Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Made Pasta

The July Daring Kitchen Challenge was to make home made pasta.  Be sure to check out my full post on my main blog.

2 cups semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs

  • Make a well of the flour and salt on your work surface

  • Add eggs and olive oil to the well, mix into flour until a stiff dough is formed

  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for approx. 1 hour

  • Divide dough into small portions, flatten into a disk and feed through pasta roller at widest setting.  Fold the dough in 3 and feed through again.  Repeat this step 5-6 times.

  • Change the roller settings to a smaller width and continue to feed dough through.  Lower the setting with each pass.  You can cut the dough if it gets too long to work with.
  • Once the dough is the desired thickness, pass it through the cutting end of the pasta machine.

  • Hang pasta to dry.

Tomato, Basil, Brie and Fresh Pasta
Fresh Pasta
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Basil Leaves

  • Quarter tomatoes.
  • Remove stems from basil leaves, cut a Chiffonade
  • Remove rind from Brie, cube.
  • Cook Pasta - fresh pasta only takes 1-2 minutes. Drain.
  • Toss tomatoes, basil and Brie with hot pasta till Brie is melted.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mystery Box Challenge # 1 - Reveal

We had success!!  Dinner turned out to be very yummy and something that I would do again.

First I stewed the dry figs with port, water and sugar.  Once that had cooked down for about 20 minute I pureed it to make a jam like consistency.  I also carmalized the onions. 

I butterflied the pork tenderloin and spread the fig jam and onions on it before rolling it up and tying it closed.

For the Orzo dish, Hilary made me some anchovy butter, which I used to sautee the shiitake mushrooms and then wilted the beet greens with them.  I then added some coarsely chopped tomatoes at the end so they would be just warmed, but not cooked through.  I tossed in the cooked orzo and the rest of the anchovy butter.

The sweet of the filling from the pork and the sour from the anchovy butter and greens was a lovely flavour combination.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mystery Box Challenge # 1

Hilary and I have been enjoying season 2 of Master Chef.  One of my favorite things that they do is the Mystery Box Challenge.  The contestants have 60 minutes to make one stunning dish from only the ingredients in the box.

So to help me along my journey of cooking (and photography) Hilary has set up a mystery challenge for me!  I do get more than 60 minutes AND I get to Google ideas AND she will help me if I need her!

Here is my first challenge:


  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Figs
  • Sweet Onion
  • Orzo
  • Beet Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Anchovies (not pictured, they were added as an after thought)

And to give me some extra help, Hilary is also giving me ideas on the final dishes:

  • Stuffed pork tenderloin with Fig jam and carmalized onions
  • Sour Orzo with beet greens
So wish me luck and watch for an update tomorrow on how it all turns out!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dinner for Friends

While away on vacation, I had some friends over to my Mom's house for dinner. They always have me over to their house for a wonderful feasts, so I wanted to return the favour:

Grilled Bocconcini
Mango Shrimp and Quinoa salad
Grilled/Broiled Okra
Eton Mess


    Starter - Grilled Bocconcini

    • 4 tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tbsp chopped capers
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 3 chopped anchovy filets
    • ¼ Baguette
    • 1 container Bocconcini (8)

    Combine olive oil, parsley, capers, Dijon, lemon juice and anchovies.
    Slice baguette into 20 thin slices and Bocconcini into 16 halves.
    Lightly toast baguette and top each piece with a Bocconcini half.
    Run under broiler until cheese begins to melt – 4 to 5 minutes depending on broiler or heat on grill
    Drizzle with anchovy sauce.

    Main - Quinoa and shrimp salad

    • 1/2 cup Mango Chipotle dressing divided
    • 2lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
    • 3 cups vegetable broth
    • 2 cups quinoa rinsed
    • 2 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 orange pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 bunch green onion, finely sliced
    • ½ cup chopped fresh coriander

    Bring broth to boil, add in rinsed quinoa.
    Return to boil; cover.
    Simmer med-low 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
    Fluff and cool.

    Marinate shrimp in ¼ cup Mango dressing.

    Chop vegetables and mix remaining dressing with lime juice.
    Add vegetables and dressing to cooled quinoa and toss, gently.
    Flash fry shrimp and arrange, prettily, around salad.

    Side - Grilled/broiled Okra
    • 2 or more lbs Okra
    • Olive oil
    • Pepper
    • Salt
    • Lime juice

    Skewer Okra on two parallel skewers.
    Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Broil for 5 to 7 minutes until tender.
    Remove skewers.
    Sprinkle with Lime juice and serve.

    Dessert – Eton Mess

    • Whipping cream
    • A little sugar/booze/Splenda
    • Meringues
    • Fresh chopped fruit (Strawberries are traditional but anything that strikes your fancy)

    Whip cream to soft peaks.
    Crumble meringues.
    Stir all together with fruit and serve at once

    Dinner was a great hit with everyone!!