Archive for the ‘Savory’ Category

Your Turkey will Thank you

November 26, 2014

Every year I make the same amazing turkey recipe given to me by my bestie. I wanted to share it with you and also repost the link to the cobbler I am making, a fan favorite in my family.  This turkey has amazing flavor with the combination of fresh herbs, fruit and also the Herbs de Provence. Make sure you use authentic Herbs de Provence, with lavender, as the imitation version does not have the lavender and that makes the dish.

Turkey with Herbs De Provence & Citrus

Ingredients
  • 1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 fresh sage sprigs
  • 6 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Directions

To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil from the turkey; pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

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Lemony Terrific Chicken

November 11, 2014

chicken

I have always been a fan of cutlet themed dinners. From Marsala to Parm to Milanese, a cutlet dinner can be satisfying and simple. I usually make my Aunt’s go to Lemon Chicken recipe loaded with heavenly mushrooms. Recently I decided to change it up after seeing the Barefoot Contessa make her version. Ina is a talented chef and I have tried many of her recipes before. Yes she is a bit fancy pants but that doesn’t deter me from trying her decadent takes on dishes. Lemoore is nothing like the Hamptons, believe me, but making her recipes takes me outside of my little world. This lemon chicken was amazingly juicy and delicious. The combination of olive oil and wine with just the right herbs and fresh lemon made chicken sing with flavor. So if you want to make a simple dish that makes you feel fancy for a moment, check out this version of Lemon Chicken and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-chicken-breasts-recipe.html?soc=fyesocial_20140915_31540416&oc=linkback

Pasta’s perfect Pal

February 25, 2014

bread1

I hosted an Italian Family Sunday dinner recently and I made all sorts of yummy treats. My most famous dish is my carbonara, but that recipe remains secret! This time I wanted to make a homemade bread to serve with my carbonara. I had recently seen one of my favorite shows, Extra Virgin, on the cooking channel and remembered Gabriele making some delicious bread. The bread was called Schiacciata and it was an authentic Italian bread. I am so glad I tried this recipe out. The dough was the perfect pillowy texture. It was super easy to make and tasty with the fresh rosemary and cherry tomatoes. I think you could top it with all sorts of yummy combos, garlic and basil, thyme and shallots, whatever you like. It was crispy and the perfect paring to my homemade fettuicine carbonara. Cooks note: in a pinch I made this a second time with store bought pizza dough and it still turned out great!

bread11

Schiacciata

Ingredients:

  • cup lukewarm water
  • package instant dry yeast
  • cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • cup cherry tomatoes
  • teaspoons sea salt
  • sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed

DIRECTIONS

Measure the water in a measuring cup, stir in the yeast and let develop for 10 minutes. It should look foamy when it’s ready. 

Meanwhile, add the flour and kosher salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn on to whisk together and run for a minute or so to create a well. With the mixer running, add the water and yeast in a stream. Turn the mixer up to speed 2 and knead until the dough comes away from the bowl and it looks smooth and feels elastic but still sticky, 5 to 7 minutes. Flour your hands and knead the dough for a minute on the counter. 

Grease a large glass bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the dough, flip on both sides and cover with a clean tea towel. Place the dough in a warm spot to rise until it is double in size, about 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread a half sheet tray with the remaining olive oil. Lay the dough on top and stretch and pat out until it reaches 10-by-16-inches, an oval rough shape is ideal. Use your fingertips to press in small indentations. Sprinkle evenly with the cherry tomatoes, sea salt and rosemary leaves. Let rise again for 20 minutes.

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Slice into wedges or squares for serving and drizzle with more olive oil, if desired.

