Monday, May 12, 2008

Squid Ink Noodles

These noodles are made with squid ink, which gives them their distinctive black color. While cooking, they omit a slightly briny odor, like the sea, but as far as taste, they're just like regular noodles. They're more for that wow "black" factor than anything else.

While I didn't make these, I can at least vouch for their tastiness. Although, it wouldn't be hard to make your own. All you need is 1 or 2 tablespoons of squid ink added to your regular semolina pasta recipe.

The brand I used is called "La Campofilone," which are surprisingly the best dried noodles I've had recently. They say that they only use semolina, and eggs (no water) to make their noodles, and then slow dry them at slightly higher than room temperature. I don't know much about noodle making, but apparently they do, because these dried noodles are the closest thing to fresh noodles that I've had short of the real ones.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bacon CC Cookies with Maple Glaze

Or any other time really. But these cookies are made with bacon, which makes them better than normal cookies! As Mike said, "Bacon is the candy of the meats." This started out with Liz sending me a link to a similar recipe. I made some minor modifications like adding rolled oats and such, and then tried it out.

I personally, think they're great. I got a lot of mixed reactions when I started making these. But I've yet to have someone say they didn't like them. The bacon adds a nice salty/smokey depth to the sweet cookies, and the maple-cinnamon glaze reminds me a french toast and the syrupy bacon that usually accompanies it.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Maple-Cinnamon Glaze


1 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup finely crushed walnuts
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups bacon bits (real bacon!!)

Directions-preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Beat together the butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs until creamy. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir together. Dough will be slightly soft. Add in the oats and crushed nuts. Add in chocolate chips and bacon bits. Stir until well integrated. Set dough balls about 2 inches apart on heated baking stone.

Bake cookies for about 12 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack while you ready the glaze.

Maple Cinnamon Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon water

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If lumpy, use a whisk.

Spread a small amount of the glaze on the top of each cookie and top with a small piece of crisp cooked bacon.

Nori Crusted Ahi

I got this recipe from another site, and decided to modify it a little for my own tastes. I got a lot of mixed reactions on the nori flaked ahi. Some liked it, others said they'd rather have it without. Either way, I liked it and that's all that matters.

Nori Crusted Ahi

3-4 Ahi Tuna Steaks
4 Tbsp Lime Juice
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
3 Nori Sheets
1 Cup Chicken Stock
High Temperature Oil (like vegetable, I used tea oil)

1 package Flat Rice Noodles
2 Carrots, sliced
hand full of Snow Peas
hand full of Bean Sprouts
3 Green Onions, sliced
Sesame Seeds

Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, and throw the noodles in for 8 min to soften.

While waiting for the water to boil, place the nori sheets in a processor, and pulse until the nori is flaked, like fish food. Combine in a bowl, the lime, soy, honey, and vinegar. Dunk the tuna in the soy mixture, and set aside and cover. Add the chicken stock to the soy mixture in a small sauce pot, and reduce by half over medium-high heat.
In a wok, fry the carrots for 1 min in a little oil, and then toss in the other veggies for about a min, then remove from the wok.

Place the softened noodles in the wok, and place the veggies on-top. Pour the reduced soy over the noodles and toss to coat, until everything is hot.

While the noodles are frying in the wok, heat a heavy skillet with a few Tbsp of oil on very high heat. Take the soy dipped tuna, and "bread" the outside with the nori flakes. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the tuna steaks to the skillet, and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. An important note, try not the place the nori crusted tuna down after you crust it. The nori will come right off, and it's hard to put back on. Just crust the tuna and stick it in the hot pan.
Slice the tuna, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and place atop the noodles in a bowl.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Neapolitan Pork Cutlets

This is a combination of apple, onion, and mushroom over marille pasta with mascarpone cheese.

Neapolitan Pork Cutlets with Mascarpone Cheese and Marille

1/2 stick + 1 stick Butter
4 Pork Cutlets or chops
1 Onion, sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
8 oz button mushrooms
1 Tbsp Tarragon
Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
14 oz dried Marille
Olive Oil
1 cup Mascarpone cheese
Beef Tomatoes, halved

Oven to 300F
Bring pot of salted water to a boil

Lightly season the cutlets with salt, pepper, and paprika. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet, and fry the cutlets over medium low heat for about 5 min each side. transfer to a dish and keep warm.

Fry the onion, apples in the pan until lightly browned, transfer to the veal dish and keep warm.

Melt remaining 1 stick of butter in skillet. Gently fry the mushrooms, tarragon, and pepper for about 3 minutes. sprinkle in the sesame seeds.

Cook the pasta until tender, but still firm to the bite.

Drain the pasta, and plate. Top with mascarpone, and a sprinkle of olive oil. Place the onions, apples, and cutlets ontop of the pasta. Spoon the mushrooms on to the cutlets, and place in the oven for 5 min to melt the mascarpone.

Sear the halved tomatos and serve with the pasta.