Saturday, November 9, 2019

It's That Time Of Year

That's right. Christmas cookie time! Making my list, see above. Checking it twice, and one more time with my sister, we try not to make the same cookies.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

If It's Sunday

Yes, it is Pizza. 



Used up the leftover Chicken Parmesan from Friday's dinner 
and the sausage from last night's dinner.

Delicious!

Not much left of this pie!



Saturday, November 2, 2019

Patate Zucca E Salsiccia al Forno

Roasted Potatoes, Butternut Squash and Sausage. I am not sure how I found this blog but this is going to be an often visited site. La Cucina Divane. Don't be afraid of food blogs written in a foreign language. Google translate is perfect for this.
This was a simple meal, I roast sausage and pepper all the time. The addition of the butternut squash was nice. I was able to use up some rosemary and thyme from the plants on the deck before the first frost hits... maybe tonight?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cheeseburger Quesadillas


Kind of an important game on TV tonight. Go Yankees!

I wanted a simple dinner that came together fast but did not skimp on flavor. We have a winner! I found this recipe last night on RealSimple.com. It was a 30-minute meal that got rave reviews. I only made 1/2 the recipe and it was perfect for 2 Quesadillas.


Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Ingredients -
1¼ pounds ground sirloin
⅔ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
⅓ cup mayonnaise 
24 dill pickle chips
4 10-in. flour tortillas
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
cooking spray


Method -
Cook sirloin in a large skillet over medium-high, stirring to crumble, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in ketchup and mustard.

Top half of each tortilla with ¼ cup cheese. Top with ⅔ cup meat mixture, 6 pickle chips, and another ¼ cup cheese. Fold tortilla in half to cover filling.

Heat a medium skillet over medium. Spray outside of tortillas with cooking spray and, working in batches, add to skillet. Cook until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Favorite Chicken Pot Pie



It was 10 years ago this month that I first used this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. The recipe is from RealSimple and it one of our go-to recipes. We use rotisserie chicken. We have a Fresh Market in our area and on Thursday they have a special, $5.00 Rotisserie Chicken. It is not one of those heavily hormone injected birds.

For the crust of the Pot Pie, we use that Pate Brisse recipe. The CB and LB are used to differentiate the inside of the Pot Pie. One side, the CB side, does not have any of the lima beans that are part of the mixed frozen vegetables. The side that has LB has all the lima beans!


Pate Brisee Recipe -

Ingredients -
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch granulated sugar

5-1/2 Tbsp (2/3 stick) sweet butter, chilled

3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

Method -
Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together into a bowl; add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is like coarse meal.
Sprinkle on and blend in enough of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water in lightly with a fork.
Turn dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape up the smeared dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


The Pot Pie -
Ingredients
1 pound Rotisserie Chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups 1 percent milk 
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon fresh thyme 
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper 
Pate Brise dough

Directions 
Heat oven to 400° F.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Transfer to a shallow 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish.

Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut several vents in the crust. Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Pork with Leeks and Apples


A 30-minute meal on a Saturday night!! Fast, easy and delicious!!


Step by Step instruction on tonight's dinner -

  1.   I cut pork tenderloin into medallions and dredged them in flour. 
  2.   In a saute pan I heated 1 tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter. 
  3.   The pork was added to the pan and was browned on one side.
  4.   I added the peeled and sliced apples. 
  5.   The meat was turned over and cooked for a couple of minutes. 
  6.   Next, I added the chopped leeks to the pan. Again I let it saute for a minute or 2. 
  7.   I seasoned the pan with salt and pepper. 
  8.   I then added about a 1/2 cup of white wine to the pan and let that reduce. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sheet Pan Steak and Potatoes


Skirt Steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat. When I saw it was on sale this week and a recipe popped up that was pretty close to a 30 Minute meal I was delighted. The recipe was from EatingWell.com.

I marinated the steak before I left for work. When I got home I was able to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. I think this is going to be made more quite often.


