This was an evening where we turned our little apartment into a 5-star restaurant. It was magical! It all started with the simple idea of making pumpkin pasta, and it transformed in to one of the tastiest meals we’ve ever dished out. We created pumpkin pasta dough, and knew we wanted to make ravioli. But when we decided to add more pumpkin to the filling – that’s where we really created a master piece. It was a pinch-of-this and dash-of-that creation that we can’t wait to make again.
We started off the whole process by baking a pumpkin, and then using part for the pasta dough and the rest for the filling. After letting the dough rest, we rolled it out and stuffed the little ravioli’s full of a pumpkin, mushroom and cheese mixture. The fresh pasta cooks quickly – toss them gently in boiling water and take them out once they rise to the surface.
We topped them off with a simple butter herb sauce with a dash of cream. We wanted to let the flavor of the pasta come through, so the sauce is light (yet incredibly tasty!). A dash of fresh parmesan and you’re ready to enjoy!
- 1/3 cup Puréed Baked Pumpkin
- 1 Egg
- 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Flour ('00' is recommended for pasta making, but all purpose works as well)
- Butter or Olive Oil (for cooking)
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1/2 cup Mushrooms
- 1 Small Pumpkin, Baked and Puréed (minus the 1/3 cup used for the pasta)
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan
- 1/4 Cup Mozzarella
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Flour
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Cream
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- Parmesan to top
- Mix pumpkin and eggs together. Add flour to create a dough.
- We mixed by hand, but you can also use a food processor.
- The flour is not exact, so mix in until the dough is easy to handle.
- Wrap in saran wrap and set aside to rest.
- In frying an over medium heat, add butter, onion and garlic. Once cooked, add mushrooms and cook until tender.
- Put mixture in a bowl mix in pumpkin, parmesan and mozzarella.
- Roll out pasta dough.
- Using a ravioli stamp, place dallops of filling on the pasta dough then fold the dough over and stamp out the raviolli. If you don't have a stamp you can also cut the ravioli shape and pinch the edges closed.
- Continue until you've used up your dough and/or filling.
- Cover with a towel and let sit.
- In a frying pan, melt butter and add flour. Mix to a paste and let brown.
- Add cream and thyme and let simmer.
- Boil a large pot of water and add pasta.
- Depending on the size of your pot and how many ravioli you are cooking, you may want to cook in batches.
- Cook pasta for 5-8 minutes, until they float to the top.
- Top pasta with cream sauce and parmesan.
Ahi Poke Bowl with Yellowfin Tuna
We are tuna fans, so when our catch of the week from Community Seafood was Yellowfin Tuna we were excited about the possibilities. Tuna is a great fish to cook with because you have so many options. You can eat it raw or cooked. It can be thinly sliced in sashimi or topping a sushi roll, or it can be seared. It can be marinated.. Any way you cut it, tuna is delicious!
We decided to create a tuna Poke concoction. This is a quick and healthy option, and with great way to enjoy fresh fish. Ahi poke is a traditional Hawaiian meal that highlights the fresh fish with a mixture of sides
Poke is cooked and raw, hot and cold — all at the same time. It resembles a beautifully crafted Chipotle burrito bowl, but with a sushi twist; it’s both a comfort food and a healthy meal.
We served the marinated tuna with hot rice, fresh avocado, and a seaweed salad we picked up from our local Korean market.
- 1/2 lb fresh Tuna
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Green Onion
- Sesame Seeds, Cucumber, Jalapeno and Carrot for garnish
- Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and green onions in a small bowl.
- Chop tuna in to small chunks
- Marinate tuna in the sauce.
- Serve with fresh rice, avocado, and garnish.
French Onion Soup
French onion soup. Soupe à l’oignon. This is one of our favorite soups, and not just because it’s topped with delicious, melted cheese. Well, that could be a major part — but it’s really the mix of savory broth, caramelized onions, toasted bread… and well, yes – the cheese!
