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    Posts Tagged ‘Main Course’

    Lemon/Fennel Chicken

    If you like that tang of lemon and the sweet taste of fennel this one is for you. I used chicken, however this would work as well with a good white fish. It is a simple fast preparation and I think you will like it as well.

    You will need:
    Chicken Breast – boneless/skinned approx. 6 to 8 oz/serving
    Fresh Lemon Juice plus zest- One good sized/serving
    Fresh Fennel Frond – approx. 1 TBSP/serving – use the bulb as a veggie side.
    Sea Salt/Pepper – to taste.
    Olive Oil

    In a sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken heat one TBSP/serving of the olive oil until it shimmers add breast(s) to hot oil and sauté until a rich brown color is achieved, flip breast over and continue until second side has a rich color also. Place breast on an oven proof dish and place into a pre-heated (350 F) oven until internal temperature reaches 160 F.

    Meanwhile, pour any oil from sauté pan squeeze as much juice as you can get out of each lemon and scrape up the fond left from the chicken, add the lemon zest and reduce to about half, add the fresh fennel frond to the sauce and cook for a few minutes more. Remove the chicken from the oven and add back into the sauté pan turning to coat. Place chicken on a serving dish and pour the lemon/fennel sauce over the top. Enjoy!

    Mushroom/Ricotta Cannelloni

    After making a batch of pasta dough and having some left over from making linguini I decided to use a part of it to create this recipe for all to enjoy. I’ve also used my homemade Ricotta Salata and Maitake Mushrooms collected this fall. Not to worry I will also show replacement items.

    You will need:

    For the dough:
    400 g bread flour
    4 Large eggs
    Cold water
    Olive Oil.

    For the Ricotta Salata:
    One gallon whole milk.
    4 TBSP White Vinegar
    Sea Salt.

    For the filling:
    6 oz. button mushrooms
    6 oz fresh Maitake Mushrooms
    One sprig fresh thyme
    Sea Salt/Ground Pepper

    2 cups marinara sauce, either your own home made or purchased. I used my Sunday Gravy recipe.

    Prepare the Ricotta – in a stock pot large enough to hold the ingredients put the milk in and turn the burner on to low (and I do mean low) slowly incorporate the vinegar stirring as it is introduced. Place a double layer of cheese cloth in a colander or strainer and once the curds have all floated to the top of the whey scoop them out and put into the lined sieve. Drain until all of the whey has been removed and it is cool to the touch. At this stage you have fresh ricotta to turn it into salata incorporate a one tablespoon of sea salt and wrap the cheese tightly in the cloth. Place a plate on top and add some weight to further remove any excess whey.

    Prepare the Pasta – You can use either your stand mixer or food processor – Place flour, eggs and a little salt (1/2 tsp) in the machine mix well until all of the flour is absorbed and it pulls away from the sides of the machine, if all of the flour is combined and the dough does not pull from the sides add a little water mixed with olive oil. (Use just enough to get the dough to pull away). Remove dough from bowl, form into a disk, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

    Prepare the filling – Chop mushrooms, combine with the thyme and salt/pepper to taste. Sauté the ingredients in some olive oil until all of the moisture has been removed and they are of a paste consistency.

    Form the cannelloni – Cut enough of the dough to make four, four inch square sheets, roll the dough out to between number 6 and 4 on you pasta maker anything thinner will just make the cannelloni fall apart. Dust sheets lightly with flour an set aside. In a bowl large enough to hold the mushrooms and ricotta add them along with some chopped basil and one large egg. Stir ingredients to combine. Place 1/4 of the mixture at the end of each of the pasta sheets and roll into cylinders.

    Place about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of an oven safe pan, carefully place the cannelloni, seam side down on top of the sauce, pour the remaining sauce over the cannelloni making sure to cover all of the pasta, sprinkle some additional Ricotta on top along with parmesan to taste and chiffonade of basil. Cover tightly with aluminum boil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

    If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making the cheese and pasta simply use store purchased ricotta and drain it well, purchase either no cook lasagne noodles, softened in water then rolled or large shells also softened in water for ease of handling.

