Old Country Chicken Ratatouille

Emmy Lu’s helping

1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
salt and pepper (you be the judge) paprika Italian seasoning

The lovely and talented

½ stick of butter (divided) 4 tbsp. olive oil (divided)

4 tomatoes, blanched and peeled 4 small Italian egg plant 4 small Italian zucchini 2 small onions 1 red or orange bell pepper 1 green or yellow bell pepper ½ cup white wine Parmesan cheese to finish

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and paprika  In a large sauté pan, melt ¼ stick butter and add 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Over medium high heat, cook the chicken until golden brown.   Remove to plate and set aside. Chop the vegetables in chunks and remove the seeds from the tomatoes.  To the sauté pan, add the rest of the butter and olive oil and scrape the goodies from the bottom of the pan.  Add the veggies to the pan.  I added a little more garlic (okay, 4 cloves).  Sauté until tomatoes start giving off liquid and colors brighten.  Add the chicken back to the pan …

Sissy's Luscious Fettuccine Carbonara

Start with your homemade fettuccine (see earlier pasta recipe) and start a large pot of generously salted water to boil.
1/2 pound pancetta and 2 - 4 cloves of garlic. I buy mine at the Italian deli in Little Italy.

Add two swirls of  olive oil to a heated fry pan and slowly saute the pancetta and garlic.

When all the fat has been rendered and everything is golden brown, pour off the oil and put back on the burner.  Add 1/4 cup of white wine.  Opps!! I added a little more.  Just to deglaze the pan don't ya know.

Simmer until wine has evaporated.  In the meantime, grate about 2 cups of Parmesan.

To a medium mixing bowl add 3 large eggs plus one egg yolk.  Pepper generously and add half the parmesan, some Italian seasoning and mix thoroughly.  Isn't that the most pitiful whisk you've ever seen?
When pasta is ready (opps, did I tell you to put the pasta in the boiling water?  Oh well, you'll  figure it out), reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water.  You will need it.  Drain …

Sunday Sourdough Bread

Okay, so it's Sunday and not Saturday.  The reason for that is it is an  all day process that you need to start the night before.  Well, I always forget therefore, I start Saturday night.

Feed your starter Saturday night.  Click here to read my recipe on making Sourdough Starter.

Look how nice and bubbly it is.  Shame on me.  Pretend the rim is nice and pristine like on HGTV.

Add enough flour and bottled water to fill your jar half way up.  Stir.  It should be the consistency of  thick pancake batter.  You don't want it any more than half because it will double in size.  I place a coffee filter over the top, secure with a rubber band and leave it on the counter over night.  It inevitably overflows and makes a mess on my counter.  I just smile and say, "good starter, good starter."

Since I''m writing this on Labor Day, here is the underpaid workers sans olive oil.

In your mixing bowl, add 5 cups flour and 2 generous teaspoons of salt.  You can switch it up a …

Grandma's Home Made Pasta

This past recipe is so simple you're  going to slap yourself for buying the packaged junk.  I use my Kitchen Aide with the pasta attachments but you don't  have to.  My friend Fred does just fine  with a rolling pin and a knife.  Make any type of pasta you want from  ravioli to tagliatelle, to bow ties.

Are you ready for this??

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup semolina
2 generous pinches  of  salt
1 egg and some cold water.

Make sure you  wash your counter good and take off your rings.  Flour your hands good and get in there are start squishing.

Keep  adding water as needed.  When the dough becomes ready,  you will see that your hands aren't so gucked (that is a word isn't it?) up, and the dough's not in any real hurry to pick  up more flour.  I like to dust the counter with just enough so the counter's basically clean when I'm done.  Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let it rest in the frig.

When you're ready, divide it into easily workable pieced and e…

Sourdough Starter

The result of a great Sourdough Starter...

Nothing is better than homemade bread.  Especially when it’s made with natural ingredients and can be done with only three things; flour, water, and salt.  Of course, you need your sourdough starter but what is that if not only flour and water. If you use your kitchen and cook daily, there are millions of awesome yeasts and bacteria floating around and that’s what we’re going to utilize to make our starter.
Actors and props in the play:

The quality of flour and the water you use are extremely important.  Remember, you are going to have your starter for years so use good stuff.  I usually grind my own flour for my artisan breads but sometimes I don’t.  Never, buy bleached flour and if you can avoid enriched.  A good flour to use for your starter is something like King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour.  Don’t use tap water either as it usually has chlorine in it that can damage your starter. In a large jar, place 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2/3 cup…

Corn-o-copia Corn Chowder

Soups are something that are really good, super easy, inexpensive, and a great dinner to make when you want to clean out the frig.

Actors in the play:

Start with the “trilogy,” onions, carrots, and celery.  The trilogy is the basic for almost all of my soup recipes. 

A little flavor with added heat.  A small can of diced chilies and 1 chipotle pepper in adobo.

Bacon, trilogy, peppers, corn and left over sweet potatoes from last night’s curry.

Finished chowder, ready to be served up.

Recipe 1 package bacon diced Trilogy  (2 carrots, 2 sticks celery with leaves, 1 medium onion.  All diced.) 8 cups water 2 tbsp. chicken bouillon 2 pound bag of frozen corn ¼ cup cornmeal mixed with 2 tbsp. water 1 small can diced green chilies 1 chipotle pepper in adobo diced I added 1 pasilla pepper and about a cup of diced sweet potato.  (Use what you have and make it your own.)
1 cup heavy cream.  (relax guys, won't hurt you) 2 cups of whatever cheese you have on hand, grated.  I used provolone. Ab…

Saturday Night Stromboli

Basic pizza dough (see previous post) Pepperoni Salami Deli ham Arugula Pizza sauce or marinara sauce Parmesan cheese grated 1 egg with a tsp of water
Follow the recipe for Basic Pizza Dough

Divide the dough in two and on parchment paper roll each half into about a 10 x 16 inch rectangle.

Using a spoon or spatula, spread the sauce over the dough leaving about a 3 inch area of dough clear on both the long side. 

Begin layering the meats and cheese.

  Top with arugula, a layer of ham, and a layer of cheese.

Carefully roll the Stromboli and leave seam side down.  Transfer to baking sheet on the parchment paper. 

 Paint Stromboli with egg wash.

Carefully slice slits for steam to escape.

Sprinkle with cheese and parsley if you wish.

Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before carving.

Cut and serve!  Enjoy!