Caramelizing the onions is the longest process of making this soup. You want to do it slow and steady, so the flavors really come out. It takes a little while… but trust me, it’s all worth it. Once the onions are caramelized, add white wine, garlic, a dash of flour to thicken, broth and herbs. Homemade beef broth will produce the tastiest broth, but store bought broth works in a pinch. We added turkey broth we had made from thanksgiving, which was delicious.
Dig in and enjoy.
- 4-6 Onions
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 cup Water (more if needed)
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 clove Garlic
- 4 cups Beef Broth
- 1 cup Turkey Broth
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Bread (French Baguette)
- Gruyere Cheese
- Caramelize onions with butter. Cook over low heat, adding 1 cup water 1/2 hour in and let simmer away. After another 15 minutes add more water if needed.
- Add 1 cup of white wine. Simmer off until there isn't any more liquid.
- Add garlic.
- Add flour and mix in to a paste.
- Add broth, thyme and salt.
- Let simmer.
- Toast bread, cut cheese
- Ladle soup into bowls, place bread and cheese. Place in a broiler (or oven) until cheese is melted.
Stuffed Summer Squash
These small summer squash from the farmers market were the perfect opportunity to create a tasty stuffed squash meal. There are endless options for stuffing, and we decided to experiment with a sausage and vegetable mix topped with cheese.
Scoop out the middle of the squash and layer chopped onion, red pepper, mushrooms and ground pork until the squash is filled. Then pour in a whisked egg, and top with cheese. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes.
We realized that the egg really made this more of a breakfast meal. The ground pork, veggies, egg and cheese makes it almost like an omelet inside a tasty edible bowl. Perfect for brunch with a side of mimosas.
- 2 Small Summer Squash
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup Red Pepper
- 1/2 cup Onion
- 1/4 cup Mushrooms
- 1 Egg
- Chop off top and scoop out the center of the squash.
- Chop onion, red pepper and mushrooms.
- Cook ground pork until done.
- Layer onions, red pepper, mushrooms and pork until the squash is full.
- Whisk egg lightly and pour in to the squash.
- Top with cheese.
- Place squash in oven at 375° and bake for 25-30 minutes until squash is tender and cheese is melted.
- Depending on the size of the squash, amounts for filling may need to be adjusted.
Brussels Sprout Salad
We are big fans of brussels sprouts these days and as we pick up our produce at the farmers market we snag brussels sprouts every time they are in season and looking good. There are a few go-to recipes, but we are of course always looking for new ideas so when we stumbled upon this brussels sprout salad we were excited. Pomegranate? Yes. Bacon? Double yes!! We were introduced to this recipe thanks to A Pinch of Yum, and it’s one we will make over and over again. Chop, chop, cook bacon and enjoy!
- 30-40 brussels sprouts (makes about 4 cups shredded)
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ⅓ cup almonds
- ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- For the dressing
- 1 shallot, chopped
- juice of one orange
- juice of one lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup oil
- up to 2 tablespoons water
- Fry the bacon over low heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels; crumble and set aside.
- Thinly slice the brussels sprouts.
- Prep the pomegranate seeds. Finely chop the almonds. Grate the cheese.
- Toss the brussels sprouts, bacon crumbles, pomegranate arils, almonds, and cheese together.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy. Add the water as needed for consistency.
- Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
Pad Thai with Ridgeback Shrimp
This was our first shrimp delivery from Community Seafood, and it arrived with heads, tentacles, eyes… and the question of “what should we make?”. Ridgeback shrimp was another exciting and slightly intimidating delivery because the shrimp definitely don’t look like they do when you buy them from the store or order them at a restaurant. Proof is above!
This delivery of Ridgeback Shrimp was from a brand new Community Seafood fisherman, Captain Jeff Hepp. If you’re visiting Kitchen305 for the first time, Community Seafood is a terrific ‘ocean to table’ company that supports a southern California fishing community and a sustainable future for seafood harvest. Each week we pick up a selective catch of the week- local, in season seafood from a fisherman in our area.
