Gnocchi is so tasty!

gnocchi

Went to a local cooking class today and made this yummy and very easy gnocchi.  We made the gnocchi in class, then I came home and finished it for dinner.  It was a bit hit with the husband.  Gnocchi is so very easy to make and so yummy to eat.

Today we all brought 1-3 baked potatoes. ( Bake not boil ) I boiled mine and my potato ricer is now being replaced by a new industrial one.  It sort of leans to the right in the trash right now.  A very nice man in the class strong-armed a bit too much.  My potatoes were too hard, even after microwaving them.

Ingredients:

1-2 russet potatoes

1-2 eggs

2-3 cups of white flour

Nutmeg – a little dab will do

Make a basin for the egg in the middle of the riced potato and mix with hands. You can do this with the potato or the flour.  Blend it with your hands till looks like the picture in the middle and kind of medium soft to the touch. If it is too wet, add more flour. It just has to feel right.  Roll it into cigar shapes and cut into 1/2 lengths.

Flour your gnocchi board if you have one. I bought mine on Amazon (of course) for about $6.00.

gnocchi board

Putting a little flour on the board makes all the difference.  I like to roll my little cigar segments at an angle across the board.

how-to-make-potato-gnocchi

You can do this with your fingers and a spoon and fork, but the gnocchi board cuts the time, so you can do a whole batch in under five minutes with a little practice.  The one I have has a stand, so you can just put it right on the counter and roll the little gnocchi on to a piece of parchment.

Heat a pot of water and when it is boiling, just drop them in the water.  When they float to the top they are just about done.  I let them float about a minute, then take them out with a Chinese Strainerstrainer

Sauce is up to you.  Tonight I sautéed some pancetta, add a few sliced garlic cloves, some sliced cherry tomatoes and after I added the gnocchi to the sauce, I added a handful of fresh basil.  I grated fresh parmesano regiano  cheese on top, threw some spinach in another bowel, added some good oil and citrus vinegar and dinner was wonderfully ready.

Gnocchi is so tasty!

Michael Symon’s Mom’s Lasagna

Total:  2 hr 50 min
Prep:  20 min
Inactive:  20 min
Cook:  2 hr 10 min
Yield:  6 servings
Level:  Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound pork neck bones
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, loose or removed from casings
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound dried lasagna noodles
  • 2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for final topping
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a three-finger pinch of salt and sweat them until they’re translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the neck bones and let them brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground veal, beef and sausage, and season with another healthy pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the white wine, tomatoes and their juice, and the bay leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, making sure to get all of the browned bits into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt, to taste, and simmer for 2 hours over medium heat. Remove the bay leaves and neck bones and let cool. Skim any fat that rises to the surface.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add enough salt so that it tastes seasoned and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta, parsley, basil, oregano, eggs, and Parmesan with a pinch of salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Ladle about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Arrange a layer of noodles followed by a layer of sauce and then some of the ricotta mixture. Top with a layer of mozzarella, smoothing it with a spatula to the edges. Repeat the process until the pan is full. Finish with a final layer of noodles, sauce, the mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest, 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

The chef was raised on his mother’s next-level, thirty-layer lasagna, which he serves at his new Atlantic city restaurant.

REGAN STEPHENS

September 05, 2017

Every Italian dutifully swears his mom’s cooking is the best, but in Michael Symon’s case, it may actually be true. The Iron Chef recently opened Angeline in Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa as an homage to his mom, Angel. The menu, inspired by family recipes, is a roundup of the classic, red-sauce-style Italian dishes Symon grew up eating: handmade linguini with clams, arancini, eggplant parm and a daily “Sunday Supper” that includes a feast of prosciutto, ricotta and red peppers, cavatelli, garlic bread, meatballs and more. But one dish evokes a particularly strong sense of nostalgia for Symon: lasagna.

“Every Wednesday at my parents’ house was lasagna night—the night all my friends begged to eat over,” he says. “You could smell the lasagna baking houses away, and Wednesday was the only night of the week I was more than happy to be early for dinner. I’ve eaten lasagna from every corner of the earth, and I have yet to find one as good as Mom’s.”

Symon recreates Angel’s recipe in the thirty-layered dish he named “Mom’s Lasagna.” In a glossy dining room designed with little touches to recall his mom’s home (floral wallpaper, lace curtains and a built-in hutch displaying cake plates and other nonna-approved knick-knacks) servers present towering rectangles of pasta and cheese that sit atop pools of meaty red sauce. If you aren’t getting an invite to Mrs. Symon’s house on lasagna night, this is the next best thing.

To start your own Wednesday night tradition, use the chef’s best tips for building an architecturally-impressive, nostalgia-inducing lasagna.

