Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Agave Uptown


Photo May 16, 6 46 13 PM

Photo May 16, 6 46 48 PM

 

2135 Franklin St. Oakland, CA. 94612  www.agaveuptown.com.  Upscale Oaxacan- Californian cuisine offered in a chic cozy space with culturally inspired accents.

Melissa stopped in for chips and salsa paired with a tasty margarita. She sent me these pictures so I could share them with you. If you’re in the Bay Area, and want to check out where the locals frequent, for great Mexican fare, this is a must stop.

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Cheese Ravioli Lasagna With A Tomato Basil Meat Sauce


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Cheese Ravioli Lasagna

Cheese Ravioli Lasagna (2)Check out this classic dish with a slightly new twist.

Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Is it crazy to imagine taking a classic dish like lasagna shaking it up a bit. What about taking some help from your local grocery store.  A great start is buy purchasing a really good jarred sauce and making it taste as if you made it from scratch.  Using a pot that requires no oil, a very lean ground sirloin, for a deep savory flavor, a little unsalted beef broth, and fresh basil leaves. This sauce will taste likes its been simmering on the stove all day.

The other ingredient I’m going to be using for this dish is a good quality store-bought cheese ravioli. They’re found in the freezer section of the grocery store. My favorite are the mini cheese raviolis. Those are the ones I’m using for this recipe.

What’s great about this recipe is you can prepare everything in advance.  All you need to do is to prepare the sauce and cheese ravioli.  Layer all the ingredients in the baking dish. Spray off the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before tightly wrapping the baking dish. That will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil in the baking process. Once the dish is at room temperature, place the whole covered dish in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake and serve. I recommend baking it off no later than one to two days. The baking time will vary ( may take 45-50 minutes or until golden and bubbly) if it’s been previously refrigerated.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m utilizing each one of my fresh herbs, from my garden, and incorporating them into different dishes. I’m highlighting sweet basil in my Cheese Ravioli Lasagna With A Tomato Basil Meat sauce.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1- 8 x 11 baking dish

Ingredients:
Note: this square copper pot requires no oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil (depending on the type of sauce pot)
1 pound lean ground sirloin
2-24 ounce jars- tomato basil Marinara variety
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of unsalted beef broth
2- 1 pound 6 ounce packages of frozen mini cheese ravioli
1 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2cup of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated Parmesan is fine)

Directions:
If you have a pot (like the one in the above pictures) that doesn’t require the use of any oil, add in the ground sirloin. Turn the stove to med-high heat. Add Kosher salt and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the ground meat and cook until completely brown, about 10 minutes.

Next, add in the beef broth and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add in the two jars of tomato basil sauce. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and add in 1 cup of fresh basil leaves and stir through.

While the sauce is simmering have a large pot of boiling salted water ready. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Let cook just under the required time on the package, about 5 minutes. They will continue their cooking during the baking process. Rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process, then drain well.

Start by layering with the tomato basil sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, place the mini ravioli in the dish covering all of the sauce. Then add the 1 package of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmigiano- Reggiano covering all the ravioli. Sprinkle the top of the ravioli with 1/2 of the finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley. Again with another layer of the tomato basil sauce. Repeating this process one more time. You want to have it so that the shredded Mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano end up on top. Finally sprinkle the rest of the finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley over the cheese. The 8 x 11 baking dish will finish with two full layers of the ravioli.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the underside or dull side of the foil with non- stick cooking spray and cover the dish tightly. This will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil. Place the baking dish on top of a sheet pan. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10 or until the top is golden brown.

Let the baking dish rest for at least 15 minutes to set, before cutting.  Serve with fresh basil leaves.

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Sharetheexceptional.com- Coeur a la Creme!


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Photo May 27, 5 28 33 PM

 

Photo May 27, 3 52 40 PM (1)

Photo May 27, 5 27 47 PM

Photo May 27, 3 52 22 PM

 

Photo May 27, 3 51 46 PMThermador are one of the great makers of kitchen appliances. They are always showcased in a subscription I receive called,  Traditional Home. Inside the magazine was an article, Moments Worth Sharing.

Live, Cook, Share,  was printed along with this website, sharetheexceptional.com.  I went to the site and it asked, “to upload a photo or share your story and you could be featured in our next campaign.”

I found a favorite photo of my Coeur a la Creme With A Fresh Blueberry Sauce garnished with a sprig of mint.  French style cheese cake is how I describe this dessert.  It’s like a taste of heaven with its light and creamy texture. Family and friends are always astonished by its beauty and elegance.

I went to the site and uploaded the picture. Today I received an e-mail from sharetheexceptional.com. The picture of my Coeur a la Creme above was featured on their site. What a great feeling!!!

From what I understand, my photo has been picked among others to be posted in their gallery. Next, I believe, will be the one or ones that will be in an article. My fingers are crossed!

 

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Slow Cooked Pulled Pork On A Freshly Baked Ciabatta Roll


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Photo Mar 31, 7 00 52 PM

Having worked in the barbecue industry for over 30 years, I’m from the school of thought that believes slaw should go on your pulled pork sandwich. It just adds another layer of flavor and crunch.  I made a Fennel slaw for this dish. If you’d like my recipe for Fennel slaw, just go to the “menu”, category “salad dishes”, at the top right hand side of my home page.

Photo Mar 31, 11 03 20 AM

Photo Mar 31, 7 50 46 AM.jpg

I’ve made Chipotle- Coke pulled pork in the crock pot, and it’s super delicious and really easy. For that recipe, just click on the “slow cooker dishes” and scroll through, or just type it in the search bar at the top right of my home page. This time I’m using my Dutch oven to cook my bone-in pork shoulder or better know as a pork butt.

This time, I’m making a really easy wet rub that can be done in the food processor. I like this method because, you can make the wet rub in advance. I’ll explain.

Photo Mar 30, 8 21 22 PM

Photo Mar 31, 7 50 46 AM (1)

Photo Mar 31, 7 01 46 PM

Equipment: Dutch Oven, Food Processor

Ingredients For Wet Rub:
1 large onion quartered
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of Champayne wine vinegar (white vinegar is fine)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons  ground cumin
1 tablespoons ground mustard
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons of onion powder
2 seeded Chipotle peppers
2 teaspoons of the Adobo sauce from the can of Chipotle peppers
1/4 cup water

Ingredients:
4 -5 pound ( covered in the wet rub) bone-in Pork shoulder
2 large onions quartered
1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

Directions For Rub:
Place all of the above ingredients into a food processor. Process until all the ingredients are combined. Place the pork butt ( pork shoulder) on a sheet pan and massage the wet rub all over the pork. Even in all of its crevices.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Directions For Braising Pork:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the quartered onions in the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Place the pork butt, fat side up, resting on top of the onions, and pour in the chicken broth. Place the lid on and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for approximately 4 to 4-1/2 hours, or until pork is tender.  When you remove the pork from the pot, the meat should want to fall apart and away from the bone.

Place the pork onto a sheet pan. Turn the stove on, med-high heat, and reduce the liquid in the pot by half. This should take about 10 minutes. While the liquid is reducing, remove the bone and the fat cap. Use two forks to shred the pork.  Once all the pork is shredded and the liquid has reduced, add the pork back into the pot. Turn the pot down to the lowest setting to keep warm until ready to serve.

I serve the pork on buttered and grilled Ciabatta rolls top with my fennel slaw and sliced bread and butter pickles.

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