Fantastic Fajitas

July 19, 2013

fajitas

When I go out to eat and someone orders fajitas and I hear that sizzling skillet going across the restaurant my mouth waters. Sometimes we will have fajita night at home but I could never capture the same flavors as a restaurant. Also I hate buying those seasoning packets at the store, even though they are a good shortcut, I like to make stuff from scratch. So I searched the web and finally found a fabulous fajita recipe. I am not sure if you have seen the pioneer woman on food network but I love her recipes. She too likes to make everything homemade and she makes it easy to do so. The recipe calls for marinating  the veggies and the meat  and this is what really made the dish. I only used a single green pepper and one onion but the variety of pepper colors the recipe calls for would be great if you have dinner guests. So if you want that dining out flavor of fajitas in the comfort of your own skillet at home try this tasty concoction!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Beef Flank Steak
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 whole Medium Onions, Halved And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • Oil, For Frying
  • Flour Tortillas, Warmed

Toppings:

  • Cheese (grated Cheddar/jack Or Crumbled Queso Fresco)
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro Leaves

Preparation Instructions

In a dish, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. In one dish, place the flank steak, turning it over to coat. In the second dish, place all the veggies, turning to coat. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they’re cooked but still slightly firm and have nice black/brown pieces. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Heat the same same skillet (or a grill pan if you have it) over high heat and drizzle some oil. Cook the meat for about 2 minutes per side until medium rare. Remove and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.

Slice the meat right before serving and serve with all the fixins. Delicious!

Who’s coming to Sunday Dinner?

June 10, 2013

I love trying new recipes, especially when I don’t plan to. I asked my hubby to pick up a pot roast at the grocery store, if you haven’t checked it out yet, try my amazing pot roast recipe I posted on here. I am very thankful when he does the grocery shopping for me so I don’t complain when he doesn’t get the exact item on my list. He brought home a beef bottom round roast so I typed that into google and viola, I found a Sunday roast beef dinner. I had always wanted to make a Sunday roast and never knew what cut of meat you needed to do that, I assumed it was some pricey sort of prime rib or something, but the bottom round roast was just as affordable as the pot roast I had put on the list. By the way, for pot roast you usually use a chuck roast. I was pretty sure the leaner and tougher bottom round roast would not turn into a tender pot roast, so I am glad I found the recipe below. My Sunday roast turned out amazing, as did my gravy, which I have never had success with before. The marinating before baking with the worcestershire sauce and also the rub really made the flavors sing. Also I made it with some homemade whipped mashed potatoes, the perfect accompaniment. So if you are planning a tasty Sunday dinner, check out my recipe and enjoy!

Sunday Roast Beef with Pan Gravy

Roast Beef:

  • 1 (4-to-5-pound) Boneless Beef Bottom Round Roast Or Rump Roast
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Powdered Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon(s) (plus 1/4 teaspoon) Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) Coarse Salt

Pan Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoon(s) All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cup(s) Beef Broth

Directions

  1. Prepare the Roast: Adjust the rack to the bottom of the oven and heat to 425 degrees F. Blot any excess moisture from the roast, rub the Worcestershire sauce over the entire roast, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes, turning it twice.
  2. Combine the powdered garlic, onion powder, paprika, and 1 tablespoon coarse-ground pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the roast, pressing it, and let the roast stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Rub the meat with 2 teaspoons salt, place fat side up in a shallow roasting pan, and roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to roast until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F — about 2 hours. Let the roast stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
  4. Prepare the Gravy: Skim any fat from the liquid that remains in the roasting pan. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup water together to a paste; set aside.
  5. Scrape the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan, add the beef broth, and stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. While continuously whisking, add the flour paste and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. If needed, add a little water to thin the gravy. Add remaining salt and pepper; serve warm.

 

Pici pasta challenge

April 20, 2013

pici

I love to challenge myself to make new recipes. My BFF got me hooked on my new favorite cooking show on the cooking channel called Extra Virgin. If you haven’t seen this show yet I highly recommend it. Not only are the recipes amazing and authentic Italian family recipes, but the couple, Gabriele and Debi are so fun to watch. They inspire me to cook more with my hubby in the kitchen.

