Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Piccata

Who doesn't like chicken piccata??  This one is from Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
¼ cup drained capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the broth, lemon juice, and capers to the same pan. Bring the broth mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan for extra flavor. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley, and serve. 4 main-course servings.

Mom's Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 egg
bacon strips
Worchestershire or Dale's seasoning

Put onions and peppers in skillet with butter, get soft
In bowl put meat, S&P, Worcestershire, possibly some Dale’s, depending on Mom’s mood, garlic powder, and then the veggies. Add a raw egg, possibly two. Shape into loaf, put in Pyrex dish. Put strips of raw bacon and tomato paste on top. Put in at 350° for about 1 hour.

Chicken and Conecuh County Sausage Gumbo

I have been a bit afraid to enter the world of making a roux, but this one was not too challenging and very very good with a unique flavor!!

makes about 16 cups - 10 -12 servings

1 c peanut oil
1 1/4 c flour
3 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced pablano pepper
2 T minced garlic
2 Bay leaves
2 tsp.  fresh thyme leaves
1 12. oz. bottle light beer
7 c chicken stock or broth
1 T salt + 1 tsp.
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. Conecuh sausage
3/4 /b. - 1 lb. sliced okra, thawed( I reduced this from 11/2 lbs.  too much okra!)
2 cups diced tomatoes ( I used canned tomatoes)
1 1/2 lbs. cooked chopped chicken
1 cup chopped green onion tops
5-6 cups cooked rice

Roux -Heat oil and whisk in flour stir constantly over med. heat until chocolate brown ( 30 - 35 min)
add next 4 ingred. and cook, stirring, 2-3 min.  add next 3 ingred.  cook 2 min.  whisk in beer scraping bottom of pan.
Put in large dutch oven add next 4 ingred.  bring to boil and simmer for 20 min.  Slice sausage in 1/4 in. slices and cook over med. heat for about 10 min. until brown.
Pat dry and add sausage, okra and tomatoes and simmer for 30 min.  Add chicken and cook 10 min.  Adjust seasoning, remove bay leaves,stir in green onions,
Serve over rice.

*  This is very spicy - I cut the salt by a  good teaspoon because I used regular chicken broth- I used black pepper out of a can so I cut that in half since it is finer than when you use a pepper mill.  You can always add more after you make it if you feel it needs it.  If you use dried thyme you use less as well - about 3/4 tsp.

Penne with Sausage and Pink Sauce

This has quickly replaced our "spaghetti night."

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup dry white wine
One 14 and 1/2-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes with juices
1 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1 lb Penne pasta (I substitute)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Add sausage and saute until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes. Drain any excess drippings from skillet.

Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer 3 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Stir in 4 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Bring sauce to simmer. Pour sauce over pasta. Add 3/4 cup cheese and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley. Serves 6.

That's it!

Sicilian Corkscrews with White Beans

- The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

Serves 3 to 4

10 minutes prep time; 15 minutes stove time

Could be served hot or at room temperature, and reheats well with a few tablespoons of water.
With squiggly noodles and tomato, this is a gem of a kid's pasta. And it has a sneaky side - they will eat beans without even thinking about it. Whether they're called rotini, fusilli, or "squiggly," you want a corkscrew-shaped pasta for this recipe so it can hold the bits of sauce and beans.
The optional can of tuna is a standard Mediterranean combination. It is best to use tuna packed in olive oil. The chile vinegar may seem an odd addition, but it's found all over southern Italy, made from homegrown, stingingly hot peppers. Our Tabasco sauce is a respectable stand-in.
  • 5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot
  • 6 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced into thin half-rounds
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
  • 6 large garlic cloves, fine chopped
  • 3 tight-packed tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarse chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chile vinegar or Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound imported Italian fusilli (corkscrew pasta; whole wheat or dried legume style preferred)
  • 1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • One 6-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil, partially drained (optional)
1. Bring the salted water to a boil.
2. Combine the oil and onions in a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan, and set the pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the onions with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Sauté until the onions are softened. Blend in the garlic, parsley, tomato paste, chile vinegar, and the 2/3 cup water. Stir and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.
3. With a wooden spatula, gently fold in the beans, and simmer for 2 minutes so they absorb the flavors. Taste for seasoning, adjust as necessary, remove the pan from the heat, and cover.
4. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it is a little firmer than you like it. Scoop up about 1 cup pasta water and save it; then immediately drain the pasta in a colander.
5. Reheat the sauce, adding the reserved cup of pasta water to the pan. Stir gently, scraping up any glaze on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a minute or so to blend, and to slightly reduce the pasta water. Fold in the pasta, warming it for a few moments. Blend in the cheese, and taste for seasoning. Turn the pasta into a serving bowl, and if you want, fold in the tuna. Serve immediately.

