Fresh, fast and frugal!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brainy Tuna Steak or Pork Loin Look Alike...

Dinner for 2 in Nice... that's so nice.

Tuna steak or pork loin can become a dinner for two that neither of you will ever forget... as long as you get the sauce right!

Sauces have long been the central theme in European cooking, especially French. As you may know, in French cooking, traditional white sauces are one of two types: those made with hot milk added to a white roux (such as Béchamel sauce or Mornay sauce) or sauces made with hot broth or stock added to a clear roux (such as Velouté sauce); and of course, you can use a bit of both.

Yes, from a basic roux, you can get pretty creative. For example, you can start by adding grated cheese to the roux, along with  chicken or beef stock and or lemon juice and fresh or dried herbs.
For this dish, lemon juice, cream beef stock and fresh dill were used.

To begin, sear your choice of tuna steak or butterflied pork loin in olive oil. Season with a dash of sea salt and garlic powder along with a squeeze of lemon. Add 1/3 beef stock and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. As it reduces, cut fresh dill to toss in... the more the merrier.

As the steak or loin simmer in the creamy sauce, prepare your sides. Then sit to eat... his and hers!

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Brainy Quick 'Chicken Marsala'...

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish made from chicken cutlets, mushrooms, minced garlic or shallots, and Marsala wine. Although traditional Italian versions of this dish are typically not  served with pasta, by all serve this dish with pasta.

The list of ingredients are above as you see. If you cannot add wine, either because you don't drink wine or just don't have any on hand... don't panic. You can just substitute the wine using beef stock mixed with cooking sherry or Worcestershire sauce.

To begin, sauce onion or shallots with minced garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Add to that as many chicken cutlets as you need. Brown on both sides in the same skillet as the onion, garlic and mushrooms.

To that sizzling mix, add 2 tbs of butter, 1/3 or up to 1/2 cup of beef stock and 1/4 cup of sherry and or Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle in dried herbs: mint, oregano and rosemary... let simmer while you prepare the pasta of your choice.

When the pasta is just tender, drain, rinse and ladle onto a low lipped serving dish topping with the chicken and Marsala sauce.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Chicken 'Poulet' a La Bonne Femme...

This French dish (chicken, a good woman) can be made in a variety of ways including with mushrooms but always with bacon and onion and potatoes. This version calls for peas in the mix and that adds a nice flavor and color.

For this dish you will need: chicken thighs (as many per person as you will serve) with the skin on and bone in, potatoes, onion, bacon, peas and onion. To begin, saute the onion along with the bacon until browned and crispy. Remove the onion and bacon from the skillet, saving the bacon grease.  Add some olive oil to the skillet and fry the chicken thighs skin side down and do the same for the other side.

Remove the thighs from the skillet and place in a glass baking dish to be kept warm in the oven at 275 while you saute the potatoes (washed and diced) in the same skillet; adding, 2 tbs of butter. Next, toss in the peas (frozen or fresh) along with a dash of salt, black or white pepper, garlic powder and dried herbs of your choice.

 Bring back the onion and bacon...

Bring the chicken back into the mix along with 1 cup of beef stock and 1/2 cup of beer...let simmer!

Serve with a good Burgundy...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

My Favorite Italian Dish ~ Veal Scallopini...

When I think of Veal Scallopini, I think of a quaint tucked in spot where only I/family go... home!

For this dish you will need: at least 3/4 pound of either veal or pork loin, diced tomatoes, capers, purple onion and roasted red pepper but not necessary. Also, as I prefer... angel hair pasta and a green salad.

To begin: saute chopped purple onion and saute in olive oil until browned. To the onion, add 2 tbs of butter and then lay in pounded meat medallions (veal/pork) that have been seasoned with salt, garlic powder, dried herbs and powdered with Italian bread crumbs. Brown the meat on both sides.

Once browned, add as many capers as you like, along with about 1/2 cup of beef stock and a few drops of balsamic vinegar... letting this sizzle on high heat for about 3 min. Reduce the heat and add one medium size can of diced tomatoes or dice fresh... as many as you like. Let this simmer while you prepare the pasta.

 Drain the pasta and serve...
 top with grated parmesan and eat...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Begin this Summer with a Flare for the Exotic...

* Fresh green asparagus with bacon, spicy ginger pork, curry pork and spicy ginger chicken. Any of these dishes can be found on the side margin of this blog or in Brainy Archives on the Brainy Gourmet webpage.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Brainy Asian Style Garlic Ginger Chicken...

Sweet, spicy and even savory... a Brainy Asian eating adventure!

For this dish you will need: as many boneless, skinless chicken thighs as you will serve per person. Add to that, one purple onion, garlic and ginger paste, and any pasta or rice noodles. And, don't forget the sweet, spicy and savory in the mix of things. You can use an Asian sweet and spicy sauce from a bottle or jar along with your own dried herbs, especially the use of mint and rosemary.

To begin, chop one large purple onion to saute in olive oil (or coconut oil) adding to that 1 tsp of garlic and the same of ginger paste. Of course, you can use more... up to 1 tbs of each. Once the onion is browned as well as the ginger and garlic paste, push aside and add the chicken to brown on both sides.
Next, add chicken stock... about 1/4 of a cup. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 8 min. Then add half a bottle of your favorite Asian sauce and let it bubble up over the chicken on high heat for 5-6 min. Reduce the heat to low simmer and prepare the pasta or rice noodles.

Serve with lemon and soy sauce; not much left when its that good...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Cheese Ravioli with Mushrooms in Creamy Butter Sauce...

Italians love to eat out in the garden when the weather permits. In the north, this time of year, Italians like dishes with fresh picked mushrooms, cheese and butter. This dish sounds rich as in heavy or filling but its not.  The butter sauce is a delicate light creamy butter sauce.

For this dish, you will need: as many cheese filled ravioli as per person, mushrooms, butter and heavy cream. To begin, melt a little more than 1/4 stick of butter with some olive oil in a cover skillet. Then, wash and slice your choice of mushrooms to add to the skillet.

Next, season the mushrooms using dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano. And, lastly, pour in about 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Let this simmer while you prepare the pasta.

Boil the ravioli until tender, pour the mushrooms with sauce over the top, grate parmesan cheese and garnish. Serve with a green garden salad.

~ Tutti a Tavola!