Wednesday, July 24, 2013

4 Star Mushroom & Ricotta Brushetta

I have to admit that I have not tried this recipe but don't see how you could go wrong, it looks delicious!!

Makes 4 servings
 1 cup ricotta cheese
 1 egg
 1 lemon, zested
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
 4 slices French bread, toasted
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 tablespoon butter
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 16 large white mushrooms, sliced
 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
 1/4 cup Marsala wine
 1/2 cup chicken broth
 2 teaspoons lemon juice
 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
 1 tablespoon butter
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Mix ricotta, egg, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a bowl until smooth.
Place toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and evenly divide ricotta mixture atop 4 bread slices.
Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned, about 12 minutes.
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir mushrooms in mixture until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add green onions; cook and stir until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir marsala wine into mixture and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken stock and lemon juice to skillet; cook until liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to low. Stir in parsley and butter. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Spoon mushroom mixture equally atop 4 slices of ricotta-topped bread slices.

Watch the video here

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stuffed Tomatoes with Grits & Ricotta

Can't get enough of those garden fresh tomatoes?  This appetizer is simply delicious!
Makes 8 servings

 1/2 cup dry grits
 1 1/2 cups water
 3/4 teaspoon salt 
 cooking spray
 1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
 2 eggs
 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
 1 teaspoon salt
8 tomatoes

In a small pot combine dry grits, 1 1/2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until grits are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled grits, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Asiago cheese. Stir in the garlic powder, parsley, crushed red pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
Slice the top off of each tomato. Use a spoon to hollow out the tomatoes, leaving the outer shells (approximately 1/4 inch thick) intact. Fill each with the grits mixture. Arrange stuffed tomatoes on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ricotta Gnocchi

 Makes 5 servings

The secret to making these gnocchi is to dry the ingredients as much as you can before using. Let the ricotta drain of excess water by placing it in a strainer over a bowl and leaving it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

 8 ounces ricotta cheese or there about
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon pepper
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
 1 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed

 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon minced garlic
 1 (15.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
 6 basil leaves, finely shredded
 Salt and pepper to taste
 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks

Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan Cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook for 10 minutes. 
Stir in shredded basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.

To assemble the dish, stir the cubed mozzarella cheese into the sauce and allow the heat of the sauce to soften, but not melt the cheese. Place gnocchi into a serving bowl, and spoon sauce over top.