Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Onion and Proscuitto Calzones

Wow. I must say this was really tasty. I had the pizza dough in the freezer. I was stumped about what to fill the calzones with. Then I remembered I had Prosciutto. And I had Onions. Some Ricotta and Mozzarella and we were in business. The crust was fantastic. I love this dough recipe. For a sauce we used Paul Sorvino's Vodka Sauce. It was the first time we had his Vodka Sauce and it will not be the last time!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

This is a super quick meal. First cut zucchini in half (I used 2 zucchini) and remove the seeds and core out the inside, you'll use that for the filling. Make some rice, whatever kind you like. I used Arborio. Blanch the zucchini halves. Saute chopped onion in olive oil and butter until golden. Add Ground Chicken. Brown the meat and add the zucchini that you scraped out. Saute until tender. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and oregano. Mix the filling with the rice and adjust the seasoning. Fill the zucchini boats with the filling. Top with sauce and Parmesan Cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. So good!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Perfect Grilled Pizza

We have got it figured out. Grill the dough on both sides and then add the topping and re-grill the pies. The crust had a perfect crunch!

Did a little baking too... and then the heat wave returned....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Polla alla Cacciatora 2

I have recently re-opened the cookbook, La Cucina. Anyone who is familiar with my blog will recognize the name. It is my favorite cookbook. Tonight I made Polla alla Cacciatora 2, Hunter-Style Chicken 2. Previously I had made Polla alla Cacciatora 1. The difference? Number one is from the Piemonte region and number 2 is from Emilia-Romagna. The ingredients differ in that #2 does not call for celery or carrots. And number 1 calls for sliced onions.

I used some of the tomatoes I canned with my dad. I know you're not suppose to use them until the dead of winter, but I could not wait. Yum.

For the white wine I used Fat Cat Pinot Grigio. We are fans of the Fat Cat Pinot Noir, so when I saw the Pinot Grigio I had to try it. Very nice!

And here is the recipe -
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 young chicken, cut in pieces (I used chicken parts from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I put in closer to 3/4 cup)
1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 green or yellow pepper, cleaned of seeds and chopped (I used a red pepper, they were on sale)
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the onion. When the onion is golden, add the chicken pieces and let them brown. Pour in the wine, add the tomatoes and sweet pepper, and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and cook at low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

As a side we had noodles with butter and parsley.
It was another delicious meal on the deck.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grilled Hake with Pancetta and Pea Mash

Tonight I made a Jamie Oliver recipe, Grilled Cod with Pancetta and Pea Mash. I altered it a bit... Hake was on sale at Whole Foods so I used that in place of the Cod. I did not have garden peas but I had Edamame peas. It was easy to prepare and it was not a heavy meal... room for dessert?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ziti With Sunday Sauce

Jarred Sauce! Yes but damn good jarred sauce. Traffic was so bad tonight luckily we had it in the cabinet.

Chris had dinner timed perfectly. I walked in the door and he was putting the pasta in the serving bowl. It was delicious dinner on the deck!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roasted Chickpeas, Frittatta Sandwiches & Sweet Potato Fries

Today I actually had time to make a recipe I have been wanting to make for some time... Roasted Chickpeas. Saw the recipe on Steamy Kitchen. I added Cumin and Cayenne for the spice. Well they are really good! I should have taken the photo before we devoured them.

For dinner we had Frittatta wraps with Sweet Potato Fries. The frittatta was made with onions, red peppers, zucchini, scallions. A perfect meatless meal!

What is your favorite meatless meal?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gazpacho and Proscuitto, Tomato and Basil Panini

The Gazpacho recipe was from Culinate. Perfect for using up tomatoes. I think it could have used a bit more spice. The Prosciutto, Tomato and Basil Panini was as usual very good.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Grilled Chicken, Zucchini Ribbons, Potatoes & Cupcakes!

