Black Bean Ravioli

First and foremost,I have to thank one of my dearest and oldest friends, Ms Rebecaa Barnett-Miller. She so graciously gave to me a virtually unused,unwanted hand crank pasta maker. Forged in Torino,Italy, it is by far one of my favorite kitchen toys.So this recipe is dedicated to you my dear. Guess i have to have you over for dinner, so you can taste the fruits of the labor you gave me. ( you know what i mean.). I received this culinary jewel back in the summer. I could have just as easily made a simple papadelle or spaghetti in a red sauce. No. I knew whatever i made, had to be memorable. In a scavenger hunt of the cupboards, i had to find the perfect stuff. Yes, stuff,. My mind was in overdrive with what to make. Pasta…pasta dough…potstickers..lasagna with exotic ingredients. The possibilities were limitless. My hand went to a can of black beans. In a revelation, my mind went to Italian/Southwestern. Black Bean Ravioli. So i mixed my dough, made my filling, and made my ravioli. It turned out good, or as my mother would say,” it’ll pass in the crowd with a shove.” I needed it to be amazing. Folks, i think i may have it. Key word being ‘may’.

For the Dough:

To make the pasta dough: In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to mix. Pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to mix until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough is too dry drizzle  in a bit of water, if it is too wet sprinkle in some more flour. Dust some flour on a work surface, knead and fold the dough until it is elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface of the dough with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.To make the dough by hand: Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface, shape into a mound, and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall and mix it with the beaten eggs. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a smooth dough. Dust some flour on the work surface; knead and fold the dough until it is elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface of the dough with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

For the mixture:

I can Black beans ( drained and rinsed)

2 cloves garlic ,minced

1/4 of  a lg red onion

heaping teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

heaping tablespoon of sour cream

teaspoon of tomato paste

teaspoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flake

1/4 teaspoon of salt



To roll out the dough: Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the piece you are not using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine set at the widest setting 2 or 3 times. Guide the dough with your hand as it emerges from the rollers to prevent it from puncturing or stretching. Dust the sheets with extra flour whenever the dough gets sticky. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again 2 or 3 times. Continue reducing the setting and rolling until the machine is at its narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick for ravioli. Roll out the other half. Add a teaspoon of the mixture to the middle of every 3- 3 1/2 inches of dough. taking your second rolled out piece, gently place it over the other pice with the mixture. Push out any air bubbles from around the covered mixture. You can use a biscuit cutter to form a circular ravioli, crimping the edges with a fork, to ensue an airtight seal. I had purchased a  ravioli stamp cutter, to form my ravioli. A glass will work as well…just remember to crimp those edges! Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!!!



  • roadkill

Why yes, it does look like a trail of cat sick. The looks are deceiving. One would hope that  remark be true when being served this dish. Now, the actual name of this dish has long since been lost. This recipe was given to me by my mother, and a favorite of my brothers and I when we were young. The story behind  the name of this dish started with my mother. It couldn’t have been easy for my mother raising 3 boys.Three continuesly hungry ,parasitic ,ravenous terrors. ( myself excluded of course~*angel*). Constantly and seemingly annoying to my mother always asking,”what’s for dinner?”,”what are we having?”. One  evening while making dinner(this dish in fact and for the first time i believe), we asked the question, and my mom’s response was,”it’s roadkill.” Being boys we were immediately intrigued by , not only the name, but this almost vile looking slop. We of course loved it and this dish has retained its namesake since then amongst our family. I have taken some, lets say ‘artistic’ liberties in really matching the name of the dish to visual carnage on the plate. It is comfort dish.I love having this in the winter months. Warm and filling, this dish delivers on simple flavors and visual whimsy(?)

Serves 6-8

2 packages of store-bought crescent rolls.( follow directions on package)

1 tablespoon butter

2 lbs of Ground Beef

1 can Cream of Mushroom

1 cup of milk (2% )

1 cup of onion, diced

1-8oz package of Cream Cheese( room temperature!!)

