Saturday, August 30, 2014

Beef Tenderloin "Dogs", Zucchini and Burrata Salad And Pie!

Love long weekends! I was able to do extra stuff knowing Monday I can sleep in. What did I do? Well, I made a pie but I will fill you in on that later in the post.

For dinner, I splurged. No, really this was a big splurge. I made Beef Tenderloin "Dogs" with Corn Relish. I had "pinned" this a while back. Being a holiday weekend and having gotten paid yesterday I went for it. The recipe is from Food & Wine. What an amazingly delicious dinner this was. The meat was so tender it actually worked eating it in a hot dog roll. And that corn relish was pretty good too!

The side dish a dish that will be probably be put on the best of list. Zucchini with Nicoise Olives and Burrata. Again from Food & Wine. I was sold on this when I saw the word Burrata. What an amazing thing Burrata is. The zucchini was cooked to just tender and then cooled, perfect for prepping ahead of time. Loved, loved, loved this!

Now on to dessert. A Mixed Fruit Pie. Peaches, White Peaches, Italian Plums and Blueberries. The crust was my usual Pate Brise.  I sliced up the peaches and plums then mixed the fruit, including the blueberries, with 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch, 2 tbsp. Sugar, 1/2 tsp. Lemon juice. I rolled out the crust and put the filling in the crust. I used a smaller pie dish so I had the extra crust for the lattice top. This was so very good. The fruit was perfectly ripe, may be a little over ripe. Some Vanilla Greek Frozen Yogurt added to the dish and wow is the only word that comes to mind.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fresh Summer Minestrone

The temperatures have gotten back to normal, so we had Fresh Summer Minestrone for dinner tonight. The recipe was found in the La Cucina app I installed a while back on the iPad. Sadly, La Cucina no longer is published. But we still have the recipe on the app, thankfully.

This soup uses ingredients you can find at your farmers market. I luckily had cooked Pinto beans in the freezer. Score! And I did notice someone going back for a couple of extra helpings. But that's okay because there are only 198 calories per serving. So Mangia!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cooked borlotti or pinto beans
1/2 pound new or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 small carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 1 medium ear of corn)
2 ounces spinach leaves, trimmed and sliced into thin strips (2 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 heaping tablespoons mixed minced herbs such as basil, marjoram, thyme and flat-leaf parsley

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the boiling water: bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, add the potato and carrot: cook until the potato and carrot are tender.

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.

Add the tomato, corn, beans and spinach; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Tale of Two Calzones

Whose was the best Calzone? The bacon, onion and prosciutto or the spinach, zucchini and onion. Guess who had which. I used the Jim Lahey recipe for the crust. But this time they were so crisp. I baked them on Sunday and Chris heated them up on the grill. Yes and suddenly it is summer again. We did not want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven. They were wrapped in foil and place on the grill. Did that help make the crust amazingly crispy?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Roasted Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Keep it simple Monday. I mixed sliced onions, red and green peppers and sweet Italian sausage with olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir half way through the cooking time. I added a cup of marinara sauce and roasted for another 10 minutes. Simple and delicious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Night Frittatta

The simplest of dinners. Great way to use up things in the fridge.
Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Onions, Red Pepper and Prosciutto. 
Eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. 
And there is enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homemade Popsicles

Today Anna and Andrew paid us a visit. Actually, I think they came to see Archie and Lucy.

I make a Stromboli filled with zucchini, onion, Prosciutto and Hot Capicola as an appetizer. Nice flavors. The Spicy Capicola was a nice addition. We had something super easy for lunch. Hot Dogs. It was something I knew they would both like. Andrew even had 2! I made the Friselle con pomodoro as a side dish. Yeah, I do love that recipe.

For dessert I tried something different.

Homemade Popsicles with Fruit, Cream Cheese, Greek Yogurt which I had pinned from The Italian Dish blog. These were simple to make. They were very good, but I did pick up a couple of cupcakes from Meriano's Bakery for the kids just in case. I think they were happy with the option.

Homemade Popsicles with Fruit, Cream Cheese, Greek Yogurt recipe from The Italian Dish blog.

I made 8 popsicles, I happened to have just enough fruit in the house for  the 8. This recipe makes 24.

You will need 24 3-ounce Dixie cups and 24 popsicle sticks

For the fruit purees:

16 ounces fresh strawberries, leafy tops removed
8 tablespoons confectioners sugar, divided
20 ounces fresh blueberries

For the cream cheese/yogurt layer:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Place strawberries and 4 tablespoons sugar in a food processor and process until pureed.  Scrape out the puree and pour into a bowl - don't bother to clean the processor.  Place the blueberries and 4 tablespoons sugar in the processor and puree.  Empty into another bowl.

Place the softened cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar and yogurt into a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend well.

Make the popsicles:  Place the Dixie cups on a sheet that will fit into your freezer. Pour a scant tablespoon of the blueberry puree into each of the cups.  For the second layer, place a level tablespoon of yogurt filling into the cups.  I like to do this with two spoons - it makes it easier, scraping the filling off from one spoon into the cup. With the back of a spoon, smooth down the yogurt layer so it's level.  For the third layer, place a level tablespoon of strawberry puree on top of the yogurt filling.  For the final layer, place a rounded teaspoon of blueberry puree on top.  Place a popsicle stick in each cup and place in the freezer at least 3 hours or until firm.

