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Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

March 25, 2019

Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto1

  • 6-8 chicken tenders

Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the chicken tenders for 4-5 hours.

Breading

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. On a third plate, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken tenders on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken tenders on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken tenders.
Lay the cooked chicken pieces in an ovenproof casserole. Ladle spoons of marinara sauce over all the chicken pieces. Add the shredded mozzarella on top and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven until cheese is melted. Add some more sauce and keep aside.

Pesto

  • 2 cups broccoli rabe leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Process the broccoli rabe and spinach leaves till smooth. While the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil into the pesto. Add the salt and keep aside.

1 pound pappardelle, cooked al dente with some pasta water saved.

Once the pasta is cooked, return it to the same pot with ½ cup pasta water. Add ½ cup broccoli rabe pesto and mix well. Adjust seasonings and serve with chicken tenders on top.

Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Penne with Basil Pesto and Cremini Mushrooms

March 24, 2019

Penne with Pesto and Mushrooms

  • 2 (10 ounces) packs cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms. Saute on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, till the mushrooms are golden brown. Add salt and turn the heat off.

  • ¼ cup fresh or store bought basil pesto
  • ½ pound cooked penne with ½ cup spare pasta water

Add the pesto, penne and the pasta water to the mushrooms. Stir well without turning the heat on. Check for seasonings and serve.

Bucatini with Salted Pork and Shrimp

March 19, 2019

 

½ cup salted pork, cut into chunks less than ½- inch

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped

28 ounces can of San Marzano tomatoes

½ pound medium shrimp, deveined and cleaned

Salt

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

½ pound cooked bucatini, cooked al dente with 1 cup spare pasta water

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a wide skillet with the olive oil and salted pork and fry over low heat for 15 minutes or till the fat is rendered out and the meat is crisp. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion and garic and sauté over medium heat for five minutes. Crush the tomatoes with hand in the can and add to the onion mixture. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat with the lid on. Check for seasonings and add salt and the red pepper flakes.

Add the raw shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the al dente pasta and cook on medium for another 2 to 3 minutes, till the shrimp is cooked through- careful not to over cook. Check for seasonings and garnish with parsley.

Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches with Ricotta Cheese

March 18, 2019

 

Ricotta Cheese

½ cup full fat ricotta cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and keep aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pack chicken sausages (I used roasted garlic ones from Trader Joes), sliced

1 large or 2 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch squares

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups tomato sauce (jar, bottle or fresh)

Salt

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and sauté on medium high heat and brown both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Take the lid off, add the peppers and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or till the peppers are soft, but not too soft and falling apart. Check for seasonings and garnish with basil.

 

4 ciabatta rolls, toasted with a drizzle of olive oil

 

Add some sausage and peppers into a toasted roll. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Serve with oven fries.

 

Cilantro and Chives Fish and Chips

March 17, 2019

Great time to make this English classic. I like to kick mine up a notch or two.. this time I added cilantro and chives. Everyone loves fish and chips in my family.. I usually make it when we are all home for dinner at the same time- like a Sunday! I made the fish and chips as well as delicious tatar sauce and the mushy peas.

  • 1 pound firm fleshed white fish like cod, cut into 3 to 4 fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt

Marinate the fish fillets in the garlic and salt. Keep aside for an hour.

  • 1 cup plus ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cold club soda plus more
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil

Create a breading station. Add ½ cup flour to a small platter, add some salt, mix and keep aside. Add the beaten eggs and some salt to another platter and mix and keep aside. Transfer the 1 cup flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, cilantro and chives to a medium bowl. Mix well and slowly add the club soda while whisking the batter until completely smooth. Keep aside in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

Add the oil to a wide frying pan and heat on medium heat. In the meantime, take each fish fillet, dredge it in flour, dip it in the egg mixture and then dip it generously in the batter and make sure all parts are coated well. Immerse into the hot oil and repeat with the rest of the fillets. Cook on medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or till fish is cooked through but not over done. Place on a paper towel lined platter to drain excess oil. Serve with fries and tartar sauce.

Fries

  • 4 to 5 yellow skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the potatoes to a saucepan and fill with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them dry in the same pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil. Mix well and bake in a hot oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or till golden brown. Serve warm with fish.

Tartar Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons capers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and serve with fish.

 

Irish Soda Bread

March 12, 2019

3 cups all purpose
¼ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mixture of raisins, cranberries and currants, chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or powdered
4 tablespoons super cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400.
Grease a large cast iron skillet or a 10 inch cake pan.

Transfer the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl, whisk together. Add the butter and mix briefly with fingers, incorporating the butter. Add the raisins mixture, zest and fennel seeds and mix well. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and whisk well and refrigerate until needed (the key is to have this liquid as cold as possible) Add the liquid slowly to the dry mixture while mixing it with a fork. Once all the liquid is incorporated, gently mix everything with your fingers and form an 8 inch round loaf and transfer to the cast iron skillet or cake pan. Mark the top with an ‘X’ with a knife about ½ inch deep.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven and check if the top is getting too brown. If it is, then top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Take out of oven and keep the foil on till it cools off.

Creamy Paneer and Peas (Mattar Paneer)

March 11, 2019

This is yummy interpretation of a classic mattar paneer…

2 tablespoons ghee or butter
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
3 cloves
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 medium yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2 inch fresh ginger
1 cup tomato puree
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups paneer, grated
½ cup cream
1½ cups frozen peas
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Transfer the onion, garlic and ginger to a processor and process till finely chopped.
Heat a large frying pan with the ghee/butter. Add the cumin, cloves and cinnamon. Saute on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion mixture and sauté on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato puree, salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper and coriander and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the paneer and cream. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer and cook with lid on for 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas, cover with lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Check for seasonings and garnish with cilantro.