Wild Boar Ragu

Ragu Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cans chopped tomatoes with liquid
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 boneless wild boar shoulder, cut into1/2-inch chunks (about 3 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 bundle fresh thyme
  • Stock or water as needed
  • Grated Parmigiano, for sprinkling
  • Olive oil for finishing

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 sprig rosemary, torn in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups Chianti or other red wine, or as needed

Preparation:

Step 1
The night before making the ragu place the meat in a bowl with the rosemary, garlic and enough wine to cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 2
Discard the rosemary and garlic. Drain the meat in a
strainer set over a bowl, reserving the wine. In a Dutch oven
over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, and brown the meat in batches. Remove the meat after browning and add the carrot, celery and onion. Sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3
Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid released by the meat has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the reserved wine and cook,
stirring frequently, until the mixture is dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Add 1 cup water, reduce heat to very low, and cook, partly covered, at a low simmer for 1 hour.

Step 4
Add stock and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat begins to break apart, 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Remove from heat and, using a whisk or spoon, break the meat into very fine shreds. Serve, if desired, over
tagliatelle or other pasta.

Lemon Chicken Breasts

Another one off Food Network.  This is copied straight off the website.  I used boneless skinless chicken instead, as part of my ongoing effort to at least try and be a little healthier.  The real reason I made this was to use the lemons off my tree in the back yard.  Just doesn’t get much more exciting than that, at least in my world.

4 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo

From the Food Network, one of my go-to sources.  I added some crab I had leftover from my recent crabbing trip, it was pretty darn good.

4 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces fresh fettuccine
Freshly ground pepper
Directions

Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Paella Project

A random photo gallery of my first attempt at paella earlier this week.  There is some disagreement there, as Donette claims I’ve made it before.  If I did, it wasn’t in a genuine paella pan, and surely it wouldn’t taste the same if assembled in a plain ol’ skillet.  I was pleased with the outcome, for a first (in my mind) try.

Elliott’s Burnt Ends Chili

I saw this in the paper this morning.  I haven’t actually made it yet, but I will.  Oh yes…  I will.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound prepared beef brisket burnt ends
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid drained off one
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup pilsner beer
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon barbecue rub
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

2 teaspoons epazote (optional, for digestion)

Into the removable crock of a slow-cooker (or large food-safe plastic container), mix burnt ends, bell pepper, onion, beans, tomatoes, beer, garlic, chili powder, barbecue rub, cumin, cayenne, chipotle powder and optional epazote together until well-combined.

Place lid on crock (or plastic container) and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, to allow flavors to meld.

Place crock into slow-cooker (or transfer contents from plastic container into a soup pot), cover with lid and simmer on low in slow-cooker (or on stovetop) for at least 5 hours.

Note: Elliott uses Bush brand beans and Boulevard beer.