Archive for February, 2013

Creamy Penne with Walnuts

I found this recipe on the Internet, though I am not sure where originally. (When looking for it again I found it here but I don’t think that’s where I originally found it.)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (our butter is salted)
  • 6 ounces mild Gorgonzola cheese (we used Cambozola, which is, I think, a mixture of Camembert and Gorgonzola)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (ours was just Parmesan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt (didn’t use because of the salted butter)
  • 1 pound of penne or other tubular pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped

1. Boil noodles as directed. Drain and return to pot.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the Gorgonzola (or Cambozola) cheese and mash lightly with wooden spoon. Stir until melted.

3. Add cream and simmer gently, stirring until the sauce thickens (it should coat the back of your spoon), about 3 min. Do not let boil.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Parmesan) and salt and pepper.

5. Add the sauce and walnuts to the noodles and stir to coat.

Penne with Walnuts

Verdict: The sauce was very creamy and cheesy, but I felt it was a little heavy. I know the walnuts were there to give the recipe a little crunch, but I didn’t think they were needed. It also doesn’t microwave very well; the sauce separated upon reheating.

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Waffles of Insane Greatness

I found this recipe on another food blog.

The original recipe is below. We had a lot of people wanting to eat, so we doubled everything. We made 14 waffles.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Add buttermilk, egg and vanilla.

3. Cook waffles as per instructions on your waffle iron.

Insane Waffles

Verdict: With a name like this, it seems like it was setup to be a disappointment, but these were really good. They were liked across the board. I think they’ve become my favourite waffle recipe.

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Truffles

I got this recipe from the French metro newspaper.

  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 250g semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • Cocoa powder for dusting (probably a couple of tablespoons worth, I forgot to measure how much I used)

1. Heat cream and ginger in a double boiler.

2. Add chocolate and stir until melted.

3. Add butter and stir until melted.

4. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours (ours needed longer to get to a consistency where it could be shaped. After 2 hours it was still pretty liquidy, so it was put back into the fridge while we went out. When we came back hours later, it was good to go).

5. Shape into small balls and place into freezer for 15 min.

6. Roll in cocoa powder. Keep stored in fridge.

Truffles

Verdict: These were nice and chocolaty, but I didn’t really taste the ginger. We made 31 of pretty varied sizes.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 head to 2 cloves of garlic, as per your tastes (we used 4 cloves, because we love garlic)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (we used chicken)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, half-and-half or heavy cream (we used cream)
  • Basil or pesto (as this was optional, we didn’t use)

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Cut tomatoes into smaller chunks and place them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves. Drizzle with oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 1 hour. Set aside to cool a little.

3. Transfer tomatoes, garlic and juices from pan into a pot and blend using an immersion blender. Add chicken stock and sugar. Simmer for about 10 min. Add cream just before serving.

Tomato Soup

Verdict: This was good, but wasn’t as creamy as I was hoping it would be. I think there’s a better homemade tomato soup recipe to be found.

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Two-Potato Pizza

I found this recipe online somewhere. It’s now on the Food and Wine website, but that’s not where I originally found it.

  • 1 pizza crust / dough to make 1 pizza crust (and whatever amount of dusting flour you may need to roll out the dough you use)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 large garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 six inch rosemary sprigs (my sister does not like rosemary, so we used oregano to taste)
  • 1 cup green and black brine cured olives (neither my sister and I like olives, so we did not use)
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced (we used an onion instead)
  • Coarse salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (we used ground black pepper)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (we didn’t use the last 2 tablespoons of this)

1. Preheat oven to 500F. Prepare sheet/stone used to cook pizza.

2. Prepare your dough and transfer to sheet/stone.

3. Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add potatoes and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until barely tender, 1o min. Add garlic and rosemary (or oregano) and cook until garlic is golden and potatoes are golden brown,  10 min.

4. Remove garlic and rosemary (if you used). In a food processor, pulse the garlic, olives (if using) and scallion. Add the mixture back to potatoes. Add salt and pepper.

5. Transfer half the potato mixture to a bowl and mash. Spread mashed mixture over pizza dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Top with remaining un-mashed potato mixture. Brush crust with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

6. Bake for 10 (stone) to 16 min (sheet, though ours needed only about 12 min to be cooked) until golden brown. Drizzle remaining olive oil on pizza and sprinkle with salt (we didn’t do either of these).

Potato Pizza

Verdict: This was a tasty and interesting pizza. In the end my sister and I concluded that it maybe would have tasted better if it had some more toppings, like bacon, and been served with sour cream on top, kind of like a baked potato.

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Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe in the French Metro newspaper.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons 35% cream (we added more, as explained below)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • Icing sugar for sprinkling

1. In a big bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, egg, 35% cream, vanilla and almond extract (the batter ends up being quite dry when the flour is added, so it is much easier with an electric beater).

2. Add flour, baking powder and salt (if using) and beat until smooth.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 400F.

4. Lightly flour workspace and roll out dough to .5 cm thickness (our dough was not coming together at this point so we added more cream which seemed to work).

5. Cut dough into shapes and place on baking sheet.

6. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Bake 4 to 6 min (ours were probably a little thicker than they should have been so they needed closer to 10 min) until golden around the edges.

Sugar Cookies

Verdict: We made 12, though we could have made more, but didn’t continue on because these cookies had no taste.

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