My Favorite Apple Pie

It’s pie season!  Apple pie was the first pie that I learned to make, and it is my favorite!  Once you have peeled and sliced the apples, it comes together in a snap.  I bought my pastry dough, and if you are not inclined to make your own it’s perfectly fine to take a little shortcut.

Inspired by Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • pastry dough for double pie crust
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg white

Preparation:

Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl.  Peel and slice the apples and add to the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice after each addition.  I like to use Braeburn apples, Cortland or Granny Smith.

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Whisk together the sugars, flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Combine with the apple slices and toss to coat.

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Place one sheet of pastry dough into the pie dish.  Fill with the apple mixture and dot with the butter.

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Place the top sheet of pastry dough over the top and seal the edges, it doesn’t have to be fancy.  Cut slits to allow the steam to escape.  Whisk the egg white, and brush all over the top.  Place foil loosely around the edges, but don’t press into the dough (or it will not lift off).

Bake for 25 minutes at 375º.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 25 minutes.

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Cool at least 2 hours before slicing.  It smells so good, you will have a hard time waiting!

 

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

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Posted in Baking, Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shrimp and Scallops over Sorghum Rice Pilaf

Shrimp and scallops, one of my favorite seafood combinations!  Whole grain sorghum adds an interesting twist to the usual rice pilaf.  This easy dinner for two is ready in one hour.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. sea scallops
  • 6 oz. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 strip bacon
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup total of brown rice and whole grain sorghum (I used 50% long grain brown rice, 25% Arborio rice, 25% sorghum)
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or use 1 cup water + 1 packet sodium free chicken bouillon)
  • pinch of salt and red pepper flakes

So what is Sorghum?

I first read about sorghum in Cooking Light.  It is a gluten free whole grain with a mildly nutty, sweet taste.  It paired well with my brown rice, as both need about an hour to cook.  Ratio of grain to water is 1:3 (use 3 cups water for every 1 cup of grain).

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Preparation:

Melt 1 tsp. butter in a small saucepan.  Add the rice and sorghum mixture and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Whisk together the chicken broth (or water and bouillon) and pepper flakes.  Pour over the rice mixture, and stir well.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 55-60 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.

If using frozen shrimp and scallops (the budget friendly option), defrost in a colander and pat dry.  Cook the bacon strip in a heavy skillet.  Remove and drain on a paper towel.  Add 1 tbsp. of butter to the skillet with the rendered bacon fat.  Add the shrimp and scallops and cook 3-4 minutes per side.

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To serve, spread the rice pilaf on a serving platter and top with the shrimp and scallops.  Crumble the bacon over the top.

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

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Posted in Dinner for two, Seafood, Under an hour, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Skirt Steak with Grilled Cauliflower and Rainbow Quinoa

It’s grill night!  I love fast easy meals after working all day, and this weeks dinner for two comes together in just 30 minutes!  This is a low sodium recipe, but if you are not limiting salt go ahead and add a dash!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rainbow quinoa
  • 1 packet salt free beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup no salt added vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 2 strip steaks, 6 oz. each
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Light the grill and line one side with foil, mist the foil with cooking spray.  Chop the cauliflower into florets and toss with olive oil and black pepper.  Spread the cauliflower evenly over the foil and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat, turning every 5 minutes.

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Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the quinoa.  Stir for 1 minute then add the vegetable broth, water, beef bouillon, salt and cayenne.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

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Use a coffee grinder to chop the peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds.  Season the steaks on both sides.  Mist the grill with cooking spray, or brush with oil.  Cover and cook the steaks 5 minutes per side, turning once.

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Do not poke the meat with a fork, move it around or press on it with a spatula.

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Transfer the cooked steaks to a plate and cover tightly with foil.  Set a timer for 5 minutes.

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While the steak rests, remove the cauliflower from the grill.

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That’s it, dinner is served!

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A healthy and delicious meal with easy cleanup!  Just what you need on a busy weeknight.

