ELEGANT TABLE SETTING USING FRESH FRUIT & HERBS
Small wood planks (varying in height)
1. Lay out table runner in the middle of the table. Place a stem of greenery at each end of the table and continue to layer them until you reach the center.
2. Place wood planks in the middle of the table between the greenery. It’s best to work in odd numbers. Optional: Top greenery with various types of greenery and deer antlers for added texture.
3. Disperse acorns, pinecones, branches and apples throughout the greenery for pops of color. Tip: spray paint branches, acorns and pinecones gold or silver for an elegant touch.
4. Place candles around and on top of wood planks.
5. Use fresh herbs to add a festive touch to each place setting. Place a cinnamon stick on top of a rolled napkin with a sprig of rosemary underneath at a slight angle. Wrap with twine and add a name tag for a personalized touch.
Elegant Table Setting from Balducci's Food Lover's Market on Vimeo.
SPIRALIZED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE RAGU
2 tablespoons Balducci’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and julienne diced
2 pounds Italian sausage (use a mixture of hot and sweet), removed from casings
Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Balducci’s Organic Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
¼ cup heavy or light cream
1 large package Balducci’s Spiralized Butternut Squash Noodles
Balducci’s Shredded Parmesan Cheese, to taste
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the sausage to the pan and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the sausage into small pieces as it browns. Cook the sausage thoroughly, then remove from pan and discard any excess fat, reserving about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
Add the julienned onions to the hot pan and season with salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes, (add more for a spicier sauce). Cover and cook the onions over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the onions. Continue to cook until the onions are wilted and starting to brown, another 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Next, add all of the canned tomatoes to the pan along with the browned sausage, and stir to combine. Gently simmer the sauce on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
If the sauce is watery, continue to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the cream, adjusting the seasoning and amount of cream to taste.
Stir the butternut squash noodles into the sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes until the noodles are just tender (be careful not to overcook the noodles or they will tend to break into small pieces). Serve immediately topped with freshly shredded parmesan cheese.
Balducci's: Spiralized Zucchini Pesto Pizza from Balducci's Food Lover's Market on Vimeo.
SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE STRATA WITH CANNELLINI BEANS
4 tablespoons Balducci’s Organic Olive Oil
1 ½ pounds (or 2 containers) cubed butternut squash
1 pound kale, stems removed and cut into strips
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ loaves baguette bread, day-old is best, cut into cubes
2 cups milk
1 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch white pepper
Turn the slow cooker to the HIGH setting.
Add the olive oil, then add butternut squash cubes, and stir to coat in the olive oil.
Let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, water and cream.
Add thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper, and stir.
Then, turn the slow cooker down to LOW, add remaining ingredients, along with the egg mixture, and stir to combine.
Gently press down on the mixture so the bread cubes can absorb the egg mixture.
Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours, until set.
SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI PESTO PIZZA
1 – 12” thin pre-made pizza crust (Boboli or your favorite)
¼ C Basil Pesto
8-10 oz Zucchini and Yellow Squash Noodles, or as desired
⅓ C halved grape tomatoes
3-4 oz fresh mozzarella, drained and diced into ½” cubes
¼ C shaved parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1. Pre-heat oven to 450F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the pizza crust onto the parchment lined pan and spread pesto sauce over the crust evenly coat. Top the pesto with the zucchini and yellow squash noodles, using enough to evenly and generously cover the surface of the crust (noodles will cook down in the oven).
3. Scatter the halved grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and parmesan evenly over the pizza.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown in spots (the zucchini and yellow squash noodles should be cooked down and also beginning to brown). Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the torn basil. Serve immediately.
Balducci's: Spiralized Zucchini Pesto Pizza from Balducci's Food Lover's Market on Vimeo.
BEET, QUINOA & BLACK BEAN BURGERS
2 tablespoons Balducci’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ cup shallots, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup Cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
½ cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and well rinsed
½ cup toasted pine nuts, ground up in a food processor
¾ cup cooked red quinoa
1 cup raw beet, peeled and finely grated
¼ -½ cup fresh bread crumbs
1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil, then add the shallots and sauté, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then, add in the remaining seasonings (cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika). Cook shallots for about 5 minutes, then turn up the heat and add the mushrooms and spinach. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms, spinach and shallots are slightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
2.Remove from heat and add black beans and pine nuts, then lightly mash together using two forks or a potato masher.
