Pasta e Fagioli

I had hoped to hand roll pici as a part of my Father's birthday dinner a few weeks ago, but I got savaged by a dog and my dominant hand has until the last few days been mostly useless for anything laborious.

It's a slow process - I think I spent two hours hand rolling these little slugs. . .

For the pasta - in a thermomix or similar - bring together 500g of plain flour, 2 eggs, 250g of ricotta, a teaspoon of salt and 4 tablespoons of water.  Tip out the dough, clump and kneed together before wrapping in cling film to rest for 15-30 minutes. Then pinch, roll and repeat x300.

Fagioli - just before you start on the pasta - take 150g of dried borlotti beans and soak in boiling water. They should be ready once you have finished rolling out all of the noodles (approx 2 hours). ...

Bison Meatballs Recipe from Merry Edwards Winery

The Merry Edwards Winery is located in California’s Russian River Valley. Wines to look for at the winery include: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you like a sweet wine look for the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, a dessert wine.The winery tasting room offers two types of wine tastings: In-Depth Tastings and Walk-in Tastings. The recipe below is from the Merry Edwards Winery. Try the Bison Meatballs soon!

Bison Meatballs

Serves 4 Pairs well with Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir Meatballs INGREDIENTS 1 pound ground bison, drained of excess liquid and blotted dry
2 large garlic cloves, mashed
¼ teaspoon alaea sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil PREPARATION Incorporate all ingredients together by kneading with your hands. Shape into 12 medium-size meatballs. Sauté in olive oil in skillet over medium heat, turning to lightly brown all sizes. Do not overcook as ...

Braised Baby Artichokes Tuscan Style

While I don’t have an Instant Pot™ yet, I thought that with the popularity of the Instant Pot™, many people would enjoy the recipe below for Braised Baby Artichokes Tuscan Style. At the end of the recipe serving suggestions include using the artichokes as a pizza topping, topping on pasta or as a first course. The recipe is from Ocean Mist Farms.  For those not familiar with preparing artichokes, the recipe includes a link to “How to Prepare an Artichoke.” Enjoy!
Kathy Braised Baby Artichokes Tuscan Style – Instant Pot Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 6 – 8 min. Ingredients
9 Ocean Mist Farms baby artichokes, rinsed & trimmed
½ cup dry white wine
Juice from one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese HOW TO PREPARE AN ARTICHOKE > ...

Crab Salad on Blini Recipe

This recipe for Crab Salad on Blini from J Vineyards in Sonoma County calls for one cup of white wine and champagne or white vinegar. Try it soon and enjoy!

Crab Salad on Blini

Serves 4-6 Crab Salad 8-10 oz  Dungeness crab meat
1/8 cup small diced fennel
1 Satsuma mandarin (portion into segments chop segments into thirds)
½ fennel bulb shaved or sliced thin
2 T small diced Shallot
1 T finely chopped parsley
1 T lemon zest
1 tsp Esplette pepper
Kosher salt Directions: Step 1.  Incorporate all ingredients in with the crab and thoroughly mix and season with salt to taste. Beurre Blanc 1 cup white wine
1/8 cup of champagne or white wine vinegar
1 T whole black peppercorn
1 T whole coriander
3 bay leaves
½ cup of heavy cream
1 pound of unsalted butter (cut 1 inch cubes)
Kosher salt Directions: ...

Lamb and apricot tagine

A very yellow tagine, both in colour and spice - no red flavours, only yellows and oranges. . .

First the spice - turmeric and ginger dominate - giving a gentle heat; then the apricots - two cups of dried fruit, soaked and then cooked till disintegration - leaving sweetness and tang.

For 10 people:

Step 1. The meat from two shoulders of lamb - deboned and the meat cut into 2 inch cubes. In total I had 2.4kg of meat. Salt this 2 hours before cooking - with 4 teaspoons of salt flakes, season too with cracked black pepper.

Step 2. The apricots and the chicken stock. Bring 3.5 cups of chicken stock (home made if possible - it's cheaper and tastier) to the boil and then steep 2 cups of dried apricots for 15 - 30 minutes.

Step 3. Heat tagine (if using) or large pan and brown ...

Peri peri chicken

This is something I've been mildly obsessed with since I first saw it last year. The original recipe can be found here.

