Posts tagged ‘Rachael Ray’

May 16, 2012

Lemon-garlic spaghetti with sausage meatballs

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, 5 thinly slices and 1 grated
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 mini whole wheat pitas, torn into big pieces
  • 3 cups baby arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet or hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup loosely packed shredded gruyere
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 box (13.25 oz.) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1  1/4 cups grape tomatoes, halved

In a small saucepan, cook 1/4 cup EVOO and the sliced garlic over low heat until the garlic is fragrant and golden, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.

In a food processor, pulse the pitas to very fine crumbs and transfer to a large bowl. Finely chop 6 Tbsp. of the arugula and stir into the crumbs along with the sausage, cheese and grated garlic. Form into 12 meatballs.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until well browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup water and a generous pinch of salt. Cover, lower the heat to medium and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and toss with the garlic oil, lemon juice and zest, the remaining arugula and the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the meatballs.

*Chef’s note: So we all know Rachael Ray is a talented woman, but has anyone ever noticed that she just nails meatballs and burgers? Dang! This spaghetti would be fantastic even alone, the meatballs would be great in a red sauce; but they are so incredible together! Best pasta dish I have made in a long time. Yum, yum, yum. As you may be able to tell, I used a mixture of leftover whole wheat and traditional spaghetti. There was still a lot of water left (which had turned a golden yellow) when the meatballs were cooked through, but they weren’t soggy and I just took them out of the liquid to serve.

May 16, 2012

Spinach and ricotta ravioli

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach, finely chopped and squeezed dried
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 small lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 40 square wonton wrappers
  • 4 butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, shallot, egg and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Arrange 10 wonton wrappers on a clean work surface. Top each with a rounded tsp. of filling. Moisten the edges with water and, working with 1 at a time, fold in half to form triangles; press down around the filling to seal. Transfer the ravioli to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, drop in the ravioli in 2 batches, letting the water return to a boil between batches. Cook until the ravioli bob to the surface, about 3 minutes per batch; strain.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, swirling, until it browns and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat immediately. Stir in the lemon juice, capers, and half of the parsley; season.
Divide the ravioli among 4 plates, drizzle with the butter sauce and top with the remaining parsley.
*Chef’s note: Rach delivers again! Please don’t let my sub-par photograph fool you; these ravioli were not slimy and shiny but scrumptious, indeed. This was great with one link of browned spicy Italian sausage added to the filling. The wonton wrappers were surprisingly easy to work with as well, so don’t be intimidated!
April 10, 2012

Green bean and shallot salad

Rachael Ray

Serves: 6-8


  • Ice water
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound small green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. In a nonreactive medium bowl, add the shallots, separating them with your fingers. Add 2 tbsp. vinegar and toss to coat; refrigerate.
In a large pot of boiling, salting water, cook the green beans until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then transfer the colander immediately to the ice bath, stirring the beans gently to encourage even cooling.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp. vinegar, the paprika, Worcestershire and mustard; season with salt. Slowly drizzle in the EVOO, whisking constantly to thicken.
Drain the beans and transfer to a towel; pat dry. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add the shallots, discarding the liquid. Pour in the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
*Chef’s note: Tasty and easy peasy! Love this change-up with the unique dressing. I may also try a version with sauteed shallots for a different bite. 


April 2, 2012

Bacon-wrapped pineapple shrimp

Rachael Ray

Makes: 4 appetizer servings

  • 12 jumbo shrimp, deveined
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple cut into bite sized chunks or 1 (14-ounce) can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
  • 6 slices center-cut bacon, cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 12 wooden toothpicks

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Holding a shrimp, nest a chunk of pineapple in the natural curve of the shrimp then wrap bacon around the shrimp and pineapple and secure with a wooden toothpick. Wrap and secure all 12 shrimp then add to the hot pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp and shrimp are opaque and firm.

