Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint

On June 17, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

 

 

IMG_3200

I am always looking for new ways to enjoy pasta. The base combination of olive oil, garlic and parmesan reggiano is the beginnings of a great dish.  The addition of the fava beans and mint give it some sustenance.  Finally, the addition of red pepper flakes kicks it up a notch, just be careful not to add too much of the red pepper as a little goes a long way.

Of course this dish can be made vegan by simply not using cheese or by using a vegan cheese.

Making your own fresh spaghetti is easy if you have the right equipment, if not you can do what I do most weekends and that is pick-up some fresh pasta.  The pasta I usually get is from Domenico’s as they are at many of the farmer’s markets I go to including South Pasadena, Studio City, and others around LA.

Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint
Serves 2

12 oz. fresh spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup fava beans, peeled and blanched
1 small bunch fresh mint, thinly sliced
dash of red pepper flakes
grated fresh parmesan reggiano

If you did not purchase already peeled and blanched fava beans, prepare the fava beans and set-aside after blanching.

IMG_1323

Heat a pot of water for the spaghetti. Add a dash of salt to the water and add spaghetti when water boils. If using fresh spaghetti heat for only 3 minutes, and for dry spaghetti cook for 10 minutes.

IMG_1324

While spaghetti is boiling, in a sauté pan heat olive oil at medium-high heat and add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook the garlic for 2 minutes and then add the fava beans. Cook the garlic and fava beans for another 2 minutes and then add ¼ cup of water from the pasta. Now add the pasta to the sauté pan and mix with the fresh mint.

IMG_1329

Remove pasta to plate each meal and add the grated parmesan reggiano.

Serve with some garlic bread.

 

Tagged with:
 

Martha’s Mac & Cheese

On March 15, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

IMG_2523

This recipe is nothing short of humble… Martha Stewart’s website even went so far to name the recipe “Perfect” in its title.  Fortunately, that title is well deserved with this recipe that lived up to the hype.

I was on a conference call the night I was making this dish and everything was ready as I was jumping on a call with China as I dished out some for my wife to enjoy and put the rest back in the oven to keep warm until my call was over.

IMG_2533

From the family room, I heard my wife shout “this is the BEST mac & cheese you have ever made!”

Sounded great though I was disappointed as I was on my call for a good hour until I finally finished work and dished out some for myself.  My wife was right.

The sauce is cheesy rich almost fondue like sauce that is created while the noodles are cooking.

IMG_2528

I decided to divert from the recipe a little with the breadcrumbs. I kept the crust on and proceeded to heat the bread crumbles in a saute pan with a little butter to give it some crunch, being careful not to burn. I then took the bread and put in my min food processor in two batches and reduced it down to small bread crumbs leaving some slightly larger pieces in it.

IMG_2535

The rest of recipe I followed exactly. Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [Perfect Macaroni and Cheese]

Tagged with:
 

Mongolian Beef

On February 18, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

mongolianbeef_dish

I used to love P.F. Chang’s when it first came on the scene, but over the years my desire for it trailed off. I went a few years ago and the dishes are just too salty like a lot of chain restaurants.  So when I came across a recipe from another food blogger I enjoy – Kelly at Just a Taste, I figured it was time to bring back Mongolian Beef to my dinner choices.

This is a simple dish any new cook can make and there are some good tips any good Chinese food lover will want to take note.  I’ve used corned starch coating since becoming aware of that technique back in the early 1990s when a friend shared their favorite stir fry recipe.

mongolianbeef_wok

There is a lot of brown sugar, so please don’t consider this a healthy dish.  There’s a 3/4 cup of brown sugar in the sauce! So I wouldn’t make this every week or even every month.

I also added broccoli when I reheated some leftovers the next day, so feel free to mix it up with some other vegetable options.

For the beef, I used Novy Ranch flat iron steak and picked up some green onions at the Studio City Farmers Market last weekend.

Full Recipe: [30-Minute Mongolian Beef]

Tagged with:
 

Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni

On February 17, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

Fresh pasta is one of those things that sounds time consuming, especially on a work day evening. It certainly can be but there are ways to reduce the time and my secret weapon is the KitchenAid mixer with the pasta extractor accessory.

The pasta dough is simple to make and then a small ball of pasta dough is placed in the extractor and in seconds beautifully shaped rigatoni (or 8 other shapes.)

This recipe is a great use for fresh pasta and yes even on a work night it is possible.

Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni 

Prep Time: 30 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slivers
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 4 leaves of sage, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh rigatoni pasta

Directions:

  1. Heat a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, fill a saute pan with water and add asparagus once it begins to boil.  Drain after 3 minutes of boiling. Wipe pan dry and add bread crumbs heating on medium-high heat for 4 minutes tossing to brown all of it without burning. Remove bread crumbs, set aside.
  2. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and then heat garlic slivers for about 4 minutes then add  butter, sage and parsley. Let it all combine for a minute then add lemon juice.
  3. Cook pasta for about 2-3 minutes, if freshly made (follow instructions on package if using store bought.) Drain pasta and then add to saute pan.  Return the asparagus and bread crumbs.  Pour in the remaining olive oil and parmesan cheese.
  4. Toss it all together and serve.
Tagged with:
 

Bacon and Beet Fettuccine

On December 28, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

This recipe is a bit of an adaption from a favorite Mario Batali recipe from Mario’s before The Chew Molto Mario show. Molto Mario was a great show that showcased how simple it is to make amazing Italian pasta that often featured a couple key tips:

1.) Use fresh pasta not dried

2.) Don’t over sauce

Mario’s Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Parsnips is a great recipe and one I’ve modified before. This version uses bacon and golden beets with a sage butter sauce. It also gave me an opportunity to break-in some new bowls I bought at the Ranch 99 Market last week after spending sometime in Torrance, California taking a Lexus LFA for a spin on the LA streets.

Bacon and Beet Fettuccine
Serves 2

Fresh Fettuccine past noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh sage, rough chop
3 slices bacon, diced
2 golden beets, diced into small cubes
fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano

Make your Fettuccine noodles using one recipe of basic pasta dough. Set aside pasta and start boiling some water with a dash of salt.

Add bacon to a medium-high heat saute pan. Cook bacon and remove from pan when done. Leave the bacon grease in pan.  Add the diced beets and cook for about 5 minutes turning often.

Cook your pasta for about 2-3 minutes and drain from water. Add the bacon back to the saute pan and the 2 tablespoons of butter and sage. Cook for 1 minute then add the cooked pasta. Toss and serve immediately adding some Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish.

Serve.

Tagged with:
 

#SundaySupper Louisiana Sloppy Joe’s

On September 9, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
62

It’s officially football season with the start of the NFL this past week and college football last weekend.  Whether you are hosting a tailgate, barbecue or just hanging out at home with family watching the game, food is an important part of football season.

One of my favorites is sloppy joe’s. However, I’m not a fan of the traditional ketchup and water flavored sloppy joe’s served by most places and found in just about every 1970’s cookbook. I prefer a bit more flavor and use tomato paste and dijon mustard along with with several spices.

For the meat, I went with J&J Grassfed beef that is sold here in California. They have a vendor at the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market I frequent most weeks.  The rest of the vegetables also came from the same Farmers’ Market.

Louisiana Sloppy Joe’sServes 4

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups water
6 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the ground beef, onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until the meat is cooked.  Add everything else besides the water and bay leaf. Stir and cook together for about 2 minutes.  Add the water combining everything and then bringing to a gentle boil. Finally add the bay leaf then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve with hamburger buns, potato chips and some fruit.

Enjoy the game!

For more #SundaySupper Recipes this football season:

The Football Tailgating Menu Lineup

Pre Game Warm-ups:

On the Sidelines:

Main Events:

Overtime:

From the Cooler:

Wine Pairings by Wine Everyday

Please be sure you join us on Twitter all day for this special football season Sunday Supper Event. We’ll be chatting it up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll share our Football Tailgating Menu!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

Tagged with:
 

Pear Zucchini Stir Fry

On August 29, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

Before last Sunday I had no clue what a Pear Zucchini was so don’t worry if you do not either.  You can substitue any vegetable here.  A ‘normal’ green zucchini or yellow squash is fine or skip both and add cauliflower and/or broccoli.  Basically this is anything you want it to be.

However, if you are lucky and can find a Pear Zucchini I do recommend it. It is kind of like a zucchini and cucumber hybrid.  It’s a bit sweet and little firmer than a typical zucchini, plus it looks beautiful on your kitchen counter.  I found the one I’m using here at the Alhambra Farmers’ Market held every Sunday morning only a few miles from our home.

Pear Zucchini Stir Fry
Serves 2

1/2 Pear Zucchini or 2 zucchinis, cut into cubes
2 carrots, cut into half moons
12 green beans
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 soy sauce
1/4 tsp brown rice vinegar
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

In a wok, add sesame oil and minced ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes to release flavors.  Add vegetable broth, soy sauce and brown rice vinegar in wok, whisk together and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.  Remove sauce from pan and set aside. Do not rinse wok.

Return wok to heat and add onions and carrots cooking for a couple minutes then add zucchini.  Add curry powder and some fresh cracked pepper.  Cook in wok for about 3 minutes.  Return sauce to wok and cook for another couple minutes.

In a small cup combine a teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.  Add to wok right before serving mixing it into the sauce, this will thicken the sauce right before serving.

Serve with rice.

