Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Uses for your Nan’s Goodies

Make Your Own Croutons


When I was a kid, my mom used to make croutons for her salads.  Salads were her signature dish, and so making fresh tasty croutons was a given.  I don’t even know if boxed croutons were available yet (we don’t need to get into how old I am in this article, please).  It took me a while to get back to basics and make my own, but oh my, the difference in quality is huge compared to the dry over-salted ones from the box.

Besides, they are a snap to make!  All you need is some leftover bread, olive oil and an oven.  Even those two extraneous hot dog rolls will do!  Cut the bread into chunks, place on a baking sheet and drizzle with your favorite Nan’s blended oil.  I like to use the Basil Parmesan, but any would work (think White Truffle Oil or Rosemary with Roasted Garlic!)  Season with salt and pepper, toss, and then bake in a 350° oven (I use a toaster oven) for 10 to 15 minutes.  I will usually turn them at least once.  Once golden they are ready for the salad bowl or on your soup.

That’s it, they are that easy.  And just ask MY kids how good they are!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Handy Pasta Combination Chart - Both Pages Now Posted


Above is the flip side to Nan's New Tool - a handy dandy chart to help you with ideas for pairing our NO SAUCE pasta!  Remember, we want to hear your ideas too!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pasta Combination Chart - First of 2 Parts



This is page 1 of our 2 page Pasta Combo Chart.  You will find this chart handy for ideas on how to pair our pastas with great ingredients for a wonderful meal.  We would love to hear your ideas as well – let us know what you love to combine!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Berry Mousse w/ Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar

It is common in Italy to make an easy, delicious dessert of simple cut strawberries and a drizzle of a well aged balsamic vinegar.  This recipe is a takeoff on that tradition; a classic chocolate mousse paired with the Italian tradition.  This recipe serves four generously in one cup ramekins.


This recipe also works wonderfully with our Pastamoré Dark Sweet Cherry Balsamic Vinegar.  Consider mixing and matching the berries as well.

ingredients

¾ cup ea. fresh raspberries & strawberries, reserving a few of the choicest as garnish
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
5 ½ ounces dark chocolate, the best you can find, chopped
5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
sifted confectioners’ sugar, to dust

Pulse/chop the berries in a small food processor, or lightly mash with a fork, along with the confectioners’ sugar.  Evenly spoon the fruit mixture into ramekins and set aside.

Heat the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat immediately and add the butter, stirring until once again until melted and smooth.  Stir in the egg yolks and the raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Whisk the egg white in a separate glass bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks.  Add the superfine sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks.  Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate butter mixture – using as few folds as possible but thoroughly combined.  Spoon the mousse into the ramekins over the chopped berries.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour.  Decorate with reserve berries and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serves 4 generously

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Basil Parmesan Grilled Flatbread

Here is a simple idea to be used as a snack or as a side to soup or salad.  Prepared flatbreads are more common these days in higher end grocery stores, and you can also use pitas or 'naan' for this recipe.

This recipe demonstrates the use of our Basil Parmesan Oil, but any of our oils will do, especially our Pastamoré Rosemary/Roasted Garlic or our Pastamoré Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.


ingredients
  • one package flatbread
  • a leafy herb such as Italian parsley, cilantro or basil, chopped & to taste
  • Pastamoré Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil
  • course sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a purchased flatbread or ‘naan’ (pictured is a Safeway brand), drizzle/brush a small amount of Pastamoré Basil Parmesan Oil over the surface. If you have a leftover herb in the fridge, chopped and sprinkle on top (we used Italian parsley here).


For more richness add a generous sprinkle of Parmesan. Last, add a pinch of course salt for texture and flavor, and a grind of black pepper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Cut into random triangles and serve.