Tag: ricotta

Weekend Finds 8:3:14

I love the summer. I really do. Yesterday’s trip to the farmer’s market was beautiful – everything smelled so good, and I wanted to bring it all home with me. I wish my little sister was here to help me pick out the best tomatoes. But there’s that thing that’s starting to nag in the back of my mind. I look at my closet and wish I could wear some of my favorite sweaters. I wish I could make tea anytime after 10 a.m. and not be too hot to drink it. But then I look at the tomatoes, and I’m ok with summer for a while longer. On to these late summer weekend finds:

1. Homemade Ice Cream Tips

Ice Cream Tips // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
If this picture from Bon Appetit doesn’t make you want ice cream, I don’t know what will.

Tis the season for homemade ice cream, and these tips from BA are really helpful if you’re new to the game. Overall, these tips are mostly about time – take the time to cook your custard well, take the time to add your chunks and ribbons at the right moment, and take the time to let the ice cream set up in the freezer. Trust me, it’s worth it.

2. Gazpacho without a recipe

Gazpacho Non-Recipe // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Gazpacho is happening.

This is exactly the non-recipe I’ve been looking for. Thanks Food52.

3. Ricotta Ice Cream

Ricotta Ice Cream from David Lebovitz // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I could certainly go for a scoop of this right now.

Speaking of ice cream… David Lebovitz knows his stuff when it comes to ice cream. So I trust him. And when he says to make a ricotta ice cream with pistachios and candied lemon, I listen. This ice cream sounds like it would be sublime on top of a berry crumb cake or polenta cake or something like that. Talk about a lovely summer dessert.

4. Chicken with Plum Chutney

Chicken with Plum Chutney // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
This chicken with plum chutney is a perfect August dinner.

I posted this recipe 2 years ago (wow), and I was reminded of it this week because there’s a plum tree on our walk way, and the plums are starting to ripen (and fall). This means it’s almost time to make plum chutney. And the chicken that goes with it. This is by far one of my favorite summer dishes, and I can’t wait.

5. Alternative Pie Crusts

Alternative Pie Crusts // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
How pretty is this filo dough pie crust?

Now you know I love my pie crust, but sometimes it’s time to try new things. All of these alternative crusts look awesome, as in I would like to try all of them now. I’m particularly intrigued by the rice crust.

Lasagna, of the cheesiest variety

Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Sometimes you need to make those meals that yield a million servings so you can eat it all week. The week before the CD release concert we had for Jonah’s new album was absolutely one of those weeks.

We had a few guests staying with us, band practice almost every night, and I had work on the nights I wasn’t rehearsing. It was a busy time, to say the least. So the night of our Kickstarter team meeting, to discuss merch and social media, etc. I made this lasagna, so that we could eat it throughout the week. It was high up on the list of best lasagna I’ve ever made. What made it so good? The homemade sauce, the homemade noodles, and some absurd amounts of cheese.

I’ll admit, however, that this uses a lot of dishes, and has a fair amount of ingredients. But when you’ve got some time and you’re making a meal that will carry you through the week, it’s worth it. I like to think of it as an entire week’s worth of mess (and cleanup).

Cheesy Meat Lasagna

Note: I used a 13×9 inch baking dish, and filled it right up to the brim. I put a baking sheet underneath it to catch any overflow (which was minimal), but still, if you’ve got a slightly bigger baking dish, it might be a good idea to use it.

Ingredients

Noodles

3 eggs
2 cups flour

Meat Sauce

Olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, other Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano, to your liking)
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can crushed (or diced) San Marzano tomatoes (yes, these are expensive, but I found it to be terribly worth it, and they weren’t THAT MUCH more than the other brands)

Ricotta Filling

3 cups ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 cup freshly grated parmesan
2-3 cups (preferably freshly) grated mozzarella

Instructions

Noodles

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a bowl and whisk, or a bowl and fork, mix up the eggs and flour into a dough. If it’s too wet, add more flour 1 tsp at a time. If it’s too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Dump the dough out onto floured surface, knead a few times, and wrap in plastic (or put in a bowl and cover with dishtowel) and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Meat Sauce

In a large pot, heat 2 Tbl olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion and carrot. Cook until starting to soften. Add the garlic, beef, and Italian sausage, and cook until the meat has browned. Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, and whatever other spices you’d like (I did 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried parsley). Add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes to the pot (no need to drain them!) and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and cover, letting it simmer for ~30 minutes.

Ricotta Filling

While your dough is resting and your sauce is simmering you can whip up the ricotta filling. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, pepper, and 1/2 cup of both the grated mozzarella and parmesan. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.

Roll out your pasta into sheets for lasagna and set aside, covering so that the noodles don’t dry out. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lightly coat your baking dish with oil. Spread ~1 cup sauce in the bottom of the dish. Here’s how you’re going to do this: noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese. That’s your order. On top of the sauce in the bottom of the dish, arrange a layer of noodles; spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, then 1 cup sauce, and sprinkle with cheese (a mixture of the mozzarella and parmesan). Do that twice (now we’ve got sauce, noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese, noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese), and in the next layer, leave out the cheese (so just noodles, ricotta, sauce). Put another layer of noodles on top, spread the rest of the sauce on top, and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Phew! If you don’t feel like following my layering instructions, just do whatever you want. It’ll probably work, and you’ve probably eaten enough lasagna in your life to figure out how it works.

Bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes, rotating it half way through, until the cheese on top is melted and turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool/set for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Friday Finds 9:6:13

This weeks Friday Finds feature my new place of employment, an idea I wish I’d had, OYSTERS, and prepping for fall.

1. Firehouse

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A peek inside the wood-fired oven at Firehouse, and the pizza that cooks there!

