Sunday, March 29, 2009

Orecchiette with Toasted Breadcrumbs

This recipe is from Giada De Laurentis on the Food Network. She used Italian seasoned dried bread crumbs, but I didn't like them very much. Use good French bread bread crumbs and add fresh herbs to your taste.

* 1 pound dried orecchiette or other small shaped pasta
* 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
* 2/3 cup fresh French bread crumbs
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 cup finely chopped prosciutto
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano and basil


In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saute pan, heat the oil and garlic clove. Remove the garlic when lightly browned. Since the bread crumbs will cook quickly, you don't want to add them into a hot pan, otherwise they can burn. Add the breadcrumbs and stir constantly until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain pasta in a colander. Working quickly, add pasta to the saute pan and stir to combine. Add Parmesan and the chopped prosciutto. Mix thoroughly. Pour into large serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley and fresh herbs.

Chicken Casserole

This recipe came from Sherri Reed. Her husband, Larry, was my boss in Memphis. He is a great guy and a good cook, too. This recipe is straight from the 50's, comfort food. There is no attempt to make it healthy. It's fattening as all get out! This is perfect funeral food--creamy and rich--just the thing to soothe the pain and lull you to sleep.

You probably won't need any salt since you're using canned soup to make the sauce, but taste to be sure. Campbell's has reduced the salt content in many of their products.

1 large chicken, cooked, skinned, boned
2 cans Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup or Cream of Mushroom
8 oz sour cream
pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased casserole dish.

1 pkg ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick butter

Spread crackers on top of chicken mixture. Melt butter and pour over top.

Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly--about 45 minutes

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quick Chicken and Dressing

4-6 servings

3 chicken breasts
2 cans chicken stock

3 cups Pepperidge Farms cornbread stuffing mix.
1 yellow onion,chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (optional)
2-3 Italian sausages, removed from casings
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsp thyme
3 tsp sage
salt (don't use a lot if you're using canned chicken stock)
black pepper
2 eggs
2-3 cups chicken stock

Bring stock to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Poach chicken breast in simmering chicken stock until barely done. Remove, cool, and chop meat. Reserve chicken stock.

Brown sausage in olive oil and then add chopped veg and ham and saute. Season with some of the herbs & spices. Add to cornbread mix and season with thyme,sage,& pepper. Add stock and taste. Correct seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. This mixture should be really wet. If it's not, add some more stock. Place in greased casserole, and bake covered 30 minutes, uncovered and bake 20 minutes more, at 350 or until browned and bubbling.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mustard Sauce for beef tenderloin or chicken

I made this mustard sauce last night to go with beef tenderloin. It tasted great with the beef, but I think that it would also be good on roasted or grilled chicken. This is quick, easy, and can be made ahead and reheated. If you don't have shallots, substitute a little chopped onion and garlic. If you use dried herbs rather than fresh, reduce the amount by half.

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped finely
3/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth
3 tbl dijon mustard
2 tbl cream
3/4 tsp cornstarch
salt & pepper to taste
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Saute shallot in olive oil in small saucepan. Add white wine and mustard and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Dissove cornstarch in cream and add to sauce off heat, stirring. Return to heat and bring back to the boil. Let simmer 3 minutes. Add seasonings and herbs.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Italian Sausage

This sausage sounds delicious. I bet that it would be great sauteed in olive oil with garlic and brocolli rabe or spinach, and then served on pasta.

4 lb.s coursley ground pork
1 tbl ground fennel
2 big bay leaves, crushed
3-4 tbl parsley
5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
2 tbl salt
3 tsp black pepper
1 Cup parmesean cheese
3/4 cup red wine

Mix well. Allow to mellow in fridge 1-2 days

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Rockfish Bienville

I don't know where this recipe came from. I haven't tried it, but how could it be bad?--bacon, crabmeat, parmesean cheese. Sounds like heaven to me. I think that it would be best to serve this with plain rice and a green salad like the one with mandarin oranges and red onions.

This would be a nice dish for a dinner party. You could do the shrimp and sauce the day before. I would reheat the sauce and then add the crabmeat and shrimp to it.

6 servings

For shrimp

2 qts cold water
1 bag crab boil seasoning
2 tbl salt
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
3 drops hot pepper sauce
1 lb. medium raw, unshelled shrimp

For sauce:
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup minced shallot
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced parsley
2 tbl salt
2 tbl chopped fresh thyme or 1 tbl dried
1 tbl minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups reserved shrimp stock
1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat
freshly ground pepper

6 1 to 1 1/4 lb rockfish or red snapper, skinned and filleted

For topping:
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesean, mixed with 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

Shrimp:
Combine 1st 5 ingredients and bring to a boil in a large stock pot. Add shrimp and cook until just done, about 5 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving liquid. Cool shrimp, peel, devein, and chop.

Sauce:
Make the roux: Cook bacon in an iron skillet over medium-high heat just until fat is rendered. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve. Add 1 cup butter to bacon fat and melt. Stir in flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in 3 cups reserved shrimp liquid and set aside.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in iron skillet over medium heat. Add reserved bacon, shallot, celery, parsley, salt, thyme, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and saute 5 minutes. Blend in chopped shrimp and crabmeat. Stir in sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Preheat oven to 425. Pour remaining shrimp liquid into large baking dish. Add filets and back 10 minutes. Drain off liquid. Cover fillets with sauce and sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges and serve immediately.

10 clove beef loin

This is another recipe from Epicurious. It's a good way to bring a lot of flavor to beef loin. Serve this with twice baked potato casserole or risotto.

6 to 8 servings

* 2 pounds beef loin roast at room temperature
* Freshly ground pepper
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 bay leaf
* 10 garlic cloves, peeled
* Sea salt

1. Rub the beef with freshly ground pepper, and place in a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the meat. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the meat and turn the meat over to coat with the oil. Add the bay leaf and garlic cloves and marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Remove the bay leaf. Brown the meat over medium-high heat, turning to brown evenly. This step will take about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the roast. When the garlic begins to color remove it with a slotted spoon.

3. When the roast is well browned on all sides and ends return the browned garlic to the pot, remove the pot from the heat, and cover. Let the meat rest for 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature will be 140 degrees. Season the pan juices with salt after meat has rested.

4. Cut the meat into thin slices, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the garlic and pan juices.