Like this recipe?  I have put together a collection of meal ideas in my “30 Minutes or Less” category.  Check it out today!

http://www.extrudednoodle.com/category/30-minutes-or-less/

 

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two, For the Grill, Low Sodium | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pork and Bean Soup

We awakened this morning to the wonderful aroma of delicious soup that had been simmering all night in the crockpot.  Fall is upon us and the crockpot is officially back in service with this hearty Pork and Bean Soup.  I love using pork shanks in my soup stock, especially for bean and lentil soup.  There is a surprising amount of meat in this cut, and when slow cooked it literally falls off the bone.  Don’t rush the recipe.  Beans love to be cooked slowly.  After an overnight (or all day) soak and 12 hours in the crockpot your patience will be rewarded with the most tender and flavorful beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed dry beans
  • 1 pork shank
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 packet no salt beef bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 carton low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Rinse the beans and place in a stock pot.  Add cold water, to completely cover the beans plus an extra 2-3″.  Do not add salt to the soaking water.  Cover the pot and let soak (no heat) for 8 hours.  I started at 9am, because I wanted to cook the soup overnight in my crockpot.

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Aren’t these beans beautiful?  I love the colors, so nice for fall.  Here is what they looked like after an 8 hour soak.

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Nearly doubled in size, they are now ready for a final rinse before going into the crockpot.

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Wipe out the stockpot and return to the stove on medium heat.  Add a little olive oil, and stir in the carrots, celery and onions, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the veggies to the crockpot along with the rinsed and drained beans.  Whisk together the vegetable broth, tomato sauce, bouillon and seasonings.  Pour over the bean mixture.

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Remove the pork shank from the package and rinse under cold water.

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Nestle the pork shank in the center of the crockpot.  Top it all off with the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper.

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After 12 hours in the crockpot on low, here is what we woke up to.  Can you smell it?

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Remove the shank to a cutting board.  It will literally fall away from the bone.

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Shred the meat with 2 forks and return it to the crockpot.

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You can keep it warm like this until ready to serve.  I added a little egg pasta.

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A nice slice of homemade bread tops off the perfect fall lunch.

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I like to make enough for us to enjoy several times during the week.  There was certainly plenty of soup left over.  The recipe could easily serve 8 for lunch, or 6 as a main course.  I hope that you have been inspired to get out your crockpot and give it a try!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Comfort Food, Crockpot, Soup | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wilted Spinach with Mirin and Pignoli

This recipe will make a spinach lover out of you!  Tender leaves of fresh baby spinach are wilted in rice wine.  Sweet and savory come together as the Mirin is complimented by the nutty flavor of the toasted pignoli, all playing nicely with garlic and tomato.  I love the unexpected sweetness and combination of textures.  It’s fast and easy, the perfect side for busy weeknights!

Ingredients:

  • half large bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely minced
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pignoli
  • 1/2 dozen grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (sweet rice wine)

Preparation:

Lightly toast the pignoli in a dry skillet, and set aside.

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Add the garlic, tomatoes and olive oil to a large nonstick skillet with a pinch of salt and pepper.

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Add the Mirin, bring to a simmer then add the spinach, with another big pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat the leaves, then cover and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.  Don’t overcook!  You want the spinach to retain some of its texture.

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Transfer to a serving dish and toss with the toasted pignoli.

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This is a wonderful side with seafood, and you will be seeing it in my weeknight Dinner for Two posts.  Don’t like spinach?  Try this preparation, it may just change your mind!

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Dash Diet Friendly, Eat your Vegetables | 1 Comment

Homemade Tortellini

Tortellini with a traditional cheese filling topped with San Marzano sauce.  We had so much fun preparing and eating this pasta!  It’s a great recipe to make with the family that everyone will enjoy.  Read on as we recreate one of my favorite restaurant dishes right here at home!  Six servings.

Pasta Ingredients:

  • 100g “00″ flour
  • 50g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 470 bread flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/8 tsp. salt
  • 12-15 tbsp. ice water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fat free ricotta
  • 1 cup Italian 3-cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg

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Sauce Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. can crushed peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 small onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • olive oil

Preparation:

Make the sauce first.  Sauté the onion, mushroom and garlic in a little olive oil.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer on low for 3 hours.

