Sunday, April 28, 2013

Steak and Cheese Pie, Farro and Sping Vegetable Salad and a Special Cake

Let's start with dessert. Friday was the 7 year anniversary of my mom's passing. All weekend I wanted to make one of her recipes. On Thursday night I was reading Living the Gourmet blog entry entitled Green Apple Cobbler. It reminded me of my mom's 4 Egg Cake.
Finally today I baked the cake. I used my Mom's 2 Egg Cake recipe and used the Living the Gourmet recipe for the apple topping. How was it? Oh it was good. It was really, really good. The sauteed apples were not too sweet. I know my Dad would have said it needed vanilla ice cream, and yeah that would have been a nice addition.

Two Egg Apple Cobbler Cake
From a recipe card in my mom's recipe drawer. Topping from the Living Gourmet

Ingredients for the Cake -
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, my mom called it Spry
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Ingredients for the Apples -2 green apples – peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon butter
¼  tsp. cinnamon

Blend shortening, sugar and eggs.
Stir in dry ingredients alternate with milk and vanilla.
Peel and slice the apples. Heat a large frying pan on low with the 2 tablespoon of butter. Place the sliced apples in the pan add the lemon juice and dust the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
As soon as the apples are coated remove from the heat.
Butter an 8 ½ inch baking pan and place the apples on the bottom.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Gently loosen the edges with a spatula and place a serving plate over the pan and turn over. Mine did stick a bit on the sides, just one side, the side that is not in the photo!

Yes this is a dinner blog...
Steak and Cheese Pie. Actually Steak, Onion and Cheese Pie. I had some Pate Brisee with Pepper in the freezer from the Easter Meat Pies. I sauteed the onions and steak. Rolled out the crust and added the steak, onions, some Provolone and American Cheese. Best part about this was the crust.

And the side dish, or what am I eating for lunch this week. Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables and Feta. Yeah that was good too! But the recipe said 2 serving. 2 servings for 3 days! This got a good review from Chris. The dressing so basic but it is all the dish needed.

Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables and Feta , from The Tasting Table

Ingredients -
Farro, 1 cup
Vegetable broth or water, 2 cups
Dried bay leaf, 1
Kosher salt, 21/2 teaspoons, divided
Lacinato kale, 4 leaves (tough stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces)
Small radishes, 2 (thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline)
Small carrots, 2 (peeled and thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline)
Small celery stalk with leaves, 2 (stalk thinly sliced and the leaves left whole)
Feta cheese, 4 ounces (crumbled; about 1/2 cup)
Fresh tarragon sprigs, 3 (leaves removed and finely chopped)
Fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Extra-virgin olive oil, 6 tablespoons
Freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
Small red beets, 2 (peeled and thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline)

Method -
To a medium saucepan, add the: Farro, Vegetable broth or water.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the: Dried bay leaf, 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Simmer until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the farro to a fine-mesh sieve to drain off any excess water, then turn it out into a medium bowl. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

To the cooked farro, use a wooden spoon to stir in the: Torn kale, Shaved radishes, Shaved carrots, Sliced celery, Celery leaves, Crumbled feta cheese, Chopped tarragon, Lemon juice, Extra-virgin olive oil.

Stir in the: Remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, Freshly ground black pepper
Then gently fold in the: Shaved beets.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Did you notice it is suddenly spring! What a glorious day. I was at my parent's house with my sister cleaning up, the never ending chore.
I stepped out back for a break and took these photos. Everything is terribly overgrown but it looks like the largest fig tree made it through the winter.

For dinner we had Crispy Chicken Cutlets. The recipe was from What a great recipe. I love Panko breadcrumbs. The meat was nice and moist with that crunchy coating.

Sides were Burnt  Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Couscous. No I did not take a photo of the burnt Brussels Sprouts!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eggplant Balls with Pappardelle

Hey two meatless meals in a row! Shhhhh. Let's keep this quiet.
I made these Eggplant Balls on Sunday. The recipe is from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook. The Pappardelle was part of the batch I made on Friday night, I put half of the batch of  cut pasta in the freezer. Homemade pasta tastes so much better than store bought whether it is fresh or frozen.

