A quick dinner isn’t so quick, if you’re stuck washing a dozen pots and pans when you’re through. To me, nothing is worse than facing a mountain of dishes in the sink when dinner is over.
However, here is one solution – cook everything on a foiled-covered baking pan. This method ensures you won’t get stuck in the kitchen and it produces a great tasting dinner.
Orange Flavored Baked Chicken, Onions and Potatoes
The recipe is easily doubled or tripled depending on how many diners are at your table.
- 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon. dried chili flakes
- 4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- One large sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves minced
- 4 boneless chicken thighs (about 6 oz. each), trimmed of excess fat and skin removed
- 3/4 to 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 425°F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Finely grate 1 teaspoon orange zest and squeeze 1 tablespoon of orange juice from the orange. Stir together the juice, zest, oil, salt and the chili flakes in a small bowl.
Place the potatoes and onions on the baking sheet and brush them, on all sides, with some of the orange mixture.
Place the chicken in a medium bowl and pour the remaining oil mixture over the chicken thighs. Turn to coat well. Dredge the chicken in the panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken.
Place the chicken on the foiled-lined baking sheet and sprinkle the thighs and vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables and chicken with the minced rosemary.
Note: The recipe can be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated until time to cook dinner.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and onions over. Continue to roast about for 20 minutes more, until the chicken is crisp and golden and the potatoes are lightly browned in spots.
When the chicken is done, remove the potatoes and onions to serving plates and top with the chicken.
Remove the foil from the pan, carefully, and guess what……no pan to wash tonight.
Cucumbers in Sour Cream Dressing
Note: Salting the cucumbers draws out excess moisture and helps keep the salad from getting watery.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 scallion, white and green parts, sliced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Scoop out the seeds from the halved cucumbers with a spoon and slice into ¼ inch thick half-moons.
Place cucumber and scallion slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the cucumber and scallion slices and toss to coat.
Let salad stand for at least 5 minutes before serving, or chill in the refrigerator until serving time.
Tips On Grilling Shellfish
The flavor of shellfish benefits significantly from grilling. Removing the shellfish from the grill before they become too well done and rubbery is the biggest challenge. Watching closely for shellfish to turn opaque (non-transparent), removing them from the grill and serving them immediately are key to delicious tasting fish.
Prepare scallops for grilling by cutting off the curved shaped appendage that is attached to the side of the body, if still intact.
Prepare shrimp by removing the shell and the vein that runs along the back. Personal preference dictates whether to leave the tail on or off.
Marinating shellfish in a flavorful oil will help to prevent the tendency of the scallops and shrimp to dry out.
Two skewers work best to prevent the seafood from spinning or turning on the grill.
Grill shrimp on each side for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the shrimp. Cook scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on their size.
Tips On Grilling Vegetables
Make room on the grill for vegetables. The caramelized, smoky flavor that comes with grilling does wonders for vegetables. A lot of veggies do well on the grill, but some really stand out — asparagus, corn, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, peppers and onions.
Most vegetables cook better and are less likely to stick if they’re marinated first or brushed lightly with vegetable oil.
For added flavor, sprinkle grilled vegetables with chopped fresh herbs. Cut the vegetables all about the same size for even cooking.
If you use wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 20 minutes.
Marinade for the Shellfish and Vegetables
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup. Divide in half. Use one half for the shellfish and one half for the vegetables.
Grilled Shellfish Skewers
For 2 servings
- 6 medium sea scallops
- 6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Marinade, recipe above
- 2 double skewers
- Green Goddess Dressing, recipe below
Grilled Vegetable Skewers
For 2 servings
- 1/4 of a Fennel bulb, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/3 of a Red Bell Pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 small Zucchini, cut into 2 inch slices
- Marinade, recipe above
- 2 double skewers
- Green Goddess Dressing, recipe below
Marinate the shellfish and vegetables separately for 30 minutes. Drain and thread the scallops on one double skewer and the shrimp on a second double skewer.
Do the same with the vegetables. Save any marinade left in the bowl to use as a basting sauce.
Preheat an outdoor grill to high and grease the grill grates with oil.
Place the vegetable skewers on the grill first, since they will take longer to cook. Cook until the vegetables are tender, turning and basting them with the olive oil mixture occasionally, about 15 minutes.