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We are keeping the filling simple and traditional.  Combine the ricotta, three cheese blend and salt in a small bowl and mix well with one beaten egg.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate while you make the pasta dough.

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Combine the flours and the salt in a large bowl.  You will need a total of 620g flour.  If you prefer, you can use all bread flour.  Whisk the 3 eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, then with the paddle attachment, gradually add the flour and 1 tbsp. of water at a time.  You may not need all of the water, use just enough to bring together a nice crumbly dough.  The consistency will be like pie dough, but it should hold together when you give it a squeeze.

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Divide the dough into 6 pieces and form each into a disk.  Flatten slightly and roll each piece into a long thin sheet.  We used the Kitchenaid® pasta roller attachment, and rolled each sheet to setting #5.  Here is the Extruded Noodle crew, showing off our work in progress!

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Lay the sheets of pasta on lightly floured parchment paper and use a pizza cutter to make 3″ squares.

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Now for the assembly!  Top each square with a scant 1/2 tsp. of filling, and brush around the edges with water.

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Fold the square in half to form a triangle, and press the edges together.

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Pinch the sides.  Pardon the shaky camera work (we’re excited!)

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Finally, wrap the ends around your finger and squeeze together.

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One down!

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It’s a family affair as four of us get busy cutting, filling and shaping the tortellini!

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We’re having a great time!

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One hour later, here is our labor of love!  Ready to cook, refrigerate, or freeze.  Always follow food safety guidelines.  The tortellini should be cooked or refrigerated within one hour.

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We worked up quite an appetite making our tortellini.  Fortunately fresh pasta cooks very quickly!  Heat a very large pot of salted water and bring to a rolling boil.  Add the tortellini and cover the pan so that the water will quickly return to boiling.  Cook for 4 minutes, don’t overcook!  Drain well and transfer to a serving platter.

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Al dente perfection!  Top with sauce and Italian parsley.  Serve with grated cheese.

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Look at this beautiful platter!  It was soooo delicious!  I hope that we have inspired you to try making tortellini at home with your family!

 

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Leave a comment

Mini Hash Brown Casserole

Dinner for two is the norm at our house.  We love leftovers, but who wants to eat the same thing all week?  Using smaller pans like the baking dish you see in this post is a great way to keep portions under control.  A petite 5″x7″ baker holds just enough for the two of us with a little leftover for lunch the next day.  Of course you can double and triple the recipe for larger families (and appetites!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen hash browns
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • Topping: paprika, whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs, grated parmesan

Preparation:

Whisk together the egg, shredded parmesan, onion and garlic powders, pepper flakes, salt, half & half, and 1% milk.  Toss with the hash browns.  Coat the baking dish with cooking spray, and add the potato mixture.  Press down with a spoon or spatula to make a nice even layer.

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Sprinkle paprika, bread crumbs and grated parmesan over the top.

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Bake for 30 minutes at 350º, then finish under the broiler for 3 minutes on high.

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Slice into wedges and serve.

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I love easy sides that can be put together while you work on your main course.

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 The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Side Dish | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Zesty Italian Chicken Drumsticks

Farmers market chicken, fresh garden tomatoes and sage leaves come together beautifully for this week’s Italian Sunday Dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 medium sweet onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 large sage leaves
  • 2 cups fingerling potatoes cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups whole wheat orecchiette or other pasta

Preparation:

Marinade the chicken legs in the Italian dressing for 2-3 hours.

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Coat a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread the onions and tomatoes in the baking dish, and season with salt and pepper.

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Arrange the chicken drumsticks and the sage leaves, and pour the marinade in the bowl over the top.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 325º

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Remove the foil, turn the chicken legs and add the potatoes.  Continue baking uncovered for another 30 minutes.

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Add the cooked orecchiette to the dish and toss to coat.  Broil on low for 5 minutes.

