Goat Cheese & Lemon Ravioli



Goat Cheese and Lemon Ravioli
Serves 4
Pasta dough
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
2 ½ cups flour, extra for rolling
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
Grated zest of 3 lemons
11 ounces soft goat cheese
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of chili flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 egg white, beaten
Finish with
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, finely crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
grated zest of 1 lemon
grapeseed oil
fresh lemon juice (optional)
To make the pasta dough. Whisk together the oil and eggs. Put the flour, turmeric and lemon zest in a food processor, add the oil and egg mixture and blend to a crumbly dough. It might require extra flour or oil. Once the dough has come together and is smooth (you may need to work it a little by hand), divide it into four thick, rectangular blocks. Wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Take one piece of dough and flatten it on the floured surface with a rolling pin. Set your pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through. Repeat, narrowing the setting by a notch each time, until you get to the lowest setting. When each sheet is rolled, keep it under a moist towel so it doesn’t dry out.

To make the filling. Combine the filling ingredients, apart from the egg white, in a bowl and crush together with a fork.

Use a pastry cutter or the rim of a glass to stamp out roughly 3-inch discs from the pasta sheets. To shape each ravioli, brush a disc with a little egg white and place a heaped teaspoon of filling in its center. Place another pasta disc on top. Dip your fingers in flour, then gently press out any air as you seal the edges of the two discs together. You should end up with a pillow-shaped center surrounded by an edge that is just under 3/8 inch wide. Seal the sides of the edges together firmly until you can’t see a seam where the two discs meet. As they are made, place the ravioli on a dish towel or tray sprinkled with semolina. Leave to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can now cover the tray with plastic wrap and keep the ravioli in the fridge for a day.)

When ready to cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and divide among four plates. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns, tarragon and lemon zest. Drizzle grapeseed oil over the ravioli and around them, sprinkle with extra salt and a squirt of lemon juice, if you like, and serve at once.

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Shrimp Spring Rolls – Appetizers


Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Spring Rolls
3/4 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3/4 pound shrimp, cooked, peeled and split in half lengthwise
12-14 (6-inch) round sheets rice paper
To make the dipping sauce: In a food processor blend together all the ingredients until smooth.
To make the rolls: In a large bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, green onion, and sesame seeds.
To soften the rice paper, fill a shallow baking dish with warm water. Place 2 or 3 rice paper sheets at a time in the water and allow to soak about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove 1 at a time and carefully stack between sheets of paper towels.
Turn over the stack and begin working from the bottom of the stack first. Place a softened rice paper sheet on a clean work surface. On the bottom third of the sheet, pile 1/4 cup of the cabbage mixture. Then place a few halves of shrimp and cilantro on top. Fold the bottom of the paper up and over the noodle mixture, then fold each side toward the center, rolling gently and as tightly as possible from the bottom until completely rolled. Place rolls seam side down on a plate and continue until all ingredients have been used.


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Steak with Caramelized Onion Flatbread – Dinner – Lunch – Recipes


Naan flatbread can be used in so many wonderful ways, simply enjoy by grilling and spread with butter or use your imagination to create savory meals that are prefect for dinner, lunch or for parties

Steak with Caramelized Onion Flatbreads
Serves 2
½ pound filet of beef
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon blended oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Naan flatbreads
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh watercress
Balsamic glaze
For the Caramelized Onions
In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the butter, add the onions and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally until caramelized.
For the Balsamic Glaze
In a small saucepan over medium heat bring vinegar to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and stir in the honey and season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
For the Steak
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.
Brush steak on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon of blended oil, season with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or outside grill, heat on high. Grill steak for 30
seconds on all sides, remove and place in the oven for 10 minutes for medium-rare.
Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice into 1/4- inch slices.


For the Naan Flatbread

Heat grill on high.

Lightly brush both sides of the Naan flatbreads with olive oil and grill 30 seconds per side.

Remove from the grill and divide the Monterey Jack cheese and the gorgonzola cheese over the top of each flatbread. Lower grill heat to low and place back on the grill, cover until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.  

