Tag Archives: cooking

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

19 Dec

I saw this recipe on the food network, one of Glada De Laurentis’s recipes. It looked so good in the pictures and the idea of making my own tortellini was challenging and exciting because i’ve never done it before. It was actually a really easy recipe! If you have the time to stand and make countless tortellini, its worth the effort.

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

Tortellini:

  • 1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package small wonton wrappers

Brown Butter Sauce 

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Now you’re probably thinking, what in the world is Herbs de Provence? Well, its a mixture of herbs commonly used in french cuisine. I found an awesome Herb de Provence Vinagrette in Publix, used it instead, and the pasta came out equally as delicious.

Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the tortellini, lay out wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used.

(The tortellini can be formed, frozen, and transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)

To complete our pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.

Then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Easy… and enjoy =) I know we did!

-M

Chicken Marsala

30 Jul

This recipe is a pretty common dinner in my family that i’m proud to share – a personal favorite of mine, a 45 minute meal, and so yummy.

Ingredients
1.5 lbs of Thinly Cut Chicken Cutlets
12 oz of Sliced Mushrooms
All-Purpose Flour
Marsala Wine
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Ground Pepper

Directions
Coat the chicken cutlets front and back with ground pepper. Next, on a non-stick skillet warm up oil on medium-high heat. Dip the chicken cutlets into flour, covering them front and back with flour, then place the cutlets on the skillet flipping them once or twice so that they are lightly cooked on each side. Meanwhile, melt the 1 tbsp of butter in a deeper skillet. Once the chicken is done in the skillet, transfer the chicken to the other skillet and cover the chicken with the mushrooms. Cover the chicken with the marsala wine. Then add water so that it covers the mushrooms. Let the mixture come to a boil, lower the heat to low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Make any kind of pasta and serve over pasta!

 

Marsala in deep skillet (done)

 

Dinner is served! I used Bow Ties this time =)

M.S.

Apricot Glazed Spareribs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Corn

25 Jul

Idk if anyone has noticed by now but I don’t have a grill so in my kitchen i’ve been using the broiler for things that usually have to be on the grill. Dave actually bought me a foreman yesterday so maybe i’ll make use of it soon – I can’t believe i didn’t have one in the first place!

I made these Spare Ribs, for about a pound and a half of meat it was like $4.50 at Publix and the butcher helped me out – so i got excited to make a good glaze for these ribs. I found this awesome recipe for Apricot Lamb Chops, and i was intrigued by the fact that they used fruit for it and it seemed like a low-fat way to glaze meat. It came out really awesome. Here is the recipe that i did:

Ingredients (Serves 2):
1.5 lbs of meat – Spare Ribs (or honestly, any meat to your liking)
1 large potato, boiled and sliced
I used mini carrots – about 8, sliced in half
Corn (I used canned!)
2 cloves of garlic crushed – for ahead of time meat tenderizing
Vegetable Oil
Garlic Powder
Salt, Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of Fresh Rosemary Leaves

Glaze:
1 Cup of Apricot Preserves
2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Ginger
Pinch of Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Salt

Directions:
Ahead of time, in a large sauce pot, combine the garlic and meat into the pot. Fill the pot up with water just so that it covers the top of the meat. Over high heat, allow the meat to come to a boil, as soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 hour to make the ribs nice and tender. At this point, the fatty composites will rise too – and come to the surface of the water.

Meanwhile, for the glaze – combine all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, but only let it boil for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small high heat-worthy bowl, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to glaze the meat.

Also, slice the potatoes and bring them to a boil, chop the carrots in half also and just to make them nice and tasty – I put them in a pan and covered them with some oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and I sprinkled rosemary on top. I set this aside until I was ready to make the rest of the dinner.

Put the oven to Broil. After the simmering is done, glaze the meat LIGHTLY with the apricot mixture, leaving a lot left for later coverage. Place the lightly brushed meat in the oven, along with the pre-prepared veggies for the side. Let it broil for about 4-5 minutes. Toss the carrots and potatoes around in the pan to make sure they’re getting nice and soft. Take the pan with the meat out, turn the meat to the other side, and glaze the other side. This time, leave enough glaze just for dipping during dinner. Be careful now – let the meat broil for another 5 minutes – checking frequently to make sure that the glaze isn’t burning on the side of the pan. That happens sometimes, if it does, take the meat out, and try to remove the residue so it’s not burning anymore and put it back in the oven. Finally, Serve all of the veggies and meat together – it should be tender and delicious! I heated up some canned corn as well just for kicks. Don’t forget to warm up the extra glaze for extra dipping! ENJOY!

Goes great with Beer!

M.S.

Sesame Teriyaki Salmon with Lemon Spaghetti

14 Jul

My aunt Irene gave me this awesome Marinade for Salmon. Its a Sesame Teriyaki sauce that I marinated the Salmon with. I knew it would come out awesome so i gave it a shot.

Ingredients:

Salmon with Skin (Amount to your desire)
Linguine Pasta

Pasta Sauce Ingredients:

2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest (thank you to my aunt Tanya for letting me know what this was)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Place the Salmon in the broiler uncovered until it starts to get golden/brown. Cover the fish after this and let it cook until the center is no longer raw. Cut in the middle to see this.

For the Pasta Sauce, whisk the oil, Parmesan Cheese, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Toss the linguine with the lemon sauce, and the pasta water, but add only a little of the water at a time as needed. Add salt and pepper and finally mix in the lemon zest and freshly chopped basil.

I added some broccoli that i got from microwaving it in the bag =) and I like to put Lemon on my finished Salmon, just as an added flavoring. It went well with the teriyaki and the pasta flavor added more to the lemon. It was awesome! Oh, and that green stuff on the top center of the frame of the picture is fresh Avocado salad, I’ll post about that another time!

M.S.

The BEST Baked Ziti Recipe… EVER

14 Jul

This is like my little family secret – this recipe is ridiculous. It’s been made and is requested at many events. Put this next to catered food at a party and no one would know you made it yourself. Apparently, back when we lived in Brooklyn, our very Italian neighbor taught my mother how to make this. Now, this recipe is being passed on to all that should try it. It’ll become a monthly favorite.

I can’t even describe the deliciousness, you have to try it for yourself, its SO easy you have no excuse not to.

Chunky Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

1 box of ziti pasta
1 16 oz package of mozzarella cheese (any)
1 jar of ricotta cheese (15 oz) part skim is fine
1 egg
1 24 oz jar of tomato sauce – any kind (or make your own!)
1 tbsp Basil
1 tbsp Oregano

Instructions:

Bring the pasta to a boil. Drain. Preheat the oven to 350. Meanwhile, cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes. In a mixing bowl, combine the mozz cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, sauce, and herbs. Mix well. In a pan, add pasta and pour the mixture over the pasta, using a spoon to spread throughout. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover the pan and bake for another 5.

this is one of my favorite foods. The mozzarella chunks are so good when you eat the ziti it shouldnt be legal – enjoy!

-M