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Posts Tagged ‘Tomatoes’

Almost homemade pizza was on the agenda for last night dinner. With the help of store-bought pizza dough, we each had our own individual pizza in less than 30 minutes and with our toppings of choice.

Cheese, ham, artichokes, olives…. the possibilities are endless.

After a long day it was wonderful to have quality time with the family as we each created our masterpiece.

Bon Appetit!!

Giangi

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It all started with a tomato….. Beautiful fragrant tomatoes.  And what a better way to have it with fresh  mozzarella. Or so we thought!!!!

Here I am, in my kitchen putting together dinner. In one hand, I have the tomatoes that require a few seconds assembly, in the other hand, beautiful chicken breasts that will be prepared according to my son’s wishes: breaded.

Assembly starts: cutting the tomatoes and mozzarella and placing them in a bowl. Opening the refrigerator to get basil, parmesan and an egg. As I am doing all this, my mind is going over all the wonderful events of the day, the wonderful time I had with a very dear friend of mine as well as answering homework questions.

Where am I? Oh!!! Yes!! As I reach to the crisper drawer instead of getting basil, I grab green leaf salad. At the sink I clean and wash my salad, and on auto pilot, I am placing it in the bowl with the tomatoes and the mozzarella.  I proceed to season the salad.

My son walked back into the kitchen wanting to taste the caprese and at that moment I look down at my little bowls and realize that somehow I do not have your typical  caprese anymore, but a caprese salad with real salad in the mix.

Now… you may ask: what happened to the chicken?

Well the chicken that was to be breaded ended up along the way skipping the egg and the bread crumbs mixture, but just been floured and placed directly in the hot skillet. Once I realized what I did, just added some Marsala wine to the skillet, more butter and had the most tender chicken breast we ever had.

A bit of an eclectic dinner but I do not have any left overs.

… and yes those are mint leaves with the chicken, I did not have any basil  on the refrigerator.

Tonight’s August 28, 2013 dinner:

Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Red Leaf Salad
Chicken Marsala
Roasted Potatoes

CHICKEN BREASTS AL MARSALA

4  large chicken breasts, pounded thin of needed – or 8 small
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Flour
¾ to 1 cup dry Marsala wine
Salt and pepper

In a large skillet over medium low heat, add the olive oil and butter.
Drench the chicken breast with salt and pepper and flour. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet, making sure that the skillet is not over crowded.
When tone side of the chicken breasts are almost done, remove the skillet from the heat and add the Marsala wine. Return the skillet over the heat and turn the chicken.
Add a teaspoon of butter. Blend well together.

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When we use the grill, I enjoying placing vegetables in some aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil and cook them along side what ever we are preparing at that time.
Last night dinner was an adaptation from “The Grilling Cookbook” from Bon Appetit. and it was just that: incorporating vegetables with fish. We love orange roughy, but any white flaky fish will be a good alternative.
Light and easy, perfect for a great summer night.
TIP: Make sure that you keep your face away from the packets while opening as steam will come out and burn.
Bon Appetit!!

Giangi

Tonight’s June 11, 2013 dinner:
Orange Roughy Packets with Vegetables
White rice with butter

ORANGE ROUGHY PACKETS WITH VEGETABLES

4 medium size assorted zucchini and summer squash, thinly sliced
¼ cup onion, thinly sliced, almost shaved
¼ cup thinly sliced basil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons dry white wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 6 ounces orange roughy

Fold four 24×12 inch pieces of aluminum foil, heavy duty preferably, in half crosswise. Open and place on a work surface.
Divide zucchini and summer squash evenly between the pieces of foil and arrange on layers on one half of each piece of foil. Divide equally and add the onions and sliced basil to it.
Drizzle each packet with 1 tablespoon of wine and ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the orange roughy fillets in top of each portion of vegetables and season with salt and pepper and the remainder of the olive oil over each fillet.
Fold and crimp edges of foil to seal packages.
Build the heat on the grill to a medium heat. Place packets on the grill grate. Close the cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Open carefully the packets as steam will escape and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

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With our days getting longer and hotter, we really enjoy grilling on our barbeque, and last night we could not pass up the opportunity for  another meal cooked outside on the grill.
Steak was in our mind after a day of swimming, and a light tomatoes radish salad to go alongside was just the perfect combination.  Dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes and devoured in less than 5…
As I had the grill going, I added some bread drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt. Perfect to absorb the remaining juice from the tomatoes salad.
Bon Appetit!!!

Giangi

Tonight’s June 10, 2013 dinner:
Grilled Thick Cut Ribeye  Steak with Tomatoes and Radish Salad

GRILLED THICK CUT RIBEYE STEAK WITH TOMATOES AND RADISH SALAD
4 8 ounces boneless ribeye steaks
4 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and cut in small chunks
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Lemon
Salt and pepper
Parsley
Heat the grill to high.
Season the ribeye steaks with abundant salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4 minutes. Turn the steaks over, reduce the heat to medium, close the grill hood, and grill until medium-rare, 6-8 more minutes.
Remove the steaks from the heat and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile in a bowl place the cut tomatoes, radishes. Season with salt, parsley, olive oil and lemon. Mix well and serve alongside the steaks.

 

Meat purchased from Pete at Personal Gourmet Foods

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We live next to wonderful neighbors that this year have started their own vegetables garden. As you know, we live in Phoenix and gardening can be, for lack of better word,  a bit of a challenge. Not only our summer heat is cruel to our garden, but we have an abundance of bunnies that adore anything that we plant. You can actually see those little furry creatures patiently waiting for the little buds to come up from the ground, so they can have a feast. 
Bunny situation under control by using a high bed and double chicken wire, “J & J”, my neighbors, have been successful on growing zucchini, squash, herbs as well as great salad.  Salad that I have enjoyed for the past week as they kindly share it with me.
During one of our walk I noticed that they have zucchini flowers and could not stop myself of mentioning that I really love them stuffed with anchovies and mozzarella.  Yesterday “J” brought me some and I was thrilled. 
Anchovies and mozzarella purchased, our little treat was prepared while fixing dinner.  I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  Not having my mom recipe with me and not having her at a phone call reach, I made the batter as I was going along.  It turned out good even though I know I was missing something in the batter.
For dinner a one meal dish was of order. Penne with sausage, tomatoes and potatoes. Simple and easy and nothing to it.
Bon Appetit!!

Giangi

Tonight’s April 24, 2013 dinner:
Zucchini Flower
Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Potatoes

 

ZUCCHINI FLOWERS STUFFED
Zucchini Flowers
Anchovies
Mozzarella
Eggs
Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying
Rinse the flowers delicately under cold water. In the inside part of the flower stuff a small piece of anchovies and mozzarella.
In a shallow dish beat the egg and the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the stuffed zucchini flower in the egg batter and fry over medium high heat, turning one until golden.
Drain on a paper towel and enjoy.
PENNE WITH SAUSAGE, TOMATOES AND POTATOES
1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausages cut in chunks
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into medium size cubes
1 cup tomatoes diced in large chunks or 8 oz. can
Salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a large pot add the potatoes and salted water. Bring the water to a boiling and cook the penne pasta until they are al dente.
Meanwhile in a large deep skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until warm, but not smoking.
Add the sausage to the skillet. Cook on medium high heat until nicely browned and cooked through. About 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook over medium low heat.
Add the pasta and potatoes to the skillet and add the butter and cook stirring until the pasta is well coated.
Transfer to bowls and serve right the way.

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Having fun in the kitchen again and this time with steak and tomatoes.  Something new and super easy to make. The sauce of the tomatoes with the juicy steak was a good combination and yet very light.
Taste the seasoning of the tomatoes.  It has to have a bit of a tangy taste to it
Bon Appetit!!!

Giangi

Tonight’s April 18, 2013 dinner:
Steak with Tomato Salad

STEAK WITH TOMATO SALAD
4 tomatoes cut in small pieces – do not discard the seeds
½ lemon, squeezed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 green onions, white part finely chopped
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 New York steaks
In a small bowl place the tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley, basil, green onions, olive oil salt and pepper. Mix well and let it rest.
Slightly cover the bottom of a large skillet with salt, and place over high heat. When hot add the steaks and sear them to your desire doneness. 5 minutes per each side for medium rare.
Place the steak on a plate and serve with the tomatoes salad on the side and pour the juice over the steak.

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It feels as we are on a fish cooking series, but I had a request from my son therefore I could not say no to it.  As I had prawns in the freezer, fresh tomatoes and spinach in the refrigerator, dinner was ready rather quickly.
As I was creating the recipe as I was going along, I did not use any garlic for us, but I am sure it will give it a nice flavor to it.  If you want to spice up things adding a few shakes of crushed chili peppers will shake things up a bit.
I had no idea what to expect , but I have to admit the juice  and with the wine it gave such a great flavor to the prawns. Mixing the past in the skillet, allowed the pasta to absorb all the juice and enrich itself with flavor.
Enjoy!!!

Giangi

Tonight’s April 16, 2013 dinner:
Linguine with Prawns, Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach
Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream

 

LINGUINE WITH PRAWNS, FRESH TOMATOES AND SPINACH

1 pound of fresh prawns, shell and tail removes and deveined
1 pound of Fettuccine Barilla
4 fresh tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
½ fresh baby spinach stems removed and cleaned
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup white wine
1 garlic clove, chopped (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the Linguine according to package direction.
In a large skillet under medium heat melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped garlic and sauté until slightly tender. Add the spinach, the wine and the prawns. Sauté until the prawns are pink and the spinach welted.
Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet and mix well.
Serve hot.

