Thursday, January 31, 2019

Crockpot Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’m going to try something new. I’ve never had acorn squash before. I think the best way to try it is to make a sweet dish, like sweet potatoes. 

This dish is stuffed full of apples, cranberries, and toasted pecans and sweetened with brown sugar and apple juice. Prepare it up to 2 days ahead of time for simple, beautifully presented side dish! Serves 2 Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup  + 1 Tablespoon apple juice, divided
1/4 cup  firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon  cornstarch
1 cup apples, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:


Put the acorn squash in a crockpot cut side down and fill the crockpot with 1/4” water. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. 
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the cranberries, 1 cup apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover and simmer on low until the skins on the cranberries pop. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon apple juice with a fork until smooth. Once the cranberries have popped, add the cornstarch mixture and simmer for 2 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, combine the apples and pecans. Pour the cranberry mixture over the apples. Stir to combine. 
Remove the squash from the crockpot and drain the water. Add the squash back to the crockpot, cut side up, and fill the squash with apple cranberry mixture. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 hours. Serve hot.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Instant Pot Chicken Wings

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN WINGS?

  • 4 lbs Chicken wings – fresh or frozen, both work
  • Water
  • Instant Pot trivet with handles
  • Your favorite sauce for the wings
  • A baking sheet and a baking rack to broil the wings
Pressure Cook Chicken Wings:

Add 1 cup of water to the the pressure cooker pot. If using frozen chicken wings (bone in), make sure they are not frozen in a block of ice. You should be able to separate them. Place the trivet with handles or steamer basket in the pot and stack the fresh or frozen wings directly onto it. Close the lid and make sure the valve points to sealed. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the timer for 12 minutes for frozen chicken wings and 8 minutes for fresh chicken wings.
    While the chicken wings cook, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a cooking rack on top of it. Set aside. Turn oven to Broil. Once the Instant Pot beeps and the cooking has been completed, do a 5 minutes Natural Pressure Release. Remove the lid carefully and remove the steamer basket or trivet with chicken wings.
    Transfer 1/2 of the wings to a large bowl, and pour your favorite sauce over them. Gently toss to coat the wings well in sauce on each side, preferably use your hand to do this. Arrange the wings on the prepared baking rack. Repeat with the remaining wings.
    Broil chicken wings for about 5 minutes, flip and broil on the other side. Watch wings closely not to burn them, and broil less or more, based on how crispy you prefer them. Serve the wings with your favorite dipping sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing and some cut up celery stalks. Yum Yum!
This is a funny video with Gordon Ramsay taste testing some chicken wings ranging from mild to extremely hot. FYI: Gordon is known for his f-bombs and this video is loaded with them.  Click Here



Chunky Guacamole

Making homemade guacamole is a must in my house on game day. And the chunkier the better. Serves 4-6 Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

3 avocados, cut into 1/2-inch dice, divided 
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced 
1/4 cup onion, finely diced 
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced or 2 teaspoons dried cilantro, divided 
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 
1 Serrano pepper, finely minced (optional)
Salt, to taste 
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions: 

In a medium size serving bowl combine 1 diced avocado, tomatoes, onions, 1 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoon dried) cilantro, lime juice Serrano pepper (if using). Fold in the 2 diced avocados and sprinkle on top the remaining 1/2 tablespoon (1/2 teaspoon dried) of cilantro. Salt to taste and serve with tortilla chips. Yum Yum! 

Leftover Pork Loin and Potato Hash

When you make a pork loin you might have enough leftovers to make another meal. That’s what happened with me, so I found this Leftover Pork Loin with Potato Hash recipe from spruceeats.com. Serves 4 Total Time: 38 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce (or ground red pepper)
12 ounces pork (cooked and finely diced)
2 cups potato (cooked and diced)
3/4 cup peas (or peas and carrots, cooked)
1 teaspoon paprika (plus more for garnish)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish: fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:


In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sauté the onion and celery in the butter until onion is soft, translucent, and golden in color.Add the condensed soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco (or ground red pepper) sauce to the skillet. Stir until well blended. Add the pork, diced potato, peas, and paprika. 

Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Taste and add Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Sprinkle with paprika and fresh chopped parsley before serving, if desired. Yum Yum!

This is my version:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Loaded Crack Dip

Are you ready for some football? Is the gang coming over for the big game? Check out this Crack Dip on steroids...loaded with extra flavor. They say once you try this Dip, it’s addictive. That’s how they came up with the name (whomever they are). Personally, I think it was an advertising ploy for Hidden Valley Ranch. Thoughts? Serves 8 Total Time: 10 minutes (less chilled time)

Ingredients:

16 oz sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
2-3 or more slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese + extra for garnish
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/2 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, rinsed
1 green chili pepper, minced (optional)
1 green onion, chopped for garnish

Directions:

In a medium size bowl add all the ingredients except some bacon crumbles, extra shredded cheddar cheese and the chopped green onion that tops the dip for garnish. Cover and and let chill in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish before serving. Yum Yum!

Having a big party? Double the recipe and serve it in this cute football serving tray.

Praline Cake

With this Praline Cake you have to make the glaze also.

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 cup pecan-flavored liqueur
1/4 cup chopped pecans, to garnish

Directions:

Mix all ingredients, except pecans.

Cake ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Grease Bake-it-Better fluted tube pan. Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl use your hand mixer at high speed to beat the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Fold in the raisins and pecans. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in a 325F oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand on wire rack for 10 minutes before taking out of pan to cool completely. Pour glaze over cake and garnish with the 1/4 chopped pecans. Yum Yum!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Passover Flourless Chocolate Torte

Since the cake does not contain any flour, it’s perfect for gluten and gluten-free eaters alike. Serves 8-12 Total Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

10 large eggs, separated at room temperature 
13 tablespoons sugar 
6 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted over hot water and cooled 
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped 
Powdered sugar 

Directions:

Preheat oven 350F. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and lemon colored. Stir in the cooled chocolate. Fold in the nuts. 

Beat the egg white until stiff, but not dry. Stir in 1/4th of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest carefully. Pour into a greased 10” springform pan and bake 1 hour or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, then remove. Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top. Yum Yum! 

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Made with tender beef, Klondike potatoes and packed with flavor, this Instant Pot Beef Stew is easy to prepare and loved by all...especially on a cold winters day. Serves 6 Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs beef stew meat
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons flour
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb Klondike potatoes, cut into cubes
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Garnish: freshly chopped parsley

Directions:

Set Instant Pot on sauté and add the oil. When hot add the beef and salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally then add in the Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute longer. Add in the flour stir to prevent burning, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Pour in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce then add in the diced tomatoes, onion, potatoes, carrots and celery; mix well then drop in the bay leaf.

Close lid, seal vent and press pressure on high for 35 minutes. When done let the pressure to release manually for 10 minutes then do a quick release. Carefully remove the lid and then return the Instant Pot back on the sauté setting. Remove bay leaf. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water, stir until smooth. Pour it into the stew, stirring frequently to thicken. Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley. Yum Yum!

Chicken Scarpariello

Per bon appetit states that chicken scarpariello ia a classic Italian-American recipe with juicy chicken thighs, sweet Italian sausage and a vinegary sweet and sour pan sauce. Serves 6-8 Total Time: 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients:


3 lbs bone in, skin on large 8oz chicken thighs*

Salt and pepper, to taste 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
3 Italian sausage links, cut in half
2 lbs Klondike potatoes 
1 large onion, cut into strips 
1 each red, orange, yellow and green pepper, cut into thick strips 
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
1/4 cup white wine
2 sprigs fresh oregano 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
1 cup whole piquante peppers 
3 tablespoons butter 






Directions:

Preheat oven 400F. Salt and pepper, to taste both sides of the chicken. In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, when hot add the chicken thighs skin down and sear for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Flip over for 3 minutes then remove, set aside.

In the same skillet add the sausage and brown, set aside with chicken when done. Drain all grease in a glass and spoon 2 tablespoons back in the skillet, then add the potatoes and cook 5 minutes, set aside with meat.