The Noodles

According to Symon, cutting corners sacrifices taste. “Don’t bother with those no-boil noodles—they compromise the texture,” he says. “Go the extra mile and use the real thing.” He also quotes his co-host on The Chew: “When boiling the noodles, salt your water until, in the words of Mario Batali, it’s ‘as salty as the sea.’ This is your chance to season your pasta.”

The Cheese

To help keep layers smooth and mess-free, use Angel’s trick. “One of the things my mom always did is put the ricotta mixture in a plastic zip bag or piping bag,” he shares. “That way it goes right where you want it to go, and you don’t have to fight with it. It spreads quickly and evenly.”

The Pan

The chef says a 9 x 13-inch pan is the optimal size and shape for baking lasagna. “It keeps the ingredients condensed so the final product is nice and thick, versus each layer being spread thinly in a larger pan,” he says.

The Finish

There’s really no such thing as too much cheese, so Symon likes to grate fresh mozzarella and fresh parmesan on top to make it extra cheesy. “Another tip from my mom: always cover it with foil at the beginning of the cooking process, then remove it for the last 10 minutes to let the cheese on top get brown and crispy.”

Michael Symon’s Mom’s Lasagna

The Trick That Will Keep You From Ever Burning Your Garlic Again

I found this interesting article online this morning a site called “My Recipes”.  Since most of us love cooking with garlic and have most likely burned it somewhere along the way, I thought this information might be useful.

getty-garlic-image

Michael Goldman/Getty Images

Garlic might be one of the worst foods to burn, because there’s no turning back once you do. Unlike other veggies or meats that aren’t completely ruined if you just so happen to give them a little extra char than you intended for, garlic cannot withstand even 10 seconds too long over a flame. It turns black almost immediately and acquires an off-putting, bitter taste that can ruin an entire dish. The only fix to burning garlic is starting over.

So here’s how it usually happens: You’ve got your oil heating in a skillet, maybe with an onion or some other aromatics, and you add a clove or two of minced/finely chopped garlic. Seems legit, right? We’ve got to start building the flavor of this dish at some point, so we might as well start now. Ehhhh…sure, you can do this, but just know, that if you’re going to burn your garlic, this is how it’s done. Despite the lovely, garlicky aroma that will immediately engulf your kitchen upon dumping this fresh garlic into hot oil, this is oftentimes where things take a turn for the worst. Take your eyes away from that pan for more than a minute or two (especially if you turned on the heat with no abandon), and you’ve got yourself a handful of garlic that’s burned to a crisp. Not only that, but the oil and whatever other veggies are in that pan are going to taste pretty darn rotten, too.

Instead, if you simply punch down on a whole garlic clove with the side of your knife, gently crushing it so that it’s paper skin falls off and it’s slightly cracked open, you’ll still be able to impart that garlicky flavor into the oil. By prepping the garlic this way, you’ll avoid creating so much exposed surface area (like you do when you mince it) that the whole chopped clove immediately turns to a pile of ashes after 60 seconds of sizzling. Smaller bits burn quicker. If you really want to go the minced clove route, wait until the middle of your cooking process to add it to the concoction. This way, there’s less cooking time for your precious garlic to burn, and likely, more ingredients in the pan to help disperse the heat and act as a buffer for your delicate aromatic. Once you’ve got your slightly flattened cloves, put them in a skillet with oil (don’t be shy, a couple of generous glugs will do) over LOW HEAT. This temperature adjustment is crucial.

Once you’ve got your cloves gently cooking in oil over low heat, this is where the magic happens. Give the cloves some time to release their essence throughout the oil. As they start to cook, you can increase your heat to medium-high so that the white-ish cloves turn a warm, golden brown. If you rush this, however (shame, shame), your cloves are apt to turn black, so it’s important to keep a close eye. Before you go ahead and serve these babies, make sure that you’ve cooked them long enough. Because the cloves are whole, it’s going to take a little longer to soften and they may hold on to that raw, sharp taste.

When your cloves appear caramelized on the outside and creamy on the inside, you better be salivating, because you just created a garlic-infused oil. At this point, you can fish out the cloves, and add them to the blender to make a pesto, hummus or any other dip/sauce that could use a garlicky punch, or spread them atop a piece of toast, which should then rightfully be finished with a frizzled egg. One of my favorite restaurants, that is no longer open served baked garlic on toasted pita bread.  It was delicious. That and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon was delightful with conversation.  Not the best for a first date, if you live in “that” world.

