Monday, June 30, 2014

Lenore's Chicken Croquettes

I have never had a chicken croquette before. My mom never made them. My sister, who at this point is the co-producer of the blog, said that when she worked at Malley's Department store they were on the menu at the store restaurant. I remember the restaurant well. I would either have a cheeseburger or grilled cheese when I would go there with my mom. Right outside the restaurant was the bird cage. Floor to ceiling, or so it seemed.

These Chicken Croquettes are quite good. How are they made... I do not know. But when I get the recipe I will post it.

Still working from home. Still staying off the ankle. At least the cats are so happy I am here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chris Goes Grocery Shopping

And this is what he came home with...
Delicious. This is my favorite summer dinner.
Thank you Chris for doing the shopping and cleaning and 
laundry and keeping everything running smoothly.

And meanwhile a little cat was making sure I stayed put.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lenore's Pork and Peas

My sister to the rescue again. Today Lenore brought over lunch, Couscous and Grilled Vegetable Salad! Oh, and the Mango and Sherbet for dessert! But she also brought over dinner. Pork and Peas. The peas were from her garden. My mom use to make something similar to this when I was little and I always loved it. It was in a little broth so bread is required. It was delicious. Chris enjoyed it too. But I don't have the recipe. I will try to get it from her and then I will post it.
Thank you again Lenore!

Monday, June 23, 2014

This is Our Hamburger

Well, I may not be allowed in the kitchen for long periods of time, the whole standing thing is not recommended. But I can be in there long enough to conjure up a burger that was deemed, "The Burger We Should Always Make." (Insert applause and cheers)

A couple of weeks ago I found a recipe that used bread and milk in a hamburger patty. I tried it and we liked it. This week, of course I could not find the darn recipe online. So I winged it and changed and adding to the ingredients.

I tore up slices of rye bread and soaked it in milk, as if making meatballs. I let it sit for a couple of minutes. Next I added the beef and then mixed in some A-1 steak sauce and horseradish sauce, just a little of each. I formed them into patties, indenting them in the center. Then tonight Chris grilled them and proclaimed them to be, "The Burger We Should Always Make."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lenore's Chicken Piccata

 My sister came to the rescue with dinner tonight. She made us Chicken Piccata. I love Chicken Piccata. Something about those capers! It was moist and her sauce was perfect.
We had some Eggplant Parmesan in the freezer which we served on the side.

Thank you Lenore! World's Best Sister!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

So Chris What Are We Having For Dinner?

A funny thing happened today. Julie and I were out for our lunch break walk, we try to do a mile a day. I stepped in a divot of some sort and I twisted my ankle and heard something snap. Julie heard it too. I am going to apologize in advance for the cursing I am about to do. Crap I fractured my ankle! What the **#%. Did I not fracture my hand in February? As I am writing this I am on the couch, feet elevated with ice. My foot is in a boot, no, not a Frye boot. A really ugly boot. But Chris made me an amazing Vodka Gimlet so it's not so bad.

Now about dinner. Yes, Chris is on deck for a few nights to come. Tonight we had Corn Beef Reuben Sliders. I saw the recipe in a magazine when I was getting a haircut last week. What a perfect dinner for tonight.
He toasted mini whole wheat bagels under the broiler. Topped one half of the bagel with Russian Dressing, Sauerkraut, Corn Beef and Swiss Cheese. These went into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melted (I was on the couch so I am not sure of the exact time). They were delicious. And we had the leftover Farro Salad as a side.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Night Frittatta!

A little of this and a little of that equals a darn good dinner. Fresh spinach, red pepper, zucchini, red onion, Parmesan, Provolone and salami. Some eggs and seasoning and you have a fantastic frittatta.

I stopped by Bishops last night and saw beautiful figs. I am currently reading The Stolen Fig. I had given the book to my Dad to read. He loved reading books about Italy. In the book it is mentioned that figs are ripe twice a year. The early summer figs, which are meant to be eaten fresh and the August and September figs when they are used more for drying or preserving. When I saw these in the store I had to buy them. I filled them with goat cheese and some peppered honey. They were delicious.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meatball and Eggplant Ball Sandwiches and Happy Birthday!

