Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Orleans Style Muffuletta

The muffuletta is an Italian influenced sandwich that originated in the New Orleans French Quarter. I have had a serious hankering for some good ol' Louisana style cuisine and this dish just hit the spot. The best thing about this sandwich is that the longer it sits and marinates the better it tastes. I highly suggest making this sandwich on Sunday and take it to work for lunch for a few so you can tastes the flavors enhancing. 
 In this specific recipe I used a special ingredient, wild boar salami. I bought this as well as the genoa salami and ham at Overland Meat Co, South Lake Tahoe's local butcher. The wild boar salami came highly suggested from the owner himself so I knew it had to be tasty and it was! Wild boar salami made a perfect addition to the muffuletta giving it just a little more excitement.  If you don't have access to wild boar salami you can really use any kind of cured meats that you enjoy like capicola, soppresseta or prosciutto. 

Now for my other favorite part of the muffuletta... the bread. I had some extra time on my hands so I decided to make a muffuletta loaf from scratch. The muffuletta bread recipe is quite easy and posted below for my fellow bread makers. If you don't have the time or love for baking bread a good piece of focaccia from your local bakery will do just the trick.

Olive Salad
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup green olives with pimentos
1 tbs capers
1 16oz jar of Giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, celery, onions +
1/4 cup fresh parsley
pinch of oregano 
2 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs olive oil

Finely chop all above ingredients then toss in oil and lemon juice. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Sandwich Fixins
 1/4 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/4 lb smoked ham
1/4 lb genoa salami
1/4 lb wild boar salami (use your preference here)
1/4 lb mortadella
1/4 lb slices of provolone 

Split your loaf of bread horizontally. Place half of the olive salad on the bottom piece of bread. Next layer the cheese and meats in order above. Top the last layer with the rest of the olive salad and carefully press the top of the sandwich back on.

At this point you can leave the round whole, wrap and refrigerate for until ready to serve or cut the sandwich into 6 rounds and wrap individually and refrigerate. You should let the sandwich ready for at least a few hours or overnight to let the flavors build. 

3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup luke warm water
3 tsp instant yeast
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup sesame seeds

Place the sugar and yeast into the warm water and let it sit until it becomes bubbly. Make sure the water is not too hot. Meanwhile place the bread flour and salt into a stand mixer or a bowl. Once the yeast is bubbly slowly pour it into the flour along with the oil. Stir the mixture with the paddle attachment on your mixer or a fork until smooth and not too sticky. Remove from the bowl and knead for 5 minutes. Place the ball into a lightly oiled bowl cover with plastic wrap and a towel (make sure it's air tight). Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the dough form the bowl and punch the air out and form into an oval. Lightly brush the round with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, lightly pressing them into the dough. Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes. Place in the oven on the top rack and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and cook for 15 minutes longer. The loaf will sound hollow when tapped. 

Let the loaf rest for at least 12 hours before cutting for snadwich. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chestnut & Ricotta Ravioli

Chestnuts are such a yummy seasonal treat. These nuts are very popular all over Italy but in the US you start seeing them every where right around Christmastime. I got lucky and found chestnut puree which saved a few steps in the cooking process. If you can't find puree boiled chestnuts instead. 
There is some really good flavor in this dish and enough to please anyone at your table. If you can find chestnuts this time of the year I highly suggest trying this recipe out, you will love it! 

For the Ravioli
1 1/2 cups 00 flour or white flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 cup water

Place the flour and salt into a mound on a smooth floured surface; create a well in the middle. Crack the egg into the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually pulling in the flour from the sides in a circular motion until you can't use the fork. At this point start kneading the dough with your hands and continue for 5-8 minutes. If the dough is sticky add in a little flour at a time until you have an elastic ball. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

For the filling
1 cup of pureed chestnuts
1/3 cup ricotta 
1/2 small onion, diced finely
1 small red apple, peeled and diced finely
4 tbs chopped parsley 
salt & pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.          

Once the pasta has set for 30 minutes split the ball into two pieces and run it through a pasta press until you get to the 2nd or 3rd thinnest setting. Place the pasta sheets down on a floured surface. Place filling along one side of the pasta, use your finger to trace around the filling then fold over. 

Use your fingers to press our air from each dollop of filling. Once the air is out and you have use a pasta cutter to cut out the ravioli into squares. Place cut ravioli onto a floured pan or tray then dust with flour so they don't stick together.
Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. While the water is boiling make the sauce by placing the following ingredients in a pan and heat until butter melts and the sage becomes fragrant.

For the Sauce
4 tbs butter
10 sage leaves 
pinch of salt

Place the pasta into the boiling water, it is ready when it floats. Remove the pasta with a strainer and place into the pan of butter and sage. Serve warm on a plate and garnish with Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and a boiled chestnuts. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Carrot Curry with Veggies

This is a great twist to one of my favorite recipes. Carrot Curry Soup with Chickpeas. I have been playing around with my carrot curry recipe and have come up with some fun variations. Last time I made the soup I pureed it then pressed it through a sieve making it super thin and left out the chickpeas making a yummy thin soup. This time I decided to make a thicker curry dish loaded with fixins and it turned out to be amazing! 

Makes 6 servings

10 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 small onion

2 garlic cloves
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp chopped basil
3 tbs curry powder
1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cardamom
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbs red chili paste
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 small yukon potatoes, cut into cubes
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted 
8 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes

2-4 cups of rice, cooked

Stove Top
Place the coconut oil in a large pot and heat on medium/low. Once the coconut oil is melted add in the garlic, onions and carrots, saute for 5 minutes. Next add in the basil, curry powder cardamom and coriander and cook for another minute.

Pour the vegetable broth in the pot and bring to medium/high heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. Once the carrots are soft pour in the coconut milk and use an immersion blender* to puree the curry. Add in the potatoes and chickpeas, cook on medium high temp until potatoes are soft. While the potatoes are cooking make the rice. 

When the potatoes are starting to soften add in the peas and tofu. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm on rice. 

Place the coconut oil, vegetable broth, garlic, onions, carrot, basil, curry powder, cardamom, coriander and chili paste. Cook on low for 6 hours.
Use an immersion blender to puree the curry. Taste for flavor and add seasoning as you'd like. At his time add in the potatoes and chickpeas, cook on high for 1-2 hours.  

10-15 minutes before serving add in the peas and tofu. Serve warm on rice.