Saturday, September 14, 2019

Breaded Pork Chops and Three Apple Slaw

The fall menu is here!
First up. One of my favorites. Breaded Pork Chops. These were not that thick so I was able to cook them in the pan on the stovetop. Dredge in flour, next in egg wash and then coat with a breadcrumb mixture of panko breadcrumbs, chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley (from our deck garden), and salt and pepper. A little olive oil in the pan and brown the pork chops.

For a side dish, I tried something new. A Three Apple Slaw. I found this recipe on Food and Wine
I used sesame seeds in place of the poppy seeds. This was not a bad dish. One side of the table was more excited about it than the other side. I think the apples should have been cold. That may have helped it.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Chicken Parmesan



A damn good dinner if I do say so myself. 


I had taken the prepared Chicken Cutlets out of the freezer this morning along with a small container of "The Sauce". The dish was assembled and heated in the oven for about 25 minutes at 375˚. The chicken was perfectly moist. The breading was crispy and the sauce, well that is always spot on.


I also had some zucchini fritters in the freezer. They were the perfect side dish. The recipe is an oldie from the Martha Steward Magazine. I think I first saw it in the '90s. Luckily I found it online.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Breakfast Time


Noticeably cooler yesterday and today. Seemed like Cinnamon Scone weather. I absolutely love this recipe. It is from 101Sweets.com. I think that is the original post. This is the link that I found it on, Click Here. I did make a couple of changes from the original recipe.

I did not have buttermilk, I usually make a substitute of milk and lemon juice for buttermilk. But this time I used plain yogurt.

Maura, the woman who cuts my hair, said when she makes scones she freezes the butter and then uses a food grater to shred it into the flour. I was intrigued. I tried it and love the results.


I decided to make smaller scones, not using my scone pan. This time I used my food scale and measured 16 pieces out and shaped them into circles using a biscuit/cookie cutter.

This is my version -

Cinnamon Chip Scones -
(makes 16)

Ingredients-
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar, plus additional for dusting
1 stick butter, freeze before using
1 cup cinnamon chips 
1 egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain yogurt


Method-
Combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar. 
Shred the butter using a grater. 
Mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
Stir in the cinnamon chips. 
Combine the egg yolk, the vanilla and the yogurt; stir this into the dry ingredients until just combined. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-10 turns. 
Divide the dough into 16 pieces. I used a food scale for this. 
Shape each piece into a circle, here I used a biscuit cutter.
Brush each circle with lightly beaten egg white, dust it with sugar and transfer the scones to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. 

Cool on a wire rack; after 5 minutes, cover loosely with a dish towel until completely cool.

You can freeze what you do not need, unless you want to eat them all!

Friday, August 30, 2019

End of the Week Pasta


Tonight for dinner I used up a few things that we had leftover and made a most delicious dinner. Chris commented that it was quite good.


I started off sauteeing some sausage. When that was cooked I added zucchini, sliced in 1/2 moons. Next, I added a little white wine and cooked that down. I had leftover sausage and peppers in that delicious Marcella Hazan sauce. That was stirred into the pan. The seasonings were adjusted, a little salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, the pasta was boiling...

When the pasta was done I added it to the saute pan along with a knob of butter and a little pasta water. I served the pasta with a little bit of burrata cheese on top.


Just delicious! And only 2 pans to wash! Perfect start to the weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Homemade Fettuccini with That Sauce


Homemade Fettuccini, recipe from Tide and Thyme, the only recipe I will ever use and the sauce is Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion and Butter Sauce. It does not get better than that.


On Sunday I made a pot of "the Sauce." Have a couple of containers in the freezer. With the abundance of amazingly delicious tomatoes, it seemed like the right thing to do.


It was a damn good dinner. I had to force myself not to go back for seconds.

Nothing better than freezer food.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Stuffed Tomatoes


August. Tomato time!
I found a recipe for Baked Stuffed Tomatoes online and altered it a bit. This dinner was quite the hit.  The tomatoes were from Cole's Farm Market.

I cut off the tops and removed all the seeds and the pulp from the tomatoes. I saved the pulp for the pan of Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion and Butter Sauce I was making.

I turned the tomatoes upside down and placed them on wire racks over a baking sheet so they would drain off any liquid.

While the tomatoes were draining, I sauteed some sausage.

I added a little of the Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion and Butter Sauce and some bread. Seasonings were the usual suspects, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese.

I carefully stuffed each tomato hoping we would have no cracks. There was only one but it was not too bad.

These were heated up in the oven for 20 minutes at 350˚.


Delicious!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Comfort Food - Fettuccine Alfredo

Homemade Fettuccine. There is something about having that for dinner makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It is true comfort food for me.

The recipe I use for the pasta is from Tide and Thyme. I made a batch on Sunday and was able to freeze enough for 2 nights dinner.