I've modified the brine, dropping the salt and sugar and using different herbs, while for the peri peri I've swapped all of the fresh chilli for capsicum - giving the final dish depth without the blistering heat.

To a large pot add - 3 tbsp of rock salt, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 60mls apple cider vinegar, 6 cloves of garlic - smashed, 4 sprigs of thyme and a handful of fresh oregano leaves which have been bruised. Add 1L of water, stir and then quarter a whole chicken and add to the brine - leave for 1-2 hours.

For the Peri peri - take 2-3 capsicum - depending on size and deseed and then slice into pieces. Roast at 200 degrees till starting to brown and soften (? ...

Spiced Chocolate Cake with Macerated Berries Recipe

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

This Spiced Chocolate Cake With Macerated Berries recipe is from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma, California. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of St. Francis Port. The winery suggests matching this dessert with Zinfandel. If you have the time and are ready to bake a cake for Valentine’s Day, this might be a great one to try. Of course, this cake would be delicious any day of the year!

Spiced Chocolate Cake With Macerated Berries

  Ingredients 14 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
6 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup St. Francis Port
additional ...

Try this Fresh Berry Cheesecake Recipe for Valentine’s Day!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day  Fresh Berry Cheesecake

Try this recipe for Fresh Berry Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day or any special day of the year. The recipe calls for 1 or 2 Tbsp Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir. This special recipe is provided by Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. 

Fresh Berry Cheesecake

Serves 8 to 10 Ingredients Crust 1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter Filling 8 oz light cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp half & half
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract Topping
2 cups fresh assorted berries: black, red, raspberries, blueberries, thoroughly chilled (or thawed frozen berries with no added sugar)
1/2 cup blackberry preserves
1 or 2 Tbsp Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir Directions for Crust
  1. To make crust, combine brown sugar, walnuts, flour and melted butter and mix together ...

A Chinatown roasted pork belly

Start with a 1.6kg boneless pork belly. Slice the meat surface at regular intervals so it will take the marinade, then pour boiling water over both sides of the meat - to tighten the skin surface. Repeat this a few more times and then pat dry. Now score the skin surface with a very sharp knife.

Prepare the marinade - 3 finely chopped and crushed cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of hoisin, 1 tablespoon of dark soy, a pinch of five spice powder and 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix together and then rub onto the meat (undersurface). For the skin rub salt into the scored surface and then massage with a  splash of olive oil. Let the pork rest for a few hours - skin side up, so the meat can absorb the flavours of the marinade.

Cook in three phases - 20 minutes at 250 degrees C - ...

It’s National Apple Cider Day! Try this Turkey Recipe Soon

Today, November 18,  is National Apple Cider Day! How are you celebrating the day? Celebrate by adding this Apple Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with Cider Pan Sauce to your recipe box. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and many thinking of turkey, it’s time to offer this special recipe from the National Turkey Federation. This turkey recipe calls for apple cider and dry white wine. Apple Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with Cider Pan Sauce The recipe was created by Chef Jason Walter, The Machine Shed Restaurant in Lake Elmo, MN. Ingredients TURKEY TENDERLOINS: 4 Pounds
apple cider: 2 Cups
cider vinegar: 2/3 Cup
plain croutons: 4 Cups
tart apples, peeled, cored and diced: 1 Cup
pecan pieces, toasted: 1/2 Cup
fresh thyme: 2 Tablespoons
salt: 2 Teaspoons
freshly ground black pepper: 2 Teaspoons
minced fresh garlic: 2 Teaspoons
apple cider: 1/2 Cup
heavy cream: 1/2 Cup
canola oil: 4 Tablespoons
dry white wine: 2 Cups

A Yummy Cocktail, Perfect for Halloween

Liquor ‘N Front Cocktail

The cocktail recipe below, for Liquor ‘N Front, was crafted by Erin Sullivan, Mixologist and Event Director in Portland, Oregon. The colorful, deep orange color of the Liquor ’N Front cocktail makes it a perfect drink to add to your choice of beverages for autumn. If you are looking for orange foods and drinks for Halloween and Thanksgiving, this orange-colored cocktail is definitely one to consider. The ginger juice and carrot juice add the perfect touches for fall. Enjoy trying the Liquor ’N Front cocktail after the trick and treaters have left to count their Halloween candy treats at home.

