Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Italian Chopped Salad

I found this in a newspaper last year. We had just enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

Dressing -
3 tbsp dried oregano
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper

1 large head of Romaine, sliced into strips, washed and dried
16 oz can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Kalamata olives
Cherry tomatoes
2 oz Provolone cheese, sliced to 1/4 inch thin matchstick
2 oz Genoa Salami, sliced to 1/4 inch thin matchstick
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced to 1/4 inch thin matchstick

To prepare the dressing combine anchovy fillets and oregano in food processor and pulse until pureed. Add vinegar and pulse a few more times. With motor running, slowly add the oils, process until dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper. The dressing will keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

To prepare the salad combine all ingredients in large bowl. Serve with dressing on the side.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fried Chickpeas with Chicken and Apple Sausage and Swiss Chard

Wow that's a mouthful. This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I have made before. The original recipe calls for Chorizo Sausage and Spinach. Well all I had was the Chicken and Apple Sausage and Swiss Chard. Honestly I liked this better than the original. This is a perfect recipe for when you realized that you have been relaxing all day and kind of forgot about dinner...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dinner At My Sister's House

NO PHOTOS! I realized half way through dinner that I had not taken a picture of any of the food we had eaten. I was having a wonderful time and enjoying an amazing meal and I forgot...
But I can tell you all about it...
We started with a cold antipasti. 2 cheeses, Olives, Hot and Sweet Soppressotta, Pickled Eggplant and Artichokes and Roasted Peppers and this amazing bread. I got a picture of the bread because my sister gave me a loaf to bring home.
For dinner we had homemade pasta with a Bolognese Sauce. Both were from Lidia Bastianich recipes. I actually tried to make the pasta recipe that Ralph made, it uses olive oil, and it did not work for me. The sauce was delicious.
There were 2 nice wines served... no I did not write down the names.
Then there was dessert. A Lemon Meringue Pie. I wish I had another piece right now!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chicken Francais & Shaved Summer Squash Salad

I had this recipe cut out from local newspaper from last year. It is from J Roo's restaurant in North Haven. A reader wrote into the food writer asking if he could get this recipe for her. I am glad she asked for the recipe. It was delicious. 

Chicken Francais
10 oz. chicken breast, pounded
1 cup flour
3 eggs beaten
6 oz vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 oz chicken stock
1 tsp Parmesan cheese
1 oz butter
salt and pepper to taste

Dip chicken breast in flour and then in eggs. Heat oil on high heat and place chicken in until golden brown. Drain oil, leaving in the pan and flip (Okay I removed the chicken and then poured the oil out so I would not either drop the chicken or the pan!). Add wine, and be careful for any flame-up, lemon juice, pinch of flour, chicken stock, Parmesan, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on medium high flame. 
The recipe is written for one serving. I used a whole breast chicken breast that I butterflied. I also only used 2 eggs. I did not change the amount of any other ingredients. There was plenty of sauce for the extra meat.
 Now on to the side dish. Shaved Summer Squash Salad is from the new issue of Bon Appetit. So this was officially the first "summer" salad for the year. Chris and I both liked it a lot. It will be showing up on the blog quite often this summer.
Chris picked up a couple bottles of a wine we had not tried before. 2009 Pennywise Cabernet Sauvignon. It is from the Sebastiani Winery. It was a nice choice!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homemade Ricotta Cavatelli with Vodka Sauce

This was a thank God for the freezer meal. I had the Cavatelli that I made a while ago in the freezer and a jar of vodka sauce in the cabinet. Also had some Whole Wheat Ciabatta bread and a bottle of Castello D'Alobola 2006 Chianti Classico. (The wine was not in the freezer!) A really nice wine for the price!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baked Pork Ribs with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

All day I kept thinking about dinner. I fixed the ribs before I left for work and Chris popped them in the oven and put a wonderful dinner on the table. Ribs, Fries and Corn... As delicious as I imagined. Click here for the easy recipe.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pizza Campofranco

Yesterday I noticed that I had a new follower! I visited her site and was blown away! Tonight's dinner and maybe another meal this week will be from her blog. The blog is Sunday's Kitchen. She is from Naples! I am always in search of real Italian recipes... which is why the cookbook La Cucina is my favorite cookbook. Anyway this recipe was a big hit. The crust was amazing and the filling was prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. Need I say more? I looked for and found this recipe in La Cucina but the Sunday's Kitchen recipe used prosciutto so the choice was obvious!
And it looks like we have another pizza fan...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crispy Fragrant Jumbo Shrimp

It seems that whenever I make a new Jamie Oliver recipe it becomes my new favorite. This recipe was so good. Crispy shrimp and it required no frying... glad I did not install that double fryolater someone recommended. We even had the arugula salad that was mentioned in the recipe.