Remove and top with the caramelized onions.  Divide the steak between each flatbread. Drizzle a little of the balsamic glaze and top with the watercress.


You might also Like:

Grilled Chicken Caesar Flatbread

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Chicken Paupiettes with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce – Dinner – Recipes


A paupiette is a thin piece of meat or fish that is stuffed and rolled before cooking. You can stuff with anything that you like and have on hand — cheese, chopped cooked vegetables, prosciutto or bacon, spinach, etc.  Paupiettes cooked and sliced reveal a colorful pinwheel design of vegetables and meat.

In this recipe I used a medley of wild mushrooms, fontina cheese and pancetta.

Try this with my Creamy Orzo.

Chicken Paupiettes with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce
Serves 4
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 ounces of wild mushrooms, chopped and divided
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
8 thin slices of pancetta
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
1 tablespoon blended oil
Butterfly chicken breasts, set aside. In a sauté pan heat the butter and add the wild mushrooms.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and reserve 1 ounce for the mushroom sauce below.
Place 1 chicken breast on a wood chopping block, cover with plastic wrap and pound until about ½-inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap and layer with 2 slices of pancetta, 1 ounce fontina and ¼ of the mushrooms. Roll up to make the paupiettes and tie with cooking string. Continue with the remaining chicken breasts.






In a large non-stick sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat and cook the paupiettes until lightly browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer the paupiettes to a cutting board and let rest.
Meanwhile, in the same sauté pan make the Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce (see below).

Remove the string from the paupiettes, slice and serve over the wild mushroom cream sauce.


Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 ounce cooked wild mushrooms (from above)
Juice from ½ lemon
½ cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Using the same sauté pan from above, cook the shallot for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, lemon juice and wine and reduce by half.  Next, whisk in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Pork Tinga Soft Tacos with Avocado Salad – Dinner – Recipes


Wow!  This is right up there with one of my favorite recipes ever… I love all types of food but food with lots of layers of spices and intense flavors get me every time.  The chipotle peppers and adobo sauce in this dish add a wonderful smokiness.  Don’t be discouraged that this recipe takes 2 hours to make — believe me it is well worth the time and effort.  Enjoy!

In case you’re wondering… Tinga is a Mexican dish using pork, beef or even chicken slow cooked in chipotle sauce.

Pork Tinga Soft Tacos with Avocado Salad
Serves 6-8
2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed & cut into 1 1-2 cubes
4 cups water plus more for potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt (divided)
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 pound red potatoes cut into ½-inch dice
1 tablespoon blended oil
1 (9 oz) tube pork chorizo
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 garlic clove, minced
1 28-ounce canned Italian tomatoes, chopped and drained
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
2-3 teaspoons adobo sauce
½-1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt to taste
Flour tortillas
Monterey jack cheese, grated
Avocado salad (recipe below)
Fresh lime wedges
In a large saucepan, add the 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves and the pork.  Simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in another pot add the potatoes and enough water to cover plus 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and cook until slightly tender (about 7-8 minutes).  Strain the potatoes, and set aside.
Once the pork has finished cooking use a slotted spoon to remove the pork, cool slightly then tear into smaller pieces. Skim the fat from the top of the pork broth and strain reserving 2 cups of the liquid.
In a large saucepan heat the oil.  Add the chorizo and cook over medium heat, breaking the meat up, for 10 minutes.  On a paper towel, drain the chorizo.
In the same pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes then add the pork to the pan. Cook for another 8-10 minutes the add the garlic and cook 1 minute.  Next, add the tomatoes and chorizo, cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and 1 ½ cups of the reserved pork broth, simmer for 10 minutes (add more reserved broth if needed).  Add the sugar, stir and check for seasoning.
Avocado Salad
3 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped (1/2-3/4 inch), reserve 1 seed
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice from ½ fresh lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt to taste
In a small, add all of the ingredients and stir together.  Check for seasoning then add the reserved seed to help prevent turning brown. 
When storing, place into a dish cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the salad then cover, this will help prevent browning on top.


