Sabtu, 28 Januari 2012

Spaghetti with Egg and Pangritata

When I was little and we had leftover pasta in the fridge,  my mom would always fry it in a pan with lots of butter. She would crack some eggs over it heated everything in the pan and served it with lots of ketchup. We loved the leftover so much that my siblings and I would always fight over them. This dish is every similar but more sophisticated, with herbs, Parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs. And I don't miss the ketchup at all...

Spaghetti with Egg and Pangritata
(adapted from circle-b-kitchen)
serves 4
  • For the Pangritata::
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ⅓ cups coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary
  • zest of two lemons
  • Spaghetti and Eggs:
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-8 large eggs
  •  cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

1.For the pangrita: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, and immediately remove from heat and allow to cool. Mix in lemon zest and set aside.
2.Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to directions on box. (I usually undercook the pasta by about a minute.)
3.Wipe out the skillet from the pangritata, add the olive oil and butter and melt together over medium heat.
4.Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and immediately break the eggs into the skillet.
5.If need be, lower the heat a bit. You want the garlic to cook without burning and the egg whites to set, but the yolks to remain runny.
6.Drain the pasta well, reserving 1 c of the cooking liquid.
7.Add pasta back to the pot, pour over the eggs and all the fat from the skillet, add the parsley and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you do. If you prefer a wetter dish, you can add in some of the reserved cooking liquid.
8.Plate the pasta and eggs, season well with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the grated cheese and then top with the pangritata.

Minggu, 22 Januari 2012

Sticky Pecan Bites

I know Ihave been posting a lot of dessert lately, but these little cinnamon buns
are so good that I just have to tell you about them. And since it is January and pretty cold out, a little cinnamon warmth cannot  do any harm, right? They come together in the time you need to preheat the oven. There is no yeast involved, so the dough doesn't have to rest and they are best when enjoyed warm and straight from the oven.

  • Sticky Pecan Bites
  • (Alice Medrich)

  • 24 Pecan Halves
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (3.5 oz) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 Mini Muffin Pan with 24 cups or 2 Mini Muffin Pans with 12 cups

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan (with 24 cups or 2-12 cups)

Place a pecan half in  each muffin cups, top side down. Combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Make a well in the center. 
Pour the cream into the well. Use a rubber spatula to fold and stir the flour mixture and cream together just until the dry ingredients are entirely moistened and a soft dough has formed; it should not look perfectly smooth. Let the dough rest for 2 to 3 minutes to firm up. 
Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
On a lightly floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll the dough to a rectangle 12 by 7 inches and 1/4-inch thick. Spread the dough with the soft butter, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and the brown sugar, leaving a 1/ to 1/4 inch border. Starting at one long side, roll the dough tightly. Cut the dough crosswise into 24 equal pieces. Place each piece in a muffin cup, cut side up.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until well browned. Immediately turn the cookies out onto a sheet of parchment on a heatproof surface. Serve warm out of the oven.

Minggu, 15 Januari 2012

Curried Indian Meatballs

While making this dish, I tasted the sauce for the first time and since I didn't quite like it I thought I would never make this dish again. But after the sauce simmered for 20 minutes on the stove it totally changed its taste, a little bit sour with a hint of spicyness. In the end I had an incredible aromatic dish, the sauce reminded me a little bit of our German Gulash and the meatballs were juicy and tender even after reheating the leftovers the next day.
I am not sure if this a typical Indian dish, because the Indian flavors were very subtle, but either way it was absolutely delicious.

Curried Meatballs
(Bal Arneson)

  • Meatballs
  • 1 lb. ground meat (pork, beef or veal)
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp*
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • *Can be found at specialty Asian and Indian markets.
  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 green chile, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp*
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine

For the meatballs:

Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, cheese, tamarind pulp, oregano, fennel seeds, salt, and egg in a large bowl and mix well with your hands to combine. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs and set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Fry the meatballs on all sides until browned and then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Keep the meatballs warm.
To make the sauce:
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil and then the garlic and chile. Saute for one minute and then add the bay leaves, garam masala, oregano, turmeric, salt, and black pepper and toast for 10 seconds. Stir in the tamarind pulp and then add the tomatoes and red wine and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the warm meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to coat well with the sauce. Serve the meatballs with rice

Senin, 09 Januari 2012

Nutella Chocolate Tart

January is not really the month for desserts, but I have to tell you about this tart. We were spending some time in Miami over the Holidays and one evening we ordered dessert at a Pizzeria. It was a Nutella Tart and it was so incredibly good- warm, filled with dark chocolate and with a bold Hazelnut taste.  I just had to find a recipe for it! So I started my search and found this tart from Pierre Herme. This tart is delicious because of the three different flavours: on top you have the toasted crunchy Hazelnuts, then a layer of dark chocolate ganache followed by a layer of creamy Nutella.
The tart didn't taste exactly like the one we enjoyed in Miami but it was equally good, so here is the recipe.

Nutella Chocolate Tart 
(Pierre Herme)
For the Sweet Tart Dough (this makes more than you need for this recipe):
2 1/2 sticks, 10 ounces, unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup, 3 1/4 ounces, lightly packed finely ground almond powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean pulp or pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Note:  You will only neeed 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough that this recipe makes for an 8 3/4 inch tart pan.  The book states that making a large quantity of this dough yields the best results.  I saved the rest in the freezer for another use.
Using a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the butter and process, remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.  Process until the butter is creamy.  Add the sugar and blend well.  Next, add the almond powder, salt, vanilla and process until the mixture is smooth, again scraping when necessary.  Add the eggs and process just until blended.  Add the flour and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together.  Stop as soon as the dough forms moist curds and clumps and starts to gather into a ball.  It is very important not to overwork the dough.  The dough will be very soft and pliable if you’ve done this right.
Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces:  3 pieces for 10-inch tarts, 4 for 9-inch tarts.  Or, you can shape it into one large ball and cut off as much as you need.  Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic.  Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days before rolling and baking.  The dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.
To bake:
Butter a tart ring and preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.  Fit the dough onto the bottom and sides of the ring and cut of the excess.  Prick the dough all over with a fork and chill for at least 3o minutes in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to bake the crust, fit a circle of parchment paper or foil into the crust and fill with dried beans or rice.  Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes , until it is just lightly colored.  If it needs more time in the oven, remove the rice/beans and the parchment paper and bake for another five minutes, or until golden.  Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.
For the Filling (Intended for a fully-baked 8 3/4 inch tart shell)
2/3 cup Nutella
4 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
7 tablespoons, 3 1/2 ounces, unsalted butter
1 large egg at room temperature, stirred with a fork
3 large egg yolks at room temperature, stirred with a fork
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup hazelnuts toasted, skinned and cut into large pieces (half the amount is enough)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Spread the Nutella evenly over the bottom of the crust and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter in separate bowls over simmering water or in the microwave.  Allow them to cool until they just feel warm to the touch, about 104ºF.
Use a small whisk to stir the egg into the chocolate, gently and taking care not to agitate the mixture.  You don’t want to beat air into the ganache.  Stir in the egg yolks a little at a time, followed by the sugar.  Stir in the warm butter.  Pour the ganache over the Nutella in the tart shell.  Scatter the nuts over the top.
Bake the tart for 11 minutes.  (I baked mine 20 minutes because I wanted it more set in the middle) The center of the tart will still be a little jiggly.  Remove the tart from the oven and slide onto a rack.  Allow the tart to cool for at least 20 minutes  or until it reaches room temperature.

can be made a day ahead
Serves 6 – 8