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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 plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

If you’re going to break one’s new year’s resolution with homemade pasta, you might as well add homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce, right?

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (or freshly grated parmesan will work too)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper or white pepper to taste
  • Homemade fettuccine pasta (or store bought), cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • About 6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Place butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium-low heat. After butter has melted, add cream and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.

If making homemade noodles from this recipe, this sauce can be poured right into a large bowl with the pasta & chicken, and the amount of sauce per pasta will be perfect.

You won’t get that special connection with boxed pasta & alfredo mixes, baby. And they say two wrongs don’t make a right.

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How to Make Homemade Pasta With a KitchenAid Mixer Attachment

This homemade pasta recipe is super easy and reliable. Dangerous even… I mean, who needs the ability to make homemade noodles at their fingertips? If you have just started your new year’s resolutions, please avert your eyes, my friend.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Place flour in mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt over flour. Make a divot in the middle of the flour and place eggs in the divot. Pour olive oil over eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs until ingredients are well incorporated. Place mixing bowl onto mixer and, using a regular beater, mix until the dough comes together into one large piece. Mix for a few more minutes, then form into a ball and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.

Zzzzzzz.

Next, break dough ball in half, dust with a bit of flour, and roll out to about an inch thick. Pinch the end so the attachment will be able to grab the dough.

KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter Set

Attach pasta sheet attachment to KitchenAid mixer and roll dough through on the lowest (widest) setting. Continue placing through attachment, adjusting the width to a higher number each time until pasta is the size you would like it to be. If pasta strips get longer than you’d like as they thin out, you can cut the sheet in half.

If making fettuccine noodles, be sure it’s wide enough to be cut by the fettuccine cutter attachment. If too thin, the cutting attachment will just mark or score the pasta. The number 4 or 5 setting is best for fettuccine.

Coat pasta with a light dusting of flour occasionally so it doesn’t stick together when you fold it or when it becomes a pile of noodles. If this happens, no worries. You can press it together and start over.

When noodles are ready, set aside and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for about 3-4 minutes. Finally, drain right after cooking.

Friend, if you are still looking, these gluten-filled strips aren’t a bad way to break a resolution. Consequently, no one would fault you. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

Note: Of course, this pasta can be made by hand as well. Just stir the dough together, knead the dough by hand, roll out as thin as possible, and cut thin strips with a sharp knife. 

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Homemade Minestrone Soup Recipe

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Welcome back, soup season. Welcome back. Minestrone is a lovely fall soup that helps gardeners use up all their fresh veggies. When made with vegetable stock, it’s vegan-friendly but you would never know it.

If you’re really missing the meat, you can brown some hamburger or ground chicken and then step back into the recipe. You rebel, you.

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Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, Italian cut

  • 2 fresh carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced (no need to remove skin)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10.75 ounce can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 – 32 ounce containers vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 dried bay whole leaves (to be removed when soup is done)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 – 15.25 ounce can kidney beans
  • 8 ounces pasta, any small pasta works great (ie. bow ties, shells, penne, or rotelle)

Heat olive oil and butter in large soup pot. Add onion, green beans, carrots, celery, zucchini, and garlic. Cook down over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.

Add tomato puree, tomato, brown sugar, broth, spinach, herbs & seasonings, and beans. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add pasta and cook at a simmer for the length of time on the pasta packaging. Ending with pasta is important as you do not want to overcook the noodles. Remove from heat and serve while hot.

Delicious served with a rustic sour dough bread & butter and a tight, loving hug.

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Homemade Rich, Meaty Bolognese Sauce Recipe

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mushroom Risotto Recipe

She is not always familiar, for she is foreign. She is not rice, for she is frumpy. She is not pasta, for she is temperamental.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced or diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for top if desired for garnish)
  • One small handful fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

To prepare for all that is holy and lovely, pull all ingredients together ahead of time. Cut onion and mushroom and heat olive oil on medium-high in a somewhat deep frying pan.

Saute mushrooms until softened and a beautiful brown. Using a straining utensil, remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

While cooking the mushrooms in the frying pan, heat the chicken broth in a separate saucepan until warm in a saucepan. Keep warm (but don’t allow it to reduce).

Place chopped onions into oil. Cook until translucent and caramelized. Add minced garlic. Then add Arborio rice and stir until rice is translucent around the edges yet white in the center.

Finally, the finicky side of risotto… the babysitting.

Pour white wine into risotto. Stir and cook on medium heat until wine is nearly all absorbed by the rice.

Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth and stir and cook until broth is nearly all absorbed.

Continue to cook and add broth in this same fashion until broth is gone but, more importantly, until risotto is al dente (not mushy and not crunchy). The dish should be a little creamy. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon to your liking.

Stir in cooked mushrooms, butter, parmesan cheese and chives. Add salt & pepper last since you can’t be sure how much salt you will need until after the parmesan has been added.  If desired, sprinkled freshly grated parmesan over the top and perhaps some freshly chopped chives.

Serve hot and serve often for she is warm and gorgeous and comforting. For she is risotto.

To make this into a main dish, you can stir in pieces of  cooked chicken. 

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Chicken Marsala Recipe

Perhaps this should be called Indulgent Chicken Marsala Recipe. But I can’t help it. I love a breaded piece of chicken. And I love a gravy sauce. One would probably never guess I was born as far away as one can get from the south while still in America. Well, there was that one thing – the fact that I spelled y’all as ya’ll for forty years might have been a clue.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (divided)
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced or sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine (can use sweet Marsala wine if preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Leaves from 6 fresh oregano stalks, chopped

First, pound chicken breasts until about even all the way across.

For breaded chicken, just use 1 cup or so to coat each piece in flour. This is entirely optional, you know, for those who do not have a southern girl on the inside.

Heat pan with oil to medium-high heat. When hot, fry chicken until 165 degrees inside the middle.

Set chicken aside.

Fry mushrooms in same pan. Set aside as well on a separate plate after cooked.

Make sure pan has about 4 tablespoons of oil in it. If not, just add some and wait until hot again. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour into pan and whisk immediately. Cook a few minutes or until somewhat brown. Pour in chicken broth and continue to whisk. Sauce will thicken.

Again, thickening the gravy is optional. You can also just let it cook down for a while until it reduces to a lovely sauce.

Pour in Marsala wine.

Continue to whisk.  The whisking exercise makes the breading and the gravy okay.

Gravy will turn a beautiful brown color. Add chicken base, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until chicken base melts into gravy. Stir in lemon juice, butter and then mushrooms.

And fresh oregano.

Pour gravy over chicken and serve.

Though she is stunning served on her own, she also pairs will with pasta or a fresh green salad. She is chicken Marsala. She is indulgent. I’d imagine she originated in the southern part of Italy.

 

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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.

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe

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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.

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Chopped Pizza Salad Recipe

What could be a healthier way to eat a family favorite like pizza than out of a salad bowl? I can’t make any promises that it will become a replacement but I can tell you that we’ve been eating a whole lot more salad at our house since we created this recipe!

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  • 8-10 mini tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 5-6 pieces of Canadian bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces mini pepperoni (or chopped regular size pepperoni)
  • 1 cup olives, sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • Sea salt
  • Coarse ground pepper

You can vary the ingredients a lot to your liking but here are the measurements we use for our pizza salad.

Place tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano, olive oil. lettuce, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, olives, cheese, and ranch dressing in a medium-large bowl. Toss salad right before it’s time to serve. Add sea salt & pepper to taste and toss again.

Più delizioso!

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017