Sunday, March 27, 2016

Classic Linguine Carbonara

Can you believe I have spent nearly five decades on this earth and a few weeks ago was the first time I ate, let alone made, pasta carbonara? Me neither!! Who knows what failure that was, or whose fault, but no more!

Trying out a pasta machine that was recently gifted to me I decided it was time to end the strike against carbonara. Let me say it again, WOW! Make some fresh pasta and douse it with eggs, yolks, bacon bits and lots of cheese and you too will be in heaven!

What could be simpler? Quick fry bacon into cubes, cook pasta, whip eggs and yolks and grate in some cheese and then stir it all together and presto! Pasta ecstasy!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Peppadews Stuffed with Garlic Herb Cheese

One of the fun parts of living with someone who works at a grocery store is that he will bring home strange and interesting items that are either expired or about to be so. It is like my own Chopped! challenge of what to do with X ingredient. This is how peppadews came into my life.

Pickled sweet red peppers about the size of cherry tomatoes, they are sold hollowed out and just waiting to be stuffed. With some cream cheese burning a hole in my cheese drawer and plenty of fresh herbs in the crisper, garlic herb cheese was just the ticket!

Goat cheese will work if you want to get fancier, but the cream cheese was delicious too. These were served at an Oscar party and everyone loved them!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Roasted Yam Planks and Swiss Chard Lasagna, Bolognese Style

My hubby works for a food co-op and we get lots of "seconds" produce, which I love to receive! But sometimes the greens, usually swiss chard, starts to pile up in the refrigerator and then creativity is needed to use it up. This was a sensational way to do just that!

Since wheat is no longer my friend, any pasta passing my lips needs to be gluten free (ick) or made from scratch using spelt flour. But since there happened to be about a cup of bechemel sauce sitting in the refrigerator (which was to have been used to cream said bunches of swiss chard but didn't happen), I realized making a Bolognese style lasagna using oven roasted yam slices would probably make an amazing "lasagna." Yes, yes, it did!

Of course Italians would have been horrified at the heresy of roasted yam planks for lasagna noodles, but since I wasn't the first to think of it - hello Paleo folk! - I figured I wasn't going straight to Italian cuisine hell.

Bolognese style lasagna differs dramatically from what most Americans think of when it comes to lasagna. No abundance of cheese, usually a meat and tomato sauce, and bechamel sauce, that distinctively French sauce used to make cheese sauce. Trust me, you will want to try this if you have never had it!

Yes, it is lots of steps, but go easy on yourself and make a few things the day before; it is how I always do it when making lasagna with homemade pasta. Also, do not fret about using the tomato sauce shortcut; it was some leftover sauce in the refrigerator that cemented my idea of this recipe!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Parmesan Parsley Drop Biscuits

Good biscuits are one of life's great pleasures, especially when they are as easy as these!

If you read up on biscuit making, the fanatics will insist on a soft wheat flour because it makes for a lighter biscuit. Enter spelt! By its very nature it is a softer flour because it lacks one of the gluten protein's found in wheat flours, ergo always softer.

The beauty of this biscuit is how quickly it comes together - no chilling time needed. Adding the cheese and parsley just gilds this lily, but why not! you're eating biscuits for god's sake, heap on the good stuff!

As you can see in the picture, these are great for an eggs benedict, but also wonderful on their own.  I have even made them without the cheese but it does make them lighter and tastier.