After the vegetables have cooked for 10 minutes, place the shellfish skewers on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve the grilled shellfish and vegetables with the Green Goddess Dressing.
Green Goddess Dressing
This may be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This dressing is also delicious drizzled over hard-boiled eggs.
Makes 1 cup
- 1/4 cup snipped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the chives, parsley, anchovy fillets, tarragon and vinegar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream, scraping down the sides, and process until pureed. Add the sour cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Store in the refrigerator until serving time.
Brown and Wild Rice with Pecans and Thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 cup brown and wild rice mix, without seasoning. (I use Lundberg rice)
- 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
In heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, saute the onion in oil until softened. Add rice and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring so it does not get too brown.
Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat to very low, cover and cook for about 50 minutes. (Check your rice package to see what the recommended cooking time is.)
After 50 minutes, check the rice. It should be slightly chewy with all the liquid absorbed when it’s done. Stir in the toasted pecans.
Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Serve hot.
The comforting and inviting smell of home-baked bread should be reason enough to try baking at home. Home-baked bread also offers more nutrients than commercially manufactured breads and, of course, there are no preservatives in this bread. Although baking bread takes some time, the taste and nutritional benefits of baking your own bread makes the effort worthwhile.
No-Knead Sourdough Rye
I came up with this recipe for rye bread based on the process for no-knead breads developed by Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery. Plus I often think about how I can use my sourdough starter that I always have available in my refrigerator. So I combined the two and the results were a delicious rye bread that goes really well with soup or a salad.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rye flour
- 1/2 teaspoon instant rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
You will need a Dutch Oven or a Cloche Baker (round or long) for this recipe.
Mix the flours, salt, yeast and caraway in a large bowl. Combine the honey, starter and water in a measuring cup and, gradually, add the liquids until the dough comes together into a wet dough.
You may need a little more water, 2-3 tablespoons more, if the dough seems dry. The dough should be fairly moist.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
Flour a work surface and gently turn the dough out. Fold the edges in and pinch them to form a ball.
Let the dough rise on a well floured towel or parchment lined bowl.
I like to line a round bread basket with parchment paper, cut to fit the basket, because the bread does not flatten out too much, as no-knead doughs can sometimes do.
After 1-2 hours, the dough should have fully risen.
During the last 45 minutes of the second rise, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with the cloche baker or dutch Oven on a low rack.
After 45 minutes, remove the baker from the oven and turn the oven down to 450 degrees F. Use well insulted pot holders, as the baker will be very hot.
Using the parchment as a sling, gently lower the dough with the parchment into the preheated baker.
Be careful to not touch the baker as it is very hot! Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Place the lid on the baker and put the baker into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the bread is deep brown in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.
To keep the crust crackly, turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let the bread cool inside the oven for 30 minutes.
Sourdough English Muffins
There are many recipes for English Muffins but this one is a favorite in my family. It is easy to make and tastes great for breakfast, especially with homemade jam. I like making my own English Muffins because they have a fresh, clean taste, that store-bought muffins do not seem to have. Adding a little whole wheat flour gives the muffins some added nutrition. You do need to buy English Muffin rings to make this recipe, but the process I use won’t make a mess from cooking the muffins on the stovetop.
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder
- 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons soft butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour (not starch)
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup sourdough starter, set out on the kitchen counter, covered, overnight
- Semolina flour or cornmeal
Combine all of the ingredients except the semolina in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Mix and then beat at high speed using the flat beater paddle for 5 minutes.
The dough will be soft, sticky and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover it, and allow the dough to rise for about 90-120 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
Grease the rings with cooking spray.
Place 16 rings on two parchment covered sheet pans and sprinkle a little semolina or cornmeal in each muffin ring,
Fill each ring almost to the top. I used a small muffin scoop to make it easier. Pat the dough a little to get it to the sides of the rings.
Place a sheet of parchment paper that has been coated with cooking spray on top of the rings and lay another sheet pan on top. This step helps the muffins retain their shape. Let rise 30 minutes.
Remove the top pan and parchment and sprinkle the tops of the risen muffins with semolina. Replace the parchment paper, sprayed side down, and the baking sheets.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bake the muffins (with the baking sheet on top) for 10 minutes. Flip the pans over and rotate the pans on the oven racks. Bake 5 minutes more.
