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Chicken Riggies

Went to Syracuse over the weekend.  Mom’s FAVORITE meal is Chicken Riggies.  We went to Nestico’s, a restaurant in North Syracuse and she was able to get her Chicken Riggies.  Mom and I had a nice conversation and enjoyed our lunch together.  Kent and I got back yesterday.   I was loading up my photos and saw this one; img_4548Reminded me of our lunch together.  I took this photo to send to Eric while we were eating lunch.  She hates to have her picture taken but she sure looks smug about her Chicken Riggies!  I had a meatball sandwich.  I still can’t find a restaurant that makes meatballs as good as mine. ;)  I decided to make some Chicken Riggies for my lunch tomorrow. I updated my recipe and this one is a winner.  (By the way, I didn’t have any Rigatoni so I ended up using Mostaciolli.)  Martin and Sean had some tonight and really enjoyed this Central New York, local Italian pasta dish.  Hope you will give it a try!

Chicken Riggies

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Ingredients

1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size pieces (I use chicken thighs)
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (you could use diced or crushed, too)
1/2 cup hot cherry peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell peppers, chopped 1 inch pieces
1 large roasted red pepper, chopped 1 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, crush
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano (or whatever Italian hard cheese you enjoy)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 # Rigatoni (cook the Rigatoni while you are simmering the sauce.  You can use another pasta too.)

Directions

  1. MARINATE CHICKEN Combine chicken, 3 tablespoons cherry pepper brine, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in zipper-lock bag and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add chicken. Cook until chicken is browned, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from  Dutch oven and set aside.
  3. In Dutch oven add 4 Tablespoons butter.  When butter is melted, add onions, roasted red and green bell peppers, 1 teaspoon salt and saute until onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes  Add garlic and stir into vegetables.
  4. Add tomatoes, chicken, hot cherry peppers, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to boil. Crush the tomatoes. (You could crush with your hands before adding to pot). Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5.  Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  6. Add rigatoni to the sauce, add cheese and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Now is that Simple and Delicious?!  I would say so!!  Buon Appetito!!

Pork Egg Rolls

Our entire family love these egg rolls.  They take time to make but they are totally worth it.   You just have to get everything chopped and measured out before starting that frying pan.  Once you do that, it takes no time. Updated the recipe to our family liking.  It seems the more I do a recipe there are changes I make that work for us. 
  This truly is simple and delicious!

Pork Egg Rolls

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Ingredients

1 # ground pork
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large head (20 ounces) of cabbage, shredded
3 carrots

1 Tablespoon cooking oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

I used Spring Roll Wrappers. You can get them in the produce department of your grocery store. Room temperature is best.

Cornstarch Slurry: 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons cold water

Peanut Oil for frying. (You can use vegetable oil. Peanut Oil is best as it can be used for high temperatures. Doesn’t hit that smoking point🙂 )

Directions:

  1. Marinate the ground pork with the soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil for at least 10 minutes (or longer if you want).
  2. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots. I used a mandoline to shred the cabbage and my grater for the carrots. You could use a food processor too.  Whatever works for you! January 2014 038
  3. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant. Add the pork and fry until no longer pink.   Add the cabbage & carrots and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  4. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Continue to stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove filling to a rimmed baking sheet and spread to cool. Set up so juices can drain to one end of the cookie sheet. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Remove all the juices. Now, let’s wrap!
  7. With the point of the wrap, pointing away from you,January 2014 041 place 1/4-1/2 cup of the mixture in center of the lower edge of the wrapper. (I use 1/2 cup – we like them a little larger.  It works great) rub point edges with the slurry and complete rolling to tip.
  8. Deep fry in the oil of your choice in large frying pan or Dutch oven until golden brown.
  9. Simple & Delicious!January 2014 048

Chocolate Croissant Cookies

Martin has been bugging me to make Chocolate Croissants.  If you checked into making croissants you would know it is a 3 day ordeal to make these baked goods.  I am sure I will do these someday but not quite yet.  Maybe in the dead of winter.  These cookies were super simple and very delicious. I don’t think he shared these cookies with anyone!  No one!!

Chocolate Croissant Cookies

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Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 (1.55 ounce) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons sugar

Directions

1.  Whisk flour and salt together in bowl.
2.  Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 additions, until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed.
4.  Form dough into 6-inch disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. (2 hours worked for me)
5.Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
6.  Break 5 chocolate bars crosswise along their 3 seams to yield 4 rectangles. (You should have 20 chocolate pieces in total.)
7.Roll dough into 20 by 8-inch rectangle on lightly floured counter. Cut dough into twenty 4 by 2-inch rectangles. Working with 1 dough rectangle at a time, place 1 chocolate piece crosswise across dough so chocolate overhangs edges. Fold dough around chocolate. Repeat with remaining 19 pieces of dough and chocolate and place cookies seam side down, 1 1/2 inches apart, on prepared sheets (10 per sheet). Brush tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
8.  Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
9.  Break remaining 1 chocolate bar into pieces and microwave in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 1 minute. Using spoon, drizzle chocolate over tops of cookies. Let set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Chicken Salad

I roasted a chicken this weekend.  I thought it would be nice to make a chicken salad.  Kent and I really enjoy this for a quick meal.  Kent likes it on a roll, I like it in a bowl!!  Also, I happen to enjoy the chives if I have them on hand.  Kent is not a fan.  If you don’t want to roast a chicken, go to the store and pick up a rotisserie chicken.  Simple and Delicious!

Chicken Salad

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4 cups of chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 Tablespoon capers
10 – black olives, sliced
1 Tablespoon chives, chopped (sometimes I use them and sometimes I don’t)
2/3 cup mayonnaise (You could use Miracle Whip or olive oil.  I like mayo!)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (You can use whatever mustard you like.  I think the yellow works best for this.  That’s just my opinion, for what it is worth)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to your taste (capers and olives give enough saltiness for us)

Directions

1.  Add all ingredients in medium sized bowl
2.  Mix until combined.  Refrigerate.
3.  Serve on a roll, lettuce leaf or in a bowl!

How simple is that?  Great for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!

Corn Chowder

Get some corn on the cob this weekend and make this Simple and Delicious chowder!  I bought way too many ears last week.  Decided to use them up with this recipe I found on Chowhound!

Corn Chowder

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Ingredients

2 ounces bacon, diced small (I used 3 ounces)
1 medium onion, diced small
3 cups fresh corn or frozen corn (I used fresh.  It was about 8 ears. It was about 4 cups of corn. Sliced kernels off cob.)
3 cups whole milk
1 pound russet potatoes, diced medium (bite size pieces.  I had small salad potatoes and those worked fine.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, more as needed
1/2 cup heavy cream
Finely chopped chives, for serving (I did not have any chives.  Still DELISH!)

Directions

  1.  Place the bacon in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7-10minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a small paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion too the bacon fat left in  the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, place 1 cup of the corn and 1 cup of the milk in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, set aside.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high, add the corn milk puree, remaining corn and 2 cups of the milk, potatoes and measured salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through and the soup has thickend slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cream and stir to combine.  Return to a simmer.  Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.  I added the bacon into the chowder.  You could just top with bacon bits in your bowl or not use at all.  Garnish with chives (if you have them!).

That’s it.  If you don’t want to make this weekend.  Slice the corn off the cob, place in freezer bags, place in freezer and use when the mood hits you on a nice fall or winter day.  Bring a little late summer into your October or January day!!

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

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