Sunday, July 23, 2017

If It's Sunday It's Pizza

Not just any pizza. This one had the works on it. Onion, Bacon, Sausage, Roasted Peppers, sauce, cheese. Not bad at all. And not a lot leftover. The pizza dough was the Jim Lahey recipe. And I keep forgetting that I have his pizza book on my Kindle. Oh well, next time. Maybe next Sunday.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Let's Talk Breakfast

This morning I woke up and of course grabbed my phone. Instead of checking emails I clicked on Pinterest. I saw a pin for 1 Hour Cinnamon Buns. I read the recipe and yes I had all the ingredients. I got up and immediately started baking. Well, I did have a cup of coffee first.
And the recipe took me an hour and 15 minutes but who is complaining? Not Chris or I. Darn this was a delicious Saturday morning breakfast. The dough is just amazing to work with. Here is the link to the recipe. I did make half the recipe. No way we could eat a whole batch!

Friday, July 21, 2017

This Is My Favorite Summer Pasta Recipe

Okay, I LOVE this recipe. It is so flexible. I made a couple of changes from the last time I made it. That is what makes this the perfect recipe. Instead of Pancetta I used Andouille sausage and omitted the lemon. I had the homemade pasta in the freezer. Just perfect. Chris loved this. It was just spicy enough. Just remember NOT to toss the pasta water. You will need it for your sauce.

Ingredients-
¼ cup olive oil
2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
Kosher salt
1 diced Andouille sausage
12 ounces ziti, or other large tube pasta
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
½ cup basil leaves

Method-
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add squash; season with salt. Add the Andouille sausage. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down and gets jammy (they may start to stick to the skillet a bit, which means you are there!), 12–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.
Transfer pasta to skillet using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and remaining basil.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Perfect Vacation Day

Yeah, vacation day! And it was cool out. Not what you are usually looking for in a vacation day. But I was able to make bread, pasta, and sauce. All three were part of very delicious dinner.

The bread was the No Knead French Bread. The recipe can be found on the Noshtalgia website. It is an amazing dough to work with.

The pasta was from Tide and Thyme. The only pasta recipe I use. I had more than enough for tonight's dinner and I was able to put some in the freezer.
 
The sauce was, of course, the Marcella Hazan Onion, Butter and Tomato Sauce. This time I diced the onion after it had cooked for almost an hour. I sauteed some Pancetta cubes and cubed zucchini and added that to the sauce. Wow!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Very Easy Clambake

I have a couple of food blogs that I follow. One of my favorites is the Proud Italian Cook. Whenever I see the email notification in my mailbox of a new post I know my eyes will be treated to delightful and very delicious looking photos. The most recent post was Easy Clambake on the Grill.

I had to try it. The shrimp were on sale this week and so were the clams. Once the prep was finished the foil packets were ready for the grill. They were on the grill about 15 minutes when Chris popped his head in with the news that we had run out of propane. Yeah, it was low but thought we might have enough for one more night. So we popped packets on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. I had been baking cookies so it took no time to heat it up to 450˚. Not sure if that was the right temp but I was taking a guess. They took longer than the time on the recipe. We checked twice to see if the clams were opened. Finally, they opened and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. I used Old Bay spice for seasoning. The shrimp was fantastic. Still too early here for the corn but we will try this again in a couple of weeks when the local corn is on sale.
The recipe is the perfect amount for 2 people. I could put the recipe here but I think you should check out the Proud Italian Cook blog. You will not be disappointed. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Five Ingredient Sage Butter Roasted Chicken Again

 
Gosh, I love this recipe! I worked from home today and I had dinner on the table by 6:30. The chicken is so moist and the skin is crispy and the sage adds the perfect flavor. The potatoes, well if you have to ask... The times in the recipe are not set in stone. I check the temperature of the chicken to be sure it is done. The temperature you want is 165˚.

