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!

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

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

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
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

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

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

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 

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

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.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Roasted Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Vacation Day! I went shopping with my sister and Heidi. Lenore had given me a gift card for Macy's for my birthday. I needed shorts and "summer" clothes. Did very well with the sales and still have $$ on the gift card. That being said, when I was little my Mom said there was no reason why you could not go out shopping as long as you had dinner ready. On Wednesday I worked from home and roasted the sausage, peppers, and onions. I added crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to the roasting pan and I think it was in the oven for maybe an hour. I stirred the mixture a couple of times during the roasting. Easy dinner.

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwiches with leftover Green Bean Salad. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs

Tonight's dinner is from Cooking Light. It is similar to Eggs in Purgatory but the eggs are fried instead of poached. This was well received, I think I heard Chris say, "Delicious."

The original recipe called for fresh Tomatoes, I used canned. Instead of Mushrooms, I added Zucchini. Also, I obviously omitted the garlic. We were supposed to add Cider Vinegar on top of the eggs but I completely forgot about it by the time I got home. Awful commute tonight.

Here is my version of White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs (not Frizzed Eggs).

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

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What Did Wimpy Say To Popeye?

I'll gladly repay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
Burgers. Burgers made from our house recipe served on, of course, homemade burger rolls. Yes, I know you can get hamburger rolls for $1 a bag. It's the baking thing. It's knowing every ingredient that was used. It's about making the buns the perfect size for your burgers. It's about Chris saying that the burgers and the rolls were delicious.
Our burger recipe -
Ground Beef, Rye Bread soaked in milk, Worcestershire Sauce, Horseradish Sauce, Salt and Pepper.

The roll recipe is from King Arthur Flour. Simple to make!!!!

Click here for the Beautiful Buns Recipe.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Not A Meatless Monday - The BLT Salad

I bookmarked this recipe from the New Haven Register back in 2012. Oh this was really good. I would never have thought to grate a tomato for the dressing. It captures that flavor of a BLT sandwich. You know the tomato and mayo mixed together flavor. Loved it!

The BLT Salad
1 cup cubed whole-wheat country bread
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, divided
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced chives or scallion greens
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
3 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread with oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Cut 1 tomato in half. Working over a large bowl, shred both halves using the large holes on a box grater. Discard the skin. Add mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), vinegar, garlic powder and pepper; whisk to combine.

Chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, romaine and croutons to the bowl with the dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A King Arthur Sort Of Day

I just felt like baking today. I went to the King Arthur Flour site and had fun!

Buttery Hot Dog Buns. Click Here For Recipe.
 Beautiful Burger Buns. Click Here For Recipe.

 English Muffin Toasting Bread. Click Here For Recipe.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My Favorite Dinner of 2017

Yes I know we are not even at the halfway mark of the year but damn dinner was fantastic tonight. Chris took me out to the Clam Castle in Madison CT.
I had the Soft Shell Crab and Chris had Clam Strips and Cod. It was fantastic. It was delicious. Oh, I wish I had more!!! It tasted just as I remember the Soft Shell Crabs from Chick's Diner in West Haven when I was a kid. It is the perfect summer dinner. And our weather went from March to August in the last 2 days.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Tomato Sauce

For lack of a better name I will go with Tuesday Tomato Sauce. It is Marcelle Hazan's Tomato, Butter and Onion Sauce with diced pepperoni added to it. And what a nice addition that was. Just enough heat, along with crushed red pepper. The focaccia was homemade using Jim Lahey's recipe.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Derek Jeter Day and Happy Mother's Day

I remember walking into the living room back in 1995 and asking Chris who was the new Yankee. Chris replied, "Derek Jeter." That is when I started to follow the New York Yankees. Today his number "2" was retired and it was Derek Jeter Day at the stadium. We watched the ceremony on TV while we ate dinner. Our Mother's Day dinner. Pizza.
Sunday nights and Pizza go hand in hand when I think of my Mom. The Sunday mornings memories of the heat blasting in the house, which was a normal occurrence. The dough rising in bowls which were covered with jackets and set in front of the heating vents. My Mom rolling out the dough and her letting me add the sauce. The house was like a pizzeria.
Tonight I made a pizza using up some leftovers. The sausage and peppers were from Thursday night. I had some pepperoni that I had boiled and did not use in the Easter Meat Pies that was in the freezer. And I sauteed a couple onions. Wow! Could this have been the best pizza pie of this year? It sure tasted like it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

I found this recipe on Bon Appetit. One-Skillet Steak and Spring Vegetable with Spicy Mustard. What an amazing dinner. Chris did not even mention that there was asparagus or peas in the dish. He just kept saying that it was delicious. SCORE!

