Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks and A Lot of Freezer Food

Today I made the first big batch of meat sauce for the fall/winter season.
I made 4 loaves of Pain a l' Ancienne and some butternut squash soup.
Oh, I forgot the mention the 8 dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies in the freezer!

Now about dinner. Amazing. Plain and simple. I am thinking this may be a good dish for Christmas dinner. I loved it. Chris like it. And the bonus was the bone marrow. Prefect on the  bread I made today! Mashed potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower were our sides.


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Rocco DiSpirito at RJ Julia Bookstore

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post  : (

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post  : (

Chicken, Ham, and Swiss Roulades

The Chin came to the rescue. Today I worked from home. I was planning on making a nice dinner and at lunch I had time to prep the chicken. But alas I was still working at 6:30 when Chris got home. Not a problem. He first fixed me a drink, yeah he is a keeper, and then he started making dinner. 
The chicken was quite good. The recipe was from RealSimple.com. We had aborio rice that I had in the freezer, picked up the idea from Trader Joe's who sells frozen Jasmati Rice!

Ingredients
8 small chicken cutlets
kosher salt and pepper
8 thin slices ham
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil 

Method
Heat oven to 400º F.
Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roll up each cutlet with a slice each of the ham and cheese. Skewer with toothpicks.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roulades and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the roulades until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.


We had a bottle of 2008 Frescobaldi Remole Toscana. Wow. Really liked this wine. Perhaps this should be our house wine....

Baked Macaroni

First one of the fall. This time I added Smoked Gouda. Excellent cheese choice! Nice flavor. Chris thought there might be bacon in it when it was still in the oven. But no meat!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Mini Meatloaf

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Zucchini, Onion and Tomato Pizza

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Homemade Pappardella with Portebello Mushrooms and Bolognese Sauce

Pizza Pie

I decided to call this Pizza Pie because it had 2 crusts! I made some eggplant balls this weekend and I had marinara sauce and even Pizza Dough in the freezer. I fried up some pancetta.
I rolled out half the dough and put it in the bottom of a spring form pan. Layered Mozzarella cheese, goat cheese and ricotta cheese, Pancetta and sauce. Next went the meatball, sorry eggplant balls. More sauce and Parmesan cheese. Topped with the rest of the crust. Into a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes. Yeah this was like an eggplant and bacon pizza but better!


And who is 4 years old today?
 This was Lucy on her first day with us. She was so skinny! I think her face has softened a bit too!



It is fitting that we had "Pizza Pie" tonight as the local paper reported that Flo" Consiglio, the matriarch of the Sally's Appiza had passed away. If you are ever in New Haven you have try the Sally's White Clam Pie, my favorite. Condolences to her family.



Chicken in a Pot

Okay let's get this over with. Here is the link to the Ricky Lee Jones song that has been in my head all day...

Yesterday I was checking out the Mark Bittman app, How to Cook Everything. There was an update for the app so I was excited to see what update included. I found the recipe for Chicken in a Pot. The heavens opened up and the angels sang... well maybe not but let me tell you this is truly an amazing meal. The broth was so light and the chicken was perfect... It was one of those meals that when you think about it later it makes you smile. Okay I guess I am a foodie!

And I was looking for a copy of this recipe online so I would not have to type it, sorry, and I found out that it is in a cookbook! And yes I will be purchasing this cookbook so stay tuned for more Mark Bittman!

Fried Potatoes, Chick Peas and Chorizo

A slight variation on the Mark Bittman recipe that I have made quite often. We had the potatoes leftover from last night. I fried them up along with the chickpeas and chorizo. An excellent addition. Fried potatoes can make any dish taste better.
Here is the link to the video for this recipe.

Pork Chops with Mustard-Cornichon Sauce and Mini Apple Pie

I was planning on making Pork Chops au Poivre but I did not have the sour cream the recipe called for and was not about to drive back to the store for a 1/4 of sour cream. So I went to Bon Appetit.com to find another pork recipe. I found Pork Chops with Mustard-Cornichon Sauce and I had everything in the house. Okay this was better then I thought it was going to be. The sauce was amazing and the meat was cooked perfectly. Yeah I will make this again.

For side dishes I made parsleyed potatoes and sauteed zucchini and eggplant, both were from my Dad's garden.
Now for dessert. Last Sunday when I was awake at 4AM I was checking out Pinterest. I saw this recipe for Mini Apple Pie posted by A Little Bit Funky. I love pie, it's a crust thing. But Chris and I can never finish a whole pie. So we have mini pies! What a brilliant idea. The crust was my Pate Brise recipe for the Silver Palate cookbook. They came out so cute. But next time I would put more filling in the crust.

Don't think I have posted the pie crust recipe before... so here it is.

1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch granulated sugar
5-1/2 tbsp (2/3 stick) sweet butter, chilled

3 tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

Sift the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl; add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is like coarse meal.
2. Sprinkle on and blend in enough of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water in lightly with a fork.

