Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Eggs in Purgatory With That Sauce

This is a So What Are You Making For Dinner favorite recipe. I love poached eggs in sauce. When you put poached eggs in the Marcella Hazan Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter you have reached a point of bliss. As we were eating this Chris commented that he could have eaten just the sauce alone.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Grilled Boneless Short Ribs

So I don't post every day. I post when I have the time and when a dinner strikes me as something that should be shared. Tonight, for example, needs to be shared.

Grilled Boneless Short Ribs are my new favorite grilled meat. Boneless ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper. That's all there was to it. Chris cooked them to the perfect temperature. It did not feel like I was faced with an oversized steak. Don't get me wrong, I do like those oversized steaks, but this was just a delicious cut of meat. And we will have this again.

For a side dish, I fixed a Stacked Summer Vegetable Salad.  The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens. Loved it but it needed more dressing. Note to self, next time double the dressing recipe!
3 medium yellow or green zucchini

Kosher salt

4 medium carrots

1/2 small red onion

1 cups torn leaf lettuce

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dil
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

With a vegetable peeler or mandoline shave zucchini in thin strips. Salt lightly, then transfer to colander to drain, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, shave carrots in strips and thinly slice onion.

Rinse zucchini and drain in colander. To assemble salad, in a 2-quart square dish layer one-third each of zucchini, lettuce carrots, and onion.

For dressing, in a glass measuring cup whisk together lemon juice and oil. Drizzle some of the dressing on layered vegetables. Repeat layering and dressing twice. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 12 hours before serving.

To serve, sprinkle salad with fresh dill and pepper. Cut salad in rectangles with a sharp knife; lift out with a spatula. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fried Chickpeas with Artisan Sausage with Sweet Pepper and Provolone, and Spinach

I got one of those messages that the cloud was full and I had too many photos. What did I delete? The photo or tonight's dinner...

Mark Bittman's Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach was the recipe used tonight. We love this. The fried Chickpeas and the sausage fried up nice and crispy. The spinach was from Bishops. Farm to table.

I used Artisan Sausage with Sweet Pepper and Provolone in place of the Chorizo.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, as dry as possible (rinse them first if using canned, then gently blot dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner.  If they are wet when you put them in to the oil they will spatter)
Salt and black pepper
4 ounces chorizo, diced
1/2 pound spinach, roughly chopped (I used a package of baby spinach and baby kale)
1/4 cup sherry
1 to 2 cups bread crumbs

Preheat the broiler.

Put three tablespoons of the oil into a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chickpeas and spread them out into a single layer (they won't brown well if the pan is too crowded). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat a bit and cook, shaking the pan occasionally (you mostly just want to let them sit there and fry in the oil), until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes or so. Add the chorizo, and cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crisp (taste a couple to make sure). Use a slotted spoon to remove chickpeas and chorizo from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan. When hot, add the spinach, then pour the sherry over it.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until the spinach is wilted and soft and the liquid has pretty much evaporated. Add back the chickpeas and chorizo and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Put the whole pan under the broiler to lightly brown the top.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Roasted Spring Vegetable Cobb Salad with Honey-Herb Vinaigrette

The perfect salad for a Monday night. I roasted all the vegetables yesterday, boiled the eggs, and made the dressing. Tonight when I got home I just put the salad together.

The recipe comes from the blog, Iowa Girl Eats. Not sure how I found this but visit the blog when you have time, lots of good stuff there.

I only made a couple of changes from this recipe. I used Green Beans in place of asparagus. I used regular Goat Cheese. And I used 6 slices of bacon!

serves 2
2 eggs
3 slices bacon
2 small or 1 large red or golden beet, trimmed on both ends, peeled, and then chopped large
1 bunch radishes, trimmed on both ends then halved or quartered if large
1/4lb asparagus, trimmed then chopped
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2oz honey goat cheese, crumbled
5oz arugula, baby kale, baby spinach, or romaine (or any spring lettuce you like!)