3.Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the cooked quinoa, beets and stir. Adding in the fresh bread crumbs in until you get a firm texture (you may not need all of the bread crumbs).
4.Coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Form mixture into roughly 4-6 patties. Arrange burgers on a baking sheet and spray the tops with olive oil. Bake in a pre heated oven for 30-40 minutes, gently flipping at the halfway mark. Serve on small buns with desired toppings (see below).
• Mediterranean: Hummus, feta cheese, and olive tapenade
• French: Garlic aioli and caramelized onions
CHIPOTLE BBQ TURKEY BURGERS
1 pound fresh ground turkey
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, mashed
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 slices Smoked mozzarella cheese
4 hamburger potato buns, split and toasted
Your favorite BBQ sauce for topping, optional
1.Preheat grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Place the ground turkey, onion, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, mashed garlic and salt in a mixing bowl. Lightly mix with your hands, being careful not to overmix. Form into 4 patties and set aside.
2.Cook the hamburgers on the preheated grill until the turkey is no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side (using an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165°F).
3.Place the smoked mozzarella slices on the patties 2 minutes before they are ready. Top with optional BBQ sauce and serve on the toasted buns.
4 Veal shanks, 2-1/2 to 3 inches, tied with butcher string
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls flour
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
6-8 garlic cloves
1 cup good quality white wine
1 qt Low sodium Chicken stock
2 cups Water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leafs
salt and pepper to taste
1. Dry veal shanks with towel, season well with salt and pepper on all sides. Dredge in flour shaking off excess flour.
2. Heat olive oil in an oven safe heavy-duty saucepot to fit the four shanks.
3. Heat the olive oil and place all four shanks in the oil and sear all sides until they are golden brown.
4. Remove the shanks from the pan and place them to the side for a few minutes.
5. Add to the pan the carrots, onions, celery and garlic and sauté until all the vegetables are caramelized and have a beautiful golden brown color to them.
6. Add the white wine and reduce by 2/3rds.
7. Add the seared veal shanks back to the pan along with the stock and water (you might not need all the water) to cover the shanks.
8. Bring the stock to a boil, and then reduce to a low simmer.
9. Add the thyme and bay leaf, cover with the pot's lid and place in a 325 degree oven.
10. Cook until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bone, approximately 3-3 ½ hours.
11. Test the meat by carefully removing from the hot liquid with a slotted spoon and touching with your fingers to see how soft the meat is. When done remove all the shanks from the liquid, place on a plate, and cover with plastic wrap and hold until ready to serve.
12. Immediately, strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer, let sit for a few minutes and try to skim off all the fat from the top of the stock.
13. Transfer the stock in a clean saucepot, add back the osso buco.
14. Begin reducing the sauce over high heat and at the same time basting the veal shanks until the stock has come down to a sauce consistency. Carefully remove twine.
15. Serve with either your favorite risotto or creamy polenta.
PUMPKIN GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE
2 Lbs. (3 Large) Idaho potatoes, scrubbed and boiled in skins until tender
2/3 Cup pumpkin puree
1/4 Cup finely grated Balducci’s parmesan cheese
1 Large egg, whisked
1/4 Tsp Balducci's allspice
1 Pinch each of Balducci's nutmeg and Balducci's cayenne
2 Tsp salt
Freshly ground Balducci's black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 To 2 cups all purpose flour
1 Gallon salted water, for cooking gnocchi
2 Sticks unsalted butter
12 -14 Fresh sage leaves
1/2 Cup shaved Balducci’s parmesan cheese
1. Allow the cooked potatoes to cool slightly, carefully peel. While still hot, puree potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large mixing bowl (do not use a food processor) and allow to cool completely before proceeding. Add the pumpkin puree, cheese, egg, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper and mix well. Gradually add in enough flour to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Briefly knead the dough to incorporate the flour, being careful not to overwork. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
3. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and place 1 piece on a lightly floured work surface. Roll piece into a long rope, about 1/2-inch in diameter, flouring lightly if needed. Slice the rope into pieces 1/2-inch wide. Holding one piece at a time, roll the tines of a fork against the dough until slight indentations are formed. Repeat with each piece of dough, setting formed gnocchi on a floured kitchen towel or baking sheet.