With the wonderful oil that you’ve so carefully concocted, you can make stir-fries, one-pan pasta sauces, soups, or whatever dish you want to be laced with fresh, garlicky flavor. Ultimately, this is not the only way to cook garlic, however it’s, in my opinion, a foolproof method that consistently creates a pronounced yet not-too-overwhelming garlic flavor. And I’ve burnt garlic too many times to go back to my old ways.

Sara Tane wrote the original article.  January 2018

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The Trick That Will Keep You From Ever Burning Your Garlic Again

Chorizo Corn Cakes

Chorizo Corn Cakes

Looking through Eating Light Magazine and thinking it is time to cut back on calories I found this interestingly different recipe and thought I would give a try.  Luckily my local Albertsons had fresh and “soft” Chorizo, so it turned out perfect!

Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Serves 8 (serving size: 2 cakes, 1 egg, and about 1/2 tsp. syrup mixture)

How to Make It

Step 1

Place chorizo, corn, and jalapeño in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until corn is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 2

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and 1 egg. Add buttermilk mixture and chorizo mixture to flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Gently stir in butter. Let stand 5 minutes.

Step 3

Preheat an electric griddle to 350°F, or heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Lightly grease griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 1/2 tablespoons batter for each of 16 cakes onto griddle; gently spread into 3-inch rounds using back of spoon. Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and keep warm, or follow freezing instructions.

Step 4

Crack remaining 8 eggs on lightly greased griddle; cover, and cook 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are cooked to desired degree of doneness.

Step 5

In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and adobo sauce. Place 2 cakes on each of 8 plates; top each serving with 1 egg. Drizzle syrup over eggs and corn cakes. Sprinkle evenly with black pepper and cilantro.

Step 6

FREEZE: Cool cooked corn cakes completely. Wrap corn cakes tightly in plastic wrap in stacks of 4 with parchment paper or plastic wrap between each cake. Place in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; seal and freeze up to 2 months.

Step 7

REHEAT: Toast frozen corn cakes in a toaster or in a toaster oven on medium until heated through, 4 to 5 minutes.

 

According to the recipe it is only 249 calories per serving.  One serving is one egg and one cake!  I served them with a multi-lettuce salad with raspberries and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  YUMMY!  My husband loved it and he is a very picky meat and potato guy, but is trying to break out of that mold.

Chorizo Corn Cakes

Stolen Christmas

I used to love Christmas.  I don’t anymore and this year it was stolen from me. My late husband’s brother invited two of my three sons to join them for Christmas in San Diego without my knowledge. Not that they would spend it with me, but knowing I was not invited and my third son was not invited, hurt. I am happy that they will get together, but so sad that they they did not bother to even let me know, so hurt my feelings.

What is Christmas? Is it about love? Is it about family? Anymore, I don’t know what it is about. My husband’s family decided they hated me this last year for reasons I will never really understand, so we don’t have them coming for Christmas. I feel the love is gone for the holidays. I feel I have lost my family for holidays. I am so sad for the holidays and they no longer exist for me.

I have the fun minions in the driveway, the decorated tree in the house and presents under the tree for part of the family, but the joy of Christmas is gone for me.

As you grow older, are you the forgotten part of Christmas? Do your children no longer care about you at Christmas? Where is the Christ in Christmas? It is gone. I feel more alone tonight, on Christmas eve than I have felt in years.  I have one son coming tomorrow for Christmas dinner, but the other two can’t bother. I turned off my cell phone because I don’t want to be disappointed that no one will call.

I hope you are happier than I am on Christmas.  For me it is one of the saddest days of the years.

Stolen Christmas

How to keep that All-Clad clean!

Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 10.05.11 AMOver the years, I have had many pans that I loved and that I hated.  I love all my All Clad pans and their Slow-Cooker is the most even one I have owned.  That being said, my dear sweet husband likes to help clean up the kitchen, as he does not ever cook and I love cooking.

All Clad are not as easy as Teflon, but with a little man-power or woman-power and little help from a couple friends, they can remain spotless.  I keep SOS or Brillo on hand and scrub away every use.  I do use a new one every time, as I can’t stand the yucky thing after it has been used once, and luckily they are really cheap.  They even sell them at the local Dollar Store.

If I can’t get it clean with just SOS or Brillo, I add Bar Keeper’s Friend to the mix.  I read somewhere that people thought it was toxic, so I looked up their website to see what they had to say.  Here is it, and it is quite natural.  You might want to wear gloves, but it is not going to hurt the environment any more than rhubarb or spinach, as it contains natural oxalic acid.

Family-owned, Customer-driven

After World War II, U.S. Army veteran Dr. Beurt SerVaas found that the customers at his small plating shop kept asking him how to clean metal items. “My grandmother used Bar Keepers Friend,” he told them. Inspired to serve his customers, Dr. SerVaas purchased Bar Keepers Friend from the Gisler Polish Corporation in 1956.