    Apple/Cheddar Stuffed Pork Chop

    I’m not one to stock up on foodstuffs for the week, I shop daily, or at least every other day, for items I want to prepare for dinner. I hadn’t had pork in a while and thought that a good thick cut pork chop would suite my desire. I went to my favorite market whose butcher area is fantastic and purchased a couple of thick cut chops. By thick cut I mean at least 1 inch in thickness.

    At the time I was shopping one of their suppliers, Cabot® Cheese Coop had a display of their product. What caught my attention was the sales associate’s comment that their cheese products are lactose free and since I have a friend who recently learned that she was intolerant I thought to include them in my repertoire.

    So I thought, what goes good with pork and cheese, specifically Cheddar, the one I decided to purchase. Apples, of course. I took my groceries home and developed this recipe for all to enjoy. This recipe will feed two and multiplying is straight forward.

    You will need:

    2 Thick Cut Pork Chop – I used a bone in chop however a loin chop will work.
    2/3 cup diced Granny Smith apple – dice smaller than ¼”.
    1/3 cup diced Cabot White Cheddar Cheese – dice same size as apple.
    One tsp fresh Sage.
    One TBSP bread crumb – I used Panko.
    Ground Pepper to taste.

    Combine apple, cheese, pepper and bread crumbs in a bowl. Toss and let stand while you prepare the chop. Using a very sharp knife, I use a good quality boning knife, cut a slit approximately 1 1/2″ long in the center of the thickest part of the chop. Carefully work the blade of the knife into the flesh of the chop. Place your free hand on top of the chop so to feel the movement of the blade. Work the knife into the cavity you have created making sure to open enough room leaving at least a 1/4 inch of wall around the entire chop. Carefully stuff the apple/cheese mixture into the cavity pressing it tightly to compact.

    In a sauté pan large enough to hold the chops sear on both sides to get a good brown crust. Place the seared chops in a preheated, 350 degree, oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Remove from oven, place on clean plate, tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. I served mine with home made egg noodles and sweet corn kernels.

    Enjoy!

    Whitefish with Lemon Grass/Thai Pepper Crust

    Whitefish is very versatile, it has a delicate flavor that accepts all kinds of seasonings. This dish was inspired by my desire to combine my favorite pepper, Thai. I hadn’t cooked with lemon grass before and wanted to develop something using the two. I mulled over ways to use these two items and decided on combining them with Panko and olive oil to use as a crust.

    You will need:
    One six to eight ounce Whitefish Filet/person.
    One cup Panko Bread Crumb/filet
    Two to three tablespoon olive oil.
    Two Thai Chili peppers/filet.
    One tablespoon grated lemon grass.
    Sea Salt/Ground Pepper to taste.

    Combine all ingredients except fish in a bowl using enough olive oil to form a medium paste. Score the skin side of the Whitefish Filet to prevent curling. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold fish in a single layer with enough room between filets. Place fish skin side down and generously coat top of fish with the bread mixture. When fish begins to turn opaque around the edges transfer to a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for ten minutes to toast the coating. Serve with rice with buttered onion.

    Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin

    I started making my own mix of peppercorns many years ago using both well known and little known items then added some other ingredients that enhances the mix. All told there are over 14 items in this mix and have used it on a regular basis. I had some pork tenderloin in the freezer and wanted to come up with something that I had not seen before. I’ve crusted beef tenderloin, made Steak Au Poivre and Pepper Gravy but never tried this before. Contrary to what one might think this recipe does not have a strong pepper bite. I served it with Roasted Garlic/Shallot Linguine.