Foster's Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

This dish can be made with almost any vegetable, but I try to choose those that require approximately the same amount of cooking, so they can go into and out of the oven at the same time. And of course, choose your vegetables with the seasons in mind. Balsamic-Roasted Vegetables can be made several hours in advance and served at room temperature. Try them as a delicious side dish or as an entree, served on top of a large platter of rice, couscous, or orzo.
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mixed, chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and parsley,
or 1 heaping tablespoon of dried herbs
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound), stems removed
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head of broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds with stems), stem removed, cut into
1 pound green beans, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh herbs, to garnish, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, and herbs together in a large bowl. Add the sweet potatoes, squash, and onion and toss until vegetables are well coated.
3. Transfer the vegetables with a slotted spoon (reserve liquid in the bowl) to a baking dish and spread them out in one even layer and place in the oven. Roast until potatoes are tender and slightly brown, and the vinegar mixture has evaporated to a thick glaze, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir several times during the cooking.
4. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, red bell peppers, broccoli, and green beans with the reserved liquid, and spread them out in one even layer in a separate baking dish and place them in the oven. Roast until the skin on the tomatoes starts to shrivel, about 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Gently toss all of the vegetables together in a bowl with any remaining cooking liquid, just to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh herb leaves if desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Variations: Cauliflower or Brussels sprouts can be used instead of broccoli; substitute any kind of potato for the sweet potatoes and try sweet Italian peppers or banana peppers instead of the bell pepper. Acorn squash or pumpkin can be used in place of the butternut squash. Carrots, garlic, and onions are a delicious addition any time of year.

-Foster's Market, Chapel Hill

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beef Bourguignon Stew

Absolutely the best soup I've ever made.

-Ina Garten


1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces good bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac or good brandy
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone, Burgundy, or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen small whole onions (pearl onions)
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For serving:

Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and place on top of the stove.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greek Chicken and Pasta Casserole

Great to make on a Sunday and munch on all week.  Fabulous.  I often double.

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta (6 oz)
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, chopped (1cup)
¼ cup wheat flour
1 can (14 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 cups chopped deli rotisserie chicken
1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped
1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 350º. Spray 11x7 inch (2qt) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
Meanwhile, in 3-qt saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook and stir 30 seconds. Slowly stir in broth; heat to boiling. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Gently stir in cooked pasta, chicken, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Spoon into baking dish.
Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Deep pie plate, 2” at least
Box of Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs
(directions for making crust is on the box)
2 cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, 14 oz
6 eggs (might need cream of tartar, shakes)
2 Tbs sugar
7-9 Lemons to make ½ cup juice

Make crust according to package. Put into oven according to package.

Separate 4 eggs. Pour two cans of milk into bowl. 3/4 cup lemon juice - pour into eagle brand milk. If not lemony enough, squeeze more. Take egg yolks, whip in bowl, and add to milk and lemon mix. Pour mixture onto the crust that has come out of oven. Open two more eggs and separate, now have a total of 6 egg whites. Beat egg whites, shake some cream of tartar in, and add 4-6 Tbs of sugar. Whip until stiff, but not too dry, until has good peak. Take spatula and spread on top of milk mixture on pie crust. Bake at 325º for 15 minutes, then check it for egg white browning, and might need another 5-10 minutes. Take it out, get to room temp, and put in the fridge overnight.

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai stir-fry rice noodles (the soft kind)
2-4 chicken breasts
Thai peanut marinade/sauce
1 finely grated/sliced carrot
2 stalks celery, diced
Bean sprouts
Romaine lettuce

For the dressing:
garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup coarsely crushed roasted peanuts, or to taste

Pour peanut marinade over chicken breasts. Grill, then dice for salad.
In a skillet, pour marinade over rice noodles and stir fry until warm and crispy.
In salad bowl combine the chicken, the carrot, celery, bean sprouts, noodles, and peanuts.
Make the dressing, pour over the salad and toss.

Gourmet Magazine

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegetable Biryani

We are by no means vegetarian, but this is a meal all by itself and is so different and delicious. We make it all the time.

3/4 cup dry green lentils
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry paste (mild, medium or biryani)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup basmati rice (or wild/basmati mix)
1/4 cup raisins (golden)
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup green peas
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
feta cheese crumbles (optional)

In saucepan of boiling water, cook lentils for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion until deep golden, 6 minutes.  Add carrots, garlic, curry paste, salt and pepper; sauté until fragrant, 3 minutes.  Stir in rice, raisins and lentils to coat.
Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender, 20 minutes.  Stir in peas and warm through, 4 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and feta (if using).

35 minutes, 10 minute prep. Serves 4.

What is really funny is that if you asked me, to this day, what my least favorite foods were, I would probably say peas, carrots, and raisins!

Pot Roast

Beef Chuck Roast- any size depending on how many people.
garlic powder/salt and pepper on meat prior to putting it in the crock pot
1 can of beef consummate (or beef broth if you cant find it) (2 cans if it is a big roast)
1 can of water
red wine (if you desire)

Cook in crockpot on low all day or on high for half the day. It is good served with creamy horseradish sauce, and definitely with spoonbread.

