Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beet Root Stir Fry with Meatballs and Linguine...

Stir fry can be what you want it to be... you can use just about any vegetable combination you like; even, beet root. You say...really, beet root? Now, you don't have to reveal the secret veggie until everyone is done eating.

This stir fry makes me think of Udupi (Indian) cuisine which uses primarily grains, beans, vegetables (beetroot), and fruits. However, as I remember, Udupi cuisine does not use meat, onion or garlic.

To begin, julienne a peeled medium beet root, slice purple onion, along with crisp green and orange or red pepper and flash fry in olive oil with a few drops of sesame oil if you have... its not necessary as olive oil will work just fine. To that, drop in a tsp of minced organic ginger and garlic.

Once the veggies are just singed on the edges, pour in 1/3 cup of Teriyaki sauce (from the bottle) and let this mixture sizzle a bit. Then, remove from the skillet and set aside while you fry the meatballs. For this dish you can use ground turkey, beef or pork.

Mix the ground meat as you would for any meatball dish using heavy cream, bread crumbs, dried herbs, a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and garlic powder.

In the skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the meatballs on all sides. As the meatballs become browned, pour in 1/4 cup of soup stock, cover and let simmer while you prepare the linguine in boiling salted water.

When the pasta is tender, drain and ladle onto a low lipped serving plater to top with the stir fry and meatballs after having brought the veggies and meatballs together in the skillet for a last flash fry.

Put some soy sauce and chili sauce...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken Breasts with Mashed Potatoes...

On a quaint garden terrace in Italy, someone is having the same dinner as you are...


For this dish, you will need to buy a package of chicken breasts (as many per person), one or two package (s) of ravioli any kind you like (serving at least 4 per person). And, you will need to have: fresh grated parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, dried herbs, Yukon Gold potatoes, butter and heavy cream.       


Turn on your oven to F400. Take out a glass baking dish. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom and lay in your chicken breasts. Drizzle olive oil across the top of each, also sprinkle on garlic powder and a bit of salt. Slide into the oven to bake for about 10-12 min. depending on the number of breasts used. I also like to pour in after the first 6 min. 1/4 cup of chicken stock and pop back into the oven for another 4-6 min.

After that time, remove the chicken breasts from oven and gently squeeze/spoon mayonnaise over the top coating each one also coating each with fine parmesan cheese (from a shaker table top container) and then a handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese finishing with a generous sprinkle of dried herbs: rosemary, mint, and oregano. Bake in the oven uncovered for about 15 min. depending on thickness and number of the breasts used.

As for the side dish, prepare about 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes to boil, using a dash of salt in the water. Once tender, drain and mash with 1/4 quarter stick of butter and 1/3 cup of heavy cream, along with a overly generous table spoon of sour cream. If you like your mash even more creamy then add more butter and cream.

Serve with a  fresh green garden salad of Romaine, spinach and arugula 'Rocket'.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Eggplant Parmesan in the Oven...

Eggplant Parmesan is as easy as pie in the oven. Wash and slice two medium/large sized eggplants. Layer in a glass baking dish in this way: olive oil, eggplant, tomato sauce, dried herbs, and parmesan cheese... repeat until the dish is full. I like to pour soup stock around the dish edges to make it brimming with liquid only because I like it juicy. Lastly, bake at 375  until nearly bubbling over.

Serve with garlic toast and a green garden salad...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Marinated Lamb Chops with Baked French Fried Potatoes...

Any good chop house will serve good chops... even lamb chops!

Lamb chops are as good as Fillet Mignon and cheaper. You can order them at most chop houses and find them at most grocery meat counters: organic or free range. For this dish you will need: as many lamb chops as per person, olive oil, one lime, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. As for a side dish, sauteed brown mushrooms, frozen french fried Idaho potatoes and a lovely green salad.

To begin, marinate the chops in a drench of olive oil, squeeze of lime, dash of Worcestershire, pinch of garlic powder and sea salt and sprinkle of dried herbs: mint, rosemary and oregano. Let the chops marinate for about 15-20 minutes. They cook fast, so you can start the fries in the oven while they marinate. After the marinate time has passed. Take a skillet and heat it up with a drizzle of olive oil.

Sear the lamb chops on both sides and let them sizzle away til the juices run. Remove from the skillet and lay in a glass baking dish. Set in the warming oven or top of stove while you prepare the 'ceps' large golden brown mushrooms in the same skillet, adding a pat or two of butter.

