Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipes: Very Merry Pasta

Prep Time 30 min    Cook Time 2 min    Serves 4-6


Red Pasta Noodles
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/8 cup, 25 mL Disaronno (or other amaretto liqueur)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon crystallized ginger, crushed
10 drops red food coloring

Green Pasta Noodles
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/8 cup, 25 mL Disaronno (or other amaretto liqueur)
1/2 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (about 8 sprigs)
10 drops green food coloring

Pasta Sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup egg nog

Roma by Weston Electric Pasta Machine

Using a Pasta Machine (see below or follow the link)

Put two separate pots with 3 cups of water each on to boil.

Sift together 2 cups flour and cinnamon in one bowl (this will be your red pasta) and 2 cups flour and sage in another bowl (this will be your green pasta). Mix crushed crystallized ginger into the red bowl and thyme leaves into the green bowl. Mix in eggs and amaretto liqueur. Knead each ball of dough until uniform.

Put each ball into a separate plastic sandwich bag. Add in respective food colorings. Knead dye into each ball of dough for about 5 minutes each. The dough will not be a uniform color after this point, it should just be marbelized most of the way through.

Watch the video below for help with using an electric pasta machine:

Feed a palm-sized chunk of red dough through the pasta machine, folding it over several times. By setting four, the dough should be completely red. If not, fold it over and feed it through in setting seven a few more times, until it is completely red. This pasta recipe can be used for any type of pasta, but for this particular recipe, I use fettuccine and so I only roll the dough out to setting four.

Feed the pasta sheet through the fettuccine cutter, then hang the strands on a Roma by Weston Pasta Drying Rack. Repeat these steps for the remaining red pasta dough.

Inspect the machine for any leftover red dough. If there is any red dough left on the rollers, the green pasta will end up with red spots. Repeat the above steps for the green dough.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg nog and whipping cream over medium heat until sauce is thick.

Drop the red pasta into one pot of boiling water and the green into the other. Boiling them separately ensures that the dyes do not mix - you don't want brown pasta. Cook for two minutes, strain, and then toss with a little olive oil (to keep from sticking together; do not use the old cold water trick, it steals some of your starches from the noodles).

Toss the pasta with the cream sauce and serve.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recipes: Turkey Pot Pie

Cook Time 30 min   Serves 4-6

1 pie crust
15 Athens Mini Fillo Shells
1 lb. turkey, ground
1 cup green beans
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup hominy
1 cup pigeon peas
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 cup flour
1 can turkey broth
1/2 cup gravy
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Baking Mat
Weston Multi Chopper

Grind turkey leftovers with a Weston Meat Grinder.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie crust for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Fill the bottom of the mini fillo shells with gravy, about a quarter of the way full. Form mashed potatoes into balls and place into fillo shells. Sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese and place in the oven on a Weston Baking Mat for 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and potatoes are hot.

Chop carrots with a Weston Multi Chopper. Bring to a boil turkey broth, turkey, and vegetables. Reduce to a simmer and stir in flour until mixture is thick. Add in 1 sprig chopped parsley. Pour mixture into pie crust and top with mini fillo shells. Garnish with remaining parsley.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Smokey Chipotle Turkey Burgers

Prep Time 10 min Grill Time 10-15 min Serves 2

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup smoked cheddar, shredded
2 oz. chipotle sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup hot water
1 cube chicken bouillion
1 cup flour

2 whole wheat burger buns
2 slices tomato
2 leaves lettuce
2 red onion rings

Chipotle Mayo
1 oz chipotle sauce
2 tablespoons mayo

Food processor
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Burger Press
Weston Patty Paper

Grind turkey leftovers with a Weston Meat Grinder.

Dissolve bouillion cube in water and stir in flour. Stir mayonnaise into flour mixture. Mix together all ingredients. 

Form two balls with the meat mixture and use a Weston Burger Press to form two half pound patties. Grill 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Serve on a whole wheat bun with chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. 

