Emily’s Food and Recipe Blog

Recipes, menus, cooking, restaurant reviews – All about food!

Archive for October, 2007

Sausage potato puffs

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 23, 2007

My friend Laura made these for a party. They look amazing and I can’t wait to try this. I might make it for snacks for church; seems like sausage/cheese/potato would be a good breakfast snack. Of course, some of these cheeses are expensive!

3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pound Italian sausages, casings removed
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
Freshly ground pepper
1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 425°. Coat four 12-cup mini-muffin pans with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a saucepan, simmer the potatoes in water over moderate heat until tender, 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and coarsely mash the potatoes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the sausage over high heat until browned, 8 minutes; coarsely crumble.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until combined. Set the pan over moderately high heat and cook the dough, stirring, until it comes away from the sides of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from the heat.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the dough at low speed for 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time at medium speed; beat in the Gruyère, Parmesan, thyme, rosemary and a pinch of pepper. Stir in the mashed potatoes and sausage.

Fill the muffin cups with the dough. Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let the puffs cool slightly, then serve hot.

MAKE AHEAD The puffs can be refrigerated overnight; rewarm in a hot oven.


Posted in Appetizers, Breakfast | 1 Comment »

Weekly menu

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 19, 2007

Here’s my menu for this week:

– Proscuitto/mozzarella/pesto sandwiches (I found some delicious asiago focaccia bread at the store)
– Penne with sausage and roasted squash
– Grilled pork chops, corn and zucchini
– Jambalaya
– Shrimp creole

Posted in Menus - weekly | Leave a Comment »

Penne with sausage and roasted squash

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 15, 2007

My friend Sarah made this one up and shared it with us. What a great time of year to be making it, too! I love baked pasta dishes; the ultimate comfort food.

Penne with Sausage and Roasted Squash

Cut one squash into 1/2 inch squares (making this again, I would use 2 squashes). but I am a big squash fan). Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. Roast in 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until carmelized. Set aside.

Cook one box penne pasta in boiling water until just underdone. Drain and set aside.

Cook 1 lb sausage, broken into small pieces in olive oil until well browned. Add one clove minced garlic and cook until soft. Remove sausage from pan and half a small onion, minced. Saute until soft and golden. Add 3 T flour to drippings and onion and stir until flour/onion paste forms. Cook roux until slightly browned and thick. Add 2 cups 2% (or whatever you have) milk and stir, cook on medium until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used a little more). Stir until melted.

Add cheese mixture to pasta, pour into a 9x 13 pan. Add roasted squash and sausage, gently mix. Sprinkle with mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese, and a little more rosemary. Bake at 450 for ten minutes, until cheese is melted.

Posted in Entrees - pasta, Entrees - pork | Leave a Comment »

Ginger-spiced pumpkin pie

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 14, 2007

I made this pie last night and it was delicious. The recipe came from Weight Watchers and it’s only 2 points, yet it tastes just like any other pumpkin pie. This one is a keeper. It’s well worth making your own crust, by the way. There’s just no comparison in taste and flakiness to store bought crusts and making crust is super easy.

1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
15 oz canned pumpkin
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
1 pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg. Add pumpkin and evaporated milk. Stir until well combined and pour into pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 1 hour before serving.

This is delicious with whipped cream (or, if you want to continue the WW benefits, Cool Whip Lite is a fine substitute).

Posted in Desserts - pies | 2 Comments »

Rum-glazed plantains

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 11, 2007

I love Cuban food, so much. I really should move to Miami, so then I could eat it any time I wanted. Alas, that is not too likely. I could live on jerk chicken and pork, black beans and rice, and of course plantains. This was the first time I had cooked them at home. I didn’t have half the things the recipe called for, so I sort of made it up and didn’t really measure too much. That’s not too important for this one. We had these last night with pork loin and corn, all cooked on the grill.

2 plantains (let them get black all over because that’s when they’re really ripe and sweet)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 cup fruit juice (recipe called for orange but I only had apple. I bet others would work OK)
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Slice plantains diagonally in 1/2 inch slices. Combine other ingredients and then add plantains, stirring to coat. Cook in a skillet over medium heat (or on the grill), stirring a few times, till then are soft, about 15 minutes. Or, you can spread on a cookie sheet (covered with cooking spray) in a single layer and bake at 350 about 30 minutes.

Posted in Vegetables | Leave a Comment »

Butternut squash ravioli

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 9, 2007

I love this. Love it. They serve butternut squash ravioli at my favorite restaurant in San Jose, Il Fornaio, which I go to often since I travel to San Jose several times a year on business. I dream about it the whole time I’m on the plane. This recipe calls for homemade pasta but I plan to substitute wonton wrappers and see how I like that. I’m sure making your own pasta is not difficult, but I just don’t have the patience usually.

1 cup small dice butternut squash, roasted and fork mashed
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons, flaked
1 orange, zested
Grated nutmeg
1 package of wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
10 sage leaves

Mix butternut squash, ricotta, Parmesan, and orange zest. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Brush pasta sheet with beaten egg and cut into 4-inch squares. Spoon squash filling in the middle of pasta square and fold over. Cut excess pasta with round dough cutter into half moon shape. Place on floured tray.

Boil agnolotti in salted water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and place on a platter. Add butter and sage leaves to a medium sized saute pan and place over medium high heat. Cook butter and sage until butter is golden brown. Spoon butter and sage over agnolotti and sprinkle with flaked Parmesan.