When the fries are finished off to a nice crisp... serve with the chops, mushrooms and green salad.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Slow Cooked Cuban Pulled Pork with Black Beans and Rice

This slow cooked Cuban 'Mojo' Pulled Pork is the best combination of tangy and savory flavors. The term “Mojo” translates to sauce in the Spanish language. In Cuban cooking, Mojo is any sauce that uses olive oil, garlic, and citrus juices and is typically used as a marinade for pork. 

Mojo Pork is wonderful served over a bed of rice and accompanied by black beans... For this dish you will need: One 4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt roast), trim the fat. From the pantry, take out:

4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tbs cumin 
1 tbs dried oregano 
2 tsp salt 
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth 
1/2 cup fresh orange juice 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
 1 Can of Black Beans 
 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice 
 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 

To begin, marinate the butt roast in the olive oil, cumin, oregano, salt, garlic, pepper, orange and lime juice for about 30 min. Next, turn up the oven to 375. You want to sear (in the oven) the marinated butt roast for about 40 min. 

After that time, turn on the slow cooker to high. Pour in the 1/2 cup of beef broth. Then lay in the butt roast. Let this slow cook for about 3 hours, adding extra broth if needed. Test the roast's tenderness after this time. If it does not pull apart with a fork, then continue to cook for another 1 hour or longer until it does. 
Boil the rice in the unused broth in a stove top lidded pot. As for the black beans, you can cook them in another small pot or skillet. 

Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or hot sauce...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Greek Fish with Scalloped Carrot...

Greek Fish is an easy and delicate dish made in one pot, served with eggplant chips... sounds like a Greek 'Fish and Chips'...
Use either fresh or frozen fish (Hawaiian mahi mahi is recommended). Poach on the stove in butter and olive oil with chopped onion and grated/scalloped carrot along with rosemary and Greek oregano.

The eggplant chips should be made before the fish as they take longer to prepare. Thinly slice a ripe 'washed' eggplant, bread lightly to flash pan fry. Keep in the oven on a medium heat @325 (lay individually on foil so they will crisp) while you cook the fish. Eat with Greek dipping sauce of sour cream or yogurt and herbs.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Chicken Raclette with Fresh Green Asparagus...

Yes, chicken raclette's most important ingredient is cheese. Raclette is a kind of Swiss cheese that is most commonly used for melting. So, if you know the smell and taste of Swiss cheese, then you have an idea of Raclette. Can we then imagine this kind of cheese originated in Switzerland? Yes.

According to historic record kept in known monasteries at Obwalden and Nidwalden, we learn that William Tell had tasted Raclette as early as 1291. In those days, Raclette cheese was melted on an open fire and the soft melted mass gradually dropped off onto a plate.

For this dish you will need: chicken 'boneless/skinless' breasts (per person), onion, butter, pasta (using mushroom infused short linguine), raclette cheese, mushrooms, heavy cream and asparagus spears.

To begin, simply saute onion in olive oil, push aside and lay in the breasts adding a dollop of butter and extra drizzle of olive oil. Add the mushrooms after each side of the breast meat has browned. Sprinkle in dried herbs and cover and let cook for about 10 min on med. heat.
Next, add about 1/3 cup of raclette and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Let this mixture simmer for 20-25 min on low heat while you prepare the pasta (boil in salted water until tender) and asparagus which is best sear and or blackened in olive oil and butter. 

~ Tutti a Tavola!

*Source for cheese history ~

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Creamy Peanut Thai Pork in Spicy Teriyaki with Lemon Grass...

A lot of home cooks follow recipes and are disappointed because the taste they expected did not 'pan' out... Yes, pan out. Why? Its because some recipes are not so 'tried and true' and also because our own taste buds know what they want and what someone else wants may not be what we want.

This dish is so simple because its what you want. Now, of course I am going to tell you what I want in a Thai Pork dish. I want thick sticky sauce with plenty of flavor, spice, kick and topped with delicate greenery.

To begin, saute chopped onion in olive oil until browned. Add to that pork loin medallions, browning on both sides, adding more olive oil if needed. Next, add about six diced 'jarred' sun dried tomatoes, and a dash of soy sauce along with 1/4 cup of beef or vegetable stock.

Let this bubble up on high heat and then reduce the heat while you dump in 1/3 cup or more if you like creamy 'you stir' peanut butter.  Then add 1/4 cup of Sesame Teriyaki sauce. Lastly, toss in 1/2 cup of dried plums.

