pork canton noodles, salad
crockpot spaghetti and meatballs, romaine with creamy Italian dressing
tomatillo chicken, rice, black beans
brisket, pinto beans, Texas toast
roasted apricot chicken, roast potatoes and carrots
pork tenderloin fajitas, chips and guacamole
crockpot loaded baked potato soup, spinach and apple salad

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fettucine Alfredo with Quattro Pasta

Fettucine Alfredo with Quattro Pasta
Miss F and C have a favorite dish that can only be enjoyed at Carmine's in Chicago. We call their fettucine alfredo "daddy pasta" and we all love it very much. C forced me to try it on my first ever trip to Chicago years ago, I had never had alfredo sauce before that day. It was so good. The reason: freshly made pasta. I took a pasta cooking class at Quattro at the Four Seasons in Houston, the pasta we made there was better than Carmine's. So I decided to make the pasta at home with alfredo sauce, it was the natural choice. This pasta is amazing and totally worth the work.  The alfredo recipe is adapted from Emeril and the pasta recipe is courtesy of Quattro, in a greatly reduced format.  The original recipe we were sent home with called for 70 egg yolks.
Fettucine Alfredo

1 pound fettucine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated parmesan
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the fettucine per the directions below, drain reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water in the pot it was cooked in.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add heavy cream; bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Plate and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan, serve immediately.

Quattro Fresh Pasta

1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup semolina flour
10 egg yolks
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients. Mix at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes, reaching a smooth consistency. Wrap the dough in double plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare the pasta per your pasta makers directions. Cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce
This meal was originally supposed to be an apricot pork stir fry.  The birthday dinner for my dad had been postponed and I had a jar of apricot jam I had bought to make his favorite baked brie.  C and I ended up meeting for lunch and we had Thai food, so I wasn't in the mood for a stir fry that evening, neither was he.  So Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce was born.  We'll call it the sweeter relative of Pork Things.  Miss F devoured hers, but she preferred to dip hers in mustard.  Crazy kid!
Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce

½ cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha

1 egg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 boneless center-cut pork chops, pounded to 1/8" thickness
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

In a small saucepan, stir together the jam, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar and Sriracha. Heat over medium to bring to a simmer, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Combine Panko, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Dip in egg mixture, then in Panko, pressing to adhere. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook pork until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 tablespoon vegetable oil after turning. Drain on paper towels. Serve the pork with the prepared apricot sauce.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Dough

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Crust
Miss F loves to make pizza, she is an amazing helper. She has gotten better at making doughs with me and she loves to operate the KitchenAid stand mixer. When we made this crust, she spilled a little bit of flour. She spent nearly the next hour playing with that flour. She was writing in it, moving it around and drawing in it. Pure kid entertainment! I got this recipe from Eva Bakes. She noted a sweetness to the crust, but I felt the molasses added a nice spice. I have never had Mellow Mushroom pizza before, but I recently learned there was a shop north of Houston. I will have to give it a try sometime soon to compare this crust to the original. I also wish we had double ovens when making pizza, I have to make a pepperoni pizza for C and Miss F, while I despise pepperoni and like to get a little more creative with my toppings.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza

1 ½ cups hot water
2 ½ tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ½ teaspoons yeast
3 ½ cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
cornmeal (used for dusting your parchment paper)
melted garlic butter
parmesan cheese crumbs

In a two cup measure, stir together the water, molasses and olive oil. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together the yeast, flour and salt. Slowly pour in the water mixture, turn the mixer to medium-low and knead until smooth.

Transfer the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 1-2 hours).

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place your pizza stone in the preheated oven and allow it to heat for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into two halves and form each half into a ball by folding the "sides" of the dough towards the back (imagine you are gift wrapping a balloon). Pinch the "sides" together in the back of the dough and press down slightly.

Cover each dough ball with a wet towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. At this point, you can bake the dough balls or transfer to a freezer bag and refrigerate or freeze for a later use.

To bake the dough, sprinkle some corn meal onto a piece of parchment paper. Place the dough down on the parchment, and working from the center, push the dough outwards (you may rotate the dough/parchment) to form a circle. Do not make the center too thin or else it will break.

Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and add your toppings. Bake on the preheated pizza stone for 7-9 minutes or until the crust is golden. Add garlic butter immediately after removing the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.

Yield: Two 12-inch pizza crusts
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