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Posts Tagged ‘Oregano’

I mentioned yesterday that my neighbor has invited me to raid his herb garden anytime I want.  Afraid I might not venture into his backyard and help myself, he showed up at my front door two days ago with three ziploc bags: Fresh oregano, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary.  He freely admits he’s not a cook; the herbs in his garden are there to be available  to his son (who is a great cook), when he visits.  I think because he doesn’t cook, he didn’t realize that I could never use up all these herbs while they’re still fresh – I think they’re destined for the freezer in another day or so.

Ah hah!  I found two recipes online that would utilize all three, at least I could make a dent in my bounty.  Last night I made ROSEMARY BREAD and while it was cooling, I prepped some chicken quarters for today’s recipe;  LEMON and OREGANO CHICKEN.  It uses thyme, oregano and basil.  We had it for dinner tonight and Peter was amazed at how delicious marinated chicken tastes and he prefers chicken breasts not the dark meat quarters.  It’s really easy!

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photo by David Prince

LEMON and OREGANO CHICKEN

1 (3 1/2 -4lb) whole chicken cut up or the equivalent weight in breasts, legs, thighs

Fresh basil torn into pieces

2 garlic cloves minced

1 lemon / zest and juice

1/4 cup of fresh oregano

2 TBS fresh thyme

3 TBS balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and ground pepper

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic and crushed pepper.  Put the mixture in a large ziploc bag and add the chicken.  Let it marinade 1-2 hours or overnight.  I opted for overnight which also means all the next day.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill breast side down (or skin side) on medium high with lid closed for 10–15 minutes and charred.  Flip over and cook till the chicken registers an internal temperature of 160º.  Let rest 10 minutes.

This recipe is a variation of Martha Stewart’s Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Oregano

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Marinara Sauce aka Sailor's Sauce

Marinara Sauce aka
Sailor’s Sauce

I love pasta! Actually other than my passion for ice cream, pasta is my favorite food.  Think about the various shapes, the many ways to prepare it and of course the myriad sauces.  This particular sauce is one from my own childhood.  We often had spaghetti with marinara sauce on Fridays – those were the days when Fridays were meatless.  I think it’s a wonderful light summer sauce and a great way to incorporate a vegetarian dish into your weekly dinners.

MARINARA SAUCE

3 TBS olive oil

2 cans of whole Italian plum tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced

Red pepper flakes – 1/2 to 1 tsp

1 medium onion – chopped

3/4 cup of fresh basil leaves – torn

2TBS fresh oregano – chopped

Salt and pepper

Add olive oil to pan ( I used my braising pan)

Squish the tomatoes into a bowl and set aside

Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté till onions are soft and translucent and garlic is fragrant

Add the tomatoes and pepper flakes to the pan, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until sauce thickens.

Add the basil leaves and oregano, season with salt and pepper

I cooked the linguine and would have added it directly to the pan except that this batch of sauce was huge.  I scooped out enough sauce to fill a quart container and then added the pasta to the pan.

I sprinkled it with grated parmigiano-romano cheese and served it in the braising pan.

 

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Tasty Tidbits Tuesday has been missing in action more often than I would like to admit.  I made the pasta dish I featured a week or so ago – the Penne with Cauliflower and Swiss Chard.  OMG, I have to tell you it was sooooooo delicious.  It had a delightfully light flavoring yet strong enough that you could savor every bite.  I admit I couldn’t taste the  Swiss Chard but since it added a different texture and the goodness of a dark leafy green vegetable, I was happy it was in it.

Actually it wasn’t the ingredients as much as it was the cooking technique that brought such flavor into every mouthful.  If you recall, the cauliflower was blanched for 3 minutes in the pot of boiling water that would also be used to cook the pasta.  So when the pasta was cooking in the water that the cauliflower had been in, it absorbed a light flavor that was as I said, delicious!  

Well my passion for pasta got me thinking about how many of my Tuesday recipes were pasta dishes and so I’ve decided to make a new category on the blog; We Called It Macaroni.  And I’m going to be publishing a LOT of pasta recipes! I’m no Lydia however, I’m taking on the job of educating my readers to the joys of Italian cooking, particularly PASTA, and taking them beyond red sauce and meatballs!  You can now search the blog category We Called It Macaroni for any of the pasta recipes published previously.  “Mangia”

Lovely light and flavorful pasta dish.

Lovely light and flavorful pasta dish.

Orchiette with Brocolie Rabe, Oregano and Lemon

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3/4 orchiette or other small pasta shape

1 bunch broccoli rabe (1 lb) – trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 ” pieces

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 TBS fresh oregano leaves, for serving

2-3 TBS fresh lemon juice , for serving

In  a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to directions, adding broccoli rate 4 minutes before the end of cooking.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle, 2 minutes.  

Drain pasta and broccoli rabe and return to pot.  Add oil mixture and toss to coat;  season to taste with salt and pepper.  * I always sprinkle a little Peccorino-Romano or other Italian grating cheese on top of my pasta dishes

To  serve, sprinkle oregano over pasta and drizzle with lemon juice.

** As you can see, this recipe uses only olive oil as the sauce for the pasta dish;  Therefore you should definitely use the small pasta shapes such as orchiette and secondly when I see a recipe calling for so little sauce I often save a cupful of the pasta water to add to the sauce. Also I would use as many garlic cloves as I wished and just shake the red pepper flakes in and not measure.

***  You can also add cherry tomatoes with the garlic and cook them till they burst, add yet another dimension of flavor and texture to your dish.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food

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English: Cauliflower Ελληνικά: Κουνουπίδι

Cauliflower

Tastes good, looks good, and is good for you!  What more could you ask for? Oh and it’s a very economical side dish too!  “If you thought you didn’t like cauliflower, try this! It’s an awesome treat for a festive table.  Beautiful presentation and something out of the ordinary” – I believe the quote is from the woman who submitted the recipe, her name is Ariela.

BAKED WHOLE CAULIFLOWER

1 large head cauliflower

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 pinch dried oregano

Clean cauliflower, and trim off leaves and any brown spots. Place the whole head of cauliflower into a steamer basket, place the basket in a large pot, and add one inch of water.  Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Preheat the oven 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted margarine.  Season with garlic powder, salt and red pepper flakes, and oregano, and mix well.  Place the head of cauliflower into a baking dish, and coat with breadcrumb mixture.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown.

Recipe from all recipes.com

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