If you like spicy, then add a dash or two of red pepper flakes, chili powder and garlic powder...

Serve with brown rice noodles or even use linguine...

If you don't have lemon grass, then just use fresh baby arugula.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Italian Sausage with Eggplant and Penne...

You can read about numerous recipes for Italian sausage mixes and dishes. And, I can tell you about some and one in particular. When it comes to Italian sausage mixes, I am not a fan of fennel in the mix. Why? Because, I don't like fennel. It has the taste of anise or 'licorice' which for me is too medicinal.

Often, it is not easy to find Italian sausage that does not contain fennel. Also, when it comes to getting good Italian sausage (meaty but not spongy), one has to be careful that the sausage does not have a strong order. Pork that has gone bad will smell funny and be sticky to touch.

Sadly, on occasion, you can get burned buying bad pork even when buying from your favorite supermarket. Best is to buy from a butcher counter where you can ask to smell and ask for sausage that does not contain fennel. You might be frowned at but its better to be a happy shopper than angry Italian.

For this particular dish, saute chopped onion in olive oil until browned. Push aside the onion to add a fresh medium sized diced eggplant; then, brown as well. Remove the onion and eggplant while you brown the sausage in the same skillet.

Return the onion and eggplant, turning up the heat to add 1/2 cup of tomato soup liquid (if you have left over) or a vegetable soup stock. Let simmer while you prepare the pasta or warm up any left over pasta you happen to have.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Brainy Bistro Beef Stroganoff...

When Beef Stroganoff is served, you think: rich and creamy and romantically delicious! You can even imagine that you are at some far off tucked in European bistro...

For this dish you will need: quality cuts of beef (stew meat or thick sirloin cut into chunks), one medium onion, dark brown Bavarian mushrooms, beef stock, heavy cream and wide egg noodle pasta - Tagliatelle.

To begin, marinate the beef in balsamic vinegar and pink Himalayan salt for 30-40 min. When that time is nearly finished, in a large skillet saute the onion in olive oil until dark brown on the edges.

Remove from skillet and in the same skillet, brown the mushrooms, adding 3 tbs of butter. Once the mushrooms are darker and tender, remove from the skillet putting them aside with the onion and sear the beef in chunks (drained) in the same skillet, adding a drizzle of olive oil.

Bring back into the skillet the onion and mushrooms, pour in about 3 tbs of beef stock, a half shot of either white wine or vodka, stirring on high heat. Then turning down the heat, add the heavy cream about 1/2 cup, cover and let simmer while you prepare the pasta and a side of blackened asparagus.

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until tender, drain and ladle onto a low lipped plater. The asparagus should be flash stir fried in olive oil, then cover to simmer on medium high adding 1 tbs of beef stock.

 Serve all together, start the music and pour the wine...

~ Tutti a Tavola

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Can Food look like Art and Still be Delicious?


Spring in Tuscany beckons 'artistic arrangements' and this calls for delicate Broiled Italian Chicken with stewed Italian tomatoes in olive oil and olives served with mushroom stuffed ravioli.

To begin: broil or bake in covered glass baking dish: boneless, skinless chicken breasts (as many per guest), stewed Italian tomatoes with olive oil and black olives sprinkled with garlic powder and topped with dried herbs: rosemary, oregano and mint or thyme. Broil or bake in the oven until chicken is white and juices are bubbling. Last 5 min, broil or bake uncovered.

Serve with mushroom stuffed ravioli and fresh basil pesto on the side.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Brainy Dinner by the Beach...

Tuna steaks are great whether grilled by the beach or seared in the skillet or broiled in your oven broiler at home...

For this dish you will need: as many tuna steaks as guests, heavy cream, butter, fresh dill sprigs, chive and rosemary. To begin, dress your skillet with several drops or more of olive oil or coconut oil depending on your dietary choices. If you are going to sear up to 6-8 steaks, use a bit more oil and a very large skillet.

Once the steaks are seared on both sides, turn down the heat and add 1/4 cup of heavy cream if you like or just 2-3 tbs of butter... either or its your choice.

Add your herbs (try a bit of tarragon, crush coriander along with oregano and rosemary) and let simmer uncovered while you prepare a side dish which can be anything you prefer: pasta, a fresh green salad or stir fried vegetables.*Note, do not let the steaks get dried out as uncovering will reduce juices. You can always remove from heat, set aside as you prepare your sides.

Put fresh lime or lemon halves on the table, a good squeeze over the tuna adds zest and zing.

~ Tutti a Tavola!