Chicken and Swiss Chard Ravioli

Category: Pasta Comment

Yield: 80 full sized raviolis

Filling:

  • 1 1/2  cups   Swiss chard, steamed, squeezed dry and chopped fine (cooked & squeezed final volume)
  • 1 1/4 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (raw weight)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
  • 12 ounces (vol) ricotta cheese, excellent quality, drained of excess liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon  white pepper
  • 1 cup Grana padano, grated (medium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon  grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. Make sure you drain all the excess liquid from the chard or else it will make the ravioli filling too loose.
  2. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and rub with half the olive oil.  Place in a sauté pan at medium heat and cook until just done. Let cool. Chop into large chunks, place in food processor and pulse until it is a medium ground mixture with some texture left.
  3. All ingredients together and mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve with Red Wine & Mushroom Ragu and Grated Reggiano Parmesan

Merlot Pasta Sauce:

  • 2 quart Home Canned Tomatoes (you may substitute excellent quality canned tomatoes)
  • ½ cup  porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Reggiano Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Fresh Basil (chopped finely)
  • To taste Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Drain jars of tomatoes into a large stock pot and discard juice. Simmer on the stove. Wash mushrooms and rinse well. Chop mushrooms coarsely and add to the stock with the tomatoes. Simmer until desired thickness ・at least 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, reduce Turning Leaf Merlot to ¼ it’s original volume.
  3. Add this to the reduced tomato sauce and simmer for 20 minutes more.
  4. Just before serving, add butter, fresh grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese and basil and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve tomato sauce with pasta and extra grated cheese and basil on the side.

Home Canned Tomatoes

Fresh ripe garden tomatoes are peeled, quartered and packed tightly in a one quart canning jar with

  • 1T  white vinegar
  • 1t  salt
  • 3-4 cloves  of fresh peeled garlic and
  • 1/2 cup  chopped onions
  • Store refrigerated

Butternut squash gnocchi with sage brown butter sauce

Category: Vegeterian Comment

Makes  90 gnocchi: enough to serve  four people, (with 13 portions to freeze)

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled
  • 10 oz russet potato, peeled
  • 1 oz (2 tabs) Butter
  • 1/4 teas Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teas whole pepper
  • 1 teas salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 cups flour, ap

Directions

  1. Boil squash and potato until very soft.  Put into food processor with cold butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper and run with “S” blade until smooth.  Once mixture is smooth, continue running the food processor, add the egg yolk. Once the egg yolk is fully incorporated, stop the machine.
  2. Put 2 cups of flour on a worktable or large cutting board and scrape the batter out onto the flour.  Work the flour into the batter with your hands until most of it is incorporated—you should have a very soft dough that is just firm enough to roll out into thin logs.  Use the rest of the flour to roll out the dough into “logs” that are the thickness of a quarter (approximately 1” thick) and 12” or so long. Chill the logs for 1 hour and then cut into slices that are approximately 1 1/2” long. Roll in flour briefly to prevent sticking, Place on a baking pan and freeze immediately. Once frozen, place in a zip lock bag for storage. These will last for several weeks frozen. They are best cooked from a frozen state.
  3. Boil salted water and add frozen gnocchi, continue to boil the gnocchi until they float, simmer one minute more, then test one gnocchi by cutting in half and checking the center. It should be light and plump and cooked throughout. If they appear still a bit “gummy” in the center, they need additional cooking time.
  4. Once cooked, the gnocchi should be placed on a plate, topped with the brown butter sage sauce and served immediately.
  5. Garnish with a few strands of lemon zest and a light sprinkling of an aged hard cheese, such as Vella Dry jack or a Pecorino Romano.

Brown butter sage sauce

  • 3 oz (6 tabs) butter
  • 3 leaves fresh sage
  • Pinch of salt  (omit if using salted butter)

Chop sage finely, set aside. Have gnocchi almost ready, simmering.  Melt butter and salt and cook over medium flame until it starts to brown.  When it’s about as brown as a walnut, add half the sage, pour over gnocchi on plate.  (If gnocchi isn’t quite ready just pour butter into cool pan to stop cooking.)  Sprinkle remaining sage on top, serve.

