Saturday, January 29, 2011

Savory Snowday

Yes, another day of snow. BUT Mayor Mike actually closed NYC schools.  5:15 am I got a text from a friend with the good news.

In anticipation of snow I had done some shopping and bought these really great fried eggplant slices from a local Italian grocer.  I envisioned making Eggplant Rollatine.  I had also purchased some fresh whole wheat pasta.  Hubby had gotten the bread.

Eggplant Rollatine

4 large slices of thin cut fried eggplant slices
1 pint of ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon  Italian seasoning blend
1/4 cup grated parm/reggiano cheese
1 jar sauce (Bertolli Marinara)
Fresh Mozzarella

Mix ricotta, italian seasoning and parm/reg.  Pour enough sauce to cover the bottom of a small baking dish (I use an oval dish - 9x13 will be too big unless you're making more).  Start assembly - lay eggplant slice take a quarter of the cheese mixture and lay in center of slice.  Roll slice eggplant up and lay seam side down in the sauce.  Repeat.  When complete slice mozzarella up and lay on top of eggplant.  Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Cook for 20 minutes with eggplant covered, remove cover and cook 10 minutes more.  Enjoy the eggplant with some pasta or alone.

I wanted to do this recipe because eggplant rollatine is one of my favorite dishes.  Now you can enjoy it too.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Comfort Foods

As you may know we (in the Northeast) are continually being SLAMMED by snow every few days.  Now I love a good snowstorm but this my friends is getting ridiculous.  Seriously, getting on my nerves.  So I decided the other day that I would make chili this weekend knowing it was going to be FREEZING.

For years I have been making an Indian Summer Chili courtesy of Rachael Ray, I know ironic I want a summer chili but really Chili is for anytime and I think she calls it that because it has turkey not meat.

I love it with cheese and a really good crusty bread.

Chili Recipe
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lbs of ground turkey meat (2 packages)
4 Tablespoons dark chili powder
2 Tablespoons grill seasoning blend
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-3 Tablespoons hot sauce (how you like it)
1/2 Large onion
2 large peppers, any color combination, chopped
1/2 bottle beer (alcohol cooks out)
14 ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup smokey barbeque sauce (we have been using bone lickin' sauce - yum)
1 can of kidney beans (if you like)

Heat pot over medium to medium high heat.  Add EVOO and the turkey meat.  Season the meat with chili powder, grill season blend, cumin, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.  Break up meat with a wooden spoon into small crumbles.
Chop the onion.  Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and chopped bell peppers - cook 10 minutes more.  Add beer and deglaze pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol  Add tomato sauce and barbeque sauce and bring to bubble. If using beans add them now.  Let chili simmer 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste.  I let simmer longer, usually cooking early in the day and serve later on.
Also, a dark beer works nicely (I am not a beer person but it really gives it a nice flavor).


Sunday, January 16, 2011

She's Cooking Again

Yep, I have been cooking.  I mean I always cook but I was cooking some new things this week.  We were expecting a HUGE snowstorm so I decided what a better way to really stay in the kitchen and cook it up, so I did.

I made Fettuccine with a Sage Butter

Fettuccine (or pasta of choice)
4 Tablespoons of butter
10 Sage leaves
1/4 lemon juiced
1/4 cup grated Parmagiano-Reggiano

While your pasta cooks, melt your butter in a 12-14 inch sauce pan, until golden brown color ("noisette") appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter.  Add Sage leaves and remove from the heat.  Add lemon juice and set aside.  Drain the pasta but leave some cooking water, and gently pour into the saute pan and return to the heat.  Add the cheese, toss to coat and serve immediately.
(Adapted from Mario Batali)

So, tasty!  I thoroughly enjoyed this pasta dish.  I will be making it again, especially since it was easy-peasy.

I made it with some skirt steak, also easy peasy.

Skirt Steak
2 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (add more if needed)

Blend Chilis, olive oil and salt in mini chopper or blender.  Brush on steak, let marinate for 1/2 hour.  Grill.  I did not grill as it is out of gas so I did it in a pan on my stove and it came out FANTASTIC!  So tasty and a nice little compliment for my pasta.

I hope you will try the recipes, I truly love to cook and really like it when you write your comments to me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to Cooking

I really love to cook and since I was sick I did not want to pass on my heebie-jeebies, I didn't even do my baking this year.

I had a package of chicken in the fridge and decided to make Chicken Picatta.  Yum.

It came out fabulous (if I don't say so myself).

It went a little like this... (sorry no pictures from Moi as I was too lazy to go upstairs and get the camera).

Chicken Picatta

1 lb of think sliced chicken breasts
3/4 of a stick of butter
Kosher salt
1 cup (give or take) flour
2 eggs
1 cup of wine
1/2 jar of capers
1 medium lemon
olive oil

Heat Olive oil in a pan with two tablespoons of butter. Dredge the cutlets in flour and then in egg.  Fry cutlets in the pan until golden brown.  When all cutlets are cooked pour the wine into the pan, cook off alcohol.  Add the rest of the butter (in slices) to thicken the sauce.  Slice a lemon and squeeze juice into sauce.  Add the capers (drain off the liquid first) and then add the chicken.  Cook about 2-3 minutes to heat up.  Add salt as desired (capers are salty so careful).  Serve over anything you like, today I did plain cous cous (I used a chicken stock instead of water).  Sometimes I like it over spinach.

I really like this dish as the sauce really sticks to the chicken in a glossy kind of way and the taste stays on your tongue - reminds me how tasty it is.