We have been on a Thai food kick, and making Pad Thai was an exciting meal to showcase our Ridgeback Shrimp. We had to make sure we used the shrimp while they are fresh, as the heads were still on when they were delivered. The first step is to cut the heads off the shrimp and peel and devein them. The Pad Thai recipe is pretty simple. It’s really all about prep for this recipe – chop the carrots, cabbage, peanuts, green onions… and then you just need to cook the sauce, rice noodles and shrimp then mix it all together.
We chose to keep it simple to showcase the shrimp, but Pad Thai is very easy to modify. You can make it with a protein such as chicken, or easily make it vegetarian and add some tofu. Bean sprouts and eggs are also a tasty addition, and a squeeze of lime really brings it all together.
- 1/2 lb Shrimp
- 1 package Rice Noodles
- 1 Carrot
- 1 cup Red Cabbage
- 1 Green Onion
- 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 3 tablespoons White Sugar
- Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- Crushed Peanuts
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add rice noodles.
- Cook until tender, roughly 4 minutes
- Meanwhile, chop the cabbage and green onion. Shred the carrot.
- If your shrimp are raw and fresh (with heads and veins), you will need to devein and cook them. They can be boiled or fried in a pan. If the shrimp are precooked, they can simply be added at the end.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, add fish sauce, white wine vinegar and sugar. Mix and cook to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sauce has simmered together, add the noodles and stir together.
- Add shrimp and mix together.
- Serve and top with carrots, cabbage, green onion and peanuts.
Pork Spring Rolls
We are always ready for a snack. Dumplings and spring rolls are high on our list, so when we had fresh carrots, purple cabbage and green onion from the farmers market, it was the perfect time to roll up some pork spring rolls.
We chopped, chopped and shredded and were ready to go. Fresh spring rolls are impressive without being too time consuming. They seem trickier than they really are – the whole recipe is actually quite simple and quick.
Cook the ground pork with garlic and ginger, then add the cabbage, carrot and green onions and let it sizzle to meld the flavors. It’s tough to stop from just snacking on the filling. But we powered through and saved enough to make spring rolls!
We bought wonton wrappers at our grocery store. Perfect little squares ready to be filled, rolled and sealed. Just a dab of water makes the dough sticky enough to seal the edges. These wrappers were small but we could still fold in the corners then roll to create a great little spring roll.
We swiped each side with olive oil then placed them all on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
As major sauce fans, we chose three options: duck sauce, soy sauce mixed with rice wine vinegar, and sweet and sour sauce.
Yum! A perfect side for shrimp Pad Thai.
- 1/2 lb Ground Pork
- 1 Cup Purple Cabbage
- 1 Cup Carrots
- 1 Green Onion
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Wonton Wrappers
- Olive Oil
- Shred carrots, chop cabbage into thin slices, dice green onion.
- Cook ground pork over medium heat in a frying pan
- Once the pork is cooked, add chopped garlic and ginger.
- Add carrots, cabbage and green onion to the pan.
- Let cook over medium low heat until the cabbage and carrots are soft, then take off heat.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Place a spoonful of mixture in the center of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold in edges and roll, sealing with a dab of water.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Lightly coat both sides of all the rolls with olive oil
- Bake 20/30 minutes until golden brown, flipping part way through.
- Serve with sauce of choice.
It’s really quite magical how pita bread puffs up, creating that pouch ready to be stuffed full (hint: chicken caesar and buffalo chicken are both a favorite in our house). It’s the same simple recipe as basic pizza dough that we make, but somehow is transformed in to these delicious pitas with air in the middle! We actually doubted ourselves the whole time, fearing they would just turn in to a mini pizza-like-crust (not the worst thing to happen, but still). Then, right before all hope was lost… Puff – our dough became pita bread!
This recipe from The New York Times is easy to follow for delicious Pita Bread. This recipe is also below so you can whip up a quick batch for dinner.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 35 grams whole-wheat flour (1/4 cup), preferably freshly milled
- 310 grams unbleached all-purposed flour (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Make sponge: Put 1 cup lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add the whole-wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and whisk together. Put bowl in a warm (not hot) place, uncovered, until mixture is frothy and bubbling, about 15 minutes.
