Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli, one of my favorite pasta dishes, so on this cold snowy day that is what I made.  Actually, I did not want to go to the store shopping for anything, so used what I had in the house.   It worked out really nice.

Ingredients:

1 can (400 g) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano grated
fresh Parsley, mince about half handful (if I had basil, I would have used that)
400 g bacon
400 g short pasta
extra virgin olive oil



















Preparation:


Cook the bacon on a sheet pan in a preheated oven 180C for about 35 minutes, turning occasionally.  When done, remove to a plate with paper towels and pat dry.

Drain the beans and rinse well, in a heavy bottom pan, add a good glug of olive oil and cook the garlic till it starts to turn brown a little and then remove it.  Add the beans, and season with salt & pepper.

Bring a large stock pot with water to a boil and add salt, then the pasta.  Cook till al dente. Drain the pasta, and place into a dish (save some of the pasta water).  Add the beans, parmigiano, parsley, crumbled up the bacon and maybe a little more oil if you wish.  Mix everything together and taste for seasoning, you may need some salt and pepper.

Yum!











Monday, February 10, 2014

Fontina Cheese Appetizer

Watching TV chef Ina Garten make this recipe, it looked so good I decided to do it for a birthday party that I was invited to.  

It's been real cold here and thankfully I had the ingredients in the house, because I really did not want to go out.

















You will need a heavy bottom pan, cast iron is great.  I used a 26 cm heavy pan which worked out great!

Ingredients:

700 grams of Fontina Val d'Aosta cheese, rind removed and cut into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 tablespoon of minced thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of minced rosemary leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty french baguette

Preheat the broiler and position the rack to about 12 cm (5 inches)  from the heat.

Place the cubed cheese into the pan , drizzle the olive oil, add the salt & pepper, rosemary and thyme leaves.  

Place the pan under the broiler for about 6 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.  

Serve right out of the oven in the pan it was cooked in with pieces of bread.

PS.  you can vary this dish with other cheese if you wish.  This is really delicious and a great appetizer!!!  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's what's for Supper -- Skirt Steak with roasted potatoes

It's what's for Supper, something real simple and light.

  














Roasted Potatoes with Skirt Steak:

one skirt steak. skirt steak about 500g, depends on the steak is really delicious and inexpensive
new potatoes
rosemary
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
heavy bottom pan

Cut up potatoes into small pieces rinse and place into cold salted water.  Bring to a boil and cook till al dente.  You don't won't the potatoes cooked all the way.




Drain potatoes and pat dry.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, olive oil and some grated parmigiano.  Mix together and place into a preheated oven 180C for about 30 - 40 minutes.  You want them crispy and slightly browned.



Prepare the skirt steak, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil and place into a preheated pan.  Cook till brown on one side, then turn over and brown the other side, this is about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the pan to a heated plate, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.



When the potatoes are done, plate them onto a plate with the steak and enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.  This is fast easy and really delicious.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pasta Crudo (Uncooked pasta sauce)


This is a great dish in the summer when the tomatoes are the best.  I found some hot house organic cherry tomatoes and thought this would be a nice Super to watch the football game.  It's easy to prepare and a one dish meal, so all I have to do is just watch the game and enjoy the pasta with some nice red wine.

It has been freezing cold here in the North East and of course there is always the snow factor.  So, with thoughts of Spring/Summer, I decided to make this great easy dish.

The only cooking is the time it takes to cook the pasta, about 12-15 min. No other cooking involved

Ingredients: serves 4

400 g cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
100 g or so or gaeta olives, pitted
1 tablespoon of capers
parsley, about a handful cut up
fresh basil, about handful
extra virgin olive oil, I use first pressed unfiltered, 60 ml or so, however you like it
fresh parsley & fresh basil






















Preparation:

Mix the tomato, garlic, olives, capers, cut up basil and parsley and add a good clug of extra virgin olive oil about 2 tablespoons or so....to your taste.

Boil a large pot of water and when it is a rolling boil, add some sea salt.  Let the pasta cook till al dente, drain and add to the tomato mixture.  Stir and let it sit for a  few minutes before eating.

Add some grated parmigiano if you wish and enjoy!

You can add or remove ingredients as you wish


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Prosciutto Wrapped Meatloaf

I enjoy making meatloaf especially in the winter.   I found this recipe on Donna Hay for mini meatloaf wrapped in Prosciutto, so thought it would be great to do on this rainy day.






Usually when I make meatloaf, I use my Dad's recipe which is with beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, onion and garlic, however, when I saw these prosciutto wrapped meatloaf, I thought yum! 
So, I went to buy the meats.  I had the other ingredients.  Great day to make these, rainy and windy, so the oven sounded having the oven on sounds like a great idea.



So, started my miss en place cutting up my onion, garlic & parsley








Then, combined all the ingredients (except for the Prosciutto), mixed well and turned the oven on to 180C (350F).

Spray the mini loaf pans with non stick spray and put the prosciutto inside.  Then add the meatloaf mixture press down and lay prosciutto over the meat.

These then go into the oven for 20 minutes.

































Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion ( I only had red so that is what I used)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (70grams) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (60 ml ) milk
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 eggs
400g pork mince
400g veal mince
1/2 cup (70 g) chopped dried chorizo
sea salt and cracked black pepper
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 180 C (350F).  Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.  Cool completely..  Line the mini greased loaf pan with 3 slices of prosciutto in each one.  Set these aside while you prepare the meat mixture.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes or until the milk is absorbed.  Add the onion mixture, parsley, eggs, pork, veal, chorizo, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.

Press the meatloaf mixture into the tins and press down, overlay with the prosciutto.  Place into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and wait about 5 minutes before turning the meat out of the tin onto a sheet pan lined with oven (parchment) paper.  

Brush the meatloaf generously with maple syrup and place back into the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let the meat rest about 15-20 minutes.




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Arugula Salad with Beets & Chèvre Cheese

It's been freezing cold so today's mid-day meal is a salad with arugula, fresh beets and chèvre cheese.  It is yummy and easy to make.  For the dressing I used extra virgin olive oil and a splash of champagne vinegar, salty and pepper.

Great with some bread or as a side dish.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pepperoni Balls

It has been a very cold winter, in fact this morning is was a little warmer than it has been it was -12C (10F) and very windy, but it was a sunny day, so I thought  it's just best to stay and and cook up something fun and turn on the oven.

My friend in Erie Pennsylvania Diane Verdecchia Byrne told me about these pepperoni balls, at first I just couldn't get a handle on it until she explained that is a ball of dough with pepperoni inside and cooked in the oven, and that they are so good.

So, she sent me a foto and I thought it would be a great idea to recreate these "pepperoni ball".  I was fortunate to have a pizza dough in my refrigerator and also a sopressata, so I didn't have to venture outside.  I decided to use the sopressata  since that is what I had in the house.

First I preheated my oven to 200C and took the dough out to get to room temperature.  And placed my pizza stone in the oven.



This is the foto Diane sent me, and I just took it from there.


















I took the sopressata and cut it up into pieces














Then rolled out the dough and stuffed it with the sopressata and formed a ball and placed them on a floured surface












Once the oven was ready, I place the balls onto the pizza peel and cooked them for about 30 - 35 minutes.















So here is what it looks like inside..OMG, so yummy a real keeper.     What surprise when you bit into one of these balls.
I will be doing this again.    I am going to work on this , maybe use some olives also.   
Thanks Diane, will do this one again….