Tonight we had Grilled Chicken. The chicken was marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Cholula sauce. The Zucchini Ribbons recipe was found on Food52. And the potatoes were the same ones we had last Saturday night. The recipe was from A New Foodie. I just love these potatoes.

Today I wanted to make cupcakes. So I went online in search of a cupcake recipe. I looked at Martha and Joy of Baking but nothing grabbed me. I wanted to make something that I was sure would be good. And then I remembered my mom's Four Egg Cake recipe. Well there is also a Two Egg Cake and it makes just enough for a dozen cupcakes. As with the Four Egg Cake you can add anything to this recipe and it will be good. I wanted coconut cupcakes. This all started with the Coconut M&M's I picked up at the store. Sorry Pretzel M&M's but you have met your match. Anyway I have had coconut on my mind for a couple of days now. I would add coconut to the batter. Perfect! I go to my baking cupboard and hey there is no coconut! Not a problem I would go a different route. I'll add chocolate shots! What! No Chocolate Shots! Damn. Here's what I did… I added Coconut Extract in place of the Vanilla and I added a 1/4 cup of Dutch Cocoa. For the frosting... store bought. I'm not that Martha. But boy were they good!

Two Egg Cake

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Blend shortening, sugar and eggs.
Stir in dry ingredients alternate with milk and vanilla.
Pour batter into greased pans.
Bake 350º 25-30 minutes.
If you are making cupcakes shorten baking time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grillled Cheese, Tomato and Bacon with an Awesome Salad

What was up with the traffic tonight. Luckily Chris was home and started dinner.

He made an awesome Cucumber and Tomato Salad. He used Cucumbers from Pete's garden and the tomatoes from my Dad's garden. He added thinly sliced onion, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil. So good!

We had Grilled Cheese, Tomato and Bacon sandwiches as the main course. Perfect tomatoes brought this simple sandwich to a new level.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spaghetti Cacio Ei Pepe

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Monday night. I saw the most amazing dish. Spaghetti Cacio Ei Pepe. I found the recipe in La Cucina. It was so delicious. Fettuccine Alfredo was always my first choice for pasta, but not anymore!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sausage, Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes

This was based on the Jamie Oliver recipe that I love. I added the spaghetti squash because it was there and switched the cherry tomatoes for garden tomatoes because... well I have a few tomatoes sitting here. It was delicious. 45 minutes and dinner is done! One dish so clean up is fast. Giants vs Jets pre-season tonight... Go Saints!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Salad and Eggplant and Tempeh Pot Pie

A quick post tonight...
The salad was made using up the meat from last night. I made the blue cheese dressing from scratch, it is much better than bottled. The croutons were homemade. Once you make your own croutons you can never enjoy store bought again.

I also made Tempeh and Eggplant Pot Pie. I found the recipe using the gadget at the bottom of my blog that shows seasonal foods. I clicked on Eggplant and ended up with this recipe. Now my husband is not into tempeh. But he tried it and said it tasted good... This week tempeh next week tofu? By the way this tart was very good! I did use the pate brisse dough instead of the dough used in the recipe.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Canning Tomatoes with Dad

The 15th of August has always reminded me of stories from my parents about it being a day of rest after doing a lot of canning of tomatoes. Yes it is also the Feast of the Assumption but something about those tomatoes always stuck in my mind. I always imagined my grandmother and my Aunt Marie and my mom working over the hot stove canning bushels of tomatoes.

When my dad asked if I knew how to can tomatoes and I said no, he offered to show me. Wow! What an opportunity.

Wow it was a lot of work. First we wash out the jars. Next we blanched the tomatoes and peeled them. Then into the jars they go. Boil for 20 minutes and wrap the jars in newspaper until they cool. I had a basket of tomatoes that I got at Jake's Farm Stand in Madison. We ended up with 7 jars of tomatoes and 3 jars of tomato juice.... Bloody Mary anyone?
I just want to thank my dad for showing me how to can tomatoes. Will I do it again? Yes I will because it is something my mom did. And if it helps me achieve her level of sauce... that's what this is all about.

