Classic Osso Buco

Yesterday I was out shopping with my sister and on the way home, we stopped at Ferrarro's Meat Market. I was hoping to pick up sandwich steaks for tonight's dinner. What I got instead was Osso Buco. Wow! What a fantastic dinner! I found an easy recipe on the Cooking with Nonna site. So good!

Classic Osso Buco from Rossella’s Cooking with Nonna.

Ingredients-
4 veal shank steaks approx 1 inch thick
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup red wine
3 carrots diced
2 potatoes diced
2 celery stalks diced
1 large onion diced
3 bay leaves
all-purpose flour for dredging meat
salt and pepper


Method-
Preheat oven to 350˚F
Dredge shanks lightly with flour and fry in olive oil until browned on both sides, place in a roasting pan.
Saute all veggies in the same pan until slightly soft approx 8 minutes.
Add sauce and wine and cook an additional 5 minutes
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour veggies over veal shanks in roasting pan and add the bay leaves.
Cover and place in oven for approx. 1 hour.
Remove cover and roast for 25 minutes.
The osso buco should be fork tender with a thick sauce and tender veggies.

I made Roasted Brussel Spouts and Aborio Rice as sides. Perfect dinner!

For breakfast, I made Brown Sugar Apple and Cinnamon Chip Scones. Loved these!! I have been looking for Cinnamon Chips at every local store I go into. I can never find them. Until I checked Amazon. Yup. Found them!

I was going to make just Cinnamon Chip Scones but then I noticed the apples on the counter. What happened next resulted in the best scones I have ever made.

Brown Sugar Apple and Cinnamon Chip Scones

Ingredients-
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda, sieved
0.5 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 c diced apple
1c cinnamon chips (see note)
1 egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c buttermilk
raw sugar for dusting

Method-
Combine the flour, baking powder, and soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cinnamon chips. Stir in diced apple. Combine the egg yolk, the vanilla, and the buttermilk; stir this into the dry ingredients until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly flowered surface and knead for 6-10 turns. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 6-7 inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Brush each circle with lightly beaten egg white, dust it with sugar and transfer the wedges to an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack; after 5 minutes, cover loosely with a dish towel until completely cool.

My Favorite Saturday Night Dinner


I love breaded Pork Chops. First into egg wash then coat with a mixture of plain breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage, and parley. I brown them up in a saute pan and finish cooking them in the oven. The breading is crisp and the meat is moist. Bone-in is the way to go. All you need is applesauce. Next time I will try to make some homemade applesauce.

Scallops with Fettuccine


Happy Anniversary! 27 years. I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers at work and chocolate covered strawberries. Oh My!!! Shari's Berries are the bomb!

Back to dinner. Chris has a friend who got us some freshly caught scallops from Stonington, CT, right off the boat. I found a recipe for Pan Seared Scallops. Chris said he would like them with homemade pasta. Yes, I have homemade pasta in the freezer. 


I followed the recipe for Pan Seared Scallops closely. Scallops are a high anxiety dish. I sauteed the scallops 2 minutes per side and put them on a plate covered with foil while I made the sauce. I added a little more butter and wine and some pasta water to the saute pan than the recipe called for.

I can not tell you how really good this was. The scallops were cooked perfectly and combining them with the sauce and the pasta was sublime. The flavors melded together perfectly.


This could become an anniversary tradition. We enjoyed dinner with a lovely bottle of wine from the owner of the company where I work. Delicious!!!

Zucchini, Onion, and Red Pepper Tart



I love tarts, quiche, pot pie. Just anything that has a crust and I am in love. This recipe was inspired by the post for Sweet Pepper, Zucchini and Onion Tart. My version is not gluten-free. The crust is the usual Pate Brisse. For cheeses, I used feta instead of thchèvre. Close enough. 

Here is the recipe for constructing the tart with my changes -
I made the crust and blind baked it.
Cut the peppers lengthwise. Carve out and discard the stem portion and the seeds and ribbing inside. Cut each half in half crosswise and finally slice each piece into short ribbons no wider than 1/4 inch.
Trim zucchini top and bottom, quarter lengthwise, then cut into 1/8 inch.
Warm up the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion to the skillet, stir to coat and let cook on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes.
Five minutes after you started cooking the onion, add the peppers, stir and continue cooking, stirring every now and then.
Five minutes later, add the zucchini, stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Cover and cook on gentle heat until the peppers are of the desired tenderness (20-25 minutes). Every few minutes uncover and stir.
When the peppers are ready, sprinkle the salt, adjusting the amount to your taste and stir, then remove the pan from the heat. Let cool, then add the goat and stir well to distribute it evenly.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Transfer the filling on the prepared crust and distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
Bake for 30-32 minutes. Take out of the oven, slice and serve right away.

Frittata Night


We have not had a frittata in a while.  I use to make the frittata on the weekend and serve it later in the week for dinner. Now with the job closer to home, I can cook one up fresh for dinner. It does taste better. Tonight we kept it simple. Zucchini, onion and red pepper. Oh yes, there was also the prosciutto.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

This was a delicious dinner. I love the slow cooker. We had a lot of activity going on at home today. The slow cooker enabled us to have a fantastic meal with little work. I found the recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore on fitslowcookqueen.com.