To serve, remove from freezer and let sit about 10 minutes. You can gently squeeze out the popsicles or just tear off the paper with care.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friselle con pomodoro

For me is this time of year when you should be eating tomatoes. Eating tomatoes with every meal. I have found a recipe that I and I think Chris too could eat every night. Friselle con pomodoro. I found the recipe on The Short Lists. I made this using the tomatoes from our little tomato plant on our deck. Thank God the deer cannot climb the stairs. The basil and parsley were from our plants on the deck. It was delicious. The seasonings were spot on and the Friselle had the perfect amount of black pepper.

Friselle (store bought or homemade)
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
2 teaspoons capers (non pareilles)
Black olives, chopped
A big glug of extra virgin olive oil
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Fresh herbs – oregano or basil or both

Place all the ingredients (except the friselle) in a large bowl. Add the herbs, olives, capers and salt and pepper to taste. If you let it all sit for a bit — even as little as 15 minutes — a nice amount of juice will form on the bottom of the bowl. When you’re almost ready to serve the friselle, arrange them on a serving tray (I think a cheese or cutting board works well). (If you have really big frislle, you can break them into manageable pieces before soaking and topping them.)

Spoon some of the tomato juice onto each one; you want them to be soft enough to bite into. You will probably also want to give each friselle (or piece of friselle) a good dose of olive oil. If they’re not soft enough after you’ve used up all the tomato juices, add a small amount of cold water. Remember, though, that they will continue to soften a bit when the topping soaks in. Then spoon the tomato mixture evenly over each frisella. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and some ripped fresh herbs.

We had a grilled pork tenderloin too. Marinated in Dijon Mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pappardelle with Zucchini, Pancetta in Vodka Sauce

This morning, as in before work, I decided to make homemade pasta. I went with the Pappardelle noodles. What a perfect way to start the day. I used the Tide and Thyme recipe for the pasta. Perfect pasta every thyme!

And as far as making this dinner we are not talking brain surgery here. This is so simple to put together, as long as you have all the ingredients. I had the vodka sauce in the freezer. I sauteed some diced pancetta and then added the sliced zucchini. When the zucchini was almost done, I added the vodka sauce and heated it through. The cooked pasta was added to the pan. Yum! The sauce was delicious and the Pappardelle noodles were the perfect match for the sauce.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Grilled Pork Chops

I love coming home from work and finding Chris at the grill. 
The pork chops were cooked perfectly. 

Grilled Zucchini and Aborio Rice for side dishes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Eggs in Purgatory

Love this dish! I fixed the sauce and beans on Sunday. I had some left over orzo from a pasta salad that I tossed in along with the green beans. Tonight Chris added the eggs to poach in the sauce. Perfectly poached eggs!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Making of a Zucchini, Spinach and Prosciutto Tart

This came together so easily. 
The crust was the last package of crust I had in the freezer
left over from the Easter Pies. 
The zucchini, well, everyone has a lot of that now. 
And the prosciutto is one of those things you just find in my fridge.
The zucchini was sauteed with a thinly sliced onion in a little olive oil.
 And there was a little spinach in the fridge which was sauteed and added to the tart.

Another layer of zucchini and onion. 

Some shredded Cheddar and yes more zucchini and onion. 

And why not more prosciutto.

The crust is folded over and baked at 375 for about 40 minutes.


Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chicken Chow Mein and Homemade Egg Rolls

In my Foodie Pen Pal box was a package of Snapdragon Roasted Peanut Chow Mein Noodles. On the back was this recipe. Wow, it was very good. I stir fried cubed chicken breast in vegetable oil. The box came with a "flavor pouch." Half went in with the chicken. For vegetables I added chopped cabbage, carrots and celery. The noodles were cooked and added to the pan along with the rest of the flavor pouch and another tablespoon of oil. I garnished the dish with some chopped scallions. Yum!

Now about the Egg Rolls. Holy cow, these were excellent! I found a recipe on A Thrifty Mom blog.  I left out the sausage. And yes, I fried them instead of baking. These were a big bit. I even made the Sweet and Sour sauce from the blog. Let's hope the rest of the week's dinners are this good.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Panzanella Soup With Orzo

I love Friday night dinners when I have everything I need in the house. Not that I don't like running to the store, I really do hate doing that. Our little tomato plant on the deck has been producing the most delicious tomatoes this summer. I had a few on the window sill that were perfectly ripe. I found the recipe for Summer Panzanella Soup With Tiny Pasta in a William Sonnoma recipe book online. This was amazing. The tomatoes were perfect and the addition of the toasted Italian bread, well that brought the whole thing over the top!

Here is my variation of the recipe-

1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz Orzo
1 small onion, minced
1 lb ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cups chicken broth
1⁄4 cup chopped basil
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Cut enough of the bread up into cubes to measure out 1 cup. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, toss with 1 Tbsp of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven, stirring once, until browned, about 12 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large, heavy pot, warm the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Purée half of the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot and add the toasted bread. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the pasta and basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with the Parmesan.