Friday, April 30, 2010

Chicken Cutlets

Took a trip to Maryland to see my nephew's family.

For dinner we had my sister's Chicken Cutlets. She used my mom's recipe. They are always delicious.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Met up with some friends tonight at Barcelona in Fairfield.
We selected 10 items from the Tapas Menu.

Cauliflower and Fennel Cazuela - Breadcrumbs, Thyme, Grated Manchego

Chickpea Puree - House-Made Pita Chips

Herbed Goat Cheese & Mushrooms - Balsamic Reduction

Chorizo with Sweet & Sour Figs - Balsamic-Sherry Glaze

Grilled Hangar Steak - Black Truffle Sauce

Gambas al Ajillo - Sautéed Shrimp, Garlic, Sherry, Guindilla Pepper

Ham & Cheese Croquettes - Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese

Crispy Calamari - Smoked Pepper Aioli

Grilled Steak Paillard - Peppers, Onions, Thyme, Crispy Potatoes

Pan Roasted Mahi Mahi - Piquillo Pepper Salad, Avocado

My favorite was the Cauliflower and Fennel Cazuela - Breadcrumbs, Thyme, Grated Manchego. Least favorite was the Chorizo with Sweet & Sour Figs - Balsamic-Sherry Glaze. I am not a huge fan of Balsamic-Sherry Glaze.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hunter-Style Chicken

This evening I went to a cooking demonstration at Quattros in Guilford. For $40 the chef demonstrated the preparation of a Stuffed Shrimp appetizer, Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce, Tilapia Florentine and Vanilla Crepes. He prepared each meal at a large table with all of us gathered around and then we were served each dish. Just to see how he made the gnocchi was worth the price. Interestingly he uses a recipe very close to the one I use. which uses baked potatoes! Anyway more on that when I prepare the dishes for Chris.

Meanwhile, Chris was home this evening with a pan of Hunter-Style Chicken. And guess where the recipe was from.... La Cucina. I had made this back in January. There are 3 versions of this recipe but we both loved this one so at some point I will try the other two.

I think a pink nosed kitty would like to try some of that chicken!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cappello Da Gendarme

This evening we again turn to La Cucina for our recipe. "Gendarme Hat" Pasta Pie is from the Puglia region. This is my new favorite meal. It involved a few steps. And one change of direction but the outcome was wonderful.
I am not sure what the results should look like but it was a darn good meal.
The recipe as it was printed in the book called for a pasta like dough for the crust. Well I tried it and no the results were not good. But I happened to have extra pizza dough in the freezer. There is so much going on with the filling I think any crust would be fine. This is the recipe with my revisions.

Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant
flour for the vegetables
1/2 lb sweet sausage
2 zucchini, cleaned and cut in thin rounds
1/2 lb. short pasta or macaroni
2 large hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters
6 oz. mozzarella, sliced
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp. chopped flat0leaf parsley
1 pinch oregano
1/3 cup grated pecorino
salt and pepper
Pizza dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking pan with a little olive oil. I used a springform pan. Peel the eggplant, because I am not a fan of the skin, and cut it in thin slices. Salt the slices and set aside for 1 hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, add the pork, and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until golden.
Heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a second saute pan until hot. Dip the zucchini rounds in flour, then fry them in oil until golden.
Rinse and dry the eggplant. Dip the eggplant in flour and fry until golden, adding more oil as necessary.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al denta in lightly salted boiling water.
Roll out the dough into two pieces, on larger than the other. Use the larger one to line the baking pan.
Top with a layer of macaroni, a layer of zucchini and eggplant, then the eggs, mozzarella, meat, tomato sauce, parsley and oregano. Dust with pecorino, cover with the other sheet of dough sealing the edges. Puncture the top with a fork and bake about 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheese Dumplings

The recipe for tonight's dinner came from La Cucina. The Cheese Dumpling were so light. I served them in a sauce of melted butter and Parm Cheese. Quite tasty!


4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb. stale bread
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 lb. hard or semi-hard cheese (such as Asiago) cubed
1/2 cup graded Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp minced chives (I forgot to add that)
2 tbsp. heavy cream (I used milk)
3 large eggs, beaten
a few tbsp. milk (I did not need to add extra milk)
Broth or melted butter, for serving

Heat the butter in a large pan until hot, then toast the bread until golden. Put it in a bowl. Saute the onion in the same butter (I added new butter as the bread soaked up the butter that it was toasted in) just until translucent and lightly golden, then add it to the bread. Add the cubed cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, chives and the cream to the bread. Mix carefully and add the eggs, mix again (I would test the consistency before adding another egg) and pour in just enough milk to make a soft but workable dough (again I did not need to add additional milk). Shape the dough into small balls. Cook the balls in lightly salted boiling water for 20 minutes. Serve in broth or with a sauce of melted butter.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Turkey Breast with Prosciutto and Fontina

Back to La Cucina for tonight's recipe. From the Emilia-Romagna region. This dish is typical of Bologna. It was delicious. We had steamed green beans and couscous as side dishes.

