Facebook Twitter Gplus Flickr Pinterest LinkedIn
The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Rich, Meaty Bolognese Sauce Recipe

email

I’m pretty sure every last one of my Facebook friends has visited Italy this week. There are beautiful pictures of naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches – oh, the churches. And I’m all sittin’ over here in Seattle listening to my neighbor’s favorite music and eating a whole wheat bagel covered in peanut butter & jelly. Perhaps this post came out of my subconscious jealousy (and by subconscious, I mean complete awareness).

Cue the neighbor’s music that sounds like the back end of an eighties boom box by the time it reaches my ears… I’m about to welcome you to my own Little Italy.

Once you accomplish the initial steps, this is a great recipe to throw in the crockpot for the remaining 4 hours. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day so you had to know their sauce would take at least four hours to make. Also, you know I never miss capitalizing on a great pun. Like, ever. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

You have not tried spaghetti sauce until you’ve had bolognese. I promise you will never go back.

IMG_0408

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots,finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery,finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 8 ounces country style ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water (1 cup may be replaced with a dry white or red wine if you’re feeling especially fancy pants)
  • 3 tablespoons beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

Most meats come in about one pound packages. If making one recipe, you can freeze the other halves. You’ll be making this again soon. I promise.
Preheat oven to 350F. It is a good idea to dice veggies in advance. This is a long simmering dish; but, it is also pretty busy in the beginning. Set veggies aside.
After veggies are diced, cut tomatoes into quarters and place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Salt & pepper tomatoes. Add garlic cloves (still wrapped in peels) to pan as well. Bake for 20 minutes. This is the only step that requires the oven so you can turn it off.
In a large pot, pour olive oil and add butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add diced veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.
While veggies cook, place milk, water, Better Than Bouillon, and tomato paste into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Remove tomatoes and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes into food processor. Remove peels from garlic (they should practically slide off) and add. Process until still a little chunky, but soup-like.
Add ground meats. Using utensil, chop meat up well while cooking. Pieces should be very fine. Allow to cook until juices evaporate and meat is beautifully browned and somewhat sticking to bottom of pan.
Add bouillon mixture to pot. Stir in. Add processed tomatoes and garlic to pot. Stir in. Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. Make sure to check and stir once and awhile. Sauce will become more red and be kind of oily in texture as it cooks. Near the end is a good time for additional salt since it may reduce down and become too salty if you add a lot in the beginning.
When it is time to serve, cook noodles according to instructions on box. Be sure to bring water to a boil first, add noodles, then cook for as long as box says (all noodle cooking times are different).
If you don’t count the fact there are no naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches, it’s just like I’m there. Only, you know, I’m watching the Mariners on ESPN and approximately 5,661 miles away from an ancient colosseum.

Print Friendly
 

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe

How does one deal with nervously wondering how one will come across on national television? How does one deal with helping one’s dotter move out on the same weekend? Um. Well. One doesn’t. One organizes closets. One is extra chatty with guests. One makes comfort food.

I feel better about the whole thing since my inner feelings while taping the show didn’t show themselves on air. There was that one exception, however, of my double chins. I can’t decide which one of them I love best.

Dotter? Well, she is doing well too. She loves her new place and is very grown up but misses me already which makes me feel warm and cozy inside. She also only has one chin so I must have done something right.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Peel potatoes well. Cut into about 2 inch pieces. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about half an hour or until a fork poked into potatoes slides out very easily. Drain potatoes.

Put warm potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill. Add flour, salt & white pepper into potatoes. Work together until becomes a nice dough.

Place a little flour on countertop and, taking small amounts of dough at a time, roll to form a long strip of pasta dough. Continue until finished. Cut rolled dough into 1 inch pieces.

If desired, roll each gnocchi over a cheese grater or fork for added beauty.

Put a fresh pot of salted hot water on to boil. Then add the gnocchi a few at a time so they don’t stick together while cooking. Allow to cook until all raise to the top of the hot water. This doesn’t take long. Drain gnocchi.

Place on a serving platter or bowl. If you like, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. There are many ways to enjoy gnocchi as there are exercises to work it off. You can go simple with fresh sage and butter or red sauce has a delightful freshness that counters the heaviness of the gnocchi well.

Dotter sent a picture of kitty this morning who is not coping with the move nearly as well. Kitty is burrowed under a bed comforter in a little ball. I can relate, kitty. And after some comforting gnocchi, my chins and I will probably do the same.

This recipe makes about six servings.