4. Immediately add the gnocchi to the boiling water and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes once they have risen to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon or skimmer and set aside briefly while making the sauce.
5. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the butter when pan is very hot. Let butter sit undisturbed until almost all melted and outside edges have begun to caramelize. Quickly swirl the skillet and add in sage. Let cook for 30 seconds longer, season with salt and pepper to taste and add gnocchi to skillet to toss with sauce and rewarm if necessary. Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan cheese.
BALDUCCI’S BEET, BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLIS SERVED WITH A CITRUS ROSEMARY SAUCE
One 9 oz package Balducci’s Balducci’s Beet, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Raviolis
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced rosemary
1 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup half and half
Pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Puree all the sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the ravioli gently to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until just done.
3. Add cooked raviolis to the simmering sauce and gently spoon sauce over raviolis and finish with grated Parmesan cheese.
BALDUCCI’S FRESH ASPARAGUS AND GRUYERE RAVIOLIS SERVED WITH A WHITE WINE BUTTER SAUCE
One 9 oz package Balducci’s chilled fresh Asparagus and Gruyere ravioli
One bunch asparagus (about 15-20 spears), trimmed and cut into two inch pieces.
2 tbls salt
1 tbls olive oil
2 tbls minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbls cold butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup good quality white wine
1 1/2 tbls fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and then asparagus. Cook asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the water boiling.
2. Add one tablespoon of butter to a medium size skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Now add butter, cube by cube, stirring until each one is melted into the sauce.
4. While the sauce is cooking, add the ravioli gently to the boiling asparagus water and cook according to package directions until just done. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to sauce and gently stir to coat, stir in the chopped thyme.
5. Divide the ravioli between two plates, and tuck the asparagus tips in between the ravioli. Garnish with fresh thyme and shaved Parmesan and serve right away.
BALDUCCI’S FRESH PUMPKIN RAVIOLIS WITH BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE
One 9 oz package of Balducci’s Fresh Pumpkin Raviolis
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tbls freshly chopped sage leaves
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
½ cup grated Romano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the ravioli gently to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until just done.
2. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over high heat. Add sage; cook until butter begins to brown and sizzle, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; whisk in balsamic adjust flavor with salt and pepper. Transfer cooked raviolis to saucepan, tossing to combine. Serve immediately with grated Romano cheese.
BALDUCCI’S GLUTEN FREE FOUR CHEESE RAVIOLI SERVED WITH BASIL CREAM SAUCE
One 9 oz package Balducci’s chilled Gluten Free Four Cheese Ravioli
2 tbls butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
3 tbls chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup good quality dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese shavings
1. Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and stir until slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pecans to small bowl. Add shallots and basil to same skillet. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cream. Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to generous 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
3. Add ravioli to sauce; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmesan.
BALDUCCI’S RICOTTA WITH FRESH HERB AND LEMON ZEST RAVIOLIS WITH SHRIMP
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup clam juice
3 tbls lemon juice
9 oz package Balducci’s Ricotta Herb and Lemon Raviolis
½ lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp.
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. In a smaller pot, heat the cream, clam juice and lemon juice to a low simmer. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
3. Add the fresh raviolis to the boiling water.
4. Add the prepared shrimp to the simmering lemon cream sauce. Stir well and add a pinch of salt and black pepper. The shrimp should cook in about the same time as the raviolis, about 4 to 5 minutes.
5. When the raviolis are done, drain and add to sauce. Add the herbs to the simmering lemon cream sauce and let them cook for about 1 minute. Add the lemon zest and most of the Parmesan and mix again. Divide into servings, and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.