    You will need:
    Pork Tenderloin – approx 6 oz/serving
    Peppercorns – approx. 1/4 cup/serving – either purchase a good quality mix or make your own combination. NB:You won’t get the same taste due to the limit of peppercorns in commercial products. You can contact me to purchase my Special Blend.
    Sea Salt – approx 1 TBSP/serving

    There really isn’t much that you need to do to prepare the pork. You will need to “crack” the peppercorns into small to medium size. There are several ways to do this – you can use a food processor and pulse until the peppercorns are the size you need (although this is efficient you won’t get good results unless you a very careful as some of the peppercorns will not fully crack.) Use a mortar and pestle – better results somewhat labor intensive. Place peppercorns in a gallon size freezer bag, seal bag then lay it flat on a work surface. Use either a meat tenderizer or heavy sauce pan and press the peppercorns until they are cracked to the size you need.

    Place cracked pepper and sea salt in a flat container large enough to hold the tenderloin. Press the pork into the pepper/salt combination on all sides. Place the crusted tenderloin in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes. Put enough olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold the pork – heat until oil shimmers. Sauté the tenderloin on all surfaces until golden brown. Place browned/seared tenderloin in a roasting pan large enough to hold pork in a heated 350 degree oven to finish.

    Serve immediately with your favorite vegetable, or one from this site. Your family or guest will enjoy this.

    Macadamia Crusted Sole

    Not having Sole in a long time we decided to try to prepare something a little different. Initially the thought was to replicate a crust I had prepared for Skate Wing, a pistachio/ginger compilation. While browsing the assortment of nuts I noticed that Macadamia nuts were on sale and decided to use them instead of pistachio’s and since ginger would overwhelm the delicate flavor of the Macadamia’s I decided to come up with this recipe.

    You will need:

    Sole Filet – approx. 4 to 6 oz./serving
    Bread Crumbs – approx. 1 TBSP/serving (I used Panko here however you can use day old bread process to medium grind)
    Macadamia Nuts – approx. 2 oz/serving
    Parmesan Cheese (grated) – approx 1 TBSP/serving
    Unsalted Butter – approx 2 TBSP/serving
    Nut Oil – approx 1 TBSP/serving – I used Argan Oil however you can substitute another light oil such as Walnut NB: Do not use Peanut Oil.
    Salt/Pepper – to taste.
    Flour – enough to dust the Sole Filets

    Prepare the crust:
    Place all items except for Sole in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients form a thick paste.

    Prepare the Sole:
    Remove any moisture from the fish using paper towels. Lightly dust both sides with the flour, spread the Macadamia mixture over the filets – do not worry if the entire filet is not covered. Cover filets with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to harden the coating.

    Heat a non-stick sauté pan large enough to hold the fish – do not add any fat – carefully place the filets, coating side down, into the pan and cook until the edges of the fish turn opaque. NB: To make sure that the fish is ready to turn shake the pan to see if the fish easily slides across the bottom. You can assist it a little but be careful as to not lose the coating. Carefully turn fish to the uncoated side and continue until completely cooked. This should not take too long as the fish has been almost completely cooked on the coated side.

    Remove fish to serving plates and enjoy.

    Filetto di maiale Vino Cotto con Polenta

    We were given an opportunity to try a new product from Montillo Italian Foods. Vino Cotto di Montillo is a a semi-sweet reduction of premium wine grapes that has been used in Calabrian cooking for generations. We combined the Vino Cotto with raisens and pine nuts creating a sauce that is not only unique but very satisfying. Even your most demanding gourmand will appreciate this rather simple presentation. As with our other recipes we try to develop new ideas with the home cook in mind. We strive to create a meal that takes 30 minutes or less in cooking time. This pork tenderloin recipe turned out great. The earthy richness of the polenta is a perfect compliment to the fragrant sauce.

