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Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta

One of my favorite things to cook when I have plenty of time and want a comforting meal is homemade pasta.  Whether using the silky noodles with a simple sauce or turning those paper thin sheets of pasta into ravioli there are so many delicious meals to create from homemade pasta.  We wanted to share one of our favorite pasta recipes from one of our cooking class instructors Soledad Liendo.

Homemade Pasta

BASIC PASTA DOUGH

Ingredients

2 CUPS all purpose unbleached flour

2 eggs

¼ CUP water

1 TBS olive oil

¼ tsp of salt

Directions

  1. Mound the flour on the work surface and make a well in the center.
  2. Break the eggs into the well add the olive oil, water and salt. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs and oil together, incorporating a little of the flour as you do so.
  3. Gradually blend the flour with the eggs, working from the center out. Use your free hand to hold the mound in place and stop leakage if any of the egg escapes.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface with smooth, light strokes, turning it as you fold and press. It should be soft and pliable, but dry to the touch. If it is sticky, knead in a little flour.
  5. It will take at least 5 minutes kneading to achieve a smooth and elastic texture with a slightly glossy appearance. Put the dough in a plastic bag or cover with a kitchen towel. Allow resting for 30 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into four portions and shape each into a rough log. Keep the unworked portions covered.
  7. Use a pasta machine with the machine’s rollers at their widest settings, crank the dough though two or three times. Fold it in thirds, turn the dough 90 degrees and fed through again. Repeat this folding and rolling process at least six times, or until the dough is a smooth and elastic sheet with a velvety appearance.
  8. Reduce the width of the rollers by one setting and pass the dough through. Repeat, setting the rollers one notch closer each time until you have rolled the desire thickness.
  9. As each sheet is completed, place it on a floured surface.

Recipe courtesy of Happy Cook cooking instruction Soledad Liendo

OUR FAVORITE PASTA TOOLS

 

 

 

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Up Your Snack Game - Lékué Popcorn Maker & Spicer's Mill Popcorn

Up Your Snack Game - Lékué Popcorn Maker & Spicer's Mill Popcorn

We love the Lékué Popcorn Maker because of how convenient and easy it is to use and the popcorn is so much taster than the chemical varieties of microwave popcorn.  

Lékué Popcorn Maker

When you pair that with our favorite spice company Spicer's Mill's Extra Large Popcorn and Popcorn Seasonings it is out of this world.  We know that there is a lot of streaming movies going on out there during our unexpected "staycations" so this is the perfect time to enjoy a fun snack that is actually quite healthy from the Lékué Popcorn Maker.

Spicer's Mill Popcorn Spicer's Mill Popcorn Toppers


Click here for our favorite popcorn accessories!

 

Popcorn with Fresh Herbs 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of corn kernels 

1 T of butter

Salt to taste

1/4 cup of parsley OR chives OR tarragon 

Directions:

Place the corn in the bowl. Cover the bowl so that the lid does not seal the bowl completely.  Cook in microwave 2 to 4 minutes on the highest setting.
In another bowl, melt the cubed butter for 30 seconds on high.
Add salt to butter. Mix. Pour mixture over popcorn and then add the chopped herbs. Mix with a spoon. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Lékué

 

 

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Chef Bernard Janssen comes to The Happy Cook!

Chef Bernard Janssen comes to The Happy Cook!

We are excited have have international chef, Bernard Janssen joining us at The Happy Cook for a number of events on Friday, January 11th and Saturday, January 12th.  Below are previews of the classes Chef Bernard will be teaching:

 

Culinary Adventures with Staub & Demeyere (Demo)

Click here for more info or to book class.

Friday, January 10th, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm OR Saturday, January 11th, 3 pm - 4:30 pm 

$25 per person (Demo) limited to 20 students.

Join Zwilling’s executive Chef Bernard Janssen who will teach you how to pick your cookware for different cooking techniques and how to use them. Enjoy a samples of the 4 courses Chef Bernard prepares and he will explain how to sear, cook, pickle, grill and make delicious sauces.
Menu:
 
Creamy Lemon Corn Soup
Basil, Crunchy Bacon and Sour cream
Seared Scallops 
Cauliflower Two Ways, Pickled Raisins and Salsa Raja
 
Grilled Steak 
Steam Grilled Asparagus with Oven Baked Potatoes and Red Wine Reduction
 
Torta di Noci
Italian Walnut pie with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Zwilling Knife Skills Class (Hands-on)

Click here for more info or to book class.