Firehouse is my new place of employment! Jonah and I went and had dinner there last night, and the food is really spectacular. I could’ve told you that a month ago when I started, as they’ve been having me taste the menu so that I can be familiar and make recommendations. But last night I got to experience the atmosphere and food from the diner’s side, and it really was lovely. One of my favorite things about their dishes are the combinations they serve – things I’d never think of. For a while, our rotisserie chicken came with roasted bread, summer squash, cherries, and pistachios. Doesn’t that sound good? (It was.)

2. Ricotta Crostini Party

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ricotta Crostini Party on Honestly Yum

Remember how last week I was talking about how crostini are great and easy and you can do anything with them? Here are some MORE ideas, as well as some pretty pictures. I love the idea of having a crostini party where you put out the bread spread with ricotta, and bowls of all the topping options, leaving people to create their own masterpieces.

3. Kitchen Share

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Kitchen Share

Like a library, but for kitchen appliances, Kitchen Share has just opened up a branch in my neighborhood. I love this idea! My kitchen is already so full with my mixer, food processor, and blender, but there are so many things I want to try. I simply don’t have room for all the appliances – and let’s be honest, how often would I actually use a dehydrator or bread machine? This seems like the perfect opportunity to try out some recipes that require appliances that I don’t have. And it’s free, after your one-time donation when you sign up for a membership.

4. Fall is on it’s way…

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ready for fall: Miso + Molasses Squash and Tofu, anyone?

School has started for kiddos, and today is rainy and gray in Portland. It’s hard when the grocery store is still full of tomatoes and stone fruits, but I am itching to get my hands on some squash and start making those hearty fall recipes.

5. Oysters

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Our platter of oysters at Elliott’s!

I don’t know if I told you about my recent revelation: I like oysters. It’s strange, I was talking with an old friend a week or two ago about what makes you a “real person,” aka a grown up. I was very nervous to go to Elliott’s Oyster House for happy hour with our friends Dylan and Caitlyn while in Seattle. See, they really like oysters, and I’d never had a raw one, and only recently had one that wasn’t breaded and fried. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But holy smokes, they were so delicate and refreshing, they tasted perfectly fishy and like the ocean. I’m glad I stuck with my “I’ll try anything once” rule this time around.

Restaurant Review: La Bête, Seattle, WA

Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

This year, my father was lucky enough to have my older sister Emily, my cousin Lia, and me and Jonah in town for Father’s Day. I imagine that, if I have children one day, I will feel lucky to have them around as they get older and venture off into the world. And it’s nice to know that, even as they wander farther from home, they can come back and celebrate milestones with you. This Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were oddly emotional for me, so maybe I’m being too sappy. But I think as I get older, and think about having children of my own one day (a far off day, mind you), I think of my parents differently and appreciate them in whole new ways. I feel pretty lucky in that both of my parents (all four of them, actually, if we include my “step-people”) are strong and brilliant in their own ways. They have been through some incredible trials and have come through those trials even stronger and wiser. I have learned incredible lessons from both of them, and hope to be like them when I grow up.

Anyway, that was an emotional and sappy opening to a post which is really about an amazing meal. It was one of those moments where I feel a lot of joy – to be enjoying incredible food with wonderful people in a beautiful setting. It can’t get much better than that, can it?

For Father’s Day, Darla (one of my “step-people”) made reservations at La Bête, a Seattle eatery I had been hearing about for quite some time. I knew it was one of her and my dad’s favorite spots, so I was excited to learn that’s where we’d be eating. As soon as we walked in and sat down, I knew I was going to like it. The decor was funky and soothing at the same time – gray walls, old tables and chairs, neat art, old silver, beautiful light… Our waiter was very friendly (turns out his parents ran an Eastern European restaurant my dad loved back in the day) and helpful.

Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: La Bête // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

First off, we ordered some house made juices (by juicebox) to share. With flavors like beet & lemon & ginger, kale & cucumber, and carrot & orange & turmeric, these brightly colored drinks were a welcome sight, and a nice way to tickle the taste buds before we started the meal.

To share with the table, we ordered a few “starters,” as we were all pretty dang hungry when we arrived. First up we ordered a chicken liver mousse paté, which came with a lovely salad with grapes and walnuts, as well as some really crispy toasts. The liver was really creamy, but not too smooth, which I kind of like in my liver paté. It was wonderfully seasoned, and disappeared quickly at a table of liver lovers. Next up was the ricotta terrine, which seemed as though it had been lightly seared on the sides, and served under a heap of thinly sliced (and perfectly ripe) honeydew, red onion, and a slew of herbs. The bites were perfection – the cooling mint, creamy ricotta, biting red onion, and juicy sweet melon made a perfect combination. Lastly, we shared a plate of the pistachio coffeecake with rhubarb compote. The coffeecake came on a beautiful little plate, and was still warm when it arrived. Have you ever put a warm pastry in your mouth and the steam is filled with the essence of the spices used to flavor it? These bites were full of cardamom steam, a perfect compliment to the pistachio. The dollops of rhubarb compote and creme fraîche didn’t hurt either.

My cousin Lia and I shared the spring salad and the Spaetzle with apple, chicken, cabbage, and an egg. Both were lovely and unique. The spaetzle wasn’t creamy like I’ve had before – rather the little dumplings were tossed with bits of fruitiness and earthiness, with a yolk running over it all. The star of the salad was the puréed charred eggplant that had been smeared on the plate beneath the veggies, and acted as a kind of dressing. Other big hits at the table were the breakfast sandwich and the waffles with fruit.

Writing it all out, I remember now how wonderful it was, and how being with my family, enjoying new flavors while sitting in a beautiful setting is really one of my favorite things in the whole world. Thanks, La Bête, for offering such a peaceful place and fantastic menu, the perfect atmosphere for us to enjoy while enjoying each other’s company.