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New Year’s Day Non-Alcoholic Mango-Citrus Cocktail – Drinks – Recipes


New Year’s Day
Non-Alcoholic Mango-Citrus Cocktail
1 mango, peeled & sliced
3/4 tablespoon sugar
1 cup orange juice
4 ice cubes
1 cup sparkling lemon-lime water
In a blender, place mango, sugar, orange juice and ice cubes and blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into a pitcher & refrigerate. When ready to serve, add the sparkling lemon-lime water to the chilled mango mixture & stir.

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Creamy Broccoli Soup – Soups – Recipes


Creamy Broccoli Soup

I made this soup for my mom today.  She was looking at the market the other day for a broccoli soup and I suggested that I make one for her homemade but she didn’t want me to go to any trouble… sweet mom.  This recipe is just that, no trouble at all.  Enjoy!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Serves 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ half large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli stems removed
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or less depending how thick you prefer your soup)
1/2 cup half and half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium pot, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, carrots and potato.  Cook for 4-5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for one additional minute.  Add the broccoli, chicken stock and bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer uncovered until the broccoli is tender. 
Stir in the half and half.  Next, using either an immersion blender or a regular blender. puree the soup until smooth and return to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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All for you mom, love you!

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Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup – Dinner – Soups – Recipes


Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup 001

The Fall season always makes me crave soup and this past week I was craving something a little spicy.  I really didn’t have all the ingredients in mind that I wanted to use, but that is what I enjoy most about cooking, the creative aspect and bringing flavors that blend well together.  I knew that I didn’t want a tomato based chicken tortilla soup but instead with some of my favorites — roasted chicken, homemade stock, corn tortillas, black beans, corn, chilis and fresh cilantro.

I bought a roasted whole chicken and removed the breast meat and used it for the this soup, then I removed the skin and fatty parts and tossed out. The remainder I used to cook my own chicken stock with fresh celery, carrots, onion and thyme. 

In fact, I actually made this soup twice this week because it was all consumed before I had a chance to take a photograph for my blog, which made me smile that I might actually get more than one serving this batch.  I hope you try my recipe and enjoy!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 4-6
1 ½ Tablespoons blended oil
1 Cup yellow onion, diced
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/2 Red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped mild green chilis
3 Cups roasted chicken breasts, shredded
1 Lime, juiced
5 ½ Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Cup corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Fresh white corn tortillas, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnish with: 
Fried corn tortilla strips*
Avocado slices

In a large pot heat the oil then add the onions and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and cook 1 minute then add the red bell pepper, chipotle pepper, green chilis, chicken and lime juice.  Stir over low heat for 2 minutes then add the chicken broth.  Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil then lower the heat to low and stir in the corn, beans, tortillas and cilantro.
Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into bowls and garnish top with fried corn tortilla strips and avocado slices.
*In a small skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of blended oil over high, place your tortilla strips and cook until lightly browned.  Remove and drain on a paper towel, turn over and while still hot lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.


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Fall Dinner Party Tablescape – Entertaining

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Chocolate Pots with Polenta Orange Cookies – Desserts – Recipes


A wonderful silky and rich dessert.  Ideal for dinner parties and can be made the day before your party. 

Chocolate Pots with Polenta Orange Cookies
Serves 8
Chocolate Pots
2 cups heavy cream
¾ pound semisweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons dark rum
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until it bubbles around the edges, Remove from heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, and then stir until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks then whisk in ½ cup of the hot chocolate cream. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly until smooth. Stir in the rum and butter.
Pour the custard into eight ½ cup ramekins and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 





Polenta Orange Cookies
1 ½ cups non-instant polenta
6 ounces unsalted butter, chilled
¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
In a food processor, combine the polenta with the butter, sugar, flour, orange zest and salt.  Pulse until well combined and resembles coarse meal.  Add the eggs and pulse just until the mixture comes together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate for one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat, drop slightly rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the baking sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden around the edges and on the bottoms.


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