1 lb. turkey breast, sliced into 4 slices
1 large egg, beaten
4 tbsp bread crumbs (I used almost a 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 oz. prosciutto, in 4 slices
4 oz. fontina, in 4 slices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound the slices of turkey breast to flatten. Dip each slice of turkey in the egg, then in breadcrumbs. Heat the olive oil and butter in a ovenproof pan at high heat and fry the turkey pieces until golden. Drain the slices of turkey, let them rest a few minutes in the pan, then put a slice of prosciutto and a slice of cheese over each one. Bake just until the cheese melts, then serve.

What a delicious meal. The combination of the Turkey, breadcrumbs, Prosciutto and cheese was wonderful. We had a nice bottle of ModA Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007. Perfect.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Malfalda Pasta with Braised Arugula Sauce

I found this recipe in the New Haven Register yesterday. It is from Frank and Claire Criscuolo who own two restaurants in New Haven. It was big hit. This recipe is for 8 people so I adjusted the portions.


- Sea salt
- 16 ounces mafalda pasta or other pasta of your choice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, cut in half, then into ribs, separated
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 7 ounces baby arugula, about 8 cups
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup pasta cooking water
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, optional
- 4 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese, optional
- Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

Bring a large covered pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the onions and garlic begin to brown, but not burn.

Add arugula, red pepper flakes and a little sea salt. Using tongs, turn the arugula to coat with oil and onions. Cook for just several seconds, occasionally turning the arugula using tongs until the arugula just wilts, then turn off the heat and leave the skillet on the stove.

Once the pot of water reaches a rapid boil, stir in pasta and cook according to package directions, but add drained chickpeas during the last minute of cooking the pasta to heat them. Before draining the pasta, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and stir this into the cooked arugula. Taste for seasoning, keeping in mind that if you plan to use pecorino Romano cheese later in the recipe, go easy on the salt as the cheese tends to be salty.

Drain pasta and chickpeas and turn into a serving bowl. Spoon arugula and all the juices onto the cooked pasta. Using wooden spoons, gently toss the pasta to coat with the arugula sauce. If using goat cheese, scatter the pieces evenly over the pasta; then, if using the pecorino Romano cheese, sprinkle this evenly over the pasta. Scatter grated lemon zest evenly over the pasta and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sausage and Cherry Tomato Bake

This is such an easy dish to put together. I fixed in the morning and when Chris got home he popped it in the oven. You need Italian bread with this because the sauce in wonderful. Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pollo alle Cipolle

I came across this recipe on Italian Foodies. It smelled like onion soup and the flavor was wonderful. We had it with mashed potatoes.

We had some visitors before dinner.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ratatouille and Stuffed Artichokes

Ratatouille served over rice.

Stuffed Artichokes. Recipe from Food Blogga. This recipe is very similar to what my mom use to make. Even Chris said, "Wow."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Grilled Chicken, Roasted Pepper and Feta Panini

I was reading the Closet Cooking blog and saw the entry for Chicken and Roasted Pepper Panini. The sandwich looked so delicious I had to make it for dinner tonight.

I grilled the chicken breast. On Italian bread I spread some Feta cheese, added sliced tomatoes, roasted peppers and baby arugula salad mix and the chicken. Than I put the sandwich in the panini press.

Also made a pan of sauce today and divided it up into individual servings. What's in the other pan? Tune in tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Crispy Breaded Shrimp

Tonight's recipe comes from the site. Crispy Breaded Shrimp. I made the shrimp and Chris made the Glazed Carrots. A prefect Saturday night meal to have before watching one of my top five favorite movies - Strangers On A Train.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Red Peppers were on sale this week so an in-store decision was made to make Stuffed Peppers. I picked up some ground turkey. I sauteed onions, added the turkey, cooking it through and seasoned it with salt, pepper, parsley, Parmesan cheese and oregano. I stirred in some leftover aborio rice. I filled the peppers which I had parboiled for about 5 minutes. Popped the filled peppers in the oven at 350 degrees for 3o minutes. Then I topped it with some homemade Marinara Sauce.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Steak, Onion and Gruyère Pie

Oh this was good. I was reading a newsletter that features restaurants in the New York and DC areas. One of the restaurants was Dangerously Delicious Pies in DC. On their menu was the Steak Pie - Steak, Mushrooms, Onion and Gruyère Pie. What a fantastic combination. I had to try it.
I made the Pate Brise dough for the crust. I sauteed some thinly sliced London Broil and onions and put that in the dough. I added some grated Gruyère Cheese and baked it for about 25 minutes.

