Bolognese is one of those sauces that screams comfort food to me. What is better than a thick meaty sauce with vegetables? This isn't one of those 30 minute sauces either. It takes some time for all the flavors of this sauce to meld together. I found a recipe on Cook's Illustrated, and followed it a bit, but then did things my own way. I let it simmer for about an hour and a half, and I probably could have let it simmer longer over lower heat, but it is a weeknight, and we were hungry.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Finally! I say finally because Chad was supposed to make this last Thursday to go along with our chicken and apple sausages while I was at a class. But, time got the best of him and it just didn't work out. So we ended up eating Arbys. He made one over the weekend to bring to mom's for Easter, but it got left behind. On the counter. So that one went into the trash.
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3)
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup diced zucchini
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1/4 cup of the broth in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for 5 minutes. (I added 1 tbs. butter and 1 tsp. olive oil to pot sauteed carrots, mushrooms, onions for 5 minutes, threw in the barley and garlic and sauteed a few mintues more. Then I added the broth. I skipped the olive oil at the end.)
Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Add the barley, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 50 minutes.
Add the zucchini, parsley, oil, and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 more minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This Easter, well, EVERY Easter, our family gathers at my Mom's house. She still keeps the tradition of hiding our baskets (which we LOVE by the way) and she writes out sequential clues on scraps of paper that have us scrambling all over the house, garage, deck, and backyard until we end up with our basket of goodies. It's usually a race between Chad, my brother, niece, and I. We hurry around the house, no doubt looking silly. We like to pretend that mom (err, the Easter Bunny) hasn't out witted us with the clues, but there is always that one (or two) that stumps. Every year someone finds their basket first, and someone is last, but it really doesn't matter.
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
3 to 6 hard-cooked eggs
2 tablespoons cold water
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I had some chicken thighs defrosted in the fridge that needed to be used up TODAY. I put them out a couple of days ago, and it was either cook them, or lose them. So not wanting to waste any food I cooked them to go along with the pasta below.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I've never heard of this recipe before. Don't know why, but I guess I never looked for Irish inspired foods as much as I have this past week. I knew I wanted to make a brisket for St. Patty's as well as cabbage but since Chad wouldn't eat cabbage on its own, I needed something else. When I came upon this recipe on various sites, I thought this would be a perfect way to introduce Chad to cabbage. I love the stuff and can eat it prepared almost any way (no Kim Chi for me), but combined with potatoes seemed like a winner here.
To honor St. Pattys day I thought I'd make a brisket. But to go a step further I decided to braise it in Guiness and Irish whiskey (I got this idea from the FN). After browsing a few recipes, I decided to not follow one but go at in on my own. It was so hard to wait for this. Chad and I were starving by the time dinner was ready, it took about 3 hours for this 2.45lb brisket to get nice and tender. It was well worth the wait, but I wouldn't classify this as a weeknight meal unless you don't mind eating a little later (we like to eat at 7ish).
Sunday, March 16, 2008
To go along with the Greek theme tonight, I browsed around looking for a side dish. I came across this recipe. Because Chad and I love lentils, I decided to give it a go. It was very simple, but I did change the recipe up a bit. I really liked the flavor of this dish, and I will probably make it again, but I think next time I may make it a one pot meal by adding some meat or even shrimp. My modifications are in orange.
8 cups of water (I used fresh home made turkey stock so I omitted the water and bouillion.)
1 small vegetable bouillon cube
1 large carrot, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of unseasoned tomato sauce or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste dissolved in 1 1/4 cups of water
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (or 1 bay leaf, or 1 sprig of fresh oregano)
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and shredded carrots and cook until onions are soft. Add garlic, pepper and 2 sprigs of fresh oregano and saute a few minutes longer. Add stock and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add rice, lentils and salt to pot and simmer 20 minutes.