Olive oil
3 large handfuls of breadcrumbs
A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
A handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 large king shrimp, peeled, heads removed and butterflied
A small bowl of seasoned flour, for dusting
2 large eggs, beaten
Sea salt and pepper
4 handfuls of arugula, washed and dried

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub a baking pan with olive oil and put it to one side. Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl, add your parsley, lemon zest, a glug of olive oil and your Parmesan, mix it all up and spread the mixture on a baking sheet to dry.

Toss the shrimp in the flour so they're nicely coated and shake off any excess. Dip then into the egg, letting any excess drip off, then put the shrimp on to the sheet of breadcrumbs. Shake the tray to coat each prawn, using your hands to press the breadcrumbs and flavors into each one--you want them to be completely coated. Put the shrimp in your oiled baking pan and bake them in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes or until crispy and brown.

When done, sprinkle the shrimp with a little salt and divide between your plates. Lightly dress the arugula with olive oil and lemon juice and season. Add a handful to each plate, and serve each with a quarter of lemon.

I picked up a new book at the library today.  Alice Waters In the Green Kitchen, Techniques to Learn By Heart. It seems like a nice late night reading... will report back on it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ravioli with Bacon and Red Peppers

 I have had this recipe for years. I usually make a variation of this from time to time. But tonight we went we the original dish...

2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 bacon slices, chopped
1 7 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chicken broth1 bag frozen cheese ravioli, cooked
freshly grated Parmesan

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bacon and cook until onion is tender and bacon is cooked, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Stir in peppers, peas and broth and simmer one minute.
Add the ravioli and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake

This is one of my favorite Jamie Oliver recipes. It is so easy and more importantly on a week night it only uses one dish! This is perfect for the I Heart Cooking Club potluck selection this week. The recipe is from the Food Network site. If you make it please make sure you have Italian bread...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Another short post.... This was quite good. I baked the eggplant instead of frying and they came out so light. And best of all no grease!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and a Stuffed Bread

A quick post tonight... The salad is from the Chow site. Tasty! The bread was just a combination of things I had in the house. The filling was tomato, prosciutto, eggplant, provolone, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper. Quite good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pork with Balsamic Lentils

So I added the Kindle app to my iTouch and the first e-book I downloaded was The Skinny Country (Healthy Recipes with Sinful Flavors) by Fabio Viviani. What a fun e-book. There are so many recipes I can't wait to try. In case you don't know, Fabio was on Top Chef and I was disappointed that he did not win.
Back to dinner.... As usual we had pork tonight. Not sure why but that's just the way it works out. On Saturday nights we have pork! This was fun recipe to cook. The lentils and the pork and the carrots, celery and onions... a lot of pans, well 3 pans, but so worth it. Loved the flavors. Only change in the recipe was that I used pecans instead of cashews.
I made some polenta to go with the dish. I can't think of anything other than polenta that would have gone with this... no, I have thought long and hard and polenta just seems right. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bacon and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Found this recipe on the Cooking Light site, do you sense a trend here....It was quite good, just make sure you remember to remove the wooden picks... sorry....