Five Ingredient Sage Butter Roasted Chicken for Two-
 
Ingredients-
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
4 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 tbsp + 2 tsp chopped sage
1 lbs russet potatoes cut into a ¼-inch dice
1 tsp olive oil

Method-
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine butter and 1 tablespoon sage. Use your hands to run half of butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Spread the other half of the butter on the outside of all the chicken pieces.

In a bowl, toss remaining sage with potatoes oil, and a liberal amount of salt. Toss until combined.

Spread potatoes on a large sheet pan. Place chicken pieces on top. Liberally season chicken with salt. Place chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Roast until skin is golden brown and crispy, another 15 minutes. If potatoes aren't crispy yet, remove chicken from the pan and the potatoes a toss, place the potatoes back in the oven. Roast until crisp.
 
And now about the veggie. Do you have a cat? Do you have a cat that wakes you up at 3 AM? This morning I was wide awake. Thank you, Lucy. I reached for the tablet and started checking out Facebook. Lucy is asleep next to me on the couch as I am typing, so peaceful... Anyway earlier, much earlier, I found a video of Oven Fried Vegetables. The video showed oven fried carrots and asparagus and green beans and a lot of others but the one I remembered was the zucchini. And naturally, I could not find the video again.
The zucchini is cut into spears and dredged in egg then tossed in a blend of breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and oregano. I think there were other ingredients in the video but that is what I used. I do remember it said to bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes. I also turned them at 10 minutes. Nice flavor. Will definately make again. Just wish I could remember the other vegetables... 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Orzo and Beef Stuffed Peppers

Kind of like a lasagna stuffing. Meat, Sauce, Pasta, and Cheese. Damn good Stuffed Peppers. I stuffed the peppers on Sunday. Chris popped them in the oven and a delicious dinner was the result.
I started by sauteing a chopped onion. Added the beef and browned it, seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and a touch of crushed red pepper. Next, I added some crushed tomatoes. That simmered for a little while, honestly, I don't remember how long! The orzo was cooked until al dente. The peppers cut, cored, and steamed. To the meat and sauce, I added shredded Mozzarella and Parmigiano. The Orzo was drained and added to the meat mixture.
The seasoning was adjusted just a bit. The stuffing went into the pepper halves. Chris heated them up for about 25 minutes at 350˙.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pancetta, Summer Squash, and Basil Pasta

Where did I go for a week? Nowhere but I wasn't here. No blog posts. Crazy week at work. But I am back, at least for tonight! Tonight I made a recipe that I actually made last week from Bon Appetit, Summer Squash, and Basil Pasta.  But tonight I put my own spin on the recipe. It was delicious. I love the idea of the cooked squash being the sauce. And adding pancetta did nothing to harm the recipe. Next time I might add onion...

Ingredients-
¼ cup olive oil
1/4 diced pancetta
2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
Kosher salt
12 ounces ziti, or other large tube pasta
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup basil leaves

Method-
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook pancetta, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned. Add squash; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down and gets jammy (they may start to stick to the skillet a bit, which means you are there!), 12–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.
Transfer pasta to skillet using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and remaining basil.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Leftovers

A couple of week ago I made White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs. There was a lot leftover. I did the obvious thing. I froze the leftovers. Tonight that is what we had for dinner.

Fridays are usually a very, very busy day for me at work. I am so glad I planned ahead with this dinner. There is NO way I could have gotten anything on the table tonight.

I love this recipe because it freezes so well. It was a good as the night it was made. All I did tonight was fry the eggs. I am really not good at egg prep. Luckily Chris excels at cooking eggs.

I made the bread today. Really easy recipe. Click here for the recipe.

White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs, from  Cooking Light-

Ingredients-
4 teaspoons Olive Oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped Yellow Onion
8 ounces chopped Zucchini
2 14.5 cans of diced Tomatoes
1 cup Unsalted Vegetable Stock
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
5 ounces Baby Spinach, chopped
4 large Eggs
Freshly Ground Pepper

Method-
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini to pan; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned, stirring occa­sionally. Add tomatoes, stock, salt, and beans to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and about half of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; cook 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Gently break eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still runny. Divide bean mixture among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 egg, and sprinkle with pepper.

