Sunday, February 13, 2011



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Let's learn about fregola

Fregola is a pasta that is said to have originated in Sardinia. Some call it Sardininan cous cous because it is very similar to its counterpart Israeli cous cous. It is made with semolina flour that is rolled into little balls and then toasted. The toasting is unique to this type of pasta and isn't found elsewhere. It is the toasting process that really sets this pasta apart, adding a depth of flavor, aroma and earthiness that is truly amazing.
Fregola is found in specialty markets and on-line. It isn't very common in the US but it is gaining popularity especially in authentic Italian kitchens. It is traditionally served with a shellfish and tomato stew of sorts but is also a great vessel for any flavor you might like to add. It is great in salads and as a side dish.
It is cooked just like any other pasta, blanched in simmering water until al dente. You can also cook it like cous cous where you pour boiling water over it and let it steep until tender. It is very versatile and a lot of fun to work with and it is one of my all time favorite pastas from this region. Expect to see more of this pasta in the near future!
To buy;

Wood Grilled Australian Prawns, Fregola Pasta, Shellfish Brodo, Crispy Basil

At work we recently tried out these prawns from Australia. Wow, they were so delicious and just full of intense oceanic flavor. They taste like the ocean with a hint of sweetness, and after being grilled over a wood fire the smokiness compliments them so well! In addition to these new prawns I used one of my favorite dry pasta products on this dish.. Fregola{FREH-Gohla} More on this later, My wife just made biscuits and gravy sooo mangiamo y hanno buon giorno!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Osso Bucco

 Osso Bucco with Creamy Polenta, Roasted Miataki Mushroom and Slow Cooked Tomato Vinaigrette

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

I love this recipe, I have been making a version of this since I was a sophmore in high school.  This is one of the first meals I really enjoyed making.  Reminds me of my grandma :)

The Dumplings:
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of buttermilk or milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup of butter or shortening

The Soup:
1 whole chicken
4 carrots
1/2 onion
3 stalks of celery
1 clove of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of sage (optional)
1/4 cup of parsley (optional)
4 to 6 chicken bullion cubes
water enough to fill the pot
chicken broth left over from boiling the chicken

In a large stock pot boil whole chicken until there is no pink left. Remove chicken from pot. Strain the water the chicken was boiling in and return to stock pot. Cut up carrots, celery, parsley, onion and garlic add to the broth in the stock pot. Add sage, bay leaves and salt & pepper to taste. Return stock pot to stove heat on low to medium heat. Remove all meat from the bones, roughly chop or shred the bone free chicken and add the meat to the broth and veggies. Add enough water to fill the vessel you are cooking in, then add chicken broth bullion cubes to taste, probably 4 depending on the vessel and whether or not you use the broth the chicken was cooking in, if you do not use a whole chicken and broth from cooking a whole chicken you will likely need more chicken bullion cubes for flavor. Cook until carrots are soft enough to eat.

Meanwhile mix together flour, baking powder, salt in a medium to small mixing bowl. thoroughly cut in butter or shortening. Then add milk and mix. After ingredients are combined kneed it a couple of times into a big ball of dough. About ten minutes before you are ready to serve add in the dumplings. Pinch small bits of dough and gently press into small lil balls about the size of malt balls, quarter size, try not to over work it. then toss em into the soup at a medium boil. Make sure there is enough liquid to support the dough, you don't want them to be too crowded. Occasional stir the soup while you are adding in dumpling to make sure they are all cooking and not sticking together. let the dumplings cook for about 8 minutes. Serve it up!