For the Honey-Herb Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme)
salt and pepper

Place eggs in a saucepan then cover with cold water 1″ above the tops. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then remove pan from heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain then plunge eggs into ice water or run under cold water for a few minutes. Peel eggs when cool enough to handle then slice. (Can be done ahead of time. Cook then peel eggs and store in the refrigerator, and then slice before serving.)

Line a baking sheet with foil then place a cooling rack on top and spray with nonstick spray. Line bacon on top of cooling rack then place inside a cold oven. Turn oven to preheat to 400 degrees. Bacon will cook as oven heats up. If bacon's not crispy enough after the oven is finished preheating, let it bake for a few more minutes. Crumble when cooled.

Toss chopped beets with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove sheet pan then flip beets.

Toss chopped radishes with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl then add to baking sheet with beets. Roast for 10 more minutes. Remove sheet pan then flip radishes.

Toss chopped asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl then add to baking sheet with beets and radishes. Roast for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, combine ingredients for Honey-Herb Vinaigrette in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or bowl then shake or whisk to combine.

Divide lettuce between two plates then make rows of roasted vegetables, sliced hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette then serve.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Steak and Bok Choy

The steak, Porterhouse. Grilled by Chris.

The Bok Choy was from my friend, Kelly's garden. It was beautiful! I think this may have been the third time I have ever cooked Bok Choy. I went to the internet to find a recipe. Martha Stewart was one of the first links that popped up. Ginger Sesame Bok Choy. Delicious!

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
4 to 5 heads baby bok choy, (1 pound), each halved lengthwise
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside. 

In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 cup water and ginger to a boil. Add the bok choy; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until leaves are vibrant green and stems are fork-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well; discard ginger. 

Transfer bok choy to a serving platter; drizzle with the vinegar-soy mixture, and serve immediately. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gnocchi with Italian Beef

I was working from home but did not have time to run to the store for something for dinner so I turned to the kitchen cabinet and the freezer. I found a box of potato Gnocchi and I found a bag of that Italian Beef I made in the slow cooker. It was just a no-brainer.

And we had one of the Stromboli I had put in the freezer. More filling in this one and the flavor was even better than on Sunday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Short Break From Baking

Another recipe from Italian Moms Cookbook Spreading Their Art to Every Table by Elisa Costantini, Was Pepper and Egg Frittatta. I always make my Frittatta by cooking the bottom on the stove top and then putting the pan in the oven to cook through. The recipe in the book suggests flipping the Frittatta. I think, "Why not give it a try." Well the reason is because I suck at flipping Frittattas. The pans are too heavy and oh it just looked like a mess. But at least it was quite delicious. I did add some sausage to the recipe. The next time it will just go into the oven! Chris made a sandwich with the rolls made from the Rustic Bread recipe.

 I opted for a slice of Vegetable Tart. I put dried thyme in the crust and the vegetables were zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper and onion. I added my a couple slices of my favorite snack cheese.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Just a little baking... Part Two

One of the recipes I made from the Italian Moms Cookbook Spreading Their Art to Every Table by Elisa Costantini was Rustic Bread. There was a note at the end of the recipe with instructions for making the dough into rolls. Perfect! We were having burgers this week, so I ended up with 8 Hamburger Rolls, and 2 loaves of bread from that one recipe!

We had the Hamburgers tonight. I made our usual blend of Ground Beef, Rye Bread soaked in milk, Worcestershire Sauce, Horseradish Sauce, Salt and Pepper. The rolls were perfect. Not too much bread. I was able to control the size of the rolls and the burgers. We both had bacon and cheese and I added avocado.

 Oh the salad? Really? It's Farro! We still have Farro in the freezer!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Just a little baking...

I honestly didn't think I would be in the kitchen as long as I was today. I am actually too tired to do this post but if I don't do in now it will never get done.

I have mentioned that I got the Italian Moms Cookbook Spreading Their Art to Every Table by Elisa Costantini. Didn't I? Well, I love it. The intro and the stories scattered through the book are wonderful.