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Serve with grated parmesan and crusty bread to soak up the juices!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

 

 

Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Italian Sunday Dinner | Leave a comment

Sangria Chicken Portabella

Throw this dish together any night of the week!  For me it was a weeknight and I wanted something quick.  I just happened to have a few leftover roasted potatoes, and a half bottle of Sangria in the fridge.  A beautiful Portobello mushroom from the farmers market and the rest came together easily.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 cup marble potatoes, cooked and cut in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup sangria or sweet wine
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

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Preparation:

Slice the mushroom and onion.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken breasts and cook 6 minutes per side.  They should be nearly cooked through.  Remove to a plate and slice into 1/4″ medallions.  Toss with the Italian dressing.  You can prepare the recipe up to this step ahead of time, and refrigerate until you are ready to make dinner.  Wipe the skillet clean and add more oil.  Sautee the onions and mushrooms 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add back the chicken, and the potatoes.  Whisk together the cornstarch and the sangria.  Pour over the skillet and stir well.

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Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are warmed, about 5 minutes.  The sauce will thicken slightly.  Transfer to a serving dish.

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Dinner is served.  Nothing fancy, just good weeknight comfort food.

Cheers!

Sangria Chicken The Extruded Noodle 026aThe Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

 

Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food | Leave a comment

Wacky Mac Pasta Salad

Perfect for Labor Day weekend!  Make this bright, colorful pasta salad for your next cookout!  With no mayonnaise, it’s a light refreshing side dish that won’t leave you feeling stuffed.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2.25 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, blanched and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (no seeds)
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • your favorite Italian dressing (use a reduced fat version if you like)
  • shredded parmesan

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Prepare all of the veggies a few hours ahead of time and chill.

I love bow tie pasta, and these colorful Veggie Bows from Wacky Mac are perfect for this salad!  Cook just to al dente (a minute or 2 less than the package directions) and rinse immediately under cold water.  Toss with olive oil and refrigerate for 1-2 hours in the collander.  I’m using my salad spinner.

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Just before serving, combine all of the ingredients in a serving bowl and toss well with Italian dressing and parmesan cheese.

 

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Holiday Favorites, Pasta | Leave a comment

Maple Pecan Salmon

This week’s romantic dinner for two is a Maple Pecan Salmon served with brown rice, and baby spinach wilted in a sweet rice wine over garlic and tomato.  Elegant enough for guests, but easy enough to prepare on a weeknight, this meal comes together in just under an hour.  What a beautiful meal to impress your special someone! ♥ 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brown basmati riceMaple Pecan Salmon The Extruded Noodle 012Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pkg. sodium free chicken bouillon
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

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  • 2 salmon filets, 6-8 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

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  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pignoli
  • 4 small Roma tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (sweet rice wine)

 

Preparation:

One hour, start to finish!  Ready?

One hour before serving:  Start the rice one hour before serving time.  Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan, cover and simmer 55 minutes.

35 minutes before serving: Set up breading trays with the egg whites and ground pecans.  Dip each salmon filet in the egg white, and dredge in the ground pecans.  Drizzle with the maple syrup.  Place the filets in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake 30 minutes at 350º

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10 minutes before serving: Lightly toast the pignoli in a dry skillet, and set aside.  Add the garlic, tomatoes and olive oil to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the Mirin, bring to a simmer then add the spinach, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.  Don’t like spinach?  Try this preparation, it may just change your mind!

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Look at this beautiful meal!

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Make it tonight for your special someone!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Dinner for two, Seafood, Under an hour | Leave a comment

Asian Chicken Stir Fry

My fast and easy Asian inspired Chicken Stir Fry is loaded with fresh Farmer’s Market veggies!  Chop the veggies ahead of time and this dish comes together in a snap!  2-3 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 bunch baby bokchoy, chopped
  • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup Ponzu sauce
  • 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 oz. Chinese noodles (I used Hang’s noodles, my favorite!)

Note: I always choose low sodium products, but if you are not limiting salt and prefer to use the regular version go for it!  I do salt the pasta water in case you were wondering.

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Preparation:

Chop all of the veggies.  Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.  Whisk together the chicken broth, Ponzu sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, pepper flakes and the cornstarch.  Boil water for the pasta and heat a large skillet over medium heat.

