Monday, February 25, 2013

Semolina pasta dough

There's nothing better than homemade fresh pasta.

You can use this recipe for any kind of pasta you want: long (spaghetti, tagliatelle), short (penne, macaroni), flat (lasagna) or even filled (ravioli, tortellini), you name it!

Very simple, two ingredients (three if you count the pinch of salt), 5 minutes mixing, 1 hour rest and however long it takes you to shape the pasta :D

- 5 eggs
- 500g semolina flour
- a pinch of salt

- break your eggs in the center of the semolina and salt in a bowl.

- mix with a spoon to start and your fingers when it's not too tacky anymore.
- knead the dough for a few minutes and shape into a ball.
Note: if it's still too tacky, add a little semolina (or AP flour) to dry it.

- wrap the dough in film and cool in the fridge for 1 hour.

- shape the cold ball into a log and cut in smaller pieces (I cut a log that big into four equal pieces).

- roll the dough into a pasta machine until the sheet is the thickness you want.

- Have fun with your freshly pressed pasta! They will cook in merely a few minutes in salted boiling water.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

French chicken liver pate (mousse de foies de volaille)

This French staple dish is so easy to make (and oh-so-rewarding) you'll be done before you know it.
- 1lb chicken livers
- a mini-bottle (50ml) of brandy (I used Cognac)
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
- 1tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 oz butter (half of it cubed)
- trim the livers from unpleasant veins and fibrous tissue, and marinate in the brandy for at least 1 hour.
- drain the livers and keep the brandy. Pat the livers dry.
- melt the butter in a pan and saute the onions and garlic until transparent.
- add the livers and thyme.
- cook until the livers change color (do not overcook, just make sure they are a brown color almost all the way through and a little pink inside)
- add the reserved brandy and cook for another 2 minutes or until the livers are cooked all the way through.
- let cool for a few minutes and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
- incorporate the cubed butter and cream and blitz until smooth.
- pour in a tureen and refrigirate for a few hours. This pate will keep in the fridge for a few days.
- if you plan on storing the pate for a longer time, pour clarified butter on top to prevent oxidation.

Enjoy on a crunchy piece of rustic bread! :D