Stacked chicken enchiladas with salsa verde

I never make any other enchilada. Amazing.

5+ poblano chilies* (8 ounces total)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
12 (5- to 6-inch-diameter) corn tortillas
4 cups salsa verde, divided (I sometimes use less)
2 cups shredded roasted chicken, divided (rotisserie)
3/4 cup sour cream, stirred to loosen, divided
6 ounces grated Emmenthal, Muenster, or Mexican Chihuahua cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I add more)

*Fresh green chilies

Char chilies directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened all over. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed, then cut into 2x1/2-inch strips.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla to skillet; cook until slightly softened, about 15 seconds per side, turning with tongs. Transfer tortilla to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil to skillet as needed.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa over bottom of 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 4 tortillas over salsa, covering bottom of dish completely, overlapping slightly, and extending about 1 1/2 inches up sides of dish. Scatter 1 cup chicken over tortillas, then half of poblano strips. Spoon 1 1/2 cups salsa over, spreading evenly. Spoon 1/4 cup sour cream over in small dollops. Cover with 4 tortillas, overlapping slightly. Layer with remaining 1 cup chicken, remaining poblanos, 1 cup salsa, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Cover with remaining 4 tortillas, then 1 cup salsa, and remaining 1/4 cup sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake casserole until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces; divide among plates. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Bon Appétit |  June 2007
Roberto Santibañez
Servings: Makes 6 servings.

Chicken with goat cheese and basil

Perfect easy weeknight chicken

6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
8 to 10 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet
6 large fresh basil leaves
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Cut the goat cheese into 1/2-inch- thick slices and place 1 or 2 slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won’t dry out. With your fingers, rub each piece with olive oil, and sprinkle them very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

We serve this in spring and summer during cookouts, great with burgers or grilled chicken.

16 ounces (~455 g) orzo or other small pasta (or 1 lb)
1/4 cup (~60 mil) olive oil
1/3 cup (~80 mil) plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (~60 mil) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups Kalamata olives, chopped
2 pints (~680 g) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise, or 1 large yellow or red tomato cubed.
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained capers (optional)
1/2 cup (~20 g) lightly packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt

1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil in the large pot. Add salt and the orzo and cook until al dente. Drain well in the mesh strainer, then pour hot orzo into the mixing bowl.
2. While the orzo cooks, stir together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the small bowl. Pour the mixture over the hot orzo and toss. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Add the olives, grape tomatoes, onion, capers, and parsley, and stir well. Season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Mix Kalamata with green and black olives.
Double the lemon zest and juice.
Add 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves or fresh oregano.
Add 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
Add 1 cup chopped seedless cucumbers or red bell pepper.
Add 1 cup crumbled feta cheese.
Substitute a different cooked grain for the orzo, such as Israeli couscous, barley, or quinoa.
Add Spinach leaves to make it more like a Salad

Beetle & Fred's Southsides

Anyone who has ever been over to my family's house while my dad is entertaining or to his cousin, Beetle's house in Baltimore, has to have had one of these amazing summertime cocktails.

1 6 oz can lemonade concentrate
1 6 oz can of limejuice concentrate
Several handfuls of mint leaves
2 TBS sugar (or splenda to taste)
2 6 oz cans of water (12 oz total)
juice from 6 lemons and 10 limes

Combine concentrate with water in bowl.  Add the juice from lemons and limes.  Muddle/rind mint leaves with sugar in bowl until mint is smashed and fine.  Add touches of water as necessary to grind the mint.  Put mint mash with the liquid mix into the bowl.  Run through strainer to remove mint leaves and excess pulp from lemons and limes.  Squeeze the top of the strainer to make sure all juice gets through the pulpy part.

Serve as an "elixir", with about 2 Tbs south side with 2 oz liquor (bourbon, vodka), over a glas FULL of crushed ice, and fill rest of way with soda. Rim glass with lime.  

*Can reduce the amount of water if you want it to be more concentrated.  Can use splenda instead of real sugar to make it less caloric.  Can do it without any sugar because lemon/lime concentrate has sugar in it - a more tart version.  Definitely start with less sugar, and can add more later!

Insideout Burritos

1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and chopped
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bag mexican rice (preferably VIGO)
1 can chunky RoTel (keep juices)
about 2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (the WHOLE bunch!)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
cheddar/mexican cheese, shredded, for serving
dollops of sour cream for serving
lime, to squeeze for serving (KEY!)

  Heat oven to 375 degrees. Saute chopped onion over high heat with olive oil until very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.  In dutch oven (any covered ceramic or metal deep dish) combine all ingredients except cheese, sour cream, and lime. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time, until rice is tender. Remove casserole from oven, remove cover and serve in bowls.  Sprinkle with cheese, sour cream, and squeeze lots of lime. Let stand 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. As a main dish, serves 4 people.