Perfection. This is going to be made very often.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spinach Salad With Warm Onions and Crispy Salami

Tonight's dinner came from The dressing with the warm onions was perfect. I made a focaccia bread for the Jim Lahey bread book. I picked up some spreadable Feta Cheese at the grocery store yesterday. They were offering samples and I tasted it and had to have it. It was great on the bread. This was perfect Sunday night dinner.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cod and Leeks with White Wine

First of all I can't believe I have not posted since Tuesday. Lets see Wednesday night was Italian Wedding Soup. Thursday was Baked Macaroni and last night we went to new restaurant, Shangri-La.

Back to tonight's dinner. The recipe was for Scallops and Leeks with White Wine but scallops were $10 a pound and the Cod was $4. So Cod won. The recipe was in this week's food section in the New Haven Register and was adapted from a recipe from the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo Florida.

Here is my version -

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tbsp. minced shallots
2 large leeks, white parts only, washed well and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup dry white wine
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound Cod fillets

In a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter over low heat. Add shallots and leeks, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add wine; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Heat olive oil and remaining 1/2 tbsp. butter over high heat. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Add cod to skillet and cook until just until done on both sides. Place the leeks in serving dish and top with cod.

I made Roasted Cauliflower and Aborio rice as sides. We had a nice bottle of Lamura Grillo with the dinner.

Did a little baking this afternoon. First I made the cutest little tarts with Broccoli Rabe from my Dad's garden. He even cooked it up for me! I made some pie dough and filled the tarts with the Rabe, some Goat Cheese and Parmesan Cheese.

Then I made some Zucchini muffins. The recipe is from First of all I did not have walnuts so I used almonds and I had to add something else to the batter... Chocolate shots! Quite tasty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Not the best dish to photograph but it was tasty. Browned onions and ground beef. Add frozen mixed vegetable. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. Top with mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Meat and potatoes at its best.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Zucchini, Onion and Bacon Tart

This tart was made with leftover crust from the Meat Pies. I had enough to freeze until it was needed. I had 3 zucchini that I did not use when making the Zucchini Fritters from Easter dinner. And I happen to have pre-cooked bacon in the fridge. I sauteed the zucchini and onions and added the bacon. Put it all in the crust. Baked for 30 minutes and presto! We had this with leftover Pasatelli Soup.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Dinner in Photos

Easter Sunday Breakfast - Homemade Pop Tarts


Pasatelli Soup

Grilled Pork Roast, Roasted Leg of Lamb,
Zucchini Fritters and Spring Pea and Bean Salad

Spring Pea and Bean Salad

And lots of wine!

I did not take photos of my sister's Rice and Wheat Pies.
She makes the best pies, especially the crusts!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Skillet Gnocchi and Chard and Chicken

"So let it be written. So let it be done." The Ten Commandments is one of my favorite movies.

Anyway, I had found a recipe on for Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans. As I was gathering the ingredients I realized I did not have the white beans, I had used them in the Pasta Fagioli I made last week. Not a problem, I added Chicken and did not use beans. Actually I got everything together and Chris made dinner. I was busy with Chocolate Chip Cookies. It was a delicious one pot meal.

So today being Holy Saturday I had to do some Easter baking. Chris likes Rice Pie and last year I found a great recipe for Traditional Italian Rice Pie at Food Blogga. The crust is great to work with and the results look good. We will wait until tomorrow to taste it. As you can see from the photo below Kramer is very much the kitchen cat.

While on the subject of crusts there was a recipe in the new Bon Appetit that I had to try. Strawberry Pop Tarts! I loved Pop Tarts when I was a kid. I filled these with Blackberry and Vanilla preserves and added Mascarpone Cheese to some. We will try them tomorrow with breakfast.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Let's Eat Out

"Let's Eat Out" is a phrase I love hearing. We have not been to Zhang's since the start of Lent. So off we went. We started with Crab Rangoon and Szechuan Ravioli (I ate one and realized there was meat in them, so much for meatless Fridays). Moving on to the main course I had my usual, Ma Pao Tofu. As always it was delicious. Chris had Shrimp Teriyaki. The best part was there were no dishes to wash.

So I made the Meat Pies Wednesday night and cut into one yesterday. They came out perfect!

Lastly there is a new blog to follow. Sh*t my 5-year-old says. Jack is a pretty funny kid. Some of the stuff he says is very cute.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Turkey Cutlets with Rice and Vegetables

There is nothing like coming home and finding dinner being prepared. Chris took over the kitchen and made a fantastic meal. Turkey cutlets that he dredged in flour, sage, salt and pepper. He sauteed them and served rice and green beans as sides. What a delicious meal.