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Sear the chicken breast on all sides in 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/4″ medallions, then return to the skillet.  Add all of the vegetables, reserving a few of the scallions for garnish.  Add the sesame oil and saute for 3 minutes.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet and continue cooking until it begins to thicken, 3-5 minutes.  Drain the cooked pasta and add to the skillet.  Toss well and cook for 1 more minute to incorporate.

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Serve on a large platter, and garnish with the reserved scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

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How easy is that?  You can substitute any veggies you like in this dish.  Zucchini and onions would be a great addition, as would cabbage.  Beef or pork would also stand in for the chicken.  Have fun creating your own favorite version!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Eat your Vegetables, Farmers Market Favorites, Low Sodium | Leave a comment

Meaty Zucchini Lasagna

This week’s Italian Sunday Dinner is a long, skinny lasagna with only 4 noodles!  It’s a great way to use up all that zucchini!  Here’s how to make this delicious dinner for two.  For us it was actually 4 servings, but it will definitely satisfy 2 large appetites :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup sweet onion, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (about half of a 1 pint container) fat free ricotta
  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • olive oil

 

Preparation:

Soak the lasagna noodles in hot water while you make the sauce and the filling.  Grate the gruyere and parmesan cheese.

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To make the meat sauce, brown the beef and the onions in olive oil, breaking up the meat with a spatula.  Add the garlic and all of the tomatoes, oregano, basil and pepper.  Simmer for 1 hour on low heat.

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Shred the zucchini with a coarse grater.  Stir in the ricotta cheese and place in a colander to drain some of the liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Now for the assembly.  I’m using one of my favorite pans, a 13″ pate terrine (tea loaf pan).  You can see that it just fits a lasagna noodle.  Coat the pan with cooking spray and cover the bottom with sauce.

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Next layer on one noodle.

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Top with 1/3 of the zucchini ricotta mixture and sprinkle with gruyere and parmesan.

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Continue layering sauce, noodle, and cheese.  Finish the top with sauce and grated cheese.  Here it is, ready to go into the oven.

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Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350º, then continue baking another 15 minutes uncovered.

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Here it is, hot and bubbling up on the sides.  Try to resist digging in for a few minutes.  The layers will hold together on your plate if you allow it to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Shop All Le Creuset Specials starting at $39.95 at SurLaTable.com!

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This is a good time for an adult beverage and some delicious homemade bread (that’s another post).

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Mmmmmm, doesn’t that look good?  Well worth your time and effort!

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

You have seen this pan in many of my posts.  It is the perfect size for this mini lasagna.  I also love using it for breads and cakes, as you can cut smaller, diet friendly slices.  And of course you can use it for pate :-)


Le Creuset® Cherry Pate Terrine

Le Creuset® Cherry Pate Terrine

Le Creuset® Cherry Pate Terrine Le Creuset® Cherry Pate TerrineLe Creuset cast-iron terrines are sand-cast, painstakingly polished and finished by hand, then sprayed with two coats of enamel and fired twice. No other procedure yields cookware that so evenly conducts and retains heat.Slow cooking at low heat in this durable terrine makes it easy to prepare a delicate dish like pâté. Plus, it′s also great for making meatloaf, lasagna, bread, cake, custard or even gelatin. Temperature retention properties and tight-fitting lid keep food hot or cold till ready to serve.Styled after designs of the 1930s and 1940s, Le Creuset′s Heritage terrine add a vintage flair to any tabletop. Durable dish can be used with any heat source and will not absorb odors or flavors. Easy-to-clean enameled finish resists chips, cracks, scratches and stains, ensuring beautiful performance for years to come. 1½ qt. capacity. 13¾”L x 4¼”W x 4½”H. Limited lifetime warranty. Made in France.






Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ciopinno

Tonight I’m making Ciopinno, a Fisherman’s Stew made with a medley of seafood in a flavorful tomato broth, served over risotto.  You can also serve it as a zuppa with crusty bread, or over pasta.  I used shrimp, scallops, squid and little neck clams in this recipe, but it’s a versatile dish that can be made with any seafood you have available.  Crabmeat, halibut or mussels would all be great substitutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 rib of celery, minced
  • 1/2 can of fish stock (15 oz. can)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 Littleneck clams
  • 6 large shrimp
  • 6 large sea scallops
  • 1/4 lb. squid rings
  • Italian parsley for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. butter for finishing
  • 2 cups cooked risotto

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Preparation:

Scrub the littleneck clams and rinse well in cold water.  If using frozen fish, thaw completely before cooking.

