Steak and Cheese Tart and a Big Salad

Not a lot to say. I had some Pate Brisee in the freezer. So I sauteed an onion and the steak. Put the meat in the pie crust, seasoning first with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper. Topped it with shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella. Baked for 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.
The salad was made with green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Gorgonzola cheese and dried cranberries.
The best part of dinner was that we were able to eat on the deck!

Fresh Summer Minestrone and Parsley & Scallion Bread



I saw this recipe in the La Cucina eblast last week. It was, and I am quoting Chris, "This is delicious!"

Instructions

Bring 3 cups water to boil.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans and boiling water; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.

Add potato and carrot and season with a few food pinches of salt. Continue to cook, covered, until beans are tender, about 40 minutes more.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop tomatoes into water and boil 30 seconds; drain, peel, seed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

When beans are tender, add tomato, corn, peas and spinach; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm or room temperature, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with herbs and extra pepper.

To go with the soup I made Parsley and Scallion Bread, a variation on Cilantro and Scallion Bread from the new Bon Appetit. The dough was amazing to work with and the finished product very nice!
I want to thank the folks at Food 52 for the suggestions of substitutions for Cilantro in this recipe. I am just not a fan of Cilantro. But the Parsley was a great idea!

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

A very busy day so tonight was a super easy dinner. The first grilled cheese and tomato of the season. I added Kalamata Olive Spread to mine.
 
Also made a Quinoa Salad.. so pretty! I found this recipe at Savvy Vegetarian. Very easy and lots of variations are listed. There is a lot leftover so I will be eating this for a couple of days!

The Return of the Frittatta

A couple weeks back I made what I swore was going to be my last frittatta until I got a new pan. Well ta da!
 
Please allow me to introduce you to the Scanpan Classic Nonstick Skillet! We received a gift card for Christmas for La Sur Table and I used it towards this pan. I love this pan.
 
And the frittatta came out perfect. Onions, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Red Pepper and of course Prosciutto!

And even the cats are enjoying the box in which the pan was delivered!
Okay things started to deteriorate at this point...

The Grill is Officially Open! Hot Dog!

It is the first day of summer so let's have hot dogs... on the grill of course. The aroma was fantastic. The only thing the kitchen was used for was to heat up the Pasta Pie I made on Sunday!

Beans and Eggs in Sauce

Fresh green beans. Steamed. Heat some sauce, add the green beans, and I added some hot dogs. Heat to a slight boil. Drop in eggs and cover with sauce. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are poached. Serve with lots of Italian bread. Not crazy about the hot dogs... well then leave them out!

Meatball Pizza

Meatballs, Ricotta and Mozzarella Cheese. Really good...
But first there was breakfast... I saw this recipe on The Italian Dish. Nutella Bread... Just the name puts a smile on my face!

 But no Nutella Bread for kitties!

Baked Ziti with Eggplant

Tonight we all ate at my dad's house to celebrate Father's Day. I made a big pan of Baked Ziti with Eggplant. I was cruising the Internet and found the perfect recipe. Only change I made was not adding  spinach... But I added these amazing meatballs.
Dad enjoyed it and seemed pleased that there was some left over.  Click here for the original recipe.
The ingredients....
My sister-in-law, Ann, made a salad and brought this salad dressing which I had never tried, Super Berry Vinaigrette. New favorite dressing!
For dessert I made a No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake which I had bookmarked on The Italian Dish blog. It was really good. The hardest part was finding a dish to put it in because I had to transport it to my dad's. I put together this crazy cover using a drying rack and plastic food covers. Photos... No! I even forgot to take a photo of the cake before I cut it. Trust me it looked just like the photo on The Italian Dish blog!
We had a nice bottle of my dad's 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. And he showed me were he stores the "good wine"!
Happy Father's Day!

Pasta Avest

Oh I hate sitting in traffic! I called Chris as I was sitting on the highway and said, "Call Pasta Avest!"
Seriously, there was no way I wanted to even think about preparing and cleaning up after a meal.
Chris picked out my dinner and it was so good! Chicken Florentine over Fettuccine and he had Penne alla Vodka with Beef Tips. We also had Fried Ravioli as an appetizer.
A nice bottle of Dad's Day Off, Pinot Noir 2009 and the traffic is just a memory... until next week...

