Category Archives: Christmas

Heart Shaped Ravioli with a Simply Delicious Sauce

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I made this for Evan and I’s 2nd Anniversary in December! It’s a great special occasion dinner recipe and is sure to please! Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

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Prep: 1 hr

Cook: 30 min

Makes: 12 Ravioli

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Ingredients:

Meat or cheese mixture of your choice, meat should be pre-cooked. I used bison.

Dough:

  • 1.5 C. All purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil

Sauce:

  • 2 Cups Chopped tomatoes with juice.
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 TBS Garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 TBS Shallots, minced
  • Mushrooms, 1/2 Cup, sliced

Directions:

Dough

In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time and continue to mix. Drizzle in oil and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead the dough until elastic and smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at its widest setting. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. *Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick.

Dust the counter and dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta. Use a heart cookie cutter (small) to cut the hearts.

Place a tsp of your meat/cheese mixture of choice on one heart and seal with another heart on top. Seal edges with fork or pastry sealer. Use

Boil in large pot of salted water for about 7 min. Strain.

Sauce:

  • In a large braiser or skillet, heat oil, add shallots and garlic, cook for 1 min until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes and mushrooms, simmer for 20 min.
  • Garnish with basil

Enjoy!

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20 hr Sous Vide Pork Belly with Five Spice Rub on a Bed of Collards and Mashed Potatoes

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This pork belly will melt in your mouth… not in your hand.  I am LOVING my new cooking device, the Sous Vide Supreme, it’s the coolest thing ever!

I made this pork belly for NYE and it was a hit! It’s super simple (if you have a Sous Vide device). 🙂

Sous Vide Pork Belly

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 20-25 hrs

Serves: 8 Tapas sized portions

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs whole pork belly sliced into 8 same sized portions
  • 1 TBS Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 TBS Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground fennel
  • Pam/butter for greasing skillet (not that you REALLY need it, but just for good measure incase your pan is too hot).

Instructions:

  1. Heat Sous Vide device to 160 F
  2. Mix herbs and seasonings together in a small bowl
  3. Coat pork belly portions in rub throughly
  4. Vacuum seal each portion separately
  5. Immerse in Sous Vide that’s heated to 160F for 20-25 hrs
  6. Take out and either sear the belly fat side down on a hot skillet to get a nice browned top or reserve in fridge until ready to fire and serve.
  7. Serve on top a mound of collards or greens and mashed potatoes.

I made a nice tarragon cream sauce to garnish on the side of the plate. It went nicely with the pork and the fennel notes.

Pork Belly

Enjoy and Cheers!

Birthday Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

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I figured I’d celebrate my Birthday today by posting an awesome recipe I have adapted from Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. I usually never go off a recipe unless I’m baking a dessert or making something someone asked me to make from a recipe they found, I can never stick to them verbatim though I always “throw” something else in 😉 I’m not a huge “cake” fan in fact at our wedding we had cobbler because we don’t favor cake 🙂  I made these last week for one of Evan’s co-workers, Lori, for her birthday (he did help a bit in case anyone was wondering ; ) ) and they were so good. I ate WAY to many, I even found myself eating them for breakfast…! I’m 28 years old today and feel great!!! I’m still wondering where all this time goes though… Life is good!

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars (adapted from Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide and Elephant Eats)

Prep: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Makes: 40 -45 bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, and more for end
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1 ounce cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped Texas pecans

Instructions:

  1. Grease bottom and sides of 15″x10″x1″ baking dish or two smaller pans.
  2. In a stand mixer on medium, beat flour, 1/2 C. sugar, butter and salt until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 20 min.
  3. Meanwhile, in a three-quart pan, stir corn syrup and chocolate on low until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in maple syrup, bourbon, remainder of sugar, eggs and pecans. Pour filling over hot crust and bake at 350 until firm around edges but slightly soft in center, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.
  5. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
 Enjoy and Cheers! 

Bacon Wrapped Quail Stuffed with La Marechal Emmi Cheese and Jalapeno : Pan Seared in Duck Fat Served with Grilled Brussel Sprouts

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This is one of my FAVORITE dishes to make for dinner guests. It’s so incredibly good and is sure to please!  La Marechal Emmi Cheese is so amazing with this dish, it really ties it all together. I served this with grilled brussel sprouts, a potato gratin, and homemade bread. The plates were cleaned (except for the bones of course). This is a great special occasion dinner as well. The quail can be hard to find and are a bit on the pricey side, I pay about $ 3-4 per quail and like to serve 2-3 per person. You can always ask your hunter friends 🙂

Prep: 30 min

Cook Time: 20-30 min

Serves: 4 with 2 quail per person

Ingredients:

  • 8 semi-boneless quail, washed and pat dry.
  • 8 slices of bacon, nitrate free please 🙂
  • 1 block of  La Marechal Emmi Cheese, about 8 oz or so.
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into 8 long slices
  • 2 TBS rendered duck fat, you can buy it here via Marx Foods
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1lb of brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced for brussel sprouts
  • 1 TBS butter for brussel sprouts
  • 1 lemon, zest on top of sprouts

Instructions:

  1. Clean quail and stuff with one piece of jalapeno, one chunk of cheese, and wrap with bacon. Repeat until done with all 8.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Gather 2 large skillets. One for quail and one for sprouts, use a griddle if you have one for the sprouts to “grill” them. Bring skillets to medium high then add 2 TBS of duck fat to the quail skillet and 1 TBS of butter and garlic to the sprouts skillet.
  4. Add quail and sprouts to respective skillets: Cook quail for about 3-4 min on each side and season with salt and pepper lightly. Then transfer to the oven in a shallow baking pan for 5 more min. Do not over cook. Cook sprouts until nice and browned (tossing occasionally), season lightly with salt and pepper. Keep warm in a covered dish.
  5. Once quail are done in the oven plate your food and serve with a big red like Chocolate Block

Enjoy! Cheers!

Snowballs for Santa… Friends and Family in Texas!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my foodie friends! I hope you all have tons of great food and drinks with your families! We are packing up the house as I speak, but still finding time for good food and family time. Tonight I’m making quail,  risotto, and brussel sprouts. My Dad’s making shrimp cocktail to start off the meal 🙂 Of course we will be having these little snowball cookies for dessert, if Santa is lucky there may be a few left for him…

These are great and easy little cookies that are great for Christmas time!

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 20-25 min

Servings: 45-50 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. Butter
  • 2/3 C. Sugar, granulated
  • 4 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. Water
  • 4 C. Flour
  • 2/3 C. Powdered sugar
  • 1.5 C. Pecan pieces

Instructions:

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy with hand mixer.
  3. Add vanilla and water and cream again.
  4. Add Four and pecans and mix well with a spoon or hands.
  5. Roll into little balls with hands and keeps as balls.
  6. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 min or until done.
  7. Let cool for 15 -20 min and roll in powdered sugar.

Enjoy! Cheers!