12 sea scallops (10 oz)washed, dried and side muscle removed
½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 oz curly soba noodles
2 carrot sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 celery stalk sliced thinly on the diagonal
Half a medium onion finely diced
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic, grated
½ cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cover the noodles with cold water and let sit until hydrated-30 to 45 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Cover mushrooms in hot wat and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain and slice thinly, discarding the stem.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a measuring cup and set aside.
Heat peanut oil in a medium deep skillet or wok. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Stir-fry about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the mushroom and sauce. Stir-fry until thickened. Add the drained noodles and mix until the noodles are completely coated in sauce. Keep warm.
Heat the sesame oil in a small skillet and add the chili flakes. Heat for a minute and add the scallops. Cook the scallops for about two minutes on each side,
Divide the noodles between two serving bowls, top each with half the scallops, and serve immediately.
12-ounce sustainable, wild-caught swordfish or tuna fillet, 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 celery rib, finely chopped
28 oz container Italian tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Aromatics, to taste (bay leaves, thyme, rosemary)
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
8 oz short pasta
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add anchovies and cook, stirring with the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Add capers, celery, and olives; cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and herbs of choice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salt and drizzle with oil; return to a boil. Add pasta, stirring, until water returns to a boil. Cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander and set aside.
Pour the sauce into the empty pasta pot and keep warm
Slice the swordfish into two ½-inch thick slices. Cut each into 1-inch cubes.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the empty skillet. Add the swordfish and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the swordfish until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving platter. Pour half of the sauce over the pasta. Top with the swordfish and pour the remaining sauce over the fish and pasta. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Black Pepper
Heat together the cream and butter over medium heat until bubbling.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cheese and mix well over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Keep warm.
Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
8 oz fettuccine
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
2 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 recipe of Alfredo Sauce
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta in a colander.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; swirl to coat. Add shrimp, green onion, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.
Reduce heat to medium and add the alfredo sauce. Cook 1 minute and add drained pasta. Stir gently and cook until the pasta is coated and warmed.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Skillet Chicken Parm
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz total)
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1 large egg
Warm Marinara sauce, recipe below
6 ounces Italian Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
26-28 oz container Italian chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Prepare the chicken
Cut off any fat on the chicken. Place a breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness. Repeat with the second breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat lightly and tap off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg, hold them over the bowl, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at a time to the plate of breadcrumbs, turn it to coat with breadcrumbs, patting gently, and making sure that each breast is well coated with breadcrumbs. If you have time refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours.
Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the coated breasts gives off a sizzle when dipped in the oil. Add the chicken pieces without touching each other. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through about 6 minutes. Top each chicken breast with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place the sliced cheese over the sauce to cover the chicken completely. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook a minute or two until the cheese melts. Serve over spaghetti.
Green Beans With Garlic
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size garlic cloves, minced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, drain in a colander. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat. Add beans and garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Italian Style Swordfish
Serve with a Tomato Salad
1 Swordfish Steak, 1 inch thick, about 12 oz
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup garlic butter, melted (see recipe)
1/4 cup Italian Panko
When ready to grill:
Brush the fish with half the garlic butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and press the panko onto the top of the fish.
To grill or broil
Place a sheet of heavy foil on a baking sheet and poke a few holes in the foil.
.Heat an outdoor grill or broiler to high. Slide the foil with the fish still on it onto the grill grates or the broiler pan. Lower heat to medium. Cook about 12-15 minutes until the crumbs begin to brown the and the fish is cooked through. Do not turn fish. Remove fish to a plate and pour the remaining garlic butter sauce over fish.
To air-fry or bake
Preheat the oven or air-fryer to 400 degrees F. Place the swordfish in the air-fryer basket and Cook for 10 minutes. Check the temperature of the swordfish. It is perfectly done when it reaches, 145 degrees F.
One 17 oz pkg Potato Gnocchi or
2 pounds russet potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter
To make homemade gnocchi
In a covered 8-quart Dutch oven cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover about 20 minutes or just until tender (do not overcook); drain. Peel potatoes.
While potatoes are still hot, push through a ricer into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add about half of the flour; mix well. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour to make a soft, pliable dough. Divide dough in thirds.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the top of each piece. Place on a baking sheet; chill while preparing the sauce (up to 2 hours).
