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Posts Tagged ‘chicken stock’


Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

This was an incredibly easy weeknight dinner after a week of long and involved meals. You can also potentially use up holiday leftovers, since I pre-roasted the squash the day before and added the mashed squash right at the end. It still has all the holiday flavors, but it’s great all winter long.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1/2 butternut squash

2 cups arborio rice

zest and juice of 1 orange

3 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, warmed in the microwave or on the stove (you could substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 cup grated parmesan

Roast the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes on a baking sheet with some of the olive oil brushed over it. It will become soft and you can scoop out the flesh. Mash up the squash well.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Once they have softened, add the rice and allow to toast for a minute until they start to look a little translucent. Add the white wine and allow to cook down. Add the thyme and a little chicken stock. Continue to add stock slowly as it cooks away. It should have enough liquid to just cover, about the consistency of oatmeal.

When the rice is almost al dente, add the orange juice and zest along with the mashed squash. Stir to combine and allow to cook together for the last few minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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I’m a big fan of quinoa because it reminds me of pasta but it’s actually a seed so it’s healthier. You can basically treat it as you would any small pasta and it works, although my favorites are either mushroom-based or citrus-based. When I saw these beautiful snap peas at the farmers market, it seemed like a natural fit for a healthy Sunday lunch.

Quinoa with Snap Peas and Mint

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)

1/2 cup white wine

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1.5 cups snap peas

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Saute the onion and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil until they soften. Season with salt. Add the quinoa and allow to toast for a minute. Add the chicken stock and wine and let cook until the quinoa softens. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and honey and stir through. Add the snap peas and cook for the final minute. Top with the mint and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil when you serve it.

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It’s that time of year where everyone goes crazy over ramps. I tend to like them best in pastas and risottos or with eggs, but I decided to try them in this soup. It’s the perfect spring soup, which I like to leave a little chunky by using my immersion blender. If you can’t get ramps, leave them out or substitute some garlic or onion. Either way, enjoy a little bit of spring!

In other news, it’s my birthday and we’re going to Puglia next week! Get ready for some new Italy-inspired recipes!

Asparagus, Ramp and Leek Soup

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

6 ramps, chopped

3 leeks, washed well and chopped

2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade, but feel free to use your favorite or substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon minced chives

salt and pepper to taste

squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil (optional)

Combine the asparagus, leeks, and ramps in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter and season with salt and pepper. Saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Off the heat, carefully blend with an immersion blender. Add the chives and serve. Add a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil if you would like.

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I love making lasagna when I’m going to have people over because I can hang out with people instead of standing over the stove the whole night. It’s also just great comfort food, and it makes me feel better whenever I’m a little down (almost as much as a delicious grilled cheese, especially when it’s made for me….). I’ve made roasted carrot and butternut squash lasagna and regular meat lasagna but mushroom lasagna is the most likely to make everyone happy. And it’s just so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Who doesn’t love a good make-ahead pasta?!

Mushroom Lasagna

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Marsala wine (you can substitute Sherry or any other wine, but Marsala is best)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

2 cups grated Italian fontina

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella

1 cup basil leaves

1 package lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon truffle butter (optional)

Butter a lasagna pan and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water about half the time specified on the package. They should be pliable but not cooked through. Remove to a sheet tray with some olive oil so they don’t stick.

Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a frying pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Once everything has softened, deglaze the pan with the Marsala. You can leave a little liquid and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a sauce pan and allow to brown. It will start to look like sand. Add the milk and whisk together. Add the chicken stock and allow to thicken. You want it slightly thick but not so much that you can’t pour it. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the parmesan and stir to combine and melt.

Start to layer the lasagna with a layer of noodles, then a layer of the mushrooms and then a layer of the bechamel sauce. These should be thin layers. Add a sprinkle of the fontina cheese and a couple basil leaves.

Continue with the layers until you use everything up and make sure to finish with a layer of pasta. I like to reserve a little bechamel to pour on top so that the top layer stays nice and soft. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina, parmesan, basil and the mozzarella. If you would like, you can add some pieces of truffle butter to the top to help it brown and enhance the mushroom flavor.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until it starts to brown on top and get bubbly. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before eating so that they layers can cool a little and set up.