Friday, January 10th, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm OR Saturday, January 11th, 11 am - 12:30 pm 

$55 per person (Hands-on) limited to 10 students.

Includes 7" Zwilling Pro 7" Chef's Knife ($170 value)

Learn the fundamentals of good knife skills from the experts. Bernard Janssen  ZWILLING’s executive Chef & Culinary Program Manager will teach you what makes a quality knife, which knife to use for each task and how to maintain/clean your knives. He will teach the circular rocking motion, the chopping motion, how to perfectly dice an onion, mince and how to use a flexible fish fillet knife. From brunoise to julienne, you will master a range of essential cutting techniques.

Information about Chef Bernard Janssen  

Bernard Janssen currently serves as Executive Chef and Culinary Program Manager for ZWILLING J.A. Henckels. Originally from The Netherlands, Bernard has over twenty years of culinary experience working as Executive Chef in restaurants and cooking schools internationally. He travelled Europe to host trainings and demos for the Zwilling Group. Bernard’s cooking style specializes in inventive flavor combinations with a flair for creating beautiful plate presentations. Using this expertise, he often writes original recipes for retail partners and travels across the country for product trainings, trade shows, retail and cooking events supporting all premium brands falling under the ZWILLING J.A. Henckels umbrella like; Staub, Demeyere, Miyabi and Ballarini.  

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Caring for your knives

Caring for your knives

It’s said that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.  The reasoning being, that with a dull knife you are pressing harder and are then capable of doing more harm to yourself when a mishap occurs.  We at The Happy Cook don’t have any statistics on this, but what we do know is that you get better results when you use a sharp and well- maintained knife.

All knives start out sharp.  It is the owner’s job to keep them that way.  There are two steps to keeping that just-like-new edge.  The first is to hone the knife at frequent intervals. Chef’s usually hone their knives each time they begin working.  Honing is where the knife is pulled multiple times at an angle of 20 degrees to 30 degrees along the side of a “steel.”  Although these “steels” can be made of ceramic as well as steel or steel composites, they all do the same job—aligning the microscopic burrs that occur on the edge of the knife. These burrs are inevitable, no matter how careful you are with your cutting surface.

The second part of maintenance is to actually sharpen the knife at regular intervals.  The definition of “regular” depends on how often you use the knife.  A knife that is in regular use in a home kitchen probably needs sharpening two times a year.  

There are a lot of good sharpening devices on the market from sharpening stones, to the small hand-held manual sharpeners,  to electric ones with variable sharpening options. Be sure to get a sharpener that is made for your type of knife—there are different sharpeners for Asian and for European style knives.

The alternative to investing in a sharpening device is to bring it to the folks you trust at The Happy Cook.  Our professional knife sharpeners will give your knives a good new edge and usually do it within a two-day turn around.  Call for more details about our knife sharpening service 434-977-2665.

Spiralizers

Spiralizers

Spiralizers are incredibly popular right now but a lot of people are really unsure of how to use them or what they would use them for.  The most popular thing to spiralize is zucchini to make zoodles.  Once you run the zucchini through the spiralizer you get thin noodle like strings of zucchini that you can then saute with olive oil and herbs.  This can be eaten as is or serves with a sauce like traditional pasta.  It is a delicious alternative to noodles and it is carb free and great for you!

Another thing I like to spiralize at home is sweet potatoes and then sprinkle them with olive oil and ground thyme, place them in the oven and roast them until they are crispy. This is a great crunch topping to a number of things, we particularly like them served on top of burgers.  

Spiralizers are a great tool in the kitchen that are here to stay and can be used in so many different ways.

Check out one of our favorite spiralizers here.

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Finex Handmade Cookware

Finex Handmade Cookware

FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Company is a small team of Portland based perfectionists dedicated to making heirloom quality cast iron cookware in the USA. Work that is inspired by the best in vintage American cast iron skillets and designed for today’s cooks and kitchens.

Commitment to cast iron runs deep with FINEX.  Each piece is polished smooth,an  easy-to-release cook surface that leaves more food on your plate and less in the skillet; with castings made thicker to optimize modern searing techniques that seal in flavors; ergonomic spring handles that stay cooler so you can easily grip the pan while cooking. They have created a modern cast iron product that cooks like it was your grandmother’s skillet.

FINEX believes in the inherent power and goodness of heirloom quality cookware and the cooking traditions and stories it can hold. All of their products are designed to endure years of regular use and with hopes that they will be passed on to future generations.

Check out our Finex cookware here.