Recipes: Chipotle Sauce

1 16 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon chicken base
1/4 cup grilled onion
1 1/2 cups water
1 can tomatillos
1/2 cup honey
dash cayenne pepper

Blend together ingredients in a food processor. Serve warm.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Recipes: Turkey Roll

Cook Time 15-20 min Prep Time 10 min Serves 6-8

1 lb. ground Applewood Smoked Turkey*
2 cups Apple Sausage Stuffing
2 cups Cranberry Chutney
2 Red Bartlett pears, pureed
1 cup flour
1 cup hot water
1 chicken bouillion cube

Loaf pan
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Baking Mat
Weston Food Mill

Grind a pound of your leftover turkey with a Weston Meat Grinder. Use the coarse grinding plate.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Dissolve bouillion cube in hot water, then stir in flour. Mix the flour mixture into the ground turkey.

Cube the pears and boil them until soft. Puree with a Weston Food Mill and add the pear puree to the Cranberry Chutney.

Spread the turkey on a Weston Baking Mat, patting it out to 9 by 15 inches. Spread a layer of Apple Sausage Stuffing across the turkey, then spread one cup of the Pear Cranberry Chutney over that.

Carefully roll it together and place it in a loaf pan. Spread the remaining one cup of Pear Cranberry Chutney over the roll and place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

*The Applewood Smoked Turkey should already be cooked. Raw ground turkey can be substituted in this recipe, but be sure to cook the turkey roll for 30-45 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Recipes: Applewood Smoked Turkey with Apple Sausage Stuffing

Applewood Smoked Turkey

Brine Time: 18-24 hr   Prep Time: 45 min   Smoke Time: 4 hr   Serves: 4-6

2 quarts apple juice
5 cups apple wood chips
8 lb. turkey breast
(this recipe can be done with any turkey, really, but the smoking time will change)

For the brine
1 gallon water
8 tablespoons kosher salt

Weston Propane Smoker
Weston Baking Mat

How to Use a Weston Smoker

First, brine the turkey. My rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to 2 cups of water. It took about a gallon of water to cover my turkey breast, so for this recipe, I'd say your brine should be around 16 cups of water and 8 tablespoons of kosher salt. To ensure your bird is bacteria-free, keep it in its brine for 18 to 24 hours.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Soak the apple wood chips in water for at least a half hour.

Remove the wood chip box from the smoker and fill the water bowl to the fill line with apple juice. Preheat the smoker to 240 degrees. It takes about a half hour to get it smoking properly so that you can put in your bird. 

Place the turkey breast in the oven for 30 minutes on a Weston Baking Mat. This gets the cooking process started.

Check the smoker's temperature indicator located on the front of the smoker. If it reads 240 degrees, your smoker is preheated, and you can put in the turkey. If it is not hot enough after a half hour, close the dampers more and wait for it to heat up.

Once it is heated, place the woodchips in the woodchip box and carefully place the box back into the smoker. Place the turkey on the lowest rack and tightly close the door. Check on the turkey periodically. It must be at an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees for safe consumption.

How long you smoke your turkey depends on its weight. The rule of thumb is 25-40 minutes per pound. For my 8 lb. turkey breast, I smoked it four hours.

For help with using a smoker, visit the techniques section of the Cooking with Weston Recipe Book.

Slice and serve with Apple Sausage Stuffing.

Apple Sausage Stuffing
Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Techniques: How To Use a Smoker

These tips are for Weston Gas Smokers.

Before each use, clean and inspect the hose and the connection to the LP cylinder. If there is evidence of abrasion, wear, cuts or leaks, the hose must be replaced before the Smoker is used.

How to Check for Leaks:
  • After all connections are completed, check all connections and fittings for leaks with a soap solution.
  • Open tank valve. The gas hose/regulator assembly should be totally extended to the maximum distance so that the hose is straight and the tank is as far from the smoker as it can be.
  • With all valves closed, apply the leak check solution (50/50 mix of dish washing detergent and water) to all gas carrying connections and fittings.
  • Presence of bubbles at areas of wet solution indicates a gas leak.
  • If leaks are detected or you smell or hear gas, IMMEDIATELY shut off the valve and repair the leak or replace the defective part. Do not use the smoker until all leaks are corrected!
Using the Smoker 

1. Fill the wood chip box with flavored wood chips and place the wood chip box back inside the smoker (in the bottom).

2. Slide the water bowl into the lowest rack position and fill the bowl with water or marinade up to 1 inch below the rim. A full bowl will last for approximately 2-3 hours. Do not overfill or allow water to overflow from the water bowl.

