Monday, May 24, 2010

South-East Asian inspired, sweet potato, basil & chicken ravioli in a curried coconut tomato sauce

The great thing about pastas and sauces is, it's not a precise science. You can add a dash of this and a little of that, or omit an ingredient entirely to personalize to your tastes. This dish is inspired by a personal love of the flavors of South-East Asia, and a fondness for making my own pasta. Something about the craft really appeals to the child in me. :) Without further ado, I give you the recipe.


  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 2 Cans Diced/Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp of your favorite Curry Powder/Mix (I make a homemade blend)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Mashed/cooked Sweet Potato
  • 1/4 C Plain Yogurt (I use the thick non-fat European variety)
  • 3/4 C Shredded Mozzarella (or paneer or similar soft mellow cheese)
  • 1 1/3 C Boiled Chicken** (or 2 cans of chicken, or sub tuna or crab if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, julienned
  • 1/2 tsp of your favorite Curry Powder/Mix
Pasta Dough
  • 3 1/2 C Flour (plus more for rolling dough out)
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 
  • A few leaves of Fresh Basil
  • Pinch Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Water

  1.   Combine olive oil, onion, and garlic in a pot and heat until translucent.
  2. Add chili flakes, sugar, and tomatoes and cook down to soften tomato pieces.
  3. After about 15 minutes, add can of cocount milk, curry, and salt to taste.
  1. Mash sweet potato with yogurt. 
  2. Once soft and blended and while still hot, add cheese. 
  3. Add chicken (or whatever you chose to include), salt, basil, and curry and mix together.
  4. Reserve to fill dough.
  1. In a food processor, add flour, salt, sugar, and basil.
  2. In a another small dish, blend 4 eggs and the olive oil.
  3. Set processor to pulse, and add egg mix gradually until the dough begins to pull together in a rubbery smooth texture.
  4. Roll dough out using pasta machine. 
  5. Blend last egg and water for egg-wash and set aside for assembly.
  1. Once dough is rolled out, brush corresponding sheets with egg wash.
  2. Drop 1 Tbsp of filling onto dough, spaced out about an 1-1.5 inches apart
  3. Lay corresponding sheet over top of the sheet with filling on it so that egg-washed sides meet, careful to press out air bubbles that may be trapped between sheets.
  4. Cook in pot of boiling and salted water until al dente.
  5. Serve, Eat, Enjoy!
** I boil my own chicken for the filling. To do so, I boiled water with salt, basil, and garlic powder, and added chicken breast. Once cooked through, I put the cooked chicken in a food processor. Be careful not to make a puree... unless that's your thing.

The sauce is super easy, and if you'd rather use wonton wrappers found in your local grocery store or Asian market instead of making your own dough, that would work as well. 

Recipe Makes 36 Raviolis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ready for Winter, Leek and Potato Soup


2 leeks, sliced and cleaned (reserve a few rounds for garnish)
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
3 pieces of turkey bacon (cooked until crispy, then crumbled)
1 stick butter
2 Tbsp better than boullion chicken flavor (or similar)
4 potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 qt. water
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp oil (for frying leek rounds for garnish, optional)


  1. Melt butter in a soup pot.
  2. Once melted, add crumbled bacon, leeks, and onion. Cook until slightly golden and soft (approx 15 min).
  3. Add boullion.
  4. Add potatoes and water to cover all ingredients. 1 qt should be enough, but you may add more water if desired.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, covered, until potatoes are soft and the broth in the bot has a flavor that you like.
  6. Turn heat off. Use a hand blender to carefully puree the soup to desired consistency. I like it nice and smooth, but some like it chunky. It's personal preference. Serve hot and garnish, if desired, with some lightly fried leek.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wheat-Free dog treats (with wheat added alternative)


1 egg (shell reserved)
2 tsp flax seed oil
2 tsp. beef soup base (not dry boullion - suggest "better than boullion")
1/4 C. peanut butter (preferably natural, no salt added, but any will work)

4oz carrots
2.5 oz broccoli
2 cloves garlic
2 calcium supplements
2 folic acid supplements

1 tsp honey
1/2 C. steel cut oats
1/2 C. flax seed meal (+ 3/4 C. for wheat-free version)
2 Tbsp dry milk
1 C. regular oats (ie. Quaker Oats)
3/4 C. flour (wheat or all purpose, and only if wheat is O.K.)


Heat oven to 350˚.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg, oil, soup base, and peanut butter together until well blended.

In a food processor, blend the next 5 ingredients and the egg shell until it's as finely ground as possible. Add some of the peanut butter mix to processor to help combine the ingredients.

