Fresh, fast and frugal!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Simple Brainy Good Food...Pierogi


So, simple and so so tasty. I learned to make this dish while I was in Europe. Pierogi is basically a filled dumpling made from flour and generally contains a potato/cheese filling; and very easy to prepare.

To begin, you will need to buy a package of potato/cheese pierogi unless are make your own from scratch. For those who just want to be brainy simple, buy the frozen or fresh made at the deli counter.

To cook, just boil in salted water until tender. Serve with lots of sour cream or if you fried them, top with a few crispy bacon pieces or crumbles and a little sour cream on the side!

Other ways to serve these dumplings are fried or sauteed... 

~ Tutti a Tavola!


*In the above photo, the pierogi are served with cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage; you can also use unseasoned ground pork and or bacon.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Brainy Poulet a la Bonne Femme...


When you consider the ingredients, Poulet a la Bonne Femme and Chicken Vesuvio are pretty much the same dish. Why not... after all, when it comes to simple home cooked meals, families in Europe used similar ingredients when conditions called for rich sustenance and frugality.

With that said, this dish can be made in a variety of ways including with mushrooms but always with bacon, onion, peas and potatoes.

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 or Chianti...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Early Fall Harvest ~ Brainy Beef Burgundy...

"Beef Burgundy", is a beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, along with beef stock, generally flavored with carrots, onions, garlic, pearl onions, and mushrooms. Its a traditional countryside but elegant French dish.

The simplest recipe... if you need one is an old Julia Child recipe. She referred to it as the best beef dish ever concocted by man. And, it just so happens to be the one I cook with memorized years ago and simple enough that anyone who loves to cook could come up with it.

3/4 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup sliced mushrooms 

You can cook the beef and mushrooms in a skillet on the stove while you roast in a glass dish in the oven delicious fall harvested carrots, asparagus and potatoes.  

Sear the beef cubes in olive oil, add the salt and pepper and dried herbs of your liking... I recommend rosemary, mint, oregano and thyme. Add to that, 1/3 cup of beef stock and 1/4 cup of red wine. You may wish to add a little more of either stock or wine depending on your preferences.  

I like to cook the mushrooms off side in another skillet in butter and cream with a dash of red wine and dried herbs; same as above. Lastly, adding them to the beef just before serving.  

~ Tutti a Tavola!