Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Turkey and Bean Chili

Back in September I made a batch of Chili Three Ways that I found on Cookstr.  I made Beef and Bean Chili with one batch, and this batch I made the Turkey with Bean Chili. Instead of ground turkey I used frozen cooked turkey meat that was leftover from the turkey breast we made after Thanksgiving. Excellent Chili every time!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Roman Stracciatella (Egg Drop Soup)

I hope everyone who reads this blog also gets the Tasting Table eblasts. It is great a source of recipes and food news. Tonight's soup recipe is from last week's blast. Roman Stracciatella (Egg Drop Soup).  Simple, very simple to  make. I used my homemade broth and we used oregano as garnish instead of the basil suggested in the recipe. And adding lemon juice was a nice touch!
To go along with the soup I made Grilled Provolone, Broccoli Rabe and Tomato sandwiches.
This was the perfect midweek quick fix dinner.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rolled Flank Steak with Green Olives and Oregano

Taking part in Cookbook Sundays has me going through my cookbooks again. 

The other day I came upon Mario Batali's Simple Italian Food

There are a couple of recipes I have made from this book but this is one of our favorites.  The sauce was delicious. We had meat with rigatoni and lots of Italian bread. I even watched a youtube video on the correct way to tie braciole... perhaps next time I can lighten up on the string.

I have posted this recipe before so as a time saver for me here is the link. Click Here!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Best Pizza Crust... Really!

I was very excited to see the new Bon Appetit in the mailbox the other day. On the cover was a fantastic looking pizza. Recipe for the dough was from My Bread by Jim Lahey. I have been using this recipe since January of last year! Amazing texture and after the dough has risen it is wonderful to work with.

Tonight's toppings were pretty basic. Tomato and cheese. Oh I also added a little roasted asparagus I made this morning.

Here is the recipe from the book

3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp instant or other active dry yeast
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp plus a pinch sugar
1 1/3 cups water, room temperature (about 72 degrees F)

In medium bowl stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough will be stiff. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

This recipe from the book makes enough for one pizza and 2 calzones. Or you can freeze half the dough for another use. The recipe in Bon Appetit makes enough for 6 pizzas.

What did we have for dinner a year ago...
Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago...
Monkfish with Olives

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chicken Trombino

Wow another fast meal!  I found this on Lidia's Italy site. I love her recipes. The dishes are so comforting and delicious. This one was amazing. Try it. I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What did we have for dinner- Part 2

Yeah again a crazy week. I love long weekends but fitting 5 days of work into 4 can be... not sure how to describe it. But the week is over and I can recap our dinners.
And as an added bonus I have an entry for Cookbook Sundays in this recap. (Hint - it's Thursday's entry)

Tuesday - Chicken Noodle Soup
On Sunday I made a large pot of my sister's Chicken Broth recipe so obviously we had to have soup. The broth came out very good. (Food styling by Chris)

Wednesday - Vegetable Frittatta
Being Ash Wednesday I made a frittatta using the leftover vegetables and potatoes from our Whole Foods purchase this weekend. Perfect way to use any kind of leftovers.

Thursday - A Cookbook Sundays Entry! - Baked Macaroni with Eggplant

This was suppose to be our Ash Wednesday meal but last night I picked up my new car (!!!) so we needed something quick to heat up and the frittatta fit the bill.
But tonight we had Baked Macaroni with Eggplant. The recipe is from La Cucina. I have not cooked from there recently but the Cookbook Sundays blog had me going through my bookcase. Chris gave me this book for Christmas back in 2010 and I love it.
It was written by Giuliano Bugialli, The Italian Academy Of Cuisine - Rizzoli (2009).

Here is a description of the book from Google-
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

The only change I made in this recipe was omitting the lardo. Still have not found that item in a store near me. Here is the recipe -

3 eggplants, cut in thin lengthwise strips
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lardo, minced (I have never seen this in a store...)
1 garlic clove, crushed
3/4 lb. fresh plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded (I used canned San Marzano tomatoes)
3/4 lb. macaroni rigatoni
2oz. caciocavallo, sliced (I used Scamorza)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a baking dish. Put the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and leave for 30 minutes to make them lose their bitter juice.
Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a pan. Rinse and dry the eggplant slices and fry them; set aside.
In a saucepan heat the lardo and 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onion and garlic; add the tomatoes and season with salt; cover and cook at low heat.
Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water; drain when al dente.
In the baking dish arrange alternating layers of macaroni, tomato sauce, eggplant, and caciocavallo, continuing the layers until no ingredients are left. Place pats of butter across the surface and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from pan and place onto a serving dish and cut in wedges to serve.