Blend the processor contents with the liquid ingredients. Add honey and remaining dry ingredients. Add more flour or flax meal if the mixture is too wet.

Roll out to 1/4 inch and cut into desired shapes. I used bones and small hearts. Bake for 30 minutes or until they're firm. Check every 10 minutes to make sure that they don't burn.

** Shorty loves them so much he takes them to a hiding place to savor on his own **

Friday, September 18, 2009

My own Thai-Style chicken


1 in galangal slice
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp oil
Zest of 1 lime
2 tsp lemongrass
1 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp Kikkoman mirin
2 tsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp Golden Mountain Seasoning
2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 onion cut in large chunks
1/2 of a long (Japanese) eggplant sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 Tbsp coconut cream (or 2 Tbsp coconut milk)
Juice of 2 Limes
1 Tbsp dried basil (substitute fresh if available)
1/2 C half & half


* In a large pan on med. high heat, heat galangal and garlic.
* Turn down heat
* Add oil, zest, lemongrass, sriracha, mirin, fish sauce, golden mountain sauce, pepper flakes, coriander, and ginger. Heat until emulsified.
* Stir in onion and eggplant, and heat until golden.
* Add coconut, lime juice, basil and half & half. ** you may want to add some of the sauce to the half & half before pouring it all into the pan to prevent curdling **
* Simmer, covered, on medium low until broth is creamy in consistency

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slow Cooker Garlic Citrus Chicken (photos to come soon! camera batteries went kaput)


1 whole chicken
1 1/2 clementines or tangerines
2 lemons (save zest of one lemon)
1 1/2 onions
8 cloves garlic (smashed, minced, whatever as long as it's small- into groups of 2 cloves)
1/3 cup OJ
2 Tbsp canola oil
sea salt
lemon pepper
onion powder
ground sage
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 C dry sherry

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Soften the butter and mix with 2 cloves garlic, a pinch of that lemon zest, some pepper and a dash of tarragon. Mix up and place into something that can be frozen. Once it's solid again, split into 2 "patties".

Loosen the skin from the breast of the chicken, and put one 'patty' under the skin of each breast section so that it rests between the meat and the skin.

Shove one half onion (quartered), one lemon (cut into 2 halves), and one half clementine into the cavity of the chicken with a sprinkling of salt.

Pat the chicken dry, if you haven't already, and rub the chicken with the rest of the zest, half of the remaining garlic, then sprinkle liberally with salt, ground black pepper, and other herbs as you like. (I chose approx. 1/2 tsp lemon pepper, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp tarragon, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder. I sprinkled a little olive oil on it too, but it's not necessary. Place the chicken on a rack in a pan with 1/2 C water at the bottom. Place chicken in overn for 20-30 minutes. You're just trying to brown the skin and seal in the juices, so try not to let it burn in there.

In the meantime, put the carrots, cut however you like them, the rest of the onion (cut into large chunks) the rest of the citrus, the OJ, sherry, a dash of salt, the remaining garlic, the potatoes and oil in the slow cooker. Turn it on and set to the time that fits your schedule. I started at 6 hours while the chicken was in the oven, but quickly realized I didn't have much time so i pumped it up to 4hrs on the high setting once the chicken had done its time in the oven and I put it in the slow cooker to finish up.

Served with Citrus/Parsley rice, sauteed veggies, and the slow cooker potatoes and veggies from the pot. I also used the pot drippings to make a basic gravy.

The chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone as soon as I took it out of the crock pot.

Cooper couldn't wait to try it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Maiden Voyage

I suppose this is the first post; the maiden voyage, as they say. Please do not be confused by the posts to come that reference the past. I intended to start this blog for quite some time but lacked the impetus or time to see it through. I know have a bit of both and say hello to the world of bloggers, epicures, net-aholics, and random searchers. Welcome to the world of delicious imperfection - where food is delicious but not necessarily precise. I have found, over the years, that I create my best recipes by happenstance. I rarely follow a recipe word for word. And with so many recipes out there for the same thing, I often choose to go with my gut. Somehow my gut, hands and mind come up with wonderful recipes, alternatives and solutions. So I'm sticking with that. I'm sticking with delicious imperfection.

Join the adventure. Offer suggestions, comments, photos, events, recommendations...whathaveyou. And try some of the recipes. I will tell you this, and remind you often, that I don't follow recipes and often forget to measure exactly how much of something I put in a dish. So follow loosely, make your own changes, and don't expect perfection. Do, however, expect to enjoy yourself and your food. That's what's most important after all.