3. Insert or adjust the cooking grids (racks) into the desired rack positions. For better access to the food with tongs or spatulas, make sure the grids run from front to back.

4. Position the smoker so that the back or front of it is against the direction of the wind. If the wind blows toward either of the sides where the dampers are, it will blow the smoke right back out of the smoker.

5. You are now ready to light the burner. There are directions located on the front of the smoker. To light the burner, turn on the propane tank, turn the burner to 'High,' and turn the ignitor, clicking it several times until the burner turns on. Once it's lit, turn the burner to your desired level. The heat from the burner will allow the wood chips to burn, causing the flavoring smoke to accumulate. You do not need matches or a lighter for this step - the smoker has its own ignitor.

6. Adjust the dampers to control the heat. You will want to keep the dampers only slightly open when you are preheating the smoker. This will keep the heat in and allow the smoker to heat up more quickly. Once you put in the food, open the top more to let some of the smoke out. The top damper controls how smoky your food becomes. The side dampers control the heat.

7. Place the food on the cooking grids in a single layer with space between each piece. This will allow smoke and hot moisture to circulate evenly around all the food pieces.

8. Smoking for 2 to 3 hours at the ideal constant cooking temperature of 225°F to 250°F will get the best results. This temperature can be viewed on the heat indicator mounted on the front of the smoker. For more tender and heavily smoked meat, a lower temperature may be preferred. If time is critical, a higher temperature range is recommended.

9. Check water level periodically and add water if low. Never allow the water to completely evaporate. Check the water level at least every 2 hours or as necessary. For best results and to retain heat, avoid opening the door of the smoker while in use. When the door must be opened, only open it briefly. The smoker will quickly resume cooking temperature after the door is closed.

8. Always use a meat probe thermometer (not included) to ensure food is fully cooked before removing it from the smoker.

Additional Tips

  • When setting up the smoker and tank, it is recommended to have the tank and smoker on a line perpendicular to the wind direction.
  • LP tanks are intended for operation in the upright position only.
  • Care should be taken to protect the fuel supply hose from damage from either foot or vehicle traffic.
  • If the appliance is not in use, the gas must be turned off at the supply cylinder and the cylinder should be disconnected from the appliance.
  • Storage of the smoker indoors is only permissible if the cylinder is disconnected and removed from the smoker.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recipes: Cranberry Chutney

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Serves 6-8

1 12 oz. bag whole cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (preferrably freshly ground with a Weston Multi-Seed Grinder)
1 pinch ground cloves (preferrably freshly ground with a Weston Multi-Seed Grinder)


Heat water and sugar in a medium saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Add in cranberries, cover, and let cook until cranberries begin to pop open. In the meantime, dice the dried apricots with the Weston Multi-Chopper. Once the cranberries begin to pop open, put the cranberries and sugar water through a Weston Food Mill.

Once pureed, return to saucepan and add in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then let simmer ten minutes. Remove from heat. From here you may either serve it hot or chill it. I prefer my cranberry chutney cool.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recipes: Pumpkin Tart

Prep Time 30 minutes  Chill Time 2 hours  Serves 12

1 package Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
A quarter of a pie pumpkin
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit.

Cube a pie pumpkin. For tips on cutting a pumpkin, see the techniques section of the Cooking With Weston Recipe Book. Simmer in 1/2 stick of butter until soft. Puree pumpkin with the other half of the stick of butter and all of the spices in the Roma Sauce Maker.

Bake pie crust until fully cooked, about 12 minutes. For a recipe for homemade pie crust, visit the recipe book.
In a double boiler, melt white chocolate chips. Stir pumpkin puree into melting white chocolate. Once it is fully blended, pour into pie crust.