Turn dough out onto you work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape up the smeared dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Ravioli Alla Lucia


Hey that's my name! If you are a reader of this blog you can agree that if it is Friday it will be pasta and it will have zucchini in it. I had one zucchini in the fridge. So I sliced it and sliced an onion and chopped up what might be the last of the tomatoes from my dad's garden. I sauteed everything in olive oil and butter. Then I added a jar, yes I typed the word "jar", to the pan of vegetables. Wolfgang Puck Vodka Sauce to be exact.
I put Cheese Ravioli and a little bit of gnocchi in to a pot of boiling water. I  added the pastas to the sauce and finished cooking it.
It was just good. The consistency of the sauce was nice and the added vegetables gave it nice extra layer of flavor. This was not your ordinary pasta with Vodka Sauce!


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post!  : (
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Leek and Spinach Tart

A Weekend Wrap Up

Yes we had dinner this week.  We actually had some very good dinners this week. Just could not find the time to post so here we go...

Monday, September 17

French Onion Grilled Cheese

Yes you read that correctly! I found this recipe on TasteSpotting. Caramelized onions. Actually Wine Braised Onions. It tasted like a bowl of soup! So comforting.


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
I am not cooking tonight.

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post!  : (

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post!  : (




Tuesday, September 18

Farro Soup With Chorizo


First let me say, "Happy Anniversary Stephen and Ann!"
Farro Soup with Chorizo. This was from Real Simple. I do love that site for easy but very good recipes. Today it was stormy out so the soup hit the spot. And best part is there was enough for another meal so we have soup in the freezer!


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Jalapeno Popper Dip followed by Sole Meuniere

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Chicken and Thyme



Wednesday, September 19

Pork Meatballs

     
What? Pork Meatballs! Oh wait... first HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI! Okay back to dinner. I found this in a Tasting Table newsletter. Something completely different. Who would have thought to have meatballs without sauce! We had it with the grainy mustard the recipe recommends. Loved this. The spiciness of the paprika and the crushed red pepper. Really nice.


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Baked Macaroni

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Quinoa with Ground Meat and Soy Sauce

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese


 

Thursday, September 20

Chicken Pot Pie

Happy Anniversary Carlo and Tara!
And it is the time of year that we can start eating meals like Chicken Pot Pie. First off I cheated. I was rushed and I had to make a quick Pot Pie. I felt bad but what could I do? Yes I used Cream of Potato soup. Sigh. I did not have time to make the roux and the thought of the pans was something I was not ready to jump into. The result was a damn good pot pie. LOL! Of course the crust was perfect, that is the best part. But the next pot pie will be truly homemade... I promise.


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Butternut Squash Soup

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Pasta with White Sausage and Greens

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Roasted Chicken Purses

Roast Pork Shoulder, Suppli and a LIttle Baking

Last just start with the Roast Pork Shoulder. I saw this recipe posted on Living the Gourmet blog and I knew Chris would like this. The last line in the recipe says that "this is a dinner that requires patience and is worth waiting for!" Yes it does require patience, 9 hours in the oven. And it was so worth the wait!
And the taste... well let's just say it was delicious. The only change I made in the recipe was the amount of garlic. I used 2 cloves which was a lot for us! We got so much meat off of the shoulder. And another thing about this recipe is that there is a video for it too! Thank goodness. I felt like I was watching Julia Child on TV and cooking along with her!

To go along with the Roast Pork I made Suppli (Rice Balls). When I made the Aborio Rice last night I made extra so I could make these. I even fried them. So good.... The recipe is from Simple Italian Snacks.

Then there was the bread. Herb and Cheese Bubble Loaf from Frieda Loves Bread.  This was so cool. It is like a Monkey Bread. There are little balls of bread and you just break one off. And then you get another and another...


Now let's go back to earlier in the day... breakfast to be exact. From Oh My! Sugar High -Scrumptious Baked Cinnamon Breakfast Bites. I found this recipe about 4AM as I lay awake checking out Pinterest. I said to myself and Lucy, she kind of woke me up, that I would try to make these for breakfast today. I love the idea of baked donuts. And the cinnamon and sugar reminded me of the cinnamon toast my mom use to make for breakfast!



So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Pasta Norma

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post!  : (

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Steak Pizzaiola and An Interesting Foccaccia

Yeah we are making bread. I love this time of year because I love making bread. The whole flour and yeast thing has always amazed me. The possibilities are endless. Let us raise our glass to toast a new season of bread baking.
 
I decided to start slow. I found a recipe for a Rosemary Foccaccia. Simple enough. Loved it! Ended up with enough for another 2 meals, those portions went into the freezer. Yes we are also entering Freezer Food season.
Let's talk about dinner.  Steak Pizzaiola. The two pieces of meat cost $6.73. The sauce was made using a can of tomatoes which cost $1.99.  And the wine was even under $10. I pan seared the steaks and added a marinara that I whipped up. Into a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. They were cooked perfectly for us. We like our meat medium to medium well done.

This was a restaurant quality meal. For sides we had Aborio Rice and sauteed Zucchini. Timing of the meal was 45 minutes from starting the sauce to plating.