I recently saw an episode telling the story of pici pasta, hand rolled noodles that are a tradition in the Florence region. I googled and found a great rustic recipe that looked authentic like the Extra Virgin episode version. Last night we made the pici and I have to say they came out delicious. It was so fun making the noodles all together as a family, as I usually micromanage and kick everyone out of the kitchen. It was a bit of a time consuming process rolling each noodle by hand, but well worth it for the taste and the experience, if you like to challenge yourself as a cook, like I do. The tip in the recipe about rolling the pasta dough into grape sized balls really did help to make process go smoother.

pici2

Pici Pasta with Spare Rib Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta (thinly sliced), finely diced
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs pork spare ribs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces by butcher
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce
  • 1 recipe pici pasta – posted below
  • Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, for grating

Cooking Directions

In a 10 to 12 inch deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta and basil, reduce the heat to medium high and cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper and add it to the pan, cooking until they are browned on all sides.

Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.

After you make the pici pasta dough as instructed below, shape small bits of the pasta dough into grape sized balls. One at a time, on a surface very lightly dusted with flour, roll each one into a rope 1/8 inch thick and 6-8 inches long and set aside on a baking sheet dusted with semolina. This is a time consuming process so plan ahead. If you don’t have extra time, this dish would be great served over orzo, fresh fettuicine or any of your favorite pasta.

Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Drop the pasta into the water and cook until tender, yet al dente, about 7-8 minutes.

Do not pour the pasta in a strainer, strain in small batches with a small strainer over the pot of water and toss right into the pan with the sauce and stir gently over medium high heat for 1 minute. By adding the pasta right from the water to the sauce you marry the two together.

Divide evenly among four warmed pasta bowls to serve. Top with freshly grated parmigiano (or Romano, you know I prefer that) and serve.

Pici Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups tepid water

Place both types of flour in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed. You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it like bread until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Shape small bits of the pasta dough into grape sized balls. One at a time, on a surface very lightly dusted with flour, roll each one into a rope 1/8 inch thick and 6-8 inches long. Place the pici on a sheet tray that has been dusted with semolina flour, cover the pasta with a clean dish towel, and set aside until ready to use. At this point, the pasta can be frozen for several months.

Gnocchi di’ Melanzane – Eggplant Gnocchi

April 8, 2013

gnocchi

I love my usual go to gnocchi recipe I posted before but tonight I decided to branch out and challenge myself and make some eggplant gnocchi aka Gnocchi di’ Melanzane.  The secret is you puree roasted eggplant and put it in your gnocchi dough. The best part was that my kids ate it and I got eggplant into their tummies! I topped it with my favorite sauce, my leftover cacciatore sauce. After you make a big pot of cacciatore there is always leftover sauce.

According to my research, gnocchi are little dumplings that can be varied by adding cheese, vegetables, herbs, or even fruit to the basic dough. Just look for whatever is in season and blend it into the dough for a special treat.

This gnocchi was relatively easy to make. I loved the technique of piping the gnocchi out of a pastry bag and cutting them with pastry scissors, this was much easier than hand rolling them.  I would say if I made them again I would probably add a bit more flour to make the dough a little thicker, as it did not hold together as well as usual gnocchi dough does, but it still came out good. So if you want to add an extra Italian flavor to your gnocchi, try this eggplant version

Gnocchi di’ Melanzane – Eggplant Gnocchi

2 pounds of firm eggplant

coarse salt

olive oil

1 pound of Idaho potatoes

1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan or romano (I prefer)

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 teaspoons of salt

1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

12 leaves of fresh basil, minced

2 cups of flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, halve eggplant lengthwise and brush olive oil on, then put cut side down on foil lined baking sheet and bake about 40 mins, till tender (or less if you are using several small eggplants). While eggplant is cooking boil potatoes in salted water for about 30 mins till tender. When it is cool enough to handle peel eggplant and puree in food processor. Allow puree to cool completely. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and use potato ricer to squeeze them into a large bowl. Add the eggplant puree and the cheese and mix well. Add the eggs, salt, pepper, and basil and mix to blend. Add flour and mix to incorporate, but do not overmix.


pot

Bring large pot of salted water, about 6-8qts, to boil. Fill pastry bag with eggplant mixture and when the water boils, pipe 1/2 inch long pieces, cutting using pastry scissors, dropping them into the boiling water. Work rapidly until all the dough is used up. Allow gnocchi to cook until they float to top and then drain on a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Butter lightly and keep warm. Top with your favorite pesto, alfredo (my pistachio alfredo would be great), red sauce and freshly grated cheese and manga!

