Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Was the world calling out for an Eggplant and Tomato Galette? No, but sometimes you just have too many tomatoes. Not that too many tomatoes are a bad thing. Yeah, I could have frozen them but wouldn't that be too easy? I had Pate Brisee in the freezer. Doesn't everyone? And I had this idea in my head. I make an Eggplant and Tomato Casserole from the Vegetarian Epicurious during the summer. I love the dish. I thought, "Why not make the filling and put it in a pie shell." Everything tastes good in a pie shell!

And that is what I did. I made the filling, but omitted the eggs, and topped it with sliced tomatoes and cheese. And I added a little ricotta, just because. Baked it and voila! I believe the expression was, "Wow this is really good." Thank you. Good night everyone.

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

2 Tbs. melted butter
ground pepper

2 to 3 tbs. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin
1/2 cup ricotta

2 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 batch of Pate Brisee, click here for recipe

Peel and slice the eggplant. Put the slices in a pan with the salt and about an inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and cook about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the eggplant and mix in the melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and bread crumbs.

This is an important step - Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper. 

Cover the pastry with the ricotta, leaving about a 2-inch border. Then spread the eggplant mixture on top of the ricotta. Spread it evenly. Arrange the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Fold the dough over to form the Galette. I placed the Galette in a pie dish so I would not have to worry about leaking. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Italian Wedding Soup

This was a twist on the usual Italian Wedding Soup. I could not find Escarole anywhere, well I didn't get to Bishops, so I used spinach. The meatballs were made with Ferraro's Sausage.

I removed the sausage from the casings and formed the meat into very small meatballs. The meatballs were pan-fried until they’re golden brown on all sides.

For the soup, I sautéed the usual suspects in a pot—a chopped small yellow onion, two diced carrots, diced celery, red pepper flakes and a can of white cannellini beans. Then I added enough stock to cover the vegetables by a few inches. Bring that to a boil. I stirred in a big bunch of shredded spinach, as well as the meatballs, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about five minutes.

I cooked the pasta, orzo, in a separate pot. I drained it and put into a container with water. Tonight Chris just drained it and heated in the soup

Garnish with a grated Parmigiano. Delicious!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

"These are delicious." My work is done here. Good night everyone!

I found this recipe for Crock Pot Ribs on the Stay At Home Chef blog. I made a rub of onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. I put the rub on both sides of the meat. I did not remove the membrane for the under side of the ribs. I brushed both sides of the ribs with BBQ Sauce. I used Stubbs Original. The ribs went into the Slow Cooker set on low for 8 hours. I removed the ribs from the Slow Cooker and placed them on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. I brushed the ribs with more sauce. They went under the broiler set on low for almost 5 minutes. They were tender and the BBQ sauce was caramelized. Nice!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cacio e Pepe e Roasted Vegetables

This was a snap to make. Of course, I did have a couple of advantages. The first is that it does help to have homemade pasta in the freezer.
The second advantage was that I roasted the vegetables last night.  I mixed Brussels sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, and carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and thyme. They were roasted for about 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times, on 375˚.

Tonight, while the pasta cooked, I heated up some butter, about 2 tablespoons in a large skillet on low heat. Once it foamed, I added a lot of cracked black pepper. Added in a ladle full of pasta water straight from the pot and bring that “sauce” to a boil.

Before you drain the pasta save some of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the butter-pepper-sauce pan  and add 1/4 cup of cheese, and swirl it all around until it's melted. If it looks dry—you want it to glisten!—add a bit more pasta water. After that’s all cooked for a minute, add the vegetables and a whole bunch of grated Parmigiano. Serve with even more freshly cracked black pepper if you would like.

Monday, September 12, 2016

White Bean-Sausage Skillet

This was really tasty. I used Ferraro's store made sausage. Nice bit of heat to them.

I am not sure where I found this recipe. It was online somewhere. The internet is so vast.

So here is the recipe, as I found it. If I find where the recipe came from I will update this post.

Drain and rinse one can of white beans (we use Great Northern or cannellini). Remove two to three sweet Italian sausages from their casings and crumble into a nonstick skillet with some olive oil over medium-high heat, breaking up any large pieces with a fork. When sausage is almost cooked through, about five minutes, add beans and toss until warm. If the beans and sausage get dry, add a splash of white wine or chicken stock. Add a big handful of shredded kale until slightly wilted. Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, shaved Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and crushed red pepper flakes if you crave some heat. I like to mix this up in the summer by skipping the kale and topping with fresh arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil.

Now about the bread. Tomato Bread. This came from the Proud Italian blog. Anytime you add mozzarella, tomatoes, and bread magic happens. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Surf and Turf and a Nice Bottle of Wine

Ferraro's Market supplied us with amazing Sirloin steaks for $3.99 a pound and Stuffed Shrimp for 99 cents each.
The wine was Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. And it was so smooth. A perfect Saturday night dinner that required very little work from me.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hot Dogs and Pasta

I had hot dogs that I took out of the freezer yesterday. I thought Chris might want them instead of the Fried Rice. 
This morning I googled Italian pasta and hot dogs recipes, I knew I would find something. I found NuNu's and Hot Dogs.  I knew Chris would love this. Of course I had to bring it up a notch.
A couple of week ago I saw a video on Facebook from an Italian recipe page. Thank heavens for Google Translate. In the video they were rolling out the pasta. They got the the second to last setting and they sprinkled the pasta with cheese and then folded it in thirds and put it back through the pasta machine, putting the setting back 2 places. And then continued rolling until you got to the lowest setting. I was intrigued. I had to try it.
Wow! Amazing flavor. It was a silky texture and delicious. I used this pasta recipe.

Pasta recipe-
3 cups flour
4 eggs
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Place the flour, eggs and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, gradually add the oil then 1/3 to 1/2 cup water until the mixture forms a dough (the dough should stick together if pinched between your fingers). If necessary, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough into a ball and knead until the dough is smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
This is NuNu's and Hot Dogs recipe.

4 hot dogs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounce broad egg noodles
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes; drain.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Cook the hot dog pieces in the butter until browned. Add the hot dogs to the drained noodles with 2 tablespoons butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese; stir until butter is melted and the hot dogs are coated.
It was just something so simple and so delicious.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pork Fried Rice

Tonight I had book club but before I headed out I whipped up a quick Pork Fried Rice for Chris. Why don't I make this more often?

1 tablespoon butter
1 (6 ounce) leftover pork or chicken, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 green onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cold cooked rice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir carrot, celery, and green onion in melted butter, 7 to 10 minutes. Add cooked pork or chicken and heat through. Remove pork mixture to a bowl and return skillet to medium heat.

Scramble egg in the skillet until completely set. Return the pork mixture to the skillet. Stir rice, soy sauce,  and ground ginger into the pork mixture; cook and stir until heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.

Monday, September 5, 2016

End of Summer Potato Salad

I made this recipe at the beginning of summer so it seemed the perfect way to end the summer.  Of course, I made some changes in the recipe.

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled white-skinned, red-skinned, or purple potatoes cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 ounces trimmed green beans
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Steam potatoes on steamer rack set in a large pot over boiling water until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add green beans and steam until beans are crisp-tender and potatoes are just tender, 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Cool slightly. Whisk the next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in Parmesan. Season dressing with salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Add dressing to potato mixture; toss to coat. Top with scallions. Serve warm or at room temperature.