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Posts Tagged ‘Butter’

So I’m still perusing The Talisman Italian Cookbook by Ada Boni and searching for pasta dishes I feel I can post.  These dishes have definite roots in Southern Italy and Sicily, the emphasis is on very few ingredients that are readily available and relatively inexpensive.  Many of these meals are what I would call peasant food. This is not a derogatory term by any means because so many of the meals we ate in my home were of this ilk. If I weren’t in the throes of my Macaroni Marathon, I could tell you about Giambotta which is supposed to Vegetable Stew but in my house was a combination of peppers, eggs and onions, maybe some tomatoes – NOT my favorite! Or a lunch of chicken hearts, liver and kidneys – You see, the meals followed the rule of Waste Not-Want Not! 

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb spaghetti

1 lb chicken livers

2 TBS olive oil

1 onion, chopped fine

2 cups tomato paste

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 lb mushrooms, trimmed

1/2 lb butter

DIRECTIONS:

Cook spaghetti in rapidly boiling salted water until tender and drain.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in large frying pan, add onion and brown until golden in color.  Add tomato purée, salt and pepper. Add spaghetti and keep over low flame, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated.  Sauté mushrooms and chicken livers in butter.  Place spaghetti mixture on serving dish, pour over it the mushroom and chicken livers and serve with sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe from The Talisman Italian Cook Book

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Braising Pan by Schulte-Ufer

Braising Pan by
Schulte-Ufer

As I said in an earlier post, there’s a whole lot of cooking is going on this weekend.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s been raining for most of the time.

I had had some chicken thighs in the freezer for a while and thought I should  use them so I looked through my recipes to see what I could make.  Two caught my eye and ultimately I opted for the quick and simpler version. You will note that in this recipe and many others, that I use a braising pan.  I never owned one until a couple of years ago and now I can’t imagine cooking without one.  I use it all the time and if you want to cook or like to cook, I suggest you invest in one.  Actually the one I have in my cottage is more the perfect size  (11 1/2 “) than the larger one in NYC.  I always forget to mention that I use the braising pan as the serving dish/bowl for my meal.  That could be because although the cottage is filled with kitchenware and dish ware, I don’t have that medium size shallow bowl in which to serve my dish.  Maybe, BUT it sure makes cleaning up easier and keeps the food hot right from the stove to the table.

Balsamic Orange Chicken

Balsamic Orange Chicken – courtesy Martha Stewart

Ingredients

4 bone- in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 TBS olive oil

2 TBS Balsamic vinegar

1 orange cut into 8 wedges

1 TS unsalted butter

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 450 °

Heat oil on med-high in oven proof skillet ( I used a braising pan) and brown chicken skin side down till golden crispy, about 7 minutes.  Remove from pan to plate and pour off fat from skillet.  Return chicken to pan skin side up and put in oven for 10 minutes (I checked the temperature of the meat with my thermometer). Return chicken to plate.

Heat skillet over medium  and add vinegar and orange wedges to pan.  Scrape up any bits stuck to bottom of pan.  Cook till oranges get soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

To serve, return chicken to pan and toss pieces around in the sauce.  Squeeze the oranges over the chicken and serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food – November 2010

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gorgonzola

Gorgonzola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back at the shore where I have a decent-sized kitchen albeit a minute stove (20″) and able to shop at my favorite grocery store, Wegman’s, I’ve been cooking up a storm these past couple of days. By the way did you hear on the news that Consumer Reports rated Wegman’s the best supermarket chain in the US AGAIN this year!  I couldn’t be happier because as my readers know, I LOVE Wegman’s.

Last night I made a dish that had my husband doubtful when he heard what it was…Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Gorgonzola Cheese.  His first reaction, “Cheese! You’re making a pasta sauce with cheese?” I assured him he wouldn’t die from it and I silently thanked him for not mentioning that the fact that the spaghetti was whole wheat (his concession to me).  Actually I’m not even sure he heard me when I said whole wheat because he was in shock over the Gorgonzola cheese – this from a man who slathers Blue Cheese dressing on his salads and sour cream on his baked potaoes.  Uh huh, you know the type!

Needless to say it was amazingly good and I hope to serve it sometime for guests because it was delicious.

Ingredients

8oz whole wheat spaghetti ( I used about 12 oz)

3 TBS butter ( I used 5 in the end)

1 medium onion thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 small or 1 large head of escarole chopped crosswise ( I used a cello bag of chopped escarole)

4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

The directions that follow are for 8 oz of spaghetti and since I had increased that amount I increased the butter and escarole.

Heat 2 TBS butter in braising pan.  Add onions and garlic and cook till soft and lightly brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Meantime cook pasta.  

Once onions are soft and pasta is almost done, add escarole and cook it till it wilts.  Add 1 TBS butter to pan. 

Drain spaghetti (reserve a cup of water) and add to braising pan with escarole mixture.  Mix well and then top with sprinkled Gorgonzola cheese.  I was afraid my sauce might be too dry so I added some of the pasta water to  keep the dish moist.

All I can say is that there were NO LEFTOVERS!

