Tuesday, July 28, 2009
For dinner, I tried a recipe my friend Linda from How To Cook A Wolf shared with me recently. The dish, Pasta alla Amatriciana, (Pasta with Tomato, Bacon and Onion), was so easy to prepare. I was surprised at how just a few ingredients could make such a big flavor impact! So delicious. Thank you, Linda!
Pasta alla Amatriciana
Pasta with Tomato, Bacon and Onion
"This dish is traditionally made with bucatini, also called perciatelli, which appear to be thick, round strands but are actually thin, extra-long tubes. Linguine works fine, too. When buying pancetta, ask the butcher to slice it 1/4 inch thick; if using bacon, buy slab bacon and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices yourself. If the pancetta that you’re using is very lean, it’s unlikely that you will need to drain off any fat before adding the onion. Use 1 1/2 small (14 1/2-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, or dice a single large (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes packed in juice."
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces pancetta (1/4-inch-thick sliced) or bacon, cut into strips about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes with juice
1 pound bucatini , perciatelli, or linguine
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large stockpot or Dutch oven.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer pancetta or bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel–lined plate; set aside. If necessary, drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion to skillet; sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook to release flavor, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and salt to taste; simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. While sauce is simmering, add 11/2 teaspoons salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente; drain and return pasta to empty pot.
4. Add pancetta to tomato sauce and adjust seasoning with salt. Add sauce to pot with pasta and toss over low heat to combine, about 30 seconds. Add cheese and toss again; serve.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Chicken Cutlets with Artichokes, Tomato, and Mozzarella
boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4" thick
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging the cutlets
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 slices tomato, 1/4"-thick
1 cup sliced drained marinated artichoke hearts
8 slices mozzarella, 1/4"-thick
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, to taste, and dredge them in the flour, coating them thoroughly and shaking off the excess.
In a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil over moderately-high heat until the foam subsides. Saute the cutlets in 2 batches for 1 minute on each side, or until they are just cooked through, transferring them as they are cooked to a heated flameproof platter.
Remove the skillet from the heat, add the garlic, and cook it over moderately-low heat, stirring, until it just begins to color. Add the wine and the lemon juice and simmer the mixture until it is reduced by half.
Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and swirl the skillet until it is incorporated. Pour the sauce over the cutlets and top the cutlets with the tomato, the artichoke hearts, and the mozzarella. Broil the cutlets under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from the heat until the mozzarella is melted and sprinkle the cutlets with the parsley.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Foodtv Recipes
Saturday, July 25, 2009
This is another one of Ann's recipes (Thibeault's Table). I've been making these scones for years - they're quick and easy to put together. Ann's secret is to freeze the fruit before adding it to the flour mixture. The original recipe calls for raspberries, but I tend to make blueberry scones as they are my favorite. The fruit can be omitted altogether and replaced with any cheese or herbs of your choice. Or use poppyseeds and drizzle with a little lemon glaze once they're cooled. I often brush a little cream or egg wash over the raw scones and sprinkle with demerrera or some other sugar. This time I used a vanilla sugar -it was perfect over the blueberry scones. What could be a better way to start the day?!
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup blueberries, frozen
1 scant cup cream
Additional cream & sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream and frozen blueberries to dry ingredients. Mix lightly with fork until mixture forms a stiff dough. Knead on floured board just to incorporate all flour; try not to damage berries.
Roll into 7-inch round and cut into 6 or 8 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet; brush tops with additional cream and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes.
Source: Thibeault's Table
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thanks to Michael of Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. Check out her blog for a dose of humor, fun food, and beautiful home decor. Her FF post will also have a list of all the other Foodie Friday participants... You'll be amazed at the wonderful food ideas you'll find there!
This morning I decided to make biscuits. From scratch. Not one to make biscuits on a regular basis, I knew I was going to need a fool-proof recipe. And one of my favorite sources for fool-proof recipes is Thibeault's Table, and I was not disappointed. Her homemade country biscuits were so simple to put together and loved her tip of grating the butter into the flour mixture. They were tender and delicious. I'll be trying a savory version next time.
To go with my homemade biscuits, I broke out a jar of my homemade Raspberry-Plum Jam. It's my favorite. If you are into making jams & jellies, be sure to try this one. It makes enough for you and your friends and family. It gets more raves than any other jam or jelly I make.
