Noodles by Kenichi

Noodles by Kenichi

sauces

There is a new restaurant in town and that is always fun.  And this is great because it is a gourmet fast food place.  I had been seeing the ads in the newspaper and was very curious.
So they say they have “Custom Salads and Asian Inspirations”.  You can build your own salad or choose from a list of local favorites.  You choose your greens, pick “throw ins”, determine your dressing and add protein.  The list of “throw ins” is quite large.  Everything from avocado, tomatoes, fruits, veggies, cheeses and nuts.  They provide a good selection.  And the dressings are interesting, some with an Asian twist.  The proteins are vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

I decided to try the tofu.  They recommended the house baked tofu that is marinated in a special sauce then baked and wok stir fried right before serving.  It was probably the best tofu I have had.   It was really good.  But you could also pick chicken,shrimp or beef.

noodle's salad

tofu

They also have 6 different Noodle bowls.  There were several interesting choices.  But the one we tried was the
Chiang Mai Green Curry.  It had rice noodles, baby bok choy, eggplant, shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots with lemon grass kaffir lime green curry sauce.  It was excellent.  There too you could add protein.  We asked for the beef tenderloin.  It finished the dish nicely.Noodle's soup

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Ricotta and Eggplant stuffed Angelotti

Ricotta and Eggplant stuffed Angelotti

rolled out pasta

Pasta dough
I like the basic recipe that uses 2 eggs for every 1 cup of flour.  You make a well in the flour and add the eggs and a pinch of salt.  Form the dough and knead for about 10 minutes.  Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.  It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  A double recipe should be enough for this dish.
Roll out into sheets or use a pasta roller.  Cut 4 inch circles.  Set aside.

Filling
2 eggplants
1 head of garlic
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggplants and tomatoes in half and drizzle oil over them.  Add salt and pepper.   Wrap garlic head in foil. Roast until lightly browned.  Let cool.  Mix ricotta and parmesan in a bowl.  Dice eggplant pulp, skinned tomatoes and garlic paste.  Add to cheese mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.

Assembly

Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the pasta discs.  Brush egg wash around the edge of the discs.  Fold into a half moon, pinching the edges as you go.  Make sure to get as much of the air out of the Angelotti so they don’t burst.  Set aside.

Place in boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes until done “al dente”.  Serve with your favorite sauce.

tomato sauceAngelotti

Risotto alla Milanese

Shallot

Risotto is a very classic Italian dish.  There are numerous variations.  You can mix it up with different vegetables or proteins.  But by far the most classic interpretation is from Milan.   Rice has a starring role in this recipe and as such, it is important to us the right kind.

peeled shalot

Arborio is a good type to use but the preferred rice is the Carnaroli.  It is plump and releases it’s starch in a uniform manner.  This is what give the dish it’s creamy texture.

rice and garlicrice

The saffron imparts not only color but flavor as well.  Don’t be shocked by the price.  When you think that there are only 3-4 of these strands in a single crocus flower, you begin to understand it’s value.  It is worth it.

Saffron

risotto spoon

Risotto alla Milanese

In a large saucepan, sauté 2 finely chopped shallots and 1 clove of garlic in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until softened.  Stir in  1 cup of rice. Coat rice with the oil and then add 1/2 cup of white wine. Add 2 capsules of saffron.  Stir constantly.  Start adding 5 cups of broth little by little.  Keep adding the liquid until the rice is done and creamy. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve.

risotto plate

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Rustique

Rustique

I can’t cook EVERYDAY… sometimes it is fun to have others cook for me.  So we went to Rustique for dinner.  It was full of people and the ambiance was a buzz.   Here are just a sampling of what we had.

salmon tartare

The salmon tartar was very good.  The capers gave it a fresh taste and the salmon was rich and creamy.  The toast points had a nice touch of garlic that rounded out the dish.

Onion soup

The french onion soup was perfect.  The cheesy top was nicely browned.  It was perfect for a cool night.