Over the years, more and more people got in on the secret of Bar Keepers Friend, and found ever more varied and unique uses for our oxalic acid-based cleaning powder. We’re still a family-owned company manufacturing in Indianapolis, and we’re still motivated by solving problems for our customers. Bar Keepers Friend now goes to market with minor variations in ingredients and packaging, but our products remain essentially the same as the ones that polished bar rails over a century ago.

  • “Bar Keepers Friend is extremely popular among musicians, especially drummers. It is excellent at removing stains, fingerprints and stick marks from cymbals”
  • My mother always told me to use Bar Keepers Friend to keep my stainless steel pots clean, and she was right. I finally tried it and was so surprised it worked great. Thank you so much
  • Thanks for making a product that actually cleans my sink and pots and pans without tons of elbow grease. I use Bar Keepers Friend for all kinds of clean up around the house. Thanks for making a superior product!
  • This is my favorite kitchen cleaning product! Saves so much time and effort when cleaning baked-on and stained items. You have a customer for life! Thanks
How to keep that All-Clad clean!

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!

amer

I love the smell of cooking garlic and try to grow it in my garden every winter.  This year some critter enjoyed a lot of it before me, but there is still quite a bit left growing.

One of my friends on FB posted that we are now importing more garlic from China, so I was interested in the difference between the two.  First of all it is quite easy to identify the imported garlic, as the root has to be cut off to meet exportation law.

3-chinese-garlic-664x443

Or here is another photo:

china

Garlic is a nutritious vegetable that makes for a savory addition to many recipes. Yet new information has come to light that’ll probably change the way you buy and eat it.

You’d think your produce is grown in nearby farms, right? That could be wrong! You could very well be eating something that traveled halfway around the world to get to your grocery basket—and if you’re not careful, it may cause serious health risks.

In our culture, 80% of the garlic comes from China. In 2014, the United States imported over 138 million pounds of Chinese garlic, and each year the trend appears to grow. Since you’ve likely been eating this garlic for so long, you may not think it’s a problem—until you learn it’s often covered in bleach and pesticides.

Having driven by Gilroy and smelling it there, if you have been in the area you might assume all your American garlic comes from that area in California: Gilroy- “the garlic capital of the world”). Considering it was once the world’s largest supplier of garlic, that statement might’ve been true. That’s changed in the past few years.

In the US, it’s become cheaper and easier to import garlic from places like China. The unfortunate side of this is that China isn’t as stringent with its safety regulations. Reports run rampant of garlic bleached in chlorine, fumigated in pesticides, grown in untreated sewage water, and even contaminated with lead. If you have ever been to China, that would not be a surprise to you.

The bleach is used to cover up dirt spots, even though they’re perfectly natural. According to the Australian Garlic Industry Association‘s Henry Bell, while bleaching kills insects, prevents sprouting, and helps whiten the bulb, it’s fumigated with a dangerous toxin called methyl bromide. When taken in high doses, methyl bromide can cause central nervous system and respiratory problems. According to the UN, it’s 60 times more dangerous than chlorine—so the lower cost is not worth the risk. Luckily, you can easily tell the difference between Chinese and American garlic as I displayed in the photos above.

  1.  Look for the roots. Chinese importers have to remove the roots to abide by regulations, but American farmers have no such rule, and often leave them attached.
  2. Weigh it. Chinese garlic contains more water, so it’s lighter. It’s actually 37% solid, compared to the American 42%. To test it, give it a squeeze: a firmer bulb is the way to go!
  3. Taste it. Chefs swear that garlic from China has a bit of a metallic taste, while American bulbs are more flavorful. American garlic contains more allicin, which is the dominant factor in determining that distinct taste and smell we all love. CA garlic routinely scores a higher BRIX scale rating (sugar content)

Fun fact: garlic from China contains 3500 ppm (parts per million) of allicin, while American garlic has 4400 ppm.

It may cost a bit more, sure, but buying American garlic is safer and well worth it. If nothing else, it simply tastes better!

China is putting California garlic growers out of business, and YOU can stop it. Less than ten years ago, all of our garlic was grown in this country, primarily in CA. Now less than 40% is grown here and most of it (60%) is coming from China.

The roots being removed is required by the Ag Dept. to prevent soil-borne plant diseases from entering our country. If the roots are still there it is California garlic. The Garlic Growers Assoc. says not one single US grower cleans out the root end.

Share this important information with your friends!

Some, but not all information found on “Boredom Therapy”.

 

 

 

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!