Ann's Country Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, lard, crisco or butter (Ann's note: I use butter)
1 cup of milk (cream) or buttermilk - (if using buttermilk add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda)
Optional. Add a little sugar if you prefer sweet rather than savory.
Mix the flour with the baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse meal. Stir milk or cream in to flour mixture. Mix quickly with fork until dough comes together. Using hands gently pat the ingredients together. Do not over-handle. Pat out to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick on a lightly floured board. Cut with biscuit cutters and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes at 450°F.
If making cheese biscuits add the mustard and cayenne to the dry ingredients and add the cheese after the shortening has been cut into the flour.
Tip: An easy way to cut the butter into the flour is to use a box grater. The large side of the grater makes the perfect size pieces of butter.
About 2-1/2 pounds Santa Rosa or other firm ripe plums
2 packages (about 10-ounces each) frozen raspberries in syrup (thawed) or 3 cups fresh raspberries
10 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 pouches (3-ounces each) liquid pectin
Prepare 12 half-pint canning jars.
Rinse plums and remove pits. Finely chop or force plums through a food chopper, to make 4 cups. Place plums and raspberries in an 8-quart pot. Stir in sugar and lemon juice until well-blended.
Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; boil, uncovered and stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately stir in pectin all at once; boil 1 minute; skim off foam. Fill jars to within 1/8-inch of rim.
Makes 12 half-pints.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
8 cups cubed (1 inch) watermelon, seeds and rind discarded
grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
Puree the watermelon cubes in a food processor. Measure 4 cups of the puree and place in a bowl. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and lime zest, and stir well. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), thinly sliced into rounds, then separated into rings
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups canola oil (for frying)
Pour buttermilk into large bowl. Add onion rings; toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Mix flour and seasonings in another large bowl.
Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 350F. Working with a few onion rings at a time, shake off excess buttermilk, then turn onion rings in flour mixture to coat. Fry onion rings until deep golden brown, adjusting heat as necessary for each batch to maintain temperature at 350F, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion rings to paper towels to drain. Can be kept warm on a sheet pan in a 350F. oven
Source: Adapted from Dlundin/Diana
Friday, July 17, 2009
But for dessert... Well, I have to tell you a secret. I love good food, including well-made desserts. Not a big fan of mixes. Okay - that's not the secret, but this is...My summertime guilty pleasure is birthday cake flavored ice cream at Marble Slab Ice Creamery. And I like it with crushed Whoppers mixed in. (I warned you this was a guilty pleasure...) Another one of my internet research sessions turned up a recipe I knew I could handle. The main flavor component is dry cake mix. Yep, I know. A mix. But I like this flavor. So, I was willing to give it a try.
Now the recipe calls for bringing milk and a little cake mix to a simmer, then chill the milk mixture for about 2 hours. Then, when you're ready to process the mixture in the ice cream maker, you add heavy cream and vanilla extract. I forgot to add the cream and vanilla. (Yes, I was suffering from brain freeze today - quite a feat in 102 F. heat... ) I let the original mixture process for 20 minutes, then added the crushed malted milk balls and processed for another 2 - 3 minutes. I was nervous about how this was going to taste and what the texture might be like after I realized my inadvertent omission. Nothing to worry about. It was delicious and creamy. I was happy. On top of that, a couple of fortunate things happened here... I saved on some major calories in 2 ways: 1) by not adding the cream, and 2) I ended up with only 3 cups of this delicious concoction.
Oh yeah. Uh huh. I did that on purpose after all...
Birthday Cake Ice Cream Recipe
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: at least 2 hours
Ice Cream Maker Time: Approximately 20-25 minutes
Makes: 1 1/2 quarts
Servings: Ten 1/2 cup servings
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cake mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 cup add-ins
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
2 - 3 pounds black grapes, stemmed
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Mash grapes to help release the juices, and simmer for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Let a fine sieve with 3 - 4 layers of cheesecloth, and drain the grape mixture, pressing to get as much of the juice out of the cooked fruit as you can. You should have 3 - 4 cups of juice.