2 tablespoons sliced green onions
3 ounces goat cheese
1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil 
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine green onions, goat cheese, and bacon. Cut a 1-inch-wide slit into the thick end of chicken breast halves, and carefully cut down to center of chicken to form a pocket. Divide cheese mixture evenly among pockets. Secure with wooden picks. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Turn chicken over. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes; let stand 5 minutes.
Picked up some Fava Beans. Yum! And I rounded out the meal with some baby carrots and rice. Not bad for a Tuesday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Escarole, Bean, and Sausage Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Found this recipe on the online this weekend and just wanted some Escarole. I know it sounds silly but I like Escarole! Well the soup was very good. The turkey sausage made the soup noticeably lighter.
Okay enough about the soup. I got a belated Mother's Day gift from Archie and Lucy...
And today was the perfect day for it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My favorite Sunday night dinner that my mom made was pizza. She would set the dough to rise near the heat vent in the dining room early in the day. She would roll out at least 3 pies. Topping them with tomato and Parmesan cheese.
When I started to make pizza I added Mozzarella cheese to the mix.
Today I locked myself out of the house for about 2 hours... It reminded me of the time my mom locked herself out of the house. It was a Saturday night and we were living in the same town as she and my dad. I went into the kitchen and looked out the window and saw my mom outside our apartment building looking up to our window. I yelled down to her and she said she locked herself out. Now the church was a good mile away from our apartment. This was back in the days before cell phones. Miss you mom.

Happy Mother's Day to Lucy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops with Thyme and Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Today was the Tough Mudder event in Vermont. Debi from Sh*t My 6 Year Old Says took part in it... I looked at the photos and boy did I have a lazy Saturday!
For dinner tonight I visited the Cooking Light site. I found this recipe, Smothered Pork Chops with Thyme. It did not sound light. But it was so good. I made steamed green beans and roasted baby Yukon Gold potatoes. So if I have a light dinner than I can have dessert?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roasted Chicken Breast with Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus

This was my version of a recipe from Cook with Jamie. The chicken came out so moist.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a chicken breast in a bowl. Add 8 trimmed sticks of asparagus, 6 halved cherry tomatoes and the leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary plus a whole sprig of rosemary. Toss everything together with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Put the vegetables into an aluminum foil pack and place the chicken and rosemary spring on top. Season well. Add some white wine and seal up the foil.  Cook in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
We were suppose to have drizzled balsamic vinegar over the top of the cooked chicken but... oops I forgot.... Next time!
The difference in my version and hisis that he did not use the foil pack.

And it is finally warm out... at least for now...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Three Onion Tart and Tabbouleh Salad

I have a Bon Appetit from 1997, May 1997, The Italian Countryside issue. One of the many great recipes in it is Three Onion Tart with Taleggio. Well I could not find Taleggio cheese. I went to the cheese shop and they said they had sold the last piece an hour before I walked in! Yes I believed them. They had Limburger cheese. Now I always thought that Limburger was a very strong smelling cheese. This one was not. The Bon Appetit recipe had a crust recipe... I opted for the pate brisse recipe that I swear by. Plus I had some in the freezer!

3 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 medium)
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive
1 large onion sliced
1 cup sliced green onions
1 large egg beaten 
8 oz Limburger cheese cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine leeks and oil in nonstick skillet, cover and cook over medium-low heat until leeks are tender but not brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sliced onion and green onions. Saute uncovered until all onions are very tender, about 25 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Cool Mix in egg, then the cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out the dough and place the filling in the center of the crust. Fold the edges over. Bake for 10 minutes Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 minutes or until crust is golden.

The Tabbouleh Salad was from the Jamie Oliver App, so worth it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tagliatelli with Prosciutto and Orange

Tonight's recipe is from the Bon Appetit May 2011 issue. The Italy issue. Tagliatelli with Prosciutto and Orange. What an amazing combination. Orange zest, orange juice, cream... and of course prosciutto! The aroma reminded me of Italian Wedding Cookies!
I think the clincher for this was the pasta. Something about homemade pasta...
I used the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Pasta.  Perfect pasta every time!

Grilled Cod with Pancetta and Pea Mash

Jamie Oliver is currently the featured chef at the I Heart Cooking Clubs blog. Tonight's recipe is from the Jamie Oliver site. Grilled Cod with Pancetta and Pea Mash. The cod was on sale this week but for a dollar more there was a much nice piece of cod. I opted for that one. There was a mistake on my part when I ordered the pancetta at the deli counter. I asked for it to be sliced thicker than the recipe required. When I got home I realized my error so I cut the pancetta into thin julianne slices.
When I first read the recipe I thought it should mention heating up the grill somewhere. But it did not. The fish was baked in the oven! It was delicious. And of course I made too much of the Potato and Pea Mash! 
And our wine selection -