For the sauce
In a medium saucepan heat cream over medium heat. Stir in garlic, peas, salt, and pepper. Simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese; simmer gently for 1 minute more. Stir in butter until melted. Cover the and keep over the lowest heat setting.
To cook the gnocchi
In the Dutch oven bring a large amount of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the gnocchi; cook for 10 to 15 seconds or until gnocchi start to float to the top. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi as they rise to the top to the pan with the sauce.
Two 6 oz boneless, skinless cutlets (turkey, chicken, veal, pork or fish), pounded until thin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, preferably Wondra
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white wine, or dry vermouth
1 lemon, juiced (4 tablespoons),
1 tablespoon capers
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Shake off excess.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirl them around the pan, and add the cutlets. Turn the heat to medium and saute for 2 minutes per side. Add the wine, lemon juice and capers, swirl them around in the pan and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with a small sprinkling of salt and pepper.
CreamyRoasted Tomato Pasta
5-6 large plum tomatoes quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Half of a small onion, minced
1 medium or two small zucchini cut into sticks about the size of the pasta
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups short pasta
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated plus extra for serving
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium baking dish lined with foil, toss together the quartered tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes. Turn the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and roast the tomatoes for 2o minutes more. cool to room temperature. Remove the tomato skins and discard them.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and zucchini sticks. Cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Add the thyme and the cream, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the sauce. Add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Add pasta water if necessary to loosen up the sauce. Season to taste with black pepper. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.
Homemade Olive Bread
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Place all the bread ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a clean bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Punch the dough down and place on a parchment-lined baking pan. Shape the dough into an oval. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30 minutes. Make three slashes in the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake the bread for 40 minutes.
Cool un a wire rack. Serve the bread with olive oil for dipping.
Here is another recipe that can incorporate all the wonderful produce available at this time of year. Be creative and add any vegetables you like in this type of salad.
12 oz mini brown rice or whole wheat shell pasta
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 scallions finely diced
1 small green bell pepper finely diced
1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded, finely diced
1 tomato seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley for garnish
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch black pepper and salt
Make the dressing by combining the ingredients in a large serving bowl and set aside in the refrigerator while you cook the macaroni.
Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water, drain and add the pasta to the dressing while the pasta is warm. Let rest 10 minutes.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the salad and chill for several hours. Garnish with minced parsley before serving.
Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz sea scallops
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 small zucchini about 6 oz, finely diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 oz cooked pasta (I used pappardelle)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Cook pasta until al dente, drain and set aside.
Remove the side muscle from the scallops if attached. Thoroughly pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling. Add the scallops in a single layer.
Season with salt and pepper and cook without moving for 2 minutes on one side, then turn the scallops over and cook 1 minute. Remove the scallops from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, add the garlic, shallots, and zucchini. Cook stirring the ingredients often for 5 minutes.
Stir in the basil, cooked pasta, and cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.
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 and 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 their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.
Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. So who came up with the idea to combine macaroni with creamy cheese to create a simple casserole?
Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded as early as the 14th century in the Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks, which featured a dish of parmesan and pasta. A cheese and pasta casserole recorded in the medieval English cookbook, The Forme of Cury, was also written in the 14th century. It was made with fresh, hand-cut pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese.
The first modern recipe for macaroni and cheese was included in Elizabeth Raffald’s 1770 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper. Raffald’s recipe is a Béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden.
The US President Thomas Jefferson encountered macaroni in Paris and brought the recipe back to Monticello. Jefferson drew a sketch of the pasta and wrote detailed notes on how to make it. In 1793, he commissioned the US ambassador to France, William Short, to purchase a machine for making it. Evidently, the machine was not suitable, as Jefferson later imported both macaroni and Parmesan cheese for his use at Monticello. In 1802, Jefferson served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner.
A recipe called “macaroni and cheese” appeared in the 1824 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife, written by Mary Randolph. Randolph’s recipe had three ingredients: macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven. The cookbook was the most influential cookbook of the 19th century, according to culinary historian Karen Hess. Similar recipes for macaroni and cheese occur in the 1852 Hand-book of Useful Arts, and the 1861 Godey’s Lady’s Book. By the mid-1880s, cookbooks as far west as Kansas and Missouri, included recipes for macaroni and cheese casseroles.