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Photo credit: Mommiecooks

Photo credit: Mommiecooks

I don’t usually post recipes on Sunday but lately I’ve been on a sweet tooth binge and this recipe just jumped off the page at me.  It is a modified version of Shortbread Candy Corn Kissed Brownies, posted by Jenny of Picky Palate.   I found it on Gojee and it comes from another blog, Mommiecooks. Just goes to show you how a good recipe travels kind of like bad news!

For the crust:

1 1/2 cup mulched pretzels

1 stick of melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

For the bars:

1 pkg of caramel kisses

1 stick of butter melted

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 cup of evaporated milk

1 egg

3/4 cup of flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp milk

Start with the crust; Put a few handfuls of pretzels in your food processor mulch up till you have 1 1/2 cups worth.  

Dump into 9×9 baking pan and add in melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix up and press into the pan.

Cook in oven at 350 degrees for about 8  minutes.  Remove and let cool.

Melt second stick of butter on low heat.  Once melted, remove from heat and add in brown sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk.  Next add the egg, then the flour and baking soda. Mix all ingredients.

Lay the kisses in rows on top of the cooled crust.

Pour the batter over the kisses.

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

While cooling, take any extra kisses and melt them in double boiler with tsp of milk.  Spread melted kisses over the top of your bars and put in refrigerator to set about 3-4 hours. 

 

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Delicious!

Delicious!

No, it’s  not what you think – not Italian white Alba Truffles that cost $188 for an 8 ounces!  It’s not Beluga Caviar which costs $200-$300 per ounce, no, it’s something you can’t buy, you can’t return and you can only have it ONCE.  

It’s your time!  When you make make something or bake something for a someone and give it as a gift, they are receiving TWO gifts.  You have made a soup, baked a cake or whipped up a souffle, surely something  you know your friend will appreciate and enjoy;  But you had also given a gift of your time, your life, an hour or hours you can never get back.  A real Foodie knows what goes into creating culinary masterpieces, knows that the shopping for ingredients, the prepping, and the making all take time!

Today I’m suggesting you bake some DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BREAD;  The recipe makes one loaf and takes about 1 1/2 hours.  

INGREDIENTS
1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

3 eggs

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark-chocolate chips

Confectioners’ sugar, as garnish
DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla, then mix with a whisk until well combined.

3. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. It should fill the pan a little more than halfway.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

6. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove it from the pan while it is still warm by inverting it onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving. If desired, finish the loaf with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

 Wrap in cellophane or Saran Wrap and tie a ribbon around it.  Or you can present it à la Martha Stewart and wrap it up in brown craft paper and tie with the classic red and white bakery twine.

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We’re not vegetarians (yet) but it’s possible we are heading in that direction.  Peter always leaned that way for health reasons and I, in recent years, have become deeply disturbed over the exposes regarding the treatment and slaughtering of animals.  Sometimes if I find myself thinking about it, I can’t finish eating whatever meat was on my place.  I know this sounds weird coming from someone who just extolled the virtues of The Shake Shack.  Well, like I said, I may be headed in that direction but it’s long journey down that road.

However, I do love cooking with fresh vegetables and therefore I often make vegetarian meals.  Tonight we had a delicious dinner;  I made a Butternut Squash Risotto,  Roasted Cauliflower and a Mesclun Salad.  That and a freshly baked baguette from Fairway made quite a meal.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

3 cups fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup butternut squash puree

1TBS butter or olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cups shallots, chopped

1 cup Arborio rice – I used Carnaroll rice

2 oz dry white wine

1TBS chopped fresh sage

1/4 cups freshly grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano 

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 cups fresh baby arugula, for garnish

In large sauce pan, heat broth and butternut squash puree over medium-high heat.  When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.

In large heavy sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil or butter until melted.  Add shallots, garlic and rice; saute till rice is well-coated with oil or butter, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and sage and stir until it is absorbed.

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly.  Stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice  grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid.

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center and all the stock is used, about 25 minutes from the time you started.  When all the liquid is absorbed, stir in the grated cheese and remove from heat.

Serve immediately and top with baby arugula and extra grated-cheese if desired.  Makes 3 2/3 cups.

Recipe courtesy of Skinnytaste.com

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Lo...

Photo credit-Wikipedia

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NO Time to bake? Too busy shopping, writing out your Christmas cards, finding a grab bag gift for the office?  Still and all, everyone loves a good cookie at Christmas and these are right up my alley because they are made with chocolate and peanuts!  This is an excellent NO BAKE cookie recipe. I’m planning on making some this weekend with Finley Ray, my little helper.

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cream, and cocoa, then boil for 1 minute.
  2. Remove the saucepan from heat, add the peanut butter and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Stir in the oats and peanuts.
  3. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the batter onto wax paper–lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart, and let cool until set, about 20 minutes.
  4. Storage suggestion: Keep the cookies at room temperature, between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

By Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez , December, 2011 -Real Simple Recipes

NO BAKE and YUMMY

NO BAKE and YUMMY

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