I heated the eggplant in the oven and than tossed it with some Marinara that I had the freezer, heated it up first of course. I tossed in some grated Mozzarella cheese and we were good to go. So very good to go!

Ingredients -
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

Method -
 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.

I entered this post as part of Pasta Please. It is month long pasta-centric event created by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. I am late to the table on this but I heard about it from bricioli de italiano. Both blog are filled with wonderful recipes and stories.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth

Doesn't the title sound delicious. The recipe for this soup is from Food and Wine. It was a nice soup but as I was heating it up it looked shall we say "boring." Well I had the leftover orzo and peas from the other night's dinner. Yep that was added to the pot. Nice move. It gave some body, and pasta!

Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth, from Food and Wine

Ingredients -
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
6 cups water
One 3-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Method -
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the cheese rind and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Discard the cheese rind and bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and basil and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Meatball Pizza

Can't say much about this... it's not nice to talk with my mouth full. What I can say is the pizza was delicious. I had the meatballs in the freezer and the pizza dough recipe came from the book My Bread by Jim Lahey. There was only one little piece left.

Earlier today I tried a new scone recipe from Cooking Light. Pistachio Cranberry Scones.

Ingredients -
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pistachios, toasted
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Method -
Preheat oven to 400°.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill flour mixture 10 minutes.

Combine buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through egg), stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until dough is moist.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 12 wedges (do not separate the wedges). Brush egg white over dough; sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan; cool 2 minutes on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And only 191 calories.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Braised Chicken, Mediterranean Style

This is the second Saturday in a row that I have made a recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything The Basics. This was delicious. The sauce was so crisp and flavorful. It was not heavy like a Cacciatore, which is what I was planning on making tonight.

Braised Chicken, Mediterranean Style, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything The Basics, (with my notes added)

Ingredients -
2 tbsp olive oil
1 whole cut-up chicken or about 3 pounds parts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
2 anchovy fillets or 1 tbsp drained capers, optional (I used the capers)
1 tsp. minced garlic (I did not add this)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain) (I used the Fire Roasted tomatoes)
1/2 cup dry white wine, chicken stock or water (I used the wine)
1 cup Nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish (I forgot to add this!)

Method -
Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. When it's hot, add the chicken, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, undisturbed but adjusting the heat so the chicken sizzles but doesn't burn, until the pieces release easily from the pan, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn and rotate them every few minutes to brown them evenly. As the chicken pieces brown, after another 5 to 10 minutes remove them from the pan.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and pour or spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onions and anchovies or capers stirring frequently, until the onions soften (and if using the anchovies until they break up), 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and turn up the heat just a little. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble and the tomatoes thickens a bit, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the olives and thyme along with some pepper. (The olives are so salty that you may not need to add more salt, but if you do, you can always add it later.) Return the chicken pieces to the pan, tucking them into the sauce a bit. Adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently but steadily, then cover the skillet.
Cook, checking every 5 minutes to turn the pieces, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes, adding a tablespoon of liquid if the sauce looks too dry. The meat is done when a quick-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155-165˚F. Remove the chicken from the pan and taste the sauce; adjust the seasoning, spoon it over the chicken, garnish with parsley, and serve.

For I side dish I made some orzo and added frozen baby peas along with some Parmesan cheese and butter. It looked very springy, even though the temperatures are dropping!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pappardelle with Arugula and Prosciutto

The new Bon Appetit has arrived. Turn down pages! The first recipe I tried was Pappardelle with Arugula and Prosciutto. This was very, very good. It was light and a bit peppery and lemony.

I made the Pappardelle using my favorite pasta recipe from Tide and Thyme.

The meal came together quickly. I had everything prepped ahead of time. Tearing the Prosciutto may take longer than you think so it is best to have all your mis en place ready.

Pappardelle with Arugula and Prosciutto, from Bon Appetit May 2013

Ingredients -
1/2 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and pale greens only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus more for serving
1 bunch arugula, thick stems trimmed, leaves torn (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces

Method -
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 5-8 minutes.
Add pasta, chives, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing and adding more cooking liquid by 1/4-cupfuls as needed, until a glossy sauce forms that coats pasta, about 4 minutes.