Swiss Chard

Category: Vegeterian Comment

Serves 6

  • 2 Bunches Swiss Chard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled, sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Remove ribs from swiss chard.  Rinse chard and place in a colander.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. and add onion and garlic and sweat.  Add chard.
  3. Saute about 5 minutes or until chard is wilted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Risotto with Peas and Mushrooms

Category: Vegeterian Comment

Serves 4

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons McEvoy Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. Fresh crimini mushrooms
  • plus optional 1/4 ounce dried porcini
  • mushrooms hydrated in cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer and place on a back burner over the heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-14 inch skillet.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.  If using the optional dried porcini, remove from soaking liquid and add with the crimini, add the liquid to the hot stock.  Add the rice and stir 1 minute to coat thoroughly.  Add the wine, stirring  constantly.  Once the mixture  is hot throughout add a 4-6 oz. ladle of stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed  Continue adding stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
  4. When the rice is quite al dente (12-14 minutes) add the peas, continue to stir until the rice appears creamy and tastes tender  throughout (15-17 minutes).
  5. Stir in the cheese until well mixed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

Brussels Sprouts

Category: Vegeterian Comment

Serves 6

  • 1 lb. Brussel sprouts
  • 2 Tablespoons Asti olive oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 oz. Pancetta, chopped
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Trim end and outer leaves of brussel sprouts.  Cut in quarters, lengthwise and blanch in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes.  Heat oil in sauté pan that can go into the oven.  Add pancetta and cook until pancetta renders some of the fat (a few minutes).  Add onions and sauté a few minutes.  Add blanched brussel sprouts.  Sauté until the brussel sprouts get a little color.  Add remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bake in the skillet in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Vegetable Frittata

Category: Entrees, Vegeterian Comment

Serves: 12

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3T olive oil
  • 4 small zucchini sliced
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 3” lengths
  • 1 pound Swiss chard
  • 3 medium onions
  • 3T fresh oregano
  • 3 each roasted red bell peppers (peeled and seeded)
  • 20 each large eggs, beaten
  • 2t salt
  • 1t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cut off pointed ends of the garlic bulb and place on a small piece of foil.  Drizzle with 1T olive oil and fold the foil over to seal. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and squeeze garlic from the bulbs. Set aside.
  2. Arrange the zucchini in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.
  3. Arrange asparagus spears in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.
  4. Remove and slice the stalks from the chard. Cut leaves into 1 inch strips.
  5. Arrange chard stems and stalks in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 3 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  6. Cut onions in half lengthwise; cut into very thin wedges. Sauté onions in remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, chard, zucchini, asparagus, oregano and bell pepper. Toss gently.
  7. Whisk together eggs, salt and pepper. Layer half of vegetable mixture, cheese and egg mixture. Repeat procedure. Pour into lightly greased 12-inch skillet.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until set.

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

Category: Entrees Comment

Yield: 1/2 hotel pan (2” deep): 12 portions

  • 2 cups  Mozzarella, part skim, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup  Grana Padano, Grated
  • 3 each Zucchini
  • 3 each Yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 each Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 each Red Onion medium size, sliced into rings
  • 3 each Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups Bechamel
  • 1 1/2 quart  Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounce Ricotta cheese, drained in cheesecloth to remove excess moisture
  • 3 each Fresh Pasta Sheets

Directions

Make Bechamel sauce using a very lean roux and skim milk. Season with grated nutmeg, white pepper and salt.

Slice all vegetables lenghtwise. Season with herbs de provence (we did not have this, so we used a mix of oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Grill without oil. Cook with color but leave al dente. Peel and remove seeds from red peppers after grilling.

To assemble lasagna:

  • 6 ounce (vol)   tomato sauce, spread as a layer
  • 1 each   fresh pasta sheet
  • 6 ounce (vol)  tomato sauce, spread as a layer
  • 1 layer  green zucchini, arranged to cover as a layer
  • 1 layer  grilled onions
  • 1 cup   béchamel, spread as a layer
  • 6 ounce (wt)  ricotta cheese, spread as a very thin layer
  • 1 cup   finely grated mozzarella, cover as a layer
  • 1 each   fresh pasta sheet
  • 6 ounce (vol)  tomato sauce
  • 1 layer  eggplant, arranged to cover as a layer
  • 1 layer  red bell pepper, arranged to cover as a layer
  • 1 cup   béchamel, spread as a layer
  • 6 ounce (wt)  ricotta cheese, spread as a very thin layer
  • 1 cup   finely grated mozzarella, cover as a layer
  • 1 each   fresh pasta sheet
  • 6 ounce (vol)  blend of 1/2 cup tomato sauce & 1/4 cup bechamel
  • 3/4 cup   grated Grana Padano

Bake at 325 degrees (fan on), covered for 30 minutes.

Remove cover and bake for an 20 minutes until golden on top and hot in the center.

Note: we use warm ingredients and bake immediately, timing may vary depending on temperature of ingredients.

Serve with tomato sauce on plate, grilled yellow squash and chard as accompaniments.

