Sunday, December 9, 2012

Baked Ziti in a Mornay Sauce with Italian Sausage and Fennel

This recipe comes from Emeril Lagase and it is a winner. Here is the link Baked Ziti
 The picture did not come out as good as I wanted it to, but I may take a photography class so I can get better at this.  I have noticed that my pictures are lacking the appeal I want it to have.  That is a home grown tomato. Don't ask me how much it cost to get that one tomato.  I cut the recipe in 1/2, but I will give you the whole recipe.

Printable Version:   Baked Ziti in a Mornay Sauce with Italian Sausage and Fennel
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
Freshly ground white pepper
Pinch nutmet
6 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (I used the whole bulb with the outside taken off)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds hot Italian sausage links, but into 1/2 inch pieces (I took the sausage out of the casing)
1 pound ziti pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the sausage and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, sausage mixture and Mornay sauce. Mix well. Pour into a greased 2-quart oval baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese and place in the oven on the top rack. Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon onto serving plates and garnish with fresh basil.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter

This picture didn't turn out very well, so I will replace it when I make them again.  Jud liked them more than I did, but I would definitely make them again. I saw this recipe on Giada De Laurentis' show. Mini Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter

Printable Version:   Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter
Shrimp Cakes:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large button mushrooms, stemmed, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 large shallots, minced
1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg
zest on 1/2 large lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra as needed for frying shrimp cakes

Ginger Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
One 1/2-inch long piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely grated (about 4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons soy sauce

For the shrimp cakes--Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, 6-7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the shrimp, breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined but still chunky. For the mixture into 15 patties, each 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick, using damp hands. Place on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the ginger butter--Mix together the butter, ginger and soy sauce in a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, until combined. Place the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over and form the mixture into a log about 7 inches long and 1-inch in diameter. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the butter into 1/4-inch thick pieces and place on cooked shrimp cakes.