Saturday, June 4, 2011

Home Made Pasta: Part I....Delicious When You Have The Patience



Mini Roller Pin
Middle Cylinder Turns Freely
While Keeping Both Handles Steady.
When someone likes pasta, like myself, he will go through a lot of pain to have the best possible, and sometimes the best possible is made at know what goes in it....and it is fresh.
Further my yesterday's recipe with the dry Tortellini bought off the rack of a supermarket, today we shall enjoy together the adventure of making pasta at home.
Picture No. 1 shows you the equipment you need to make home made pasta.
Picture No. 2 shows you the Ravioli maker which together with a mini roller pin Picture No. 3, will help you make 36 little raviolis just like that!

Picture No. 4, shows the cutters in different shapes to make bigger raviolis...square, round, big, smaller.
Tip: Put just enough stuffing, to fill the center of the square or circle. Do not put too much stuffing because it might go the edge of the circle and the pasta will not seal causing the ravioli to open while boiling. Picture No. 7 

Picture No. 5 & 6:  Shows the main body of the pasta machine. You can see the two cylinder which rotate opposite each other to press the dough into a flat sheet, as for  lasagna, the sheets for the ravioli, the tagliatelle, the tagliollini, the Cannelloni, which should be cut with the pasta cutter Picture No. 8
at 8 cms by 10 cms. However this is not a rule you can make them any size you can.
Pictures No. 9, 10, and 10A:show how the attachment to the main body of the pasta machine which makes tagliatelle and tagliollini ( thin tagliatelle similar to spaghetti but flat ).

Ten A
 So now we shall go ahead and make a batch of Home Made Pasta.
You will need:
Serves 10:
-  500 gms of all purpose flour.
-  5 big whole eggs.
-  A pinch of Salt.

-  Use your usual mixer. Use the hook special attachment for dough. 
-  Add your flour and salt in the mixing bowl, and make a hole in the centre.
-  Break your five eggs and beat them slightly with a fork. Pictures No. 11 & 12.
-  Turn on the mixer, and blend to make a dough which will wrap itself around the hook special attachment.

-  This should take about 10 minutes.  The dough must not stick to the walls of the bowl, or be too dry. If dry add very little water, if sticky add very little flour. Picture No. 13.
-  Make the dough into a ball and let it rest for about 15 minutes Picture No. 14.
-  Cut pieces and start using the main body of your pasta machine. Picture No. 6.  Take off the accessory for the tagliatelle and the tagliollini.
Tip: Make absolutely sure that when you have prepared your sheet for any of the above types of pasta, that it is quite dry, and not sticky or else your tagliatelle and tagliollini or any other type of pasta will be sticky and form one solid mass. Your flat sheet must be left to dry as per pictures No. 15, 16 and 17.
FifTeen :Working Surface Must Be Well

-  You would want to have a pot with about 5 liters of water and 3 Tbsp. Kosher salt already boiling.
-  Throw in 5 pieces of the flat pasta and boil for 3 minutes. Take out and extend sheet on wet kitchen towels to dry. The pasta should be al dente.
-  Repeat the same procedure for all the pieces of pasta, till all are boiled and left on the wet kitchen towels to dry. Pictures No. 18 and 19.

By now you should have decided what you want to do with these flat pieces of pasta.
You can make Baked Cannelloni, Baked Lasagna, and plain lasagna in your plate. By superimposing one hot freshly boiled piece of flat sheet over the other and putting various fillings to your liking in between topped with parmezan cheese.
We shall meet again tomorrow for Part II. Have a nice Saturday night! And drive Safely.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Tortellini Con Latte / Panna / Burro.....Tortellini With Milk / Cream / Butter

I believe by now you have graduated from the University of Plain Pasta and you are about to begin your Master's Degree in stuffed pasta. By stuffed pasta I mean, Tortellini, Ravioli, Canneloni, and Lazagna and precisely I mean home made pasta. You would want to make your own pasta and your own ravioli, and tortellini etc. so you can know what is inside or stuff with whatever ingredients you want.

Today we shall begin with something easy.  We go to the supermarket and pick up a couple of packs of tortellini off the rack. These are dry, ready made. The next step is to go to the supermarket and stop at the fresh food refrigerator and check out the different freshly made pastas, including tortellini and ravioli.
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tunisian Couscous With Fenel And Cilantro........Totally Vegetarian And A Fantastic Meal By Itself.

File:Couscous of Fes.JPG
Vegetable Couscous Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google
This is one dish I will never be able to cook myself...Maria, during our stay in Sfax, Tunisia (1981 - 1985), learned first hand how to cook it from the Tunisian ladies in our oilfield community...Yep! 30 years ago. All I know is that Maria really knows how to cook this version of the Couscous, and the standard ones with the chickpeas, lamb / fish / chicken / beef / and the various vegetables.

For this recipe, which I am certain you will like, you will need:
Serves 4 - 6
-  500 gms of medium Couscous.
-  200 gms of fresh cilantro (fresh coriander) very finely cut.
-  200 gms of fresh fenel ( looks like dill but it is not) very finely cut.(Maratho in Greek, bessbess in Tunisian Arabic).
For the sauce:
-  2 medium onions chopped.
-  8 cloves of garlic chopped very finely.
-  500 gms of grated tomato with juice.
-  1 tsp. tomato paste.
-  3/4 cup olive oil.
-  1 tsp. cayenne pepper.
-  1 vegetable bouillon cube.
-  Salt and freshly ground pepper
-  2 Tbsp. freshly ground coriander (tabel in Tunisian Arabic, kouzbara in Egyptian Arabic, cóliandros in Greek).
For the couscous:
-  In a bowl add   one cup of cold water to the 500 gms of couscous.  Mix well and let stand for 20 minutes. After the time elapses you will see that the couscous has clustered and dried and is not as free flowing as when coming out of the box.
-  Put the Couscousière on the fire to boil 1 liter of water.  When the water boils, add to the upper part of the Couscousière the fresh coriander (cilantro) and the fresh fenel.