Today I tried some recipes. First, I made the dough for the Pepper & Egg Stromboli and the Rustic Bread. The dough was magical. The texture was perfect. At the start of the book, Elisa Costantini mentions that she does not put serving sizes. All the bread in the photo at the top of this post was from these 2 recipes. I am so glad I have that freezer! I was on the phone with my sister and I peeked at the dough rising in the bowls and both were at the top of the bowl.

I ended up making four stromboli instead of the 2 in the recipe. Just 2 of us so we don't really need that much bread. And I had never made a stromboli before. I read the instructions in the book and tried one and but the dough ripped so I checked on YouTube to see if I was rolling the dough correctly. There was a completely different way in one of the videos, which I tried. But I went back to the preparation described in the book for the last 2, making sure I did not tear the dough.

Tonight we cut into the first one I tried to make. After the dough ripped I just made it into spiral and hoped that would hold. It did but when we cut into it the filling kind of disappeared. Note to self, next time double the filling.  The bread was good, just needed more stuff inside. We will see what the others are like.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lenore's Blueberry Muffin Recipe

This week Blueberries were on sale so I had to buy them. I was thinking about muffins but I didn't have a really good recipe. I asked my sister, Lenore, if she had one. Why yes she did. She had just made 2 dozen muffins. She emailed the recipe and they're truly the best muffins I have had.

The Americana Blueberry Muffin

½ cup butter softened
1 cup sugar   
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla   
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt   
½ cup milk
1-2 cups blueberries
1-2 tsp. grated lemon rind
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. sugar, I used turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add them alternately with the milk to the batter. Mash ½ cup blueberries and add to the mixture, stirring just until blended. Toss the remaining berries with the lemon rind and fold in lightly. Spoon into greased muffins tins or custard cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. While still warm, brush each muffin with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Thoroughly cool in tins or muffins will crumble. Makes 12 large muffins.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pasta e Patate alla Napoletana

Tonight's recipe was found on Mario's Italian Kitchen. Pasta e Patate alla Napoletana. Pasta and Potatoes. You are probably thinking, "Carbs!" Well, it's not like it is a Pasta Pizza, now that is just wrong. This dish originated in the countryside around Naples. The Neapolitans traditionally made it using a variety of kitchen leftovers so it was almost certainly a dish associated with the local cuisine povera. This is the type of cooking I love. The type of food that my Great Grandparents might have made. I sadly do not know what my father or mother's grandparents did for a living in Italy. I cannot believe after all the time spend with my Dad going over the family tree that I do not know.

Anyway, dinner was really delicious. The potatoes were crispy, as was the pancetta. The pasta, Collezione, was the perfect weight for the sauce. I did add white wine, crushed red pepper and a knob of butter.

Will this recipe be made again? Yes.

Pasta and Potatoes Neapolitan-style-

Ingredients- Yes, it is time to take out your food scale to measure...
320gr mixed dried pasta
600gr potatoes, diced small
100gr sweet cherry tomatoes
70gr pancetta, chopped small
1 medium onion
1 stalk of celery
A spoonful of chopped celery leaves
Parmesan cheese for grating
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Chop the onion and the celery and add to a heavy-based frying pan along with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and fry gently until the vegetables begin to soften. Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes and add these to the pan along with the diced potatoes. Stir well and continue to simmer on a gentle heat.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. If you are cleaning out your cupboards and using different shapes of pasta, make sure to add them according to cooking time. Cook until al dente.

A couple of minutes before the pasta are cooked, turn up the heat on the frying pan to reduce the cooking liquid. Do not let it dry out completely. Check for seasoning. Once the pasta is ready, drain and add this to the pan. Mix together well and throw in a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped celery leaves.

So while I am preparing dinner, and having set up the table for the photo shot, I turn and see Lucy ready for her close up.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hello Old Friend

Again we go to the binder of forgotten recipes. From the New York Times, June 1998. This was printed right before one of our 4th of July picnics. We sent out the cutest invitations, well cute for late 1990's. Yes, this was pre-Evites.