Spoon 2 more tablespoons of reserved grease in skillet, reduce heat then add the onion, all the peppers and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes (they will be crunchy) Add the wine to deglaze, once evaporated, about a minute, add the spices and red wine vinegar. Once heated add the chicken, sausage and potatoes back in the skillet along with the stock and piquante peppers. When it starts to bubble, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F and the vegetables are tender.
Remove the meat and vegetables to a platter and bring the liquid that is left in the skillet to a boil and cook until it’s reduced to one cup. Remove from heat and add the cold butter to form a slightly thick sauce. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Yum Yum!
*Note: if your chicken thighs are smaller than 8oz each your cooking time will change. Check for doneness after 20 minutes.

Langoustine Étouffée

Étouffée or etouffee is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, a popular method of cooking in the Cajun areas of southwest Louisiana.

Watched Bob Flay’s show tonight and they made a dish with langoustines. I’ve never had one before and I guess they’re a European crustacean kind of like a cross between a lobster and a crawfish. Serves 6 Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 green peppers, diced 
2 small onions, diced 
8 cloves garlic, diced 
2 tablespoons flour 
1/2 cup cream 
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 cup fish stock
2 tablespoons Emeril’s essence 


12 oz langoustine tails, cooked or uncooked (if uncooked add 5 minutes)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1 cup rice, cooked according to package instructions
Garnish: chopped cilantro

Directions:


In a skillet heat the olive oil on medium and cook the onions and peppers until browned, stir in the garlic cook an additional minute. Take off heat.


In a saucepan combine the flour and the cream on medium heat stirring constantly until mixture slightly browns. Pour into the skillet, turn heat on low and sauté stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Add in the stock, cooked langoustine tails, seasonings and tomatoes, cook until sauce browns and reduces to a gravy consistency. (Add five minutes to cook the uncooked langoustines).


Cook your rice. To serve: transfer to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl add 1/2 of the rice and place on top of the etouffee. Garnish with the chopped cilantro. Yum Yum!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cod Fillets with Vegetable Sauce

This fish dish looks good and good for you. Serves 2 Total Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients:

2 cod fillets 
3 tablespoons butter 
1/2 teaspoon curry powder 
1/4 teaspoon herb salt 
1/2 leek, washed, sliced lengthwise and chopped 
1 stalk celery, chopped 
2 tomatoes, chopped 
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Garnish: parsley, chopped and tomato wedges (optional)

Directions:

In a skillet on medium heat add fish and cover with salted water. Simmer 8-10 minutes. Drain and keep warm. In another skillet melt the butter then add the curry, herb salt, leek, celery and tomatoes. Simmer until all vegetables are tender then add the wine. Season and cook a minute longer. Place fish on a platter and pour vegetables on top. Garnish with parsley and tomato wedges (if using). Yum Yum! 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Jeweled Pear Flan

This Jeweled Pear Flan is better if you make a cookie dough pastry instead of using ready-made pie dough from your local grocer. It’s easy to make, all you need is:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1/3 cup butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour, sugar and zest. Cut in the butter then stir in the yolk and vanilla. Mix with hands. Pat into a 9” fluted Flan pan with a removable bottom. Press against bottom and sides and prick all over with a fork. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes, let cool.

Serves 6 Total Time 45 minutes (includes dough)

Flan Ingredients:

1 can (16oz) Bartelt pear halves or sliced
1 package (3oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups milk
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup seedless grapes
1/2 cup strawberries, halved
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:

Drain pears, reserving liquid. Beat cream cheese until smooth then blend in 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid until smooth. Beat in the milk then reduce speed to add in the pudding mix for 1 minute. Pour into the prepared cookie dough pastry and chill until firm. Arrange slices of pears, grapes and halved strawberries over filling. Stir a half cup of the reserved liquid with the cornstarch in a saucepan and cook over med/high heat until thickens and clears. Let cool at room temperature. Spoon over flan. Chill. Yum Yum!

Macadamia-Brittle Parfait

What a delightful dessert for a special occasion; your significant other’s birthday, Valentine’s Day or anytime you want to treat yourself. It is made with my favorite sherbet, raspberry, but any flavor would work. Serves 4 Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil to grease your baking sheet
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Raspberry sherbet or any other flavor

Directions:

Combine sugar, syrup, water and rum in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to boil, washing down the crystals that form on the sides with a brush dipped in cold water. Boil until the syrup is a light amber color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the nuts and continue to cook until the mixture is now a dark amber color, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the pinch of salt. Quickly pour the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon. Let the brittle cool for 10 minutes. Break the brittle into 6-8 pieces then wrap them into a kitchen towel. With a mallet break the brittle into crumb-size pieces.

