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Rosemary Chicken & Panzanella

OK, It is Saturday, not sure what to have. Jim had run out early to get breakfast food and I added salad  to his list.  No one wanted to go to the grocery store again,  so I pulled pork chops out of the freezer.  We had them with a big salad. I brazed them with my blueberry BBQ sauce that I also found in the freezer.  Spent the day planning menus and swimming. Sunday am we had prosciutto and French toast.  (Add bacon to the list)

I reverted to my Italian Cooking lesson book and fixed rosemary chicken and panzanella.  

Ingredients:

1whole chicken, cut into 10pieces (I used frozen chicken breasts)

EVOO

Fresh rosemary 

2 t chopped garlic

Salt

Black pepper

1C white wine

Directions:

  1. I cut the chicken breasts in strips. As I had no skin, I sprayed the skillet with Pam.  (If using whole chicken, place in a cold skillet skin side down.)
  2. Lightly drizzle oil over chicken.  Add generous amount of black pepper. Place sprigs of Rosemary between each piece of chicken and add the chopped 
  3. Cover and place over high heat for 10 minutes. Turn chicken and add salt and more pepper. Return to high heat, covered, for another 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Turn check it again so the skin side is down for about five minutes.
  5. Turn chicken one final time and add 1 cup of white wine, cover and cook and additional 15 minutes, uncovered.
  6. If using a whole chicken the cooking time is about 30 minutes. It was much shorter for all the chicken breasts. This recipe turns out wonderful, juicy chicken.

Panzanella is a wonderful summertime treat. It is best to use it was really great tomatoes and fresh basil. What makes this Panzanella recipe better than most is they have you dry the bread and then soak it in water and squeeze out as much as you can. I hate getting Panzanella that someone's made and they didn't soak and squeeze.

Ingredients:

4 to 6 cups steel course country bread

2 spring onions

1 bunch of basil

2 large tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 large peeled cucumber

Red wine vinegar

EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Break the bread in small pieces and soak in water. When soft, squeeze out all of the water and put in another bowl.
  2. Coarsely cut onions, Basil, and tomatoes and add to the bread.
  3. Dice cucumbers and add to the mixture.
  4. Mince garlic and add to the mixture.
  5. Add vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper, mix.
  6. Set aside for about 30 minutes before serving. May be made the day ahead and refrigerated.
  7. Any of the above ingredients maybe increased or decreased to your individual taste.  

 

We we enjoy this meal very much. I would make this meal for company.


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Baked Salmon with orange Pistachio Crust

Well we are back from Italy.  We had a grand time, but no more group trips.  The things we did on our own were more enjoyable.  Everyone should go to the opera festival in Verona.  It is more spectacular than any show anywhere.  I loved the modern Carmen, everyone else hated it.  The photo is me finally getting a gondola ride.  In 1973 Jim now claims he was running out of money and wouldn’t pay for a gondola ride.  He was actually just too cheep.  He does not remember that he finally relented, but there were whit caps on the canals and the boats were not going out.  So it cost him $140 when he could have spent $15 in 1973.  I loved every minute of it.  

I had one planned meal that didn’t get fixed before we left so tonight is the night.  It is great.  I had to really scale down the covering as I had 3 salmon fillets and this is actually for 2 (4#) fillets.  It would be great for a party.

Ingredients:

2- 4# fresh Atlantic salmon fillets

1 C ground pistachios

1 1/2 C panko bread crumbs

1 t fresh thyme leaves

Zest of one orange

EVOO

Ground sea salt

Ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Blot salmon well with absorbent paper.  Place on an oiled baking pan, skin side down, and set aside.  
  3. In a small bowl, mix pistachios, panko, thyme leaves, and orange zest.  
  4. Add EVOO to bind; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Pat nut mixture on top of salmon fillet, covering entire surface.  Bake fish for 15 minutes for medium or 20 minutes for medium well.  

This whole recipe makes 6-10 servings.  We had a large salad to go with it.  then off to the dance club.  We had a great bottle of Viansa Reserve Chardonny.


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Home Again

Here is the grandest part of vacation, my gondola ride.   I’ve waited 44 years for this.  First day home we met Barbara and Joel at Stoney River for dinner.  Then picked up Jo who maybe liked it better at their house.  


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Peppers stuffed with Rice and Sausage

Another recipe put together by me.  I wrote to Sur la Table about my disastrous bacon bowl thing and of course got a lame reply but there was a recipe card that was intriguing as it did not use bacon.  It was a stuffed pepper recipe.  I had two red peppers in the ref that I bought for the ill fated pepper stuffed eggs on the grill.  With record heat, I knew Jim did not want to grille.  I sprinkled them with EVOO and put them in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile I bought a kit of Mushroom Risott somewhere in a specialty store and made it according to package directions.  toward the end of the cooking I added a cup of chopped Aidells Italian Sausage.  I stuffed the pepper halves with this mixture and served with a sliced tomato from Pam the Painter’s garden.  

It was delicious and so easy. 

Can you believe that Jim has on his list to take on vacation our garmen.  We are being transported everywhere.


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Warm Kale Salad with Bacon and Hard-cooked Eggs

Tuesday I went to Lebanon.  First Pam and I met for lunch and caught up on events.  Next, I went to my doctor for a checkup.  I complained about my feet and he sent me immediately to a great foot doctor.  My feet pain is probably caused by wearing shoes with a heel (dance shoes).  My big toes are full of rheumatoid arthritis.  They are so joined he could not even get a needle in them.  He recommended 2 things, inserts for shoes and special dancer pads for dancing.  He also recommended I go to Fleet Feet Sports and get fitted for shoes.  I did it all and have to say my feet are much better today.  I am also to take Alive each day so that the build up will dull the pain.  I guess the only option to be pain free is new feet.  

I arrived home late and was told by Prince James to hurry up and feed him as he was going to dance night at the dance club.  Was I going?  Remember I have spent the whole day trying to get foot pain relief caused by dancing.  Surprisingly I did make dinner and as I had to rush, the kitchen was a complete mess.  As he ran out the door, he said, “I’ll clean up when I get home.”  Did he really think I was going to?  this warm salad comes from Fine Cooking.  I picked it as it reminded me of a salad my Dad would just rave over.  

Ingredients:

5 slices of thick-cut bacon (about 6 oz.)

3 scallions

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

1 large shallot, coarsely chopped

3 T EVOO

1 T grainy Dijon mustard, such as mail Old-Style

1/4 t granulated sugar

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1# kale, stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces

8 radishes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise through the stem

3 hard cooked eggs, halved

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp.  
  2. leaving the fat in the pan, transfer the bacon to a paper plate.
  3. Add the scallions to the skillet and cook, flipping occasionally until lightly shared, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a paper plate.  
  4. Reserve 2 T of the bacon fat, pour off the remaining fat, and wipe out the skillet.
  5. Combine the 2 T bacon fat with the vinegar, shallot, oil, mustard, sugar, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper in a blender and blend until combined about i minute.  
  6. transfer the vinaigrette to the skillet, add the kale, radishes, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper, and cook over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until the kale begins to wilt, 4-5 minutes.  
  7. Transfer the kale mixture to a platter.  
  8. Chop the bacon and scallions coarsely and sprinkle evenly over the top of the kale.
  9. Arrange the hard-cooked eggs around the platter and serve.  

We had the house red wine with dinner.  When Jim came home he had popcorn and the remaining pie for a snack and also cleaned up.  Then he immediately fell asleep in his chair and finally went to bed early.  I watched the back shows of Nashville.  Not liking it as much.  May have run it’s course this year.  


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