Arancini

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These have probably been done many times…  Oh well…  It’s unlikely an actual recipe was ever used, before, nor one that used the appropriate rice, and maybe not wine — at least another 1/2 cup of that could be substituted in, at that.

Deep fried, rice-wrapped cheese.  Note really much to say about that, other than to discuss whether it should be served with marinara.  Probably…

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Oops: Omitted the egg.  No big deal, though.

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Italian red lentil soup

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More!  More with the red lentils!  Yet, suddenly they are few, after this unexpectedly well-received stew:  Almost a minestrone sort of flavor, enhanced with the earthy, lentil tones.

Yet another, from Chefjar: How she managed to get hers that red, and how she made a soup from 2.25c lentils to 3c broth — both, deep mysteries.  It took close to twice that broth, and still it was quite thick soup.  However, the anticipated dilution of other flavors did not happen, and the proportion of vegetables was perfect.

Delicious, hopped up with generous cayenne, a little parmesan and cilantro, and served with arancini balls, hearty bread and a nice salad.  All but Ari enjoyed it, especially Jared — to his surprise.  Probably ours, too…

Continue reading Italian red lentil soup

Kale, olive pesto lasagna

L20160616_1834481Lasagna was always appreciated, ever since back when we were kids.  Never something particularly longed for, but nice like a warm pair of socks on a cold winter day.  “What’s for dinner?”  — “Lasagna.”  Alright — that’s okay.  Never something ordered out, but brought to the menu now and again:  Great for large groups, not a terrible challenge to make.  The status of lasagna was raised significantly, when the mother-in-law served it with freshly made noodles:  An entirely better offering.

This variety from TheEndlessMeal is one of the best variations ever had — a slight pungency in the sauce from the tomatoes and balsamic, and an absolutely outstanding complement from the kale pesto.

As necessary, fresh noodles were used, and the pan was layered with cheese, sauce and noodle to the top — whereon the pesto was slathered.  Foolishly, the walnuts were forgotten until after a broil, and then hastily added at the end — they may have burned otherwise, and might fit well in a layer of sauce.

The idea of lasagna with many things has been tried — and failed, outside of the original.  This is one that really elevates the dish.

Spinach and sausage ravioli

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Likely, the original impetus for this recipe would be horrified by what has been done to it, the result, though, was regardless — delicious.

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Verily, all the cheeses were eschewed, not being on hand.  However, a Daiya pepperjack was used — completely alienating the result from it’s creamy, ricotta and cream cheese inspiration.

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Only a passing glance was had as the boy consumed them near entirely…

Continue reading Spinach and sausage ravioli

Ari-ancini rice balls and bread sticks

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Ari has long kept us well fed with tasty little treats, and this summer has branched into main course fair, usually dragging the meme one into it as well — she who would be quite piqued by that opened cupboard in the background.

The first meal was a big stack of meat pies that went over very well.  They were surprised that none were left:  We are in the land of the pasties, ladies.

This time, they wanted to try and replicate some of their favorite out-dining food fare, the arancini rice balls and bread sticks at the Olive Garden.

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Though the visual aesthetics may need a little work, the bread sticks were — flavor-wise — better than their reference:  Very tasty — perfect salt, garlic butter, chew and texture.  It was hard not to eat too may.

The rice balls were beaucoup big!  Nice crust and delicious, cheesy rice within.  They were far less salty than the OG variety (which is not a complaint), and served with a little marinara, they were a marvelous meal.

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Sweet potato/shiitake cannelloni in tomato cream sauce

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A super simple assemblage:  Filling, merely boiled sweet potato, sautéed shiitake, rosemary, fontinella and one egg. The sauce sprung from a roux of two and two — fried for a while — then thinned with somewhere on the order of 1.5 cups of broth (water + about 1.5 boullion cubes), 3 finely (like, they wore tuxedos) chopped tomatoes (what, cooked down), then, in the vicinity of a cup of cream.

With worries of stickery, the pans were prepared with a bed of spinach — that, topped with some dollops of cream.  Cannelloni rolled up {Credit to a run-over-by-a-car-this-weekend Jen:  Suggesting, instead of cutting individual rolls — place the filling in a line down the entire noodle, roll, then cut.  Stupidly brilliant shortcut that saves about 10 minutes off the whole procedure.}, topped with the sauce and another grate of the fontinella.  Cooked at 375 until bubbly.

Perhaps the best cannelloni ever done, and on the fly — devising right until the end.  Yummy.