Today we have guest blogger Naomi back with us. She brings with her a great recipe for White Sauce Spinach Lasagna. I really like the variation she makes with matzo and think I may need to try it. Take a look…
April 19, 2013
April 18, 2013
I shop at a very regular kind of grocery store. It is a large place, so there is a wide variety of products, but I cannot say that anything about it is special. The produce is generally fresh and the cans are not dented, so it meets many of my basic requirements.
Like many grocery stores, they have a wide display of pre-cut meats. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey and seafood occupy quite a bit of refrigerated displays and generally you find just about any cut pre-wrapped in plastic sitting on a styrofoam tray. In addition to the sea of protein, the store has a butcher counter and unlike many stores, actually cut their own meat on site.
I find that I rarely go to the counter. Much of what is sitting in the counter display can easily be found in other cases and the prices seem to be identical. Why stand and wait for the butcher to serve me when I can just grab and go? Plus, since I usually shop for a whole week, the plastic-wrapped meat freezes better than the paper wrapped items I’d get at the counter. I have two common exceptions. The first is when I want a big ole brisket. For some weird reason, the only brisket out for the masses is pre-marinated to become corned beef.
The second reason is to get a quantity of bulk Italian sausage. I don’t need the links. I don’t need the patties. Just load me up with either hot or mild (or a mixture of both) and let me roll. I am a big fan of the hot while my kids prefer the mild, so I tend to mix the two in recipes.
As you would expect, this is a very flavorful dish.
The original recipe called for sausage links. While this would have given a different texture to the meal, I preferred the bulk sausage spreading throughout the entire dish.
I fried up the sausage and removed it from the pan.
The peppers went in next.
Putting it all back in the pan.
Adding the pasta.
I liked how this recipe took the next step and went for the jugular by adding melted cheese on top.
Baked Ziti with Sausage and Peppers
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr | Makes: 6 | Difficulty: Easy
- 1 1/2 lbs hot or sweet Italian style pork sausage
- 2 medium red bell peppers or 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 (28 ounce ) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 ounces whole wheat ziti or low carb penne
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1) Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Prick sausage with a fork as it cooks to release juices. Remove sausage and let cool slightly; cut into 1/2 ” slices.
2) pour off all but 1 tbsp fat. Add peppers and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Return sausage to pan; add tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until thickened, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
3) meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, then stir into sausage and pepper mixture. Heat oven to 375°.
4) Spread half of the sausage and pepper mixture in a 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish. Cover with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Spread remaining sausage and peppers over cheeses. Cover with remaining cheeses. Bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
To freeze: if freezing, do not bake ahead. Assemble in baking dish as instructed in recipe. Cool completely. Wrap well with heavy duty foil.
T reheat: bake at 375° until bubbly, about 15 minutes. Slide under broiler for 2 minutes if a crunch top is desired. Or remove from freezer, unwrap, and bake in a 375° oven until hot and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.
March 24, 2013
I want to take a quick moment to mention The Ranting Wife’s mother passed away this past Thursday. She was a wonderful woman who was one of the first real fans of this blog. When it first started, she would comment on each recipe and would print it to add it to her recipe file. Once she realized that I wasn’t going to stop any time soon the printing stopped but the kind comments continued. One of her recipes, Grandma O’s Potato Salad, was posted just days before she became ill and to her nature, she downplayed her contribution to the recipe. I can think of no better honor than to make it all summer long so everyone can enjoy her great recipe and keep her in their hearts. Now on to the post…
When is Veal Marsala not Veal Marsala? When it is made with Sherry instead.
I don’t cook a lot of veal. Maybe twice a year at the most. This was decent, but I missed the Marsala.
In looking at my list of ingredients, I looked in my cupboard and swear I saw some Marsala in there. When I went to make it, it was nowhere to be found. I had to rely on some Sherry.
Sauteing up the mushrooms.
Veal is done.
Making the sauce.
Adding back the veal.
Veal Scaloppine with Marsala
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 min. | Makes: 2
- 1-1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, quartered, halved, or sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion
- 4 teaspoons margarine or butter
- 8 ounces veal leg round steak or sirloin steak or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala or dry sherry
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1. In a 12-inch skillet cook mushrooms and green onion in 2 teaspoons of the hot margarine or butter for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cut veal into 2 serving-size pieces. Place one piece of veal or one chicken breast between 2 sheets of clear plastic wrap. Working from center to edges, pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet to about 1/8-inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining veal or chicken.
3. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. In the same skillet cook veal or chicken in the remaining hot margarine or butter over medium-high heat about 1 minute on each side or until light brown. Transfer to warm dinner plates; keep warm.
4. Add Marsala or sherry and chicken broth to drippings in skillet. Bring to boiling; boil gently, uncovered, about 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits. Return mushroom mixture to skillet; add parsley. Heat through.
5. To serve, spoon the mushroom mixture over meat. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
Note: Double this recipe to serve 4, but cook the meat half at a time.
