Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

America’s Culinary Food Stories-Beef Stroganoff

America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Stroganoff (or Stroganov) is a simple and comforting Russian dish consisting of sauteed pieces of beef served in a sour cream sauce. It dates back to the mid 19th century and is named for a member of the Stroganov family, who were a group of highly successful Russian merchants and landowners in Tsarist Russia. The first known recipe is found in a mid-1800s Russian cookbook. The dish probably goes back to much earlier peasant fare but is now commonly attributed to the household of Count Pavel Stroganoff (1774-1817). Tolstoy’s War and Peace novel paints a picture of Russian society of that time which was fascinated with French culture and language. The interest in all things French extended to food, with chefs of the great households striving to create dishes in a more elegant and refined style.

After the fall of Tsarist Russia, the dish found popularity in China. Then, during WWII, Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as US servicemen, brought the dish to the US. The first English language recipe for Beef Stroganoff appeared in a cookbook in 1932, but its popularity didn’t blossom until after World War II. Servicemen who’d served overseas were open to new tastes and flavors. Some went on to become the food editors, writers, and chefs who redefined American cuisine. At the same time, families moved to the suburbs, and dinner parties became more fashionable than ever. Beef Stroganoff, luxurious yet easy to prepare, became a signature dish with countless hostesses, and a headline entrée in upscale restaurants. New York’s Russian Tea Room, founded by former members of the Imperial Ballet, was famous for this dish.

In the 50s and 60s, Stroganoff saw quite a bit of popularity in the US, but overtime its image was marred by canned cream of mushroom soup and poor cuts of meat that were poured over noodles or rice and served in cafeterias. Unfortunately, it was this cafeteria version that everyone in the States came to associate with the name. Beef Stroganoff is so much more than the 50s and 60s made it out to be. Authentic Russian Beef Stroganoff combines tender beef and flavorful mushrooms in a creamy sauce for an elegant, yet quick dish.

The best beef to use in beef stroganoff is a cut that works well with quick-cooking. That means you need something that is tender in its own rights, such as beef tenderloin or ribeye steak. The important thing is to cut the steak into thin slices by cutting across the grain. This shortens the fibers of the meat, making it more tender with less cooking.

In Russia, you will most often find traditional beef stroganoff served over fried shoestring potatoes (French fries). It can also be found served over mashed potatoes or rice. Here in the States, egg noodles are the most common accompaniment to beef stroganoff.

TRADITIONAL BEEF STROGANOFF

Ingredients

2 tablespoons salted butter
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb beef tenderloin, sliced thinly, against the grain
2 tablespoons instant Wondra flour or all-purpose
1 cup beef broth
½ teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 oz egg noodles, cooked

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the butter. Add the beef to the saute pan. Cook until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add the onion and mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms are tender. Stir the flour into the beef broth and mix well.
Add the beef broth, salt, pepper, mustard powder, and tomato paste to the saute pan scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any stuck bits.
Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Place the sour cream into a small bowl and mix a little of the broth from the skillet with the sour cream to warm it. Pour the warmed sour cream mixture into the saucepan and mix to combine. Warm over very low heat,
Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve the stroganoff over the cooked noodles.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Pizza

Pizza Dough

A chewy pizza crust that can be made quickly with just basic pantry ingredients for when you are in a hurry. Makes 1 lb of pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled pizza pan and press and stretch the dough to the edges of the pan.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place an oven rack on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

After the dough has rested, add the toppings as indicated below.

Sausage and Peppers Topping

ingredients

8 oz spicy Italian Sausage, cut into thin slices

1 lb small bell peppers, sliced thin

1 large onion sliced thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Olive oil

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

26 oz container strained or chopped Italian tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high and place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, then add sausage and cook until browned about 6 minutes, stirring until no pink remains. Add the remaining ingredients and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

Top the rested dough with slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, onions, and sausage.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Roasted Lamb Chops & Mixed Vegetables

While I only wanted 2 servings of the lamb, I made extra vegetables so there would be leftovers for another meal. The vegetables are a great addition to a salad.

