The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

 Pappardelle Pasta with Candied 
 Chestnuts and Quail Eggs


Wow, 2013...how did that happen? It seems that time just keeps slipping
by faster and faster! Aside from leaving the unnerving feeling that there is
just not enough time to get everything done, it is also making me feel old.

So I think it is time to think comfort foods, not that we really need an excuse :)
Let's talk pasta then, Pappardelle pasta to be specific. These extra wide noodles
really pump up the comfort factor for me, plus the have the body to really load
up on the toppings.


Speaking of toppings, are these little babies just the pretties things!
I am sure if you have yet to try quail eggs, you are probably familiar with
them at least visually. These tinny little guys are pretty similar in both texture
as well as taste to the more common hen eggs. Perhaps a bit milder in flavor,
and of course in size. In fact you would need about 5 of these little ones
to make up for one large hen egg.


We have a few other goodies to brighten up our pasta dish as well,
including the baby ice micro greens and a few lightly sautéed oyster 
mushrooms. Oh, and yes of course we had to find another way to make
our spicy roasted chestnuts, aside from their obvious snack-ability, they
make a perfect choice all candied up and ready to ring in the new year.

If you missed our Spicy Oven Roasted Chestnuts and 
would like to roast some up of your own, you can see it here.


What you will need:
For the candied chestnuts
12-14 ounces roasted chestnuts, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4th cup maple sugar, or other fine ground sugar

For the pasta
8 ounces pappardelle pasta
1/8th cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6-8 ounces oyster mushrooms
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground salt and pepper
8-10 quail eggs
4 ounces baby ice or other micro greens
3-4 ounces baby arugula


Let's get cooking:
For the candied chestnuts
Begin by removing shells from your roasted chestnuts, then place
peeled and halved chestnuts in to bowl and toss with oil.

Place chestnuts in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with
parchment, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for about
8 minutes or so, or until deep drown and slightly crunchy.

For the pasta
Prepare pasta per package instructions. Drain pasta and place
into a large mixing bowl. Toss with 1/8th cup extra virgin olive oil
and set aside.

Gently brush off any debris from your mushrooms and
tear into 1/4 inch pieces lengthwise.

Place mushrooms into a dry non-stick pan, or with just
a drizzle of oil, over medium/high heat Sprinkle with a pinch or 
so of salt to help sweat out excess liquid. 

Once they begin to loose liquid and start to become limp and
tender, add a bit of oil add minced garlic. Continue to sauté
for a few minutes until mushrooms are tender and garlic
is fragrant and translucent. 


Add pasta to the sauté pan, reducing heat to low. Add red 
pepper flakes, salt and pepper, along with arugula. Toss
to incorporate. 

To prepare quail eggs place them in a single layer in a sauce pot
or pan with a lid.

Cover eggs with just enough water to reach about 1 inch above
the eggs. Over medium heat, gently bring to a soft boil.
Agitate eggs gently with a wooden utensil. Reducing heat
slightly, cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Remove shells and arrange or toss into pasta, along
with micro greens and candied chestnuts.

Serves 4

We would also like to wish everyone a Very Happy and
 Safe New Years Celebration.
 May 2013 bring you abundant blessings!


Enjoy~
Alisha~Magic of Spice

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5:35 PM

What's for snack time? Spicy Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Posted by Magic of Spice

Spicy Oven Roasted Chestnuts



Well these were not roasted on an open fire and Jack Frost is not exactly
nipping at my nose, but these delightful little beauties do put me in a holiday mood :)

And since I do love chestnuts, we will be featuring them in a few dishes for the 
holiday season as well as the "leftovers season". So roast up a few batches
and snack away...but save some for later, I promise you will need them!


What you will need:
1 pound fresh chestnuts in the shell
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1/8 cup olive oil, warmed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4-6 small sage leaves
2-3 red peppers, dried
pinch of sea salt


Let's get cooking:
Begin by placing dried peppers in boiling or very hot water for about 5-10 minutes.
Once softened, cut a slit lengthwise in peppers and place in warmed oil along
with fresh herbs and salt. Allow them to steep in warm oil for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, score an "X" shape into each of your chestnuts on the rounded
side. Then place chestnuts into a bowl and toss with seasoned oil mixture.

Place chestnuts, herbs and pepper mixture on a sheet of foil with edges folded
up onto a baking sheet. Cover loosely with additional foil to create a bit of steam.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, remove
from oven and toss to re-coat chestnuts. Continue baking for 5-10
minutes, or until they begin to spread open.

Allow to cool to touch, peel and snack!


Enjoy~
Alisha~Magic of Spice

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3:03 PM

A Day of Remembrance

Posted by Magic of Spice

A Day of Remembrance




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7:35 PM

The Ghost of Christmas Recipes Past

Posted by Magic of Spice

The Ghost of Christmas Recipes Past


Many of you may remember these recipes from last year...wow how time flies.
And since it his the season for warm and comforting dishes, I though we could 
revisit a few of our most popular.

I have made a few new holiday inspired treats that will be coming up next,
but for now let's say we start with dessert ;)





And of course we will need a few sides...





How about a couple of not so traditional salads? 





And let us not forget the fish lovers at your holiday table...




Enjoy~
Alisha~Magic of Spice

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