Heart-Shaped Food

Happy Valentines Day! We started the day with Fresh Apple and Cinnamon Scones with Pecans. Here is the recipe to which I added 1/2 cup of chopped Pecans. And yes they are heart-shaped.

I love pizza on Sunday nights. Childhood memories and all that. I do need to work on my pizza dough heart shaping technique but the flavors were oh so good. For Chris I made onion and bacon. For myself, I had some roasted broccoli and some cooked broccoli rabe in the freezer. Both of these pizzas were delicious!

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Posted in King Arthur Flour, Pizza, Scones

Breaded Pork Chops

Spend the day shopping with Lenore. The search was on for a new winter coat. Dinner was a personal favorite. Breaded Pork Chops, browned in a saute pan and finished in the oven. Roasted sweet and white potatoes and roasted asparagus. And yes I did get a new coat!

Posted in Uncategorized

Sogliola alla Mugnaia

And now we begin our Recipes for Lent. We actually began on Wednesday with the Escarole and Beans. Tonight I made a recipe for the Mario Batali cookbook that Chris gave me for Christmas, Molto Italiano, 327 Simple Italian Recipe to Cook At Home.

I have to tell you, cooking the recipe was easy and fast. But my favorite part of preparing dinner was when I was at the stove and turned around and saw 2 cats sitting on the table glaring at me. Not staring, glaring. I do not do a lot of cooking with fish. They did notice tonight’s dinner.

From Molto Italiano, 327 Simple Italian Recipe to Cook At Home, Sogliola all Mugnaia (Sautéed Sole Miller’s Style)

Ingredients-
flour for dredging

salt and pepper
2 pounds Sole Fillets
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoon minced parsley

A lemon, cut into thin wedges, for garnishing

Method-
Season the flour with salt and pepper and spread on a plate. Dredge the fish in the flour and shake off the excess.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter with olive over medium heat until the butter foams and subsides. Add the fish and cook, turning once, until nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a serving platter and cover  loosely to keep warm.
Discard the cooking fat and wipe the skillet clean. Return the skillet to medium heat and melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, and pour over the fish. Arrange lemon wedges around the fish and serve immediately.

Posted in 327 Simple Italian Recipe to Cook At Home, Lenten Meals, Mario Batali, sole

Petti di Pollo alla Campagnola

Petti di Pollo alla Campagnola (Chicken Breast Fillets with Red and Yellow Peppers). Sounds fancy for a Thursday night. It was pretty easy to put together. The recipe is from Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan.

This recipe serves 6 people, I just made enough for Chris and I. Then I found a recipe from Cooking Light that was similar but instead of the 4 tablespoons of olive oil they used one. And instead of Vegetable oil to cook the chicken in they used Cooking Spray. Here is the recipe from Cooking Light.

Ingredients-

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups onion sliced crosswise
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 1/3 cups coarsely chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
20 kalamata olives 
Cooking spray

6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half horizontally 

Method-
Put oil and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Add bell peppers; cook 10 minutes or until bell peppers are tender. Add tomato, salt, and black pepper; cook 7 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Add parsley, oregano, and olives; cook 1 minute. Pour tomato mixture into a large bowl; keep warm.
Wipe pan clean with a paper towel; heat pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken breast pieces; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
Return the chicken to pan; add the tomato mixture, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Chris enjoyed this dinner. I was iffy on it. I thought I over cooked the chicken and the sauce was bland. I did enjoy the zucchini and noodles!

Posted in Cooking Light, Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post

Scarola e Fagioli

Scarola e Fagioli (Escarole and Beans) was what I wanted for my birthday dinner.
 

Yes, today is my birthday. And today is Ash Wednesday which meant we could not eat meat. Not a problem, for me anyway! I saw the recipe for Chicory and Beans on Memorie di Angelina site the other day. I knew that it was what I wanted to have for dinner on my birthday. We also had some of the Foccaccia bread that I made on Sunday and a very nice bottle of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. This dinner reminded me of something my mom would have made. It was simple and delicious. I could not find Chicory so I used Escarole. The escarole was a good substitute. 

