Fresh, fast and frugal!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Brainy Italian Stuffed Pork Loin with Plum tomatoes...

Fast, frugal and classy...that's what this dinner is all about.

For this dish you will need: 1-2 lb boneless pork loin, jarred plum tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, green beans and potatoes or any other side you prefer: rice/pasta.

To begin, fillet open the pork loin and marinate in a glass baking dish with sherry or Marsala wine, garlic powder, dried herbs and olive oil. Pop into the oven on 400 until it begins to sizzle. Remove from the oven to stuff with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, tie up with roasting string. Back into the oven to roast until golden brown. Add green beans to the baking dish as the meat begins to finish off.

Prepare your sides and get ready to eat.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Brainy Veal Medallions with Roasted Red Peppers...

Italian cooking...for the fast and frugal but always with class!

For this dish you will need to buy: one lean veal loin. One jar of roasted red peppers or do them yourself on the stove top and of course, buy linguine pasta if you don't have any in the pantry.

Begin by sauteing in olive oil on medium heat the veal cut into medallion size chunks. Add these seasonings: rosemary or lavender (ready to use from the garden) and or mint, with some oregano including a dash of garlic powder.

Once the medallions are browned, add your roasted red peppers, including some of the liquid from the jar. To build up the sauce, just mix 1 tbs of flour to 4 tbs of cooking sherry and 1/2 cup of beef stock to make a thickening 'slurry'.  As the meat and sauce bubbles and perks, pour in the slurry; you may want to thin down the sauce adding more beef stock but only a little at a time to retain the consistency of the sauce.

Cover the medallions and peppers to simmer on low while you prepare water to boil to cook the linguine. As the pasta become tender, drain, rinse and ladle onto a low lipped serving plate. Top with the veal and peppers in sauce.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Brainy Art of Leftovers...

Cooking is a creative act. Just imagine the week as a canvas to be painted on over a succession of days, one leading to the next. Meaning, what you did not use the first day, you will use by the second or third, making sure it stays fresh until then... ensuring that this chain cycle is not broken. So, what can we eat?” You have your explanation right here in three basic rules.

  • Rule 1: Always keep a few basics that keep for a long time, such as dried herbs, eggs, butter, heavy cream, any kind of cheese, garlic, onion, along with rice, pasta and potatoes. All of which can be added to any leftover staple, meat i.e.thus creating a brand new dinner.
  • Rule 2: Think simple and try not to follow a recipe that calls for specific ingredients. Cooking is like making an omelet. You just put in what you like: cheese, onions, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, olives, peppers, spinach and or zucchini. Being frugal while keeping flavor depends on your own taste buds.
  • Rule 3: If you can, use what is left over from yesterday. If you made rice and beef stir fry one night, keep the rice and turn it into a rice salad the next day, in which you add tomato pieces, cucumber, avocado, parsley, boiled eggs and tuna. The same rule applies for any kind of pasta. Or, if you make mashed potatoes one night, save the leftovers to make croquettes the next day by simply adding eggs and flour, then frying them in hot oil. If you have some cheese and one zucchini, you can grate those and add them to your preparation. 
Most importantly, know that you are in control of the leftovers and your taste buds will guide your creativity.

~ Tutti a Tavola!