On The Right Is The Couscousière.
Bottom Part Is The Pot,
Upper Part Is The Collander With Cover.
Mixture Of The Herbs.
200 gms Fenel
200 gms Cilantro
(Well Washed)

-  When you see the water inside the pot getting green (about 20 minutes) add the couscous on top of the aromatic herbs.
-  Cook for about 20 minutes.
-  When time is up, transfer the couscous with the herbs into a very deep and large bowl.
-  Using two long wooden spoons mix the fenel, cilandtro and couscous very well so that the herbs get evenly dispersed all through the couscous.
Mix Couscous, Fenel And Cilantro Very Well To
Get Proper Dispersion Of The Herbs.
Must Not Have Clusters Of Herbs.
End of Part I.
For the coriander sauce:
-  In a small saucepan add oil, onions and stir fry till the onions are soft.  Add the dry ground coriander with the garlic and continue stir frying till you obtain that wonderful aroma of the total mixture (2 -3 minutes).
-  Add the cayenne pepper, the bouillon cube, the tomato paste  and stir till cube dissolves.
-  Add some hot water, stir, then add the 500 gms of warmed up grated tomato.
-  Bring to a slow boil, do not cover and simmer till oil separates from the sauce (about 10 minutes). Cover and let stand until the sauce is luke warm.
End of Part II.
-  The final step is to add the luke warm sauce to the, warm couscous and mix very well with two wooden spoons making sure that the sauce has coated all the couscous granules.

Add The Sauce To The Couscous, Then Mix Very Well
To Coat All Couscous Granules (one by one lol).
Nearly Ready Do You See The White Spot Below
The Spoon

Can Be Eaten Alone Or As A Side D
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hussaini Kabab......Skewered Barbecued Lamb....Typically Mughal

Map of Pakistan
Courtesy of Google Maps

Simple Raïta (not spiced) And Hussaini Kabab
The Moguls invaded the territory of India in the 16th century and ruled for almost 300 years. During their journey to India, through present day Pakistan, the Moguls came across the much admired Persian style of cooking, which they adapted and introduced to Pakistan and India.  This has become known as the Muglai Cuisine.
Today I would like to share with you a typical Mughal dish originally prepared by the Master Chef Sajid Hussain Qureshi himself and author of the cook book in English Language "Art of Mughal Cuisine"
ILM-O-IRFAN PUBLISHERS, published by Gullfraz Ahmad, 1rst Edition January 2004 which I am presently using.
The name of the dish is Hussaini Kabab.  We had it for lunch and it was excellent. Due to
health reasons a change was made to the topping sauce. Instead of the milk/butter/cream almond paste mix we prepared a Raïta instead with yogurt, shredded cucumbers and dried mint served with naan bread and a salad.
You will therefore need the following:
Serves 4-6
-  900 gms boneless lean meat, mutton or lamb cut in 1 inch cubes.

De-boned Lamb Shou
For the Marinade:
-  6 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
-  1 inch of fresh ginger grated.
-  1 tsp. freshly ground cumin seed.
-  1 tsp. freshly ground coriander seeds.
-  2 level tsp. salt or to taste.
-  1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.
-  1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
-  3 Tbsp. yoghurt.
-  2 Tbsp. oil
-  1/2 tsp. chili powder.

Marinate For 3 - 4 In Fridge Covered
For the sake of keeping the recipe as per the author the topping is also included.
For the topping:
-  4 Tbsp. butter.
-  150 ml milk
-  25 gms almonds or cashew nuts ground to a fine paste.
-  100 gms of fresh liquid cream.
-  Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well. Marinate cut meat cubes in the mixture. Cover and leave for 3-4 hours refrigerated.
-  Thread 4-5 pieces of meat on each skewer and cook on a charcoal fire or under a preheated grill until crisp and brown all over.

-  Melt butter, add milk, almond paste and cream and cook over a slow fire until mixture thickens.
Stove Top Grill
-  Place cooked kababs in a serving dish and spread the milk sauce over each kabab.
-  Serve hot with parathas or naans.
As mentioned above I did not use the milk sauce for health reasons and replaced it with a Yoghurt / cucumber / mint Raïta as follows:
-  500 gms of  cold yoghurt.
-  2 cold cucumbers shredded.
-  1 Tbsp. dry mint.
Mix all the above and serve with kebab.

As for the naans.... I will tell you my adventure on my next episode!
Bon Appétit, Ya Siko
Personal Opinion: The marinade was out of this world. It could be used with chicken and beef.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quick Mild Curry With Rice....Going East

Very often you would want to change tastes, cuisine, go on a culinary trip somewhere. A quick Indian dish would be a very simple chicken curry with plain white rice.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Tarte Tatin....Upside Down Green Apple Pie

Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google

Culinary wonders sometimes result from mistakes during cooking.  One of those wonderful mistakes is the Tarte Tatin.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Irini's Chocolate Lava...The Third And Last Dessert ...Barbara's Birthday Dinner

To make Irini's Chocolate Lava you will need:

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