Mom's Baked Macaroni

Soon it will be too hot out to make this for dinner. I think... It usually warms up... Well I am sure it will warm up soon enough but with that being said this "might" be the last time we have this for dinner until the fall. Sigh... I can't wait until the next time...

Oops Quiche...

Do you ever do something and then immediately realize it was a mistake. I started out with a plan of making a quiche with Pancetta, Spinach, Onion and Feta Cheese. And I did make that filling. But something went wrong between the rolling out of the crust and putting the filling in the crust.

I love my crust recipe. The crust is my favorite part of any pie, quiche, pot pies, meat pies... The best crust ever is my sister Lenore's. It is so flaky. Next favorite... Mine! Sorry but it is!

Anyway I was rolling out the crust and for some stupid reason thought I would make a free form tart instead of a quiche. So I put the crust in the quiche pan and add the filling and the egg mixture and proceeded to fold the crust over. Then I see some of the egg mixture seeping out. Duh! I immediately realize my mistake. Of course it is going to over flow. It was too late. I said a quick prayer and popped it in the oven...
 Well it looked good and yes it was quite tasty!

Mediterranean Wrap

This recipe came from EatingWell.com. I receive their weekly newsletter. The only changes I made in this recipe was the amount of garlic (obviously), I used regular instead of whole wheat couscous and I used whole wheat wraps in place of spinach wraps.

And as I was making dinner tonight... OUCH! I cut my finger! Yeah so much for getting home from work early. Stupid traffic. Chris offered to help when I got in and I said oh no I'll get it done. I was rushing and was not paying attention... Needless to say Chris finished dinner for me. It reminded me of an episode of The Odd Couple where Felix was in a cooking competition and Oscar had to carry him around to finish his dish! You can see it here.

Ingredients
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup couscous
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound chicken tenders
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
4 10-inch whole wheat wraps

Preparation
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine parsley, mint, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Toss chicken tenders in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parsley mixture and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the tenders in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked though, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
Stir the remaining parsley mixture into the couscous along with tomato and To assemble wraps, spread about 3/4 cup of the couscous mixture onto each wrap. Divide the chicken among the wraps. Roll the wraps up like a burrito, tucking in the sides to hold the ingredients in. Serve cut in half.

Pasta with Zucchini and Oregano

Tonight's recipe is from Epicurious.com, Pasta with Zucchini and Oregano. It just felt like a pasta type of day. I made some meatballs for something later in the week and I added a couple to the pasta tonight. They were rockin' meatballs!

Ingredients
1 pound campanelle
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 garlic cloves chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for sprinkling
print a shopping list for this recipe

Preparation
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add zucchini; sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in garlic and oregano; remove from heat. Add zucchini mixture to pasta, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls as needed to moisten. Add 1/2 cup cheese; stir until melted. Transfer to large bowl. Serve, passing additional cheese for sprinkling.

Skillet Pork Chops with Mustard

Another great recipe from the Mark Bittman App - How To Cook Everything, which I hope you all have! I picked up the pork chops at Whole Foods this afternoon along with the Golden Beets, those where oven roasted and tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper.

The recipe took about a half an hour to make. The meat was quite moist and the sauce was perfect. I cut the recipe in half and the only change I made was the garlic... of course.

Ingredients:
2 center‐cut loin pork chops, about 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 garlic clove, I kept it whole so I could remove it
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Caper
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Steps:
    Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper. Put a large skillet over medium‐high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the olive oil; as soon as the first wisps of smoke rise from the oil, add the chops and turn the heat to high. Brown the chops on both sides, moving them around so they develop good color all over, no longer than 4 minutes total and preferably less.
    Reduce the heat to medium. Add the wine and the garlic and cook, turning the chops once or twice, until the wine is all but evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the chops once or twice, until the chops are tender but not dry. When done, they will be firm to the touch, their juices will run just slightly pink, and, when you cut into them (which you should do if you're at all unsure of their doneness), the color will be rosy at first glance but quickly turn pale.
    Transfer the chops to a platter. If the pan juices are very thin, cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly. If they are scarce (unlikely), add another 1/4 cup stock or water; cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly. Then stir in the butter or a few drops of oil over medium heat; add the lemon juice, Dijon Mustard, capers and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the chops, garnish with parsley, and serve.

