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Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

 

Ingredients

2 cups ricotta cheese (I like Bellwether Farms Sheep’s Milk Ricotta)

2 large egg yolks

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 cup diced shallot

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups sliced Shiitake mushrooms

1 cup (or more) fresh or frozen peas

½ cup mascarpone cheese

½ cup vegetable stock

extra-virgin olive oil

Shaved Parmesan cheese & arugula for garnish

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Line another baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Stir ricotta, egg yolks, flour, basil, pepper and salt together in a medium bowl until combined. Form the mixture into about 20 oblong dumplings using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each. Place them on the floured pan.  (Hint - use 2 spoons to form your dumplings into ovals. Scoop one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture from one spoon onto the other, until you end up with a smooth football-shaped dumpling.)
  • Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they begin to float, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel-lined pan.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in large nonstick pan.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until water is released and they are slightly browned – about 6 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Heat another tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the dumplings and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and dumplings.
  • Add shallot and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peas, vegetable stock and marscapone. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved, cooked mushrooms and stir to combine.  Serve the dumplings with the sauce, garnished with Parmesan, arugula and more basil, if desired.
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    Serves Four

     

     

     

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    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    INGREDIENTS

    • 900g lean stewing beef
    • 3 tablespoons oil or dripping
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne
    • 2 large onions (about 285g), coarsely chopped
    • 1 large garlic clove, crushed (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato purée, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water or 1 tbsp of Tomato Paste
    • 300ml (½ pint) Guinness
    • 225g carrots, cut into chunks
    • Sprig of thyme
    • Chopped parsley for garnish

    PREPARATION

    1. Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, cut into cubes of 5cm and toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. Toss the meat in this mixture.

      Heat the remaining oil or dripping in a wide frying pan over a high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, crushed garlic (if using) and tomato purée to the pan, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

      Transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole, and pour some of the Guinness into the frying pan. Bring to the boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the pan. Pour on to the meat with the remaining Guinness; add the carrots and the thyme. Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary.

      Cover with the lid of the casserole and simmer very gently until the meat is tender - 2 to 3 hours. The stew may be cooked on top of the stove or in a low oven at 150C/gas mark 2. Taste and correct the seasoning.

      Scatter with lots of chopped parsley and serve with champ, colcannon or plain boiled potatoes.

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    Thanks for all the LOVE

    Thanks for all the LOVE

    Walt and I really didn’t want our third blog post to be about the terrible wildfires we’ve had here in beautiful wine country since Sunday night, October 8th but we’ve had so many of you asking after us and our area that it seemed the best way to share news.

    First of all let us say that because of amazing firefighters we are all safe and miraculously have not had to evacuate from Windsor. Earlier in the week it was incredibly scary and it was hard to focus on anything other than safety and survival. When the fire near us started on Sunday night it was moving incredibly fast, fueled by a perfect storm with 50+mph winds. There was also low humidity and very dry brush, conditions ideal for massive destruction. At one stage the fire was moving 100 yards every 3 seconds.

    By the middle of early Monday morning we were all watching the news around the clock trying to make the right decisions for our families. By Monday night we learned family members and dear friends had lost their homes - thousands had been displaced and Santa Rosa, the town three miles to the south of us, looked like a nuclear wasteland in parts. Latest reports say that 2800+ homes and 4,400 commercial spaces have been destroyed and reduced to ash just in Santa Rosa!

    Photo Credit: Christopher Chung, Press Democrat

    Video of devastation

    The town of Windsor has been very smoky and we’ve been without gas, Wi-Fi and hot water at home for most of the week but that is minor compared to what our neighbors have suffered.

    On the plus side our kids have been off school and eager to help us at CapaBunga during one of our busiest times of year. Reinforcements have swarmed into the area and we now have 8000 firefighters fighting 200,000 acres of fire in California. We have 747s dropping fire retardant and the winds have died down. The fire closest to us is 35K acres wide but is now 20% contained, that’s up from 10% yesterday. We still have 10+ fires in Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties but we're very hopeful they will be under control soon.

    Our hearts go out to all those who have lost family members, homes or suffered because of these fires. It will take a long time to rebuild and restore this beautiful place to its former glory. Demand will be high for temporary homes and for builders. In the meantime we hope you’ll buy wine from our region and support those businesses that have been affected. If you would like to donate we’d recommend any of the following

    Redwood Credit Union

    Redwood Empire Food Bank

    Sonoma Humane Society

    Thanks so much for all your offers of help - it means a lot! 

    Máire, Walt, Elizabeth, Lynette and Tracy

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    One if by land, two if by sea, three if it makes a four course meal

    One if by land, two if by sea, three if it makes a four course meal

    Living in Wine Country has its positives and negatives. The weather is great, the landscape is beautiful, the wines are delicious and the food is world class. There are beautiful parks, miles of trails to hike, redwoods to gaze and lovely rivers and streams. You can forage for mushrooms in the winter, tend your garden in the spring, bask in the warm days and cool nights of summer, and harvest a bounty of produce in the fall.

    On the positive side, the beautiful Pacific Ocean is just a short ride away, with its rumbling surf tumbling over Dungeness crabs and abalone. Okay, so maybe there aren’t any negatives, but how would you know if you’ve never had the chance to visit or somebody to let you know. That’s where we can help.

    Máire and I have had the good fortune to live in Sonoma County for 20+ years, and the greater fortune to travel the world and experience new sights, sounds and flavors. Putting that all together into our daily lives is an amazing opportunity that we’d like to share with you. Follow us as we trudge through our days full of work and play, layered liberally with transporting our daughter to her long calendar of activities. We’ll stop along the way to cook, eat, drink and enjoy the surroundings and document it for your pleasure. It may be a delicious meal, a great wine bargain, a fun new recipe or just a beautiful sunset. We hope you enjoy it!

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