Prawns purchased from Pete at Personal Gourmet Foods

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Tired of the eating our staple chicken cutlets, I decided to give it a fresh look and made chicken Parmigiana last night instead.
A couple of spoonful of tomato sauce, a staple in my refrigerator, over the chicken,  adding a slice of fresh mozzarella over it, a new dinner was prepared.
Chicken breast pounded thin are wonderful with it also.
I love mozzarella and therefore I did cut my mozzarella too thick and it did not melt as fast as I wished. Chopped or thinner slices would be fine.
Tomatoes sauce of your liking. The variation of this dish are endless. 
I like to stay close to my Italian roots when it comes to tomatoes sauce, light and simple.

Bon Appetit!!

Giangi

Tonight’s March 18, 2013 dinner:
Chicken Parmigiana
Green Salad

CHICKEN PARMIGIANA
6 boneless, skinless chicken tights
1 cup all- purpose flour
2 extra large eggs
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup Panko
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dry marjoram
Oil
Salt and pepper
Tomato sauce
Fresh mozzarella
Preheat oven at 350°
Pound the chicken breast or tights until they are even and ¼ inch thick.
On a shallow dish combine the flour, salt and pepper. On a second dish, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third dish, combine the bread crumbs, panko, marjoram and parmesan cheese.
Coat the chicken on both sides with the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumbs mixture.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, ½ inch up to skillet side, and cook breaded thighs on medium high for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is golden brown on each side. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Remove and place in a cookie sheet.
Smear tomato sauce over the chicken and top with a mozzarella slice.
Place in the oven and cook until the mozzarella has melted.

 

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A nice plate of pasta is always welcome, adding sausages to it, makes it even more fun. Last night we just did that. Sausage pasta with peas and tomatoes sauce. Something new as we seldom have mild Italian sausages for dinner, more of a breakfast enjoyment.
I left the casing on and cut the sausages into a 1- 1 1/2  inch chunks. If I had smaller kids at the table I would have cut the sausage to 1 inch, easy to eat and no need to cut them with a knife.
Bon Appetit!!

Giangi

Tonight’s March 1st, 2013 dinner:
Pasta with Peas and Italian Sausage
Strawberries and Blackberries over Vanilla Ice Cream

PASTA WITH PEAS AND SAUSAGE

1 box Farfalle pasta
1 cup of frozen peas
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sweet Italian sausage cut in 1-1 ½ inch chunks
Pomi strained tomato sauce (26 oz.)
1 8 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta following the package directions. Meanwhile in a very large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and add the sausages. Sauté` the sausage meat until slightly brown all over, add the frozen peas and the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan, add the butter and the tomatoes with sausage. Mix well and server hot.

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See… I told you I will have another great chili recipe from our Chili Cook Off!!!

The following recipe is from my friend Slade. I just have one word for all of you “Great”. We all love it, the flavors blended well together. The spices busted nicely in your mouth after you had enjoyed all the other flavors first. The meat was tender and perfectly blended with the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
A great must try recipe!!

Here is Two Ghouls XXXX Haunted Hash Level Three by Slade.

Enjoy!!!

 

Two Ghouls

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Haunted Hash Level Three

Slade Carlton

This is a classic Tex-Mex style chili guaranteed to reach out and grab you by the taste buds. The key to this recipe is in using fresh ingredients. Always choose the very best raw ingredients and take the time to prepare them yourself. I used fresh vegetables and spices from Rancho Market and had Hobe Meats chili grind fresh cuts of their meat.

Ingredients

5 large ancho chiles, fire roasted, peeled, stemmed and seeded

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

¾ pound tri-tip beef, coarse / chili ground

¾ pound chuck steak, coarse / chili ground

1 medium brown onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1½ teaspoons whole cumin seeds

2 cups beef broth

1½ teaspoon salt

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons masa harina / corn meal

3 green onions, cut into ¼-inch pieces for serving

1 cup grated cheddar cheese for serving

2 jalapeno peppers, sliced and pan fried for serving

Directions

  1. Brown meat and onion. Add bacon drippings to pan over medium-high heat, then add meat and onions. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove excess rendered fat and discard.

  2. Make seasoning. Place chiles in a food processor; add tomatoes with their juices. Toast garlic until fragrant then add to chiles and tomatoes. Toast whole cumin seeds until fragrant then freshly grind them until fine. Add to food processor and blend chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin until smooth.

  3. Simmer chili. Return pan to medium-high heat. Stir 5 minutes to cook chili mixture. Stir in beef broth and 1½ teaspoons salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.

  4. Finish and serve. Sprinkle masa harina over chili and stir. Add chocolate. Simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Ladle chili into bowls and serve with green onions, cheese, and jalapeno pepper slices.

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