Monday, December 31, 2012

Veal Ossobuco with Barley Risotto

Tonight we turn to page 169 in Lidia's Favorite Recipes and find Veal Ossobuco with Barley Risotto. Veal Ossobuco is one of my husband's favorite meals.

I have never cooked veal. I once saw a farm that had the pens the veal lived in, literally.
I just felt bad. But I was reading the recipe, it sounded easy enough, and it's not like I clubbed the animals myself and heck we ate smoked pork neck last night so I decided to make this for dinner.

Time consuming... a bit but once everything was in the pot it was left alone to simmer for an hour and a half. And the barley is made in advance so no standing over a stove stirring, not easy to do when you are holding a cocktail glass in the other hand.

The taste was amazing! Of course my favorite part was the marrow and the barley! The only thing we were not over the top about was the orange flavor. It was not bad but just did not think it was really necessary. And of course I added crushed red pepper to my dish!

Happy New Year!

Yes I am doing a year end wrap up...

So here we are at the end of the year. This post is a first for me. A year end wrap up. Twelve of my favorite dinners. Not easy to do. But it was fun looking back at this year.

I suppose I am obliged to say more about this year. Hard to do without a tear welling up.  Yeah 2013 will be different. But 2012 was not all sadness and loss. I was able to meet 3 new family members, Luca, Elenora and Maile. The three of them helped to make this holiday season a lot brighter. Luca's laugh, Elenora's amazing hair and Maile's sweetness.

Cue the music, yes Heidi this one is for you....


 Chicken Trombino 







Happy New Year's!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Minestrone with Pork

When I was flipping through Lidia's Favorite Recipes I found the recipe for Minestrone with Pork. I think Chris would put this dinner on his top 10 list for this year. The recipe called for smoked pork shoulder butt. Unfortunately I unable to find it at any of the stores I visited.  I did find smoked pork neck. Yeah I never bought pork neck before but I read that the cut is often used to flavor bean dishes. Perfect! The broth was nice and spicy as the recipe called for a teaspoon hot red pepper flakes.

And this was the perfect meal for a day that started with this weather...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Straw with Hay, My Way!

For Christmas Chris gave me Lidia's Favorite Recipes. I can see myself doing a Julie & Julia type thing because I want to make every recipe. Today I made Rice and Zucchini Crostata. An interesting recipe. The Aborio rice absorbs the liquid from the grated zucchini and is baked. Mine did not come out looking like the one in the book... it was the crust. I need to work on that more. My crust tasted good but I think is should be thinner next time.

For dinner I was going to make Lidia's recipe for Straw and Hay. I made the pasta (used the recipe from Tide and Thyme), but did not make any spinach pasta, just got too tired. I reached for the prosciutto and hey there was none there! Scallions, darn it I only bought enough for the Crostata. But we forged ahead. I had pancetta. And boy was that a good choice. The pasta was delicious and the sauce was better because of the pancetta.

And I did some baking, actually I started the dough yesterday. I made a rye bread and ciabatta using the Jim Lahey 18 hour recipe. It is sooooo easy!

And one more thing....
This is a table runner that I made for my niece. It is made from doilies that my mother tatted when she was young. When I saw this done on Under the Sycamore blog I knew I had to try it. I recently came across quite of few of my mom's doilies so I was ready to go.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beef Stew and Somebody Made Me Cookies!

Tonight we had dinner at my sister's house, her son and his family were up for a visit. Nicholas, my nephew, made beef stew. The recipe is from the magazine La Cucina, or was it the cookbook? Well where ever it was from it was a really good meal. I need to confirm where it was from...

And Nicholas also made Spinach Bread. He used the Jim Lahey recipe so the result was quite good. But drats no photo!

 His children helped make some cookies. Excellent! The torch has been passed.

Today would have been my parents 69th wedding anniversary. 
This year they are together again.
This is a song they may have danced to....
and hopefully they are dancing together now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Here we go with the two best dinners of the year!
That's right Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Fasten your seat belts, but not too tight as there is a lot of food to drool over!

I think I have mentioned previously that my favorite meal of the year is Christmas Eve dinner. My sister and brother-in-law pull out all the stops. The sauce, the fresh pasta, the stuffed squid, the salads and the fried fish and amazing wine pairings... see I told you loosen up the seat belt....