March 16, 2013
Once again we have guest blogger Terri from Dear Martini. I love that she creates videos on certain cooking steps to help readers through. Take a look at the great recipe below and make sure you spend some time over at Dear Martini…
Pasta a la Puttanesca is literally named “pasta in the style of a whore.” Why it’s called the pasta for puttanas, I’ll leave it up to your imagination; however, I choose to ignore its impolite connotations and keep all of the ingredients for this dish at my fingertips in my pantry at all times. The important ingredients for this sauce are crushed tomatoes, olives, red pepper flakes, shallots or onions, garlic and olive oil. For the piquant briny/salty notes, you can add anchovy paste or chopped capers (if you wish to make it vegetarian).
This recipe falls under my personal category: PVD (“preparazione veloce e delicioza” or for our vernacular, Quick and Yummy!). Quick, because if you’ve got decent knife skills, it can be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta! Yummy, because this sauce is savory, sweet, spicy and satisfying. Add a side salad and a glass of wine, and it’s an excellent weeknight supper.
Just for you from Dear Martini: I’ve added some helpful video links from our Dear Martini YouTube Channel. We’ve got a nice library of cooking technique videos to help you along in the kitchen. Please take a look and subscribe to our channel! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter – we’d be glad to see you!
Pasta alla Puttanesca
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2 teaspoons capers, chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
½ pound linguine pasta
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Set a large (2- gallon) stockpot filled with water over high flame and bring to a boil. While the water is heating up, prepare your sauce ingredients.
Mince the shallots, thinly slice the garlic and make the anchovy paste by mashing three filets with a fork.
Once the water boils, add ¼ cup of kosher salt to the water and cook the pasta to al dente, about 10 -11 minutes. In the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can make the sauce!
Set a medium-sized skillet or sauté pan over medium-high flame and add the olive oil, shallot, garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes. Allow the aromatics to infuse the oil as it heats up, about 2 minutes. Add the olives and sauté until the olives are heated through, about 2 minutes.
Pour the entire contents of the canned tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine with the oil. Bring the entire sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, for the remaining time it takes to cook the pasta. Taste, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and immediately toss together with the sauce in the same stockpot. The residual heat from the stockpot will keep everything warm.
Divide the pasta and sauce among your serving bowls and garnish with the parsley and cheese. Serve immediately.
Chef Terri (www.chefterridien) is a chef instructor-startup entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently working on her own startup, Dear Martini (www.dearmartini.net) while also serving the role of Social Media Gal for the San Mateo County Event Center. In between startup projects and event coverage, she also teaches cooking classes! Dear Martini, a media and technology startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area focusing on changing the way people learn to cook by using simple, effective, bite-sized videos. Bootstrapped and supported by generous friends and family, Dear Martini is on its way to developing a web-based application tool to help home cooks synchronize their cooking/searching/learning experience. Check out Dear Martini’s blog: dearmartini.wordpress.com
March 16th is National Artichoke Hearts Day
In honor of today’s food holiday, please revisit the following recipes that use or feature this ingredient:
March 10, 2013
Can you ever have enough counter space in your kitchen? I don’t think so. My house was built in 1965 and when we moved into it in 1995, the kitchen showed all of its 30 years. There was built-in bench seating in one corner (for a kitchen table) but very little counter space. To make matters worse, we moved into the house bringing an old, and very large microwave oven. Between this and a toaster oven, half of our counter space was gone.
About five years ago, we remodeled our kitchen, removed the bench, built-in a microwave and even knocked down a wall. Our counter space opened up wide and when we put all of our stuff back into the kitchen we faced a dilemma for what would sit on the counter.
Counter space is really valuable real estate. For someone who likes to cook, and is slowly collecting tools that are really focused on specific purposes, I have a lot of stuff. What goes on the counter must not only have to be used a bunch, but it needs to look OK sitting there.
Toaster oven went back on the counter. Keurig coffee machine too. I added an electric can opener, six bottle wine rack, blender, phone charging station and a small TV. One last item, sitting in a deep corner, is my slow cooker. I use the thing almost every week during the cold weather months, so it does get a workout.
Here is one more way to use it….
A savory tasty meal.
A big ole hunk of meat.
I cut it in half to better fit in the slow cooker.
Zesty Slow-Cooker Italian Pot Roast
Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 11 Hrs | Makes: 6 servings
- 4 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium Italian plum tomato, diced
- 2 1/2 pounds beef bottom round roasts or beef chuck pot roast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped roasted garlic* or chopped fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, crushed
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
Place potatoes, carrots, celery and tomato in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Season roast with pepper and place on top. Mix soup, water, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and vinegar. Pour over all. Cover and cook on LOW 10 to 12 hour or until done.**
Amount Per Serving Calories: 376 | Total Fat: 12.6g | Cholesterol: 66mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database