Ingredients

1 lb green beans trimmed
6 rainbow carrots trimmed and sliced in half
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6–8 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped from stems and coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
Salt and pepper
2 lamb chops (about 6 1/2 oz each)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons seasoned panko crumbs
2 tablespoons capers

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.

In a large bowl, toss the green beans, carrots, and peppers with 3 tablespoons olive oil, half the rosemary, 2 garlic, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a foiled lined baking sheet. Roast 12 to 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the remaining rosemary, the remaining garlic, and the lemon juice; spread the mixture all over the lamb chops.

Sprinkle with panko crumbs,

Place the lamb chops on the baking sheet with the vegetables and roast for 15 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter, add the lamb and sprinkle all with the capers. Serve immediately.

Chicken Cordon Bleu With Kale Mash

Chicken Cordon Bleu Rolls

2 servings

Ingredients

2 chicken breast cutlets
1/2 teaspoon onion powder, divided
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
Salt/pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 thin slices deli ham
2 slices Gruyere/Swiss/Fontina cheese

Directions:

Combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Set aside.

Melt butter in a bowl and mix with the oil. Set aside.

Pound each breast lightly to even out the slices.

Season each chicken piece with salt/pepper and the remaining onion powder.

Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each breast.

Roll chicken making sure you tuck the sides in as much as possible.

Take the chicken rolls and dip them into the melted butter/oil…make sure all the sides are well coated and then roll them in the breadcrumbs/Parmesan mixture.

Place in a small greased baking dish.

Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to ensure that the breadcrumbs stay put on the chicken).

Reheat any butter/oil mixture. Pour over the chicken rolls.

Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes. Turn the broiler on and lightly brown the tops of the chicken rolls.

Baked Potato Kale Mash

I like to use baked potatoes instead of boiled ones because the baked potato flesh is drier and doesn’t disintegrate when recooked.

Ingredients

3 baking potatoes, about 2 ¼ lbs
2 bunches Tuscan kale (Lacinato)
1/4 cup Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Bake the potatoes in a 400 degree F oven until soft about 90 minutes. Cool.

Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Place in a serving bowl, add salt to taste, and mash. Set aside.

Save the potato skins for a Game Day appetizer.

Remove the kale leaves from their stems and wash well. Drain.

Place in a large pot with the oil, garlic, salt to taste and cook until tender.

Add the mashed potatoes, stir well, and heat for a few minutes until hot.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Italian Style Pasta and Clams

4 servings

Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pasta:
Kosher salt
8 oz bucatini or spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup white wine
(1 pound or 1 bag or 30) small clams, cleaned
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

For the topping: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt. Set aside to cool. Stir in the Parmesan.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Put the olive oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until browned and crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute. Add the tomatoes and red onion; toss to coat. Deglaze with the white wine and add the clams. Cover the skillet with a lid and shake gently. Cook until all the shells have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the clams to four individual pasta bowls, discarding any unopened clams.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to create a loose sauce. Toss with the parsley. Scoop equal amounts of pasta and sauce over the clams in the pasta bowls.

Sprinkle each with the breadcrumb topping. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and ciabatta br+ead.

Chinese Walnut Chicken and Broccoli

3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 bunch udon noodles
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Marinade
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir-fry
1 whole stalk of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3 scallions sliced

Directions

Slice the chicken into thin bite-size pieces, no thicker than 1/4”, transfer into a medium-size bowl. Add the marinade ingredients. Stir to mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir to mix well.

Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cover. Steam until the broccoli just turns tender and most of the water evaporates about 40 to 50 seconds. Transfer the broccoli to a plate.

Boil the udon noodles per the manufacturer’s instructions in the same pan. Drain the water. Set aside.

Wipe the pan with a paper towel held in a pair of tongs if there’s any water left.

Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Spread the chicken in the skillet in a single layer. Allow to cook without touching for 30 seconds, or until the bottom side is browned. Turn the chicken and stir and cook until the surface is lightly charred.