Add arugula and 1/3 cup Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Add prosciutto and toss again. Top pasta with more lemon zest and Parmesan.

And to snack on with a cocktail while preparing dinner I made Spicy Roasted Chickpeas. I used the recipe from the Martha Stewart site. Cheers!

And Happy 44th Anniversary to my sister and her husband!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

We love this casserole. I put it together Sunday night after dinner. The chicken was from the Roasted Chicken. I used a marinara sauce that I had made Sunday morning. And I even made the quinoa earlier on Sunday. All Chris had to do was pop it in the oven. Not only was it a delicious meal, it was a super easy clean up.

The recipe comes from Elly Says Opa! The only change I made was to use homemade Marinara Sauce instead of the canned tomato sauce.

Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan, From Elly Says Opa! (with my variations)

Ingredients -
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced (Did not add this)

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (Used Marinara Sauce)

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted Tomatoes, love these)

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

basil and oregano, to taste

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water or broth
 (I used water)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cooked* and cut into bite sized pieces

2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs (optional)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Method -
Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking oil.

Make the sauce:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.  Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Make the quinoa:
Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse with cold water for about 2 minutes.
Place the quinoa and water or broth in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil (if using water, you may want to add a little salt). Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer until cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and chicken with the sauce and mix thoroughly.
Place half the mixture in the baking dish, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
Top with the remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and the Parmesan. Add the breadcrumbs, if using.
Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley (and additional Parmesan) before serving, if desired.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash, Potato and Prosciutto Frittatta

You may remember last Friday night I made roasted butternut squash and potatoes.
I had quite a bit leftover so that was the base for the frittatta. I added onion, prosciutto and Scamorza cheese. Nice combinations. I sauteed the onion and than added the butternut squash and potatoes. Got them a bit crispy and added the eggs and some Parmesan cheese. Topped it with the prosciutto and the Scamorza cheese.
We made panini's and had potato chips as a side, what a treat!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Italian Shepherd's Pie with Polenta

I was going to make lasagna but no ricotta! 
Think fast. 
I had the ground beef. 
I just made a pan of marinara sauce and I had instant polenta. 
So what was for dinner?
Italian Shepherd's Pie with Polenta.

I sauteed the beef, seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and parsley. I stirred in some frozen mixed vegetables, cooked them in the microwave first. I added some of the sauce and put the mixture in a casserole dish.  I had a little Scarmoza cheese that I tucked into the meat at about 1 inch intervals. Sprinkled some Mozzarella on top and then spread the cooked polenta (I had added a knob of butter and some Parmesan cheese to the polenta as it was finishing cooking). Baked at 375 for about 40 minutes.
 Delicious and there were no leftovers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens

Kind of a funny title but it describes the dish quite well. I found the recipe on Culinate.
I cooked the dried cannellini beans yesterday. And I even cleaned and sliced the chard yesterday that way making this tonight would take less time. I had a hot dog in the freezer which I cut that up, Chris was happy with that addition. I even had a left over Accordion Potato from last night so that went into the mix too.

The result was a delicious meal. The beans were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The chard gave the dish a nice earthy flavor. We of course added crushed red pepper and lots of Parmesan cheese.

Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens

Ingredients -
1/2 lb. medium or large dried white beans, cooked
3 Tbsp. clarified butter or olive oil
Fine-grained sea salt
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 to 7 big leaves of chard, preferably rainbow chard, leaves cut into wide ribbons and 1 or 2 stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

Method -

Drain the beans, then heat the butter or oil over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you’ve got. Add the beans to the hot pan in a single layer. (If you don’t have a big-enough skillet, just do the saute step in two batches, or save the extra beans for another use.) Stir to coat the beans with the butter or oil, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.

Add salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens. Stir in the chard and cook until just beginning to wilt. Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

And for an inside look at how this blog is created -

The critical eyes of Lucy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Julia's Favorite Roasted Chicken

I have never made a Julia Child recipe before tonight. From Food and Wine, Julia Child's Favorite Roasted Chicken. Whole Chicken was on sale at Whole Foods this week so I got it for $1.99 a pound. I even made the sauce from the pan drippings! 