I used all chicken breasts for the recipe.


Of course, there was a lull in activity so I took advantage of the time and made some homemade pasta. The recipe I always use for pasta is from Tide and Thyme.


Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients -
3 lbs chicken breast or thighs
1 onion, sliced
15 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes
15 ounces tomato sauce
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Method-
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
Stir to mix well.
Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6


General Tso's Chicken


30 Minute Meal! This recipe is from EatingWell. I, of course, made an adjustment or two. We love this recipe. The Green Beans are from my sister and her husband's garden.



General Tso's Chicken

Ingredients
5 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, divided
1 large egg white
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
4 cups Green Beans

Method -
Combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and rice wine (or sherry) and egg white in a bowl.
Add chicken and stir to coat.
Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon each cornstarch, soy sauce and rice wine (or sherry), water, hoisin and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the chicken; cook without turning, breaking up stuck-together pieces, until golden on the bottom, 2 minutes. Stir; continue cooking until golden on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Green Beans; cook, stirring often, until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved sauce mixture; cook, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan; cook, stirring

until heated through, about 1 minute more.

Eggplant Parmigiana - Campania


The Eggplant Parmigiana Battle continues tonight. Besides the eggplant for the pizza, I also ended up with 2 dishes of Eggplant Parmigiana. Tonight we had Eggplant Parmigiana, Campania. I was lucky to have a Focaccia bread in the freezer.


The Eggplant Parmigiana was delicious. I do believe frying the eggplant makes a huge difference. I usually bake Eggplant Parmigiana. I try to make the healthy choices but this was a delicious choice.

Eggplant Parmigiana, Campania

Ingredients-
2 lbs eggplant (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 lbs tomato puree
1 bunch fresh basil
5 oz mozzarella
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt

Method-
Trim the ends of the eggplants, peel them and slice them. Salt them and set them aside for half an hour to lose their bitter taste; rinse and pat dry.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the tomato puree, salt, and a few basil leaves, then cook down at very low heat until thickened.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in another pan, cook the eggplant slices a few at a time and drain well.
Pour some tomato sauce into the baking and cover it with a layer of the fried eggplant slices along with some mozzarella, basil leaves, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with more sauce and make another layer of eggplant, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, ending with a layer of tomato sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake until the surface is crisp. Serve at room temperature.

Ham, Tomato and Onion Quiche


I am looking forward to Fall. It will be here on Saturday but I pulled out the leaf cookie cutters today.
The crust is my usual Pate Brisee. The filling was sauteed onions, diced ham, and sliced tomato from the last of the tomatoes from Lenore and Ralph's garden.


I usually use the quiche filling recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook. This is the basic filling recipe-
Beat 3 eggs and mix with 1 1/2 cups milk or cream, (I use low-fat milk) Season with salt, nutmeg, and fresh ground pepper. Pour filling into crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is set. Depending on the size of the pie dish I am using I may reduce the # of eggs and milk. 
A good hint is to put your other fillings in the crust and pull out the oven rack and place the pie dish on the rack and then pour in the egg and milk mixture into the crust. Less chance for spillage.

The Eggplant Parmigiana Battle: Campania vs Puglia


Thank you, Lenore, for dropping off these beautiful eggplants. I opened La Cucina The Regional Cooking of Italy to find an authentic Eggplant Parmigiana recipe. I found 2 recipes. One from the Campania and another from Puglia. The difference in the two is the Campania recipe does not coat the sliced eggplant in flour and egg. I decided to try both so we could decide which we liked better.





I put both on our pizza tonight. Along with the usual sauce, homemade Marinara, Mozzarella, Parmesan and a little Ricotta Cheese.

Which side did we prefer? 
We devoured both sides.


Eggplant Parmigiana - Campania

Ingredients-
2 lbs eggplant (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 lbs tomato puree
1 bunch fresh basil
5 oz mozzarella
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt

Method-
Trim the ends of the eggplants, peel them and slice them. Salt them and set them aside for half an hour to lose their bitter taste; rinse and pat dry.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the tomato puree, salt, and a few basil leaves, then cook down at very low heat until thickened.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in another pan, cook the eggplant slices a few at a time and drain well.
Pour some tomato sauce into the baking and cover it with a layer of the fried eggplant slices along with some mozzarella, basil leaves, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with more sauce and make another layer of eggplant, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, ending with a layer of tomato sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake until the surface is crisp. Serve at room temperature.



Eggplant Parmigiana - Puglia



Ingredients-
1 lb eggplant (about 2medium)
olive oil
flour for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
1.2 cups tomato puree (I used Marinara Sauce)
3/4 cup mozzarella
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt

Method-
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Peel the eggplants, cut them lengthwise in thin slices, then salt and drain for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a high-sided pan.
Dip the eggplant slices in flour and egg and fry until golden on both sides.
Cover bottom of an ovenproof pan with tomato puree and cover this with a layer of fried eggplant.
add mozzarella, more sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, then make another layer of eggplant. Continue the layers until all the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of tomato puree and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake until the top is golden brown about 20 minutes.