Liquor ’N Front

Ingredients 1 1/2 oz Aviation Gin
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. carrot juice
1/4 oz. ginger juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Carrot top (for garnish) Preparation
  1. Shake all ingredients (except ginger beer) in tin over ice.
  2. Strain ...

October is National Seafood Month: Recipe with Wine

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma

During October, NOAA Fisheries is celebrating National Seafood Month. Numerous wineries have provided us with many seafood recipes that use wine as one of the ingredients. Browse the many fish and seafood recipes on the Wine Trail Traveler website. Check out this recipe for Lobster Bisque with Fresh Tarragon from St. Francis Vineyard & Winery in Sonoma. Lobster Bisque with Fresh Tarragon Ingredients 1¼ pound whole uncooked lobster
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart clam juice
4 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup Brandy
1 cup St. Francis Chardonnay
1 sprig fresh thyme
Pinch saffron threads or powder
1 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon Directions
  1. Cut the whole lobster in half lengthwise and remove the meat from the tail, coarsely chop the ...

Char kway teow

Take 1.

The rice noodles were overcooked and would not hold their shape, and the idea of using a paprika spiked fennel flavoured Italian sausage instead of the usual lap cheong was not well received. . .

For the record:

  • One large Italian sausage - sliced into irregular rectangles.
  • 12 medium raw prawns - peeled, veins removed, tails in situ.
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic - flattened and sliced lengthwise.
  • 400g fresh flat rice noodles - soaked briefly in warm water first to separate. 
  • For the sauce - 1 tablespoon each of light soy / dark soy / Sriracha.
  • Pinch ground white pepper.
  • 2 eggs - beaten
  • Handful of garlic chives - cut into small lengths
  • Handful of bean sprouts


In a wok - add large splash of olive oil - then fry the sausage / garlic and prawns. When the prawns have coloured - add the rice noodles and shortly ...

Meat and veg

An improvised school night dinner. . .

A base of pearl barley - boiled till soft to the tooth, drained and then arranged on the base. Scatter with activated buckwheat for added crunch and texture. Then the veg - a handful of podded edamame, cherry tomatoes tossed with finely chopped chives and then the cruciferous ones. . . Cauliflower dusted with Kashmiri chilli powder and tossed in olive oil before being roasted till charred and then the roasted broccoli - halve and coat with oil and then fry flat side down till well coloured, finish in an oven for 15 minutes till soft (see here for the idea). Season with lemon juice and serve. For the meat - a scotch fillet - covered with cracked pepper and cooked in a sizzling pan till medium rare. Slice and arrange. Bring everything together with some home made basil oil (large bunch basil, salt, pepper, lemon ...

Tea poached salmon

I borrowed the recipe from here, but made a small change to the poaching time, so I could serve my fish warmish and moist.

First make the poaching solution - 4 litres of boiling water poured over 150g of Earl Grey tea leaves, 60g brown sugar and 2 lemons which have been finely sliced. When this is infused and cooled - strain and separate the tea from the leaves and lemon. Bring the tea / poaching solution to the boil and immerse one side of salmon (pin boned, skin on) into the boiling tea skin side down. Turn off the heat immediately and allow the submerged fish to poach for about one hour. Remove the fish from the tea by hand (so it does not break in two) and gently remove the skin. Serve with a green salad and mustard vinaigrette - cucumber / radish / watercress leaves with 2 ...

Maine Lobster Recipe with Chardonnay for the Summer!

Looking for a lobster recipe for this summer? Try the recipe below for Maine lobster uses two cups of Chardonnay for cooking the lobster and one cup of Chardonnay for the sauce. The recipe is from Jordan Winery in Sonoma, California. The recipe is enough to serve six. Cooks and chefs alike will want to check out the numerous recipes on the Jordan Winery website. Cheers!
Kathy Maine Lobster with Chanterelle Mushroom Yuzu Sauce and Fingerling Potatoes Serves 6 Ingredients For the lobster 2 gallons water
2 cups Jordan Chardonnay
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 sprig thyme (lemon thyme if available)
2 bay leaves
6 each Maine lobsters (1½ pounds each) For the greens 1 bunch savoy cabbage
1 bunch green chard
reserved lobster poaching liquid For the potatoes

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
18 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise