Monday, February 27, 2023

Chicken Noodle Soup

Finally, a winter storm is predicted for our area tonight into tomorrow morning. We shall see.

On Saturday, I made chicken broth using the bones I had in the freezer from a couple of roasted chickens we had. I also had a bag of vegetable scraps in the freezer. Parsley stems, onion skins, carrot ends and skins, and the tops and some stray stalks of celery. I added peppercorns, salt, and water to the pot. I poached some chicken breast to use for the meat in the soup. The stock simmered for over 2 hours. Once it cooked, I strained it and waited until Sunday to proceed. I cut up the chicken meat and put it aside to add to the finished soup

On Sunday, I sauteed chopped onions, carrots, and celery in oil. I added the strained broth and brought that to a boil. Next, I added mixed frozen vegetables along with frozen spinach. The chicken meat was added. The seasonings I used were salt, pepper, thyme, and a squeeze of lemon at the end.

I prepared the noodles and put them in a water container until tonight when Chris added them to the soup when it was heating up.

A perfect bowl of soup for dinner tonight!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Fish and Chips

First Friday of Lent. 

I know Lucy loves Friday night dinners during Lent. Tonight we decided on Air Fryer Fish and Chips. Big Y had the packages of Naked Cod for $13. There were 2 pieces of cod that I cut into cubes. Just enough for Chris, Lucy and me.

We did the fish in the air fryer and the chips in the oven.

The fish was so flaky and it had really fresh taste.
Fish and Chips Dinner. We served the fish and chips with tartar sauce, ketchup, or malt vinegar. The fries were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

2 large eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp Paprika
1 cup all-purpose flour
10 oz. Cod, cut into sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch ground black pepper
Tartar Sauce for serving

Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl.

Pour the breadcrumbs and paprika into a pie plate, or some dish that has sides. 

Pour flour into a second pie plate.

Coat the fish sticks in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Dip the fish sticks into the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumbs.

Insert the Fry Tray into the basket of the air fryer.

Set the cooking temperature to 350˚F and cooking time to 3 minutes to preheat the air fryer.

Place the fish sticks in the basket. Insert the basket into the air fryer.

Set the cooking time to 12 minutes.

Flip the fish sticks halfway through the cooking time.

Serve with tartar sauce.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Beef Stew with Cannellini Beans and Sage

The last time I made this recipe Chris said we could have this every night. Similar comment tonight. This recipe is always well received here.

The recipe is from Every Night Italian, written by Guiliano Hazan.

I made this back in January and will probably make it again before the winter is over.

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-3/4 lbs beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tsp shredded fresh sage leaves
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-1/2cup drained canned cannellini beans

Put the butter and vegetable oil in a heavy braising pot and place it over hight heat.

When the oil and butter are hot, put half the meat and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat with the remaining meat.

Lower the heat to medium-low and put in the onion. 

Sauté until it turns a reich golden color. 

Stir in the sage and raise the heat to high. 

Pour in the wine and let it bubble briefly to let the alcohol evaporate. 

Pour in the broth and stir in the tomato paste.                     

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

And Now We Are In Lent

Wait, is it already Lent? Have I posted anything this month? It seems like I have not!

Well, sometimes life gets complicated. I will catch up at some point.

But tonight, we had Manicotti. I am trying to remember the last time I made these.

So simple. Pasta, Ricotta, Mozzarella, some with spinach and marinara sauce, Rao's Marinara.

Applause came from the other side of the table. The Manicotti was quite delicious.

I did not use a recipe, but if you need one, use this. It is simple, and you can adapt it to your tastes, like adding spinach! From Taste of Home, click here.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Birthday Lasagna

I am not sure why this recipe is called birthday lasagna but by any name it was quite delicious. I found this recipe on I had the Bolognese Sauce in the freezer. All I had to get for the recipe were the Lasagna Noodles. 

I made an edit to the Bechamel Sauce. I added grated Parmesan Cheese when it was ready to come off the heat. A wise addition. 


For the Bechamel

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk


Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese

For the Lasagna

1/2 package no-boil (or the equivalent in fresh) lasagna sheets

3/4 cup shredded fresh mozzarella

Bolognese Sauce


Make the bechamel. 

In a medium heavy saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and once the mixture starts to bubble cook for another 2 minutes, whisking frequently. Don't let the mixture brown.

Whisk in the milk slowly and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. 

Lower the heat and keep whisking until the sauce turns thick and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Remove the bBechamel from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese and cover and set aside.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 

To assemble the lasagna, spread a couple of tablespoons of the bolognese in the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish. 

Add a layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping them slightly if necessary. 

Spread 1/3 of the bechamel evenly over the noodles, and then spread 1/4 of the remaining bolognese over that. 

Add another layer of noodles.

Repeat until you have used all of the bechamel. 

Add a final layer of noodles and spread the remaining bolognese over the top. 

Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top of the lasagna. 

Cover the lasagna with a sheet of parchment paper and then wrap the dish tightly in aluminum foil. 

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the noodles are just tender (test them by piercing the lasagna with a sharp knife).

Turn the oven up to 425 degrees and remove the foil and the parchment. 

Return the lasagna to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until deeply browned and bubbling. 

Let the lasagna cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Saturday.

2 lb boneless beef chuck pot roast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz tomato sauce
2 bell pepper, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
6 oz jar sliced pepperoncini (plus more for serving)
crusty sandwich rolls, split and toasted
Sliced Provolone cheese

Spray the insert of a 6 or 7 qt slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner!

Drain the pepperoncinis reserving 1 1/2 tbsp of the liquid.

Combine the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in small bowl.

Trim the fat from the roast and season each side with roughly one-third of the seasonings.

Place the roast in the slow cooker.

Pour the tomato sauce over the roast.

Top with the peppers, onions, and pepperoncinis.

Sprinkle the remaining third of the seasonings on top as well as the reserved pepperoncini liquid.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 250F.Use two forks to shred the meat. It should be so tender that it basically just falls apart.

Using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, place the shredded beef mixture along with onions and peppers on the bottom half of the rolls. 

Make sure you let most of the liquid drain away so your sandwiches don't get soggy.

Top the shredded beef mixture with additional pepperoncinis if desired, and two (or more) slices of Provolone cheese. 

Place in oven just until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage

Lentil Soup is a usual meal for us in January. I have using this Mark Bittman recipe for quite a number of years. Always a delicious meal.

This recipe makes enough for 2 meals. I put the 2nd portion of soup in the freezer for a later date.

Lentil Soup


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
2 Chicken Sausage Links, diced
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
Fresh ground pepper


Put the oil in a large deep pot over medium heat. 

When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, just a minute or two. 

Add the carrot, celery and sausage keep cooking and stirring until the vegetables are brightly colored and hot about 2 minutes. 

Add lentils, bay leaf and stock; sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. 

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Bolognese with Parmigiano Stock

Houston, we have a new favorite sauce.

While I was sick with the flu I read Stanley Tucci's book, Taste: My Life Through Food.

I came across a recipe for a Bolognese sauce made with Parmigiano Stock. Parmigiano Stock! I had plenty of Parmigiano rinds in the freezer. I had to try it.

The stock alone is worth making. What a fantastic flavor.

And the sauce. I altered the original recipe to suit our tastes, so the recipe below is not the original from the book. Read the book if you want the original recipe. It would be best if you read the book anyway. It is just a delightful read.

The sauce was delicious. Even better than my Mom's recipe. Sorry, Mom.

It was a light sauce, but the but the Parmigiano Stock pushed this over the top for flavor.

Pino Posteraro's Parmigiano Stock

1 quart water
1 1/2 lb Parmigiano rinds
1 tbsp salt
3 bay leaf

Fill a large pot with the water.

Wrap the rings in cheesecloth, tie tightly with string, and secure to the side of the pot (this helps avoid the Parmigiano's sinking to the bottom of the pot and burning).

Submerge the wrapped rinds.

Add the salt and bay leaves.

Gently boil for 2 hours, strain and use for Bolognese.

My version of Pino Posteraro's Ragout alla Bolognese

1 tbsp onion, chopped
1 tbsp carrot, chopped
1 tbsp celery, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 oz fresh herbs (rosemary, sage and or thyme), chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 lb lean ground beef or veal
1 oz tomato paste
3 1/2 tbsp dry white wine
3 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Pinch of salt and black pepper
14 oz crushed tomato
14 oz can diced tomato
2 cups Parmigiano stock
1 oz butter
1 1/2 oz Grana Padano or Parmigiano cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sweat the vegetable in the olive oil with the herbs. 

Add the meat and cook until brown. 

Add the tomato paste, wine and orange juice and let the liquids evaporate. 

Add the salt and pepper and the stocks, the tomatoes and let simmer for 1 1/2 hour.

When the sauce is cooked boil the pasta and add butter to sauce. 

Toss the pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Steak Au Poivre Soup

This is such a good winter dinner. I had a Delmonico steak in the freezer and it was perfect in this recipe.

  • Ingredients-
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. 

    whole black peppercorns

  • 1 (8-oz.) sirloin steaks

    Kosher salt  
  • 1/2 c. 

    plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 4 tbsp. 

    (1/2 stick) butter

  • 1 

    thyme sprig, plus 1 tbsp. chopped leaves

  • 1 

    large shallots, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 sliced into rings

  • 2 tbsp c. 

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp c. 

    cognac or brandy 

  • 2 1/2 c. 

    low-sodium beef broth

  • 3/4 lb. 

    waxy baby potatoes, quartered 

  • 1/2 c. 

    heavy cream

  • 1 tbsp. 

    Worcestershire sauce

Grind peppercorns on the coarsest setting of a pepper mill (you can also use a mortar and pestle, or wrap peppercorns in cheesecloth and smash with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet). 

Season steaks on both sides with a generous pinch of salt and crushed peppercorns, pressing peppercorns into the meat. 

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. of oil until shimmering. 
  1. Cook steak, gently pressing to make sure you don’t lose any peppercorns until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes. 
  1. Flip steak and add butter and thyme sprigs. 
  1. Continue to cook, spooning butter over the steak, until tops are crusty and well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135°, 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  1. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest until ready to use. 
  1. Strain the remaining fat in the skillet and reserve. 
  1. Wipe out any large chunks of pepper from the skillet. 
  1. Return reserved fat to the pan, then cook chopped shallot over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. 
  1. Add chopped thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  1. Add flour and whisk until combined. 
  1. Cook, whisking constantly, until flour darkens slightly, about 2 minutes. 
  1. Whisk in cognac until smooth, then slowly whisk in broth. 
  1. Add potatoes and bring to a simmer. 
  1. Cook until potatoes are tender and the soup is thickened, about 15 minutes. 
  1. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream and Worcestershire. 
  1. Cook, stirring, until warmed through and combined, about 5 minutes more.  
  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook sliced shallots and remaining 1/2 cup oil, stirring occasionally, until oil begins to bubble around shallots, 2 to 3 minutes.
  1. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until shallots are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  1. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper towel-lined plate; season with a pinch of salt. 
  1. Let cool slightly. 
  1. Divide soup among bowls. 
  1. Cut steak into cubes, then top bowls with steak and fried shallots. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023