Blogs, Recipes

Grouper Piccata

Living in Florida has many benefits, sunny days, beautiful beaches, and it also comes with the benefits of AMAZING fresh fish. 

I was lucky enough to grab some grouper fillets from my local fish market but you can also score some at your store’s frozen section. If you are unable to find grouper fillets, you can use snapper, cod, catfish or even chicken. 

This sauce highlights the fish without taking over. In this recipe, I use a simple piccata sauce with lemon and capers to create an easy meal that everyone will love! Oh, and this is a one pan dish! Hello easy clean up! 🙂

I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan but since I received a bottle of Scout & Cellar Fiddleneck Chardonnay I thought I’d give it a try. I am now a Chardonnay fan! The Fiddleneck Chardonnay is the perfect pairing to this recipe! It’s not oaky like most Chardonnays I have tried in the past. It’s light and refreshing with notes of yellow apple, candied lemon peel, and ripe pineapple. It truly is delicious with the buttery lemon flavor of the grouper piccata! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 6-ounce grouper fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

Sprinkle grouper fillets with salt and pepper. 

Dredge fillets on all sides in flour. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil in a large skillet. 

Add fillets to skillet; cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove fish from skillet.

Add garlic, lemon juice and wine to the skillet, scraping browned bits from the pan. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine. 

Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. 

Tip: if the sauce is too bitter, just add ¼ cup of chicken broth at a time. 

Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, capers and parsley.

Serve sauce over fish.

I served mine with a side of angel hair pasta and baby broccoli.

Recipes

Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with Pancetta and Walnuts

Ravioli stuffed with a fresh pear and cheese filling and sauteed in a buttery sauce with crispy pancetta, this ravioli recipe is a fancy dinner made easy!

The sweetness of the pears complements the salty and creamy cheese filling of these easy ravioli. It’s sweet and savory, my two favorite flavors! 

As you know by now, I love making homemade pasta and that doesn’t stop with the basics like spaghetti and fettuccine – I also enjoy making homemade ravioli. 

First, you will want to make the filling. 

Peel and core the pears. Then using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl and combine. Add ¼ cup of  the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the chopped parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set to the side. 

If you are making your own pasta, which I highly recommend, follow my Homemade Pasta recipe blog post. 

If you don’t want to make your own pasta dough, you can also use store bought wonton wrappers to cut down on time.

Roll pasta dough into long strips.  I used a pasta machine attachment on my stand mixer to make it easier.

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis or wonton wrapper. Place on a prepared lightly floured cookie sheet. 

This is a ravioli cutter, I purchased from Williams Sonoma.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air. 

Repeat this process until all ravioli is made.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

In a large pot of boiling water, add ravioli and once they float to the top, cook another couple of minutes, save about ¼ cup of the water and drain the rest. You will want to use the reserved pasta water to help thicken the sauce later.

For the sauce, melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic. I love shallots, while similar in taste to an onion, I think they have a bit more “refined” flavor and are more delicate, and softer. 

Once the shallots and garlic are slightly brown, add in the chopped pancetta. Pancetta is an Italian salami made of pork belly meat that is salt cured. You can find pancetta in the deli at most local grocery stores, like Publix. If you can not find Pancetta, bacon will work too. Cook the pancetta until crispy. 

Add the stuffed ravioli to the same pan, and coat with the buttery sauce for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time into the pan, this will thicken the sauce slightly. Continue to sauté the ravioli for about 2 more minutes, you want to heat the ravioli all the way through. Lastly, stir in the chopped parsley. 

Place the cooked ravioli on a plate, spoon the buttery sauce over the top and sprinkle with toasted chopped walnuts. Yum! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 lb. Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
  • 8 oz. Pecorino Toscano cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. fresh pasta
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped pancetta
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl. Add the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller: Using the roller attachment, roll the pasta into a thin sheet and cut into 12-inch-long pieces.

Hand method: Roll out the pasta and cut into 12-inch-long pieces. 

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis. Place on a prepared floured tray.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air.

Transfer the ravioli to a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the ravioli and cook until they float and are al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the ravioli to paper towels to drain. Repeat to cook the remaining ravioli. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté the chopped shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes. In the same pan, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ravioli and gently stir to coat with the butter. Add the reserved cooking water as needed to create a sauce. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley.

Transfer the ravioli to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

 Inspired by Lidia Bastianich

Recipes

Homemade Pasta

I’ve always wanted to make homemade pasta dough, another item on my Recipe Bucket list! So when my sister-n-law and brother got me the Kitchen Aid Pasta maker for my birthday this year, I no longer had an excuse to cross homemade pasta dough off my Recipe bucket list! 

When I was in Sicily on vacation with my family, we ate at this little farmhouse that served homemade fettuccine. It was one of my favorite meals of our trip. Your teeth just sink into the pasta, it has such a delicious, fresh, chewy, unmistakable bite to it.  

First off, the pasta dough itself is a breeze to make.  If you happen to own a food processor, the dough can be prepped in less than 5 minutes.  (Or you can make it by hand or in a stand mixer in less than 15 minutes.) The process of rolling out the noodles is also easier than I thought, especially once I got the hang of using my pasta maker.  (I’ve included instructions below as well, for how to roll out pasta using a rolling pin by hand.) I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with the various different pasta flours and discovering which ones I like best for different occasions.  (Short answer — I prefer “00” flour, and Semolina Flour is a good choice for heartier shapes and sizes, either one can be found at any Italian market or Amazon).

While practicing the Safer-at-Home order, I decided this was the perfect time to share everything I’ve learned so far about making homemade pasta.  I’ve tried to include a lot of different methods and options to work with whatever you have in your kitchen. So, find whatever method works best for you — and comment below if you give homemade pasta a try!  I would love to hear how it goes.

Ingredients

3 cups of “00” flour, plus additional for dusting

1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

Approximately 2 tablespoons warm water

1 to 1/2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Food Processor Method

This method is the quickest and easiest, in my opinion. 

Simply add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (fitted with the normal blade attachment).  Pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture reaches a crumbly texture. Remove the dough and pat it into a ball with your hands and place it on a lightly-floured cutting board.  Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. (If the dough seems wet or sticky, just add in some extra flour. You want it to be pretty dry.) Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Pasta By Hand 

This is the traditional way. I actually love making pasta by hand, especially with kids, it’s like playdough that’s actually edible! 

Place the flour in a mound on a large cutting board.  Then use your fingers or a spoon to create a good-sized well in the middle of the flour mound (kind of like a volcano).  Add the eggs in the center of the well. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil on top of the eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs.  Then once they are combined, begin gradually whisking some of the surrounding flour into the egg mixture, adding more and more until the egg mixture is nice and thick (some eggs may accidentally spill out, no worries, just use your hands to pull them back in.)  Then use your hands to fold the rest of the dough all together until combined. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkle some extra flour on the cutting board if needed to prevent sticking or if the dough seems too wet or sticky. This can definitely count as your arm workout for the day! Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Now for the rolling! 

Thanks to my sister-in-law and brother I have the roller attachments for the Kitchenmaid mixer.  But it is okay, if you don’t, a rolling pin works just as well. 

Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes and is ready to go, remove it from the plastic wrap and transfer it to a cutting board.  Use a knife to cut the dough into four equal wedges, then set one wedge aside and immediately wrap the remaining three in the plastic wrap again to prevent them from drying out.

Roll by hand

To roll out your pasta by hand, shape one wedge into an oval-shaped flat disc. Transfer the disc to a cutting board, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it reaches your desired level of thickness (generally between 1-2mm thick), adding extra flour to the cutting board as needed to prevent sticking. My thickness rule is, if you gently pick the dough up you can slightly see your hand through it. 

For noodles…. 

Using a pizza cutter or a knife, slice the dough into 5-inch sections. Then, starting on the short side of the sections, roll them up into very loose, flat cylinders. Cut the cylinders to your desired width of noodles.  Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or swirl it into little pasta “nests” and lay them on a floured pan to dry for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.

Roll with Stand Mixer attachments

Connect the pasta roller attachment to your stand-alone mixer.  Set the adjustment knob to the widest setting. Then shape and feed the pasta dough into the roller until it reaches your desired thinness. 

For noodles…  

Remove the roller attachment and connect the cutter attachment of your choice.  Feed the dough through the cutter. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, to dry for 30 minutes.  Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.

Ready to cook

Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add in the fresh pasta, and then immediately begin to stir it so that the noodles do not stick together.  Continue to cook until the pasta has reached the texture you desire, I personally like al dente , which usually takes 90 seconds. Homemade pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta! Then strain the fresh pasta and use immediately.

Homemade Pasta is something everyone should make at least once in their lifetime! It is pretty easy and fun! Plus you can be creative with your flavors, from a lemon herb to chocolate- the possibilities are endless. 

Coming soon! Check out the recipes tab for different ways to use homemade pasta! For ravioli, check out my Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with Pancetta recipe.