The Fettuccini Alfredo recipe is from an Epicurious.com post from 2003. It was the "true" Italian recipe. NO CREAM! Just butter, cheese, and pasta water.

Ingredients-
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
Dried egg fettuccine
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup) 

Method-
Melt butter in a large saute pan.
Cook fettuccine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain fettuccine in a colander.
Immediately toss the fettuccine with butter and salt in the sauté pan, then slowly add 3/4 cup cheese, tossing constantly and adding enough of the cooking water to keep pasta moist.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Pancetta, Zucchini, and Pasta


Wow. Zucchini season is here!! Time for my favorite summer pasta dish. This time there was a suggestion of adding pancetta and cream to the sauce. An excellent addition I must say.

Dice the pancetta and saute. Add sliced onion, I used red onion. Saute in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes on low heat. Add the sliced zucchini. Saute for about 7 to 10 minutes. You want the zucchini to get a little jammy. Add some white wine and let that cook down. Add some cream, I used one cup of heavy cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and basil.

Cook the pasta. Once it is al dente add it to the saute pan along with some of the pasta water. Simmer for a few minutes. Add some parmesan cheese and a little butter if you like.

Now about the pasta. This would have been over the top delicious with homemade pasta. But there are only so many hours in the weekend. I found Ronzoni Homestyle Penne at the store. 2 ingredients. Flour and egg. The taste? Not bad. Not bad at all. It was a lighter pasta than the usual boxed pasta. We both went back for seconds.

Did I ever tell you the story about the time the Ronzoni Brothers visited my Mom?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Rose Del Deserto

Please allow me to introduce you to the newest cookie in our line up. Rose Del Deserto. The recipe is from Italian Sons and Daughters of America. The recipe reminds me of my Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. But this one is rolled in Corn Flakes or Special K in this case. The taste, really good. Not too sweet. Almost like a cannoli cookie. Yeah, this will be in heavy rotation.


Recipe for Rose Del Deserto, get the food scales out for this one!

Ingredients-
130 g (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
120 g (4.3 oz ) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
240 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
5 g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
Pinch of salt
180 g (1 cup) chocolate chips
200 g (7 oz) approx., cornflakes (like Special K) or similar
Powdered sugar


Method-
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 °F)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl with an electric mixer
  3. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract
  4. Mix the flour and the baking powder in a small bowl
  5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips
  7. Roll teaspoon-sized balls of dough in a bowl of cornflakes
  8. Place the cookies, well-spaced (about 3-4 cm), on a greased cookie sheet
  9. Bake about 10-12 minutes
  10. Remove from pan and cool on a rack
  11. Cover with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, just before serving.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Sneak Peak of What I Am Making For Dinner

I have a feeling the next two weeks are going to be busy at work. One thing I will not have to worry about is what we are having for dinner. Today I made a few meals, some for this week and some for the freezer. I did all this in 3 1/2 hours.


We have meatballs in sauce, yes homemade sauce. Baked chicken which we can either heat up on the grill or add to a salad. Stuffed Zucchini. And Bacon, Tomato and Zucchini Galatte. 

Stay tuned for the recipes.






Saturday, July 27, 2019

When There is Zucchini- Frittelle di Pasta Cresciuta Con Zucchine

Frittelle di Pasta Cresciuta Con Zucchine. This recipe is from Memorie di Angelina. This is one of my favorite blogs. The recipes remind me of my Mom's cooking.

Oh, I just love this recipe. Chris loves this recipe. The result is small balls of fried bread with zucchini. Real easy, you do need to let the dough rise. The zucchini was from my sister's garden. More zucchini recipes to come later this week.

I think this might be a good Christmas Day appetizer...

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Something For Dessert – No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Ice Cream? I do not have an Ice Cream Maker. This recipe does not require one. I found this recipe on PureWow.com.  No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.


The flavor was spot on mint. I did not use the green food coloring that the recipe called for. I also made 1/2 the recipe, just in case it did not work out. Next time I will make the full recipe. Only 6 ingredients. Have you read the ingredient list of a carton of ice cream?

ingredients-
For a Pint of Ice Cream
1 1/4 cups (567g) heavy cream
1 (15g) fresh mint
2 ounces (63g) finely chopped dark chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract


Method-
1. Infuse the Cream
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, add the mint and cover the saucepan. Let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.


2. Using a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium heat-safe bowl, strain the mixture, reserving the cream and discarding the mint. (Make sure to press hard on the mint leaves to get all the cream out of them.)
3. Transfer the cream to a shallow heat-safe dish (such as a 9-inch square baking pan) and chill in the refrigerator until it’s cold at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
4. MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CHUNKS: While the cream chills, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together (either in a medium heat-safe bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water or in 15-second bursts in the microwave). Stir the mixture until it’s combined, then pour it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread it into an even layer about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator to chill until the chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.
5.  Remove the chilled chocolate from the fridge and roughly chop it to create chunks. Hold the chocolate chunks in the fridge until ready to use.
6. When the cream is cold, transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip it to medium peaks. Add the sweetened condensed milk in a slow, steady stream and whip until it’s incorporated. Beat in the peppermint extract.
7.  With a silicone spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chunks by hand, then pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and freeze until the ice cream is scoopable at least 3 hours and up to overnight.