Posted in Entrees - vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Fruited wild rice

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 6, 2007

I found this in a Rachael Ray cookbook. It’s super easy but yet it would be great for company since it’s kind of festive.

1 cup wild and white rice blend
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 cup mandarin orange sections
1 package (2 ounces) sliced almonds
3 scallions thinly sliced

Boil 2 cups salted water. Add rice and raisins, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until just tender. Fluff with a fork and add oranges, almonds and scallions. Toss to combine and serve.

Posted in Vegetables | Leave a Comment »

Weekly menu

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 6, 2007

OK, here are my thoughts for next week. Bonus: we have nearly all this food already in the house. Of course, last week’s shopping excursion had me spending quite a bit more than the normal grocery budget. 😮

Cheese ravioli with light alfredo sauce, garlic bread
Sarah’s lemon and sage chicken, hash brown casserole, green peas
Roast pork loin, black beans and rice, rum-glazed plantains
Blackened catfish, oven fried okra, green beans
Leftover pork loin, sweet potato ravioli, roasted vegetables

Posted in Menus - weekly | Leave a Comment »

Restaurant reviews – NYC

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 5, 2007

Just a short post about a few other places I visited this past weekend and prior:

Grimaldi’s Pizza

This is in Brooklyn, right under the bridge. We spent a while walking around Brooklyn Heights to work up our appetite. Incidentally, a curious thing I have noticed about NYC restaurants is that they never seem to open before noon for lunch on weekends. I guess that is because so many people do brunch there? So, we got in line about 20 minutes till noon and it was a good thing. It is very popular and the line was way down the street by the time they opened. I liked the feel of this place as it was basic and unpretentious, which personally I tend to associate with good food. We got the pizza with sausage, olives and mushrooms. DH doesn’t like mushrooms and I don’t like olives, so we figured that one of each was fair. LOL. I did like this pizza but it wasn’t quite as good as the pizza I got at John’s on Bleeker. It was more watery somehow; I suppose from tomatoes not drained enough. The ingredients were obviously very fresh and it came steaming hot from the brick oven. We got the “small” pizza which was 16 inches and plenty for two people. I have read some reviews on Chowhound that say Grimaldi’s had started putting too much cheese on their pizza in an attempt to cater to the tourists, but I can’t say I agree with those comments. The cheese was in chunks, which is inferior to John’s since their cheese was more evenly dispersed. All in all a good meal, but given the choice I would go back to John’s. On future visits I would like to try Joe’s on Carmine and Patsy’s in Harlem, as well as possibly DiFara in Brooklyn even though it is quite a hike. Some say DiFara is the best pizza you can find but it is a matter of whether you’re willing to spend two hours round trip just for a pizza.

Shake Shack

I wish we had a place like the Shake Shack at home. It’s great fun because it’s outdoors and you walk up and order your food from the little shack and then go sit at one of the tables surrounding it in the park. It’s only open from spring to fall because you can imagine how many people want to sit outside and eat a burger in January in NYC. We stood in line about 30 minutes which is about average from what I understand, and then it took quite a while after that to get our food. I took that as a sign of their making everything to order. We had burgers and fries but no shakes. I thought the burgers were quite good, very fresh and a good size. DH complained that they were too small but personally I think most places these days give you too much burger. When I have to always eat only half and take the rest home, there is something wrong. The fries were good, crispy and well seasoned, but I was a bit disappointed that they were frozen, not freshly made on the premises. Still, they tasted good. This is where In N Out burger has the edge over Shake Shack.

Overall it was good food and a fun experience to eat outdoors since the weather was very nice that evening. I’d go back again.

Katz’ Deli

This is an institution in NYC; the classic old Jewish deli. When we went there, it was a madhouse. It’s always a madhouse. You stand in line and tell the guy cutting meat what you want and he will give you a taste, then make your sandwich. You’re lucky if you can snag a table. This was without a doubt the best pastrami sandwich I have ever eaten. It was huge – two of us shared it and an order of fries and it was plenty of food. The fries were quite good which is not something you usually associate with NYC delis.

Virgil’s BBQ

One word; stay away. How could I have thought that NYC would have good barbecue? Hello, I’m from Texas. The time I went here, I actually had reservations at a good place a ways away but it was pouring rain and I knew I could never get a cab, so I just said the heck with it and ate here since it was right across the street from my hotel Bad decision. The sides and bread actually weren’t bad (garlic mashed potatoes and fried okra if I recall) but the meat was not good. It was tough and stringy and I did not care for the flavor of the sauce at all. Since my hotel was near Times Square I suspect this place caters strongly to tourists from the South who just can’t go a day without eating barbecue.

Posted in Restaurants | 1 Comment »

Ziti Bake

Posted by moderndaygourmet on October 4, 2007

This is another one from Confessions of a Kitchen Diva. It’s pretty basic but delicious. Now that fall is around the corner (yes, I know it’s October, but this is Texas for pete’s sake, our fall lasts about 15 minutes), I’ll be making it more.

1 pound package ziti pasta
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
4 cups spaghetti sauce

Cook pasts according to directions until al dente, about 12 minutes. Mix ricotta cheese and next 8 ingredients. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella; set aside. Drain pasta thoroughly; stir with 2 cups spaghetti sauce.

Spoon 1 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan; top with one half of pasta. Spread ricotta cheese mixture evenly over pasta. Top with remaining pasta, and pour remaining spaghetti sauce evenly over the pasta.

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for one hour or until center is bubbly. Remove foil and top with remaining mozzarella. Return to oven 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Posted in Entrees - pasta, Entrees - vegetarian | 1 Comment »