Brainy Gourmet

Brainy Gourmet
The Doctor is into Delicious!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fettuccine Alfredo ~ Every Which Way Possible!

How many ways can you make Fettuccine Alfredo? Well, let me count the ways...

I can count several but there are for sure all kinds of regional styles and a few that just about everyone knows: traditional which is just with a creamy white sauce and parmesan cheese; and to this traditional style some chefs like to add chicken.

Then there is Roman style with tuna which happens to be my favorite. And, Mediterranean Style as in  'Frutti Di Mare" which is pretty fishy: with either shrimp, or squid, or scallops and Roman style fits in there too; after all, Rome has access to the sea.

For any reader of this blog that is just getting started as a brainy gourmet, stick with the traditional but it's not too difficult to add some sautéed chicken breasts (cut into chunks). The traditional sauce is basic: butter, heavy cream, (sour cream - but not necessary) and Parmesan cheese.

If you want to thicken the sauce that requires a bit of flour added to melted butter to create a roux 'paste' which you then add the heavy cream to.

I have made Roman Style a number of times on this blog. To begin, you make the traditional white sauce adding tuna (in oil); when serving, put out fresh lemon to squeeze on top and extra Parmesan cheese of course.

All in all, any Fettuccine Alfredo can be a dish all by itself or served as a side with grilled fish or roasted chicken.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fill the Tank with Food that Satisfies ~ Food Myths Busted...

...among those busted is that gluten free products are really very good for you.

“One of the biggest issues in recent years is people trading in cookies and pasta for gluten-free options thinking they're doing themselves a huge favor,” says Isabel Smith, R.D., a New York City-based celebrity dietitian and fitness expert. “In many cases, gluten-free products contain way more garbage than the gluten-containing ones do.”

And you’re certainly not saving in the price department, either. “Gluten-free products are often much more expensive and usually also higher in calories, sugar and fat,” says Elizabeth Shaw, R.D.N., a San Diego-based dietitian.

So, why not eat food that fills the tank and really satisfies like homemade chicken and dumplings ...

* Brainy Source ~
* All dishes can be found on the left margin or in Brainy Archives!

From Tuscany with Love ~ Pappardelle in Tomato Sauce with Green Olives!

Pappardelle are large, very broad, flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. The name derives from the verb "pappare", to gobble up.This type of pasta originates from the region of Tuscany.

Cook the pasta first in salted boiling water until tender; drain and rinse. Then, set aside while you prepare the sauce. Saute one chopped onion in olive oil in a large skillet. Next, add crushed tomatoes (1 large can) or about several fresh tomatoes from the garden: washed, peeled and crushed.

To that initial sauce, add whatever fresh dried herbs you have: rosemary, mint and oregano are my favorite but you can also add marjoram. Select some large green pitted olives to also add. Introduce the pasta into the sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

* This dish was prepared by guest blogger ~ Marek B.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Harvest Time ~ Stuffed Pork Loin with Sun Dried Tomatoes, a Side of Root Veggies and String Beans Blackened!

The title or name of this dish says it all!

Basically, all you need to whip this up in about 45 min is a 1 lb boneless pork loin, cream cheese, a few dried plums, champignon mushrooms, one onion, one carrot, one parsnip, a package of fresh string beans and sun dried tomatoes.

To begin: open the pork loin (cut down the middle and gently spread open) to lay out flat until you have a fillet (do not pound). Season with Himalayan sea salt, garlic powder and dried herbs. Sear the loin on all sides in a skillet of olive oil. Once you have done that, remove the seared loin and set it aside to rest.

Next, chop one onion and half pound of champignon mushrooms, stir fry in the same skillet that you seared the loin in adding a bit more olive oil and a dollop of butter. Once browned, push aside in the skillet and remove from the heat.

Turn your attention back to the loin, smear the open face side of the loin with cream cheese and lay in as many sun dried tomatoes as you can fit. Fold it over and lay it into the skillet with the onion and mushrooms (you can tie the loin with string). Let this simmer while you prepare the root veggies and fresh green string beans.

Wash the beans and cut off stem tops if needed. Peel the carrot and parsnip, then julienne slice.  In an other skillet, add olive oil, 2 dollops (tbs) of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Stir fry the veggies until just tender and slightly blackened. As the pork is nearly finished, toss in several dried plums. Serve on a low lipped plate, pouring out the rich liquid with mushrooms and plums.

~ Tutti a Tavola!
Call everyone to the table.

Blood Sausage ~ Boudin Noir with Applesauce!

Blood sausage is also known as Boudin noir. It is  a dark-hued blood sausage, containing pork, pig blood, and other ingredients. Reading online, you will learn that there are variants of Boudin: blanc and noir. Both are very popular in French, Belgian, Cajun and Catalan cuisine. In Britain, blood sausage 'Boudin noir' is called "black pudding", probably introduced after the Norman invasion.

Blood sausage originates from a peasant table which means it was a frugal way to make the most of an available inexpensive or even 'thrown out' yet potential food source.  Many European cultures including Poles love to eat blood sausage and have made it for the very reason above. It is really good, full of flavor and contains buckwheat or barley groats. Some eat it for breakfast and some just eat it any time of the day.

This weekend, it was prepared for breakfast along with pancakes/crepes and hot applesauce with cream. Check your local deli for Boudin and try it. It is simple to cook... just fry in butter or lard or olive oil. It cooks up fast and satisfies fast!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Have a Brainy Weekend!

Check out what's been cookin... everything with Pork that you could possibly think of!

*Check past posts for ingredient/preparation/cooking information...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani ~ Brainy Gourmet Style!

eat at home as if you just stepped out for dinner....

This dish is a favorite in the Brainy Gourmet kitchen. Why? Because it is so simple and delicious. Basically, all you will need are: skinless/boneless chicken breasts, onion, garlic, heavy cream/plain yogurt, tomato paste, a couple of tasty spices such as cumin, coriander and paprika and also some dried herbs like mint and rosemary.

Melt on med heat in a deep skillet 2 tbs of olive oil and 1/2 stick of butter. Next, saute in the oil and butter whole one chopped onion and one glove garlic until browned, then add cubed chicken breast meat, continue to cook on med heat.

To this add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of yogurt, one small can of tomato paste and your spices/herbs (using as much as you like; recommending 1 tsp of each). Cover and let simmer on low (30-40min) while you prepare sides. My family likes to eat this with potatoes and or buckwheat groats. You can also serve as a side a hearty dark green winter squash which is really nice baked and then mix with mashed potatoes... one way to get the kids to eat a good for them vegetable medley.