Print Friendly
 

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna With White Wine Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Does the spinach get lost in the back of your refrigerator? Perhaps it’s time to just give in and make it cheesy and buttery and try for salads again next week. As we reach the final stretch of cozy dinners before we sit in the sun and eat strictly watermelon, we might as well do it up big.

Alfredo. Yeah, that big.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine (can be substituted with water and/or a little chicken broth if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Salt (Just lightly since parmesan cheese is salty)
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 -2 pounds shredded chicken breast
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt & pepper and fry in a bit of olive oil until almost fully cooked. Set aside.

In another pan, melt butter on medium heat.

Whisk in flour.

Continue to whisk and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in milk, cream and wine (or chicken broth).

Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

Coat a baking pan (9 x 13 or a bit larger) with non-stick spray. Scoop about one cup of the sauce and spread into bottom of the pan.  Place one layer of uncooked lasagna over the sauce. If you’re starting to feel guilty, there’s always whole-wheat lasagna.

Pour another cup of sauce over noodles then top with about 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach, a thin layer of 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and some shredded chicken. Keep layering the same way until the pan is almost full (should make about 3 layers). Top with the remaining sauce.

If you have leftover noodles, just save them for mini lasagnas later.

If you like, add the delicious drippings from the chicken pan too. Mmmmm.

Cover snuggly with foil and place into hot oven for 40 minutes.

Fo’ sizzle.

Tomorrow, watermelon.

Print Friendly
 

Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

9553edda49167640d33ffa27976bb2d9There are some recipes that we probably shouldn’t know how to make from scratch, like alfredo sauce. Alas, it is my joy to bring them to you even so.  You know, for special occasions.

I begged a restaurant waitress to ask the chef for this recipe and, somehow, I walked out with a list of ingredients and free access to make this buttery, cheesy calorie-loaded dish at home as soon… as soon as I figured out the chef’s technique and quantities.

Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my. Help me.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)

Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan on low heat. After it is melted, sprinkle in flour & whisk. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk.

Measure other ingredients so they are ready to go when the time is right. Blend milk, cream and cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth in blender.

Pour milk, cream & cream cheese mixture into pan while still whisking. Sauce will thicken within a few minutes of cooking.

Stir cheese & seasonings into sauce and allow to melt while whisking. Add white wine (optional).

Following instructions on package, cook fettuccine (or your favorite kind of pasta).

Drain pasta when cooked and toss with some olive oil and perhaps chopped parsley.

Place sauce over pasta and perhaps some grilled chicken breast and top with whatever you like such as sliced green onions, diced tomatoes or parsley  for a little dazzle of color.

Print Friendly
 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe

IMG_0044-200x200

It’s a snow day here in the Seattle area.

I’m thinking about hopping onto a sled later. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Or maybe I’ll open the B&B for snacks & coffee to the people waiting on the side of the freeway for Snoqualmie Pass to open. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Yeah, I’ll blog.

Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay or chicken broth (add more if sauce is too thick for your liking)
  • 1 can olives and olive juice, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped or sliced olives with juice and, if desired, add mushrooms.

The Noodles:

Follow time instructions on package to cook noodles and remember not to add the pasta until your water is boiling. Keep things interesting by using different kinds of noodles when you make spaghetti. Penne, linguine or Cellentani are all fun options. If you decide to mix them, be sure to pay close attention to the cooking times. Add longest cooking first then add the noodles with the lesser cooking time as you count down. After draining the water off the pasta, stir in a bit of olive oil for added flavor and to prevent your noodles from sticking together.

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 1/4 medium diced yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add diced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool onions.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in bowl.

Blend ingredients together until well combined.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread butter liberally onto bread.

Place in oven and keep oven door a wee bit open so you can keep an eye on your bread.

Remove from oven when golden brown and top is slightly crispy. Cut into slices for all to enjoy… except for the poor people sitting on the side of the freeway. In their cars. In the snow. I am a terrible person.

A terrible person who reeks of garlic and is enjoying her fireplace all to herself. Just for now.

Print Friendly
 

Three Cheese Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Nothing warms the tummy and starts the school year off like old-fashioned homemade macaroni and cheese.

Cheesy goodness.

Melt 1/4 cup (a half a stick) of butter in a frying pan. Add 1/2 of a large, diced yellow onion.

Saute’ on medium low heat, stirring occasionally,  until onions brown around the edges.


While onions cook, pour 2 cups of heavy cream and 6 eggs into blender. Blend together well on low-speed.

Turn onions on low heat, then whisk while pouring custard mixture into frying pan.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder (or, if you prefer, a tablespoon of mustard), 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to whisk on low heat for about 3 minutes.


