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Master Stock Duck and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle
The master stock step here was fairly unnecessary, other than I wanted to cook my duck it in to flavor the stock.  Really, you could butterfly and roast it any way you’d like, just so long as you’ve cooked it.  Or buy it cooked.  I won’t judge.
I made the pasta for 2, but the ragu is about 4 serves, so make enough pasta accordingly.
Ingredients:
1 whole duck, cooked (mine was cooked for an hour in master stock, then roasted for 20 minutes), then pulled apart into bite size pieces, or a bit larger
Cooked pappardelle (pasta), 1 handful per serve
1 onion, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and thyme, but you could also use sage or rosemary)
1 cup red wine
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of chicken stock
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Parmesan, to serve
In an oven-proof pan with a lid, saute the onions and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, before adding the carrots, celery, and herbs.  Cook for 5 minutes more.  Add the wine and stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir through the tomatoes and duck, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven, covered, for about 1 hour, at 170C / 325F.  You’ll know it’s done when the duck is just about falling apart.
Remove the lid and put back on the stove.  Give it a good stir, and put on medium heat until the liquid has reduced and the ragu is thick (as you can see, I got lazy and didn’t finish this, so there’s some liquid coming out from the ragu).  Put onto the pasta, and top with parmesan.

Master Stock Duck and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle

The master stock step here was fairly unnecessary, other than I wanted to cook my duck it in to flavor the stock.  Really, you could butterfly and roast it any way you’d like, just so long as you’ve cooked it.  Or buy it cooked.  I won’t judge.

I made the pasta for 2, but the ragu is about 4 serves, so make enough pasta accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole duck, cooked (mine was cooked for an hour in master stock, then roasted for 20 minutes), then pulled apart into bite size pieces, or a bit larger
  • Cooked pappardelle (pasta), 1 handful per serve
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and thyme, but you could also use sage or rosemary)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Parmesan, to serve

In an oven-proof pan with a lid, saute the onions and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, before adding the carrots, celery, and herbs.  Cook for 5 minutes more.  Add the wine and stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir through the tomatoes and duck, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven, covered, for about 1 hour, at 170C / 325F.  You’ll know it’s done when the duck is just about falling apart.

Remove the lid and put back on the stove.  Give it a good stir, and put on medium heat until the liquid has reduced and the ragu is thick (as you can see, I got lazy and didn’t finish this, so there’s some liquid coming out from the ragu).  Put onto the pasta, and top with parmesan.

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Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza
This was breakfast last weekend, and I swear, this is the best pizza I’ve made yet.  I used frozen dough that I thawed on the counter overnight, and preheated both the oven and the stone very well.  This is the only way to get the bottom crispy without burning the top.  Give this a shot either for breakfast or dinner, it’s amazing.
Ingredients:
1 portion of pizza dough
1 cup of grapes, cut in half
1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup sliced prosciutto
2 eggs
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes, with your pizza stone in for 20 minutes, at full throttle.
Flour your counter or a cutting board, and half roll/spread out the dough.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then finish spreading to your final shape.
Mix the ricotta and maple syrup, and season with some salt and pepper.  Remove the hot stone from the oven and using a rolling pin or wine bottle, slipped under the dough onto the floured side, carefully move the dough to the stone.  Spread on the ricotta mix, cover with grapes, crack on the eggs, top with prosciutto then parmesan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden.

Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza

This was breakfast last weekend, and I swear, this is the best pizza I’ve made yet.  I used frozen dough that I thawed on the counter overnight, and preheated both the oven and the stone very well.  This is the only way to get the bottom crispy without burning the top.  Give this a shot either for breakfast or dinner, it’s amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of pizza dough
  • 1 cup of grapes, cut in half
  • 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup sliced prosciutto
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil

Preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes, with your pizza stone in for 20 minutes, at full throttle.

Flour your counter or a cutting board, and half roll/spread out the dough.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then finish spreading to your final shape.

Mix the ricotta and maple syrup, and season with some salt and pepper.  Remove the hot stone from the oven and using a rolling pin or wine bottle, slipped under the dough onto the floured side, carefully move the dough to the stone.  Spread on the ricotta mix, cover with grapes, crack on the eggs, top with prosciutto then parmesan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden.

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Rye Fougasse with Oyster Mushrooms, Basil and Parmesan
I ran out of bread flour, and tried this recipe for a quick bread with half rye flour.  It takes an hour to rise, and then goes straight in the oven, so it’s a pretty quick on on the weekend.  While it was rising, I mixed up 2 cups of sliced oyster mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set aside until it was time to made the fougasse.  Spread the mixture over the dough and top with 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and bake for about 15 minutes on as high heat as your oven goes.

