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Betty’s Spaghetti 

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                          Betty’s Spaghetti

This is Thomas Keller’s exuberantly updated version of a dish often prepared by his mother, Elizabeth Marie “Betty” Keller, during his childhood.

Recipe By: Saveur magazine, January 2007, page 43
Serving Size: 4
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Saveur magazine, Easy, Main Dish

-= Ingredients =-
1/4 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. canola oil
2 large shallots ; 1 cut into 1/8″ rings, 1 finely chopped
8 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt
Stems from 2 sprigs parsley
1/2 lb. dried spaghetti
2/3 cup ricotta cheese ; (see Note)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. Parsley ; finely minced
16 cilantro shoots ; (optional)

-= Instructions =-
1. Put flour into a wide shallow dish. Heat 1 cup canola oil in a small pot over medium heat until it registers 325° on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in 2 batches, toss shallot rings in flour to coat and shake off any excess. Fry shallots, stirring gently, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried shallots to a paper towel-lined plate to let drain. Set shallot rings aside.

2. Heat remaining canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shallots and cook just until beginning to caramelize, 3-4 minutes. Add butter, vinegar, and 1 cup water; cook until reduced by about one-third, 18-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add parsley stems and cook for 10 seconds. Transfer stems to a colander in the sink and rinse under cold water. Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain spaghetti and add to skillet with shallot reduction; toss to combine. Add cooked parsley stems, ricotta, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. Divide spaghetti among four warm bowls. Garnish with minced parsley, cilantro shoots, and fried shallot rings. Serve immediately.

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Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes 

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                   Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes

If you’re going to take the time to make fresh pasta, you want to know the dish is worth your while … and these ravioli definitely fit the bill. They’re even better with the bubbling sauce of cream, fresh plum tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Recipe By: Gourmet magazine, January 2007
Serving Size: 4
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Gourmet Magazine, Main Dish

-= Ingredients =-
~~ PASTA ~~
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
~~ FILLING ~~
2 tablespoons unsalted butter ; cut into pieces
1 small onion ; chopped (1/2 cup)
1 (10-oz) box frozen artichoke hearts ; thawed and patted dry
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ; (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg white ; lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for egg wash)
~~ ASSEMBLY ~~
1 tablespoon unsalted butter ; cut into pieces
3 medium plum tomatoes ; trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ; (1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-= Instructions =-
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: pasta machine

To make pasta dough in a food processor:
Blend flour, eggs, salt, and water in processor until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered with an inverted bowl, 1 hour to let the gluten relax and make rolling easier.

To make dough by hand:
Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add eggs, salt, and water to well. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form a dough, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand 1 hour (to make rolling easier).

Make filling:
Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Transfer all but 3/4 cup artichoke mixture to cleaned bowl of processor (reserve remaining artichoke mixture in skillet), then add cheese, parsley, yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped.

Roll pasta and make ravioli:
Cut pasta dough into 4 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and cover rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting.

Lightly dust 1 rectangle with flour and feed through rollers. (Keep remaining rectangles under bowl.) Fold rectangle in half and feed it, folded end first, through rollers 7 or 8 more times, folding it in half each time and feeding folded end through. Dust with flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding. Continue to feed dough through rollers once at each setting, without folding, until you reach narrowest setting. Dough will be a smooth sheet (about 24 inches long and 4 inches wide).

Put sheet of dough on a floured work surface and drop 6 (1 1/2-teaspoon) mounds of filling 1 1/2 inches apart in a row down center of one half of sheet. Brush egg wash around each mound, then fold other half of sheet over filling. Press down firmly around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.) Cut pasta (between mounds) with cutter into 3-inch rounds. Line a large shallow baking pan with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and dust towel with flour, then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pasta dough, 1 sheet at a time, and remaining filling, transferring ravioli to lined pan.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter baking dish.

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli, carefully stirring to separate, and, adjusting heat to keep water at a gentle boil, cook until pasta is just tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander.

Assemble and bake dish:
While ravioli boils, reheat reserved artichoke mixture in skillet with butter over moderately high heat, then add tomatoes and water and cook, stirring, until tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer half of ravioli to baking dish and top with half of artichoke mixture, half of cream, and half of cheese. Repeat with remaining ravioli, artichoke mixture, cream, and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake, uncovered, until ravioli is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
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This evening, members of the HAPPY MOUTH SUPPER CLUB met to dine at Wendy’s selection, HUGO RESTAURANT in Oakley (it occupys the old Pho Paris site since they moved to Covington).