Christmas Eve At My Sister's House
Homemade Pasta with Fish Sauce
Fried Baccalá Balls and Arancini di Riso

Baccalá Salad, I like the spicy one!


 Fried Smelts

 Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce (I took photo before adding the sauce)

 Stuffed Squid, absolutely amazing!

 And Cookies.... 
My new favorites are the Lime Bars,
forget lemon this is the way to go!
120 Proof Whiskey Balls! Wow!

Then There Was Christmas Day

Arancini di Riso


And the star of the dinner...
Cappelletti in my sister's Chicken Broth

 Eggplant and Portabello Mushroom Gratin
(Thank you Chef Darryl Moiles of The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
for sharing the recipe!)
I used up the tomatoes from my Dad's garden that I froze this summer.
The sauce was exceptional!


I would like to sent out a THANK YOU
to Chris who helped pull the Christmas Day meal together and
yes even a thank you to Archie who stayed hidden all day
and Lucy who supplied comic relief.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Did I hear a sneeze?

Have a cold? Then either do one of two things. Order Hot & Sour Soup from your local Chinese restaurant or make this soup.

When I was little and I was not feeling well the doctor made a house call, okay did I just date myself! My mom asked the doctor if she should be giving us vitamins. There was a pan of this soup on the stove and the doctor took a look at it and said, "Mrs. Lombardi if this is the type of food you feed them then they do not need vitamins."

And that is why I cook what I cook for dinner. I have nothing against processed food. I just don't want to eat it very often.

So about this soup. It is too simple not to make. I chopped onions, carrots and celery. Sauteed them in a bit of olive oil, until soft. Then I added Chicken Broth that I had made a couple of weeks ago. Seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme. Added some of the chicken meat from the fowl that I boiled to make the broth, had that in the freezer too. Some fresh chopped spinach and some frozen mixed vegetables (my mom use to use Veg-All) were added. I cooked some egg noodles and added them to the pot. Adjusted the seasoning and it was done.

I will be taking a couple of days off from the blog. My Dad's wake and funeral are tomorrow and Tuesday. After that I will be back...

Frank Lombardi
November 23, 1916 - December 14, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Dad

Yesterday I was going to do a post entitled, The Ice Cream Bean. Last night we had Pasta Fagioli for dinner and when I was little my mom made Pasta Fagioli quite often and I hated it. The only thing I liked about it was that we got to have Italian bread. Anyway my dad would say to me, "But Lucia these are ice cream beans." Of course my father would not lie so I would eat them.

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to type that my Dad passed away today. He was 96 years young. He was a fighter right up to the end. But at the end he went peacefully.

I will miss him more than I think I even realize. I enjoyed going over on Saturdays and taking him grocery shopping and having lunch. He loved going to Whole Foods and looking at the prices of the produce! Even the phone calls to him and yelling in the phone because his hearing aids never worked. And the visits during the week to drop of the endless supply of bananas!

He was the smartest man I knew. He read the business magazines and would save articles for me to read. He was very independent and instilled in me a work ethic that exhausts me.

He was a farmer's son who lost their farm in the depression. He fought in World War II and was a perfect example of the greatest generation. He married and had 3 children who grew up admiring their father.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chicken and Fried Pepper Paninis

When I was little there was a cartoon in the daily paper called Priscilla's Pop. Every day Priscilla's pop had a Mashed Potato Sandwich for lunch. My Dad had a Fried Pepper Sandwich on Italian Bread everyday for lunch. So tonight when we were preparing our Grilled Chicken Paninis I grabbed a jar of Fried Peppers out of the fridge. I will have to tell my Dad what we had for dinner tomorrow when I visit. I am sure he will say that we did not need to add the Chicken!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Smithereens!

Tonight we made our way up to the Infinity Music Hall to see The Smithereens. What an excellent evening. The food was good. The wine was good and the show was fantastic.

 Grilled Shrimp Skewer
Edamame bean salad, hoison tangerine dipping sauce

 Tenderloin Steak Skewer
Ciabatta bleu cheese toast, horseradish cream

Jambalaya Risotto
Chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, tomatoes, onions, peppers

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with
lemon roasted brussel sprouts, Idaho, and sweet potatoes. 
Butternut grain mustard sauce.

Happy Sunday!

What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Welcome to Ham Week

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
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What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 
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