Ingredients-
3/4 pound potatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
2 cups Green Beans
1 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Method-
In the morning, marinate the Skirt Steak in Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and fresh Rosemary.

Take the steak out of the refrigerator when you get home.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Toss Green Beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in the bowl. Stir into the potatoes on the baking sheet.

Place the steak on top of the vegetables. Roast until the steak is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a serving platter. Stir blue cheese into the vegetables and serve with the steak.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Veal Stew with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Oregano


This photo does not do this dinner justice. 

This meal was prepared yesterday. I was going to follow the recipe and bake it in the oven. But suddenly it was summer again. The air conditioning went on, and oven cooking not happening. 
But we have the slow cooker. I browned the veal and the onions on the stovetop and then everything went into the slow cooker.

Yesterday being a football day I made Pizza Roll-up as an appetizer. No, I did not take a photo. Too bad as they were quite good. After devouring them we did not want dinner. So we had the stew tonight.

Tonight we reheated the stew and Wow!! Really good. The meat was so tender. The only thing is I should have increased the salt and pepper. 

This recipe is from a 1997 issue of Bon Appetit that I was holding onto. It was the Italian Countryside Edition. I remember my mom made Veal Stew quite often when I was little. I have never tried making it. When I was flipping through the magazine I notice this recipe. The plus was that it was from the Campania Region.

On a side note, I have been subscribing to Bon Appetit for a number of years. My question is where have all the recipes gone? This is a photo of this months recipe list and the recipe list from May 1997.



Veal Stew with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Oregano

Ingredients-
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds veal stew meat, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
16 boiling onions, peeled
1 1/4 pounds large red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
1 1/2 12-ounce baskets cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved

Method-
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle veal generously with salt and pepper. Add veal and onions to pot. Sauté until veal is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Mix in potatoes and oregano, then tomatoes. Bring stew to simmer. Cover pot; transfer to oven. Bake until veal and vegetables are tender, about 2 hours. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle stew into shallow soup bowls and serve.

Slow Cooker Method-
Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle veal generously with salt and pepper. Add veal and onions to pot. Sauté until veal is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper.
Put potatoes and oregano, then tomatoes in the crockpot. Add veal and onions.  Cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours, I went for just 4 hours.
Ladle stew into shallow soup bowls and serve.




Monday, September 16, 2019

Taco Casserole


Thank you for this recipe Martha Stewart!

I got home at 6pm and had dinner on the table by 6:45pm. One frying pan and one baking dish. Taco Casserole from Martha Stewart recipe can be found here.

I did make a couple of changes the recipe. I sauteed the beef, peppers, and onions together. All at the same time. No harm is done.

And for the next time, do not use Nacho Chips. Use Fritos. Yes, Fritos.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rye Bread


First Bread of the Fall. Sandwich Rye Bread. Recipe from King Arthur Flour. Dill pickle juice! I was hesitant but what the heck. The result was a very tasty bread. The dough was easy to handle and when baked the crumb was perfect.

This is my version of the King Arthur recipe -

Ingredients-
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
2/3 cup to 7/8 cup lukewarm water*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 1/3 cups Rye Flour

Method-
Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix until clumps form; the dough may seem dry at this point. Let it rest for 20 minutes, for the flour to start to absorb the liquid.

Knead the dough—by mixer to make a stiff, but fairly smooth dough. It'll take about 7 minutes in a stand mixer at second speed, using the dough hook. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl; if it doesn't sprinkle in a bit more all-purpose flour. It is not recommended to knead this dough by hand, as it's hard to develop the gluten sufficiently.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise till it's puffy, about 1 to 2 hours. It may or may not have doubled in bulk, but it definitely will have expanded.

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan (for a stiffer dough), or 9" x 5" loaf pan (for a slacker dough). Press it to the edges of the pan, and flatten the top.

Tent the pan with greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it's crowned about 1" to 1 1/2" over the edge of the pan, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. When done the bread will be golden brown, and its internal temperature will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the bread from the oven, wait 5 minutes, remove it from the pan, and allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing. Store for up to a week at cool room temperature.

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?