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Susan's and Doug's Adventures - Archives for: November 2009
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Pollo e Formaggio Cannelloni a Salsa di Rosa

This is our riff on the recipe we learned a couple of weeks ago from Chef Kathyrn. Notes on her version (which is also really good) at the bottom.

2 cups   tomato sauce; we used Newman's Marinara
2 cups   white sauce (basamella in Italian, béchemal in French)

Cannelloni

1        large onion, chopped
1        clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp   olive oil
3/4 lb   chicken breast, cubed
2        slices bacon, chopped
1/4 tsp  freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup  chopped parsley
1 lb     ricotta cheese
1 cup    grated parmesan cheese
6        cubes of frozen spinach
2        eggs
350 g    fresh lasagna sheets (8 or 9 sheets); we used Duso's
2 cups   grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup  grated parmesan cheese

Combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of parmesan cheese, spinach, and eggs. Chill while preparing sauce and meat mixture.

Heat a large pot of water to boiling to cook the pasta.

Prepare the balsamella sauce

2 tbsp   olive oil
2 tbsp   white flour
shake    salt
grind    black pepper
2 cups   milk

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and seasonings, cooking and stirring for about 3 minutes. Add milk slowly and stir constantly with a whisk. Cook and stir until boiling and thick. Remove from heat.

In a large skillet, sauté onion in oil. Add garlic once onion has softened. Add chicken, bacon, nutmeg, and parsley and cook covered for about 15 minutes. Turn the mixture out onto a large cutting board, let it cool, and chop the meat more finely.

Combine the tomato and balsamella sauces to make the rosé sauce. Spread half of the sauce in the bottom of a large (15″ x 11″) baking dish.

Combine the cheese and meat mixtures.

Cook the pasta, 1 sheet at a time, for about 1 minute. Lay the cooked sheet of pasta on a tea towel, and blot it to absorb the water. Cut the sheet into 3 squares.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the meat and cheese mixture onto each pasta square. Roll the square around the filling and place, seam side down, in rows in the baking dish.

Spread the remaining rosé sauce over the full pan of cannelloni, and sprinkle with the mixture of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350ºF for 15 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 10 minutes to form a golden crust on the top. Let stand 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

Makes about 24 cannelloni.

It’s amazing how easy it is to make a rosé sauce! Of course you could also make your own marinara sauce.

The filling is quite dry, but that’s a good thing! The flavours of all of the filling ingredients come through very nicely. And, is there such a thing as a bad crusty cheese top?

Chef Kathyrn’s version use 1 lb each of ground turkey (or chicken), and ground veal (or pork). Different groups in the class has different meat mixtures. Ours was turkey and veal. With that combination of meats, we used:

1/4 cup  chopped parsley
1 cup    ricotta cheese
1/2 cup  grated parmesan cheese

in the filling.

19:46:20 . 2009/11/21 . Doug . 482 words . 2586 views . Food .

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Black Bean Soup

This is a recipe from our Vancouver School Board World Cuisines cooking course with Chef Kathryn Hunter-Tate. We made it on the Latin American night in the class, and again tonight at home. Both times we did more or less half of the recipe listed here, and the adjustments for tonight’s version are noted below.

1 lb        dry black bean, soaked overnight
4 c         chicken stock
4 c         water
2           bay leaves
1/2 c       extra virgin olive oil
2           large red peppers, chopped
2           onions, chopped
2           shallots, chopped
8-10        garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp      ground cumin
2 tbsp      dry oregano leaves
2 tbsp      fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp  sugar
1 tbsp      salt
1 tsp       black pepper
            finely diced red onion
            sour cream

Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Put the beans in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven with the stock, water, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. After a few minutes of boiling, skim off the foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 75 to 90 minutes, or until the bean are tender.

While the beans cook, chop the vegetables. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the peppers, onion, and shallots, and sauté until the onions are transparent - at least 15 minutes - don’t rush this step.

Add the garlic, cumin, and oreganos, and sauté two minutes more. This mixture of vegetables and spices is called the “sofrito“. Remove it from the heat and cool it slightly. Pureé the sofrito in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Remove the bay leaves from the beans. Deglaze the sauté pan with the 1/2 cup of reserved bean liquid, and add to the cooked beans along with the sofrito, sugar, and pepper. Salt to taste.

Gently simmer 20 to 30 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Serve with red onion and sour cream garish.

During class we found that the beans needed more than the 90 minutes cooking time listed. Apparently black beans are some of the longest cooking beans there are.

For tonight’s version we made the following adjustments:

  • We made half the recipe (sort of).
  • Used canned black beans, one 540 ml can, drained and rinsed. Simmered them in the stock and water mixture while we made the sofrito.
  • Used 2-1/2 cups of chicken stock, and 1-1/2 cups of water. The stock was made from Minor’s Chicken Base paste that we bought from Chef Kathryn.
  • Deglazed with 1/2 cup of the stock and water mixture that the beans simmered in.
  • Didn’t add any additional salt, the stock provided enough.

Half the recipe make about 4 servings.

The sofrito has a wonderful aroma when you add the garlic and spices near the end of its sauté. Its texture, once pureéd gives the soup a distinctive character. The flavour is surprisingly sweet.

20:13:01 . 2009/11/14 . Doug . 458 words . 1872 views . Food .

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