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Comfort food. #betterthanthebox

I’m getting pretty good at this… #auctiondinnertour

Happy Easter weekend…

It’s auction dinner prep season in my kitchen, as I’m gearing up to cook for two upcoming auction dinners.  Stakes seem to be raised this year - at least in the dollars collected for area student-athletes and athletic programs - so I’m figuring that last year’s dinners went pretty well.

Dinner #1 is in mid-May with another coming a month later, and while the menus are very much in infancy, I am debating pulling out a fresh pasta course early in that first meal.  These spring pea and fontina stuffed raviolis weren’t a perfect fit for the spinach pesto, but I’m thinking I can work from here.  The pasta itself was great, but I think they’d be better suited for a brighter olive oil-herb drizzle - something lighter and brighter.

Spring Pea and Fontina Ravioli (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 4 egg yolks (2 for pasta, 2 for filling)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 package frozen peas, blanched and shocked
  • 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Combine 2 egg yolks, flour and water together to form the dough.  Knead into a ball and allow to rest on the counter, covered, for 30 minutes. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining two egg yolks with the blanched peas.  Use a hand blender to puree about half the mixture until it’s a near-even blend of puree and chunky peas.  Fold in shredded cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. 

Roll out the pasta into thin sheets - you’re looking for a delicate pasta to match the gentle flavor of the filling.  Using a large circle mold gently score one sheet and place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle. Top with another pasta sheet and put out your ravioli, sealing the edges. 

Cook in boiling water 3-4 minutes until cooked through.  While I liked the pureed spinach, garlic and pine nut pesto shown here, it was a bit too aggressive and woodsy for the these ravioli - not bad mind you, but not perfect either.  A good green olive oil with some muddled herbs would be my choice going forward. 

Maybe you can give them a shot and let me know what you think!

Because it seemed like a pasta salad-kind-of-day.  Here’s how I make mine.

"It’s far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated…"

Sometimes my Sunday Night Dinners are a day-long affair, but when the sun comes out at the end of the wettest March in PNW history this Sunday wasn’t that day. 

There’s something so satisfying though about a perfectly cooked roast chicken and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. 

Lemon Rosemary Roast Potatoes

  • 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 large spring of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup onion, roughly diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Toss the potatoes, onion and whole garlic cloves in the olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Bake for 45-60 minutes in a 400 degree oven, tossing every 15 minutes.

Austin happened, and it happened on a crash-course of a guys weekend, consisting entirely of NCAA tournament viewing and Texas food favorites. BBQ, check. Tex Mex, check. Fried Chicken, why not? 

When in Texas…