I believe we are all ready for this weekend!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We Love Chicken Cutlets

What's not to love about Chicken Cutlets. I made a nice big batch on Sunday so we have a couple of meals in the freezer. The breading is fantastic. The chicken is nice and moist. Purrfect. Yes that is Archie's comment. Yes we ALL love Chicken Cutlets. Even Lucy seems to enjoy the chicken. But no breading for the kitties.


Here is my official Chicken Cutlet recipe -

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Put the chicken breasts in a bowl with beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley, and stir to coat. Dredge the chicken in bread crumbs which were mixed with flour, oregano, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. The chicken is placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with Pam. Drizzle a little olive oil on the chicken. Raise the temperature of the oven to 450˚. Bake the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. 
Did you say Chicken Cutlets!!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Don't Care If Hot Dog Rolls Are $1 A Bag

I like to bake. Not a surprise for a regular visitor to this blog. I have made homemade hamburger rolls so the next natural step would be hot dog rolls. I found a very nice recipe on the King Arthur Flour site. But they recommended a Hot Dog Roll Pan that sells for $29. They did give instructions to make the rolls without the pan. Thank you, King Arthur, for that option. Well, my hot dog rolls came out shall we say Free Form. Okay, they were far from the perfect shape. But the hot dog fits in the roll. And the taste was much better than the $1 a bag roll.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Five Ingredient Sage Butter Roasted Chicken

Delicious! I found this recipe on Cooking For Keeps. The breast I used took longer than the 15 minutes at 450˚. I used the meat thermometer to confirm it was cooked. I think I left it in for an additional 10 minutes.
For a side dish, I sauteed red onion and zucchini. I added bread crumbs and toasted those in the pan. Topped with a little parm. Nice!

Here is the recipe with the amounts that I used for the 2 of us.

Ingredients-
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes
4 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 tbsp + 2 tsp chopped sage
1 lbs russet potatoes cut into a ¼-inch dice
1 tsp olive oil

Method-
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine butter and 1 tablespoon sage. Use your hands to run half of butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Spread the other half of the butter on the outside of all the chicken pieces.

In a bowl, toss remaining sage with potatoes oil, and a liberal amount of salt. Toss until combined.

Spread potatoes on a large sheet pan. Place chicken pieces on top. Liberally season chicken with salt. Place chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Roast until skin is golden brown and crispy, another 15 minutes. If potatoes aren't crispy yet, remove chicken from the pan and the potatoes a toss, place the potatoes back in the oven. Roast until crisp.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hard Work Pays Off

What??? Here is the story. Last week I had a vacation day. A change had to be made to a website at 10 pm that night. I had just gotten in bed but decided to take one last look at my emails. Always a mistake. I saw the email about the edit. So I got out of bed and made the edits. For my service, the owner of the company I work for gave me his credit card and told me to take my husband out for dinner. Very nice. We ate at Quattro's tonight.

Quattro's is one of my favorite restaurants. I think Quattros and Leon's are my favorite two. But Quattro's is closer so I picked that one.

We started with appetizers of Grilled Calamari and Mussels which were sauteed in a white wine sauce. Fantastic! A little spicy which we loved. And I did not take photos!

For dinner Chris had the Boneless Duck Breas seared and finished in an orange, cherry, and Grand Marnier Sauce. He loves duck. I am not that big a fan.

I decided on the NY Strip Steak. It was topped with a sauce of scallions, mushroom, and brandy. Oh my! The steak melted in my mouth.

 
I even had dessert! I went with the Tartufo. It was the right size portion for the two of us. I think I let Chris have one taste!

Thank you, John, for a wonderful night out! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Chicken Arrabiata

Not the usual Memorial Day menu. I am sure it will warm up soon. Tonight we had my version of Chicken Arrabiata that I found on Saveur. I did not add the fresno chile or the garlic. The sauce was perfect. Definitely have bread with this one!

Ingredients-
1 (3-4 lb.) chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. multicolored cherry tomatoes
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Salad, crusty bread, or pasta, for serving

Method-
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high; working in batches, cook chicken, turning as needed, until browned, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and add tomatoes to skillet; season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook tomatoes, shaking the skillet, until they just begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook until onion is soft, about 6 minutes more. Return chicken to pan and cook, covered, 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring and breaking up tomatoes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 18 minutes more. Serve with a salad, crusty bread, or pasta.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grilled Short Ribs, Some Bruschetta and Live From Daryl's House

A perfect day and a perfect night. Tonight we got to see a live stream of America's band, The Smithereens, do a 3 hour set from Daryl's House in New York. Excellent!

For dinner, we had Grilled Boneless Short Ribs. Just seasoned the meat with salt and pepper. That's all. The meat was so tender and flavorful. Perfect.
I made two new appetizer recipes. Both were Bruschettas. So I needed a decent bread for my toppings. I opted for Artisan No-Knead Pizza Bread. I started the Artisan No-Knead Pizza Bread last night. It was an 18-hour bread. The recipe is at the end of this post.

The first Bruschetta was Glazed-Beets-and-Burrata Toast. Not bad. The beets were not a flavorful as I thought they would be. But hey the Burrata was good!

Glazed-Beet-and-Burrata Toast

Ingredients-
3 beets (about 3/4 pound total)
4 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 rosemary sprig
Salt
Twelve 4-by-2-inch slices of dense whole-grain bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted
1/2 pound Burrata Cheese, cut into 12 pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for garnish

Method-
In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with cold water. Add the thyme sprigs, black peppercorns and red wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until the beets are tender, about 45 minutes, replenishing the water if necessary. Drain the beets, then peel and cut them into 1/4-inch dice.

Return the diced beets to the saucepan. Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, rosemary sprig and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until a syrupy glaze forms, about 12 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig and season the beets with salt.

Top each whole-grain toast with a spoonful of the glazed beets, a piece of Burrata. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, garnish with the flaky salt and serve.

Now the Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta was a different story. Wow! Delicious! The flavors of the chickpeas were over the top. First time I made Chickpeas like this. So good. I should have put the Burrata on this!
 
Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta

Ingredients-
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 clove garlic halved
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise
1/2 medium carrot, halved lengthwise
1/2 celery rib, halved lengthwise
3 sage leaves
1 small rosemary sprig, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped leaves
1 bay leaf
1 dried chile de árbol
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
About 30 baguette slices (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Method-
Preheat the oven to 350˚. In a medium Dutch oven, combine the soaked chickpeas with the 1 garlic clove, the onion, carrot, celery, sage, rosemary sprig, bay leaf, chile, salt, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir. Cover and bake for about 2 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the oven, uncover and let the chickpeas cool in the liquid for 1 hour.



Meanwhile, lightly brush the baguette slices with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Rub the cut halves of garlic on one side of each toast.

Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid; discard all the aromatics except the garlic. Transfer the chickpeas and garlic to a blender. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and the reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth.


Arrange the toasts on a platter. Dollop the chickpea puree on top and use a small spoon to form a little well in each dollop. Drizzle the bruschetta with olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, minced thyme and sea salt and serve.


Artisan No Knead Pizza Bread 

Ingredients-
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar (optional, see notes)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups cool tap water
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup cubed pepperoni, or slices diced small

Method-
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, sugar (if using), grated Parmesan and pizza dough flavor.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.  Overnight works great.

Heat oven to 450-f degrees.  When the oven has reached 450-f degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface. Add the shredded cheese and pepperoni and fold over onto itself a few times to incorporate. Shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.

Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.