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Posts tagged ‘basil’

Homemade Pasta

I grew up eating homemade pasta, my Mom made it all the time, she did it all by hand the rolling, cutting etc… no recipe she dumped flour on a work surface added eggs in a well she made in the middle of the flour and that was it. I remember seeing her knead the dough, roll it out and it was a lot of work but homemade pasta has always been one my favorite things to eat and a cherished childhood memory.

I take advantage of modern appliances and use my food processor to make the dough and have a pasta machine which really makes quick work of it all. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this pasta is simply with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic. For this dish I wanted to use some leftover very soft tomatoes and a friend gave me some tiny grape tomatoes and some basil from her garden. I planted 8 tomato plants this year and 2 basil plants, I was so optimistic about the tomatoes and had some beautiful  fruit on the plants, unfortunately I only got 1 tomato the squirrels got the rest and my basil died, both plants. I am lucky that the farmers market has beautiful heirloom tomatoes so like every year I will rely on my trips to the market for my tomato fix.

the almost ripe tomato that the squirrels decimated

Homemade Pasta

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

2 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

2-4 tbs water (start with 2 add more if needed)

2 tbs olive oil

I used my food processor it’s so easy, put all the ingredients in the bowl of your processor and pulse until it becomes a cohesive dough. Take the dough out and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for at least an hour.

Homemade pasta

After resting, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Keep dough you are not working on covered with a tea towel. Use your pasta machine according to manufacturers directions. I start on 1 and work my way up, folding and re rolling as I go. I decided on fettuccine for this dish. After cutting the pasta place on baking sheet and toss with flour so it doesn’t stick together. Cover with towel while making each portion. Note: Pasta freezes beautifully so you can freeze whatever you don’t want to cook.

The pasta dish is so simple to make. I roasted tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Put a large pot of water on to boil, add about 1 tbs of salt, the water should be like sea water. In a skillet or sauté pan add some olive oil add some sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned and soft, add the roasted tomatoes. When water boils add the pasta, fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook. Using a strainer or pasta fork add it directly to the pan with tomatoes and garlic. Toss and cook for about 2 minutes. Add some fresh cherry tomatoes and some torn basil, grate some cheese, parmigiana or Romano or both, and enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders In Cream Sauce

Chicken Tenders In Cream Sauce

This recipe is so simple and delicious. I have been meaning to post it for a while but never got around to it until I saw the Whole Foods recipe contest is stovetop chicken recipes and I decided to enter it. This can be a quick weeknight supper or an elegant entree for a dinner party. Because I use chicken tenders it’s a very quick cook, including prep it’s less than 30 minutes. I like to serve with plain rice but it’s equally good eaten alone with a vegetable or salad on the side. I’ve been making this for years and I can’t honestly remember where I got the recipe, it’s quite possible I created it myself. The sauce is rich and so flavorful.  You can omit the heavy cream altogether for a light sauce increasing the white wine to 1/2 cup and maybe add a tbs of butter.

Serves 3-4 depending on serving size

    • 8 chicken tenders
    • 1 shallot peeled and chopped
    • olive oil for pan
    • 1/3 cup white wine
    • 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 6 basil leaves divided (3 and 3) cut chiffonade or 1/4 tsp dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Heat enough olive oil to coat your saute pan, add the shallot and cook until tender and translucent, add the chicken tenders and sear, remove chicken from pan and add the white wine to deglaze the pan, let reduce by 1/4 (approximately 3 minutes on med/high heat) add the cherry tomatoes and let cook until the tomatoes soften. Now add the heavy cream, worcestershire sauce and 3 of the basil leaves that have been cut. Add the chicken tenders back to the sauce and let cook for approximately 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens a little. Before serving add the rest of the basil chiffonade.

Blackberry,Peach Ice Cream With a Hint of Basil

One of my favorite summer fruit pies is the combination of blackberries and peaches. I also really love blackberries with basil and I make a blackberry basil simple syrup that I use for drinks and as a flavoring in many sweet dishes. It’s been really hot here in NYC and my thoughts have turned to ice cream so I took my favorite pie and turned it into a frozen treat. I made a custard base, added some of the blackberry basil syrup before pouring into the ice cream maker and then some sweet ripe peaches that I got at the farmers market. It’s really delicious, you only get a hint of the basil, and I think it adds a depth of flavor to the ice cream that is wonderful. The syrup can be used to drizzle on the ice cream, make a shake or ice cream soda it’s very versatile.

Blackberry Basil Syrup

2 cups blackberries

1  cup + 2 tbs sugar

4 basil leaves

2/3 cup water

Add everything to a saucepan and bring to a boil, continue to boil for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl pressing the blackberries so all that is left is seeds and a very small amount of pulp. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until cold. Overnight is best. Then you can proceed to clean the strainer removing every seed that is stuck in every tiny little whole.

Custard

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cup whole milk

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

Place heavy cream and milk into non reactive saucepan and scald. Add egg yolks and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk until thick and a lovely light yellow color. Add half of the hot liquid into the yolks whisking constantly (tempering the egg yolks) Pour back into the pan with the rest of the milk/cream, turn flame to med/high stir constantly until it becomes thick and coats the back of your spoon. You should be able to run your finger making a line on the back of the spoon that stays intact. If using a thermometer it should be 170 degrees.

Strain into bowl, cover with plastic directly on top of the custard and let it come to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until it reaches 40 degree’s or lower.

Making the Ice Cream

Cold custard

3/4 cup blackberry basil syrup

1 cup chopped peaches (peeled)

Mix the blackberry syrup with the custard and pour into ice cream maker, follow manufacturers instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve add the peaches and continue churning for a few more minutes or until it’s the right consistency.

Spoon into container and place in freezer for at least 2 hours or until it reaches a scoopable consistency.

Bake Together-Creamy Blackberry,Raspberry,Basil Galette

I am excited about this months Bake Together, Abby’s challenge this month is pie, Very Berry Mini Pies to be exact. As always we follow the basic premise of the recipe but are given the freedom to make it our own. My submission is one of my favorite spring/summer combinations, blackberry and basil. I make gelato, simple syrup and what ever I can from this flavorful combination.I decided to make small galette’s (free form tarts) and fill with blackberries and raspberries folded into a mascarpone basil cream. The crust is my go to pie crust from Julia Child and instead of vegetable shortening I use leaf lard. These sweet little galettes are creamy, loaded with berries and really delicious. Thanks Abby for another great challenge.

The Dough:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 tsp salt

6 oz cold unsalted butter (I used cultured) cut into pieces

4 tbs cold leaf lard or shortening cut into pieces

1/2 cup ice cold water

Add the flour and salt to food processor and pulse twice. Add the butter, lard or shortening and pulse until it resembles crumbs, pour into mixing bowl and add the water. Gently mix to combine. Divide into two discs, cover in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Filling:

2 pints blackberries

1 pint raspberries (red or black)

4 basil leaves rolled and cut chiffonade

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup mascarpone

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbs flour

pinch of salt

zest of 1 lemon

Add the mascarpone, egg yolk, basil, sugar,lemon zest, flour  and salt to mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the berries and fold in. Refrigerate until ready to use

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On floured surface roll a piece of the dough into a round that is approximately 7-8 inches in diameter. Spoon some of the blackberry mixture into the middle of the round and bring the sides up leaving a little of the berries exposed. Continue until you have 8 galettes’s. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the galette’s are chilled, bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, brush with warmed apricot jam (optional) and let cool on a rack until ready to serve.