Portobello Mushroom with Cheese and Pine Nuts

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushrooms
100 g Gorgonzola
100 g flavoured cream cheese, like Black Pepper Boursin)
olive, chili or sesame oil, for drizzling
2 tsp dried oregano
few pinches (one per mushroom) of chili or red pepper flakes
1 tbsp pine nuts
4 handfuls of mixed salad leaves
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Peel the mushrooms and pull off the stems so you are left with four mushroom ‘bowls’. Place these in a buttered oven dish.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium.
  3. Mix together the cheeses and then fill each mushroom with the cheese mixture.
  4. Drizzle with whichever oil you choose (truffle oil, if you have it, is lovely) and scatter over the dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper (you won’t need much salt, as Gorgonzola is quite salty).
  5. Sprinkle with a smattering of chili or red pepper flakes and place the mushrooms under the grill until they are sizzling and soft, about 10 minutes.
  6. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden.
  7. Arrange your salad leaves over four plates. Place a grilled mushroom in the middle and scatter over the toasted pine nuts.
  8. Serve with your favourite salad dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen

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Tortellini with Bone Marrow Broth

Ingredients

Broth

2 pounds meaty bone marrow or beef bones, cut into pieces (see Notes)
1 yellow or white onion, halved and charred (see Notes)
2- to 3-inch knob fresh ginger, sliced into 5 or 6 quarter-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley stems (use the leaves for the tortellini filling)
Pinch of kosher salt
2-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

Pasta

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons bone marrow, melted, or olive oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
leaves from 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
onion flowers, for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. To make the broth, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread the marrow bones on a baking sheet and roast until the bones brown and the marrow softens, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the marrow bones from the oven and scoop out 2 tablespoons marrow if using it for the pasta dough.
  4. Transfer the roasted marrow bones to a stockpot and add the onion, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Pour 1 gallon water over these ingredients and then add the parsley stems and salt. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, but do not boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
  6. Strain the stock through a colander and return the broth to the pot. Discard the solids.
  7. Add the fish sauce to the broth and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Let the broth simmer briskly until reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.
  8. To make the pasta, pour the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, 2 tablespoons water, the marrow fat, if using, and salt. Pour the mixture into the flour well. Using two fingers, slowly incorporate the flour into the wet mixture until all of the liquid is absorbed and a supple dough is formed.
  10. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
  11. Alternatively, put the flour in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the motor running, pour the wet ingredients through the food tube. The dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  12. To make the filling, in a mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley leaves, one of the eggs, the lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  13. Take the pasta dough from the refrigerator and roll it into sheets using a pasta machine.
  14. Alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes and then roll into sheets with a rolling pin until they are about 1/8 inch thick (a little thicker won’t matter).
  15. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining egg and 1 teaspoon water.
  16. Cut the pasta into 4-inch rounds with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. You will have about 25 rounds.
  17. Lay them on a floured work surface and scoop a small amount of filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and fold in half to seal. Put a finger in the center of the seal and fold the dough back around your finger. Fold the edges down to form a tortellini shape.
  18. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Drop the tortellini into the water and cook until they bob to the surface, 3 to 4 minutes.
  19. Put 4 to 6 tortellini in each shallow serving bowl and pour the hot broth over them. Serve right away. Garnish with onion flowers, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Notes:

  • Bone marrow is found inside the long bones of animals. It’s soft, yellowish, and mostly fat and is appreciated by meat eaters the world over for the richness and full flavor it brings to any number of dishes. Beef marrow is the most common in the United States. Ask the butcher to cut the bone marrow bones into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
  • To char the onion halves, put them cut side up in a small roasting pan and slide them under a preheated broiler. Let them cook until they darken and char around the edges, about 5 minutes. You could also char them by holding them with long-handled tongs over an open gas flame.

Source: So Good

Mediterranean Appetizer with Eggs

Ingredients

16 spears of asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced diagonally
1 large red pepper, roasted (see procedures below) or 1/2 cup roasted red pepper from jar, sliced into strips
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Trim ends off asparagus. Place asparagus spears on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 7-10 minutes until tender crisp.
  3. Divide asparagus, peppers and eggs among four plates.
  4. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.


Roasted Red Peppers in the Oven

  1. Place clean whole fresh peppers on a baking dish.
  2. Broil under medium heat, turning frequently as necessary, until the entire pepper skin has turned black and blistery.
  3. Remove from oven and place peppers into an airtight container such as a bowl with a lid, or a plastic or paper bag.
  4. Let the peppers rest in the container for 10 to 15 minutes to build up the steam that is needed to aid in the removal of the pepper skin.
  5. Remove from container and peel off the skin. Cut the pepper in half, core and remove seeds.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

Mediterranean-style Stuffed Eggplants

Ingredients

4 eggplants
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 chili
6-1/2 oz ground beef
6-1/2 oz feta cheese
1 clove garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
cayenne pepper
olive oil

Method

  1. Halve and hollow out the eggplants and dice 3-1/2 oz of the hollowed-out eggplant flesh.
  2. Finely dice the onion and the green pepper.
  3. Finely chop the chili and garlic.
  4. Dice the feta cheese and mix with the beef and the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  5. Stuff the aubergines with the mixture. Place in an oiled baking dish, pour a little olive oil and bake in a preheated oven 350°F (180°C) for about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine

Spanish Omelette

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 zucchini, about 4 oz, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 6 eggs
2 egg whites
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mixed herbs (parsley, thyme and oregano)
2 boiled potatoes, about 10 oz, diced
2 oz frozen peas, thawed
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 oz mature cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Method

  1. Heat about 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, add onion and garlic and fry gently for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until tender.
  3. Beat eggs and egg whites with plenty of seasonings and herbs.
  4. Add remaining oil to the frying pan and, when hot, pour in egg mixture. Stir well and sprinkle potato, peas and tomato over omelette. Cook gently for about 5 minutes or until omelette is set and browned underneath.
  5. If liked, sprinkle the top with grated cheese and then place under a moderate broiler (grill) for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Cut into quarters and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: 50 Ways with Potatoes