*Chef’s note: Tasty, tasty, tasty. I used a whole 1.5 pounds of medium shrimp, 7 or so pieces of low sodium bacon and fresh pineapple chopped in small pieces. It was a bit tough to assemble these with smaller shrimp and short bacon, but I decided the bacon didn’t need to go all the way around; as long as everything was in one bite, who cares?! I also marinated the shrimp for about 20 minutes in Trader Joe’s “Soyaki” sauce first, which I definitely recommend, as I think it completed the dish. After reading negative reviews, I decided to precook the bacon a bit first in a skillet (until cooked a bit but still pliable), and then I finished the whole thing in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Easy peasy, no flipping involved! When I ran out of bacon I just used the marinated shrimp and pineapple, then just the marinated shrimp. All tasty stuff. [Another lovely plate by Ms. Kay, by the way.]
March 24, 2012

Oven-“fried” fish

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 1  1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • A couple Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • A couple Tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning or Szeged fish rub (about a palmful)
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder (about a palmful)
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder (about a palmful)
  • 1 lemon or lime, zested
  • 1  1/2-2 pounds cod from the thickest part of the fillet-cut into 8 rectangles, rinsed and dried

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Position a rack on a baking sheet. In a shallow dish, toss the panko with the melted butter. Season with the thyme, chives, Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder and citrus zest.

Season the fish with salt. Place the egg whites in another shallow dish and beat until frothy. Coat the fish in the egg whites, the gently press into the panko mixture to coat evenly. Place on the rack-lined baking sheet. Bake the fish until the breading is a deep golden-brown, about 20 minutes.

*Chef’s note: This was pretty good. I expected a little more of a punch from so many yummy ingredients, but still a good classic breading. I was forced to use tilapia once again (between budget, family taste preferences and availability that day at the fish counter….), but I would have liked to try a sturdier fish.

March 24, 2012

Autumn golden vegetable lasagna

Rachael Ray

Serves: 6

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (10 oz.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Creamy White Sauce
  • 1 can  (15 oz.) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 10 egg roll wrappers (5-inch square)
  • 1 cup shredded aged gouda cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 8 large basil leaves
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add the squash and 1 cup water and simmer over medium heat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the water is evaporated and the squash is golden and tender, about 13 minutes; set aside.
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees . Meanwhile, lightly grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish and spread 1/2 cup white sauce in the bottom. In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and egg.
Cut half of the egg roll wrappers into 3 strips each. Fill a large bowl with hot tap water (as you work with the wrappers, dip them in the water to rinse off the starch). Use 1 whole wrapper and 3 strips to cover the bottom of the dish in a single layer (there will be overlap). Spread a generous 1/2 cup of pumpkin mixture on top and sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat the layering.
Add another layer of egg roll wrappers. Spread with 1 cup white sauce, then top with the squash, basil and 1/3 cup cheese. Add another layer of egg roll wrappers, the remaining pumpkin mixture and 1/3 cup cheese. Top with the remaining egg roll wrappers, then spread with the remaining white sauce.
Cover the dish snugly with foil and bake on a baking sheet in the upper third of the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheese on top and bake until golden and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting.
*Chef’s note: Heavy sigh. I had SUCH high hopes for this recipe. But I had literally been lusting over it since October, so I think I built it up too much. I don’t think it’s a bad recipe, and I can see some veggies just loving it. Still, I have to say, I didn’t like it. Aside from the nicely chewy egg roll wrappers, everything in this has a soft texture and too-similar flavor profile. And honestly, think I was just sick of looking at it, let alone tasting it, after I prepped and cooked everything. (I was hoping to hide this, because I don’t want you to think I can’t eat butternut squash without it, [maybe I can’t? Hmm….] but….) I also added some browned mild Italian sausage, and it still didn’t do it for me. If you are going to make it, definitely splurge for the quality versions of these cheeses. And you’ll definitely need a 9 x 13 dish; I don’t know what those folks over at Rach’s mag were thinkin’! 
February 20, 2012

Chocolate chip peanut butter cheesecake bites

Rachael Ray

  • 1 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
  • 7 ounces condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Mix cookie crumbs with butter; press into 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Combine gelatin with 1 tbsp. water; let sit 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, condensed milk and peanut butter. Microwave gelatin 20 to 30 seconds to melt; beat into cream cheese mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Fill pan and freeze 20 minutes. Cut into bite-size squares.
*Chef’s note: Heaven. If you like peanut butter, chocolate and cheesecake, that is. And I do. I added a tablespoon or so more peanut butter and probably a quarter cup more chocolate chips, and I didn’t regret it. I can’t remember exactly how many Oreos I used, but make sure you have a cup once they’re crushed, not a cup before crushing. And it definitely took more like an hour to set up, but it was so worth the wait. The first and edge pieces are a bit tough to get out, so I suggest using a casserole dish if you have one like I did, rather than a metal baking pan, which won’t scratch as easily. 
February 20, 2012

Spinach salad on garlic croutons (+steak!)