1 cup of Baby Portobello,sliced

1 cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste.

Pre-Heat your oven to 350

Grease a deep dish 9×14 casserole dish, set aside.

In a large saucepan, on med heat, melt your butter and add your onions. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Constantly stirring, add your minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.Once the onions and garlic have started to sweat, add your ground beef.Once the beef is almost browned throughout, add your cream cheese. Stir and work the cheese into the meat until no lumps or clumps are visible. Now add the rest of your ingredients. Stir to incorporate and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cut the heat and transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish. Cook for one hour at 350.

I usually cook the crescent rolls ahead of time.They can be made afterwards, which may be even more ideal since this dish will be a bubbling cauldron. My mother served this with simple biscuits. I of course, in my sick, somewhat twisted way thought i could bump it up a notch. I thought why not use crescent rolls and arrange them on the plate amidst the hot steaming dish. Give it a,” is that hoof sticking out?’ appeal. Really drives home the name of the dish. You yourself can add things to this dish.Like it spicy? Add a teaspoon of cayenne.You can also add some parsley for a hit of freshness. Just give it a try. Its simple.Its filling. Its delicious.

Random thought

I’ve been sitting here thinking about about soup. While it is a sad and boring admition on part, i prosed myself the question,” what is/was the best soup you’ve ever had?” The thoughts of cooler temps and crisp fall days make me long to make some soul soothing soup. While it isnt quite fall yet, and temperatures havent reached ideal conditions to crank out a giant vat of soup…..yet.

I thought of this wonderful restaurant i went to in Rehobeth Delaware. La la Land. Sadly, it is now defunked and is only a shell of a building. Details on the demise is still unclear. This was the restaurant where i had the best soup. Now, i like lobster. Im not a lobster fanatic and praise it above all other seafood. I can take it or leave it. But the what this bisque was infused with caught my attention and made me have to try it. It was Lobster Bisque infused with saffron and vanilla. The vanilla especially had peaked my interest. I never had really experiences vanilla in a savory dish. It was fantastic. The hint of vanilla that was added just caught my taste buds on the finish.I seriously had a moment. I wanted to devour this soup as fast as i could, yet spoon it slowly towards my mouth, to let the smell slowly waft up like some gastronomic foreplay. I nearly cancelled my entrée to order another giant bowl. This is a soup i would like to earmark and try to re-create. Lobster is expensive so i will have to save my pennies.

I did pick up a wonderful cookbook. All soups and stews. So with this new rekindled love for soup and cooler temps on the horizon. i truly hope to cook and keep up with my blog. Even if its just random thoughts like this. I need to write more.


Didier’s Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo…..if ever you hear the Culture Club‘s song, ‘ I tumble for ya’, just change it up to Arroz con Pollo! A former spanish co-worker did that to me. Whenever i hear that song, i now, think and sing, Arroz con Pollo. This was one of the first dishes my late husband first cooked for me. So, it will always be a delicious dish near and dear to my heart.


5 lg. chicken thighs

1/2 lg Vidalia onion,sliced

7 cloves of garlic

4 pkgs of Sazon

14.5 oz can of chicken broth

2 cups of rice

3 med. potatoes, cubed

2 carrots,cubed

1/2 cup of peas

2 heaping tablespoons of sofrito

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno

1/4 cup sm olives halved ( cocktail olives with pimento)

lg. bunch of cilantro

1 tbsp cumin

salt and pepper to desired taste

So, take you chicken thighs and sprinkle on 2 packets worth of Sazon.Let them hang out for at least an hour. In the meantime, get your potatoes,carrots diced. Also get all your garlic minced. Take out your chicken thighs from the fridge and let them come to room temperature . Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. On Medium/high heat,quickly sear your chicken thighs.Sear them skin side down first. Let them sear for a bout 4 minutes. Then turn them and throw in your  sliced onion.With your cooking spoon or tongs, gently try to work the onion down to lap up some of the rendered chicken skin fat and sazon flavor. Let that cook for a few minutes. Just til the onions start to give a little bit and sweat. Now add your , what seems like a lot, of garlic. Let that hang out for a minute.