Breakfast! Banana Blueberry Muffins

The blueberries were only $1.77 a pint this week. And I had some bananas that were getting close to overripe. I google Banana Blueberry Muffins and found this recipe on PlatingCravings.com.

Wow! Delicious!! Moist and super easy to make. I had a dozen muffins completed from start to finish in less than one hour! And they are only 170 calories each! Excuse me but I think I might have one more...

Click here for the recipe and to visit PlatingCravings.com.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Lobster Cacio e Pepe for Two

I found an article in the latest Bon Appetit that explained how to make perfect Cacio e Pepe. I have tried to make Cacio e Pepe at home a number of times and each time the cheese gets clumpy.

When I saw this recipe for Lobster Cacio e Pepe on MyRecipes.com I was ready to give the pasta another try. I used the Bon Appetit recipe for the sauce so the MyRecipes.com was not followed completely.

The result, even following the Bor Appetit recipe, was still clumpy. I admit not as clumpy as previous attempts but not as smooth as described in the article.

But the taste was quite good. I think I heard the word "delicious" being used from across the table.
I had the seafood person steam the lobster, one less thing to feel guilty about.


The dish was good but I will stop trying to make Cacio e Pepe at home.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Lobster Oreganata



There is something about having to kill your dinner before you cook it. I have no problem killing a lobster. Well, I do feel bad about killing it but they taste so good. That being said this dinner received rave reviews. Easy to prepare, except for the killing part.

This recipe is from the book Cooking With Nonna Celebrating Food and Family. The lobster was on sale for $6.99 a pound at Shop Rite. It was delicious.

Back to the lobster prep. There are a lot of videos and tutorials on how to kill the lobster. I would recommend googling the subject and finding one that you are comfortable with.


Ingredients-
2 live lobsters
6 tbsp. plain bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated cheese
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine
3/4 cup water

Method-


Place the lobster, belly side down on a kitchen towel on a cutting board, when you cut the lobster it will leak. Using a sharp knife, split the lobsters in half, straight down the middle, beginning with the point of the knife in the middle of the head and running it down the tail. Remove the eggs and the innards. Transfer the lobster halves cut side up to a rimmed baking sheet. Remember to remove the rubber bands around the claws after you kill the lobster.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.


Mix thoroughly bread crumbs, parsley, cheese, parsley, and olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over lobster. Drizzle each half with the wine.


Pour water into the bottom of the baking sheet. Cover the sheet with aluminum foil and bake until the shells are red and the meat is firm about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.
Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter.

Cannoli Cookies



It was a Cooking With Nonna type of day. Tomorrow I am going to a party at my nephew's house. His son received his Confirmation and they are also celebrating my brother's 70th birthday. What does that mean? I have to bring cookies. It is what I do.

I had the recipe for Cannoli Cookies bookmarked in the Cooking with Nonna cookbook. I am so glad I finally made this recipe. Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients-
1 cup unsalted pistachios
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 orange, zest only
1 large egg, room temperature
8 ounces whole milk ricotta, room temperature
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
For Glaze-
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Topping-
Chocolate Sprinkles

Method-
Place the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped, about 15-20 seconds.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and zest.
Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Beat in the egg and the ricotta.
Add in the dry ingredients little by little until a dough forms.
Mix in the pistachios and chocolate chips.
Using a tablespoon, roll the dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
The bottoms of the cookies should slightly brown.
Cool completely before glazing.

To make the Glaze:
In a bowl mix together the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and milk until a smooth glaze forms. Add less milk for a thicker glaze or more for a thinner glaze. Top with chocolate sprinkles.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Veal Mattese




This weekend I was going through old recipe files. I found the recipe for Veal Mattese from a class I took at Quattro's in Guilford a few years ago. One of my husband's favorite meal at Quattro's in Guilford is Veal Mattese. This was quite good. I served the veal along with a side mashed potatoes, just like they do a Quattro's.


Ingredients-
1  lb. of veal scaloppini
salt and pepper
flour2 tbsp butter
8 large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 oz. white wine
1 tsp. marinara Sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 lb. fresh spinach, blanched
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 tbsp chopped scallions, chopped


Method-
Dust the veal in flour, salt, and pepper.
In a saute pan melt the butter.
Sear the veal, 3 minutes per side. Add shrimp, white wine and marinara sauce.
Place blanched spinach on top of the veal along with the shrimp and mozzarella cheese. Let the sauce reduce in half and cover the pan to melt the cheese.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Potato-Crusted Pork Schnitzel with Hot Pepper Mayonnaise


The recipe for tonight's dinner was found on the Food & Wine site. I was not sure the Hot Pepper Mayonnaise would be a hit but it was. The pork chops were perfectly cooked and perfectly moist. This is something I have a bit a problem with. I have a fear, it is a family thing, of serving undercooked pork.