Kraft Foods introduced the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner in 1937, at the end of the Great Depression. Called it “the housewife’s best friend, a nourishing one-pot meal,” and that it was a fast, filling, and inexpensive way to feed a family. In that year alone, 8 million boxes were sold.
Cheesemaking, which began 10,000 years ago, was originally about survival for a farm family or community by taking a very perishable protein (milk) and transforming it into something less perishable (cheese) so that there would be something to eat at a later date. The first cheese factory in the U.S. was built in 1851, making cheddar one of the first foods affected by the Industrial Revolution. Before that, all cheese made in the United States was made on a farm, usually by the farm wife or a cheese maid. As foods industrialize, they often go from being made by women to being made by men, and so it was with cheese: Women were mostly absent from the cheese factories, and didn’t return to cheesemaking until the artisanal cheese revolution of the past few decades. Processed cheese, which was invented 107 years ago, is basically cheese that is emulsified and cooked, rendering it much less perishable (but also no longer a “living food” because, unlike natural cheese, processed cheese’s flavor will no longer alter with age).
Original homemade recipes included pasta, butter or cream, and Parmesan cheese, American cooks often improvised, using cheddar, Colby or the more affordable processed cheese, and spices like nutmeg and mustard. While Cheddar cheese is most commonly used for macaroni and cheese, other cheeses may also be used — usually sharp in flavor — and two or more cheeses can be combined. Popular recipes include using Gruyere, Gouda, Havarti, and Parmesan cheese.
So, while no single cook can lay claim to the classic macaroni and cheese recipe, everyone has a favorite version of the dish.
Here is my version. I like to use a combination of cheeses because it makes for a tasty dish.
Baked Macaroni And Cheese
1 lb dried short pasta (penne, elbow, fusilli)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup instant flour (Wondra) or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz Velveeta processed cheese, cut into cubes
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. (I prefer to bake this dish at a lower temperature so that the casserole stays creamy.)
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In the same pot mix the cold milk with the instant flour; add the butter and place the pan on medium heat.
Stirring often, bring the sauce to boiling, reduce the heat and cook until thickened, whisking often. Add the salt, mustard, and cayenne. Add the Velveeta and heat until melted. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Pour into a buttered 9×13 inch baking dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and shredded cheddar together and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
(The casserole can be made ahead to this stage and refrigerated until baking time. Add 15 minutes to the baking time if the casserole is refrigerated.)
Bake for 45 minutes until heated through and the topping turns golden.
Fra Diavolo is a spicy sauce for pasta and seafood. Most versions are tomato-based and use chili peppers for spice. Fra Diavolo is served over pasta with shellfish that roughly translates to “among the devil,” getting its name from the hot pepper that gives it its signature heat. It’s traditionally made with shrimp or lobster, and sometimes clams
Debate rages on whether this dish originated in Italy or in one of America’s Italian American communities. Regardless of its origins, it is popular in restaurants, but lobster Fra Diavolo is rarely found in cookbooks. I grew up with spicy shellfish pasta, especially for Christmas Eve, so here is my version. I use lobster tails because they are easier to cook with and eat with the pasta.
250g (8 1/2 oz) long pasta
4 small lobster tails, about 4 oz each, split in half down the middle lengthwise
Salt and pepper
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 (28 oz) containers chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh basil
1 cup seafood broth or clam juice
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
In a sauté pan that will be large enough to hold the lobster and cooked pasta, sauté the garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the seafood broth and simmer for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili paste, basil sprig, and salt to taste, or about 1 teaspoon. Simmer until the sauce is reduced about 1 hour. Add the lobster tails cut side down, bring the sauce back to a low boil and cook the lobster for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn red and the meat turns white.
Boil a large pot filled with water. When it comes to a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt and the pasta, and cook very al dente.
Place the lobster tails on a plate and set aside. Remove the basil sprig. Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato sauce, along with a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Let the pasta simmer in the sauce, mixing it well, and making sure every strand is coated with the sauce. Pour the pasta on to a serving platter and top with the lobster tails. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.