Now add you chicken broth, cumin,  and half tsp of salt and pepper. ( seems like a lot of salt, but your building flavor here people!) Now take a handful of ripped fresh cilantro and sprinkle a top the chicken, and throw on the lid. let this cook on a medium heat for about 25 minutes.

Now that the lid is clamped, and the chicken is cooking. Get a medium size pot with 2 1/2 cups water ( with a tsp of salt added) Now this recipe i used sushi rice, so follow directions of whatever rice you do cook with. Add 2 packets of sazon to the lightly salted water. Add 2 cups of sushi rice. Bring to a hard boil, reduce your heat to low and cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes.  15 minutes into everything cooking, add your diced potatoes and carrots to the chicken pot. By the time your rice is finished cooking, so is your chicken. Remove your chicken to a platter and proceed with 2 forks, to shred the all the chicken. Toss them bones, or save them to make stock. So now, to the pan with the potatoes and carrots, add your frozen peas( or can of peas) and 2 heaping tablespoons of sofrito. Turn your burner up to high. you want to mix and reduce this, just by a little bit.its all about concentrated flavors. So after about 5 minutes, return you P,C, and P’s to the liquid along with the shredded chicken. Lightly season again with a small amount of salt. I can’t stress enough to taste your food as you cook to adjust seasonings!!! Add your jalapeno and olives along with the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly and gently. Serve in a bowl with some fresh cilantro and a glass of wine.


I didn’t even look at how long this,call it hiatus, has lasted. I do know its been over a year. ‘Bad blogger…bad,bad blogger!!!’ It’s been a very busy hiatus. Yet I never found the motivation to cook and blog, or simply just to lay things down,pen to page as it were. i haven’t stop cooking. I just lost inspiration for a while.  I hope to keep this up and blog at least once a week, and not let another year go by. So my inspiration came from two people today. I was watching Ingrid Hoffman of Cooking Channels Simply Deliciouso. She was making Arroz con Pollo. That triggered memories of my late husband making me Arroz con Pollo. He was from Panama, and the recipe had been pasted down from his Grandmother. No other compared. Im not being biased, but all others were always were under seasoned,or didn’t ( okay I am biased) taste like his. So today I return from hiatus making Didier’s Arroz con Pollo.

Mandros Imported Foods

This is by far ,one of my guilty pleasures,shopping in downtown. This tiny little store( located in a house,converted to a store front) has just about the best selection of Mediterranean foods and specialty items. Down the first isle on your right is everything from marinara sauces to a vast selection of olive oil and balsamic vinegar( including flavored  varieties)on your left are the freezer,where you can find frozen pitas,gyro meat and,frozen  grape leaves.,.In the back of the store,is where i get shakey and excited. CHEESE!!!!! A huge display case of cheese!!!! This store is also where alot of local chefs come to get their artisan cheeses for there restaurant. So many choices,so many brands to name. Pastas,canned peppers,olives,( they also have fresh olive back with the cheese),condiments, such as middle eastern chutneys,to Chinese Kim Chi and a variety of hot sauces, salsa, and spices.Im telling ya …they a lil bit of everything jam packed into this super tiny store. Near the register,along the wall,are where the desserts and snacks are. At the check out,usually Ya-Ya is working. (She is the owners mother i believe,a tiny Greek woman who is a year older than God) She will happily ring you up and box your items.( one time i took my own cloth bags to carry my groceries in,so as she was ringing me out i was placing the items in my bag…she stopped in mid ring to stop me…she shook her finger at me,and started pulling everything out of the bag.In a thick Greek accent she said, “you no do right…..i do for you…you watch”) Hysterical!!! Its sooo hard ,i know for me it is ,not to spend a hundred dollars in there at a time.What a great store!! Cant say enough good things about this place…Go check it out if you haven’t already

In The Works

My fellow blogger and dear friend,TheGastronomicGoddess ,and I are in the works of joining forces. Our first mission….Fleur De Sal Caramels!!! Now with scheduling and everything,it may take some time for our creation to materialize, but all 3 of subscribers will be the first to know. (LOL) until then,happy cooking!