Tonight I went to the freezer for dinner. I had a dish of Meatball and Eggplant Balls. I added some Marinara Sauce to the dish and Chris popped it in the oven when he got home. I stopped at the store on my way home to pick up rolls for tonight and a few other things. I had a $8.00 off coupon if I spend over $40. It looked like I was not going to get over the $40 mark when the cashier was nearing the end of my items. I turned to an older couple behind me and offered them the coupon. They were very happy. Then the cashier rang up the last item and my total is $43.00. I looked at him and said, "Oh well!" He asked the woman who I gave the coupon to to read off the last 4 numbers. So I was able to use it and the people I gave it to were also able to use it. Good deeds all around.

And a Happy Birthday to my brother Stephen! How old is he?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spicy Cavatelli with Zucchini and Leeks

And I just happened to have Cavatelli in the freezer... From Bon Appetit, Spicy Cavatelli with Zucchini and Leeks. This was a nice midweek dinner. And I could not decide on which photo to use!

½ pound cavatelli
¼ cup olive oil
1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large zucchini, grated
⅓ cup grated Pecorino

Cook cavatelli; drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leek and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Toss in pasta and reserved pasta cooking liquid; cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Toss in Pecorino.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sformato di Verdure e Carne and a Belated Happy Birthday!

Tonight we have another recipe from Lidia's Commonsense Cookbook. I prepared this on Sunday and tonight Chris just had to bake it when he got home. This seems to be more of a fall/winter dish. But comfort food is good any time of the year. And the turkey was a nice change! This was really delicious and will be made again! I think of making the filling and then topping it with mashed potatoes, kind of like a Shepherd's Pie. But that won't happen until at least October. Stay tuned.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, thinly sliced
1 pound zucchini, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups white wine
2 fresh bay leaves
1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced  (1/4 inch thick or less)
8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the zucchini is tender, then remove vegetables to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the ground turkey. Cook and stir the turkey until it is crumbled and browned, about 4 minutes. Then clear a space in the pan and add the tomato paste. Let it toast for a minute, then stir it into the turkey. Add the wine and bay leaves, bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced and saucy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onions and zucchini.
Toss the potato slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining teaspoon of salt. In a medium bowl, toss together the two cheeses. To assemble, butter a large oval baking dish (4 quart size). Layer the potatoes in the bottom, and sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Layer all of the turkey mixture, then all of the remaining grated cheese. Cover with foil (making sure it doesn't touch the cheese), and bake on the bottom rack until bubbly around the edges, about 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake until the top is browned and crusty, about 15 minutes more.

And I forgot Donald Duck's birthday yesterday! 

Want to know more about the amazing duck?
Click here for 10 facts about Donald Duck.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lentils with Wine-Glazed Vegetables

I saw this recipe in my inbox and had to make it. The recipe was on 101 Cookbooks blog. There are actually a number of variations of the recipe. One, which I think is the original recipe, is served as a pot pie. That will appear on this blog later in the year.

The feta cheese I picked up had cranberries in it. I did not realize it when I purchased it. It added an extra layer of flavor to the dish. Score!

1 1/2 cups lentils
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup / 80 ml dry red wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter

Put the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a lively simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but hold a little texture, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute more, and then add the wine. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is syrupy and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard and add the cooked lentils along with their broth. Simmer until the sauce is mostly reduced, then stir in the butter, and season with pepper. Serve topped with greens/arugula, and crumbled feta cheese, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Serves 4.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Stuffed Hamburgers

Chris gave me Lidia's Commonsense Cookbook for Christma and I have been looking forward to making these burgers. I was unsure about the sun-dried tomatoes, but loved the finished product.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces low moisture mozzarella, cut in small cubes

6 large basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Mix the ingredients together with your hands to combine. Form into 6 equal sized balls.