After all that we had a wonderful dinner. Steak and grilled zucchini and potatoes from a recipe I found on A New York Foodie. WoW!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fresh Mozz, Garden Tomatoes, Basil and these peppers...

I did not want to make dinner tonight so I picked some tomatoes and basil and ran to the store for some fresh mozz. There was a man there getting peppers that were next to the mozz and he said, "Wow you should try these peppers with the Mozz!" So I did and "Wow" it was quite good. It added just a little kick to the Italian bread, tomato, Mozz and basil. A glass of wine and that's all I needed.
Tomorrow my dad is teaching me how to can tomatoes! The last thing he taught me was how to drive... It should be a fun day!

Archie says Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Andouille Sausage, Onion, Garden Tomatoes and Feta

So I walk in the door and Chris was at the stove. The house smelled wonderful and I did not have to cook! He used the Cajun Style Andouille Sausage I had picked up at Whole Foods. He sauteed onions, celery and tomatoes. Then he added the sausage and seasoned the pan with salt and pepper. He made some Penne pasta which he added to the saute pan. Talk about comfort food.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Broccoli Rabe with Penne

Tonight I made one of my favorite dishes. Broccoli Rabe with Penne. The Rabe was from the batch I got from my Dad a while back. He steamed and packaged it in Ziploc bags, just like my mom use to do. I pulled one bag out of the freezer and added some grilled chicken that I had leftover and some pine nuts. A bit of butter, olive oil, crushed red pepper and Parmesan cheese. I ate on the deck with a hummingbird flying around to the flowers. Very nice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I apologized to my ingredients as I prepared dinner....

Good grief. When I was younger I worked in a couple of restaurants. I was, among other things, a line cook for awhile. I would go into the walk-in and take a live lobster and cut it open right down the center so it could be stuffed and baked. I had no problem doing this.

Well fast forward 20 years and today I apologized to the lobsters before I dropped them in a pot of boiling water. I felt bad.

Anyway on to dinner...

The World-Famous Maine Lobster Roll.

The Lobster Salad recipe came from the Food Network site.

Lobster Salad:

1/2 pound fully cooked lobster meat or 1 (2 1/2 pound) live lobster
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1/4 cup bottled mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon fresh tarragon
2 small scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 to 3 New England-style hot dog buns

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Pickles and potato chips as accompaniment


Prepare the lobster salad.
If using live lobsters, steam or boil them. Let cool at room temperature. Use a cleaver to crack and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tails. Remove the cartilage from the claws and the intestines from the tails of the cooked meat. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch dice. You may pick all the meat from the carcass and add it to the meat or freeze the carcass for soup or broth. Place the cucumber in a colander for at least 5 minutes to drain the excess liquid. Combine the lobster, cucumber mayonnaise, and tarragon. Add the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat a large heavy skillet (12 to 14-inches) over medium-low heat (a black cast-iron pan is perfect). Lightly butter both sides of each bun. Place them in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Turn the buns over and toast the other side. Or toast the buns under a broiler instead. When the buns are ready, stuff them with the chilled lobster salad. Place each roll on a small paper or china plate; garnish with pickles and potato chips. Serve at once.

We opted for the paper plates and store bought Potato Salad. Store bought! Well yes I was a little busy freezing tomatoes from my Dad's garden.

It was something I have never tried before so of course I googled it and ended up at PickYourOwn.org. It was pretty easy. I got a nice bag of tomatoes to freeze and 2 cups of tomato juice. I am thinking Bloody Marys...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pleasant Cow Cheese and Pain de Campagne

I was able to get to the Madison Farmer's Market today. I picked up 2 of my favorite things. One being some Pleasant Sun Cheese from Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm and some Pain de Campagne from Wave Hill Breads. A bottle of Fat Cat Pinot Noir and that was dinner!

Thursday, August 5, 2010