A great fresh tomato sauce from scratch is featured here, by one of my cooking idols, Lidia Bastianich

Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie

March 27, 2013

chicken

I have never been a fan of chicken pot pie, something about the soupiness of it and the pie crust just didn’t equal delicious to me. But both my dad and hubby love pot pie. After a recent trip out to eat where Campy had a KW version of pot pie that was actually pretty scrumptious I was inspired to overcome my aversion.

Well whose recipes usually convert me over to a believer? That would be my lovah, Alton Brown. Hold up, Alton Brown you say? Ok so he may not been oozing with dancing with the stars sexiness but his recipes are technical and my perfect go to for any accurate version of your favorite dish. I found his chicken pot pie and of course he one upped it by not making a pie crust, but using biscuits! Think what it would be like if chicken and dumplings and chicken pot pie had a baby.

To me this was the perfect compromise, as I love biscuits and even though I am not a casserole fan, the biscuits distracted me enough to indlulge. Even my picky kiddos dug right in. Some tips: the cheese in the biscuits made them even more tasty and the shredded rotisserie chicken was nice and tender, instead of the usual dry chicken pot pie meat. My mom wasn’t a fan of the chicken sausage, next time I would probably use just regular sausage. Are you wondering why I put sausage in a “pot pie” – well, think biscuits and gravy, mmmm! So if you want to make a relatively simple version of chicken pot pie even more delicious you should check this recipe out – click the link or see below

Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie – Courtesy of Alton Brown & FN

Ingredients
Filling:
1 pound bulk-style chicken sausage
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds shredded, cooked chicken, about 5 cups
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Biscuit Topping:
12 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar
4 ounces unsalted butter, frozen
7 ounces low-fat buttermilk
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling: Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Crumble the chicken sausage in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add the butter and melt, stirring to coat the sausage. Sprinkle the flour onto the sausage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the milk and chicken broth and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, salt, sage, and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside while preparing the biscuits.

For the biscuits: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, thyme, sage, and cayenne pepper in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Grate the cheese and butter using the large shredding disk of a food processor or the large side of a box grater. Immediately add the cheese and butter to the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just to combine. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and start folding the dough over on itself, gently kneading for 30 seconds, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Press the dough into a 1/2-inch thick round. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out the biscuits, being sure to push the cutter straight down through the dough to the work surface. Make your cuts as close together as possible to limit waste. Gather together any remaining dough, pat out again, and cut out as many biscuits as you can in order to get 9 total.

To build the pie: Set the biscuits on top of the filling, placing 8 around the edge of the pan and 1 in the middle. Bake until the biscuits are tall and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: I did not have a large enough skillet so I used a 9×13 pan and I just used scraps of biscuit dough to fill in spaces between round biscuits

Gnocchi Alfredo Amore

March 2, 2013

photo

I have posted my gnocchi adventures before but this time I used a new technique, using the back of a fork to hand press your gnocchi shape. (See video update below) It is not a requirement to roll it like this, as you can just simply hand cut your gnocchi and be done, but the fork tines do make a nice traditional gnocchi indentation.

Making gnocchi is hard work but it is well worth the delicious result, especially paired with my pistachio alfredo concoction. Pistachio alfredo is a yummy treat we ate when we lived in Sicily, they used what they grew around them at the little farm agiturismos we went to, so pistachio was a plentiful ingredient in many dishes. Something about the rich soil from the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Etna made the vegetation grow like crazy in Sicily. I usually double the gnocchi recipe to feed my family of four, the gnocchi is not a large serving even with it doubled, but it is very rich and filling so you don’t eat a giant bowl.

Update: here is my video of my technique to hand roll your own gnocchi: http://youtu.be/HW5t2WbbPlg

Gnocchi

  • 1 pound baking potatoes, preferably Russet
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of nutmeg

alfredo

  • 2 T of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated pecorino Romano, or more if you like
  • 1 cup of shelled pistachios grinded to powder in a spice grinder or nutribullet
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

1) To make the gnocchi: Bake or microwave the potatoes until soft (do not boil as the potatoes absorb too much water). Peel the warm potatoes and press them through a ricer, or mash them; measure out 1 ¼ cups potato; enjoy the rest as you see fit.

