Monday, March 30, 2020

Black Bean Soup

This is a go to recipe for me. I found it in a magazine ad when we were first married. We also had some of Rocco's Loaded Steak Stuffed bread. Nice.


Black Bean Soup

Ingredients-
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 chopped red pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans (15 oz.) Black Beans (drain liquid from 1 can)
Black pepper to taste

Method-
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in hot oil for five minutes.
Stir in cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Puree one can of beans (the can that was not drained) add to the pot. Add remaining can of beans, the can that was drained. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add black pepper to taste.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Parmesan Risotto

 
Tonight I had my first Vodka Gimlet since this whole virus situation started.  Both Chris and I are still going to work every day so we are not experiencing the #stayhome way of life. We get up, go to work, come home and hunker down.

Grocery shopping has taken on a new life. If the parking lot is not crowded I will go in. Twice this week I have pulled into Bishop's Market and did not stop because I know the size of the store and there were too many cars in the lot to be sure there would be a 6 ft social distance between other shoppers. Crazy times! Next week I will order my produce online from Bishops and sit in the pick-up line.
Tonight for dinner I made what has to be my favorite Saturday night dinner. Breaded Pork Chops. I pan fry them and finish them in the oven. Always moist!

But the star tonight was the Parmesan Risotto. The recipe is from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook. Spot On Risotto.

Ingredients-
2 1/2 cup water
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion chopped or 2 shallots chopped
salt and pepper
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method-
Bring water and broth to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove heat, cover and keep warm. 
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp salt and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains are translucent around edges, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups reserved warm broth. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed about 12 minutes.
Stir 1/2 cup reserved warm broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes. Repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 times, until rice is al dente, you may have broth leftover. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and parmesan.




Friday, March 27, 2020

A Friday Night in Lent

No mass on Sunday, now including Easter Sunday, but it is still Lent. And that means No Meat on Fridays. Chris suggested the same thing we had last Friday night for dinner. And Eggplant Pie from Roccos off Wooster. Perfect.  

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pastine in Chicken Broth

We can all use a little comfort right about now. When I was little one thing my Mom would make for me was Pastine in Chicken Broth. Actually, she also made Pastine in milk with butter. That will be another post at another time.

I made the soup when I got home from work and we heated up some "Loaded" Steak Stuffed Bread From Roccos off of Wooster. It was so damn good!

Pastine in Chicken Broth
Ingredients-
4 cups homemade or store-bought chicken broth.
1 2-inch piece of Parmesan cheese rind
1/2 box pastina pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt to taste

Method-
In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth and Parmesan rind to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the tiny pastina and cook until the pasta is tender for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the Parmesan rind and discard.
Stir in 1/2 of the cheese.
Season with sea salt to taste.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, if desired.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Rye Bread

I started this bread last night in the midst of the Friday Night Baking Event. This is too easy not to make. Just mix the ingredients and let it rise for 18 hours. The recipe is from the Jim Lahey book, My Bread. The week we will be having Corned Beef and Cabbage so this bread seemed to be the perfect match.

Like I said it is simple -
Mix together in a large bowl -
300 grams Bread Flour
100 grams Rye Flour
8 grams Table Salt
2 grams Dry Yeast

Next, add -
300 grams cool Water (55˚ to 60˚)

Stir using a wooden spoon until you have a wet sticky dough, about 30 seconds.
Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. The dough should double in size and the surface will be dotted with bubbles.

Generously dust a work surface (a wooden or plastic cutting board is fine) with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough onto the board in one piece. Use lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula to lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.

This is where I differ from the "recipe". I shape the dough into a boule and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, making an indentation about 1/4 inch deep, it should hold the impression. If it doesn't, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third position, and place a covered 4 1/2–5 1/2 quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.

Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Very carefully place the dough seam side up into the pot. (Use caution—the pot will be very hot.) Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. Don't slice or tear into it until it has cooled, which usually takes at least an hour.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Just Another Friday Night

We all have different ways of unwinding after a stressful week. Maybe I should have bought toilet paper. Honestly, it is getting serious. They closed the New Haven Library. That freaked me out a little. To relieve stress I pour myself a glass of wine, usually red, and head for the kitchen and start baking.