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I always thought I didn’t like tuna noodle casserole until college. We had a wonderful southern cook for a few weeks who introduced me to this delicious variation on mac and cheese. I like to think the tuna gives it more nutritional value, but this dish is not about being healthy. I go to this when I’m in need of some cheesy comfort food, like I was this week. The creamy, cheesy sauce along with the flavorful mushrooms and crunchy crust on top make this one of my favorites. There’s truly nothing better.

I like to use Italian tuna in olive oil– it’s generally about twice as expensive as the American kind, but it’s so much more tasty. And the texture is more like actual fish. Try it if you haven’t, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1/2 box small pasta such as egg noodles, mini ziti, mini shells, etc

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/4 cup Marsala wine or white wine

1 jar or can tuna in oil with oil drained out

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 cup cheddar, grated

1 cup parmesan, grated

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

truffle butter (optional)

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to box instructions but stop about 5 minutes early and drain.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they have softened. Add the rosemary and toss through. Add the wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan and cook until the paste starts to brown. Add the milk and whisk so that there are no lumps. Add the chicken stock and whisk again. Add the mushroom mixture, the tuna, nutmeg, and about 3/4 of the cheeses. Reserve the rest of the cheese and combine with the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir through. Pour into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs mixture. If you have some truffle butter, you can dot the top with little bits of it. You may want to reserve it and add before serving as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get bubbly and browned on top.

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As part of my pre-Thanksgiving feast, I made homemade roasted butternut squash ravioli and I hand-rolled the pasta. Of course, I ended up with a lot of filling and I was tired of rolling out the pasta sheets. So, instead of making extra ravioli I made some cannelloni later on. Cover them with a white sauce with blue cheese, and they’re delicious. I wish I had more leftovers. (I made the original filling vegetarian, but this is how I prefer it…)

Roasted Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Blue Cheese

1 butternut squash, chopped

6 sage leaves

3 amaretti cookies

1 cup mascarpone

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white wine

3 ounces blue cheese such as Stilton

1 container cannelloni shells

Roast the squash at 375 degrees after seasoning it with salt and pepper for about 45 minutes. Let cool and add to a food processor with the sage, amaretti, mascarpone, stock, half the nutmeg, and parmesan. Blend together and taste for seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook the cannelloni in salted water until they are about half-cooked. Remove to an oiled baking sheet to cool. Stuff with the filling.

In a saucepan, combine the butter and flour and cook for a couple minutes. Add the milk and whisk until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the wine, blue cheese and remaining nutmeg. Season with salt. Spoon a little onto the bottom of a flat baking dish and line up the stuffed cannelloni in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and make sure they are covered. You can grate some additional parmesan over the top if you wish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

 

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Arancini are a traditional bar snack in Italy and they are usually made earlier in the day and sit at room temperature on the bar until they are eaten. I usually don’t get around to making them because I rarely have leftover risotto. In fact, for my party I made a whole batch of risotto just to make these. Be warned, they do take a bit of work and I probably won’t make them in such a large batch again but they are great. With some homemade marinara, they’re a perfect, filling snack.

Arancini

1/2 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch saffron

2 cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup pecorino, grated

2 eggs

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, and saffron for a minute. Add the rice and toss in the oil to coat and toast for a few seconds. Add the wine and reduce. Add the chicken stock as the liquid gets reduced in stages. Season to taste. Once the rice is al dente, let the risotto chill until cold. Add an egg and the pecorino and mix together. Roll into small balls and refrigerate at least an hour. In separate bowls, place the flour, 1 egg beaten with a splash of water, and the panko. Dip the balls into the flour, then the egg, then the panko. They should be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Put the rest of the olive oil in a pan and fry the balls, rotating them on each side as they brown. They are cooked already, so you really just need to brown them.

Marinara

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 carrot, grated

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the oregano and carrot and cook for a couple minutes. Season with salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender if you wish.

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