Tag Archives: recipe

It’s Time For A Recipe: Pasta That Is!

Easy, cheap and boy it is ever delicious!

It’s been a while since my man and I had been grocery shopping and our fridge looked kind of empty. Fruit juice, milk, mustard, pickles, eggs, butter, shallots, a few spinach leaves, garlic and one big tomato… Needless to say, our options were LIMITED.

I’ve been breaking my younger brother’s ears for months with the idea of having a pasta-making weekend at the cottage, something I did with the girls a few years back. That project is still on hold, but I’ve passed my knowledge along to my sister-in-law and tested the recipe once more.

So, if ever you’re looking to impress your guests with a no brainer meal that’ll cost you under 10$ or empty out what is left in your fridge, making fresh pasta is the way to go!

What you’ll need to feed 4 hungry bellies:

  •  250 g of Flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Milk

Fresh Pasta Ingredients Include Eggs, Flour, Olive Oil, Milk. Photo credit: Kim Gradek

How to make the dough:

  1. Take 5 of your 6 eggs and separate the white from the yolk. Reserve the yolk.
  2. Create a mound of flour on your counter and dig a hole in the center of it. Even better, if you have a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer just pour it in.
  3. Pour your liquid (egg, egg yolks, olive oil and milk) into the mixer and start it (should take about 5-7 minutes), or in the hole you just made in your mound of flour.
  4. Making little circles with your fingers, mix in the liquids and the flour. It will eventually start to thicken to form a dough. Don’t worry if it looks like a mess, it’s suppose to! You’ll eventually get there… patience is the rule of thumb.
  5. Once the mixture stops sticking to the sides of your bowl, or to the counter top, your dough is done. Wrap it in a film paper, and cool it by letting it rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Pat yourself on the back, it’s time to relax!
  7. Once it’s nicely chilled, dust your countertop with flour once more, and cut your dough ball into about 1 inch thick slices.
  8. Using a rolling-pin, flatten out your dough until it’s thin enough for your pasta making machine. And don’t forget to flip it. Each time you flip, remember to dust some flour under there.
  9. You’re now ready to use the pasta machine!

So you want to make fancy pasta??? The key is in the stuffing, or the sauce, or both! And the possibilities are infinite…

Homemade Spinach, Lemon Confit and Ricotta Tortellini- Photo credit Kim Gradek

Here’s another recipe for a really simple and tasty pasta sauce. It’s our Sunday night classic!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Garlic Clove, diced
  • 2 Big Tomatoes (or 4 italian tomatoes), diced
  • Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  •  1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt, pepper

How to do it:

  • On medium high heat, pour the olive oil into a large frying pan.
  • Once the oil starts waving (that means it’s hot enough), add in your diced tomatoes and garlic. Let it cook until the tomatoes start softening up. About 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add in the basil, salt and pepper to taste.

And if this is not working for you, let loose and have fun with it!

Homemade Ricotta Raviolis with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Chestnuts. Photo Credit: Kim Gradek

A few tips:

  • Flour is your best friend! Dust in your countertop, in your pasta making machine and on your finished pasta especially if you’re making spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc.
  • Don’t feel like waiting for it to dry? No problem, just boil some water and cook between 3-5 minutes depending on your level of appreciation for al-dente pasta!
  • Made a little too much? Lay the rest out on a baking sheet which you can put in the freezer and savor another day.

Voilà! From my kitchen to your’s: Bon appétit!

Who doesn’t love a BBQ Surf’n’Turf

I’ve spent the months of summer in my hometown, Montreal.

Now anyone who’s lived in MTL, or traveled there during both the summer and winter, knows the effect that the sun and the heat have on the city.

“Barely there” becomes the new wardrobe. The Quartier des Spectacles never sleeps. 5@7s that are normally a weekly thing become a weeknight thing. Riding your bike to work is the only way to go (I’ll blame it on “construction holidays”?!?). The Lachine canal, the public pools and the parks become overcrowded. And whether you’re walking through the pedestrian streets of the Plateau, the Monkland village, or my old St-Henri hood, you always can smell something grilling on the BBQ.

With the heat wave that occurred this past summer (and no, I am NOT complaining, I love the warm weather and the sun, but I could have lived without the humidity), very rare were the days we cooked indoors.

Below is my favorite meal of the summer: a no-brainer Surf’n’Turf inspired by our recent Spanish four-month life.

Our interpretation of pan con tomate

What you need:

  • A baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato heart
  • Pinch of salt
Drizzle olive oil on your bread, toast it on the BBQ. Spread your tomato heart on it and sprinkle some salt.

Clams, calamari, and tiger shrimps on the BBQ

What you’ll need:

  • Clams
  • Whole Calamari
  • Tiger Shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Lime
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Crushed coriander seeds
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
Mix olive oil, paprika, chili flakes, juice of one lime, and salt and pepper. Divide your marinade into 3.  Marinate your calamari and your shrimp in it for about 20 minutes, each in a separate bowl.
In the meantime, place your clams on a little oven sheet on the BBQ grill. Once the shells open, remove them cause they’re cooked. Add a little lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Your shrimp and calamari have marinated long enough? Cook’em on the BBQ as well.

Merguez, pinchos (the Latin American kind), and grilled veggies

What you’ll need:

  • Merguez
  • Pork cubes
  • That 3rd marinade
Marinate your pork cubes in the 3rd marinade for about 20 minutes as well. Cook it all on the BBQ!
Simple, yet so delicious. Bon appétit!
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