Sunday, June 17, 2012

Homemade Pasta

1 pound all-purpose flour
4 whole eggs, plus 1 yolk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons water, sometimes more needed

Put flour on a clean dry work surface or inside a large bowl.  Make a hole in the center of the flour pile that is about 8 inches wide.  Crack the eggs and the yolk into the hole and add the oil, salt, and water.  Using a fork, beat the eggs together with the oil, water and salt.  Begin to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, being careful not to break the sides of the well or the egg mixture will run all over the place.

When enough flour had been incorporated into the egg mixture so that it will not run all over the place when the sides of the well are broken, begin to use your hands to really get everything well combined.  If the mixture is dry, wet your hands and begin kneading with wet hands. Once the mixture has come together, you can begin kneading.  Really stretch the dough, but do not tear it using the palms of your hands.  The dough should be very smooth when done.  It typically can take from 8-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is kneaded, wrap in plastic and let rest for 1 hour.  Do not put in refrigerator if using immediately. You can roll and cut into any shape, but I decided to cut the dough into fettuccine.

When cooking fresh pasta, it usually takes much less time than dried pasta.  Probably about 4-5 minutes instead of 8-10.  Then toss it in your favorite sauce. I used my pasta with garlic and oil and basic tomato sauce recipe. 

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ultimate Chicken Nachos

shredded chicken
sour cream
tortilla chips

2 large chicken breasts
2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined

1 Haas Avocado
1 lime
1/4 of a red onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and deveined

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a small casserole dish, place the chicken breasts and the water.  Put all of the spices and stir around.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat up the oil for the queso.  Finely dice the jalapeno and add to the oil.  Stir and cook until the jalapeno begins to brown.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.  Slowly whisk in the milk and cook on medium heat to thicken the sauce.  Once its thick add in the goat and mozzarella cheese and stir until it melts.  Taste it to check the salt.  Add salt to taste.  Set aside until the chicken is done.

In a small bowl, put in the flesh of the guacamole.  Do this by slicing it across the midline, removing the pit, and scooping out the inside.  Squeeze in the juice of one lime and stir.  I use a fork to mash the flesh of the avocado.  Stir in the diced red onion and the diced jalapeno.  Sprinkle in a little salt and stir.  Set aside.

Once the chicken is done, allow to cool and begin to shred on a cutting board.  Once all of the chicken is shredded, put it back in the liquid in the casserole dish and stir.

On a large platter, pour the tortilla chips and separate into one layer.  Top with the chicken and spread evenly.  You can drizzle with a little of the cooking liquid if desired.  Then top with the queso, making sure it is still warm.  Dollop with sour cream and guacamole and enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chicken with Pesto, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella

4 chicken breasts
1 batch of store bought or home made pesto sauce, for my recipe click here.
4 oz prosciutto
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On a large cutting board, slice each chicken breast into 3 separate chicken cutlets lengthwise.  Make sure to use a sharp knife and to make sure the chicken is very dry as to not slip and cut yourself.

Sprinkle each cutlet with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and roll in the majority of the pesto sauce.  I like to reserve a couple tablespoons for topping later on. Now you have a choice of the way to cook these.  You can either put them on a large cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Or you can grill them on high heat in a large skillet with oil for 5 minutes on each side.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the prosciutto and mozzarella.  Separate the prosciutto into pieces that will fit right on top of the chicken cutlets.  Thinnly slice the mozzarella and lay on a paper towel to drain any excess liquid.

Once the chicken is complete cooking, transfer to a cookie sheet.  If you baked them on the cookie sheet the chicken can just stay on the sheet.

Lay a piece of prosciutto on each chicken breast.  Then lay a piece of thinnly sliced mozzarella so that it completely covers the prosciutto.  Bake in the oven for another 5-6 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.  Serve with extra pesto on the side and enjoy!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
3 garlic cloves
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into bottom of a glass pan.  Place florets into pan with flowery parts up.  Finely chop the garlic cloves and sprinkle over the broccoli. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Then sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the broccoli tops.  Top with the parmesan cheese.  Lightly drizzle the remaining olive oil over the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve and Enjoy!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

7 medium sized or 4 large russet potatoes
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 slices of bacon
garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until tender.  While the potatoes are baking, cook the bacon on a sheet pan for 8 minutes in the oven or until crispy.  Drain the fat and pat with paper towels.  Then chop up into tiny pieces.  Place in a large bowl with the sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, and 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese.  Mix together and set aside.

Once the potatoes are out of the oven, allow them to cool until they can be handled.  Slice each in half and scoop out the middle into the mixture in the bowl leaving a 1/2 inch of the potato flesh inside the skin.  Place the empty skins on a baking sheet and sprinkle the inside with a little salt.  Using a fork, mash the potato with the sour cream and cheese mixture and stir together.  Fill each potato with the mixture and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve and enjoy!

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