And finally Friday - The Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish
Wow what a crazy 4 days this has been. But I planned ahead for tonight. I took some shrimp out of the freezer this morning. At lunch I picked up some green beans and 2 potatoes that could be cooked in the microwave. Sorry but I had to do it to save time. But the shrimp is so easy and fast to prepare. The recipe is from the Mark Bittman. I have made this recipe so many times. Perfect for when you are running late or stuck in traffic.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Warm Terrine of Sausage, Peppers and Polenta

I found this recipe online years ago on the Food Network site. It is from Mario Batali. I served it with a little Marinara Sauce on the side. (I made a large pot of it yesterday and divided it into small portions for the freezer). It looks like I was trying to spell something out with the Mozzarella on the top but I did not... maybe next time.

Today is President's Day and it is a day off from work. So what did I do... baked bread.
Actually I started it it Sunday morning and baked it today. It is the No Knead Bread from My Bread by Jim Lahey.
It came out perfect. Chris said it was better then one of his favorite bakery loaves! Don't you love comments like that! And I am taking part in the BYOB - Bake Your Own Bread blog. (So even the next recipe could be part of the baking experience...)
BYOB Badge

And I could not stop there... I have been wanting to make a breakfast bar. I found a reference to Baked Oatmeal last week. I googled the recipe and found this one on the All Recipes site and also learned that it is an Amish dish. It is a nice change from the store bought breakfast bars!

And Lucy got her nails done today.
There is no way I can cut them, she looks sweet but she is not as mellow as Archie.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What did we have for dinner?

Sometimes time is something I do not have. I am sure all of you have been in the situation where taking the time to "blog" is not possible. Well that is what last week was like.
Anyway on with "What did we have for dinner?"
Wednesday, Feb. 15 - Zhangs General Tso's Chicken, sorry no photo.

 Thursday, Feb. 16 - Eggplant Meatballs with Penne Pasta.
Recipe for Eggplant Meatballs from Claire's Corner Cookbook.

 Friday, Feb. 17 - From Whole Foods, Sole Stuffed with Feta and Spinach.

Saturday, Feb. 18 - Bradley and Wall's Chicken Rustico.

 Sunday, Feb 19 
well except I did not have the Port... when did I use that up?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

Happy Valentine's Day!
What says I love you more than serving a dinner that is very healthy!

I found this recipe on the What's Cookin site. The only change I made was instead of adding the onions with the other vegetables at the end I sauteed them then added the sweet potatoes and seasonings to the pan. The seasoning mix was interesting. A lot of ingredients that I don't usually use at dinner. Both Chris and I enjoyed the flavors.

2 lbs peeled, baked sweet potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium
1 cup onion, chopped small
2 cup spinach leaves, cut into small pieces
2 cup peeled parsnips cut into ½” pieces
4 cup Swiss chard leaves cut into 1” pieces
3 jalapenos, seeded and minced

Seasoning Mix:
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp dill weed
½ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp ground sage
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp white pepper

Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Bake sweet potatoes. Process the sweet potatoes in a food processor until smooth. Place the butter in a heavy 5-qt pot over high heat. Melt and add sweet potatoes, garlic and seasonings. Cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Add 4 cups of stock. Stir to make sure nothing sticks for another 6 minutes. Add 2 more cups of stock and cook until boiling, about 8 minutes. Add onion, spinach, parsnips, chard and jalapenos. Stir and cover. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Add more stock if needed. Serves 6.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Spinach, Cannellini Beans and Bacon and Cinnamon Chip Scones

Don't you just love homemade pasta. Yesterday I saw a bag at Whole Foods for $7.00! I was glad I have a pasta machine. A couple of weeks ago I saw this recipe for homemade pasta on Tide and Thyme and had bookmarked it because it used half all purpose flour and half semolina flour. My usual recipe only uses only all purpose flour. The recipe says you end up with about a pound of pasta. Well it was more like almost 2 pounds!
So I froze half of the pasta.