Remove the top pan and parchment, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the muffins are a light golden brown and the interior of one registers about 200°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the muffins from the oven. Remove the muffin rings (they will slide right off) and transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.
Ancona is a province in the Marche region of central Italy. The province is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the north and the Apennine Mountains on the west. Ancona’s sandy beaches are popular with Italians but not well-known to tourists.
The hills of the region are littered with Medieval buildings and walls, and unlike many other often-invaded areas, historical architecture has been preserved and adapted for modern uses.
The Ancona port, one of the main ports on the Adriatic Sea, is located in the city of Ancona and is a busy passenger port with ferries running to Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro.
The city was founded in 387 BC by Greek settlers and the name Ancona comes from the Greek for elbow, due to its elbow-shaped harbor.
Many of the small craft workshops of the past scattered throughout the rural settlements have modernised and become small businesses, some of which have become major brands known all over the world (Indesit, Tod’s, Guzzini, Teuco). This evolution led to the emergence of ‘specialised’ industries: footwear, leather goods, furniture, household appliances and textiles, all made in the region.
The demand for Italian textiles and clothing is strong in the United States and Japan, as well as China, Hong Kong, Turkey and Russia. Italy is also a pioneer in the export of yarn, woolen fabrics, silk fabrics, clothing and hosiery.
A large area of the province’s land is farmland and much of it is used for wine production; as the production of Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Verdicchio grapes. Traditional feasts are held in the province during the harvesting period.
The mountainous regions and the Conero Regional Park, which contain dense forests, are where black truffles are found and they are sold throughout the province and neighboring provinces.
The main products grown are cereals, vegetables, animal products and grapes. Olives are also produced and managed by various harvesters. The sea has always furnished a plentiful supply of fish,
The influence of the neighboring regions, particularly Emilia-Romagna, can be seen in the popularity of fresh egg pasta and oven-baked pasta dishes in the province. Vincisgrassi is a regional favorite and is a type of baked-lasagna stuffed with chicken livers.
In and around Ancona, you will find a variety of soups. Minestra di lumachelle is a local favorite containing lumachelle, a type of pasta made with egg, cheese and bread crumbs, similar to passatelli. Tripe soup, or minestrone di trippa, is also a regional specialty that is served with a battuto, lard pounded together with herbs.
Along the coast, fish soups are typical. Brodetto is prepared with a variety of fish. There are also a number of special, regional preparations for local seafood: cooked with white wine, tomato, lemon juice and spices, alla marinara, stewed in tomato sauce; al forno or oven-broiled.
Meat is also popular. Pilotto is a way to prepare meat by wrapping it in paper with a piece of lard, which melts into the meat during cooking. Another local favorite is Porchetta, a spit-roasted whole, boneless pig that has been stuffed with herbs.
Some of the best cheeses made in the area are Casciotta d’Urbino DOP, Raviggiolo del Montefeltro, Slaatto and herb-flavored sheep’s milk cheeses. For a special treat, olive ascolane are stuffed with meat, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and then fried.
Cicerchiata is a dessert made from yeast dough, shaped into balls, baked in the oven and covered with honey. Becciate are made with raisins and pine nuts. Migliaccio is a dessert made with pig’s blood, sugar and citrus peel.
Broad Beans with Anchovies
Serve with crusty Italian bread as an appetizer.
- 2 lb broad beans, fresh and shells removed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pinch marjoram
- 4 anchovies
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- White wine vinegar to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the broad beans in a small quantity of salted water until they are fairly “al dente”.
Prepare the topping with a chopped mixture of anchovies, garlic, marjoram, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the topping over the broad beans as soon as they have been drained. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Brodetto (Fish Stew) Ancona-Style
You can use any type of fish–swordfish, squid, red snapper, shrimp, clams, mussels and lobster for this recipe with a total weight of 3 lbs.. Clean the clams and mussels well and put them into the stew whole. Some versions of brodetto use saffron instead of red pepper flakes and white wine instead of vinegar. You can substitute rice for the bread, as well.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Red pepper flakes (chili) to taste
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
- 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup white vinegar or wine
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups fish stock
- 1 pound clams in the shell, scrubbed
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, with shells
- 6 (3/4 inch thick) slices Italian bread, toasted
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, Dutch oven, or a clay pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, bay leaves, parsley and red pepper.
Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the mashed tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Pour in the vinegar or wine and cook 10 minutes. Pour in the fish stock and add the snapper.
Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Gently mix in the clams and cook until the clams open (discard any that don’t) about 2 minutes, and then stir in the shrimp.
Cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes.
Place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the brodetto over the bread and serve immediately.
Pollo in Potacchio
- 1 small chicken cut into 5 pieces (wing, drumstick, thigh and breast cut in half)
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped imported Italian tomatoes
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Hot water
- 10 small Yukon gold potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
Line a dish with paper towels and lay out the chicken, skin side up. Let air dry uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Place in a pot, cover with cold water, and add a pinch of salt. Over high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
The potatoes will not be completely cooked. Drain in colander.
Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the leaves from two of the rosemary sprigs. Add a good pinch of salt and toss.
Pour the potatoes out onto a sheet pan and shake to separate. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning the potatoes once with a stainless steel spatula.
In a large skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about ten minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl.
Discard the rendered chicken fat and oil.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the large skillet, still over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic cloves; sauté until soft but not brown.
Add the white wine and rosemary sprigs; cook until the wine evaporates.
Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes. Season with salt and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and a splash of hot water. Turn the chicken over to coat. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve the chicken topped with a little sauce and the potatoes.
Orange Cake – Ancona-Style
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting the pan
- 3 eggs
- Grated peel of 3 oranges
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened to room temperature, plus butter for greasing the pan
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, with 3 tablespoons sugar dissolved in it.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thickly smear a Bundt pan with butter and dust with flour.
Put the flour, eggs, orange peel, 4 tablespoons softened butter, sugar and liqueur in a food processor and run until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Add the milk and baking powder and process again to incorporate into the mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it won’t fill it up all the way) and place the pan in the preheated oven.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester placed in the center of the cake comes out clean..
Invert the cake while still warm and place it on a rimmed plate. Poke many holes into the cake with a thin handle from a wooden spoon.
Pour the orange juice over the cake slowly. At first, the holes fill to the brim with juice, but this will be absorbed by the cake. Repeat until all the juice is used.
Whatever juice ends up at the bottom of the cake, leave it there; it will eventually be absorbed.
Serve at room temperature. The cake keeps in the refrigerator, covered, for a week.
Turkey Scallopini with Capers and Lemon
Serve this dish with cooked, thin spaghetti and a green vegetable or salad for dinner. This dish also works for company or as a potluck dish, since a turkey breast is quite large. You can also freeze the leftovers.
- 1 1/2 pound boneless turkey breast, sliced into thin cutlets and pounded to 1/8-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
Pat the turkey slices dry and season with salt and pepper.
Dredge the turkey slices in flour, shaking off excess and set aside on waxed paper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown half of the turkey cutlets on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Transfer to a platter and keep warm, covered.
Cook the remaining turkey cutlets with another 2 tablespoons of oil in the same manner.
Do not clean out the skillet.
Heat the butter in the skillet and cook the garlic for one minute.
Add the broth to the skillet and deglaze over moderately high heat, scraping up brown bits. Bring to a boil and stir in the lemon juice, lemon slices, capers, parsley and salt and pepper, to taste.
Return the turkey cutlets to the skillet with any juices on the platter and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute.
Old Fashioned Baked Beans
This is one dish I only like homemade. Baked beans out of a can just are not to my liking. Here is my favorite recipe. These beans are delicious with BBQ pork chops.
- 1 pound navy beans
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 3 pieces thick bacon
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Dijon country mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Rinse beans in a colander under water to remove any stones or impurities. Place the rinsed beans in a large pot or bowl and fill with water to completely cover the beans.
Set aside, loosely covered, on the kitchen counter, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cook the bacon in an ovenproof Dutch Oven. When crisp, remove to a paper towel to cool and, then, cut into small pieces.
Drain the beans and place in the Dutch Oven with the onions and the garlic. Mix well.
Add all the remaining ingredients, including the chopped bacon and stir until all contents are well mixed.
Add enough water to cover the beans, about 3 cups, depending on the size of your pot.
Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 4-5 hours – stirring several times during the baking period.
Remove the lid after 3 hours and continue baking for the next hour – to allow the liquid to evaporate into a thick sauce.
Add the kosher salt. Taste the beans and add more, if needed.
Carrot, Olive and Feta Salad
This salad goes very well with grilled chicken.
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 10 oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut into thin slices
- 2 ounces feta cheese, cubed
In a small bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and parsley.
Mix together the carrots, olives, feta, mint and the olive oil mixture.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Pasta with Italian Sausage Sauce and Ricotta
Serve with a green salad to complete this meal.
- 1 pound penne or rigatoni pasta
- 1 /2 pound Italian sausage
- 3 cups homemade or prepared marinara (tomato) sauce
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper(chili)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
In a large skillet, brown the sausage and drain on a paper towel. When cool cut into thin slices.
Add the sausage back to the skillet with the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer while the pasta cooks.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta.
Mix the ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper together in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Warm the ricotta in the microwave on high for about 60 seconds – just until warm to the touch.
Stir the cooked pasta into the sausage sauce in the skillet and pour into a serving bowl.
Drop tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the pasta.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and serve.
Grass-fed red meats are leaner and contain proportionally more of many important nutrients that relate to good health. Because grass-fed beef has less fat and marbling (which help keep the juices in the meat), the meat toughens much more rapidly and, therefore, requires more careful cooking. This means it’s essential to rely on a thermometer rather than timing to ensure you don’t overcook the meat. Choose spice rubs or marinades that are oil or herb based, and plan to serve all tender cuts of steak medium rare. Cook the steak to an internal temperature of 120 degrees and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
A grass-fed steak should be exposed to high direct heat for no more than 2 minutes per side. After that, in order to guarantee tender and juicy meat, it should be removed from the flames and allowed to finish in indirect or low heat. If you are cooking the steak on the grill, simply move it off the flames and put it on the side of the grill that is not lit, close the grill cover and allow the meat to cook for about 5-7 minutes per pound. During that indirect time, the internal muscle fibers will come up to temperature slowly without contracting too tightly and toughening. Also, the proteins and sugars will have time to caramelize over the surface of the meat, giving the steak that characteristic glossy look and rich taste.
If you are cooking it indoors, once the steak has seared in a hot skillet, transfer the skillet to a 300 degree F oven for about 5-7 minutes per pound (or a 200 degree F oven for about 10 minutes per pound).
- 2 grass-fed, bone-in ribeye or NY strip steaks, about 14-16 oz each
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
- 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula
- Italian vinaigrette (your favorite)
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Lemon wedges
Cooking the steak:
Coat the steaks in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for one hour.
Heat an outdoor grill and oil the grill grates. Once the grill is hot, turn off one burner or move the hot coals to one side.
Place the steaks over the hot (direct) side of the grill and cook for two minutes. Turn the steaks over and cook for two more minutes.
Move the steaks to the indirect side and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the steaks register 120 on a n instant meat thermometer. Remove to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
Cooking the mushroom topping:
Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add add the shallots. Cook for one minute and then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until their moisture evaporates.
Add the remaining ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
For the salad:
Arrange the arugula on a serving platter and drizzle lightly with Italian vinaigrette. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Place the grilled steaks on top. Spread the mushrooms over the steaks.
Serve with lemon wedges.
Sourdough Dinner Rolls
These rolls are delicious with the steak and round out the meal.
Yield: 8 rolls
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) yeast
- 1/3 cup cracked wheat or other whole grain
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine 1 cup of the flour with the yeast, cracked wheat and salt.
In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the water, honey and the oil. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, until warm (but not hot).
Add the warm water mixture and the sourdough starter to the dry ingredients. Beat for 4 minutes on medium speed.
Gradually add the remaining flour, about ½ cup at a time, and switch to the dough hook and knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover lightly with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press or “punch” down to remove air bubbles. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 4×6-inch rectangle; then, starting with the longer side, roll up each rectangle tightly, pinching the edges and ends to seal.
Place shaped rolls onto a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled again, about 1 more hour. Near the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
With a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slash down the center of each roll and brush or lightly spray with cold water.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crusty and brown. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and cool on a cooling rack.