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    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Excellent Lamb and Mint Pasta - Kid Friendly Food

    When I have the kids over on Thursdays I like to treat them like any other Dinner Party Guests. 
    Let's introduce them to new foods, as well as cooking old favourites
    Time to do some research.
    My MYSKY was full of Cooking Programmes that I hadn't viewed 
    I thought, two of my favourites Giada de Laurentis and Jacques Pepin would probably have something delicious for the kids

    The dinner got thumbs up from the kids

    Correct... I found a great Lamb and Mint Pasta Dish from Giada
    This was a Lamb Ragu, I served it over Penne
    It would also make an excellent Shepherds Pie
    This amount fed 4 kids and 2 adults 
    I made my own Marinara sauce and also I used white wine. 
    Use what you have I reckon... and lamb takes white wine as well as red

    500 gms penne pasta

    For the Lamb Ragu
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 shallots, chopped
    500 gms ground lamb
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup red or white wine

    4 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or home made
    1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese

    Homemade Marinara
    This is one of the most simple sauces, well worth making extra and keeping in the freezer
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion chopped
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    1 carrot chopped
    1 stick celery chopped
    2 cans chopped tomatoes
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    1 tsp sugar
    2 bay leaves
    Little water 

    Place on pan on medium heat add olive oil
    Add onions saute gently till soft
    Season with Salt and Pepper
    Add garlic, carrot and celery

    Saute another 5 minutes
    Add tomatoes
    Wash the tins out with a little water
    Season again with S & P and sugar

    Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes
    Set aside

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm the olive oil over high heat. 
    Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
    Add the ground lamb, salt, and pepper. 
    Cook until the lamb has browned and the juices have evaporated.
    Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon.
    Simmer until the wine has reduced by half.
    Add the marinara sauce and simmer over low heat until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Add the mint and ricotta and stir until mixed.

    The Pasta
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. 
    Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally,
    about 8 to 10 minutes. 
    Drain pasta.
    Add the  cooked pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
    And a Chocolate Roulade from Monsieur Pepin 
    This is from his Essential Pepin Website

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup water
    6 large eggs, separated
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
    2 tablespoons very strong coffee

    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons kirsch (optional)
    1 tablespoon icing sugar

    Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, with a rack in the center.

    Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan, 
    bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes to make a light syrup. 
    Put the egg yolks in the bowl of a mixer or another large bowl. 
    Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks, mixing vigorously with the whisk. 
    Continue whipping the mixture for about 5 minutes, until fluffy, smooth, and pale yellow in color. 

    Add the melted chocolate and coffee and mix well.

    Whip the egg whites in a large bowl until they hold firm peaks. 
    Add about one third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and mix vigorously with the whisk. 

    Add the remaining whites and fold in with a rubber spatula, mixing just enough to combine the ingredients; 
    do not overmix.

    Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to line a 12- by 16-inch baking sheet (or use a nonstick baking mat). 
    Butter the paper and coat with flour, shaking off any excess.
    Little trick with the paper
    Butter 1 half of it

    Fold in half to spread the butter

    Place in baking tray

    Lift and turn over and push into place in tin
    this stops it from slipping

    Spread the batter in the pan; it will be about 1/2 inch thick. 

    Bake for about 12 minutes until set and puffy. 
    Cool to room temperature; then cover with plastic wrap. 
    (Rolling the cake is a delicate operation, but the wax paper aids in the removal and rolling of the cake. 
    The plastic wrap keeps the cake moist, making it possible to be rolled.)

    Whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. 
    Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and kirsch and continue beating until the cream is firm.

    Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife all around the sides to loosen the cake. 
    Spread the raspberry puree on the cake top with whipped cream 

    Starting from a long side, roll up the cake, with the wax paper still on, 
    peeling the paper off a little at a time as you roll the cake; 
    avoid pressing down on the cake as you roll, so that the whipped cream is not squeezed out. 

    Continue rolling and removing the paper, and 
    finish with the seam underneath so that the cake looks smooth on top. 
    Use two large spatulas to slide the cake onto a serving platter. 
    Put the icing sugar in a sieve and shake it over the cake to coat the top. 
    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Cut into slices and serve.
    It needs whipped cream on the side to "cut down the richness" 

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