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Harvest “Moon”

Harvest "Moon"

 

Happy Birthday–Apios Verdes

October 23rd

Today is my mother’s 81st birthday. If only she were with us, what a party she would have had, if her 80th was any kind of a benchmark.   And it has been a difficult time for all of us.
All of us have decided to celebrate it in our own  ways.  Some have chose to cook some of her favorite foods, some are going out to eat what she would love.   Hmmm Lobster, hamburgers in wine sauce, risotto, pasta …. please share with us what you did.
But  all of her friends and family have remembered her in their own way.
Apios verde, Happy Birthday, Feliz Cumpleaños Mami….from ALL of us

 

Trudy’s Red Bell Pepper Soup

Red Bell peppers
This was a favorite of my mother’s.  It was a recipe given to her by a longtime family friend from Mexico. Trudy is a wonderful hostess.  This is a great soup for a party.   And we Mexicans really love to entertain. The addition of the orange juice makes it very interesting.

Peppers saute

Red Bell Pepper Soup

3 Red Bell Peppers
1 onion
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup milk
1 cup water
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup white wine , optional
dash oregano
dash sage
dash Chicken bullion

Chop onion and peppers.  Sauté until translucent.  Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Can be served hot or cold.

Red pepper soup

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Farmer’s market

A meal is only as good as it’s ingredients.  Simple words that are so true. If you don’t start with something good, how can you expect to make something wonderful.   Farmer’s markets are the epicenter of good food.  They really evoke a slower more holistic time. Childhood memories are provoked.

onions

A walk through a farmer’s market is true inspiration.  What can I make with these beautiful peppers?  How can I use these fabulous tomatoes?  Sheer inspiration.Bell Peppers

Jalapenos

The peppers were plump and juicy.  And there were being roasted right there.  Freshly roasted peppers, what a treat!  How about something different….hmmm…

Huevos con Pimenton

Huevos con Pimenton—-Eggs with Red Pepper sauce

This is a classic tapas dish in Spain.  They are served in beautiful brown clay dishes known as “cazuelas”.

5 roasted peppers, you can use red or green and hot or sweet
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 teaspoon Spanish Paprika
4 eggs
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grated manchego cheese ( can substitute with any good melting cheese)

Saute onions in oil until translucent.  Add garlic, peppers and paprika.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Place in a blender and puree until smooth.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Divide sauce between two ramekins.  Crack two eggs in each dish.  Cover with the grated cheese.
Bake in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes.  Time will vary by ovens so keep an eye on them.  Cook until the egg whites are set and the yolk is still runny.

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Potatoes
Huancaina sauce is a classic Peruvian dish.  There are many was to prepare this, my favorite dish from Peru.  Aji is the famous pepper of the country.  It comes fresh or in a paste.  It can be found at Latin stores or online.

Papas a la Huancaina---Peruvian potatoes

Papas a la Huancaina—Peruvian potatoes

4 medium boiled potatoes, cooled
4 hard boiled eggs,  half for sauce and half for decoration
pitted olives
1 round Queso Fresco or mild white farmer’s cheese
2 cloves garlic
milk
Aji paste to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water, let cool and arrange on a serving platter.  In a blender, make the sauce.  Add 2 hard boiled eggs, cheese, garlic, Aji, salt and pepper and blend with enough milk to form the consistency of a heavy cream.  Pour over the potatoes and decorate with the olives and the sliced eggs.  Serve chilled.

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Empanadas de Manzana

Fall is in the air.  The weather is quite crisp.  It is time for something comforting to the soul.  How about using these wonderful apples in something sweet and filling.


ApplesEmpanadas de Manzana—-Apple Turnovers

2 apples chopped into small pieces
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
your favorite pie pastry
beaten egg for egg wash

Mix apples with juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Roll out pastry and cut into 4 inch circles.   Brush egg wash over edges and fill with apples. Fold pastry over and seal the edges.  Brush with egg wash and place in a 375 oven until brown.

Empanadas

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