Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ragu Bolognese

I made last night, which is a recipe from Mario Batali.


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 pound veal, ground
1 pound pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/2 tube tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Continue to cook on high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.

Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tosses so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu

Notes: This was excellent! I loved the flavors of the meats, although I didn't really taste the bacon (will skip it next time to save on the fat). I found there was too much oil and butter, so next time I will cut it down to have just enough to cook the vegetables. The recipe calls for 1/2 tube tomato paste. I used the entire small can of Contadina tomato paste and even added a few small fresh tomatoes, diced. Definitely cook this for a minimum of 1 hour. The longer, the better the flavors to come out, and also makes a nice thick meaty ragu. I served this with papparadelle pasta, one of my favorites.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hershey's Chocolate Quicky Sticky Bread

I made this today for a rotation dinner, which the food theme is Pucker Up! using lemons, lime, other citrus, or Hershey's kisses.

I decided on something sweet and found this recipe. It was a little time consuming rolling the bread balls, but in the end, it's a delicious treat to enjoy.

2 loaves (16-oz. each) frozen bread dough
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted & divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Hershey's mini kisses brand m
ilk chocolates

Thaw loaves as directed on package; let rise until doubled. (I lightly oiled the pan so that the bread wouldn't stick).

Stir together granulated sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.

Stir together 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar and water in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth when stirred. Pour mixture into 12-cup fluted tube pan.

Heat oven to 350°F. Pinch off pieces of bread dough; form into balls, 1-1/2 inches in diameter, placing 3 chocolates inside each ball.

Dip each ball in remaining 1/4 cup butter; roll in cocoa-sugar mixture.

Place balls in prepared pan

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 20 minutes in pan;
invert onto serving plate. Cool until lukewarm. 12 servings (closer to 14 to 16 servings).

(Recipe from this Hershey's web site).