Tomato Sauce (yield 3 quarts):

  • 2 quarts tomato fondue
  • 1 each large yellow onion, fine dice
  • 3 each garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grgio)
  • 2 quarts diced tomatoes in juice (canned)
  • 2 each bay leaves
  • to taste fresh herbs: basil, thyme. Oregano, parsley
  • to taste salt and pepper

Meyer Lemon Risotto with Dungeness Crab

Category: Entrees Comment

This dish makes a great luncheon served with a salad of baby arugula tossed with olive oil and coarse sea salt. Fresh Dungeness crab should be left to speak for itself, so the crab is served the way I prefer it, as a mound of chilled, unadorned, chunky crabmeat on top of the warm risotto. As you take a bit of crab and risotto together, the textures, temperatures and flavors blend and contrast to reach a wonderful balance that is at the same time refreshing and very satisfying.

Although you can make this with any lemon, I prefer Meyer Lemons as they are sweeter than the traditional Eureka Lemon. Depending on the season and your mood, you can add fresh peas, asparagus or any fresh vegetable you’d like to the risotto. You can replace the parmesan cheese with a fresh goat cheese.

It pairs wonderfully with a good crisp white wine that cuts through the richness of the risotto. Try a Sauvignon Blanc, White Burgundy or a Chardonnay that is crisp rather than buttery and oaky.

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, unsalted
  • ¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 each medium onion, finely minced
  • 2 inches bay leaves
  • To taste salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup Sauvignon blanc (or what ever wine you will drink with it)
  • 1 each Meyer Lemons, zest and juice
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (preferably homemade)
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 cup Reggiano parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 pound Dungeness crab meat, fresh picked
  • ¼ bunch chives, chopped

Directions

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, add butter and ½ the olive oil. Add the onions and bay leaves. Stir once and then cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the rice and stir until all the kernels of rice are coated with the olive oil mixture. Add the wine and saffron and simmer, reducing heat if necessary until the wine has been absorbed. Add the lemon zest. Slowly add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed to just below rice level, stirring gently but frequently. Continue doing this until all the stock is used or until the rice has a very light “bite” to it. Rice used in risotto is done when it has a slight “bite” to it like al dente pasta. This is different than other types of rice.

When the rice is almost tender and done, stir in as much of the lemon juice (to taste) as you’d like. Then add the heavy cream (optional) or more stock or water if necessary) and then the parmesan. Reserve 1 cup of broth. Continue stirring until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice still has that slight bite to it.

Taste one last time and adjust the seasoning with salt, white pepper and lemon. Gently stir in the last cup of broth so the rice is a little ‘soupy”. Portion the risotto into 4 warm bowls, drizzle the remaining olive oil on each portion and top with a generous mound of crab meat, and some chopped chives.

Exotic Mushroom Roast with Madeira & Thyme

Category: Vegeterian Comment

3 each

  • 8oz(vol) Cream
  • 2 teaspoons Shallots finely chopped
  • 2 lbs Wild Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Virgin
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme fresh
  • 4oz(vol) Madeira
  • 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce

Directions

  1. Use mushrooms that will stay fairly firm when cooking. Toss mushrooms in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place carefully on a roasting pan or baking sheet. roast in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 mnutes until mushrooms are just tender.
  2. While mushrooms are roasting, make the sauce:
  3. Put madeira, soy, shallots and thyme in a pan reduce to 1/2, add cream season with salt and pepper. Reduce until it is a light sauce consistency. Pour sauce on plate, stand up the
  4. mushrooms in a bunch in the center of the sauce.

Fig, Zinfandel and Walnut Relish

Category: Accompaniments Comment

Yields: 2 cups

Here is a very versatile accompaniment that can stand on it’s own or can be part of a more involved dish. Since it will last for weeks, it is worthwhile making more than you need and holding the rest in the refrigerator for other uses.

It is a favorite for Thanksgiving with Turkey and a Zinfandel gravy.

I will also use this sweet and salty relish as part of an hors d’oeuvre: either placed on a speak of Belgian endive and topped with crumbled goat or bleu cheese. Or served on a cracker. It makes a great spread for your favorite roast beef or turkey sandwich. It goes just as well with other warm meat dishes.

  • 2 cups Zinfandels
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Combine in a sauce pan and reduce over medium-high heat to 2 tablespoons.

  • 1 1/2 cups  Dried Mission figs, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar, granulated
  • 2 Tablespoons  Capers, rinsed and chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon  Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup   Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • to taste   salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup   walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped

Let reduced zinfandel/balsamic mixture cool. Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper at the end.

This recipe can be made completely in the food processor although I prefer the clean cut of a hand chop.