I made Accordion Potatoes from this month's Food and Wine. Yummy! The other side dish was Roasted White Asparagus topped with toasted Panko bread crumbs that were seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon rind.

Julia's Favorite Roasted Chicken, from Food and Wine

Ingredients -
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely diced carrots
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1 teaspoon thyme, savory or mixed herbs, or 2 fresh thyme or savory sprigs
One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
Freshly ground pepper
Parsley stems
Celery leaves
Six 1/8-inch-thick lemon slices
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken stock or broth

Method -
Preheat the oven to 425°. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet. Add the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the herbs.

Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot water and pat thoroughly dry. For easier carving, cut out and discard the wishbone. Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices. Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then truss it. Alternatively, tie the ends of the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under the body.

Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 inch larger than the chicken. Salt the chicken all over and set it breast up on a rack in the pan. (Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw chicken.)

Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes**, as follows:
At 15 minutes: Brush the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Scatter the sliced onion and carrot all around. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
At 45 minutes: Brush the lemon juice over the chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to the vegetables to prevent burning.
At 60 minutes: Baste with the pan juices.
Test for doneness: The drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°**

Spear the chicken through the shoulders; lift to drain; if the last of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is done. Let rest on a carving board for 15 minutes; discard the string.

Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain; you will have just enough to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.

** Our chicken took about an extra half hour for it to be cooked through.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Skillet Pork Chops with Onions

I should have titled this post - Skillett Pork Chops Smothered in Onions. The recipe was a variation of a Mark Bittman recipe from his book, How to Cook Everything The Basics.

Just a delicious meal. The pork was cooked perfectly. I am still amazed at the results, not that I overcook pork but this was so moist. The book says this is a result of searing the meat at the start of the cooking process. It worked.

The side was Roasted Butternut Squash and Potatoes. I cut both up in even sized cubes. Tossed both in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and sage. I roasted them for about 30 minutes, stirring them 1/2 way though. We have a bit left over. I am thinking a frittatta for a mid week dinner... maybe add some pancetta ...

Skillet Pork Chops With Onions (serves 4)
from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything The Basics

Ingredients -
4 1"-thick pork chops, preferably bone in (6 to 8 ounces each)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock or water, or more as needed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Method -
Blot the chops dry with a paper towel. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When it's hot, add the chops, turn the heat to high, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When they brown and release from the pan easily, turn the chops, season again, and cook this side the same way. The whole process should take about 2 minutes per side or 3 to 5 minutes total.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the wine—be careful here; the wine may splatter a bit when it hits the hot oil—and the shallot and cook, turning the chops once or twice, until the wine is almost evaporated, 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate and return the pan to the heat.

Add the apples and onion to the hot pan and stir until they start to stick, 1 or 2 minutes. Add the stock, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chops to the pan, along with any juices accumulated on the plate. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat so it bubbles steadily, then cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally and turning the chops once or twice, until the chops are tender, 5 to 10 minutes; add another 1/2 cup stock or water if the apples start to stick. When the chops are done, they will be firm to the touch, their juices will run just slightly pink, and when you cut into them the color will be rosy at first glance but turn pale within seconds. By this time the apples and onions will also be soft. Stir in the lemon juice and butter and taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the chops with the sauce on top, garnished with the parsley.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Balsamic Double Onion Roast Beef Sandwich

Who is your favorite Top Chef? Well mine is Fabio Viviani. And after eating this sandwich which is from his upcoming book, Fabio's Italian Kitchen, I am guessing he may be my husband's favorite too!

We decided to put the sandwiches on the panini press. Excellent idea. We also made a horseradish spread in place of the dill pickles. Roast Beef and horseradish always go together.

And what's that on the side of the plate? Fries! Yes 5 Minute Frozen French Fries. Not something we have very often but one of our favorites. They taste just like fast food fries. Love them!