Tonight I baked Irish Soda Scones and a new cookie! The Irish Soda Scone recipe is from The Joy of Baking site.

Ingredients -
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

Method -

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add most of the buttermilk.
Using one hand, a wooden spoon or spatula, mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you have a soft and moist dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a 7 inch round. Cut this circle into 6 triangular sections. Place the scones on your prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with a little buttermilk or milk and then dust with a little flour. This gives the baked scones a floury brown crust.
Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place it on a wire rack. These scones are best served warm from the oven with a little butter and jam.
Makes 6 large scones.

The Cookie. Biscotti con Formaggio Cremoso. Or Cream Cheese Knot Cookies.
 I love this cookie. I have heard mixed reviews from the sidelines.
The recipe was from Cooking with Nonna Book.

I made 1/2 the recipe. Will I make these again? Yes!

Ingredients-
1 1/5 cups flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
2 az cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp anise extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tbsp Sambuca liqueur
nonpareils

Method -
Preheat oven to 350˚. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a bowl for a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the egg. Add the anisette and vanilla. Mix to combine. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour and baking powder mixture and mix it until fully absorbed. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
On a clean work surface, roll a chunk of dough into a rope 1/2 inch wide. Cut the rope into 4 to 5 inch long pieces. Shape into little knots and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake for10 to 15 minutes or until the cookies just began to color. Cool completely before glazing.
To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, anisette, and the milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies and decorate with the nonpareils.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini

Today I went fabric shopping with my sister. Yeah, I love to sew. I find it very relaxing. But being out meant I needed a quick dinner. I found a recipe this week for Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini. It was quite good and very easy to make. But of course, I needed something to go with the soup. I have heard someone say that soup is not a meal... This is where Rocco's stuffed bread comes in. I ordered the Meatball bread and picked it up after Mass tonight. Wow, it was really, really good.




Here is my version of the Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini Recipe -

Ingredients-

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 tablespoon butter
1 large leek, white & light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced
1 (6 ounces) can no-salt-added tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or no-chicken broth
1 (28 ounces) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano 
1 teaspoon salt
1 (9 ounces) package cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups half-and-half
½ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley


Method-
Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
Remove the bay leaves.
Whisk flour and half-and-half in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the soup.
Add basil (or parsley). Cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Monday, March 2, 2020

An Unforgettable Beef Stew

This is the second time this year I have made this stew. The recipe is an adaptation of Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew which I found on the Veggies By Candlelight blog. I also adapted that recipe to fit our tastes and to what I had in the house for ingredients.

In the blog post on Veggies by Candlelight, there are rules that the writer received from the person who gave her the recipe. They are really good and they should be followed.
Again from Veggies by Candlelight-

  • You must sear the meat, not simply brown the sides. This will have to be done in batches because the beef cubes need to sizzle in a hot pan for a good five minutes before nudging them. Only when the bottoms have a dark crust and come away easily from the pan can you move on to the other sides.
  • Whatever you do, please don't scrimp on the time. Stew meat takes a good long stretch of cooking before it becomes tender. Cook it low and slow for at least two hours
  • Use chicken stock instead of beef. That is unless you make your own beef stock.
  • For seasonings Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and good red wine.  Substituting a good dark beer for the wine is usually a great choice.  Keep the seasonings fairly simple.  If you've seared the meat well and cooked it long enough, a good stew can really stand on its own without much else.

Ingredients-
1 pound good-quality beef chuck, cubed into ~ 1 ½" sized pieces
1 1/2 cups of good red wine
2 bay leaves 
1 cup flour  
kosher salt 
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil 
1 yellow onion, chopped 
2 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1 ½" chunks
1/2 lb small potatoes halved or quartered
1 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp chopped dried rosemary
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
5 oz package frozen peas

Method-
The night before, or a couple of hours before you start...
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine and bay leaves.
Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Brown the Beef
The next day, preheat the oven to 300° F.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour,  1/2 tbsp salt, and pepper, and combine.
Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, discard the bay leaves, saving the marinade.
In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mix before shaking off the excess.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. See the notes above.
Place the seared beef in a bowl and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary. (If the beef is very lean, you'll need more oil.) 
Remove the beef and place in a bowl.