To serve: in hurricane glasses first scoop out some sherbet then some of the brittle and repeat. Yum Yum!

Scalloped Potatoes with Anchovies and Tomatoes

Do you like anchovies? If you do this is a great side dish, but you can substitute capers for anchovies. I’ll leave it up to you. Serves 4-6 Total Time:1 hour

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons + a little to drizzle olive oil, divided
1 cup onions, thinly sliced
1 can (16oz) tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tin anchovies or 2 tablespoons capers
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 lbs yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook the onions until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper let simmer for a few minutes then set aside.

In a small bowl mix the anchovies (capers), garlic, basil and 1 tablespoon oil. Butter 4 individual dishes or a pie plate. Spread one layer of the onions and tomatoes then the potatoes and then the anchovy mixture. Repeat. Top with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Yum Yum!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Skillet Salad

This is an easy salad if your serving a lot of people. Serves 12 Total Time: just 20 minutes. 

Ingredients:

10 medium Vidalla onions, peeled and sliced 
4 lbs green pepper, seeded and cut into strips 
6-8 tablespoons olive oil 
12 ripe tomatoes, sliced 
2 jars (7oz each) whole red pimientos, drain and cut into strips 
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions:

Sauté the onions and peppers in the oil over moderate heat for about 8 minutes, or until slightly colored. Add the tomatoes and pimientos to the onions and peppers. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cook 4-5 minutes longer, or until the tomatoes are soft but not mushy. Transfer to a serving bowl.  Make a meal of if by adding grilled chicken and a side of garlic bread. Yum Yum!


Poulet en Casserole

Poulet en Casserole is a French recipe that basically is a chicken in a pot with vegetables and a cream sauce. I’m going to cut up chicken parts (breasts and/or thighs) into 1”-2” pieces instead of using a whole chicken and cooking until it falls off the bone. Serves 6-8 Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2-2 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1”-2” pieces
8 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
24 small white onions, peeled
24 small white mushrooms, wiped clean and trim ends
5 stalks of celery, sliced 1/8”
4 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Directions:

Place chickens in a shallow pan and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, baste with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Transfer to an oven-proff casserole dish. Set-aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350F. In a saucepan add the onions and cover with water. Bring to boil, then drain and add them a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms and celery: sauté until celery is softened then add to the casserole dish. 

In a saucepan add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter add the flour and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly. While stirring add in the stock and milk, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and did in the cream and wine; season with salt and tarragon. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables. Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Yum Yum! 


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Blueberry Pie for National Pie Day

It’s National Pie Day. This pie is for those that love a berry pie, but have diverticulitis (like me). If you have diverticulitis you are not suppose to eat any seeds, so no raspberries, strawberries or blackberries. 😩 This Pie is for you. Makes 1 pie (12 slices) Total Time: about 1 hour.

Ingredients:

2 refrigerated ready-to-roll pie crusts
5 cups blueberries
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup quick-cook tapioca
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Whip cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven 400F. Fit one pie crust into a 9” deep-dish pie plate. In a large bowl, toss together blueberries, cup of the sugar, tapioca, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cut the remaining crust into 1” wide strips with a pastry or pizza cutter. Spoon blueberry mixture into the pie plate. Weave a lattice top, alternating strips of crust. Crimp edges to seal. Brush crust with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for 55-60 minutes or until center is bubbly and crust is golden. Tent sides with foil after 40 minutes so sides do not get too brown. Remove to wire rack and cool completely. Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Creole Chicken

My granddaughter, Caitlyn loves okra so I thought I’d make her this Creole Chicken. Do you have an okra lover in your house? Serves 4 Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

2 1/2 - 3 lbs of chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
3/4 lb fresh orka, sliced
1 red or green pepper, sliced in strips
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Salt, to taste
Cayenne, to taste
3 tablespoons parsley, minced for garnish

Directions:

Brown chicken in oil on both sides for 6 minutes each, or until no longer pink inside. Set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of oil from skillet and add the flour. Cook until browned, but not burnt. Add remaining ingredients including chicken,  breaking apart the tomatoes. Cover and cook on simmer until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Baste chicken with sauce occasionally. Serve over cooked rice of your choosing. Yum Yum!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tomato Galette vs Tomato Tart

I need a vote which one is better..the Tomato Galette or the Tomato Tart? Let me know in comments.