Balsamic Double Onion Roast Beef Sandwich (with my variations)

Ingredients -
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoon horseradish sauce
2 slices Rye Bread, slightly warmed
2 ounces thinly sliced Roast Beef
1 tablespoon aged balsamic Vinegar
½ dill pickle, minced
½ cup caramelized onions
½ cup French fried Onions

Method -
Spread the mustard, mayonnaise and horseradish sauce on the bread and form a sandwich with the beef.
Combine vinegar, pickles and onions in a bowl and place on top of beef. 
Put the other piece of bread on top.
Grill on panini press for until bread is toasted.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eggs in Purgatory, My Way

Or should I say my Mom's way. This is far from the first time I have posted this for dinner. It is super easy and very versatile. I love poached eggs. Put them in sauce with some bread on the side and you are talking about an over the top comfort food.

But we can't stop there. There has to be a vegetable added. My Mom's choice was usually green beans. I had one package of green beans from my Dad's garden this year left in the freezer. Into the pan they went.

Now one of us really likes meat. So to keep everyone happy I added a chopped up hot dog and for some spice a chopped up Georgia Hot. Nice.

Some Cabernet/Merlot and lots more bread. Perfect end to a Monday.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Country Style Ribs and Fingerling Potatoes

I was so tempted to title this post Ribs and Fingers! 

I found a recipe for the pork ribs that I had used before but it called for white sugar in addition to the brown sugar. I did not want to use white sugar so I went looking at other recipes and what they use for sauce. I opened the Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything  - The Basics and his sauce uses cumin, paprika and chili powder. I adjusted the amounts and and Chris loved it. He give dinner 2 thumbs up. My work here is done...

Side dishes were sauteed Swiss Chard and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.

Country - Style Ribs

Ribs -

3 lbs. country style ribs

1 med. onion, thinly sliced

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 c. ketchup and 1/2 c. water

4 tbsp. cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. chili powder

4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Place ribs in roaster pan. Lightly salt. Top with slices of onion. Sprinkle brown sugar over them.
Mix sauce and put 3/4 of it over ribs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Uncover and put on remaining sauce. Set oven to 400 degrees.
Bake 1/2 hour longer.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Perfect For Tonight - Jia Mei Asian Kitchen

Tonight required take-out for dinner. Why? Well this week is bulk trash pick up in my Dad's town. Now my Dad was 96 and he lived in his home for 63 years. Need I say more. He kept everything. We were moving things today and finding things we had never seen before. We had all hands on deck. Husbands, wives, nephews, nieces. Everyone showed up. I suppose it is part of the closure process but I was feeling kind of melancholy about the whole thing.
It was weird because I have been going to my Dad's every weekend since he passed to clean out stuff. But today it just felt so sad to see all of my parents "stuff" being piled up outside.

So with that said we got take out tonight. A new restaurant opened in our town, Jia Mei Asian Kitchen. We ordered our usually fare to test the waters - BBQ Pork, Egg Rolls, Fried Dumplings, Szechaun Beef and General Tso's Tofu.

Loved it. Sometimes Asian food, especially take out, has an aftertaste, kind of greasy and heavy. This food was so fresh tasting. The dumplings were light. The General Tso's sauce was light and nice and spicy. The food tasted healthy. I felt like I was eating a home cooked meal. It was a comforting feeling. I think we have a new favorite Asian take-out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken

Yum! I had this recipe "pinned" on my "Recipes I Want To Try" Pinterest board. I worked from home today and did not want to run to the store. I luckily had all the ingredients in the house. Simple to prepare. The chicken was super moist and the sauce was the perfect blend of honey and mustard.
Yeah we will have this again. My version of the recipe can be found at the end of this post. I only changed the amounts added to the sauce.

Sides were Roasted Carrots and Israeli Couscous.

And as I was making dinner we had a visitor in our yard. 
 I named him Frank after my Dad.

Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken (variation of Plain Chicken recipe)

4 chicken cutlets
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp paprika
lemon pepper to taste
3 Tbsp bacon, cooked and chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Season chicken breasts with pepper.  Place in baking dish.
Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice and paprika.  Pour over chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes.
Top each chicken breast with bacon and mozzarella cheese.  Continue to bake until cheese is starting to brown (about 5 minutes).