Prep the Veggies
In the Dutch oven, heat another glug of oil before adding the onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the vegetables to the bowl with the beef.
Finish the Soup
Add the reserved marinade to the empty Dutch oven and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon 
Add the stock, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. 
Add the meat and vegetables, including all the juices to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. 
Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, or until all of the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking.
If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275° F. 
Before serving, stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday Baking (The Hot Cross Bun Recipe!)

I got an email from Bon Appetit which had a link for a No-Knead Focaccia Bread. I love the Jim Lahey 18 Hour No-Knead Bread. I started the recipe last night, yes this is what I do on a Friday night.
The dough rose perfectly overnight in the fridge. The result was nice focaccia risen to a good height to be used in this coming week's Meatball Sub dinner and Sausage and Pepper dinner. Click here for the Bon Appetit Recipe.

Wednesday was the start of Lent which means it is Hot Crossed Bun Season!!! I have my Mom's recipe. My sister also uses this recipe. The Buns are great. The dough is beautiful to work with. The rise is always perfect and the flavor is well we make this recipe every year so that means it is always delicious!

My Mom's Hot Cross Buns Recipe -

Ingredients-
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup seedless raisins
4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Lemon Icing (recipe at the end)

Method-
  1. Sprinkle yeast into warm water in a large bowl. ("warm" water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on the wrist.) Stir until yeast dissolves.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in evaporated milk, sugar and salt until sugar dissolves; stir into yeast mixture.
  3. Beat eggs in a small bowl; stir into yeast mixture with raisins,
  4. Sift 2 cups of the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg over yeast mixture; beat until smooth, then stir in just enough of remaining 2 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. Place in a greased bowl; brush top lightly with butter; cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place, away from draft, 1 hour, or until double in bulk.
  7. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured board; cut into 18 equal size pieces. Shape each lightly into a ball; place in a greased baking pan, 13 x 9 x 2.
  8. Cover with a clean towel; let rise in a warm place, away from draft, 45 minutes, or until double in bulk.
  9. Bake in moderate oven (375˚) 30 minutes, or until golden brown; remove pan; cool on a wire rack.
  10. Make Lemon Icing; drizzle from tip of knife or spoon over buns to make crosses.
Lemon Icing - Blend 1 cup unsifted confectioners powdered sugar with 4 teaspoons of milk, 1/4 teaspoon on vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract in a small ball. Makes about 1/2 cup.







Friday, February 28, 2020

The First Friday of Lent - Baked Fish and Chips

We are off to a strong start for Lent. Baked Fish and Chips received rave reviews! Quick to put together, about 15 minutes prep time and 25 minutes in the oven. And clean up was a snap!
 I found this recipe on PureWow. I used Cod Fillets which were on sale for 6.99 a pound. I got almost a pound of fish, too much of course. Next time I will be sure to salt the fish after it comes out of the oven.

The chips were a nice treat. Serve them with Malt vinegar, trust me.
 
Ingredients -
The Fish-
1½ pounds cod or pollack, cut into 3-by-1½-inch strips
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cups panko bread crumbs

The Chips-
4 or 5 large Russet potatoes, washed, dried and thinly sliced
⅓ cup olive oil
Kosher salt

Method -
Preheat the oven to 425°. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Grease another baking sheet generously with nonstick spray.

Make the Chips: Toss the potatoes in the olive oil to coat, then pour onto the preheated, ungreased baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt after you remove them from the oven.

Make the Fish: Dry the fish with paper towels. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the salt, pepper and paprika. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl, and the bread crumbs in another small bowl.