Grate 8 ounces of Gruyère cheese, 8 ounces of Comté cheese and 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

Put a large pot of water on high heat. Be sure to wait for water to boil and then add one pound of noodles. Some of my favorite noodles are penne noodles. Cook noodles until al dente – follow cooking time on packaging as all noodles are different.

Drain water from noodles. Then, in the same pot, pour heavenly sauce over noodles.

Add cheeses and stir. Oh my.

Place saucy noodles into an oven-safe pot.

For an easy and tasty topping, place about 1 cup of croutons into food processor until crumbly texture.

Top macaroni and cheese with croutons (or Panko bread crumbs). Place in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

Loverly.

Yes, please.

Welcome back, school. And welcome back, old-fashioned, macaroni & cheese. Welcome back.

Print Friendly
 

Perfect Pasta and Pasta with Cod, Lemon & Herbs Recipe

It has been a pretty soggy spring in the Seattle area. I keep telling myself that the dripage will bring an extra beautiful summer but since my seeds keep getting moldy before they have a chance to sprout, maybe not. I can always be thankful for the evergreen trees, fish and cute rain boots… minus the time that group of senior citizens made fun of them.

I keep wanting to make summer dishes but instead find myself drowning in pots of homemade chicken noodle soup in May and the giggles of senior citizens making fun of my fashionable rain boots in June. I forgive them because they just don’t understand how desperate we are to have fashion while we puddle walk…. that, and they were the cutest group of people I have ever seen.

Desperate for newness, I made this pasta dish the other night. It was delightfully fresh yet still cozy. It sparked a memory in me that I’m going to admit to you now. This is just between you and I so don’t go laughing all the way to Twitter with this or anything, okay? I could lose followers if this gets out. I learned how to properly cook noodles in my thirties. Yep, it’s true.

Okay, you back now? “Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas. Yep, pretty sure I have surpassed reason with many things that I have disclosed in my life. I am now healing from the healing process. Anyhow, back to the noodles.

Just in case anyone else is still suffering from the same newlywed wife brain dysfunction that I had, I am about to teach you how to cook noodles.

Gladys, I do believe she must be knee-deep in those ding-dang boots again. She ain’t thinkin’ straight.

Ignore the voices. I understand your dilemma. You are ready for adulthood but you watch as others are trying to smile as they suffer through your first homemade meal but they cannot smile because their teeth are sticking together from your half crunchy, half mushy pasta.

You watched your mom cook all those years. How could you not know how to cook? Girls, it’s because we were teenagers and we thought we knew everything so we only half paid attention. Please allow me to spare you any future embarrassment and allow you to shine at the dinner table!

Using your noodle to cook perfect pasta

1. Put 16-20 cups* of water in a large pot.*

2. Wait for water to boil.*

3. Add 16 ounces of pasta to boiling water.

4. Stir the pasta right after you put it in the water & stir occasionally during cooking.*

5. Follow the package directions for cooking times.* If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, under cook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time on the package.

6. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done.” Pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through. Drain pasta immediately* and stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil for added flavor & to help prevent stickiness.

*These items are the most common pasta cooking mistakes. Change your heedless ways and you too can make perfect pasta every time! For example, if you do not drain the pasta immediately, the pasta will keep cooking while sitting in the water even if it’s off the burner since the water is very hot.

Okay, back to our recipe. Cook one pound of perfect pasta and come along with me… the benefit from coming along with me is that you will never have to live with someone else taking credit for every good recipe you ever made just because someone taught you late in life how to cook a noodle. Girl power!

Place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and turn to medium heat.

Add about 6-8 ounces of cod (more or less is fine) and a dash of salt & pepper & fry about 10 minutes on each side.

As the noodle instructions say above, stir a tablespoon or two of olive oil into your perfect noodles.

Add the zest and juice of one lemon (watch for seeds). I can smell summer already, California summer, that is.

Now comes the fun part. Seasonings! First, grate a couple (or more, if you like) cloves of garlic. I bought this handy set and love it. It makes a very fine grated garlic which I adore. It blends into my recipes so nicely.

Flake cod into bite size pieces. Add cod & garlic to pasta.

Chop a few tablespoons each of fresh flat leaf parsley, chervil, and oregano. Cool thing is that you can play with various herbs like thyme, sage, dill or cilantro. Add what you like! In fact, if you can cook perfect pasta, you can grow your own herb garden. Best part is, herbs love cruddy, sandy soil and they come back year after year! They are the perfect garden for a girl who has the boots for gardening but no patience for it. Add salt & pepper to taste and stir.

Ahhhhh… “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini

Print Friendly
 
© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016