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4-6

  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 slices crusty peasant bread
  • 2 large cloves garlic, halved
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 pound thick cut pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick or quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Marsala or dry sherry
  • 1/2 pound farm spinach – available bundled in produce department, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the eggs in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and let stand 10 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water, crack and return to cold water for a few minutes to loosen shells. Chop the eggs and set aside.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven and rub with the garlic. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the cheese, then return to the oven to melt the cheese, about 1 to 2 minutes.

While bread toasts, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, a couple of turns of the pan. Add the pancetta and crisp for about 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and deglaze the pan with Marsala or dry sherry.

While mushrooms cook, combine spinach with red onions and dress with juice of 1 lemon, a liberal drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and nutmeg.

Arrange the toasts on a platter and top with the mushrooms and spinach. Garnish with chopped eggs and serve.

*Chef’s note: This was the best salad everrrr. YUM. O. We topped this with grilled flank steak that had been marinated for a few hours in olive oil, garlic, honey, soy sauce and a dash of red wine vinegar. Perfect addition for a complete meal.

February 20, 2012

Pesto presto chicken

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 8-10 leaves basil, about a half a cup
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, a handful
  • 1 5.4 ounce round of Boursin garlic and herb soft cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 slices 1/2 inch thick of vine ripe tomato, 3 medium tomatoes

Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a small pan over medium heat lightly toast the nuts then cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, Boursin cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (about a handful), some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve.

Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap over to enclose the cheese mixture.

Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and shingle 3 slices of tomato over each breast. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful).

Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

*Chef’s note: I made this without the basil (whoops!), and it was still very tasty! (And, boy, is that Boursin good plain on a cracker!) I’m not usually a fan of stuffed dishes, but this wasn’t over-the-top rich. Just be sure to season it well.

February 20, 2012

Chicken and waffle Monte Cristos with rosemary-maple gravy

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon or sliced pancetta
  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups multi-grain pancake mix (recommended: Highland Sugarworks)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • A generous handful grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Arrange the bacon on a slotted pan or on a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet. Bake the bacon or pancetta until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast horizontally to make 2 small cutlets from each piece. Pound the cutlets very thin and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat the waffle iron.

Melt a couple of tablespoons butter in small dish in the microwave. Combine the pancake mix, egg, milk, vegetable oil, nutmeg, cheese, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Brush the waffle iron with melted butter and fill it with half of the batter, to make 4 square waffles.

While the waffle cooks, heat a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat and add the chicken cutlets. Saute, 4 cutlets at a time, until cooked through, a couple of minutes on each side.

When the cutlets are all cooked, add a couple tablespoons butter to pan. When the butter has melted, stir in the rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour, stir for 1 more minute, then whisk in the stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then add the syrup. Reduce heat to low.

Make second set of 4 waffles, while keeping the first set warm in oven with the bacon.

To serve, cut the waffles into 8 squares. Arrange a chicken cutlet on each waffle and top with a couple of slices of bacon or pancetta. Add a second cutlet on the bacon and cover with another waffle. Cut the chicken and bacon wafflewich from corner to corner and serve with gravy poured over the top or in individual ramekins for dipping.

*Chef’s note: Yeah, this was good. The only thing I would change from the recipe would be to use a tad less maple syrup; it was almost too sweet for me. The bacon took longer than 20 minutes, but it was the best bacon I’ve ever had! And the waffles should be crispy; the waffle iron I used produced a soft waffle, which was tasty but the texture was off for this dish. And this also produced only 6 waffles for me, but that was plenty of food. I used a fork and knife as opposed to eating it like a giant sandwich. Yum!