my personal favorite), White Cheddar (aged 18 months), White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion, White Cheddar with Chipotle, Prairie Jack with Parsley and ChivePrairie Jack with Green Peppercorns, Monterrey Jack with Jalapeno and Cilantro, Monterrey Jack With Roasted Garlic And Basil (second place award in the Flavored Monterey Jack judging category at the 23rd Annual Competition and Judging by the American Cheese Society‘s (ACS) held July 22, 2006 in Portland, Oregon. The first time Sugar River cheeses ever entered a competition and the first time a kosher cheese ever won!) and Monterey Jack With Tomato And Olive.

SYR, thought this cheeses would go perfectly with some of her favorite pasta recipes. Here’s one she tried which turned out terrific:

SYR‘s Easy Penne Alla Romana

YIELD: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package of penne
  • water to fully cover the pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 chopped garlic
  • 6 chopped pearl onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, cubed
  • 10 shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup oyster mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-15 chopped leaves of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 package Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion
  • Sugar River Parmesan

Aaahh... the aroma, the taste!

Pasta

  1. In a medium size pot pour in water to two thirds height (enough to cover the pasta).
  2. Add the penne and cook until it is al dente (still firm, not hard).

Vegetables

  1. Pour the oil into a medium shallow pan.
  2. Sauté the chopped garlic and onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes when the above show some golden brown.
  4. After 30 seconds add the zucchini and mushrooms.
  5. Let it all cook for 1 minute and add basil and parsley.
  6. take off fire after 2 more minutes.
  7. Add mixture to drained penne

Cheese

  1. Cut the Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion into small cubes.
  2. Add the cubes into the mixed penne and vegetable. Continue mixing until cheese is mostly melted.
  3. Sprinkle with shavings of Sugar River Parmesan.
  4. Serve while still hot.

Please remember, by using the 18 month aged Parmesan you have to wait six hours before you can eat meat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, Enjoy!

CS

11
Oct
10

It Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore


As a kid I used to love macaroni & cheese, my kids loved/love it, so do my grandkids AND… I still like it! Looking at one my favorite Chef’s blog (Chef Laura Frankel), Laura’s Kosher Kitchen, I came across her adult version of a lifelong favorite:

Macaroni and Cheese

Let me have it, let me have it! (Photo by: Elle239 on BlissfullyDomestic.com)

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients

  • 1 pound macaroni or favorite pasta shape
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 shallot, minced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced finely
  • 2 cups of milk (I use whole milk for this)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese-grated (I use White Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 cup Emmentaler or Swiss cheese-grated
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup bread crumbs-Panko* is perfect for this
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes depending upon size of pasta). Drain and set aside.
  2. Place a large sauté over medium low heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sweat the vegetables until they are very soft (about 2 minutes). Add flour and stir together. Cook the mixture for several minutes to remove the raw flour flavor.
  3. In a separate pan heat the milk until simmering. Add all at once to flour mixture. Whisk to prevent lumps. Add the hot sauce and cook until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
  4. Stir sour cream with cooked pasta. Add cheese mixture and stir to combine. Place in a lightly greased casserole.
  5. Stir bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly and golden (about 30 minutes).

As Chef Laura explains in her intro to this dish:

Use the best quality cheese you can find-do not skimp and by all means, have some fun with it and try your favorite cheeses. I have made this dish with a sprinkling of Blue cheese for an adult version. I also have substituted whole wheat pasta instead of the traditional semolina pasta and no one complained. Attention all comfort food cravers-Skip the box and go for the good stuff-we are after all adults even if we need a bit of comfort now and then.

After a hard, tiring day at work, on any cold day, I find that macaroni and cheese just warms one up as it recharges the batteries…

Enjoy!

CS




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