Chill in the refrigerator for two hours or until hardened.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recipes: Apple Sausage Stuffing

Prep Time 30 min   Cook Time 20 min   Serves 4-6

2 pounds Italian sausage
3 red delicious apples
2 small loaves focaccia bread, cubed
(about 16 cups)
3/4 cup turkey stock
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon whole cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon whole rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed
1 pinch celery seed
1/2 stick margarine

Bread Knife
Weston Baking Mat
Weston Multi-Chopper
Weston Multi-Seed Grinder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a bread knife, cube fresh loaves of focaccia bread. Spread the cubes over a Weston Baking Mat. Bake the bread for five minutes, or until toasted. You may also dry out the bread by using a Weston Dehydrator.

Core and dice the apples with a Weston Multi-Chopper. Dice the onions with the Multi-Chopper. Grind the cloves, rosemary, and fennel with a Weston Multi-Seed Grinder

Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and cook over high heat until the stock begins to boil. Remove the pot from heat and cover. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed the stock. 

Serve immediately or let cool and vacuum seal for later use.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipes: Zucchini Fries

Prep Time 5 min   Bake Time 10 min   Serves 6-8

3 zucchini
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon basil
2 eggs

Weston French Fry Cutter
Weston Baking Mat

Preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit.

Slice zucchini with Weston French Fry Cutter (leave the skin on). Place the zucchini slices into a gallon storage bag. Scramble the raw egg and pour into the bag. Shake the bag to coat the fries. Mix together the remaining ingredients, then pour into bag. Shake until fries are completedly coated.

Spread fries on a Weston Baking Mat and bake for ten minutes or until the fries are crispy.

Recipes: Sweet Potato Fries

Prep Time 30 min   Bake Time 15 min   Serves 6-8

5 sweet potatoes, cut
4 cups orange juice
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the sweet potatoes with a Weston French Fry Cutter. Soak the fries in orange juice for at least a half hour. Spread the fries over a Weston Baking Mat, brush with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until fries begin to brown. Serve fries with cinnamon cream cheese.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Recipes: Wild Blueberry Burgers

Marinade Time 6 hr   Prep Time 20 min Makes 6 half pound burgers

3 lbs venison, ground
pork fat
1 cup red wine
3 bay leaves
1 pint whole blueberries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon fennel
1 tablespoon anise
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves

Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Burger Press
Weston Patty Paper

Meat Grinding with Weston
Making Burgers with Weston
Weston Burger Press on Sportsman's Gear Daily

Grind venison with a Weston Meat Grinder.

Marinade the ground meat in red wine and bay leaves.

Mix together the remaining ingredients. Place a sheet of patty paper on the burger press. Adjust the press to 1/2" and place a ball of ground meat onto the press, and press the patty.

Once you have pressed your patties, you can either stack them and seal them with a Weston Vacuum Sealer for storage or throw them on the grill.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recipes: Sweet Bavarian Mustard

Prep Time: 49 min   Maturing Time: 6 weeks 
Makes approx. 16 oz. (1 pint Canning Jar)

Ingredients                                                 Tools
3/4 cup Whole Mustard Seeds                Weston Multi-Seed Grinder
3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar              Weston 5-Piece Canning Kit
1/2 cup Brown Sugar                         Canning jar
4 Whole Cloves
Pinch Salt

Simmer cider vinegar and brown sugar in a medium saucepan until sugar has dissolved. With a Weston Multi-Seed Grinder, grind the whole mustard seeds and whole cloves into the saucepan. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes.

Use the Weston 5-Piece Canning Kit to can the mustard. Let sit for six weeks in a cool place like your refrigerator, basement, or cellar. Stir before using.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Recipes: Bavarian Pretzels

Prep Time: 10 min     
Rise Time: 30 min
Bake Time: 10 min     
Makes 16-20 pretzels

1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cups brown sugar

5 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups water

kosher salt

Dissolve yeast in 1/8 cup of warm water. Once dissolved, stir in the remaining warm water. In a large mixing bowl, beat together yeast solution, butter, flour, salt, and brown sugar until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise for a half hour.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and bring to a simmer.

Tear off a palm sized piece of dough and roll with your hands into about an 18" pencil thick roll. Twist the pretzel by looping one end over the other, creating two bunny ears with the ends and a loop in the middle. Twist the two ends together and flatten the ends. Brush a little butter on each end and pull the ends down to the bottom of the loop, sealing them into place. For help on twisting a pretzel, visit the techniques section of the Cooking with Weston Recipe Book.

