Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bringing in the new year!

Our friends Emily and Mike are expecting a baby any day now- and she loves our cat Ashes, so we wanted to have them over before, as she says, they begin the phrase "can you just come to us?"
So- for our "can you come to us" late lunch, I made a few items worth documenting.


Homemade saffron pasta
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
fat pinch of saffron

2 cups flour (plus tons more to cover your pasta when putting it through the machine and all over your kitchen)
Put the flour and salt in the food processor. Add the eggs, run the blades and watch the dough come together. You want a pretty sturdy dough, add flour as necessary to the processor and let it do all the kneading for you. (If you were smart- you'd add the saffron now. I didn't.)


Let the dough sit in the machine for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rest it on a floured surface and cut into eighths (half it- then quarter).
To "clean" the pasta machine, flour a portion of dough. Put it through the rollers and the cutters a few times. This will get any old dough or metal shards (yum) out of the machine. Throw away (or compost) this dough.
Flour another portion of dough. Put it through the rollers on the fattest setting. Fold in half, flour both sides, reduce the rollers by one notch- insert again. Repeat this process for each notch on the machine (about 6). Then, let this dough rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat the process for each of the remaining 6 hunks of dough.(I had minimal counter space- so I stacked two sheets on top of each other.)
Take a sheet and run it through the cutter- and then hang the pasta to dry (or set aside).
Cooks in about 3 minutes in well salted water. 


Ragu bolognese
this color is off in the photo

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 12 oz. ground beef (95% lean)
  • 3 strips thinly sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock stock
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste (I used a bit more)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used mostly fat free half and half with a splash skim)
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)


  • Finely chop veggies (or pulverize/shred in the food processor.) 
  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes. 
  • Add beef and bacon; sauté, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. 
  • Add wine; boil 1 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. 
  • Add 2 1/2 cups stock and tomato paste; stir to blend. 
  • Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, 1 1/2 hours. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce. Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock by 1/4-cupfuls to thin if needed.
  • Ragù can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. 
  • Transfer ragù to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if sauce seems dry. 
  • Serve with Parmesan.

Bread

1/3 c Sugar2 T Butter1 1/2 t Salt1/3 c Milk1 1/4 c very warm water2 packets (of 1/4 oz) Active dry Yeast4 c of flour
Add the sugar, butter, milk and salt in a saucepan to heat.
Preheat the oven for 175 degrees. W
Once the dough has risen, put it in the oven for 10 minutes (at 175). 

Once the dough has risen, put it in the oven for 10 minutes (at 175). 


In the food processor, add the water and yeast, mixing to dissolve. Add the milk/sugar mixture.


Slowly add the flour while pulsing to combine. (Add a dash of spices, generally garlic powder and rosemary and/or oregano.) 

Continue to mix slowly, waiting for the dough to pull off from the bowl sides.  

Grease the bread pan, lay it in, and flip it (greasing both sides of the dough. 

Place the pan on top of the stove, near the oven vent, where it is warm, and cover the pan with a towel for 10 minutes.

Then, increase the temperature to 425 degrees for 25-30 more minutes.



Emily made brownies with Oreos in the middle. I didnt get a photo or the recipe- but woah. As I said to Mike, this takes deep fried Oreos to a whole other level. 


Off to the gym. If I can move.

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