Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Caprese Style Turkey Burgers

When G & I first met if it wasn't a turkey or veggie burger I wasn't eating it. My how times change over almost 20 some years. As much as we both love a good beef burger now we do still enjoy a good turkey or veggie burger on occasion as well. But turkey tends to need some good seasoning to give it adequate flavor.

We are often trying to experiment with different burger flavors. This last summer we experimented with turkey and tried to mix it with one of our favorite summer treats, Caprese salad.

We added diced fresh mozzarella and chopped tomato and basil to our turkey burger. 

These burgers were nice for a good alternative to a rich beef burger but truly if we want a refreshing Caprese salad we will most likely continue to just make the salad.

We know a lot of people add binders to their burgers but we don't typically. They don't make for a beautiful burger but they don't get hindered with with unwanted flavors.


Caprese Style Turkey Burgers:

1 lb. Ground turkey
1/2 Cup diced fresh mozzarella
1/3 Cup chopped tomato
1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To ground turkey gently mix the mozzarella, tomato, basil, garlic, salt & pepper. When mixed form 4-6 burgers depending on the size of your buns. Grill burgers until firm. Serve on onion rolls with lettuce. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Squid and Fennel Pasta with Lemon & Herbs

Maybe because it's been raining for like 30 days straight here or because light and fresh food are calling our names, either way this Squid and Fennel Pasta with Lemon & Herbs that we made during this last summer has become worthy of sharing and is sounding pretty delicious right about now. 

We love calamari and/or squid, but mostly at a restaurant. Of course deep fried is always great at happy hour or sauteed as an appetizer before a great Italian meal but it's rare that we cook it at home. Mostly because the odor is fairly strong and it's so delicate to make well. 

So on this late summer night we agreed we'd make this fresh squid recipe that we found in Bon Appetit magazine but that we'd make it outside on the grill. 

We sauteed the fennel and veggies on the side burner but we grilled the squid on the grill separately and added it to the pasta. Squid is very delicate you have to cook it so carefully to not over cook it and keep it tender and flavorful. We've all had rubbery calamari, really is there nothing worse? Well maybe overcooked clams or any type of seafood actually.

This was a great summer pasta dish enjoyed out on the patio with a great Pacific Northwest Sauvignon Blanc. Both the lemon and herb flavors gave it a fresh and delicate flavor that a hot late summer day calls for. Looking forward to one of those warm DRY days to come soon.


Squid and Fennel Pasta with Lemon & Herbs (adapted from Bon Appetit)

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound squid (bodies and tentacles), bodies sliced ¼ inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus 2 tablespoons fronds
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ lemon, seeds removed, very thinly sliced, divided
12 ounces linguine or fettuccine
½ cup parsley leaves with tender stems

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high. Working in 2 batches, season squid with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 3 minutes (don’t overcook or it’ll get rubbery). Transfer to a small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-high and heat 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet (no need to wipe out). Add fennel slices, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and soft, 10–12 minutes (some nicely browned bits should be stuck to skillet). Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and half of lemon slices; cook, tossing occasionally, until garlic and lemon are soft, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 ½ cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta to skillet along with 1 cup cooking liquid. Toss, scraping up any browned bits; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Add squid and give it all another toss to combine.
Toss parsley, fennel fronds, remaining lemon slices, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Serve pasta topped with salad.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragu' and Hazelnuts

With all of the many, many recipes we've attempted over the almost 20 years of cooking together we've never attempted to make potato gnocchi, even though we are both big fans and especially G.

When we came across this recipe it just sort of called to us how could we go wrong; potato gnocchi, wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and browned butter = PURE YUM.

So we gave it a go. The wild mushroom sauce with the toasted hazelnuts were a perfectly comforting combination. A great combo for a fall evening. Now the texture of homemade potato gnocchi just didn't seem right to us. We are not sure, too fibrous or too watery, we can't exactly pin point it but they just weren't the right texture. We'll have to try again in the future.


Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragu' and Hazelnuts (from Food & Wine Magazine)

Four 1/2-pound baking potatoes, pierced all over with a fork
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, thyme and chervil
Kosher salt 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, fronds chopped and reserved for garnish
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oyster, cremini and stemmed shiitake, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Finely chopped skinned toasted hazelnuts, for serving

MAKE THE GNOCCHI Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack for about 1 hour or until tender. Transfer to a work surface and let cool slightly. Halve the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes. Spread the riced potatoes on a work surface and let cool completely. Discard the skins. 
On the work surface, gather the riced potatoes into a loose mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and salt to the well. Sift the flour on top and, using a bench scraper, mix everything together until a dough forms. Knead gently until smooth; the dough will be slightly sticky. 
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured work surface, cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch lengths. Roll the gnocchi against the tines of a fork or a gnocchi paddle to make ridges; transfer to the prepared baking sheet. 
MAKE THE RAGÙ In a small bowl, blend the butter with the mixed herbs. Season the herb butter with salt and pepper. 
In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced fennel and shallots and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just starting to soften,3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the mushrooms are coated in a light sauce, 3 to5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the herb butter. Season the ragù with salt and pepper; keep warm.
In a large saucepan of salted simmering water, working in2 batches, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. ºUsing a slotted spoon, transfer to shallow bowls or a platter. 
Spoon the ragù over the gnocchi and top with chopped hazelnuts, shredded pecorino and fennel fronds. Serve right away.