WHITE BOLEGNESE SAUCE ~ BLOG 366.144

WHITE BOLEGNESE aka RAGU – Bolognese sauce is a slow-cooked meat sauce from the city of Bologna. To make a good bolognese you MUST start with a good soffrito or mirepoix if you’re French. Onions, celery and carrots are the main ingredients. Personally I like to use shallots, finely minced carrots and a little garlic also. Add to these some finely minced beef or pork with a quality white wine and you can achieve perfection when you simmer it with white wine, chicken stock and heavy cream for a white sauce.

White sauce is a refreshing rich and silky alternative to the traditional red sauce. Add tomato paste ditch the white wine and you have a rich and hearty Red Bolognese. In Naples bolognese contains more tomatoes. Always use a quality Parmesan!

WHITE BOLOGNESE
SAUCE
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Pancetta finely diced
1 pound QUALITY ground pork
1 pound QUALITY ground Italian sausage, casings removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 LARGE shallot, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
2 carrots peeled, finely diced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons FRESH minced thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated and rind reserved
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a large dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the pancetta to the pan, cooking 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove Pancetta. Drain on paper toweling before adding to a medium bowl.
  • Add the beef, pork and Italian sausage, cooking until browned and MOST of the liquid has evaporated.
  • With a slotted spoon transfer the meat to the same bowl with the Pancetta.
  • Add the shallots, carrots and celery to the pan sauteing for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and slightly browned.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Return the ground meat and pancetta to the pan.
  • Add the white wine, simmering for 3-4 minutes, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chicken stock, cream, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese rind and bring to a simmer.
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover loosely with a lid to allow for some evaporation and reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

FOR SERVING
16 ounces rigatoni pasta
1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Grated Parmesan cheese

  • Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook to al dente.
  • Reserve 1 1/2 cups starchy pasta water and then drain.
  • In a large skillet, add half of the sauce with the pasta water and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add the heavy cream and the al dente pasta to the pot, simmering for another 4-5 minutes until the sauce is glossy and coats the pasta.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

MOCHA RUM TRUFFLES ~ BLOG 366.142

MOCHA RUM TRUFFLES (makes 5 dozen 1 inch candies)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (see notes)
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons rum (see notes)
2 teaspoons QUALITY instant coffee
Powdered sugar for rolling
optional FINELY chopped nuts, dehydrated fruits or coconut

  • In a double boiler melt chocolate until smooth.
  • Remove from heat, but keep chocolate bowl over the hot water.
  • Add butter and egg yolks, beating with whisk until smooth.
  • Add coconut and/or nuts if using.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the rum and instant coffee.
  • Add chocolate mixture to rum mixture, stirring until smooth.
  • Add to an ice bath and chill 20-25 minutes until fudge like in consistency (it will be quite thick), but yet smooth and creamy.
  • At this point you can either roll it into balls and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar OR you can fill a decorative tipped piping bag with the fudge and pipe into decorative rosettes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Let candies stand an hour before serving.

NOTES:

  • Using all semi-sweet chips makes a deep and rich truffle. If you’d like something a bit lighter try using milk chocolate chips or a half and half combination of chips.
  • You can change up the flavor with flavored rums. I like using Malibu which gives you a nice hint of coconut. You can also add some FINELY chopped coconut in the chocolate mixture for some added texture.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY with MENU PLANS & RECIPE LINKS week 21 of 2024 ~ BLOG 366.141

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

It’s cool and foggy here this morning, but we should hit some pretty nice weather as we travel home today. That said the weather at home appears to be running on the cooler side so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. The weather app on my phone says the high for tomorrow will be a cloudy 49°. I did get a new hoodie and flannel on the trip that I’ll wear one today and one tomorrow.

I’m a bit tired, but happy that I was able to get so much accomplished for my SIL in a short amount of time. We also had a smaller than normal group (only 42 due to graduations, proms and weddings) for the family reunion, but it was a great time. I’m hoping next year’s group is bigger again.

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING I’ll have a few loads of laundry when we get home, but the cleaning was done before we left.
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS I’ll definitely to do grocery shopping on Wednesday 😀
  • PAPERWORK, PHONE CALLS, PROJECTS & TRAVELS ??
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING ??

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • We’ll see what’s on the DVR when we get home 😀

BREAKFAST is always a work in progress for me – it will generally be hot water and a fruit yogurt 😀

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
 OUT WHILE ON THE ROAD
 OUT WHILE ON THE ROAD
ORANGE CHICKEN and CHOW MEIN
 JAMBALAYA and DIRTY RICE
 OUT working CRIBBAGE WEEKEND
OUT working CRIBBAGE WEEKEND
OUT working CRIBBAGE WEEKEND
DESSERT
 
 
CAJUN CAKE
 

I’m not posting ALL the photos from the family reunion, but if anyone is interested here’s a link to see how much fun we had.It was a little bit colder than normal, but we didn’t let that stop us! 😀

We had lunch at the wharf before we headed down to the family reunion. It was a cold, but pretty day!

CAJUN CAKE ~ BLOG 366.138

Cajun Cake AKA dump cake, which is a rather unattractive description for such a delicious, yet SUPER easy, cake.  

This version is an adaptation from an old cookbook, Cajun Cooking. The flavor has been pumped up by substituting some brown sugar for some of the granulated, as well as adding both PURE vanilla and a pinch of salt, which helps OOMPH up the flavor. The icing recipe has been doubled also.
CAJUN CAKE
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounce crushed pineapple with juice
2 LARGE eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 11×7 baking dish and set aside.
  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. 
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • While cake bakes, prepare Coconut Pecan Icing.

COCONUT PECAN ICING
12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Bring evaporated milk, butter and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a SLOW boil for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans, vanilla and salt.
  • Pour hot icing over warm cake; allow cake to cool to room temperature before serving.

GREEN ARROZ con POLLO ~ BLOG 366.137

GREEN ARROZ con POLLO adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

The green part of this recipe is a spicy cilantro flavored Latin rice and chicken dish with a Peruvian influence from what I’ve been able to deduce. Top it with salsa criolla for that special flair of flavor.


1 LARGE shallot, halved and sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bunch of cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeño pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
3+ cups of chicken stock or water, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 cup medium or long-grain white rice

  • Add the onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, paprika and about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to a blender. Pulse until COMPLETELY smooth. It will smell SUPER spicy, but that will mellow as it cooks. Set aside.
  • Season the chicken with a generous amount of FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Dredge chicken in the flour.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet – I like to use my enamel coated cast iron.
  • When oil is hot, add shallots and chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until browned.
  • Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add the rice to the skillet and toast it for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the cilantro mixture and an additional cup of chicken broth.
  • Layer chicken on top of rice mixture.
  • Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer 45-50 minutes until rice is tender.

NOTE:

  • Check every 15-20 minutes and top off with about 1/4 cup of stock each time, as needed to keep rice moist and loose. We like excess sauce to spoon over the chicken.
  • Adjust seasoning as necessary before serving.

SALSA
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Juice from 2 LARGE limes
+/- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
FRESH ground sea salt

  • Mix together the red onion, juice from 2 limes, jalapeño and minced cilantro in a mixing bowl.
  • Add a few pinches of salt and let marinate for about 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning to taste just before serving.

ASSEMBLY

  • Divide the rice amongst plates and top with a spoonful of salsa and chicken.
  • Ladle more sauce over chicken.
  • Garnish with cotija cheese.