Place each pretzel into the baking soda water with a spatula, coating each side for ten seconds. The dough should turn light yellow. Place the coated pretzels onto a salted Weston Baking Mat. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.

Techniques: How to Twist a Pretzel

Step One: Roll dough out to the thickness of a pencil. About 12-18" in length works best, depending on the size of the pretzel you plan to make.

Step Two: Fold one end over the other, making bunny ears with the ends, and a loop out of the center

Step Three: Twist the bunny ears together

Step Four: Pull the ends down to the bottom of the loop

Friday, October 29, 2010

Recipes: Pumpkin Bark

Prep Time: 15 min  Chill Time: 1 hr

1 package Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips
1 package Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
A quarter of a pie pumpkin
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon crystallized ginger
1/2 tablespoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Cube a pie pumpkin. For tips on cutting a pumpkin, see the techniques section of the Cooking With Weston Recipe Book. Simmer in 1/2 stick of butter until soft. Puree pumpkin with the other half of the stick of butter, and all of the spices.

In a double boiler, melt white chocolate chips. In a saucepan, melt dark chocolate. Stir pumpkin puree into melting white chocolate. Once both are melted, pour dark chocolate into a baking pan with a Weston Baking Mat underneath. Pour the pumpkin spice white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate. With a toothpick, marble the chocolate together.

Chill in the refrigerator for one hour or until chocolate hardens. Break into pieces.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Techniques: Dying Fondant

Do you remember making homemade playdough when you were a kid? Well I came up with this technique for dying fondant from my childhood memories. It's quick, easy, and your hands stay dye-free.

1. Place fondant in a sandwich bag.
2. Drop in desired colors.
3. Press air out of bag
4. Seal the bag.
5. Knead with your hands until dye is fully blended into fondant.

It's that simple!

If you're making Carrot Cake Cupcakes (pictured above), the blending process is as follows:

Orange: 14 red + 8 yellow
Green: 14 green + 8 yellow

For black, I cheat and blend a few smudges of black icing with the fondant. The fondant will likely become sticky, so add some confectioner's sugar to dry it a little. You can also purchase black food coloring.

Recipes: Carrot Cupcakes

Prep Time: 1 hr    Bake Time: 25 min    Makes 24 cupcakes


2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 carrots)
1  cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs

6 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Food coloring
Pre packaged fondant
(Visit the techniques section of the Cooking With Weston Recipe book for tips on dying fondant)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients for the cupcakes. Beat in eggs and mix in carrot shreds. Scoop into cupcake liners using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out fairly clean (these cupcakes are ultra moist, so you will get a little cake on the toothpick).

Let cupcakes cool. Blend together cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, and sliced almonds. With the nozzle of a Weston Jerky Gun, remove the centers of the cakes. Fill the Weston Jerky Gun with the frosting. Insert the nozzle of the gun into the centers of the cake and pull the trigger of the gun, filling the cakes with frosting. With a small spatula, spread a little of the frosting onto the cakes.

Visit the techniques section of the Cooking With Weston Recipe Book for tips on dying fondant. Roll out fondant with a Roma by Weston Pasta Machine (electric or manual - both work) and lay on parchment paper. With a round cookie cutter or a measuring cup (measuring cups are typically the exact size of a "cup"cake), cut out fondant and adhere to cupcakes (the light layer of the frosting will help the fondant adhere to the cake). With mini cookie cutters, cut out fondant shapes and adhere to tops of cupcakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recipes: Zapple Pie

Prep Time: 40 min (with crust)
Cook Time: 40 min
Makes 2 pot pies

2 pot pie-sized homemade crusts
(see the recipe for Pie Crust for a Pasta Machine or see my recipe for Pumpkin Pie for a standard homemade crust recipe)

3 zucchini
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel zucchini, then slice with a Weston Mandoline Slicer with the waffle blade attachment.

In a medium saucepan, cook zucchini until tender in lemon juice. Add flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon and continue to cook until thickened.

Pour the filling into the crust, then cross stripe with lasagnette shaped dough strands made with the Roma by Weston Pasta Machine with a Lasagnette Attachment.  

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until strips are fully baked.