The Tomato Galette 

Tender Parmesan-pepper pastry cradles heirloom tomatoes, shallots, goat cheese and fresh herbs in a fold-over tart that's ideal for weekend brunch. Serve it warm or at room temperature. I’m going to substitute red onion for shallots and mozzarella for goat cheese.

Serves 8 Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
4-6 tablespoons cold water
4 large tomatoes, cored
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (or red onion)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
4-6 oz goat, feta or mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until pieces are pea-size. Stir in Parmesan and cracked pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water over part of the mixture; toss with a a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened. Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle (up to 24 hours).
  2. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a wire rack over a baking pan, sink or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees . On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 13-inch circle. (Don't worry if it's not perfectly round.) Fold in half to transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper; unfold.
  4. Evenly spread bread crumbs on pastry, leaving about a 2-inch border. Layer tomatoes, shallot, thyme and goat cheese on bread crumbs. Fold crust over filling, pleating as necessary and leaving some filling exposed in center. Combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush on edges of pastry. 
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp. Cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with fresh basil (snipped if leaves are 
  6. large) and cut into wedges. Yum Yum!
The Tomato Tart 

Team ripe tomatoes with fresh basil to make this wonderfully cheesy tart. Serve as an appetizer or a meatless main dish.

Serves 8 Total Time 50 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1/2 15oz folded refrigerated unbaked piecrust 
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella 
4 small tomatoes 
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves 
4 cloves garlic 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper 
Fresh basil leaves for garnish 

Directions:


  1. Unfold the piecrust according to package directions. Line a 9-inch tart pan with pastry (it's easier to remove the baked tart if pan has a removable bottom). Press the pastry into the fluted sides of the tart pan and trim the edges. Don't prick. Partially bake in a 450 degree F oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until pastry is slightly dry.
  2. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degree F.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into wedges; drain the wedges on paper towels. Arrange the tomato wedges over the melted cheese in a baked crust.
  4. In a food processor bowl, combine basil and garlic; cover and process with on-off turns until coarsely chopped. Or snip the basil and mince the garlic.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the basil-garlic mixture, the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese, the mayonnaise, the grated Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over tomato wedges.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve warm. If you like, garnish with additional basil leaves. Makes 8 appetizer or 4 main-dish servings. Yum Yum!

Italian Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Perfect side dish for any Italian pasta dinner or the Chicken Breasts with Cheese and Prosciutto I posted yesterday. Serves 6 Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients:

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, ends trimmed

12 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed (Or cut potatoes in halves or cubes depending on size. You want them to be small)

  • 12 oz Campari tomatoes (grape or cherry tomatoes will work also)
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10-12 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the mushrooms, veggies, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil; add the dried oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Take the potatoes only and spread them on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Roast in heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and then add the mushrooms and remaining vegetables. Return to oven to roast for another 20 minutes until the veggies are fork-tender (some charring is good!)
  4. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Chicken Breasts with Cheese and Prosciutto

You know what I’d serve with these Chicken Breasts with Cheese and Prosciutto a side dish of Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 lb prosciutto
1/2 lb Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chicken stock

Directions:

Preheat oven 350F.

Sprinkle breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour in a plastic bag and add breasts. Shake bag until chicken is well coated. Shake off excess. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and brown the breasts, 6 minutes on each side. Place the breasts in a buttered shallow baking dish side by side. Place a slice of prosciutto over each breast then a slice of Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Dot with the remaining tablespoon butter. Pour chicken stock over chicken and bake 10-15, or until cheese melts and starts to brown. Garnish with extra slices of prosciutto, if desired. Yum Yum!