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Meatless Monday: Swiss Chard Ravioli in Smoked Onion Tomato Sauce, Part II

Published December 23, 2013 by jenmatteson

Over the weekend, I was asked to lead a cooking party, teaching a group of ladies how to make pasta, along with a few other things – but pasta was the main attraction.  As you may know, I posted this recipe a few weeks ago when I made it with Momma Marsha, and neither her nor Nate were huge fans.  They said it was fine, but something was missing.  Seeing as though I planned to make it for this cooking party, I had to perfect it.  Funny enough, all I did was add more cheese (mozzarella).  Also, I used whole milk ricotta, rather than low fat, hoping it would give more flavor (though I don’t think ricotta has much flavor to begin with, which was probably part of the problem during the first run through).  And it did, at least, that’s what Nate thought because he loved it the second time around.  Note to self: if something doesn’t taste just right, add more cheese. 

Swiss Chard Ravioli in Smoked Onion Tomato Sauce

The ladies seemed to be pleased as well, so I would say this re-make was a success!  I also changed the pasta dough recipe, as Chef Bush’s didn’t seem to work as well as the one I made with Momma Marsha.  Much easier to work with.

Swiss Chard Ravioli

Swiss Chard Ravioli in Smoked Onion Tomato Sauce

Source: Adapted from Chef David Bush/St. Francis Winery
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

For the smoked onion tomato sauce:
1 onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 quarts tomatoes, diced
salt

For the pasta dough:
1 3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt

For the pasta filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup ricotta
1 cup mozzarella, shredded

Directions:

1. Make the smoked onion tomato sauce.  Place onion slices in foil and lightly wrap.  Smoke in electric smoker on low for about 4 hours.  Preheat oven to 350.  Transfer onions from smoker to oven and cook until onions are soft, about 1 hour.  In a food processor, pulse onions until coarsely chopped.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring tomatoes to a simmer.  Add smoked onions and season with salt to taste.  Simmer for 15 minutes to incorporate the smoked flavor.  Place tomato mixture in food processor and pulse to make a slightly chunky sauce.

3. Make the pasta dough. Mix all ingredients in a food processor.  It’s important that the dough not come together, rather resemble coarse cornmeal.  Turn mixture out onto work surface and knead a few times.  Add a few drops of water if the dough seems too dry.  Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

4. Make filling for ravioli. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add Swiss chard and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer chard to a mixing bowl and let cool.  Add egg, breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg, ricotta and mozzarella.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  Set aside.

5. Separate dough into 4 portions.  Using one portion, keeping the rest wrapped in plastic, knead and begin to roll out into sheets using a pasta roller.  Place scoops of 1 tbsp filling on pasta sheets, leaving at least 2-3 inches (depending on how large your ravioli cutter is) and cover with second sheet of pasta.  Press the dough firmly together around the filling, trying not to leave any air pockets.  Cut individual ravioli with round cookie cutter or ravioli stamper.  Repeat for remaining dough and filling.

6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add raviolis in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan.  Boil for 3-4 minutes, remove and toss with smoked onion tomato sauce.  Serve and garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.

Perfect. Flaky. Buttery. A Pie Dough for the Holidays.

Published November 25, 2012 by jenmatteson

Pies scare me.  I’ve successfully made a few pie crusts in the past, and I really didn’t have any major issues, but they still terrify me.  I really enjoyed the pie crust I used for my French silk and fresh strawberry pie, but I came across this recipe in, you guessed it, Food and Wine, and decided I must try it!  I mean, “Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Dough”?  Tell me how many words you don’t like in that title?  None?  Okay, me too.

I used this crust for my bourbon apple pie, and it really lives up to its name.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery.  While I could taste the tang of the yogurt (which was delicious), it wasn’t one of the three words flashing in my head.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery. 

Three problems with this recipe:

1. It doesn’t tell you how long or at what temperature to bake it.  I guessed.  I guessed right!

2. While the article said that the dough should just barely hold together, it wasn’t even workable after refrigerating it overnight.  I had to add more yogurt to be able to roll it out into a crust.

3. This isn’t a terrible problem, but it was DELICIOUS!

The result truly was perfectly flaky and buttery.  Not only was I proud of myself for nailing a crust – that seemed disastrous at first, but I also checked one more thing off my 30 Before 30 list, and made a lattice top.  BAM!  I haven’t perfected it yet, so I’m not quite ready to tell you how to do it (I’m still not sure how I did it!).  Soon enough.  Anyway, back to the crust.  Perfect. Flaky. Buttery.  The key is to keep all the ingredients cold while you are preparing the dough.  PERFECT. FLAKY. BUTTERY. 

Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Dough

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 1 pie crust (double for lattice top)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, 5 tbsp cut into 1/4-inch dice, the rest left whole
1/3 cup plain whole yogurt (not Greek-style)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Measure flour into a glass or ceramic bowl and freeze for 15 minutes.  Freeze the 3 tbsp-size chunk of butter for 15 minutes.  Place 5 tbsp of diced butter on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  In a glass bowl, combine yogurt with salt and 1 tbsp cold water and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, add flour and 5 tbsp of diced butter.  Pulse until mixture resembles fine oat flakes.  Using a sharp knife or cheese plane, very thinly slice remaining 3 tbsp of butter and freeze slices for 5 minutes.

3. Add butter slices to bowl.  Toss gently to separate slices.  Slices should remain cold and intact.  Drizzle the cold yogurt into the bowl, using a rubber spatula to toss as you drizzle.  Continue tossing and scraping down the sides of bowl until crumbly and evenly moistened.  Press dough into 6-inch disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or overnight, freeze for up to 1 month.

4.  Using a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 13-inch round.  Carefully transfer dough into pie plate.  Cut overhang and roll edges under. Flute crust as desired.  Fill pie with desired filling.  Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

Bourbon Apple Pie

Published November 25, 2012 by jenmatteson

Since I made the apple pie boubon, I had all these apples that I couldn’t possibly toss.  Good thing Boozed + Infused suggested making an apple pie with them!  The recipe is for small hand pies, which sounds so cute, but since I was trying out a new perfectly flaky yogurt-butter pie dough crust, I made the whole pie instead.

Nate was the only one who didn’t like this pie.  He said he didn’t like the walnuts in the filling.  If you have a picky eater, I would suggest leaving them out.  However, if you like to have a little bit of crunch to your pie, this was a great addition.  I was so worried that the apples would be to liquory to even taste good, but the 15 minutes of simmering really cooks out the booze and brings out the infused flavors.  I added more apples as I wasn’t sure that there would be enough to fill a pie, and I was right.  I added three more granny smith apples, but that still didn’t quite top off the pie.  Next time I’d add 6 or so (of course this depends on how big the apples are, and these were the tiny granny smiths).  Not only was the crust a success, but the filling was a hit, too!

Bourbon Apple Pie

Source: Adapted from Boozed + Infused
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

4 cups bourbon soaked apples (from Apple Pie Bourbon) + 4-6 granny smith apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp flour
2/3 c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Directions:

1.  Melt butter over medium heat in large saucepan.  Add apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 15-20  minutes, stirring frequently.  When apples are tender, whisk in flour.  Taste mixture and add sugar to desired sweetness. Add walnuts and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

2. Let mixture cool slightly.  Fill prepared pie crust and bake according to directions.

Whole Wheat Grilled Pizza

Published June 28, 2012 by jenmatteson

You  may have noticed a trend in my blog lately: whole wheat.  Well, yes, I do have a bunch of whole wheat flour in my freezer, so I thought I’d start getting creative and using it up.  And it’s actually proved very well.  Whole wheat english muffin bread was fabulous, whole wheat flour tortillas were excellent, and whole wheat pizza crust is no different.  When I get around to making breakfast on a weekend, next up is whole wheat pancakes.  Yum!

Anyway, the whole wheat pizza crust turned out really great.  The dough was a little less forgiving than the regular dough, but I got the hang of it, and it tasted great too!  Basically, it’s the same recipe as the grilled pizza dough, but substituting some whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour.  Substitute this for your next crust, and you won’t be disappointed.

Whole Wheat Grilled Pizza

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 8 small, 4 large 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp (or one packet) dry active yeast
1 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 pinch sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 + 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2-3 tbsp fresh herbs (I didn’t have any, so I used dried rosemary, oregano, and basil)
toppings as desired

Directions:

1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water, and mix in sugar.  Proof for 10 minutes, or until frothy.  Mix in salt, olive oil and flour until dough begins to pull away from sides of the bowl.  Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead in herbs until smooth, about 8 minutes.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel.  Let dough rise for one hour, or until it doubles in size.  Punch down, and let rise for another hour, or until it doubles in size again.

2. Preheat grill temperature to about 350 degrees.  Punch down dough and divide into four pieces.  Make each piece into 9-10 inch square or circle pizza crust.  If the dough isn’t working with you, leave it sit, walk away, and come back after 5 minutes.  It’ll be more forgiving.

3. Have all sauces toppings, and cheese ready and waiting before you put the dough on the grill.  Spray one side of two of the crusts with olive oil, and place one grill.  Once on the grill, spray other side with olive oil.  Turn the crust 1/4 of a turn every 30 seconds or so, until crust beings to brown and bubble, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip crust and immediately top with desired sauce, toppings, and cheese.  Close grill cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, again turning 1/4 turn every 30 seconds.  Every grill is different, so timing will vary.  Be sure to keep an eye on your crust so it doesn’t burn, but don’t flip it too soon – you want it to be cooked through and slightly crisp.  repeat with second two crusts.

Here are some ideas for sauces and toppings:

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