Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pasta Night!

Vegetables & Meat Pasta Sauce



Ingredients-      Prep Time ~1h   Cooking Time ~2.5h

1. 1 Package of your favorite pasta
2. 2 Cans Whole Tomatoes (450g each)

3. 6-7 Fresh Cloves of Garlic
4. 2 Medium Carrots
5. 5-7 Celery Sticks
6. 6-7 small-medium Mushrooms
7. 2 Onions
8. 1 Large Red Onion
9. Sugar
10. Salt and Pepper
11. Oregano
12. Basil 
13. Olive Oil
14. 500g Ground Beef&Pork Mix
15. 0.4L Chicken Stock 
16."Herbes de Provence" Spice Mix
17. 50g Mozzarella Cheese 

Part 1

 Instructions PART 1 -

1. Wash and clean your vegetables. Finely chop onions and celery. Grate carrots and mushrooms. 
2. Preheat large sauce pot and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the onions and stir quickly. Let the onions cook and sprinkle them with some salt&sugar and they will unleash a very sweet aroma.
3. Cook onions until translucent and add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Mix well.
4. Cover the pot with a lid for about two minutes.
5. After two minutes or so, add about half a liter of chicken stock. Be careful with too much liquid and remember that you may always add water/chicken stock later if the sauce is too thick.
6. Sprinkle the vegetables with some salt and bring to a light boil and cook for about 15 minutes.
7. Add the canned tomatoes. Bring to a light boil and stir occasionally.
8. Add minced garlic to the tomato and vegetable sauce. (I love garlic, I always use many cloves, feel free to use less if garlic is not your favorite)
9. Let the sauce simmer for about 1.5h. 
*Do not boil the sauce, let it slightly bubble once in awhile. Lower the heat to low!
10. Stir occasionally every 10-15 minutes. 

 Part 2

Instructions PART 2 -

1. In the last 20 minutes the sauce is cooking, preheat a skillet and add olive oil.
2. Add the meat and break it by pounding it lightly to create smaller pieces.
3. Cook on high heat for the meat to release its juices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spice mix along with oregano.
4. Cook until meat is brown. The meat should still be juicy. Add everything into the sauce.
5. Mix the sauce well and check consistency. Add chicken stock/water if you prefer lighter sauce.
6. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste. Add oregano and spices. 
7. Simmer covered for about another hour.
8. Cook pasta according to package directions. Salt the pasta as well.
9. At the very end, slice some fresh mozzarella to add on top. 
10. Place cooked pasta on plate, add the sauce, and sprinkle some oregano and mozzarella on top!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweet Sweet Friday

Polish Traditional Crepes 

with Sweet Cheese and Strawberry Purée




Ingredients-       ( Prep Time ~20mins  -  Cooking Time ~30mins ) 

Crepe Batter:
1. ~500g Cake Flour
2. ~750ml-1L Milk 
3. 1 Egg
4. 1 Tablespoon of Oil
5. Pinch of salt
6. Pinch of sugar
7. Pinch of vanilla sugar

Sweet Cheese Filling:
1. 200g Farmer's Cheese 
2. 2 teaspoons of sugar
3. 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
4. Pinch of salt
5. 1 Tablespoon of 18% Sour Cream

Strawberry Topping:
1. 400g Frozen Strawberries 
2. 3-4 Tablespoons 18% Fat Sour Cream
3. Sugar (Add to taste, the sweetness of the strawberries might be enough!)
4. 1 Teaspoon of vanilla sugar


1. Thaw frozen strawberries. Crush them when softened. (A blender is fine to use, but the concept of this topping is for the chunks of strawberries to be present!)
2. Add flour, milk, and one egg into a large bowl. 
3. Mix well and add a pinch of salt and sugar. 
4. Check the consistency of the batter, it should not be thick or heavy. Crepes need a batter that is watery. Add more milk if needed. Add some oil to create a non-stick batter.
5. Mix well, a blender will come in handy in this step. There should be no clumps of flour.
 **Do not over mix the batter or the crepes will become tough. 
***Only blend until there are no more clumps in the batter!
6. Set the batter aside, and fluff up farmer's cheese with a fork or spoon. 
7. Add sugar and salt. The cheese should be very sweet, so add enough to satisfy your taste.
8. Mix well and add a tablespoon of sour cream to lighten the consistency. The cheese should be easy to spread.
9. Set the cheese in the fridge. Check if your strawberries are ready, when they are, add a few tablespoons of sour cream. Sweeten to taste, add some vanilla sugar, as well.
10. We are ready to make our crepes! 
A few tips -> The first crepe is usually the worst, mainly because of the pan being too cool. Do not overload the pan with batter. The crepe should be extremely thin! Heat the pan, it should be very hot. Add some oil for the first set of crepes, with each crepe the cooking will be quicker and better!
11. Lay the batter on a large pan. When the crepe starts to turn gold, flip it with a spatula. Cook until both sides are golden brown, usually a minute or so. 
12. Make all your crepes at once. When finished, place a few teaspoons of cheese and fold into half and once again into half. A triangle shape is common in Eastern Europe. Pour the strawberry puree on top.


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