Dredge the fish in the flour, then dip it into the egg, then dredge it in the bread crumbs to coat. Place onto the greased baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden and the fish is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Frittatta

Another oldie but a goodie! The frittata consisted of Peppers, Zucchini, Shallots, Eggs, Bacon and Provolone Cheese. Add some toasted Italian Bread and you are done.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Polpettone, Italian Meatloaf

 
A classic recipe, Polpettone, Italian Meatloaf. This recipe is from An Italian In My Kitchen blog. This received wild praise. Enough leftovers for what was declared the best lunch ever. Click here for the recipe. I used Ground Beef and Pork. To the seasonings, I added Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce and oregano. Perfect!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Braised Short Rib Spaghetti

This was a well-received dinner. It took a few hours to make but the result was so perfect for a winter night. I had the short ribs in the freezer and all the other ingredients in the house. We the meat and the sauce were delicious. I found the recipe by googling Short Rib Recipes. This came from the blog The Original Recipe site.

I made 1/2 the recipe and we have enough sauce leftover for another meal.
Ingredients-
3 lbs bone-in short ribs
kosher salt, as needed
freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
vegetable oil, as needed
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup red wine
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
1 bay leaves
1 large sprig of thyme
1 sprig of sage
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp butter
3/4 lbs spaghetti
high-quality grated parmesan, to garnish

Method-
Let the short ribs sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Season generously with salt and black pepper on all sides. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to just coat the bottom of the pot.

Working in batches, sear the short ribs really well, about 3-4 minutes on all four sides. Transfer each batch of meat to a foil-lined sheet pan or plate once seared.

To the pan drippings, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes until tender and caramelized. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Stir in the flour and let cook for a minute or so, stirring continuously.

Deglaze the pot with the red wine. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all of the flavors. Let simmer for another minute.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, thyme, sage, and another pinch of salt. Let the tomatoes simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the beef stock. Add the short ribs back to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot, leaving a small crack open to allow some steam to escape.

Turn the heat all the way to low and let the short ribs braise for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

To Assemble:
Prepare of large pot of boiling, salted water.

After 3 hours, remove the short ribs from the pot. Use your hands and a pair of gloves to shred the meat, discarding any large chunks of fat, bone, and connective tissue.

At the same time, drop the spaghetti into the boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes less than the package’s instructions.

Whisk in the butter. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce. Taste and season with more salt and freshly cracked black pepper as needed.

Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce. Alternatively, ladle the sauce over the spaghetti. Serve with the parmesan cheese and herbs on top.




Sunday, January 19, 2020

Slow-Cooker Short Ribs With Rosemary Potatoes

This recipe is from Real Simple.

Ingredients -
½ cup low-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons plus 1¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving
2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
12-oz. pkg. frozen pearl onions
3 medium carrots
1½ pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
2 rosemary sprigs

Method -
Stir together broth, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add short ribs, onions, carrots; nest ribs into vegetables. Cover and cook on high until meat is very tender, 5 to 6 hours. Reduce to warm and remove the lid.

Meanwhile, place potatoes, rosemary, and 2 tablespoons salt in a stockpot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender about 15 
minutes. Remove from heat. Remove 
rosemary, then drain.

Reserving cooking liquid, remove short ribs and vegetables from the slow cooker. Skim fat from liquid, then transfer to
 a blender; add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. With center piece of blender lid removed, secure lid on blender. Place
 a clean dish towel over lid opening. 
Puree on medium-high until smooth.

Serve potatoes and short ribs with
 vegetables and sauce.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bullfighter's Beef

This is a recipe we had once before. I think we will be making this more often. Chris said we could have this every night...

This recipe is from a 2013 post on Johnny's Kitchen. I have not seen any recent posts from the blog. I enjoyed the writing on the blog. At least this recipe will live on.

Nothing fancy about the recipe. Simply written and easy to follow.  The measurements are not really given. I used a 3 pound chuck roast. The meat is so tender you did not need to put knives on the table.
Take the Meat out the fridge an hour before you start cooking.

Saute chopped Carrots and Onion in a little Olive Oil until they soften.

Season the meat with some flour on a plate, shake off any excess.

In a very hot oven proof pan add some Olive Oil and sear the meat to brown all over and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with Red Wine. When it's reduced add to the Onion and Carrots and the meat to the pan and add a pint or so of Beef Stock, a sprig of Rosemary and Thyme and a couple of Bay Leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Seal the pan with some foil and place in a preheated oven at 320˚F and cook for 3 hours.