In a small bowl, toss together the mozzarella and basil. Make an indentation in each ball and press in some of the mozzarella/basil mixture. Seal the mozzarella in and press to form patties, about an inch thick.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the patties and cook until cooked through and the cheese inside is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes in all. To check if the cheese has melted inside, stick a toothpick into the center; if the cheese has melted it will stick to the toothpick.

For a side dish I made Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad. The recipe is from the Food Network. Yum!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Skirt Steak, Zucchini Salad and Red Pepper Hummus

Meat on the grill. I was looking forward to this. I put the steak in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary. Chris did a perfect job on the grill. The meat was quite delicious.

For a side dish I made a zucchini salad. I used the mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini and some red onion. I toasted some walnuts and tossed the zucchini, onion with some baby greens. Added a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Tossed in some grape tomatoes and topped the salad with the walnuts.

Before dinner we watched the Belmont Stakes. I had some of the roasted peppers leftover from this week, so I made a Red Pepper Hummus. Okay, it was really, really good. Chris and I are not fans of garlic, so I googled Hummus Without Garlic and found this recipe on Might Good Eats. I added the Roasted Peppers and loved it.

1/2 can chickpeas – do not drain, but rather, spoon the chickpeas into a bowl so that you retain some of the juice (cans at around 500 ml)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Pinch of paprika
1/8 tsp salt
Juice of quarter a lemon
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cold water

In a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender, whiz all the ingredients.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Penny Lane Pub and Our Favorite Band

Tonight we had dinner at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook. We went there before going to see the Smithereens at the Kate.
Dinner was good. We started with drinks and County Cork Calamari, "tender rings freshly breaded and fried, tossed with banana peppers. Wasabi and marinara sauces." The sauces were good, especially the Wasabi. The Calamari was okay. I prefer it a little crispier.
For an entree, I had Polenta and Grilled Vegetable Melt. Grilled polenta cake topped with squash, roasted bell peppers, onions, Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, finished with a balsamic glaze. I loved this. The vegetables were grilled perfectly and the balsamic glaze was fantastic. Anything with polenta gets my vote.
Chris had the Bison burger with Jalapeño Bacon. Yes, it was Jalapeño Bacon!

The Smithereens put on a great show. It was a perfect end to a crazy week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Peppers, Prosciuotto, Arugula and Provolone

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Peppers, Prosciutto, Arugula and Provolone! Wow, that's a mouthful. I made Roasted Peppers this weekend. The recipe is from Chef Silvio. The red peppers were on sale. Whenever I see red peppers on sale I think of my Dad. He could not resist them... Neither can I.

Peperonata Roasted Peppers, from Cooking with Chef Silvio

6 large yellow and/or red peppers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
20 pitted Calamata olives
2 heaping teaspoons capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

Cook peppers on a grill or bake on a sheet pan at 450˚, turning frequently, until charred all around. Place them in a closed brown bag and let rest for 1/2 hour. Take peppers out, remove stems and seeds and peel. Cut into 1-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add oil, garlic, olive, capers, half of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, and give a good mix. Place in a shallow baking pan, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes, or until the top turns light brown and a bit crusty. Using a metal spatula, transfer them to a serving dish and sprinkle with the rest of the parsley.
This dish can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature and is excellent as a contorno, side dish with sandwiches or as a salad or appetizer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grilled Chicken and Pasta Pie

Tonight we had the first grilled chicken of the season. This morning before I went to work I put the chicken breast in a marinade of olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh chopped rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. Delicious!
To go along with the chicken I made a Pasta Pie on Sunday using the leftover pasta from Friday night. That and a salad of arugula, tomato and shaved Parmigiana made this a perfect dinner.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

If It's Sunday...

Pizza. Bacon, Olive, Onion and Peperonata Roasted Peppers Pizza. 
I think I can let the photos speak for themselves tonight.