Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Veal Picatta

This is a family favorite. It's fantastically simple and thoroughly delicious. If veal seems too expensive, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin. I like to serve this with risotto or orzo dressed with butter and parmigiano reggiano. For a vegetable, something relatively plain is best, like sauteed spinach or steamed brocolli.

Serves 2

1/2 lb veal scallopini
Flour for dredging
2 tbl butter
1 tbl olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbl drained capers
1/4 cup white wine or dry white vermouth
1/4 + chicken stock
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
Fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Lay out the veal and pound it out between sheets of plastic wrap to make it nice and thin. (I often skip this step if the veal is thin) Dry the veal and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly with flour. Heat butter and olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat and add the veal. Don't crowd the pan and raise the heat if it's not sizzling nicely. You don't want it to be roaring hot, but you want the veal to lighly brown, not boil. Don't mess with the meat. Let it brown! When you start seeing juices exuding on the top side of the veal, turn it and brown on the other side for a minute. The whole process will only take 2-3 minutes. If you're using chicken breasts, you may need to cook them a minute longer since they're never as thin as the veal. Remove the veal to warm plate.  Add the wine, stock, capers and deglaze the pan. Add more stock or wine if you don't have enough sauce. Add the veal back and add the lemon juice and parsley.

Serve immediately

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mary Beth's Sweet and Sour Green Beans

I made these last night to go with grilled steaks. I had all these wonderful drippings from cooking Benton's bacon for breakfast, and I started thinking about green beans and tomatoes, which I love. My friend Mary Beth was coming for dinner, and she loves anything that's piquant. So, I decided to add the vinegar and balance it with the brown sugar. This is one of the best versions of green beans that I have ever made! They would be good with any simply grilled or roasted meats or with macaroni and cheese.

Fresh green beans - enough for 4-5 servings -- ends and strings removed
2 tbl bacon grease, preferably from Benton's bacon
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/2 can petite diced tomato,
2 tbl brown sugar
1-2 tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbl fresh
Salt and black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the green beans about 10 minutes, til cooked through, but still a little crisp. Drain and refresh in ice water; drain again. Blot dry (you can do this ahead and refrigerate the beans). 

Saute onion, garlic in bacon fat until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, thyme, brown sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and let reduce until thickened and a bit syrupy.  Taste and correct salt, pepper, and vinegar.  This can be done ahead and refrigerated.

When you're ready to serve, reheat the tomato mixture, add the green beans, stirring until piping hot. 
Alternatively, you could mix the green bean into the tomato mixture and reheat in the microwave.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Blue Cheese Toasts with Roasted Grapes

Made this the other night for an Italian dinner with our friends Kathy and Jimmy.  Found the recipe in this months Southern Living.  Easy and fabulous!!

  • 2 cups halved seedless red grapes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (12-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 15 to 20 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • Garnish: chopped fresh thyme


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together first 6 ingredients. Arrange grapes in a single layer in a small roasting pan; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until grapes wilt and liquid forms a thin syrup. Remove from oven.
2. Increase oven temperature to broil with oven rack 7 inches from heat. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Stir together butter and cheese, and spread evenly over bread slices. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
3. Spoon grape mixture over toasted bread, and sprinkle with pecans(optional) and chopped thyme.


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Egg noodles from Betty Crocker

This recipe made a beautiful, easy to work dough, and the noodles were delicious! I made it in my food processor and it was a snap,


cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
large egg yolks
large egg
to 1/2 cup water

  • In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add egg yolks, whole egg and water to well; mix thoroughly. (If dough is too dry, mix in enough water to make dough easy to handle. If dough is too sticky, mix in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.) Or place all ingredients in a food processor and process until it forms a ball.
  • 2Divide dough into 4 equal parts. On lightly floured surface, roll one-fourth of dough at a time into rectangle, 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough covered). Loosely fold rectangle lengthwise into thirds. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch strips for narrow noodles, 1/4-inch strips for medium noodles or 1/2-inch strips for wide noodles. Unfold and gently shake out strips. Hang pasta on pasta drying rack or arrange in single layer on lightly floured towels; let stand 30 minutes or until dry. (If using pasta machine, pass dough through machine until 1/16 inch thick.)
  • 3Break strips into smaller pieces. In 6- to 8-quart saucepan, heat 4 quarts water with enough salt to make the water taste salty to boiling; add pasta. Boil uncovered 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until firm but tender. Begin testing for doneness when pasta rises to surface of water. Drain pasta.