Hye Thyme Cafe: February 2015

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pesto-Stuffed Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Pesto-Stuffed Parmesan-Crusted Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe

Sometimes I make a pesto chicken, sometimes Parmesan. I figured why not combine the two and stuff one inside the chicken and coat it with the other? Works for me! You can use whatever chicken you have on hand. For me, that was a package of thin-cut chicken breasts. Heck, if you have the patience for the knife work, you could use chicken tenders if you want. Hmm, that would be good to do and make them super crispy. I always try to keep a stash of homemade pesto in the freezer, but if you are using a store-bought pesto that's on the very thin side, you might want to bulk it up with some extra Parmesan so it does just run out of the chicken while baking. You only need five ingredients for this ...

INGREDIENTS:
Chicken
Mayonnaise
Parmesan (preferably freshly-grated)
Pesto
Seasoned Bread Crumbs

  1. Stir together almost equal parts mayo and Parmesan - a little heavy on the Parmesan side is better.
  2. Blot each piece of chicken dry with a paper towel then, using a very sharp small knife, slice a pocket lengthwise into the side of each piece - almost as if you were going to butterfly it open.
  3. Fill the pocket with pesto, then spread the outside with the Parmesan mixture and drip into the breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake at 350-375 until golden and cooked through. Time will vary depending on how thick your chicken is, etc.

Pesto-Stuffed Parmesan-Crusted Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe
 
Pesto-Stuffed Parmesan-Crusted Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pesto-Stuffed Parmesan-Crusted Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle

Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe


After numerous failed attempts at translating my favorite pie - Angel Lemon - into a chocolate orange version, with the filling being orange and the meringue crust being chocolate, I had cocoa powder on the brain. I tried everything I could think of to get the crust to work, but apparently the fat content in the cocoa will only allow for a pavlova style semi-deflated meringue, not a nice fluffy soft one. Since I have also been wanting to put my pasta maker to use again, that got me thinking about chocolate pasta. I've seen ravioli filled with chocolate (usually fried), but never chocolate ravioli filled with something else, so I decided to go with bananas and mascarpone.

What goes with both bananas AND chocolate? Peanut butter, of course, so I made a cinnamon-peanut butter drizzle to go over the top. This was a fun experiment and turned out pretty good, but there are a few things I'll change in the future. First, instead of dicing the banana, I'll mash it into the filling to take up less space - or go with a very petite dice. That way, you can fit more filling in each ravioli. I'll also work on the filling texture a bit. I knew it would be soft, but I was expecting the mascarpone to hold up more like a cream cheese, where it really almost turned to cream. Maybe some powdered sugar added to the mix will stiffen it up a bit.

If you don't have any espresso powder on hand, you can skip that. It does enhance chocolate in recipes, but if you don't have another use for the rest, it's silly to stock up. If you happen to bake a lot, you could keep it on hand to add to brownies, etc.

I thought I had screwed up the pasta at first because it didn't pull right into a dough like plain pasta, so I added a little water and ran it again, but it still looked grainy. I finally pinched off a piece and realized it was just fine, so you might want to try that before adding water in case you don't need it.

RAVIOLI
1c + 2T flour
6T unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs (1 is for sealing the ravioli)
1/8 t espresso powder
1/2 t vanilla
2 T canola oil
water (if needed)

FILLING
8 oz carton mascarpone
2 firm but ripe bananas
3 T brown sugar

SAUCE
1/4 c peanut butter
1/4 c milk or cream
2 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
(Optional: chopped peanuts for garnish)


  1. In your food processor or mixer, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder to combine, then add the two eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and canola oil. If it still seems dry, add a bit of water. Test the dough by pinching a bit to see if it adheres.
  2. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30".
  3. Transfer the mascarpone into a bowl and stir together with the brown sugar until combined, then dice (petite) and fold in the banana.
  4. For the sauce, heat the ingredients together in a small pot until smooth and liquid.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a drizzle of water and set aside.
  6. Once your dough has rested, working with half at a time, roll out with a rolling pin or pasta maker - very thin. Cut into desired shape. I used a square fluted biscuit cutter.
  7. Add a dollop of filling to the center of your pasta shape, brush egg wash around the edges and fold over, pinching to seal.
  8. When all of your ravioli are prepped (makes about 40), drop in batches into simmering water for about 5".
  9. Remove from water to paper towels or a clean dish towel, keeping them separate so they don't stick together.
  10. Plate your ravioli, drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.


Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme CafeBanana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme CafeBanana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

















Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe


Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe


Banana-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Peanut Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe



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