For a side dish, we had mashed potatoes and sauteed Zucchini and Bok Choy.

This is my version of the Food & Wine Recipe for Potato-Crusted Pork Schnitzel with Hot Pepper Mayonnaise.

Ingredients-
1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons seeded minced cherry pepper

Kosher salt
Pepper

2 large eggs

1 cups dried potato flakes 

4 (4-ounce) boneless pork chops, lightly pounded to 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil



Method-
Combine mayonnaise and cherry pepper in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Beat eggs with a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl. Spread potato flakes in a separate shallow bowl. Season pork chops to taste with salt and pepper. Dip pork chops in egg, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge pork chops 
in potato flakes, pressing to help flakes adhere.
 
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high until butter melts. Working in batches, add pork to skillet, and cook until browned and crispy, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds per side. Transfer pork chops to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and serve the pork with the hot pepper mayonnaise.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Stacked Beef Quesadilla Pie


I had leftover Quesadillas from our Cinco De Mayo dinner. I thought a Stacked Beef Quesadilla Pie would be nice to try. I had everything including a pound of beef in the freezer. This was really good and really easy to make.

I sauteed some chopped onion and ground beef. Seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder. I added a can of drained diced tomatoes with green chiles to the meat along with about 1/2 cup Salsa, Newman's Own Mild. I layered 4 Quesadilla with the meat, more salsa, some grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese and some diced scallions in a pie plate large enough for the Quesadillas. The pie went into a 375˚ oven for about 15 minutes.

More salsa and sour cream were served on the side.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Buona Pasqua

A lovely Easter dinner with Lenore and Ralph, Nicholas, Elenora and Chris. We ate at Portofino's in New Haven. What a relaxing meal after a busy weekend. I really enjoyed knowing that none of us had to do any dishes!

Of course, we started with cocktails and appetizers. Sorry photos were not taken except for my dinner dish. Anyway back to the appetizers. Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms. They were fried and stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Fried Calamari and Mini Osso Bucco. I could have stopped right there. But we plowed on...

I had Rack of Lamb for dinner. Something I never order out. The menu description sounded delicious and oh my gosh it was!!! It was served with a Rosemary Merlot Wine Sauce. Amazing.

Some decaf expresso and the day was complete.

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Last Friday of Lent


A repeat appearance of Caesar Salad with Shrimp. The salad dressing was Lidia Bastianich's.

Romaine Lettuce tossed with Caesar Salad Dressing and topped with homemade croutons and boiled shrimp.

The Shrimp was placed in a pan with 2 cups of cold water and lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, along with the lemon half and 1/2 tsp of whole black pepper and 1/2 tsp of sugar. The pan was heated over medium heat to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the shrimp was cooked.

Caesar Salad Dressing
Ingredients-
2 Hard Cooked Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Juice of one Lemon
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
½ Tsp Kosher Salt
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper to Taste

Method-
In a mini–food processor, combine the egg yolks, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream to make a smooth dressing. 
The recipe suggests dressing the entire bowl of greens. We prefer to dress our own plates. We can never finish the whole bowl of greens. Not mixing the dressing on the entire salad means we can use the greens for another meal... Stay tuned!





Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday Dinner

Dinner at my sister's house is always a special meal. This year Lenore and Ralph outdid themselves with five courses.

First was the Antipasto. Sorry, no photos. And I should have taken a photo of the pickled eggplant. The slices were cut as thin as a string. I have never seen them cut that thin. Oh, and there was pickled beets. They were seasoned with olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and oregano. Wow!


Next was the Dandelion Soup. This year they used dandelions from their garden that were grown with Italian Dandelion Seeds. The broth was sublime and the greens had a nice bitter taste to them. Something along the lines of broccoli rabe. There was a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old at the table who loved this soup.


Homemade pasta with an Asparagus and Scallion Sauce. Perfect.

Next was the Porkette. Seasoned with Fennel. Moist as can be. Peas and carrots rounded out the plate.

Finally dessert. My sister made her Easter Bread, again no photo...

I brought Cannoli Bits. I had found the recipe in the Italian Sons and Daughters of America Newsletter. They were perfect little bites. You did not have to eat a whole cannoli. Not that you shouldn't but after all the food we consumed it was not for a small bit of something sweet. These will be part of my dessert rotation.

Here are the recipe and the story that goes along with it. I would recommend signing up for this weekly newsletter. Lots of interesting stories and recipes.