Bavette in Guazzetto

One of my favorite eBlasts that I receive is the Tasting Table. I bookmarked this recipe awhile back and finally made it tonight. Why did I wait so long. It was wonderful. It reminded me of my mom's Christmas Eve Fish Sauce. And that says alot! But I forgot to add the breadcrumbs before I took the photo : (

Ingredients
6 ounces skinless cod fillet, cut into 3-inch-wide strips
Sea salt

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, crushed
 (I used one and kept it whole so I could remove it)
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
One 28-ounce can peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 pound linguine fini pasta
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ cup)

12 basil leaves, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs, toasted in olive oil until golden brown

Directions
1. Generously cover each piece of fish with salt and let stand for 12 minutes to firm the flesh. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.
2. In a deep saucepan, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to ripple, add the fish and cook until the cod turns opaque and starts to lightly brown, about 3 minutes; turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the cod begins to flake easily when pierced with the tip of a knife, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and add to the tomato sauce, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta water into the sauce until emulsified, then add the parsley and basil and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and divide among plates. Sprinkle each plate with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Sunday Salad and Pizza

Busy day. I finally decided on a paint color for the living and dining room! And Chris was busy planting flowers. So dinner was an easy but delicious salad and frozen pizza.
 
The salad had Green Leaf Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Radishes, Olives, Chickpeas, Feta and Goat Cheese! And the pizza, yes it was a frozen pizza, was better than I thought it was going to be, yes I am a homemade pizza snob!  Freschetta Simply Inspired Classic Bruschetta. The crust was nice and crispy!
The idea of the frozen pizza got me thinking of when I was little and a treat for me was having a TV Dinner! My favorite was Morton's Fried Chicken. Do they still make that?

Chicken, Zucchini and Roasted Pepper Panini

First of all the bread was great!. I picked it up at Stop and Shop. Premium Multigrain Sandwich Bread. I grilled the zucchini slices and then the chicken breast, which was cut into cutlets, on the Panini grill. I then built the sandwiches. Zucchini, Chicken, Roasted Peppers, some Goat Cheese and American Cheese. I had a couple slices of Provolone so I added that too! I buttered the tops of the bread and let the Panini Grill do the rest. We added mustard after the sandwiches came off the press. Also picked up some Greek Pasta Salad at the deli counter.

And we had a new visitor to our bird feeder...

Crispy Cod Steak with Orange Sauce

I was planning on making scallops (too expensive!), or Tilipia (on sale but didn't look that good). Then I saw the Cod which was also on sale and it just looked better. I had no idea what I was going to make but was sure I could find an easy recipe. That is when I checked the Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything App. This was so easy and really delicious.  I made some Angel Hair pasta and fresh peas as sides.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used a lot less)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
4 small cok steaks
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
chopped basil for garnish

Steps:
  1. Heat the oven to 200°F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Season the flour with the salt, lots of black pepper, and the cayenne if you like.
  2. When the skillet is hot, add the butter and olive oil. When the butter foam subsides, dredge each steak in the flour, shaking off the excess. Put them in the skillet and turn the heat up to medium‐high. Cook, rotating the steaks so they brown evenly and turning after about 4 minutes. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, then check: The fish is done when a thin‐bladed knife meets little resistance and little or no translucence appears in the center. Cook it for a minute or two longer if necessary, then transfer to a plate and transfer to the oven.
  3. Add the shallot to the pan and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan until the shallot begins to crisp, just a minute or so. Add the zest and juice, raise the heat until the mixture bubbles, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces and becomes syrupy, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve each steak with a spoonful of sauce and garnish with fresh basil or mint.
The recipe also listed some good variations which I will most likely be trying. This was one of the first apps I purchased and other than Scrabble it is the most used!

Eggplant Balls

My sister made this a while ago and I loved it. The original recipe is from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook. I was not sure if Chris would go nuts over this but he did! I heated them up in some Marinara Sauce and we made sandwiches with that bread my sister gave us. The recipe from the book says you can fry the meatballs. I am sure that would have tasted amazing but the option for baking was also listed so that is what I did.

1/4 cup olive
2 large eggplants, peeled and diced
2 tbsp water
2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
4 oz shredded mozzarella
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour for rolling the eggplant balls

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the diced eggplant and stir to coat. Add the water, cover and cook about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is very soft. Remove from the heat and turn into a bowl. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, mozzarella, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
Form the mixture into meatball size balls. Gently roll each ball in the flour to coat evenly.
Bake in a preheated 350-degrees oven about 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes.