Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven
Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer).
Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything?
Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work.
I made batches of strawberry mint, kefir and hemp smoothies. It’s packed with protein and sweetened by a touch of raw honey besides the sweet berries. Also, it’s great for the lactose intolerant. Kefir is made with a type of bacterial culture that consumes the lactose in milk. Also throwing everything into a blender and pressing a few buttons to get the smooth, creamy liquid in less than three minutes, it’s good for me.
Keeping with the theme of berries, mini tartlettes with lemon shiso curd, fresh blueberry and strawberries topped with fresh purple shiso are bites of vibrant sunshine and spring. The buttery, crumbly crust filled with silky, tart lemon curd with fresh bits of herbaceous shiso and sweet mixture of blueberries and strawberries.
The oven works almost like the built-in convection gas oven. It heats up pretty quickly and my tarts baked up beautifully even.
I have to admit though, the most fun to work of the bunch was KitchenAid’s Pasta Excellence set. I made one huge master batch of egg pasta dough (about three pounds) and divvied it up to eventually roll and shape into different shapes.
When you do work with pasta dough and about to roll it into sheets, make sure the dough feels relatively dry and stiff to hold its shape. Flour the dough before sticking it into the pasta roller and cutter to prevent sticking or it’ll look like blobs of dough either stuck on the top of your roller and get unsightly shreds come through.
When it comes to pasta, I made fettucine and ravioli filled with goat cheese and peas. I have made ravioli by hand before and it was a slightly tedious task to get them shaped but with the KitchenAid ravioli maker, it was a lot easier. You already have pasta sheets rolled out (just make sure they have the same width, length and thickness; and I rolled mine to a thickness of 5) add about a tablespoonful of filling for each row and crank one full rotation and it would make about nine ravioli within a minute from setting up.
I know by now you want the recipes, so here it is:
Strawberry mint, kefir and hemp smoothies
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced in half
1 1/2 cups kefir
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons honey (or sugar), may add more or less to your preference
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
Take all of the ingredients and place it in the blender. Blend until smooth.
Mini tartlettes with lemon shiso curd, fresh blueberry and strawberries
For tart base (yield enough for 1 8-inch tart or 1 dozen 3-inch tartlettes):
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (or more) cold water
8-inch-diameter pie pan
Dried beans or pie weights
Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons cold water. Work mixture with fingertips until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on floured work surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and use a 4-inch diameter cookie cutter to cut into rounds. Press dough onto bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides of pan, pressing to adhere to sides. Fold down and roll 1/4 inch of dough sides inward, forming double-thick edge at top of crust sides. Using dull edge of small knife, make small indentations at 1/2-inch intervals on double-thick edge. Chill 20 minutes.
Line crusts with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crusts until sides of crust are set, about 18 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Pierce bottom of crusts all over with fork. Continue to bake until bottom is set and pale golden, about 14 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool in pan on rack.
Lemon shiso curd
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup fresh shiso leaves
Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour. Transfer the lemon curd to a blender and add the shiso leaves and blend until the shiso is very finely chopped and its flavors melded into the lemon curd. Transfer the curd into a bowl, cover, and chill until using.
*Lemon curd may be made in advance or saved up to 1 week in the fridge.
To Assemble the tartlettes:
Take the baked, cooled tartlettes and spoon or pipe the lemon shiso curd about halfway up. Add fresh berries of your choice to cover and decorate with a fresh mint leaf (or what I did, purple micro shiso leaves).
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups 00 Flour (or just use 4 cups All-Purpose Flour)
1/2 cup semolina
1 tablespoon salt
4 large eggs
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until it forms a rough ball.
Turn off the mixer. Transfer the pasta dough to a floured surface and knead until it is a smooth ball. It will be a bit tough to knead. Fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
Or making the dough by hand:
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs. Using a fork, beat the eggs together and then begin to incorporate the flour; starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy).
When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together. Start kneading the dough, using primarily the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, set the dough aside and scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough.
Continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.
Goat cheese and pea ravioli
Makes about 2 dozen
8 ounce fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Add ingredients to mixing bowl. Stir ingredients until incorporated and set aside.
To make the ravioli:
Take the egg pasta dough and roll it into sheets up to a thickness of 5 (at least on KitchenAid’s pasta roller attachment). Change the attachment to the ravioli maker. Have two pasta sheets of equal length and width and have it set up in the ravioli machine (one sheet per side) and add tablespoonfuls of the filling and turn the knob of the ravioli maker until it runs out of filling. Add more filling as needed.
The ravioli maker creates sheets of ravioli that needs to be separated carefully by hand. Once these ravioli are separated, add them into a large pot of boiling water that is salted. Boil them until it starts to float. Takes about 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli and set aside.
Heat up a skillet with two tablespoons of softened butter and let it melt. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and add the ravioli; toss until combined. Remove from the heat and add some grated Parmesan or Pecorino. Eat immediately.