I heart Jamie Oliver. He's so adorable, and his layered, unfussy recipes are a big hit in our family. I've been wanting to try the honeycomb cannelloni recipe for a while but was a little intimidated. Now I'm a huge fan. Double-plus benefit is that is is a vegetarian meal -- the Portobello mushrooms are hearty. You won't miss the meat.
The recipe is at: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21759766/ns/today-food/t/perfect-your-pasta-six-jamie-oliver-recipes/
This makes a huge batch. I froze half of the cream sauce and the ragú for a cannelloni kit for later, and then made the other half in a smaller pan. The only other change I made was to add red wine instead of water to the ragú.
Friends, like you, I've had many a soggy French toast served to me. I tried the version from America's Test Kitchens, and voila! Perfect! Who knew the secret was adding bit of flour to the batter? (Well, not me anyway.) I definitely think challah bread is the way to go here.
The link that follows has the recipe, video and more. Enjoy!
Maybe I'll use this recipe to make Martha Stewart's French Toast Kabobs. Really festive for breakfast!
(Picture from Martha Stewart website.)
One of this quarter's projects (see Notebook page) is to try to make jelly or jam. Freezer jam is a perfect baby step toward that goal.
I tried the Blueberry Pomegranate Twists recently at Starbucks, and was really taken by that combination and wanted to apply it to freezer jam. And just to be EXTRA ambitious, I wanted to try a recipe with no lemon or processed sugar.
3 cups of fresh blueberries
2 1/2 cups of pomegranate seeds
3/4 cups honey
2 tsp. ginger powder
1 (0.6-ounce) sachet Ball Instant Pectin
1. Wash and pick through blueberries and pomegranate seeds. All of the berries should be firm and ripe.
2. Mix berries with honey and ginger, let sit 2 hours.
3. Put honey-berry mixture in pot with the pectin. Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes, scraping sides of pot and stirring bottom as you go. The berries will burst and the jam will get thicker as you go. You can taste the mixture at this point, if you want sweeter jam just add more honey. Once the jam "sheets" of the back of a spoon, it is done. (I use a spoon, take a shallow scoop of jam and hold it above the pot, tip the spoon and let it slide off. When it stops falling in plops and begins to sheet, then it's ready.)
4. Ladle jam intocontainers, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space. Let stand 30 minutes, then refrigerate or freeze. Note: My jam took 12 hours to set.
You won't mind, dear reader, that I actually cleaned out the fridge on Tuesday instead of Friday? It's a great habit I've tried to start, but yesterday I found 2 halves of baguettes, strawberries, 1/2 tub of cream cheese, English peas, marinated tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese...This sounds like a bruschetta feast to me, just in time for my staff working lunch!
Marinated Tomato Bruschetta
See earlier blog posting on marinated tomatoes.
4 thick slices bread
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 cups sliced or diced hulled strawberries
4 tablespoons mascarpone, (Italian cream cheese) I used cream cheese
Prepare the toasted bread. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture begins to bubble, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add strawberries and stir until juices begin to exude and the berries are heated through, 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone on each piece of toast. Top with the warm berries.
Pea and Parmesan Bruschetta
6 slices of baguette bread
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
A few drops of balsamic vinegar
Grill bread and rub with garlic clove. Blanch peas in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes for fresh peas and 1 minute for frozen. Drain peas; transfer to a bowl. Season with kosher salt and extra-virgin olive oil and mash with the back of a fork. Spread about 1 tablespoon mixture over each toast. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, torn mint, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.