I usually make a variation of this recipe using lemon and oregano. But when Chris walked in the house tonight and said, "What are you cooking?" I was glad I made this original recipe. It is too easy and ready in less than an hour and a half. Of course, it helps when you can ask your butcher to cut up a whole chicken for you!

Savory Baked Chicken

1 cut-up chicken
Juice of 2 lemons
6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
pinch of allspice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce

Put the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. And add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat all the pieces.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet that has sides, or a roasting pan, with heavy-duty foil.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake an hour, turning the pieces as they brown. Remove the chicken from the oven . Allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing the chicken from the pan to a platter.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

And another recipe from the binder. Spinach Pie. It was suppose to be individual Spanakopita but I was not into making individual portions so I made it into one pie. The recipe is from the Daily News, June 19 2005! Yeah back then we read the New York Times, The Daily News, and The New York Post on Sundays. How did we have so much free time??!!??
Spinach Pie

2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Saute the spinach and onion for 10 minutes. Mix in the cheese, salt, and pepper.
Layer a pie dish with sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each layer with olive oil. Fill the center of the dish with the spinach filling and fold over the sheets of dough to form the crust.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tomato, Olive, and Feta Relish

This weekend I looked through a binder that I use to put recipes in (pre Pinterest activity). Some of the recipes I had made but some had not been tried yet. This is one of the recipes I had not tried. It is from Bon Appetit magazine, June 2007.  Yes, almost a 10 year old recipe. Glad I finally made it. The relish was scrumptious. I used fresh pineapple mint from the plant on my deck, yeah finally have plants on the deck!
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tomato, Olive, and Feta Relish -

1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 1/2 ounces)

4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 to 7 ounces each)

Mix cherry tomatoes, olives, 2 tbsp olive oil, mint, and vinegar in medium bowl. Gently stir in feta cheese. Season relish to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush chicken on both sides with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill chicken just until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plates and slice, if desired. Top with relish and serve.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Spicy Soy-Glazed Short Ribs

And we have another recipe for the Slow Cooker category. Spicy Soy-Glazed Short Ribs from Chef Liana Krissoff. 4 hours in the slow cooker set on high. The meat fell off the bone and there was a nice bit of heat in the sauce. It took a minute for it to strike but damn it was nice and hot.

3½ pounds beef short ribs
2 bunches scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chili-garlic sauce (see Note)
¼ cup plum or hoisin sauce (optional)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon toastedsesame oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Trim any excess fat off the ribs. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown half of the ribs well on all sides, about 8 minutes total, then remove the ribs to a 4-quart slow cooker (they will fit better in an oval cooker); repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour ½ cup water into the skillet and scrape up all the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid over the ribs in the cooker.

In a medium bowl, combine half of the scallions and all the remaining ingredients except the sesame seeds, stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the ribs. Cook, covered, on the low setting for 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender and almost falling off the bones.

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast the sesame seeds, shaking the skillet and stirring constantly, until they just begin to color. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the ribs from the sauce and place on a large serving platter or on individual plates. Spoon a little of the sauce over the ribs and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the remaining scallions. Serve.

The side dish, no it was not cauliflower. It was Roasted Radishes! 

And I am going to be a proud Godmother and send congratulations out to our God-Daughter, Elenora who finished her first year of ballet! And also her older sister Anna graduated from Grade School and is heading for High School next year! They are growing up really fast!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Charred Caprese Sandwich vs. Porterhouse Steak

Which was the star of tonight's dinner? I think it would depend on who you asked. Yes, the steak was amazing. But for me, it was, of course, the Charred Caprese Sandwich. The bread was from Wave Hill Breads. I picked up a loaf of Red Pepper and Olive Bread yesterday at the Farmer's Market on the Madison Green.
I used my Lagostina Grill Pan to grill the tomatoes. I LOVE that pan! The dressing and the shallots with the tomatoes were a perfect blend of flavors.

At the end of dinner I have more of my steak leftover than Chris.

Want to try the Charred Caprese Sandwich? Click Here!

I picked a nice wine to go with dinner.