 

Tagged with:
 

Sour Cream Enchiladas

On August 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

Sour Cream Enchilada served with Corn Chowder

I don’t make a lot of recipes that call for three cans of anything, but I decided to make an exception since these looked so good.  I did go with some different brands using some Pacific Natural Foods for the Cream of Chicken and Muir Glen Organics for the tomato and chilies.

The sauce in this recipe can be reduced by half since you really don’t need such a thick layer of it as it is presented in the source recipe.  Also, note the author’s comment, to stir the sour cream, cream of chicken and cilantro mixture regularly to keep a smooth texture.

You need about half the amount of shredded cheese too. Making these minor changes will make it slightly lighter, but this is sour cream enchiladas. No one is pretending this is a healthy choice.

The chicken mixture can also skip canned green chilies and substitute fresh chilies, preferably 1 serrano or 1 hatch chile, seeded and washed then finely diced.

Preparation is easy. Look for some decent locally made tortillas from a Mexican market, taqueria, or Farmers’ Market if available in your area.

The lesser amount of sour cream sauce and cheese will look something like this. I had ran out of tortillas, only making 5 enchiladas due to the boys and I eating a couple tortillas the day before I finally got around to making this dish.

This is definitely a dish worth trying with or without my edits. I don’t even particularly care for enchiladas but these were quite delicious and simple to make.

For the full recipe: Skinny Sour Cream Enchiladas.

Tagged with:
 

Pappardelle in Red Wine Beef Ragu

On August 20, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
1

Sunday night is always a special evening when it comes to cooking.  Not only is it the last evening before the work week where I can spend more time preparing and cooking a meal.  It is also a time to enjoy some twitter chat with fellow foodies on #SundaySupper chat. Tonight they were doing recipes made or paired with wines.  I had been planning on making a Korean beef dish with rice, but switched after seeing a Pappardelle dish my friend Chuck Hemann posted to his Facebook page yesterday and after noticing it was a wine theme on #SundaySupper.

Today’s Studio City Farmers’ Market had the pasta vendor there selling some freshly made Pappardelle noodles. There were also some amazingly beautiful organic local carrots too. In case you haven’t seen what a real carrot looks like; instead of all the perfectly colored and shaped carrots at the typical grocery store, here you go.

I modified a couple Pappardelle ragu recipes.  Most called for a combo or some version with beef, pork, veal and even ground boar.  I would’ve loved making something with all four, but I only had some grass-fed ground beef.  I also went with a California Red Wine blend that added a nice rich flavor to the ragu.

Pappardelle in Red Wine Beef Ragu
Serves 4

1 lb Pappardelle noodles
1 lb ground beef
2 cups red wine
1 cup vegetable broth
28 oz can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly slided
4 Sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large stockpot add the olive oil and heat on medium-high until hot then add the ground beef.  Add the dried oregano, basil and some salt and pepper to taste mixing it into the ground beef in the pan.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring often to evenly cook and get some browning of the meat. Set cooked beef aside in a separate dish.

Do not clean the stockpot and return to the heat adding the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chopped sage. Cook on medium-high heat for a minute then cover and cook on low heat for another 7 minutes.  After vegetables have cooked return ground beef to pot.

Crush the canned tomatoes in a bowl with your hands.  Pour tomatoes into pot with vegetables. Add the red wine and vegetable stock. Heat the pot to a boil and then cover reducing heat to a simmer cooking for 1 1/2 hours.

In the final 20 minutes of cooking the ragu, start the water for your noodles.  When ready, add the Pappardelle noodles to the boiling water and cook accordingly. About 5 minutes for fresh and follow the directions on the package for dried noodles.

Serve with large shavings of Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

Tagged with:
 

Orzo with Walnut Pesto, Olives and Feta

On July 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
1

I’m only a week away now from ending my time cooking at the hotel.  The house is ready August 1st and while I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making meals with a limited kitchen I am excited about having a full kitchen soon.

If you haven’t figured it out, it’s fairly easy making pasta in a small kitchen.  All I needed for this recipe was a 4 quarter stock pot that I had brought with me; though, Extended Stay America does have a small pan you can use to boil pasta.

The thing I constantly find I miss as I cook in a hotel kitchenette are bowls – mixing bowls to be precise. To get around this I’ll cook my pasta then drain it and use the pot I just made the pasta in as a mixing bowl.  For this recipe I combined the drained pasta, pesto, feta, olives and lemon juice.

I really like this recipe, for hotel cooking, because it takes only 10 minutes to make. I recommend buying some pre-made pesto. I found some Walnut Pesto at the Studio City Farmers Market last Sunday which was a nice substitution.

One pound of pasta makes enough for three meals so you can easily use this for a couple dinners and a lunch or a couple lunches and a dinner. Enjoy.

Full Recipe: Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta.

Tagged with: