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Archive for March, 2011

March 17, 2011

Greeting from Colorado!!  Wishing all of you a Happy St Patrick’s Day

To celebrate the day we had Corned Beef and cabbage.

Enjoy your evening…

 

Giangi

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March 16, 2011

I had this great piece of flank steak and I had no idea how to prepare it.  I started looking around my kitchen and these wonderful lemons were staring at me. I love lemon so that was a great beginning.  Tonight recipe was created as I was going along.  I love the honey-lemon-brown sugar combination and from there it was just open and add. At first I was not going to save the marinade but just toss it, and then I said to myself: “Why not”. The sweet and sour combination was quite delicious, and I am sure, would I have added some hot chili flakes to it, it would have accentuate more the whole flavors.  We could not help ourselves dipping our meat in the sauce at every bite. 

I prepared tomato pasta with this dish and it was not the perfect pairing.  Love them both separately, but not combined.  I should have prepared Basmati jasmine rice, or wild rice instead.

Tonight’s March 16, 2011 dinner:

Lemon Honey Marinate Flank Steak

LEMON HONEY MARINATED FLANK STEAK

Marinate:

Juice of 1 ½ to 2 lemons

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Rosemary, thyme finely chopped (at wish)

1 ½ pound flank steak

Mix all the marinate ingredients well on a baking pan with 2” high borders. Cut flank steak in half and remove all fat and ligaments from the meat. Poke holes with a fork and place on the marinate.

Let rest in refrigerator for a couple of hours and turn once in a while. (This step can be omitted if in hurry)

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Remove the meat from the baking pan and reserve the marinate. Cook the flank steak for a couple of minutes on each side. Add the marinate and lower the heat to medium. Cook the meat with the marinate until the meat is done to desired doneness. Remove the meat and keep warm. Continue to cook the marinate until reduced by half. Add the steaks again to the pan and turn to cover the steak of the sauce.

Slice the meat and serve hot.

This sauce can be cooked as above with no meat and used as a marinate for chicken, meat, fish.

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Friday night, fish night.  Quick recipe.  The strong flavor of the ginger –garlic simmered with the maple syrup will linger in the kitchen.  I decided to pair it with a Parmesan Couscous from Near East.  The combination was great.  Steamed broccolis are a must on our house lately.

Tonight’s March 11, 2011 dinner:

Broiled Salmon with Spicy Maple Sauce

Steamed Broccolis

Roasted Tomatoes

Parmesan Couscous

 

BROILED SALMON WITH SPICY MAPLE BASING SAUCE

 

6 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste

½ cup water

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt

Four 1-inch-thick pieces salmon fillet (about 6 oz. each)

In a small heavy saucepan combine the maple syrup, water, gingerroot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and simmer until reduced to about ½ cup. Cool basting sauce.

Preheat broiler.

Arrange salmon, skin side down, on oiled rack of broiler pan and season with salt. Broil salmon about 4 inches from heat 4 minutes. Brush salmon with sauce and broil until just cooked through, about 6 minutes more.

 

ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

2 pints cherry tomatoes

Good olive oil

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Sea salt or fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes lightly with the olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with the coarse sea salt and the pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil leaves and sea salt. Serve hot.

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Chicken alla Cacciatora is an all time favorite of my mom and she shared her recipe with me. The chicken can be paired with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.  Our choice tonight was “Spaghetti Rigati”. Great left over dish…if there are any left.

Tonight’s March 10, 2011 dinner:

Chicken alla Cacciatora

 

CHICKEN ALLA CACCIATORA

1 whole chicken cut in 8 pieces

Olive oil

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 garlic cloves

5 or 6 tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped, or a 28oz can chopped tomatoes in juice

2 mediums red or orange bell pepper cut in small pieces

½ to ¾ cup white or red wine

Add the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chicken skin down and brown, 2 minutes and turn. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, the tomatoes and the wine. When starting to boil add the bell peppers. Lower the heat to low, slightly cover the pan and cook for 40 minutes.

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We were in a hurry and running late tonight and therefore did not have too much free time on our hands.  Steak in our family is always a welcome dish, potatoes also, and salad… well maybe I am the only one who can live on it…

Tonight’s March 9, 2011 dinner:

Steak

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Mixed Green with Tarragon Vinaigrette

STEAK

I add a large amount of fine sea salt to a skillet.  Place the skillet on high heat.  When the skillet is nice and hot, add the steaks and cook to desired doneness. 

We like our streaks to be rare to medium rare and therefore cook the steak, 1 inch thick,  4 minutes on each side.

 

ROASTED ROSEMARY POTATOES

4 medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
Fresh or dried Rosemary cut in small pieces
Salt

Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a cookie sheet. In a bowl add the potatoes, rosemary and the remaining olive oil.  Mix well to coat all the potatoes cubes. Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet and sprinkle generously with the salt. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes have formed a nice crust on the bottom and are golden on top.

 

MIXED GREENS WITH TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

1/3 cup Raspberry vinegar or fruit flavored vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried

1 cup olive oil

9 cups bite size pieces assorted greens

Wisk vinegar and tarragon in a bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt. Can be made 1 day ahead cover and let stand at room temperature.

Place greens in large bowl, toss with enough dressing to season.

 

 

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Pasta is always the easy and fast plate to make.  Tonight is no exception.

 

 

 

 

TORTIGLIONI WITH ZUCCHINI

1 box of Tortiglioni pasta

Butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 onion thinly sliced

6-7 small zucchini

2 eggs

Salt and pepper

Clean the zucchini well, peel them and slice them in thin slices. In a frying pan add the butter and the olive oil. When the butter is melted add the onion. As soon as the onion is beginning to soften, add the zucchini to the skillet and with high heat for a couple of minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and cook slowly. Add salt and keep warm.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl the two eggs slightly salted and plenty of Parmesan Cheese. When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the egg mixture. Mix well and add the zucchini. Mix well again and serve immediately.

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Last night dinner was quite simple and easy.  We had roasted chicken, with roasted potatoes with rosemary and steamed broccolis. I love recipes that are cooked in the oven I am able to work on timing better.  Also I feel the cleaning of the kitchen is done in a second.

Tonight’s March 2, 2011 dinner:

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Steamed Broccolis

ROASTED CHICKEN  

1 (4 to 5 pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh Rosemary springs

Fresh Thyme springs

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup chicken broth, low sodium

3 to 5 garlic cloves, or as many as wished

Olive oil

Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 400° F. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Insert in the cavity a couple of the garlic cloves, half of the rosemary springs, and half of the thyme springs. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Drizzle lightly the outside of the chicken with olive oil. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the other half of the rosemary and thyme around the chicken, add the remaining garlic cloves. Add the chicken stock to the pan and place in the hot oven for 1 hour to 1 ½ hour. Baste chicken once in a while and with a fork poke the thigh and breast to release the internal juices. When the outside of the chicken is nice and golden and there is no more juices running out of it, the chicken is ready. Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest a few minutes before carving.

ROASTED ROSEMARY POTATOES

4 medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
Fresh or dried Rosemary cut in small pieces
Salt

Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a cookie sheet. In a bowl add the potatoes, rosemary and the remaining olive oil.  Mix well to coat all the potatoes cubes. Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet and sprinkle generously with the salt. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes have formed a nice crust on the bottom and are golden on top.

STEAMED BROCCOLIS

1 bunch of broccolis

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Steam the broccolis until done crisp but not too hard. Drain them and place them in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Can be served hot or cold.

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