These pitas were so delicious, and perfect recipe for use of the ground chuck I had in the fridge. I originally had no idea what to do with the meat. I didn't want to make some of the same old recipes that I have. So I went to where I usually go when I need some inspiration for a recipe, Cooks Illustrated.
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt ( I used lowfat)
1/2 medium cucumber , peeled, seeded, and diced fine (about 1/2 cup)
3/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves or dill
4 (8-inch) pita breads (see note above)
1/2 medium onion , chopped coarse (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves
3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 3 teaspoons)
1 pound 80 percent lean ground chuck
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
This is to Mrs.ErikaMay who isn't able to "Nest" at work during the day. And in all honestly, I'm only able a couple times. But, she does make my day (night) whenever she pops her head in and shares her thoughts, recipes, and comments. She also has an amazing blog Bean's Bistro, and her recipes and photos are AMAZING.
at 9:37 PM
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/3 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), tenderloins removed, breasts trimmed of excess fat, halved horizontally and pounded to even 1/4-inch thickness
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet and place sheet in oven.
2.FOR THE SAUCE: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour and stir until light golden brown, about 1 minute. Whisk in wine, lemon juice, and broth; increase heat to high and bring to boil, whisking constantly. Lower heat to medium-high and cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Strain sauce through mesh strainer, return to saucepan, and set aside.
3. FOR THE CHICKEN: Set second wire rack on second rimmed baking sheet on counter. Whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Using tongs and working with 2 cutlets at a time, coat cutlets in seasoned flour; shake off excess flour. Transfer cutlets to egg mixture; coat evenly and let excess run off. Return cutlets to seasoned flour; coat evenly and shake off excess flour. Place coated cutlets on wire rack on counter.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, place 4 cutlets in skillet. Cook until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip cutlets and continue to cook until lightly browned on second sides, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer chicken to wire rack in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat, using remaining 1 tablespoon each butter and oil to cook remaining cutlets in now-empty skillet. After transferring chicken to oven, wipe out skillet with paper towels.
5. TO FINISH SAUCE AND SERVE: Transfer sauce to now-empty skillet and set over low heat; cook until sauce is heated through, about 1 minute. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove baking sheet with chicken from oven; transfer 4 cutlets to skillet, turn to coat with sauce, then transfer each serving (2 cutlets) to individual plates. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Spoon 2 tablespoons additional sauce over each serving and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately, passing extra sauce separately
Monday, March 10, 2008
I am so blushing-ly suprised and grateful for all the wonderful foodies who have given me the "You Made My Day" award. : ) I can't even begin to count how many times I've visited their blogs and thought to my self "WOW". So thank you Renea, Chelley, Erin, Bakingblonde, and Lauren for making my day : )
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I recently have encountered a new foodie site, Blake Makes. Blake is from Nola, so I knew I'd like his site immediately. The best thing about BlakeMakes is that he gives away free goodies. Like his very own PBDDL. If you have ever visited, then you know that that acronym stands for Peanut Butter Dulce De Leche and it is TO DIE FOR.
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until well combined.
Divide crumb mixture evenly between the 12 cups of your mini-cheesecake pan. Using your fingers (if you don’t have long nails!) press crumbs firmly onto the bottom and partially up the sides of each cup; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, blend softened cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar together in a medium bowl.
Spoon cream cheese mixture into each cup (they will only be half filled).
Bake for 14 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 20 minutes then carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and let cool completely.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
This is my entry for the "Eat to the Beat" event that Elly of Elly says Opa! is hosting. I'm a couple of days late because I was out of town, but I asked if I could be a little late on my post and she said she could squeeze me in.
I made this soup last week solely for the fact that I needed lunch the next day. I toyed with the idea of whether or not I was going to leave the white beans whole, or puree them. I decided to puree one can of the beans and leave the other 2 whole. This is one of those soups where you just add ingredients as you go. I checked what was in the pantry and fridge and just threw it all in. Turned out great and now I have some extra portions in the freezer that I can bring to work the next time I have nothing to bring.