Friday, July 7, 2017

My Perfect Vacation Day

Yeah, vacation day! And it was cool out. Not what you are usually looking for in a vacation day. But I was able to make bread, pasta, and sauce. All three were part of very delicious dinner.

The bread was the No Knead French Bread. The recipe can be found on the Noshtalgia website. It is an amazing dough to work with.

The pasta was from Tide and Thyme. The only pasta recipe I use. I had more than enough for tonight's dinner and I was able to put some in the freezer.
The sauce was, of course, the Marcella Hazan Onion, Butter and Tomato Sauce. This time I diced the onion after it had cooked for almost an hour. I sauteed some Pancetta cubes and cubed zucchini and added that to the sauce. Wow!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Very Easy Clambake

I have a couple of food blogs that I follow. One of my favorites is the Proud Italian Cook. Whenever I see the email notification in my mailbox of a new post I know my eyes will be treated to delightful and very delicious looking photos. The most recent post was Easy Clambake on the Grill.

I had to try it. The shrimp were on sale this week and so were the clams. Once the prep was finished the foil packets were ready for the grill. They were on the grill about 15 minutes when Chris popped his head in with the news that we had run out of propane. Yeah, it was low but thought we might have enough for one more night. So we popped packets on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. I had been baking cookies so it took no time to heat it up to 450˚. Not sure if that was the right temp but I was taking a guess. They took longer than the time on the recipe. We checked twice to see if the clams were opened. Finally, they opened and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. I used Old Bay spice for seasoning. The shrimp was fantastic. Still too early here for the corn but we will try this again in a couple of weeks when the local corn is on sale.
The recipe is the perfect amount for 2 people. I could put the recipe here but I think you should check out the Proud Italian Cook blog. You will not be disappointed. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Five Ingredient Sage Butter Roasted Chicken Again

Gosh, I love this recipe! I worked from home today and I had dinner on the table by 6:30. The chicken is so moist and the skin is crispy and the sage adds the perfect flavor. The potatoes, well if you have to ask... The times in the recipe are not set in stone. I check the temperature of the chicken to be sure it is done. The temperature you want is 165˚.

Five Ingredient Sage Butter Roasted Chicken for Two-
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
4 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 tbsp + 2 tsp chopped sage
1 lbs russet potatoes cut into a ¼-inch dice
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine butter and 1 tablespoon sage. Use your hands to run half of butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Spread the other half of the butter on the outside of all the chicken pieces.

In a bowl, toss remaining sage with potatoes oil, and a liberal amount of salt. Toss until combined.

Spread potatoes on a large sheet pan. Place chicken pieces on top. Liberally season chicken with salt. Place chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Roast until skin is golden brown and crispy, another 15 minutes. If potatoes aren't crispy yet, remove chicken from the pan and the potatoes a toss, place the potatoes back in the oven. Roast until crisp.
And now about the veggie. Do you have a cat? Do you have a cat that wakes you up at 3 AM? This morning I was wide awake. Thank you, Lucy. I reached for the tablet and started checking out Facebook. Lucy is asleep next to me on the couch as I am typing, so peaceful... Anyway earlier, much earlier, I found a video of Oven Fried Vegetables. The video showed oven fried carrots and asparagus and green beans and a lot of others but the one I remembered was the zucchini. And naturally, I could not find the video again.
The zucchini is cut into spears and dredged in egg then tossed in a blend of breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and oregano. I think there were other ingredients in the video but that is what I used. I do remember it said to bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes. I also turned them at 10 minutes. Nice flavor. Will definately make again. Just wish I could remember the other vegetables... 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Orzo and Beef Stuffed Peppers

Kind of like a lasagna stuffing. Meat, Sauce, Pasta, and Cheese. Damn good Stuffed Peppers. I stuffed the peppers on Sunday. Chris popped them in the oven and a delicious dinner was the result.
I started by sauteing a chopped onion. Added the beef and browned it, seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and a touch of crushed red pepper. Next, I added some crushed tomatoes. That simmered for a little while, honestly, I don't remember how long! The orzo was cooked until al dente. The peppers cut, cored, and steamed. To the meat and sauce, I added shredded Mozzarella and Parmigiano. The Orzo was drained and added to the meat mixture.
The seasoning was adjusted just a bit. The stuffing went into the pepper halves. Chris heated them up for about 25 minutes at 350˙.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pancetta, Summer Squash, and Basil Pasta

Where did I go for a week? Nowhere but I wasn't here. No blog posts. Crazy week at work. But I am back, at least for tonight! Tonight I made a recipe that I actually made last week from Bon Appetit, Summer Squash, and Basil Pasta.  But tonight I put my own spin on the recipe. It was delicious. I love the idea of the cooked squash being the sauce. And adding pancetta did nothing to harm the recipe. Next time I might add onion...

¼ cup olive oil
1/4 diced pancetta
2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
Kosher salt
12 ounces ziti, or other large tube pasta
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup basil leaves

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook pancetta, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned. Add squash; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down and gets jammy (they may start to stick to the skillet a bit, which means you are there!), 12–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.
Transfer pasta to skillet using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and remaining basil.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Leftovers

A couple of week ago I made White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs. There was a lot leftover. I did the obvious thing. I froze the leftovers. Tonight that is what we had for dinner.

Fridays are usually a very, very busy day for me at work. I am so glad I planned ahead with this dinner. There is NO way I could have gotten anything on the table tonight.

I love this recipe because it freezes so well. It was a good as the night it was made. All I did tonight was fry the eggs. I am really not good at egg prep. Luckily Chris excels at cooking eggs.

I made the bread today. Really easy recipe. Click here for the recipe.

White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs, from  Cooking Light-

4 teaspoons Olive Oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped Yellow Onion
8 ounces chopped Zucchini
2 14.5 cans of diced Tomatoes
1 cup Unsalted Vegetable Stock
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
5 ounces Baby Spinach, chopped
4 large Eggs
Freshly Ground Pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini to pan; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned, stirring occa­sionally. Add tomatoes, stock, salt, and beans to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and about half of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; cook 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Gently break eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still runny. Divide bean mixture among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 egg, and sprinkle with pepper.

I believe we are all ready for this weekend!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We Love Chicken Cutlets

What's not to love about Chicken Cutlets. I made a nice big batch on Sunday so we have a couple of meals in the freezer. The breading is fantastic. The chicken is nice and moist. Purrfect. Yes that is Archie's comment. Yes we ALL love Chicken Cutlets. Even Lucy seems to enjoy the chicken. But no breading for the kitties.

Here is my official Chicken Cutlet recipe -

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Put the chicken breasts in a bowl with beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley, and stir to coat. Dredge the chicken in bread crumbs which were mixed with flour, oregano, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. The chicken is placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with Pam. Drizzle a little olive oil on the chicken. Raise the temperature of the oven to 450˚. Bake the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. 
Did you say Chicken Cutlets!!!