On with the the rest of the meal... I made some soup today that used Swiss Chard and Spinach. Of course I had too much of both so I sauteed both of them in a little olive oil and added some pre-cooked bacon, a lot of crushed red pepper, a can of rinsed cannellini beans and a bit of pasta water.
This was quite good if I say so!

Hey almost forgot about breakfast...
Cinnamon Chip Scones. I used a recipe from Fannetastic Food blog as a base and added Cinnamon Chips and Chocolate Shots to the batter. Topped them with a little Cinnamon and Sugar.

Just a quiet day at home.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whole Foods To The Rescue!

What a long strange week this has been. Today I was on a search for low sodium prepared foods for my dad that could be microwaved. My sister and I and my niece bring meals, lots of meals over to him but he still reaches for the darn ramen noodles when he wants a quick lunch. And at 95 with a heart condition that is not the best choice. Luckily I found a nice selection of options for him.

 While at Whole Foods I picked up dinner for Chris and I. For Chris I got a piece of Chicken Parmesan and for myself I got Chicken Caprese. Some Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Green Beans rounded out the meal.
Almost forgot... Happy Birthday to me. Well yesterday was my birthday. I had cake at work (thank you Julie!) and for dinner we ate at Friend's and Company. Wonderful food and a lot of laughs!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cheeseburger Quiche

It was the best of dinners, it was the worst of dinners, it was a wise dinner choice, it was a foolish dinner choice... Sorry but I just wanted to say Happy 200th Birthday to Charles Dickens!

Dinner was quite good. I tore this recipe out of the October issue of Family Circle. It tasted just like a Cheeseburger from the Athenian Dinner... at 2 in the morning... after a night at Toad's... Heidi could you pass the ketchup!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Wrap-Up

What a great game! Yes one of us is a Giants fan.
And if it is Super Bowl Sunday then it means we are having ribs. I made my usual recipe from
The Roasted Asparagus is from the Cake Boss and the potatoes are from... I guess my mom because this is how she made them.
Slice the potatoes into thin wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, turning once.

I almost forgot about the appetizer. We had the usual chips and salsa but I also made my mom's Friselle recipe. I cut her recipe in half because it seems like when she and I would make them we would go on for hours! They are tasty. You can not eat just one... plus they are too small to eat just one!


3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup of oil
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 cup cold water

Mix all the ingredients. Roll into long strips and cut into small slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes on lower shelf and 10 minutes on upper shelf.

Now on to tonight... And tonight's dinner... leftover ribs and some Beef Barley Soup I had in the freezer. We used the Frezels as little crackers in the soup!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Night Frittatta

Well let me start by saying I usually prepare my frittattas on the weekend for a midweek meal. I worked from home today so not having to deal with traffic afforded me the luxury of preparing a frittatta for dinner tonight!
Where to start... I had some peppers and zucchini in the fridge that I wanted to use up.
I also added onion. To the eggs I added a little ricotta. The seasonings were the usual - salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and Parmesan cheese. The frittatta came out perfect.

But I could not stop there. I bought a loaf of very expensive bread today.  A multi-grain loaf of "Panini" bread. It was quite good but seriously it was just sliced thicker than the usual loaf.
So after making this purchase I had to make Paninis.
Really glad I bought that bread. The sandwiches were perfect. But next time it will be with homemade bread!

What did we have for dinner a year ago...
Baked Macaroni

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago...
Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Happy February! Let's start with an oldie but a goodie. Chicken Pot Pie. Recipe from I used leftover roasted chicken but I followed their recipe for the sauce. And it was good! But honestly the best part of this was the crust. I made a Pate Brisée and added some thyme to the dough. I used cookie cutters for the steam vents!

What we ate for dinner a year ago...
Stir-Fried Beef with Onions and Ginger

What we ate for dinner 2 years ago...
Manicotti with Chicken Sausage