I served homemade Foccacia as a side. The bread with the spicy mustard dressing equaled a most wonderful meal. It took all of 40 minutes to put this on the table. Loved it!!! 

1 pound boneless New York strip steak, patted dry
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1–2 pinches cayenne pepper
⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1 10-ounce bag frozen peas
 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

Season steak all over with salt and pepper. Whisk grated garlic, mustard, vinegar, honey, cayenne, ⅓ cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. water in a medium bowl to combine; season spicy mustard with salt and pepper.

Heat a dry medium skillet, over medium-high. Rub steak all over with 1 Tbsp. oil and cook, turning every 2 minutes or so and making sure to get color on the fat cap, until medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 120°), about 10 minutes. Transfer steak to a plate to rest. Pour off oil from skillet, leaving crispy bits behind.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in the same skillet over low. Add all but about 2 Tbsp. scallions (save those for serving) and cook, stirring often, until translucent and softened about 3 minutes. Add peas and a splash of water and cook, stirring and mashing to break up slightly, until peas are tender about 5 minutes. Add asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice steak and shingle over vegetables in skillet. Drizzle some mustard sauce over steak and top with reserved scallions. Serve with remaining mustard sauce alongside.

And we have 2 new Saints! Pope Francis proclaimed Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints at the start of Mass marking the 100th Anniversary of their visions of the Virgin Mary.

Friday, May 12, 2017

One. Two. Three Ingredient Stuffed Chicken

Today I worked from home so I was able to cook dinner. Cooking a dinner from scratch is not something that I can't do after an hour commute home. Sorry but I am usually wiped out from the crazy commute. Today I found this recipe on 3-Ingredient Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Ham and Cheese. Amazing! So simple and actually relaxing to put together. Of course, a vodka and orange juice helped with the relaxation factor. But seriously. I finished work at 5:30 pm. Dinner was on the table by 6:30. Not bad considering that I also roasted Acorn Squash. Yeah!

3-Ingredient Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Ham and Cheese for 2-

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced ham
2 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère cheese
1/2 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a sharp knife, make an incision on the thinner long side of chicken breast, cutting parallel through the breast but not all the way through.

Season inside of chicken with pepper and stuff each with 1 oz. ham and 1 oz. cheese.

Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with oil; season lightly with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 165°F, 12–15 minutes.

Let cool slightly before slicing

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Cookie Swap Dream Team

Today was the Saint Lawrence School's 100th Anniversary Tea. It was such a nice event. There was a lot of hard work that went into the event. The decorations and the food were all wonderful. Every person had a different tea cup and no 2 teapots were alike. The tables were decorated with teacups filled with flowers and each place had a wrapped napkin with silverware and a honey stick. There was a lot of attention to detail.

Now back to the food. There were assorted Tea Sandwiches. Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad,. My two favorites were the cucumber and I think it was dill. And then there was an apple and cheddar. Loved those two! Scones with homemade jam, and clotted cream. First time tasting clotted cream and I liked it!

Now let me just say that I am a cookie snob. My sister's cookies are the best. I worked with this guy whose sister made the absolute best chocolate chip cookies. Ian, if you are out there please stop by SFA someday with some of those cookies. Just call to make sure I am not working from home that day! I am just very picky about cookies. That being said if I could have a dream team for a cookie swap every person that made cookies for this tea would be invited. Lemon Bars, Russian Tea Cakes, a chocolate cookie covered with sugar, a shortbread that was to die for and it was made with an antique press. Pizzella, brownies, and much more. There was even a tray of sugar-free treats.