2) Mix the baking powder with the flour, and sprinkle over the potatoes.

3) Add the cheese, yolks, salt, and nutmeg, mixing just until everything comes together in a smooth ball.

4) Place the dough on a floured work surface, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes.

5) Take about a third of the dough, and roll it into a rope about the thickness of a finger.

6) Cut ¾”-long pieces. Using a gnocchi board, or the back of a fork, roll the individual gnocchi to create ridges on one side, and a little space in the middle.

7) Place the gnocchi on a parchment-lined baking sheet dusted with flour, cover lightly, and chill until ready to cook. Gnocchi may be stored in the refrigerator up to a day, and in the freezer for several months.

8) To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow boil, and add the gnocchi.

9) Once gnocchi float to the surface, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain cooked gnocchi, and toss with sauce.

10) For the Alfredo,  melt butter and add minced garlic, then add cream over medium heat until it starts to slowly bubble and thicken. Then stir and keep simmering until the sauce is reduced in volume by about a a third. Add the cheese and stir until all the cheese melts and the sauce becomes smooth, add salt and pepper to taste (I don’t need salt usually because butter and cheese have salt) then add ground up pistachios and stir it in to thicken sauce.

12) Toss with pasta and sprinkle servings with pepper and more cheese if you like.

Yield: 4 appetizer portions, 2 main course portions. Double gnocchi recipe to feed family of 4, sauce makes enough in one batch…

Easy Peasy Marsala

December 22, 2012

marsala

I can’t tell you how many times I have been to a restaurant that promises great chicken marsala and they have not followed through with that promise. I have even found places that make it great for the cost of an arm and a leg. If you are a fan of this delicious simple dish you should attempt to make it at home because it will be 10 times better than any restaurant and it won’t break your bank. Marsala is picatta’s sister, not quite as tangy as the capers and lemon in picatta but more of a sweeter dish. Traditionally it is made with veal cutlets but I like it with chicken just fine. The key is the pounding of the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer to make extra tender cutlets and also just the right marsala wine.

Though most stores sell a marsala cooking wine the real deal wine label marsala is much better, something I just discovered. I had been buying the store brand for a while when my mom found this California label marsala for me and what a difference it made. The sauce just tasted even more succulent and not so cheap. I think she found it at an Italian grocer, though I am sure you can find it anywhere with an extensive wine selection and it is not too much more than the store knockoff.

Another thing I love about this dish is the mushrooms, as I am a mushroom lover. They absorb the sauce perfectly and make the chicken nice and juicy. I served mine with some quick homemade risotto I whipped up and it was delish. I used the recipe from the Giada cookbook I always go to for authentic dinners. Her cutlet chapter is filled with good stuff. So if you want to take a trip to Italy for dinner, skip the Olive Garden and whip up this Chicken Marsala in your own kitchen and your family will think you are a pro chef!

Chicken Marsala

6-8 veal or chicken cutlets, about 3 oz each

1 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 TBS of unsalted butter

2 TBS olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-8 oz of any kind of mushrooms you like, sliced

1/2 C of sweet marsala wine

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

3/4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth

Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper, I also toss a bit of flour in there to coat the cutlets. Melt 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS oil in skillet over Med-High heat. Add half of cutlets and cook till golden brown, about 2 mins each side. Transfer veal to plate and then cook remaining cutlets in 1TBS butter and 1 TBS oil. Set cutlets aside.  In same skillet, melt 1 TBS more of butter and add shallots and garlic, saute till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and saute till mushrooms are tender and juices evaporate, about 3 mins. Add marsala wine and rosemary spring and simmer till marsala reduces by half, about 2 mins. Add broth and simmer till it reduces by half, about 4 mins. Working in batches, return cutlets to skillet and cook just till heated through, turning to coat, for about 1 min. Discard rosemary sprig and stir remaining 1 TBS butter into the sauce, season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cutlets to plate and spoon sauce over them and dig in!