Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fresh Tomato Chili

a mix of 10 large red yellow and green tomatoes - poached and peeled. quart of chicken stock. 1 large chopped onion, 6 cloves garlic, mix of 4 large yellow red and green bell peppers, 1 long green chillies. 1/2  lb cubed then browned sirloin and 1 lb ground chuck, lots of chili powder, i can red kidney beans, 1 can large white butter beans, salt pepper. 1 large can organic diced tomatoes. cook for 2 hours. serve with a big spoonful of sour cream and chopped scallions..real good. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pane Salsiccia

During my undergrad study in Rome, I think somewhere around 03, an Italian riend of mine brought me to a small enoteca called Nuvolari, just 4 blocks east of Vatican city on Borgo Vittorio at Via degli Ombrellari 10. Besides the very cool atmosphere, all wood, lots of candles lit in old wine bottles covered in wax drippings, an excellent wine selection and not to mention the free buffet served in the evenings, there was one dish in particular that has stuck with me since that I have been trying over the years and have come up with two versions of it that work really well. The dish is called Pane Salsiccia and it is a ground pork sausage pate with white truffle on small crostini. Here's how to do it.

Sweet or Mild Pork Sausages in casings - 1 lb
White Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves chopped
Nutmeg - ground, 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbs
White Truffle Oil - 2 tbs
Baguette - sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
Salt & Pepper - 2 tsp each
Parsley - 1 tbs dry or fresh

Take all of the sausage out of the casing by slicing them down the center. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent then add sausage. Stir and mash into small pieces until fully cooked, add nutmeg, salt and pepper and 1 tsp of truffle oil and stir well. After cooked put the mixture into a food processor and mix, adding olive oil if necessary, until it becomes a smooth pate. Heat the oven to 350. Place the crostini on a large baking sheet and spread some olive oil on each, toast until slightly golden. Spread a generous potion of the sausage pate on each crostino then drizzle the rest of the truffle oil on top of each and bake again for about 8 minutes. When done sprinkle some parsley on top and if you like some grated romano cheese. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garlic Risotto with Yellow Zucchini Squash and Tomatoes

Needed a lite and flavorful carbohydrate for last night's dinner and came up with this: I made a basic garlic risotto and added Yellow Zucchini Squash and Tomatoes.
It is incredibly easy and fast.
Arborio Rice - 1 cup
Water or Chicken Stock - 2 - 3 cups
Yellow Zucchini Squash - 1 cup chopped
Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 cup sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves chopped
Butter - 2 tbs
Olive Oil - 1 tbs
Salt and Pepper - to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan on medium heat, add garlic and saute for a minute. Add chopped Zucchini and saute for 1 minuet. 
Add rice dry and mix and saute for several minutes.
Add first cup of water or stock and mix well and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir frequently for several minutes until the water is absorbed then add the next cup. 
Stir frequently again and add the rest of the water if needed. 
When rice becomes soft add the chopped tomatoes to the top, sale and pepper to taste, stir once then remove to a bowl and let sit for several minutes before serving.
Add some grated parmesan or romano cheese just before serving.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I made this several weeks back for my girlfriend and her friends for brunch and it came out pretty well and was quite easy to make. heres how i did it.
2 large heads broccoli chopped into small pieces, you can leave out the bottom 2 inches or so of the stem but the rest can be used.
1 qt chicken stock
1 large onion - minced
3 stocks celery - minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter
olive oil
2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces
1/2 qt water
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp salt or to taste
3 tsp pepper or to taste

in a large deep pot saute onion, garlic and celery in a bit of olive oil and the butter until soft. add potatoes and broccoli and stir. add chicken stock and bring to a boil, covered, for about 30 mins or until the broccoli and potatoes are fully cooked. 

use an immersion blender or regular blender and blend all together until smooth. add the water and heavy cream, stir in well, and blend again. cook over low heat for about 30 mins. add salt and pepper to taste at the end. 

i put a bit of regular sour cream on top just before serving

(you can use more butter and/or cream depending on how fatty, and tasty, you want it)

Polenta Rounds w/ Pulled Chicken

This is a really easy yet amazing looking appetizer that I came up with recently when in the mood for something fresh and a bit spicy. 
Polenta - easiest to buy the precooked roll of polenta, I got mine from Trader Joe's 
Red bell pepper
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp Saffron
1 qt Chicken stock
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
olive oil
canola oil
cut polenta rounds at about 1/4 inch thick each until you have as many as you need to serve. lightly salt and pepper the rounds and set aside for a bit. cut the chicken thighs into about 2 inch strips. mince onion and garlic. add a bit of olive oil to a deep pot and turn on medium high. saute the onion, garlic and saffron for several minutes and then add the chicken. brown on all sides and then add the chicken stock. lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is able to be pulled apart with a fork into thin strips. 
for the rounds - in a large flat pan add some canola oil and turn heat to medium high. place rounds in and saute until they start to become a bit brown and then flip. this will take about 3 minutes per side. remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain oil. 
mix goat and ricotta cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper
cut wafer thin slices of the red pepper. place several slices on the polenta rounds. add a bit of the pulled chicken, then a spoonful of the cheese mixture, parsley on top.