At the end of cooking take out the meat out carefully so that it doesn't break up and with a hand blender Blitz the sauce to mush up the Carrots and Onion return the Meat to the pan and put back in the oven for another ten minutes.

After ten minutes take the pan out of the oven and set aside the Meat and put the Casserole Dish on the stove at the highest heat and add a drop of Port to enrich the Sauce and reduce for around 15 minutes. At the end of reduction a knob of Butter to give a gloss to the sauce.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Best Beef Stew

Slow cooker Saturday. This recipe is from the little cookbook that came with the slow cooker. I added carrots, for color.
This stew is delicious and hearty. It is the ultimate comfort food.
Ingredients-
2# beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup four
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1bay leaves
3 small potatoes, quartered
1onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced

Method-
Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over meat. Place meat in Crock-Pot slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Pigs in A Blanket Carbonara

A couple of weeks ago Chris posted a link on my Facebook page suggesting this as a Super Bowl Appetizer. He also suggested we should try the recipe before the Super Bowl. I had everything in the house for the recipe but the crescent rolls.
The recipe is from The Food Network. The only change I made was making my own Alfredo Sauce. That recipe I found on The Recipe Critic site. I cut the Sauce recipe in half. Next time I will only make a 1/4 recipe. The sauce is delicious but I do not think we could have eaten it all.

Here is my version of the Alfredo Sauce Recipe-

Ingredients-
1/4 cup butter
1 cup pint heavy whipping cream 2 cups
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method -
In a medium saucepan add butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted. 

Add the oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the grated parmesan cheese.

Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken.

Here is the recipe for Pigs in A Blanket Carbonara-

Ingredients-
2.5 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
One 8-ounce tube refrigerated crescent dough
24 mini hot dogs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce, for dipping

Method -
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the pancetta until cooked through but not too crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

Separate the dough into individual triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.

Place a mini hot dog on the wide base end of a triangle.
Starting at the base end of the triangle, roll up toward the pointed end, to wrap the hot dog.

Place on the prepared sheet tray. 

Mix together the oregano and cheese.
Using a pastry brush, brush the pigs in a blanket with the egg.
Sprinkle with oregano and cheese and the diced pancetta.

Bake until golden brown, 20  minutes. Arrange on a platter and serve with the Alfredo sauce for dipping.
 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Mom's Baked Macaroni

The first day back to work and we have our first freezer meal. Mom's Baked Macaroni. True comfort food.
 
This is the best Baked Macaroni recipe ever!

The Recipe -
Boil 1/2 pound elbow macaroni.
Grease Pyrex loaf pan.
Alternate layers of macaroni and sliced American cheese starting with the macaroni.
Break 3 eggs and pour over macaroni. Fill the baking dish with milk to almost cover macaroni.
Top with bread crumbs, and parsley. Bake 350 degrees until set, usually about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Pan Fried Pork Medallions with Creamy Wine Sauce

Happy New Year!
We are starting off with a quick, yes quick dinner.  I found this recipe on Barefoot in the Kitchen
The meat was perfectly cooked. Moist and tender. The sauce was just seasoned perfectly.
 
Ingredients -
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon chicken base
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 dash paprika
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Method -
Slice the pork tenderloin into 1-inch medallions and lightly sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. Warm a large stainless skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it is shimmering, add the pork to the skillet. Let the pork cook without touching it for 3 minutes. Set a plate next to the stove along with a piece of foil to cover the pork.



Use a metal spatula to get underneath each one and flip them over. Don’t worry if they stick a bit. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Lift each medallion with the spatula and transfer the meat to the waiting plate. Cover lightly with foil to keep warm.



Place the empty skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the wine to the hot skillet and use a spatula to scrape up the little browned bits of meat and deglaze the pan. Add the chicken base, whisk to combine, and cook for about 2 minutes. 

In a small cup, whisk the cornstarch, and paprika into the cream until smooth. Add the cream into the saucepan slowly, whisking until combined. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the pork, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.