Ciopinno The Extruded Noodle

In a deep skillet (use one with a cover) melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add the celery, onion and garlic.

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Sautee 2 minutes then add the tomatoes, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and the spices.  Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

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Start the risotto at the same time, so that it will be ready to serve with the stew.  Plan on 1/2 cup (uncooked) per serving.

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Add the fish stock and the white wine to the skillet.

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Bring to a boil, and add all of the seafood.  Cover immediately and cook 6 minutes.  Remove the clams and discard any that did not open!

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Stir in 1 tbsp. butter to finish.

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To serve, spoon the risotto into shallow bowls.

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Ladle the Ciopinno over risotto, top with the clams and garnish with fresh parsley.

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What a wonderful meal this was!  I felt like we were dining at a 5-star restaurant!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Italian Sunday Dinner, Seafood, Soup | Leave a comment

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu.  This post was inspired by an old episode of Tyler Florence, one of my favorite TV chefs.  Years ago this dish was a restaurant standard, but you don’t often see it anymore.  I have never been happy with my attempts to make this old favorite at home.  Despite toothpicks and miles of cooking twine the bundles fell apart in the oven, cheese oozing out all over the place.  After watching this show I learned one simple technique that made this dish a huge success.  The link to the original episode can be found below.

Dinner for Two:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/8 lb. thin sliced prosciutto
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cup flour seasoned with paprika
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Pound the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to less than 1/2″ thick.

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Layer the chicken with slices of prosciutto and shredded gruyere.

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Now for the trick!  Roll up the chicken using the plastic wrap as a guide, then twist the ends like a sausage casing.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

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Set up breading trays with the flour, egg whites and breadcrumbs.

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Gently unwrap the chicken bundles, roll them in the flour, then dip in the egg white, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs.

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Set the bundles seam side down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 350º.

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The bundles held together nicely, just a little cheese peaking out at the ends.  Rest 5 minutes before slicing.

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To make the sides shown here, toast 3 oz. of quinoa in 1 tbsp. butter for 1 minute, then simmer in 1 cup chicken broth seasoned with garlic pepper until absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Cut matchsticks of zucchini, summer squash and carrots, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes at 350º.

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The chicken was moist and delicious, as good as any restaurant version!

See the inspiration recipe here:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-cordon-bleu-recipe2.html

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food, Dinner for two | 1 Comment

Sun Dried Tomato and Sausage Pizza

Some of my best pizzas are made from what’s on hand in the fridge and pantry.  That’s how I put this one together.  A little Kamut® grain (see note at the end) that I milled into 2/3 cup of whole grain flour, topped off with bread flour and a little rye.  Sun dried tomatoes from the pantry, sausage, onion and mushrooms.

 

The Dough:

  • 2/3 cup milled Kamut® flour (or use whole grain wheat flour)
  • 2-1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup whole rye flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups water

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Knead for 5 minutes on speed 2.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

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For the Toppings:

  • 1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes in oil (reserve the oil)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 carton white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese

Pulse the sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste and a little of the reserved oil in a food processor.

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Sautée the onions and mushrooms in the reserved oil.

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Remove the sausage from the casing and cook through, breaking the meat up with a spatula.  Transfer to the food processor and pulse a few times, then return to the skillet to finish cooking.

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Prepare the Pizza:

Preheat the oven to 475º.  Transfer the dough to an oiled pizza stone and roll into a round.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  When the dough has rested, brush it all over with the remaining sun dried tomato oil.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

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Add the toppings.

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And the cheese.

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Bake for 10 minutes at 475º then reduce the heat to 450º and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Finish under the broiler on low for 2 minutes.

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The crust is nice and crispy on the bottom!

