3 Cheese Rigatoni Pie

I have seen this recipe on Pinterest many times, so I thought it was time to pull the trigger. Basically, it's lasagna.   Just a lot more fun!
First, take 1 lb of rigatoni and cook it until it is almost done.   Save the last bit of cooking for the oven.
Drain the pasta and run cold water over it, or an ice bath to stop the cooking. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and put the pasta, standing on its end, to fill the pan.

Now for the cheese.  Combine cottage cheese (or ricotta), and egg and some parmesan cheese and spread it over the top.  Take some time to try to get some of the cheese into the middle of the pasta.  You want to end up with filled tubes.

Next is the meat.  I chose to go with turkey, but beef or pork is probably more traditional.  Either use a jar of spaghetti sauce, or make your own like I did.  So easy.  Can of whole peeled tomatoes, fresh oregano and garlic.  Simmer for a while, then put it through a food mill. Combine the meat and tomato sauce and spread that on …

Hand Made Ravioli

Zachary requested ravioli for dinner the other day, so I thought...
This will be easy.  Open a can, heat and serve....NOT!
If you have ever read this blog, you know that would not be happening.
He told me that he wanted beef, but I though cheese would be a better option.  So I, of course, made both!
The first thing I did was browned the meat so that it could cool down.  This is so the pasta doesn't start cooking from the heat/steam from the cooked meat.  I simply added some garlic, finely chopped onions and a small amount of marinara.  Set that aside to cool.  I then created the cheese mixture.  ricotta, egg and some grated parmesan.

The next step is the pasta.  Flour, salt and eggs were kneaded together to create a ball of pasta.  I used whole eggs, with some additional yolks.  This helps with the egginess of the pasta, as well as that nice slightly orange color.  After letting it rest for about 30 minutes, I began putting through the pasta machine.  Something therapeutic about …

Pho Soup For YOU!!!!!

My flock loves to eat Pho.  Well, at least 2 of us do. I have wanted to try to make it for quite a while. I looked at several recipes online and I used bits and pieces from a few.

First thing, first.  I took some soup bones and par boiled them. This helps clean them so they don't cloud the broth.  Then I roasted them, along with ginger and garlic cloves.

Spices are probably the key to Pho.  I used cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, coriander, fennel seeds and some ground cardamon (too cheap to buy pods, as I don't use them much). I toasted them until they started to smoke and release their oils.   I wrapped it in some cheesecloth and plopped it in with the rest.

I chose to char the onions on the burner instead of in the oven, so the onions would stand up a bit more.  The char here, and on the bones, ginger and garlic are another key element for the flavor.

Add 6 quarts of water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-5 hours. Skim any scum and fat that floats to the top. You want a cl…

Cook Book Review: The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary

If you are reading this blog the odds are that you have at least a little food nerd in you.
A food nerd doesn't just like to eat, they like to immerse themselves into the entire culinary culture.
That is why you will like this book.  It contains over 5000 definitions of culinary terms and food.  It also contains many American, British, French, Italian and Spanish cooking terms.

Written by Jacques Rolland, a french born, third-generation member of a hotel and restaurant family, this book calls upon his many experiences of different cultures and knowledge of food.  He is also a certified sommelier, which if you don't know what that is, this book has the answer.
The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary is a great reference to have in your kitchen. If you need help deciphering a recipe or ever wondered what the heck is xanthan gum. While browsing through it's pages, I learned that Chilean Sea Bass is not a Bass.  It's real name is Patagorian Tooth fish, but was renamed…

New Rockfish Seafood and Grill Concept

I was very excited several months back because one of the new buildings in my neighborhood put up a Rockfish Coming Soon sign.  My family and I have eaten at the Plano and Lewisville locations several times.  We love the fly fishing cabin theme and the peanuts that you just drop the shells on the floor.  Not to mention the great food.
The Rockfish logo looked a bit different to me and they had the word "Grill" in the name.   I was intrigued.  I watched as they added a patio and put up wood siding with great anticipation.  There was never any doubt that we would eat there.  There are not many options for nice sit down restaurants in The Colony.  Lots of fast food and casual dining concepts.  Some of the sit down options have severely gone down hill and we don't even bother to go there anymore.  We do eat locally sometimes, but tend to travel to neighboring cities for the most part.  Therefore, any new local place is greatly appreciated.

Imagine my excitement when DallasFoo…

Chicken Tikki Masala

We recently got to see an advance screening of the movie The Hundred Foot Journey. It is a very good story and I went in with fairly low expectations. I was completely impressed and left having seen a great movie. Helen Mirrem is great along with the other actors.  The story is basically about 2 competing restaurants that are across the street from one another.  1 Indian and 1 classical French. They are in the French countryside. Lots of food porn for the foodies, rom com for those who like that, and lots of family laughter.  So having been inspired by that.... I had to make something Indian. Chicken Tikki Masala!!!
I headed to my local Kroger Marketplace since I figured they would have the spices  that I needed....NOT! They did not have garam masala. Luckily, I have the whole internet in my pocket, so I found a Pioneer Woman recipe that included the ingredients of garam masala.

Next up was to make the sauce.  I cut up an onion, minced garlic and ginger and sweated them until slightl…

John Tesar's Knife Modern Steak Review

My wife, the Dutchess, recently got a promotion so it was my job to create a celebration. The last time we celebrated something wonderful we did it at Spoon, Tesar's seafood joint.  It was one of the best meals that we have ever had.   I decided that I wanted to check out John's latest gig, Knife Modern Steak, as I have heard many good things about what he is doing.
First thing I noticed is that his new place doesn't have many (if any) signs pointing you to its location.  I didn't even see a logo or signage telling where to get in the front door, yet the place was full.  Knife is located inside the Palomar hotel and we ended up asking the front desk how to get there.  Needless to have to know about this place or mistakenly wander into it.  As soon as you walk in you see a window to the Dry Aging Room.  A small room that is actively aging meat right before your eyes.  Primal cuts of meat, at various stages of aging.
We were seated at the counter, which is their v…