Wendy & I discovered HUGO when we sampled their shrimp & grits at Chefapalooza, one of the 7 DAYS FOR SIDS fundraising events. At that moment, Wendy decided that she wanted to select HUGO for her Happy Mouth month.

A group of 11 of us (Robin, Jay, Ted, Tracy, Holly, Ron, Wendy V, John, Dave, Angel, and Andrew) settled into the Magnolia Room, a private dining room, for a charming dinner of Charleston-style fare. I started with delicious Sweetbreads, which were perfectly prepared — slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft and yielding on the inside. Wendy had Fritters with chili jam and seemed to enjoy them very much. Elsewhere on the table, we sampled Wild Mushrooms with Pork Belly, and of course, Fried Green Tomatoes which were very flavorful and didn’t turn to mush through the fryer.

Main dishes included Salmon, Rabbit with Corn Pudding (I had this and was very happy with it, even though there were several shards of bone from an imprecise butchery job), and Shrimp & Grits. Several diners ordered the Shrimp & Grits. VERY tasty, those!

Desserts included a Walnut Apple Tart (the “Hugonaut”, if you can believe that), flourless Chocolate Torte, and a few others as well. I thought the Hugonaut was too many walnuts, not enough apples, though the Maple Ice Cream on top was nice.

A few things… Their breads are very nice. I intended to ask if they were made in house because they were so tasty. Secondly, the prices were a little out of line with the portion sizes. $26 for a Foie Gras appetizer was too expensive — even for me, a confirmed Foie Gras lover! Granted, the restaurant in is hoity-toity Oakley, but even considering that, I felt that the prices were a bit dear. Finally, we appreciated the Chef Sean took the time to come out and visit with our table. The ladies all thought he was dreamy.

Another successful Happy Mouth!

CONGRATULATIONS to Angel and Dave & Robin, who, after months and months (and months!) of faithful attendance became full-fledged voting members of Happy Mouth and were finally awarded their own months.

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Apple Galette 

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                            Apple Galette

Here’s Chef Christopher Hille’s take on a tart he had at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

Recipe By: Bon Appetit magazine, September 2006, page 158
Serving Size: 8
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Bon Appetit Magazine, Desserts

-= Ingredients =-
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Unsalted butter ; (1 1/2 sticks) chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Ice water ; (or more)
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples ; peeled, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
4 tablespoons sugar ; divided
1 teaspoon lemon peel ; finely grated
1/4 cup apricot preserves
Whole milk

-= Instructions =-
Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and blend just until dough begins to clump together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep dough chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-inch-thick round, 14 inches in diameter. Remove top sheet of parchment. Using bottom sheet as aid, transfer dough on parchment to large unrimmed baking sheet. Chill 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine apple slices, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon peel in medium bowl; toss to blend. Spread preserves over crust, leaving 1 1/2-inch plain border. Arrange apple slices in concentric circles atop preserves, overlapping slightly. Using parchment as aid, fold plain crust border up over apples, pinching any cracks in crust. Brush crust with milk. Sprinkle crust edges and apples with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake galette 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until crust is golden, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Slide long thin knife between parchment and galette. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Grant’s Mac and Cheese 

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                        Grant’s Mac and Cheese

You would expect Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits.

Recipe By: Food & Wine magazine, December 2006, page 208
Serving Size: 8
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Food & Wine Magazine, Side Dish

-= Ingredients =-
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 each thick slices of bacon ; (6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion ; minced
2 each bay leaves
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese ; shredded (5 cups)
Salt

-= Instructions =-
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.

Add the onion and bay leaves to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until blended. Gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce gently for 30 minutes, whisking frequently. Discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil until pliable but undercooked, about 4 minutes. Drain the macaroni and return it to the pot.

Stir 4 cups of the cheddar into the hot sauce, add the bacon and season with salt.Add the sauce to the macaroni and mix well. Spread the mac and cheese in the prepared baking dish and scatter the remaining 1 cup of cheddar on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The assembled mac and cheese can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

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This Saturday, September 22, Newport Citizen’s Advisory Council (NCAC) will be hosting a wine tasting on the Purple People Bridge. This event will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music in a unique venue with excellent views of the Cincinnati skyline.

With this event, we hope to engage a diverse audience of residents from all the river cities and build a sense of community that surpasses our cities’ physical boundaries.

Tickets for this event at $20 and must be pre-purchased at the website, below.

Any proceeds gained from this event will benefit the NCAC to be used for civic and beautification efforts within the city of Newport. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.go2newport.com/wow.

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