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Puttanesca Sauce

I saw this recipe sitting in my ‘folder of recipes that I will do someday’. Bet you have one of those folders too!  There are a lot of good recipes in that folder.  It was a nice, rainy Saturday with  a tiny hint of autumn in the air. I made fresh tomato sauce last weekend with a enough left over to replace the can of tomatoes in this recipe.  I also love olives and capers. Simple and Delicious!

Puttanesca Sauce
(compliments Cook Country)

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Ingredients

2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
4 anchovy fillets (You could use anchovy paste, also. I added more olives. I am not an anchovy fan. If you want suggestions for substitution of anchovies, check here. If you love anchovies, then you are all set!)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped (Since I did not have anchovies I used 1 cup chopped olives.  I used Kalamata, green and black.)
3 Tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced (I forgot this step. The capers I had were quite small so no need to mince.)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1.  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Add onion, anchovies (or extra olives), pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high and bring to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Off heat, stir in olives, capers, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and  serve over pasta.

This is a quick recipe to do during the week.  Mangiare bene!

Pizza Verdure

I am a fan of  anything spicy, salty and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  Those combinations would be Pizza Verdure.  Verdure means greenness of growing vegetation.  So, as you must be aware there is no meat on this pizza.  I am okay with that.  Here is my version of this Simple and Delicious Pizza!

Pizza Verdure

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2 – tomatoes, sliced thin (I used vine ripened.  You could use whatever you want)
2 servings or 10 Black Olives, sliced
2 servings or 10 green olives, sliced
4-5 Pepperoncini, sliced
1 Tablespoon capers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped (I used fresh, you could use dried)
1-2 Teaspoons dried oregano  a
Balsamic Vinegar
Provolone Cheese, 3-4 slices – sliced into 1 inch strips
Grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup

Preheat oven to 475 degrees, baking time; 12-15 minutes. (I check the pizza at the halfway point and turn the pizza stone from front to back.) Also, my stone is in the oven while it is preheating.  When I prepare my pizza I use a peel, top with parchment paper, put some flour on parchment paper and using my hands push the dough into a 12 to 14 inch circle (or not so much a circle).  Put on the toppings and then slide that pizza onto the stone.  When you use parchment paper the pizza slides right onto the stone.  :)

For the Pizza Verdure; Mix olive oil and clove of garlic together.   Use as your base on the pizza.  I use a pastry brush to spread over dough.  Layer the tomatoes, pepperoncini, olives, capers and provolone.  On top of the provolone spread grated Parmesan cheese, rosemary, oregano and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.IMG_4478

All I can say is AWESOME!   Oh, so simple and delicious!!

 

 

 

 

 

Steak Fajitas with Onions and Peppers

Found this recipe in a Food Network magazine. A simple and delicious weeknight recipe.

Steak Fajitas with Onions and Peppers

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1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used 2 teaspoons.  Cumin is my absolute, favorite spice.)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (I used beef tenderloin, per Kent’s request.  Great choice!)
Juice of 3 limes
3 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the grill
4 bell peppers, thinly sliced (make it colorful!)
2 red onions, thinly sliced
8-12 flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro, for topping

Directions

  1.  Mix the paprika, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. (If you use table salt, use 1/2 teaspoon)
  2. Put the steak in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the spice mixture, seal the bag and rub the spices into the meat.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours.  While the steak is marinating chop the onions and peppers.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Toss the bell peppers and onions with the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil, juice of 2 limes and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Add to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and charred around the edges. (Honestly, I put the oil in the skillet, added the veggies, lime juice and salt in the frying pan.  One less dish to clean.)
  4. Preheat grill to a medium high heat and brush the grate with olive oil.  Grill the steak 3-5 minutes each side for medium rare.  Remove and place on cutting board, let rest 5-10 minutes. (No grill, no worries.  Use your cast iron skillet or a good old frying pan. However, if you have the grill, once again, one less dish to clean!)
  5. Warm the tortillas as label instructs.  Slice the steak against the grain, season with salt if desired.  Serve on the tortillas with onions and peppers; top with cheese and cilantro (unless you are a cilantro hater!)  Serve with lime wedges, if you wish.

Enjoy!!

 

Farmers Market Tomato Sauce

I was out and about Saturday and decided to stop at a roadside stand.  I bought some tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil.  I thought it would be nice to make a fresh tomato sauce for the week.    Here is my recipe:

Fresh Tomato Sauce

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3 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic (I love the summer, the local garlic is awesome!)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano (or whatever Italian hard cheese you love)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (remember the parmesan cheese will add salt flavor – TASTE it)

Directions

1.  I prepare the fresh tomatoes by removing the skin and partially deseeding.  I remove the skin by coring the tomatoes and placing  in boiling water for 60 seconds. august 016 Take them out of the pot and place in ice water to prevent the tomatoes from cooking.  Remove the skin.  Cut in half and take out seeds, if you want.  I remove the seeds from half of the tomatoes.  If you don’t want to de-seed that is fine too.

2.  I chop the tomatoes in 3/4 inch chunks. august 018I then place about 3-4 cups of the diced tomatoes in my food processor and pulse 4-5 times.  The tomatoes have are the consistency of a tomato sauce. (I like having some chunks of tomatoes in my sauce.  You can put all in the food process or none at all. It is your sauce, do what you want.)

3.  2 Tablespoons of olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the red/white onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and mix with the red onions about 30 seconds.

4.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan.  Mix together.

5.  Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes than add the cheese.   Mix together and let simmer uncovered over medium to low heat for 1 hour.  Add the basil and parsley and let cook for another 30 minutes.  I like to let it simmer on low heat. **You may need to add 1/2-1 cup water. Depends on the consistency you desire.** (Also, be sure to watch it so the sauce does not burn on the bottom of the pan.  august 019When I get distracted that has happened to me.)

That is it!  You will have some delicious sauce for dinner.  You can also freeze what you don’t use.  Sauce is my favorite meal.  Hope you enjoy.  I have a couple of tomato sauce recipes on the blog.  Fresh or made with cans of tomatoes.  Whatever works for you!

Enjoy!!

Banana Bread

This recipe is from a Betty Crocker cookbook I have had forever. I have baked this bread for as long as I have been with my husband and that is 34 years.  Timeless, huh!!  Our whole family enjoys this recipe.  Quick to make and enjoy with with a cup of coffee, tea or whatever beverage you desire.

As always, Simple and Delicious!

Banana Bread

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Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
3-4 medium mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup water
1/2/3 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (we don’t usually use nuts)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom of loaf pan.  I use a 9x5x3 inch pan.  I also mix this recipe by hand.  It just seems better that way.
2.  Mix sugar and butter in large bowl.
3.  Stir in eggs until well blended.
4.  Add bananas and water and mix together.
5.  Stir in remaining ingredients until moistened.  (If you like nuts, add now)
6.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.
7.  Loosen sides of loaf pan and remove from pan.  Cool completely before slicing.

ENJOY!

 

Caribbean Curried Chicken & Chickpeas

Found this recipe in a Food Network magazine.  Super simple to make and delish.  Give this one a try on a weekday.

Caribbean Curried Chicken and Chickpeas
(Better pic to follow.  I forgot to take one and then remembered!!  Here it is…)

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Ingredients

5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, quartered
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder (I used the Penzeys Now Curry)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 15 ounce cans chickpeas (do not drain)
1 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of one lime
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 cups shredded coleslaw mix
Caribbean hot pepper sauce, for serving
2 pieces naan bred, warmed and cut into wedges

Directions

  1.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot.   Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes.  Add curry powder and half of the garlic.  Cook Stirring, until the garlic softens slightly, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir the chickpeas and their liquid into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, puree the remaining garlic, cilantro, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, the lime juice and vinegar in food processor or blender until a paste forms. (You could use mortar and pestle too.  Not my thing.)
  4. Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cilantro past; cook until dark green, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a medium bowl and add the coleslaw mix; season with salt and toss to coat.
  5. Top each serving of the chicken curry with the slaw mixture, hot pepper sauce and cilantro.  Serve with the naan.

IMG_4406 I LOVE all my Penzeys spices.  I go there at least once a month to buy a new one to use or just to look around.  Fun, fun, fun!!

 

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

Saturday I attempted to go through a stack of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines.  Sadly, I have only gotten through halfway of one magazine.  I kept finding recipes I wanted to make and it got me distracted from my task of getting rid of these magazines.  This was one of the recipes I found and decided to try it for our dinner on Sunday.  I made veggie stir fry to go with it.  I also made Indian Tea Biscuits and Mekitsa.  Once I get started I can’t control myself!!

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

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Ingredients

1/2 head napa cabbage, cored and chopped fine (6 cups)
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces ground pork
4 scallions, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Dumplings

24 round gyoza wrappers (I found them at Woodman’s)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup water

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chili oil (optional) – did not use it this time.  Kent did not want heat today😦
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 scallion, minced (I did not do this time.  I was lazy!)

Directions

1.  Toss cabbage with salt in colander set over bowl or in sink and let stand until cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 minutes.  Press cabbage gently with rubber spatula to squeeze out any excess moisture. (I just picked up and squeezed with my hand.  Quite a bit of water dripped out.)  Transfer to medium bowl.
2.  Add pork, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Mix thoroughly to combine.
3.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is cold.  About 30 minutes or overnight if you like.
4.  Ready to fill those dumplings?!  Working with 4 wrappers at a time (keep remaining wrappers covered with moistened paper towel), place wrappers flat on counter.  Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of filling in middle of wrapper.  Using a pastry brush or your finger moisten the edges of the wrapper.  Fold each wrapper in half; starting with the center and working toward the outside edges, pinch edges together firmly to seal, pressing out any air pockets.
5.  Transfer dumplings to baking sheet and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.  You will get at least 24 wrappers.
6.  Time to fry/steam your masterpieces!  Line large plate with double layer of paper towels.  Brush 2 teaspoons of oil over bottom of 12 inch nonstick skillet and arrange half of the dumplings in the skillet, flat side down.  Place skillet over medium high heat and cook dumplings, without moving them, until golden brown on bottom, about 5 minutes.  (I set the timer for 5 minutes and that was enough time.)
7.  Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup water, and cover immediately.  Continue to cook until most of water is absorbed and wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. (I set timer for 10 minutes and that was enough time, again!)
8.  Uncover skillet, increase heat to medium high and continue to cook, without stirring, until dumpling bottoms are well  browned and crisp, 3-4 minutes more.
9.  Slide dumplings onto paper towel lined place, browned side facing down, and let drain briefly.
10.  Transfer dumplings to platter and serve with dipping sauce.
11.  Let skillet cool until warm, then wipe out with paper towels and repeat starting at step 6 with remaining dumplings, oil and water.

These are not as hard as this seems.  Honest.  They are simple and very delicious. By the way,  I beat Kent at Scrabble. 🙂

 

 

 

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