Process in ice cream maker for 30 - 40 minutes. Remove sorbet to a container and freeze until sorbet is firm.Yield: 1 quart
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes Escalon's 6-in-1 tomatoes are my favorite - I order them by the case
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in saucepan. Add garlic. When garlic is cooked (not browned), add tomatoes. Season sauce with the herbs and salt & pepper. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes.
15 ounces whole ricotta
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded or grated
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook 8 ounces of ziti.
Cover bottom of baking dish(es) with sauce. Layer pasta and cheese filling until dish is full, ending with pasta layer. Spoon sauce over top, sprinkle with additional grated mozzarella and parmesan. Bake 25 - 35 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The polenta was easy enough: 1/2 cup of coarse corn meal added to 3 cups of boiling water, then simmer for about 20 minutes. When the polenta was finished cooking, I seasoned it with salt and a pat of butter.
For the shrimp component of the dish, I chopped up a couple of strips of bacon and cooked them. In the resulting bacon grease, I sauteed minced red bell pepper and onion. Once they were cooked down, I added a couple of cloves of garlic, minced. Added a big pat of butter, a little white wine, a little tomato paste, a squeeze of fresh orange and lemon (if I'd had a Meyer lemon on hand, I would have just used that), and seasoned the whole thing with creole seasoning and a pinch of salt, and let the liquid reduce. I finally added in about a half pound of shelled and cleaned small shrimp and let them simmer in the liquid until they were cooked through. Checked for seasoning then served the shrimp and sauce over the polenta.
Oh wow. I loved the flavor combination and the different textures between the soft, creamy polenta and the shrimp mixture. I will definitely be making this again.
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sift together dry ingredients. Combine egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Add dry ingredients to liquid; beat until smooth. Cook on hot griddle. (Bubbles will appear on the uncooked side of the pancakes as they start to cook through. When bubbles pop and sides of pancakes appear dry, it is time to flip pancakes to cook other side.) Makes about 12 dollar-size pancakes or 8 four-inch pancakes.
Source: Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Bing Cherry Clafouti
Gourmet | May 1993
(Baked Sweet Cherry Pudding)
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
Yield: Serves 2
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Bing cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
vanilla ice cream as an accompaniment if desired
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a blender blend together 1/3 cup of the sugar, the flour, the eggs, the milk, the vanilla, the zest, the almond extract, and the salt until the custard is just smooth. Arrange the cherries in one layer in a buttered 3-cup gratin dish or flameproof shallow baking dish, pour the custard over them, and bake the clafouti in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is puffed and springy to the touch.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, dot it with the butter, and broil the clafouti under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from the heat for 1 minute, or until it is browned. Serve the clafouti with the ice cream. (I didn't do this part - just sprinkled the top with a little confectioners' sugar.)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I was in the mood for a little bit of retro baking. When I was a little girl, we always had dessert after dinner. Mom would always make some kind of sweet. Because Dad wasn't keen on brownies, Mom would occasionally make blondies. And they are my preference over brownies, too. I haven't had them in many years, so I decided to make them today. They were as chewy and moist as I remembered. *sigh*
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (scant) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add eggs, beating well after the addition of each one. Stir in vanilla.
Add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. Spread in greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cut in bars while warm; remove from pan when almost cool.
Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Italian Open-Faced Sandwich
1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped black olives
thinly sliced tomatoes
thinly sliced ham (preferably Black Forest ham, though prosciutto works really well here, too)
Mix the mozzarella, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, onion and black olives. Mound the mixture on the cut side of the baguette halves. Bake at 425 F. oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and layer sliced tomatoes and ham over baked sandwich and serve.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I served it with wild rice and fresh green beans that I coated with egg whites that had been mixed until they were a bit foamy. Sprinkle some Italian-style dried bread crumbs over the beans and put them in a 450 F. oven for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt over the beans when they come out of the oven. They were good with the aioli, too!
Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli
CAKES:2 (1 1/2-ounce) slices whole wheat bread
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons canola oil
[ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S NOTES:
- Made my own Aioli. A garlic Lemon Aioli using the extra egg yolks, and adding 3 large cloves of garlic, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest salt, pepper and olive oil.]
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
To prepare cakes, place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup (discard remaining breadcrumbs). Set breadcrumbs aside.
Place chicken in food processor; pulse until ground. Combine chicken, chives, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt, egg whites, and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl; mix well (mixture will be wet). Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 7 minutes on each side or until done.