On a side note - does anyone else have this problem... you are trying to read the daily papers and a cat just has to parked himself on what you are trying to read?



So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Grilled Chicken and Roasted Pepper Panini


So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Challenge #1: Ready, Set, Blog!

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post  : (

Pasta Rags with Chicken, Bacon and Leeks

When Chris walked in the door tonight he said whatever I was cooking smelled good outside. Okay I don't like to brag but holy cow this was good.

This meal came together the other day when a friend at work gave me some leeks from her CSA. Thank you Wendy! I love leeks. I usually make Chicken with Leeks and Bacon. I did not have alot of chicken so I decided to add pasta to the meal.

I  cooking up some chopped bacon. I removed the bacon from the pan and wiped it out. Then I sauteed some leeks in olive oil and a knob of butter. I cut the chicken breasts into cubes and dredged the cubes in flour and thyme and added them to the saute pan. After the chicken began to brown I added some white wine and covered the pan until it was cooked through.

Meanwhile I am making the pasta. I use the recipe from Tide and Thyme. The pasta was perfect! I made only 1/2 into "rags" and cut the other half into fettuccine noodles and popped them in the freezer.

I boiled the pasta rags and when they were just al dente I added them to the pan with the leeks and chicken. I added a little butter to give it a nice glaze (did you get that Heidi?).  The bacon was sprinkled on top. A little cheese and crushed red pepper and that was dinner!

The pasta machine was my mother's. When I was putting it away I noticed the price tag! 
 My mom was an excellent shopper.



So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Grilled Pork Chops

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Another sign of Fall - Chicken Pot Pie

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Cheeseburger Strudel

This was quite a delicious dinner. Flaky strudel, caramelized onions, ground beef, cheddar cheese and that special topping - mayo, mustard and relish. It was like a diner hamburger at home. I found this at the Athens Food site.


Ingredients
Cooking oil spray

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup relish

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon yellow mustard 

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

20 sheets Athens Fillo Dough (9”x14”), thawed

1/2 cup butter, melted


Method
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, breaking up the beef into crumbles as it cooks.

Drain the meat and transfer to a bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, onions, relish, cheese, mustard and mayonnaise, mixing well. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Prepare four fillo rolls according to directions for Rolls or Strudels. Brush each roll with butter and place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to wire rack to cool slightly before serving.


A Fresh Fig Cake and A Tomato Tart

Yes I am starting with dessert. This morning I was checked the sites I follow and I found a post for Italian Fig and Cheese Filled Galette. I was so excited. I was going to make this. But no almond paste, I was sure I had some. And no mascarpone cheese! Drats. Well I bookmarked the recipe. Check it out if you have a second. It really looks good!

Now granted I could have run out to the store but something about the grocery store on a Sunday. Yeah not what I want to get involved in. And then I remembered a recipe I saw for an Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Figs!
Fresh Fig Cake. I made it in no time. It came out perfect. It is not too sweet so it is perfect for a scoop of ice cream!
For dinner we had a Tomato Tart. I found this recipe on the Proud Italian blog. I added some thyme to the crust I made. Nice.
And of course I had to make a salad, aka my lunch for tomorrow! And yes those are figs you see in the salad!


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Penne with Sausage, Zucchini and Tomato


So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Taco Pacifico

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Bon Appétit Saturday Night

Today I was able to catch up on some magazines on the coffee table. I found two recipes that were perfect for dinner, meaning I had all the ingredients in the house already!


The first was Crunchy Oil Cured Tomatoes. I have been wanting to make this for awhile, it's not like I did not have the tomatoes. I even had Italian bread from last night to use for the breadcrumbs.

Braised Chicken with Capers and Parsley was the main dish. The recipe called for bone-in chicken. I had a bone-in Chicken breast and some boneless breast meat and thighs. Chris likes the white meat and I like the dark meat. I prepared the boneless chicken just as the recipe directed. This was so good. The sauce had a nice bite to it. Both the tomatoes and the chicken will probably be made again!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Grilled Chicken and Zucchini

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Eggplant Stacks with Prosciutto and Cheeses


So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Sausage, Zucchini and Pasta


This was a quick meal to put together. I sauteed sausage in olive oil until sausage was browned. I added sliced zucchini, yellow squash, onions and cook until the squash was caramelized. I seasoned it with salt and pepper. I had some left over grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini from last night. Into the sauce they went. I added some butter and then some white wine. From the pasta pan I added about 1/4 cup of water. Added the pasta to the saute pan to finish cooking. Wow. A perfect meal for the end of a crazy week.

It may have been a crazy week but at least I have the handsomest kitty!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Green Beans with Sauce and Eggs

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Polpette Di Pane (Bread Balls in Tomato Sauce

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Chicken Sausage, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes

Tonight Chris grilled Chicken and Apple Sausages, red onion, red pepper, zucchini, white eggplant and tomatoes (the last three ingredients were from my Dad's garden). The tomatoes were delicious. Very meaty and sweet. We had brown rice as a side dish.


So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
Lavash Pizza

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Burgers, Bulgur Salad, Grilled Corn and a Plum Tart

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?