Happy Birthday to me!

Posted in http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Memorie di Angelina

“Anthony! Anthony!”

Mary Fiumara of Boston’s North End, famous for her “Anthony! Anthony!” part in the original Prince Pasta commercial, passed away at age 88 on Tuesday, February 2nd.

Tonight we had our meat sauce with Ziti, but they were not Prince brand. Sorry. But I will not have to say I am sorry for the sauce I made. Not a lot of different kinds of meat this time. Just Ground Beef and Italian Sausage. Then there were the meatballs. Delicious!

Posted in Meat Sauce, Prince Pasta

Best Beef Stew Ever


 “Best Beef Stew Ever.”

That is a direct quote from Chris. The recipe was in the little booklet that came with the Crock Pot. Simple recipe that resulted in a the “Best Beef Stew Ever.”

Tonight was the Super Bowl. Neither of our teams were in it this year but we still watched. Well I watched until Downton Abbey came on. To start off, or pre-game, I made a hummus from Cannellini Beans, Kalamata Olives and Capers. Winner! The recipe comes from Jeanette’s Healthy Living site.

Ingredients-
1 1/2 cups cooked Cannellini Beans, or 1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method-
Place beans, olives, capers, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until almost smooth.
Gradually pour olive oil through the feed tube.
Add lemon juice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Now about that stew. So easy!

Ingredients-
2-4 pounds beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup four
Kosher salt and pepper
3 cups beef broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
6 small potatoes, quartered
2-3 onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, sliced

Method-
Sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over meat. Place meat in Crock Pot slow cooker.
Add remaing ingredients and stir well.
Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 5-6 hours, or until the meat is tender. Stir thoroughly before serving. 

The only thing I would change about the recipe is to add carrots. It could have used a little color. 

And I had to make something to go with the stew. I was at the grocery store waiting in the Deli line, one of the circles of hell, and was reading an email from Food52. It was a recipe for Slap Grilled Cheese. A foccaccia bread sliced in half and filled with cheese and then reheated to melt the cheese. That’s what I went with. I made the Jim Lahey Foccaccia recipe, starting it last night. Nice. The bread was of course delicious and the for the cheese inside I used Sharp Cheddar and Gouda. Yeah this recipe is a keeper.

Ingredients-
Foccaccia
Cheddar or comparable cheese grated

Method-
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Slice the focaccia so that you have two equal slabs.
Sprinkle your preferred grated cheese for as little or as much coverage as you’d like between the slices of foccaccia.
Weigh the whole thing down with a heavy-bottomed pan—that’s right, put a pan right on top of the focaccia—and bake at 375°F for about 8 minutes.
Slice as small as you’d like to serve. 

Posted in Beef Stew, Crock Pot, Foccaccia, Food 52, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Jeanette's Healthy Living, Jim Lahey Bread Book, Super Bowl

English Muffin Bread

A snowy day means what? That’s right, I make bread. I would have done something like a Brioche or Babka but I was working from home yesterday so I did not have a lot of free time. Well until we lost power. Yeah no power. This bread was suppose to raise about an hour. We lost power at 10:30AM and it came back on at 3:00AM this morning. I baked it after 24 hours of rising. So I suppose these should be called the 24 Hour English Muffin Bread. Anyway it is a delicious way to start the day. I baked the bread in a pan that was my Mom’s and it is still one of my favorite bread pans.

 

English Muffin Bread from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients-
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Method-
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast; stir to combine.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and oil and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Make sure to stir the liquid before measuring its temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry, King Arthur states that the liquid should feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.

3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for 1 minute, the dough will be quite soft and sticky.

4. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. I just tossed in about a 1/4 of cornmeal and tilted the pan until the inside was thoroughly coated.

5. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan. I used a rubber spatula sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to level the top of the dough out a bit.

6. Cover the pan (I used plastic wrap), and let the dough rise until it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. King Arthur Flour notes that when you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than about 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

7. Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, until it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F. Mine baked for 26 minutes and it was perfect.

8. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Dinner? Lenore and Ralph took us to Dalton’s for my birthday (my birthday is Wednesday). Dinner was delicious!!! But it was too dark in the restaurant to take photos but trust me it was a memorable meal. Fried Calamari that melted in your mouth. I had Cavatelli with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. Loved it! The other dinners were Osso Buco, Short Ribs and Mushroom Ravioli. Everyone was raving about their meals. Yes we will be back!

Posted in English Muffin Toasting Bread, My Baking Addiction

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner*

Last night we went into New York to see our favorite band, The Smithereens. We did not get in until after 2AM. Needless to say I needed a easy recipe for dinner. Enter Lemon Pepper Roast Chicken in a Slow Cooker. I found the recipe on The Little Kitchen site.

 

Easy as pie! I had purchased the chicken on sale at Roberts for $1.98 a pound. Nice price for an organic chicken. Everyone loved this dinner. Even Archie.

I made a couple of changes to the original recipe. Here it is with my changes –

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons salt
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
zest of one lemon, then take the lemon & cut in half
4 carrots, cut into thirds
4 celery, cut into thirds or quarters
1 lemon, quartered   
4 to 5 pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel, neck & gizzards removed (if any)

Gravy (optional but too good not to make!)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 white wine
salt & pepper

Method-
Mix salt, cayenne pepper, ground pepper and lemon zest together in a small bowl and set aside.

Chop vegetables and add to a 6 to 7 quart slow cooker.

Prep the chicken
Fold wings back below the chicken. Put lemon pepper spices inside and all over the skin of the chicken. Add the quartered lemon pieces to the inside cavity of the chicken. Taking the lemon you halved, squeeze one-half over the chicken and over the vegetables. Add the two halves on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Lay the chicken inside the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. (No need to add water or broth). Turn slow cooker on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 4 to 6 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Remove chicken with turkey lifters and place into a baking dish and broil for 4 to 6 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Keep an eye on the chicken under the broiler it can brown up pretty fast!

Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables from the slow cooker if desired.

Gravy
Remove vegetables and pour chicken broth from the bottom of the slow cooker into a fat separator or use a spoon to remove any extra fat. Strain the liquid.

In skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon to cook the flour.

Whisk in 1 to 1.5 cups of the strained chicken broth. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 30 to 60 seconds. Add in white wine and stir. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and season to taste.

The next time I make this I will add potatoes to the Crock Pot. Then it will be a perfect one pot meal!

* From Ask.com
The phrase “winner winner chicken dinner” originates from 1970s casinos that were trying to attract players to underplayed tables. At the time, the most common casino bet was two dollars. Coincidentally, most casinos also offered a standard chicken dinner that was priced just under two dollars. “Winner winner chicken dinner” was called out by dealers when someone won at their tables, indicating that the player had just won the equivalent of a chicken dinner and attempting to attract others to come play at the table to have the chance to win the same thing.

Posted in Chicken, Gravy, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Slow Cooker

Book Club! And Anginetti Cupcakes!!

We read the book,We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride. And I would recommend it, but the food was the main attraction for me at tonight’s book club meeting.

Kelly treated us to quite a meal. Shrimp Jambalaya! Oh my! The flavors were spot on. I was so busy eating and enjoying the wine I did not get the recipe. Sorry! I will try to get it because I know Chris would love this.

And there were desserts. There was a Cannoli Dip. I have seen the recipe online but never tasted it. What could possibly be wrong with this. Nothing. It was perfect. My only complaint was that the bowl was placed in front of me and I had a hard time not going back for more, more than once. 

 

I brought over Nutella Swirl cookies and Carol brought cupcakes from Sugar Bakery. There was an Anginetti Cupcake. Yes, I said Anginetti Cupcake. And yes, it tasted just like an Anginetti Cookie! It was flavored with anise flavor instead of the orange flavor that I make my Anginetti cookies with. It was a cupcake I will be having again.

 
I am not sure if it was because it was the end of a long work week, but the wine, the dinner, the desserts and the conversations with friends but I do love Book Club!

Posted in Uncategorized