Rye Fougasse with Oyster Mushrooms, Basil and Parmesan

I ran out of bread flour, and tried this recipe for a quick bread with half rye flour.  It takes an hour to rise, and then goes straight in the oven, so it’s a pretty quick on on the weekend.  While it was rising, I mixed up 2 cups of sliced oyster mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set aside until it was time to made the fougasse.  Spread the mixture over the dough and top with 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and bake for about 15 minutes on as high heat as your oven goes.

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Pan-fried Salmon with Potato, Onion and Mushroom Fritters
I just seasoned the salmon with salt and pepper and cooked it in a pan, but these fritters were pretty tasty.  I was impatient and messed them up a bit, so here’s what I would have done.
Ingredients:
Enough potatoes to boil and create 1 cup of mashed potato
1/2 cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
A few springs of rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Boil and mash the potato well, combine with the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  If it’s not staying together, add milk if it’s too dry, and breadcrumbs if it’s too moist.
Form patties, and in a hot oven-proof pan, cook for about 5 minutes on each side before baking for 20 minutes at 200C / 375F.

Pan-fried Salmon with Potato, Onion and Mushroom Fritters

I just seasoned the salmon with salt and pepper and cooked it in a pan, but these fritters were pretty tasty.  I was impatient and messed them up a bit, so here’s what I would have done.

Ingredients:

  • Enough potatoes to boil and create 1 cup of mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • A few springs of rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Boil and mash the potato well, combine with the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  If it’s not staying together, add milk if it’s too dry, and breadcrumbs if it’s too moist.

Form patties, and in a hot oven-proof pan, cook for about 5 minutes on each side before baking for 20 minutes at 200C / 375F.

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Eggplant Parmesan
Usually, if you can’t find enough eggplant to make eggplant parmesan, you divert to Plan B.  Instead, I just added more cheese.  No one complained.  Serves 6.
Ingredients (sauce):
1 onion, diced
3 small cans of whole tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped sage
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup water
Saute onion in butter in a medium saucepan.  Add herbs, salt and pepper for a minute or two, before adding the rest of the ingredients.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.  Crush the tomatoes before you add to the parmesan.
Ingredients (parmesan):
3 large eggplants, sliced
Olive oil, salt and pepper
2 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup breadcrumbs
A few fresh sage leaves
All the sauce from above
Drizzled a bit of oil, salt and pepper on the eggplant and roast for about 10 minutes on each side.  Set aside and let cool enough to handle.  In a deep pan, layer sauce, 1/3 of the eggplant, then 1 cup of mozzarella.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add more sauce, 1/3 of the eggplant, then the rest of the mozzarella.  Season, and then add sauce, the last of the eggplant, sauce, the parmesan, and then the bread crumbs.  Season one more time, and top with sage.  Bake at 180C / 325F for 45 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan

Usually, if you can’t find enough eggplant to make eggplant parmesan, you divert to Plan B.  Instead, I just added more cheeseNo one complained.  Serves 6.

Ingredients (sauce):

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 small cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water

Saute onion in butter in a medium saucepan.  Add herbs, salt and pepper for a minute or two, before adding the rest of the ingredients.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.  Crush the tomatoes before you add to the parmesan.

Ingredients (parmesan):

  • 3 large eggplants, sliced
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • A few fresh sage leaves
  • All the sauce from above

Drizzled a bit of oil, salt and pepper on the eggplant and roast for about 10 minutes on each side.  Set aside and let cool enough to handle.  In a deep pan, layer sauce, 1/3 of the eggplant, then 1 cup of mozzarella.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add more sauce, 1/3 of the eggplant, then the rest of the mozzarella.  Season, and then add sauce, the last of the eggplant, sauce, the parmesan, and then the bread crumbs.  Season one more time, and top with sage.  Bake at 180C / 325F for 45 minutes.

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White Bean, Artichoke and Parmesan Bruschetta
Ingredients:
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can marinated artichokes, chopped slightly
1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Sliced bread
Olive oil
Mix beans, artichoke, herbs, salt and pepper.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the bread and pop it under the grill for 5 minutes.  Top with the bean mix, sprinkle on some parmesan, and grill for another 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

White Bean, Artichoke and Parmesan Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can marinated artichokes, chopped slightly
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Sliced bread
  • Olive oil

Mix beans, artichoke, herbs, salt and pepper.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the bread and pop it under the grill for 5 minutes.  Top with the bean mix, sprinkle on some parmesan, and grill for another 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

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Baked Eggs with Mushrooms
Ingredients:
1-2 portobello mushroom, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
4 slices of bread
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bake the bread drizzled with a bit of olive oil at 200C / 375F.  Saute the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper in a bit of oil and set aside.  Cook the eggs, sunny side up, until just set.  Take the bread out of the oven, layer on the mushroom and then put an egg on top.  Top with parmesan, and bake for about 3-4 minutes until the top of the egg is just barely cooked.