Add the garlic and ginger. Stir a few times to release the flavor.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely and pour it into the skillet. Cook and stir until the sauce thicken about 1 minute. Stir in the broccoli, walnuts, and noodles and heat gently. Sprinkle the scallions over the top of the mixture.

Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately.

Leftover Holiday Ham Recipes

I made a baked ham over the holidays and of course, that meant leftovers. Here are some of the recipes I made with some of the leftover meat.

Ham Broth

You can make your own ham broth for soup using a leftover ham bone:

Simmer the ham bone in a stockpot filled with 12 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid, and let simmer for one hour.

Potato Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion finely chopped
2 carrots diced
1/2 cup diced celery with leaves
4 cups peeled and diced baking potatoes, about 3 large baking potatoes
3 cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced (add more if desired)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups ham broth
3 cups of milk
1 pinch of salt (adjust to your taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped fresh chives

Directions

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes).
Add the ham bone used for the broth and potatoes, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
Stir in broth mixing all ingredients together. Increase heat and bring to a boil until potatoes are ‘just’ fork-tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove ham bone and pick off meat to add to the completed soup.
Puree soup with an immersion blender.
Mix the flour and milk together and stir into the soup.
Reduce heat to medium-low and stir over the heat until thickened (about 5 minutes).
Add chopped ham. Adjust seasonings.
Top with chives and serve hot.


Ham and Cheese Scones

ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped leftover baked ham
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray or parchment.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in cheese, ham, and chives.

Whisk buttermilk and egg in a medium bowl; stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Sprinkle a work surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Turn the dough out and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour.

Knead three to five times, or until the dough just comes together. Divide in half and pat each piece into a 5-inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the scones until firm to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time

Tips
Reheat at 300°F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Ham Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup flour
½ teaspoon mustard powder
2 cups of milk
12 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced
2 cups diced baked ham
Pinch black pepper
1/2 cup panko crumbs
Salt to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot melt butter and add the bell pepper and onion, cook until soft. Stir in the flour, salt to taste, and mustard.

Slowly whisk milk into the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

Allow milk and roux to heat for about one minute, then begin adding the Velveeta.

Continue to gently whisk the mixture until all the Velveeta has melted, then add a pinch of black pepper. Stir in the ham and pasta.

Transfer the mixture to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle panko on top.

Cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

America’s Culinary Food Stories-Hoppin’ John

America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Hoppin’ John: A New Year’s Tradition

Forget champagne—in the Southern United States, Hoppin’ John is standard New Year’s fare. This simple dish of peas, pork, and rice has been a tradition since the 1800s. It’s believed to bring luck and peace in the coming year to anyone who eats it.
The first recipes for Hoppin’ John appear in cookbooks that date back to the 1840s, although the mixture of dried peas, rice, and pork was made by Southern slaves long before then. It seems to have originated in the Low Country of South Carolina, an area where plantation owners searched long and hard for a crop that would flourish in the hot, muggy weather. Rice grew well in the river deltas, so it was a natural choice, but the white farmers had no real experience with cultivating rice on a large scale until enslaved West Africans who had grown rice for generations arrived in America.

Although any type of dried peas can be used for Hoppin’ John, the black-eyed pea is the most traditional. This pea happens to have been domesticated in West Africa, which led to the belief that African slaves took the peas with them, planted them in their new surroundings, and created a dish that would remind them of their lost homes. This is probably only partly true. Newly abducted Africans were lucky to have clothes on their backs, and they certainly weren’t encouraged or even allowed to bring sacks of planting grain along with them. What is more likely is that slave traders saw black-eyed peas as an economical and easy way to feed their cargo.

The origins of the name “Hoppin’ John” are slightly less clear. Some say an old, hobbled man called Hoppin’ John became known for selling bowls of peas and rice on the streets of Charleston. Others say slave children hopped around the table in eager anticipation of the dish. Most food historians think the name derives from a French term for dried peas, “pois pigeons.”