Pistachio Cream Cheese Cookies

  • Pistachios are probably my favorite nut. I’ve seen pistachio cookies in bakery windows before. Why I never tasted one is beyond me. This recipe highlights how well this nut can join the popular ranks of its brethren. Light and cakey, creamy and fluffy. Pistachios cookies deserve the red carpet.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces of pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Shell 3 ounces of pistachios and run then through the food processor with a teaspoon of sugar.Combine the flour, pistachios, baking powder, and salt( if the pistachios are already salted then omit the pinch of salt); stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and refrigerate for at least one hour for easier handling.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into round balls  then slightly press them down. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set and very lightly browned on bottoms. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Colcannon Balls

Colcannon For my balls (insert giggle), I used standard bacon instead of ham. Let this mixture cool. Form into small meatball size bites. Return to the fridge to chill and set up. Now get out your flour, egg mixture and panko bread crumbs. First flour them, dip them into your egg and then roll in the panko. Return them to the fridge to set up until you’re ready to fry them. Once you fry them for about 2 minutes, salt them immediately after you remove them from the oil. Crisp and delicious! Just click on Irish Colcannon in red and it will whisk you away to the video of how to make the Colcannon!

Leek and Potato Soup

Can you believe this was the first year I didn’t go out on St Patrick’s Day! ( ok, i did go out for one or three beers after work…..the bar was giving  out free thick cut bacon….how could i refuse that??) Fear not. I did in fact celebrate my irish progeny with a Post St Patrick’s Day Feast. Friends and Family shared in a  large buffet table full of warm irish comfort food.

Potato and Leek soup. Rich and creamy,velvety and smooth. This soup is proof that one only need a couple of ingredients to make something fantastic, more importantly simple.

Get Ready:

Serves 4-6

* 4 tablespoons un-salted butter

* 1 medium onion,chopped

* 3 leeks, sliced,rinsed

* 6 Medium red potatoes

* 3 1/2 cups veggie stock

* salt & pepper

* 4 gloves of garlic

* 1/2 cup heavy cream

* chives for garnish

* teaspoon of white truffle oil (optional)

* fresh thyme sprigs

Get Set:

I find the best way to prepare for this dish is to steam the potatoes. When you steam them, they retain so much more flavor.  More importantly,their nutritional value. In this soup,its important to retain as much flavor as possible, because it’s has to compete with leeks. Granted,leeks have a mild onion flavor,but it’s still in the onion family. And that family can be loud in flavor,obnoxious….and make you cry( LOL).So instead of the traditional boiling method,steam them.About 30 minutes is all it will take.

In a stock pot,melt your butter. Mince your  garlic, slice you leeks and chop your onion, and toss them in your pot once the butter has melted. Gently saute them on medium heat.Only start this process once your potatoes are cooked.After 5 minutes of the mixture sautéing,( if you want a hardy,woodsy flavor this where you would add the truffle oil) add in your potatoes. Give a really good pinch of salt and pepper. You can break up the potatoes in the pot with a big spoon while you’re incorporating the potatoes with the garlic,leeks and onion.Pour in your veggie stock. Crank up th heat to high until it boils.Then reduce the heat and cover and let simmer for 15 minutes with 3 sprigs of thyme,remove before food processor. Now carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, return to pot.

In a little pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic and gently saute them on low heat, until the cloves are soft and have a golden brown color. remove from heat and let cool. with a fork, remove the cloves and smash on your cutting board.Take that garlic paste and add it to the heavy cream.Put into squeezable container. This roasted garlic cream is a perfect accompaniment to the Leek and Potato soup. Hope you enjoy this as much as i did!!! Happy Eating!