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Category Archives: Entrées

Pork Ragu Lasagna with Pesto Bechamel

October 16, 2018

Pork Ragu and Pesto Bechamel Lasagna

Pork Ragu

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the pork and cook on high heat and separate the meat with a wooden spoon. Saute for a 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add salt if necessary and turn heat off and keep aside.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup fresh or store bought pesto

Heat a medium saucepan and add the flour and butter. Melt the butter on medium high heat. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make sure all the lumps are taken out. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt. Turn the heat off and keep aside. Add the pesto and mix well.

Lasagna

  • 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano
  • 12 lasagna sheets (I used no boil pasta)

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Line a 9 X 11 glass pan with a quarter cup of béchamel sauce. Cover the bottom and add four pasta sheets. Spread one cup of meat sauce on top. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top. Pour about ¾ cup of béchamel sauce- spreading it all over the pasta. Add another cup of meat sauce. Add ¼ cup of shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top and cover with the remaining béchamel sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the cover off, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 15. Serve hot with salad and garlic bread.

Hanger Steak with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Potatoes, Gorgonzola and Red Wine Demi

October 15, 2018

Hanger steak6

  • 1-2 pounds hanger steak
  • Salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil

Generously sprinkle salt and pepper, pressing the spices down with your palm. Keep aside.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add the olive oil and sear the hanger steak on each side for 3 to 4 minutes each. Take out and cover with aluminum foil and place on a cutting board. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Slice once the meat has rested. Reheat the slices according to every ones taste right before serving.

Hanger steak4

Hanger steak3

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar

Heat a small non-stick frying pan. Add the olive oil and sliced onion and cook on a medium low heat. Add the salt and sugar. Cook for 30 minutes till the onion slices are translucent and golden brown. Keep aside.

Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into a half inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper

Hanger steak2

Heat a medium non-stick frying pan. Add the olive oil and the potatoes. Cook on a medium heat till the potatoes are cooked and golden brown- about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  • ½ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Red Wine Demi-Glace

  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat a medium frying pan and add the butter. Saute the shallots on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the wine and beef broth, making sure no lumps are formed. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Let simmer for about 1 hour, until reduced by 1/3, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.

Hanger steak

Buttered Haricots Verts

  • 1 pound trimmed French green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring some salted water to a boil and blanche the beans for a minute in boiling water. Take out and add to chilled water with ice to shock the beans to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry.
Heat a medium frying pan and add the butter. Add the blanched green beans and sauté well for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper and keep warm.

Hanger steak5

To assemble, place the steak slices on a plate. Add the caramelized onions and potatoes on top. Place the green beans on the side. Sprinkle gorgonzola cheese and drizzle demi-glace on top.

Cauliflower and Yellow Pepper Stir Fry

October 14, 2018

Cauliflower and Pepper Stirfry

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Place the florets onto a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and tamari. Mix well and broil under a high setting until the florets are golden brown for about 10 minutes.

  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Sauce

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet garlic chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce

Mix the ketchup, garlic chili sauce, tamari and hoisin sauce and keep aside.

Heat a large wok like saucepan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic cloves and sauté on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sauce, mix well and cook covered on low heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Take the lid off, check for seasonings and top with cilantro.

Steak Mushroom Broccoli Lo Mein

October 8, 2018

  • 8 ounces lo mein noodles, cooked according to package instructions, rinse with water and drizzle a teaspoon of oil to avoid clumping
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 ounces steak, filet mignon, cut thinly
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups Cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • Salt
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Juice of one lime

Stir together the garlic, soy sauce, honey and red pepper flakes. Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a wok like pan till scorching hot. Add the steak and ginger. Saute on high heat for about two minutes, sprinkle with salt and transfer to a plate.

Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil into the same wok, add the mushrooms and sauté on high for 3 to 4 minutes, till the mushrooms are golden brown. Transfer to the same plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the wok and add the broccoli florets. Cook on high for 2 minutes and add chicken broth to steam the broccoli. Cook for 2 minutes, add the carrots, steak, mushroom and soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and add the noodles and toss well. Check for seasoning and add salt accordingly. Add the sesame oil, scallions and lime juice. Toss to coat and serve warm.

Brown Lentils with Tomatoes & Onions

October 7, 2018

Lentils with Tomatoes and Onions

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Add the lentils into a medium bowl. Add the chicken broth, onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, oil, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat for 30 to 45 minutes – or till the lentils are soft and the consistency is between a soup and a stew. Add the garam masala. Check for seasonings and serve with rice.

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

October 3, 2018

Gumbo

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons bay seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, casing taken off

Sprinkle the bay seasoning and salt on the shrimp and keep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

  • ¼ cup extra light olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen okra
  • Salt
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook on medium heat to create a brownish red roux- it should take about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, celery, thyme and bay. Saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the white wine, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Add the okra and sausage. Break the sausage with the back of spatula. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Place the cover and cook for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for another ten minutes. Check for seasonings. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice.

Morel Mushroom Risotto

October 2, 2018

Mushroom Risotto
I served the risotto with lamb chops- yum!

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pack wild mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 to 4 cups mushroom broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 to 4 dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, grated

Soak the mushrooms in the warm water for 3 to 4 hours. Take the mushrooms out and strain the water of any sand/impurities. Keep the water aside. Chop the mushrooms and add the wild mushroom heap.

Heat the morel broth and the packaged mushroom broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm (use 3 cups of packaged broth in addition to the morel broth; use 4 cups of packaged broth if not using morels).
Heat a wide frying pan with the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wild and morel mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the rice and sauté for a minute. Add a half cup of warmed broth to the rice mix and stir on medium low heat. As soon as the liquid is cooked off, add the next half-cup. Stir and cook till the rice grains are cooked through- it should take about 20 minutes. Add half and half, butter, cheese and salt. Mix well and check for seasonings. Add pepper and serve hot.