Archive for ‘Truffles’

December 29, 2010

“Wow” | Crab, Leek and Ricotta Rollatini (with Truffles)

There are fireworks on New Year’s Eve for a reason.  It’s a time for the best we’ve got.  A dinner like this requires a lot of you.  But oh my, is it worth it.  And the one you make it for will think so, too.  And I’m sure they’ll be grateful.

I cooked a lot today.  I picked one and a half pounds of snow crab.  Kind of tedious.  Made a stock from the crab shells and froze it.  Easy.  Cooked up a batch of ricotta.  Simple, but a little time-consuming.  Mixed up a big batch of homemade pasta.  Great workout.  Rolled said pasta into lasagna noodles.  Time consuming, but simple.  Assembled said pasta and crab, etc. into rollatini.  Pretty simple.  Bake.  But my oh my, look what happened to the time!  Nothing today was difficult, but it all took time.

That seductive, elusive siren:  time.  Everyone (hello, Thirty Minute Meals) will tell you that you don’t have enough of it, that you have to squeeze more out of what you’re given.  Don’t believe them.   Take pleasure in the cooking tasks in front of you.  Your end results are what nurture you and those you love.  For a real wow factor, make something at home that is worth both your effort and your time.

Crab, Leek and Ricotta Rollatini, serves 4

STEP ONE:  Make Ricotta

STEP TWO:  Make the filling

Mix 2 cups of cooked crab, 2 cups of ricotta, 1 leek that’s been sautéed in olive oil, 6 stems’ worth of picked thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve a spoonful of the filling for garnish.

STEP THREE:  Make the pasta

You will find a large variety of fresh pasta recipes online and in cookbooks.  A quick guideline ratio is 1 cup of flour to 1 egg plus one egg yolk.  I follow the recommendation of the flawless Marco Pierre White.  Easy.  Accurate.  Delicious.  I grated the remainder of our truffles (three tiny ones) into the dough.  Please try to add this if you can.  It makes a world of difference.

STEP FOUR:  Assemble the dish

I rolled the mixture into rollatini (heaping bits of the mix along the length of the pasta), greased the dish with truffle butter (thank you, Snowville and Greener Grocer) and baked for 20 minutes at 350 F.  You may do as you wish.  Cut your pasta into strips for papardelle and toss with the crab mixture.  Make ravioli and use the crab as the filling.  Just know that by making your own pasta you will attain new heights of flavor.

At the end of the day, this dish is about the transformative power of cooking.  The pasta is flour and eggs.  The cheese is simply warmed milk and a bit of lemon.  The truffles and leeks are pure earthiness.  Do yourself a favor – take the time to make something extraordinary.  It’s that time of year for fireworks.

Serve with Prosecco.

Playlist included Wow, by Kylie Minogue.  On repeat.

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December 27, 2010

Christmas Menu | A Recap

Christmas was a Cronus and Rhea’s and it was marvelous.

Twice-Stuffed Roast Goose with Truffles and Pan Gravy, Stuffing of Sausage, Stuffing of Onions, Apples and Prunes

Braised Spiced Red Cabbage

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Yorkshire Pudding with Carrots and Broccoli

Pear Salad with Stilton and Walnuts

Dense Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt with Raspberry Puree, made by the lovely Amphitrite

A bit later today, I’ll post a quick,  light supper recipe using the leftovers.

If you want any more details about the menu or recipes, just let me know.

December 23, 2010

Darkest Night of the Year | Truffled Root Vegetable Dauphinoise

I love the Greener Grocer.  You can find so many local things at the shop as well as the occasional rare treat from farther afield.  The most recent delicacy was a quarter pound of Oregon black truffles, which will feature prominently in our Christmas Eve and Christmas day meals.  But my favorite way to use them is in the humblest and simplest dishes where they can show off all their earthy fragrance.

For dinner, I cobbled together three things that were sitting in my crisper in need of quick use: a half of a celeriac, a half of a rutabaga and a half of an onion (from vegetable soup to atone for all my enchilada sins in Texas).  Looking across at the shelf with the dairy, I spied the half gallon of Snowville whipping cream (uh, yeah, sorry vegetable soup) that needed to be used, too.  Voila! Dauphinoise!  Normally a potato dish with cheese, I had a suspicion combining the root vegetables with the silky fat in the cream would make the truffle the star.  I love it when an idea comes together.

Truffled Celeriac Dauphinoise, Serves Four

1/4 large rutabega, very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you’ve got one)

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