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Slice and serve!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Note: KAMUT® is a brand name for an ancient strain of wheat known as khorasan wheat.  I mill my own flour whenever possible, and I love Kamut® grain for its golden color and nutty flavor.

Posted in Baking, Bread, Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites | Leave a comment

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

A yeasted sweet bread with swirls of brown sugar and cinnamon!  If the picture alone doesn’t convince you to bake your own Cinnamon Swirl Bread then consider this-

  • It’s so easy to make!
  • You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry
  • The leftovers (if you have any) will make great French toast!

The Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. softened butter
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar

The Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter

The Egg Wash:

  • 2 tbsp. egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. water

Whisk together the flour, yeast and salt.  Mix the egg, milk, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until well blended.  Switch to the dough hook and gradually add the flour mixture.  Knead for 5 minutes.

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Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let rise for 1-1/2 hours.  Gently deflate the dough and place on an oiled cutting board.  Roll out into a 14 x 9 rectangle.  Brush the dough with the melted butter.

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Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1″ border all around.

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Roll up the dough, starting with the long side and pinch the seam to seal.

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Tuck in the ends, like this.

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The pan I’m using is a 13″ Pate Terrine.  It makes a long skinny loaf with smaller, diet friendly slices.  Place the dough seam side down in the pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Rest for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 350º and whisk together the egg whites and water.  Brush the loaf well with the egg wash.  Pierce the top of the loaf with a fork or docking tool to allow steam to escape.  Bake for 30 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Then gently run a spatula along the sides of the pan and remove the loaf.  Cool slightly before slicing, so the filling doesn’t run.

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Look how beautiful this is!  Still a little bit warm, but we couldn’t wait!

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Slice and serve.

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If you want to, you can drizzle the top with icing made of 3 tbsp. confectioners sugar and 1 tbsp. milk.  I made this loaf for company and we served it with coffee, just like this.  It was a hit!

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We did have a few slices leftover, just enough for a delicious breakfast!  You should make this recipe just for the French toast!

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Baking, Breakfast | Leave a comment

Mostaccioli

This decadent Italian cookie is perfect for dunking!  The center is filled with dark chocolate, almonds and honey.  No sugar or butter are used in this recipe.  Put on a pot of coffee and let’s get baking!

Dough Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1-1/2 tsp. anise or amaretto extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the honey, eggs and extracts.  Switch to the paddle attachment and mix together the wet and dry ingredients to form a stiff dough.   Transfer the cookie dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap while you make the filling.

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Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole almonds
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract.

Spread out the almonds on a baking sheet and roast in a 350º oven for 6 minutes, stirring once.  Use whole almonds, for the best flavor and beautiful presentation when you slice the cookies.  Transfer the toasted almonds to a bowl to cool.  Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.

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Stir in the honey and combine well, then remove from the heat.  Add the cocoa and vanilla, and finally the toasted nuts.

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To assemble, divide the dough into 3 pieces, and roll each into a long rectangle, 14″ x 6″ on parchment paper.  Spread the filling along one side of the dough, leaving room along the edge to seal.

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Use the parchment paper to help roll each section lengthwise into a cylinder.

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Crimp the edges together to form a tight seam, so the filling doesn’t ooze out when you bake.

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Now wrap up each section in the parchment paper and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Chilling the dough will help the cookies hold their shape in the oven.  Now it’s time to lick the bowl.  Go for it!

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Preheat the oven to 350º and line a large cookie sheet with parchment.  Arrange the 3 rolls on the baking sheet, leaving space in between.  Pierce the tops of each roll with a fork or docking tool to allow steam to escape.  Bake for 20 minutes.

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Make an egg wash with 1 egg and 2 tbsp. of water., then brush all over with the egg wash.

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Continue baking for another 10 minutes.

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Cool completely on a rack before slicing, so that the filling has time to set.

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Ahhhhh, beautiful!!!  Well worth the time and effort.  The flavor and texture of this cookie takes me back over 50 years to my grandmother’s kitchen.  My family gave it a thumbs up!  I just made them for a birthday and will definitely be making a few batches for the holidays.