    You will need:
    Pork Tenderloin – approx. 4 oz/serving
    Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
    Olive Oil
    Unsalted butter
    Pine nuts – approx. 1 oz/serving toasted
    Raisens – approx. 1 oz/serving (soak raisens in Vino Cotto – use enough to cover)
    Vino Cotto di Montillo – approx. 5 TBSP/serving
    Salt free chicken stock – approx. 2 TBSP/serving
    Polenta – approx. 1/4 cup dry/serving.

    Prepare the pork:
    Remove any excess fat and silver skin from tenderloin. Cut into tournedos at least one inch thick, season with sea salt and pepper. In a sauté pan large enough to hold the tournedos without crowding brown until a nice rich crust is formed (about 6 minutes/per side). Don’t walk away from this step as to negate the possibility of burning. If your pan is not large enough you can brown the pork in batches. Remove pork from pan and place in oven preheated to 350° F and cook until internal temperature reaches 140° F. Remove from oven and keep warm. Remember that the pork will continue to cook while it rests and will come to 145 – 150° F for serving.

    For the sauce:
    Pour off any excess fat from the sauté pan. Heat the pan on high for about a minute then off heat add the chicken stock, return to heat and deglaze. Reduce the stock by about 1/2 then add Vino Cotto and soaked raisens. Bring to a rapid simmer then add 1TBSP cold butter and swirl into sauce. Return pork tenderloins to sauce to warm through. Add pine nuts just before serving. Cook polenta according to package recipe. Spoon polenta onto serving plate, top with Pork Tenderloin tournedos and spoon sauce over all.

    You will get rave reviews with this one. Enjoy!

    To purchase an 8.5 oz. bottle of Vino Cotto di Montillo for the low price of $15.95/bottle just send us a note.

    Shrimp Linguine Alfredo

    This is a real simple recipe that anybody can prepare. I takes less than 30 minutes and you will be the toast of the town with your family and friends.

    You will need:

    Uncooked Shrimp – I used 30’s for this recipe however you can use any size as long as they have the shell and weigh approximately 1/3 to 1/2 pound/serving

    Olive Oil

    Unsalted Butter

    Nutmeg – if you don’t have the whole bean do not use grated from the jar just omit. The taste will change somewhat but it will be just fine.

    Heavy Cream – approx 1/4 cup/serving

    Sea Salt/Pepper – I used white pepper here as to not speckle the final sauce but cracked black pepper will work just fine.

    Romano Cheese – approximately one Tablespoon/serving

    Parmesan Cheese – approximately one Tablespoon/serving.

    Fresh or Dried Linguine – I used Linguine Fini for this recipe but you can use the larger pasta or substitute Fettuccini if you prefer.

    NB: The sauce will take approximately 15 minutes to prepare, so be sure to cook the pasta so that it is finished when the sauce is ready.

    Prepare the Shrimp – if the shrimp you purchased was not cleaned by the fish monger make a slit on the back cutting through the shell and clean out. In a sauté pan large, enough to hold the shrimp add some olive oil and heat to a high simmer (when the oil shimmers you know it is the proper temperature). If you do not have a large enough pan, you can do this in batches. Sauté shrimp on both sides until the shell turns a nice shade of pink (do not cook all the way through, as the shrimp will be finished in the sauce). When shrimp is done place in a bowl to cool enough to be able to remove shells. DO NOT clean the pan at this stage.

    Prepare the sauce:
    When shrimp is cool enough to work with remove and discard shells. Cut shrimp into bite size pieces. In the sauté pan you used to do the first step of the shrimp, heat olive oil and butter, it will be ready when the oil shimmers. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the heated sauté pan. The time it will take to cook the shrimp will depend on the size you decided to use. When the shrimp is almost totally opaque add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring the cream up to a simmer then add the cheeses. You cannot walk away from this sauce, as the cream will burn if you are not careful. Either swirl the cream by working the pan in circles or stir regularly until the cream and cheese start to thicken. It is done when the shrimp is firm to the touch and the sauce has noticeably thickened. Drain the pasta and spoon enough of the sauce over it to coat.

    Plate the coated pasta then add the shrimp and balance of sauce. Grate a little more nutmeg over the plated pasta and enjoy.

    Parziale Pastiera

    Lydia P.

    This recipe has been in my family forever. It comes from my father’s side of the family and my father and his siblings each inherited an enamel baking pan from my grandmother. These baking pans, 13 ½ inches in diameter, were from my grandfather’s bakery and had very, very long handles for use in my grandfather’s huge brick ovens. They cut the handles off of these pans for use at home.

    You will need:
    1-2 lbs ricotta cheese
    2-4 handfuls of pecorino romano cheese (half a pound works better)
    8 Italian sausage, cooked and sliced thin
    1/2 lb perciatelli, broken into thirds
    1 dozen eggs

    Preheat oven to 350F
    Fry the sausage. Boil the macaroni.
    Beat the eggs, add the ricotta and romano cheeses to the egg mixture. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add that to the egg mixture. Slice the sausage, add to the mixture.

    Grease the pan with the sausage fat. (13″ round enamel pan is best)
    I took 3 tablespoons of sausage fat and greased the pan with that and did not add any more fat to the mixture. Pour mixture into pan and smooth it out on top so there is no macaroni sticking out of the top (unless you like burnt, crunchy macaroni).

    Bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean. (mine took 70-75 minutes) It will be brown (NOT burnt!) on top.
    This can be served either hot or cold. It freezes well, too!

    You can cut this recipe in half and bake it in a glass deep baking dish (13×9) as well.

    When we prepared this recipe we used half the amounts stipulated. Not knowing the size of the handful of cheese mentioned we went with one full cup of Pecorino. It is difficult to determine link size when purchasing the sausage so we went with 2 pounds.

    As you can see in the photograph of our version we used a football shaped baking dish which was sufficient in size to hold everything. Using the fat from the sausage to grease the baking dish hadn’t been tried before by us but really like the idea, it gives the dish a little added dimension.

    Thank you Lydia and congratulations on being the first, of hopefully many, Guest Chef.

    Venison Chili

    venisonchili

    I received, for lack of a better word, a loaf of ground venison from a friend and wanted to use it in a way I hadn’t done before. I’ve prepared Rack of Venison before but never had the opportunity to work with ground product. Being wild caught I knew that the ground meat would be a tad gamier so I needed something that would take advantage of that fact without totally masking the taste. I immediately thought of doing a chili but the recipes I have would almost surely obliterate that fact that my guests would be eating deer meat. I went through my library of recipes and decided on the one I have for turkey chili adjusting it to taste. This recipe will make enough for six people.

    You will need:
    One pound ground Venison
    One medium Vidalia or Walla Walla onion diced.
    One medium green pepper diced.
    Olilve Oil
    One 14 ounce can diced tomato.
    One 14 ounce can white beans such as cannellini, drained and rinsed.
    Chicken Broth – approximately 2 cups.
    Tomato Paste – approximately 2 TBSP.
    Garlic – approximately 2 cloves diced finely.
    Chili powder – approximately 2 TBSP
    Ground Cumin – approximately 2 tsp.
    Ground Cinnamon – approximately 1 tsp.
    Ground Allspice – approximately 1 tsp
    Dried Oregano – approximately 2 tsp.l
    Salt/pepper to taste
    Good quality bittersweet chocolate – approximately 2 TBSP grated fine.
    Grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

    In a hot dutch oven add 2 or 3 TBSP of olive oil – remember venison is very lean – sauté ground meat until just browned, add tomato paste, garlic, onion, green pepper continue to sauté until vegetables soften, add all the spices/herbs and continue to cook for approximately three minutes. Taste for balance of seasonings adjust to your personal taste. Add chicken broth, diced tomato and beans stir to combine. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover dutch oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Check again for seasoning balance and adjust if needed. Stir in grated chocolate, serve immediately topped with some of the grated cheddar cheese.

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