Baked Eggs with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 portobello mushroom, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bake the bread drizzled with a bit of olive oil at 200C / 375F.  Saute the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper in a bit of oil and set aside.  Cook the eggs, sunny side up, until just set.  Take the bread out of the oven, layer on the mushroom and then put an egg on top.  Top with parmesan, and bake for about 3-4 minutes until the top of the egg is just barely cooked.

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Eggplant Parmesan
I made a pretty simple eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight. I tried to make it a bit healthier and baked it, but you could speed things up a little and fry them instead.
Ingredients (sauce):
2 cans diced tomatoes 
1/2 cup red wine 
1 onion, diced 
2 tbsp olive oil 
Salt, pepper, and fresh thyme 
Saute onion in olive, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Let this simmer while you do the rest.
Ingredients (eggplant parmesan):
1 eggplant, sliced and covered in salt for about an hour (or less… just rinse before using) 
1 egg, beaten 
1 cup breadcrumbs, with salt and pepper added 
1/2 cup grated parmesan 
Dip the eggplant in the egg, then the breadcrumb, and bake at 200C / 375F for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. May sure you coat the pan with oil or cooking spray, as well as spray the top of the eggplant with cooking spray before baking to make it a little crispy.
Top eggplant with sauce and grated parmesan, served with bread.

Eggplant Parmesan

I made a pretty simple eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight. I tried to make it a bit healthier and baked it, but you could speed things up a little and fry them instead.

Ingredients (sauce):

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and fresh thyme

Saute onion in olive, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Let this simmer while you do the rest.

Ingredients (eggplant parmesan):

  • 1 eggplant, sliced and covered in salt for about an hour (or less… just rinse before using)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, with salt and pepper added
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Dip the eggplant in the egg, then the breadcrumb, and bake at 200C / 375F for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. May sure you coat the pan with oil or cooking spray, as well as spray the top of the eggplant with cooking spray before baking to make it a little crispy.

Top eggplant with sauce and grated parmesan, served with bread.

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Grilled Asparagus with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Parmesan
After demolishing all that bread, veggies were in the cards… lots of them.  Tonight is veggie dumpling night, and I’ve had to bring in a “consultant” to get some ideas of how to make them well.  This consultant happens to be a mind-blowing fashion photographer, a rival chef, and a kick-ass salsa dancer.  I’ve made dumplings before, years ago, and while they were nice enough, they’re weren’t anything to write home about.  Hopefully I don’t butcher his instructions (I’m already planning modifications… shhh) and I’ve got some great recipes to share later.

Grilled Asparagus with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Parmesan

After demolishing all that bread, veggies were in the cards… lots of them.  Tonight is veggie dumpling night, and I’ve had to bring in a “consultant” to get some ideas of how to make them well.  This consultant happens to be a mind-blowing fashion photographer, a rival chef, and a kick-ass salsa dancer.  I’ve made dumplings before, years ago, and while they were nice enough, they’re weren’t anything to write home about.  Hopefully I don’t butcher his instructions (I’m already planning modifications… shhh) and I’ve got some great recipes to share later.

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Eggplant and Parmesan Focaccia
For this, I took a third of the dough from my previous recipe, split it in half, and spread into 2 pizza shapes.  I brushed the dough with the topping from the same recipe, and then layered with slices of eggplant and a bit of zucchini, brushed it with more of the topping and then finished it with some grated parmesan.  Feel free to also use asparagus, artichoke, spinach, mushrooms… whatever you have on hand.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 220C / 400F until the edges are golden and the cheese has started to get a bit crispy.  Really good either hot out of the oven or cold the next day.

Eggplant and Parmesan Focaccia

For this, I took a third of the dough from my previous recipe, split it in half, and spread into 2 pizza shapes.  I brushed the dough with the topping from the same recipe, and then layered with slices of eggplant and a bit of zucchini, brushed it with more of the topping and then finished it with some grated parmesan.  Feel free to also use asparagus, artichoke, spinach, mushrooms… whatever you have on hand.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 220C / 400F until the edges are golden and the cheese has started to get a bit crispy.  Really good either hot out of the oven or cold the next day.

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