- Add salt, olive oil and nearly all remaining all-purpose flour (reserve 1/2 cup). With a wooden spoon or a pair of chopsticks, stir until mixture forms a shaggy mass. Dust with a little reserved flour, then knead in bowl for 1 minute, incorporating any stray bits of dry dough.
- Turn dough onto work surface. Knead lightly for 2 minutes, until smooth. Cover and let rest 10 minutes, then knead again for 2 minutes. Try not to add too much reserved flour; the dough should be soft and a bit moist. (At this point, dough may refrigerated in a large zippered plastic bag for several hours or overnight. Bring dough back to room temperature, knead into a ball and proceed with recipe.)
- Clean the mixing bowl and put dough back in it. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then cover with a towel. Put bowl in a warm (not hot) place. Leave until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 475 degrees. On bottom shelf of oven, place a heavy-duty baking sheet, large cast-iron pan or ceramic baking tile. Punch down dough and divide into 8 pieces of equal size. Form each piece into a little ball. Place dough balls on work surface, cover with a damp towel and leave for 10 minutes.
- Remove 1 ball (keeping others covered) and press into a flat disc with rolling pin. Roll to a 6-inch circle, then to an 8-inch diameter, about 1/8 inch thick, dusting with flour if necessary. (The dough will shrink a bit while baking.)
- Carefully lift the dough circle and place quickly on hot baking sheet. After 2 minutes the dough should be nicely puffed. Turn over with tongs or spatula and bake 1 minute more. The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles. Transfer warm pita to a napkin-lined basket and cover so bread stays soft. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
We were excited and slightly nervous when our catch of the week from Community Seafood was Mussels! Another sea creature that we had never eaten and definitely never cooked with.
Mussels are fascinating. They are tough yet fragile, and it’s strange that although they look like inanimate shells from the outside, these creatures are still alive and if you tap two mussels together you can watch the shells tightly seal! To clean them, scrub the shells roughly against each other in water, and make sure to discard any mussels whose shells don’t tightly shut because this is a sign that they aren’t alive anymore.
Community Seafood includes a profile on each fisherman they use, and our mussels were caught by Bernard Friedman who runs a 25-acre open ocean farm located just up the coast from us. It’s really wonderful to pick up fresh fish at our local farmers market, and also know that we are supporting our local fishermen.
As CSF members, our share dollars become an investment in Bernard’s mussel farm operation, which insures that the mussel population here will remain strong and healthy until our next harvest season.
After a bit of research, we settled on a simple pasta recipe from Epicurious that sounded like it would highlight the Mussels really nicely. Spaghetti Alle Vongole – a quick Italian recipe that combines white wine, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and mussels with a simple spaghetti pasta. We chose regular and vegetable pasta to add a little color to the meal.
This recipe comes together in a snap, and was absolutely delicious. We were pleasantly surprised with our new love of Mussels and are looking forward to enjoying more soon.
- 6 ounces spaghetti
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 lb Mussels
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until just golden. Add red pepper flakes and continue cooking 15 more seconds. Add wine, then mussels; increase heat to high. Cover skillet and cook until clams open and release their juices, 3-6 minutes, depending on size of clams. As clams open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet; bring to a boil. Add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce from the pan. Add clams and any juices from bowl to pan, along with parsley, and toss to combine. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil.
Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata
We got the most beautiful box of heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market, and wanted to figure out a way to enjoy some of them fresh before we turned the rest into pasta sauce. Welcome, Burrata. Perhaps the most delicious cheese – although it’s hard to choose a favorite when you’re as big of fans of cheese as we are.
In Italian, Burrata translates to buttery which is a perfect description for this rich and creamy piece of cheese heaven. Burrata is a mix of mozzarella and cream, and pairs perfectly with fresh tomatoes and basil.
We included green and purple basil, for an extra dose of color.
A splash of balsamic vinegar tops off this tasty treat. Dig in!