It’s also uncertain why the dish became associated with New Year’s and good luck. The most likely story is that slaves would often have the period between Christmas and New Year’s off since no crops were growing at that time. Hoppin’ John was, and still is, often eaten with collard greens, which can resemble paper money and “golden” cornbread. The peas themselves represent coins. Some families boost the potential of their Hoppin’ John by placing a penny underneath the dishes—or adding extra pork, which is thought to bring more luck.

One tradition common in the United States is that each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to ensure that the New Year will be filled with luck, fortune, and romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of luck (or wealth) that the diner will have in the coming year.

This dish is traditionally a high point of New Year’s Day when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving.Whoever gets the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New Year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. If you eat leftover Hoppin’ John the day after New Year’s Day, then the name changes to Skippin’ Jenny since one is demonstrating their determination of frugality. Eating a bowl of Skippin’ Jenny is believed to even better your chances for a prosperous New Year!

Source: Beyond Black-Eyed Pease: New Year’s good-luck foods, by Mick Bann, Dec. 26,2008, Austin Chronicle.

Recipe for Hoppin’ John

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small ham hock or bone
4 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
8 cups lower-sodium chicken or ham broth
4 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas

For the rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked Carolina Gold rice
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh scallions, sliced
Chopped parsley

Directions
Heat oil in a large pot. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add broth and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until peas are tender about 40 minutes. Drain pea mixture, reserving cooking liquid. Return pea mixture and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the pot. Cover to keep warm; set aside.
To cook the rice
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and gently stir into pea mixture in the Dutch oven. Stir in the remaining cooking liquid, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle servings with parsley and sliced fresh scallions.

 

Holiday Dinner

Sausage Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
`/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 containers (2- 26 and 1-14 oz) chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tomato container filled with water

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and site until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and add the sausage to the sauce. Partially clever the pot and simmer the sauce until thickened for about 2 hours.

Baked Ravioli

Depending on how many ravioli you want to make, you can place the second layer of ravioli over the first layer. This is such an easy way to cook ravioli and makes clean up
easy plus the ravioli don’t come apart in boiling water.

Ingredients

1 lb frozen ravioli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Sausage Tomato Sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place 1 cup of sauce in an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make one layer of ravioli, cover completely with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Continue with the second layer making sure ravioli are completely covered with sauce.
Cover and bake for 30to 40  minutes depending on how many layers are in the dish.
Uncover and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
Bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve the sausage on the side.

Serve with a leaf lettuce salad with added sliced red onion and Kalamata olives.

Family Italian Favorites

Cauliflower Parmesan

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg and ¼ cup water, beaten together
1 ½ cups panko Italian unseasoned bread crumbs
Kosher salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed
1 small-medium head cauliflower, trimmed and divided into large floret clusters
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place flour, eggs, and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. Season each with salt and pepper. Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then egg, then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.


Fill a large skillet with oil. Place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry cauliflower in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer fried cauliflower pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
Spoon the marinara sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan. Place the cauliflower evenly in the baking dish. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella and return to the oven until the cheese melts.

Lemony Chicken or Turkey Cutlet Piccata

Ingredients

4 servings

1 lb boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast cutlets
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup flour for dredging
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Pat the chicken breast pieces dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Lightly coat the chicken on both sides with the flour (shake off any excess flour).
In a medium skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the chicken on 1 side for about 2 minutes, then turn over to cook for 3 minutes. Add the butter and capers. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cutlets and let simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Linguini with Pesto Cream Sauce

6 servings

Ingredients

Pistachio Basil Pesto Sauce
4 cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

Cream Sauce
1 lb linguini
1 cup pistachio basil pesto sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Directions

For the pesto sauce
Place the pistachios, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped. Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process. Keep processing until the mixture is smooth.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander.
In the same pot add the pesto, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Warm over low heat and then add the cooked linguine. Cook for a minute or two. Pour into a serving bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper.


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