Fresh, fast and frugal!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The taste of Italy...Pork Tenderloin with Green Olives!

Oh the taste of Italy...Do you know that Tuscany grows four main types of olives: Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, and Pendolino. Frantoio is a Tuscan native, but because of its high demand, it is now grown all over Italy, and in parts of Australia, North Africa, and California.

Now, for a good 'cooking' green olive, the Castelvetranos are very tasty. They are bright-green olives grown in sunny Sicily. 

For this dish you will need: one and half pound pork tenderloin, vermicelli pasta or linguine, beef stock, jarred sun dried tomatoes, green olives, dried plums, heavy cream, garlic, purple onion and dried herbs.

To begin, chop and saute one whole onion in olive oil along with one clove of minced garlic. As the onion browns, thickly slice the pork loin into medallions. Push aside the onion and garlic to lay in the medallions... browning on both sides.

Next, pour in 1/4 cup of beef stock and then add as many sun dried tomatoes and dried plums as you like and 1/4 of green olives. Sprinkle in the dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano. If you are brave, also sprinkle in some red pepper flakes, garlic powder and paprika.

Lastly, spoon in 4 tbs of heavy cream and simmer while you cook the vermicelli...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Brainy Eggplant 'aubergine' Lasagna...

Did you know that the name "eggplant" was given to the fruit by Europeans sometime in the mid-18th century; originating in Naples? The size and shape of the fruit was similar to that of a goose egg. Back then, the eggplant was more white and yellow than today's purple-skinned fruit giving it a closer comparison to an egg...hence, eggplant!

For this eggplant dish you will need: at least two large ripe eggplant, one purple onion, bread crumbs, canned crushed tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

To begin, chop onion and saute in skillet until browned, then remove and set aside. Next, wash and slice the eggplant length wise. Simmer in shallow amount of soup stock (chicken or beef) in the same skillet used for the onion. Likely, you won't get all the slices in at once so just do three or four at a time. Doing this, softens the eggplant and cuts down baking time in the oven.

Layer in a glass baking dish in this order: olive oil to coat the dish, eggplant slices, olive oil drizzle, sprinkle of bread crumbs, spoon of tomato sauce to each slice, grated cheese and dash of dried herbs (rosemary, mint and oregano). Put only one layer of onion... just before top layer if you like onion.

*The eggplant can be cut into circle medallions instead of length wise and topped with fresh tomatoes... Or top off with sauce and grated cheese... bake on 375 until bubbling!

Serve with your choice of meat or salad... or just by itself!

 ~ Tutti a Tavola!

 Online source ~

Friday, August 14, 2020

Italian Mostaccioli ~ A Sweet End to Summer!

Mostaccioli with Sweet Italian sausage makes life sweet and the end of summer sweeter. How? It puts the romance back into your life and the end of summer is always a romantic season in Italy.

You will need to buy: a package of sweet Italian sausage (no fennel). A box of mostaccioli pasta (unless you brave it and make homemade) along with a can of crushed red tomatoes and one onion.

To begin, saute chopped onion in olive oil until browned on the edges, then add the sausage (removed from casing) formed into small buttons.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes sauce and some dried herbs: mint, rosemary and oregano. Let this mixture simmer while you boil the pasta, don't forget to add a pinch of salt to the water.

Once the pasta is tender, drain and rinse with cool water. Pour out onto a serving plate and top with the hot bubbling sauce. Put out the wine and grated Parmesan....

*Rustic style uses fresh picked garden tomatoes....(blanched, peeled and stewed with onion, garlic and fresh herbs)

~ Tutti a Tavola

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Brainy Hot and Spicy Asian Cuisine...

Who thinks chili peppers when someone mentions Asian food? Well, a lot of Asian cuisine is hot and spicy...Szechwan is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan Province. It has bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers.

This is certainly a dish to heat of the middle of any week or weekend. To prepare, you will need: preferred meat of choice (cut into strips) or ground turkey made into meatballs. One onion, one roasted red chili pepper (alternative-jarred roasted red pepper), one green zucchini or any green veggie. To begin, in a large skillet, saute chop onion and roasted red pepper in olive oil or sesame oil if you have. Toss in julienne sliced zucchini and stir until just browned on all edges; set aside.

Since ground turkey was used, a meatball mixture was made in advance (see meatball ingredients on previous blog posts). In the same skillet, brown the meatballs on all sides. Pour in about 1/2 cup beef or veggie soup stock. Let this bubble up covered.

Once the stock reduces, add 2 tbs of soy sauce, 1/2 half tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and the same of chili powder. For extra zing, 1 tbs of molasses or honey with a either a squeeze of lime juice or lemon.  An alternative to the citrus is to use apple cider vinegar. Let this simmer while you prepare the rice noodles.

Bring back the sauteed veggies and allow to sizzle until the sides begin to get sticky. Serve on top of the rice noodles...

and more... Asian Stir Fry with Pork

or Malaysian Pork

*(Just type in key words [search box/upper left corner] when you are on the Brainy Gourmet Blog page... and get cooking)

~ Tutti a Tavola!