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug
 
 
 
 
 
Adapted from Italian Food Forever   www.italianfoodforever.com

 

Posted in Baking, Holiday Favorites | Leave a comment

Marinated Skirt Steak

I have a beautiful skirt steak from the farmers market that I have been saving for the perfect summer night dinner.  A peppery marinade followed by a quick sear on the grill is all this long thin cut will need, and it’s budget friendly as well!  Our dinner for two is served with roasted Dutch marble baby potatoes and mixed veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. skirt steak
  • 1 tbsp. mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. garlic oil (infuse olive oil with warm garlic cloves)
  • 1 package Dutch marble baby potatoes
  • your favorite mixed veggies

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Preparation:

To make the rub, toast the peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds in a small skillet until fragrant (1-2 minutes).  Use a mortar and pestle to coarsely crush the toasted mixture with the salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and olive oil.

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Coat both sides of the steak with the rub, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours before grilling.

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One hour before dinner, toss the baby potatoes with olive oil, whole cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.  Roast the potatoes for about 45 minutes at 400°.

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Heat the grill (or if indoors heat a heavy skillet) and coat with cooking spray.  Cook the steak 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a serving dish and cover with foil.

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To keep the juices in the meat, rest covered at least 5 minutes before serving.

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It’s perfect!  Slice the steak thin on the diagonal and serve.

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Mmmm!  This is a very lively marinade!  I love the bold flavor of the peppercorns, coriander and fennel!

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Here’s to warm summer evenings and another great dinner on the grill!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in #dashdiet, Dash Diet Friendly, Farmers Market Favorites, For the Grill | Leave a comment

Homemade Fettuccine – Italian Sunday Dinner

I’m very proud of this fettuccine, it’s the best batch that I have made so far!  I used a blend of whole wheat pastry flour, Italian “00″ flour and bread flour.  The exact weights are listed below.  The equipment you see in the photos include my Kitchenaid® mixer, pasta roller and cutter attachments, and wood drying rack.  I made the following for 4 people but it would easily have served twice as many.  Just look at those noodles!

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  • 175 g. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 175 g. Italian “00″ flour
  • 270 g. bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • about 12 tbsp. ice water

Whisk together the flours and salt.  Beat the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, then gradually add half of the flour mixture on low speed with the paddle attachment.  Increase to speed 2 and begin adding the water, 1 tbsp. at a time with the remaining flour until you have a dry dough that holds together when you squeeze it (you may not need all of the water).  It will resemble pie dough.

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Press the dough into a ball and divide it into 6 pieces.  Work with one section at a time and keep the remaining dough covered with a dish towel.  Flatten each piece of dough into a disc and pass it through the pasta roller on the widest setting, #1.  Fold the dough in half and pass it through again.  Continue folding and rolling the dough on setting 1 until you have a smooth sheet of pasta, it will take 6-8 passes.  Now increase the setting to #2 and pass the dough through in a single layer, no folding after this point.  Continue increasing the setting from #2 to #3, then #4 with 2 passes each.  You will have a long, supple sheet of pasta.  Lay it on a floured dish towel and if extra long, cut the sheets in half.

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When you have rolled all six pieces of dough into sheets, switch to the cutter attachment.  Pass each sheet through the cutter and hang on a rack to dry.  Cook within 1 hour or refrigerate.

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Fill a large pot with water, bring to a rolling boil and salt generously.  Add the pasta and cover the pot to keep the water at a boil.

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Cook for 3 minutes then drain well and top with your favorite sauce.  Finish with a little olive oil and toss well.

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Our homemade fettuccine was the centerpiece of this week’s Italian Sunday Dinner.  Tossed with San Marzano tomato sauce and drizzled with oil, we served up a wonderful meal of pasta, meatballs and sausage.  Don’t forget the grated cheese, and the wine!

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

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You may also like…..

http://www.extrudednoodle.com/2014/01/10/italian-meatballs-perfect-every-time/

See my entire collection of favorite Italian Sunday Dinner recipes

http://www.extrudednoodle.com/category/italian-sunday-dinner/

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Leave a comment