2 whole eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick, to get about 12 slices total
Salt for the eggplant slices
Flour and Olive oil
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, plus extra for the top of the rolls
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for sprinkling)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups prepared tomato sauce (recipe below), homemade or store-bought
1 loaf Italian bread, for serving
Combine the egg, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses together in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and the chopped parsley. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the eggplant.
Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkled them with salt to sweat for 30 minutes. Rinsed the slices with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a kitchen towel.
Dredge the slices in flour. Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook the eggplant slices in the pan until lightly brown. Tuen the slices over and cook until the second side is lightly brown. Drain eggplant on paper towels. Repeat the process, adding more oil as needed, until all the slices are fried.
When the eggplant has cooled about 10 minutes, begin the filling process. On each slice, put about 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese mixture. Spread it on the eggplant and then roll. Repeat with all eggplant slices.
Cover the bottom of a deep baking dish with tomato sauce. Place the eggplant rolls in the bottom of the pan and spread tomato sauce over the top of the eggplant rolls. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. Cover the dish with foil.
Rollatini Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (28-32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and add the unsalted butter.
Recently my PBS station aired a special about how Julia Child influenced many of today’s well-known chefs as well as the viewers who watched the shows. This special made me realize that I, too, had learned many cooking skills from her shows. Growing up I learned some basic Italian recipes from my mother and father (Italian men like to cook.) but not the kind of food America was eating when I got married. My mother was not an enthusiastic cook and tended to make the same things every week. My father would make things she did not like, such as rabbit or crab in spaghetti sauce. So as a young wife I liked cooking but needed to know more. It was about that time that Julia’s shows came onto PBS. There were no other cooking shows on TV at that time. While her recipes highlighted French cooking, she did focus on skills. I learned how to cook a whole chicken, prepare fish and make good sauces from watching her shows. If you have never made her chicken recipe, give it a try. It comes out moist and full of flavor.
Poulet Poele a l’Estragon
(Casserole- Roasted Chicken)
1 (3-4 pound) roasting chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 shallot, halved
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 cups brown chicken stock, or 1 cup canned beef broth and 1 cup canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons port wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1 tablespoon softened butter
Preheat oven to 325° F. Thoroughly dry the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with the salt, tarragon and 1 tablespoon of butter. Insert the shallot and rub the remaining tablespoon of butter on the outside of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen string.
Heat a heavy, fireproof casserole dish or pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. When the butter foam has begun to subside, lay in the chicken, breast down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, regulating the heat so butter is always very hot but not burning. Carefully turn the chicken to another side, using 2 wooden spoons. Be sure not to break the chicken skin. Continue browning and turning the chicken until it is a nice golden color almost all over, particularly on the breast and legs. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the casserole filmed.
Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Pour out the browning fat if it has burned, and add fresh butter. Cook the carrots and onions slowly in the casserole for 5 minutes without browning. Add the salt and tarragon.
Salt the chicken and place it breast up over the vegetables. Baste with the butter in the casserole. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the chicken, cover the pan, and reheat it on top of the stove until you hear the chicken sizzling. Then place the casserole/pan in the preheated oven.
Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste once or twice with the butter and juices in the casserole. The chicken is done when the drumsticks move in their sockets, and when juices run clear.
Remove the chicken to a serving platter and discard trussing strings. Combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup of the chicken broth and the port wine and set aside. Add the remaining broth to the casserole and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up coagulated roasting juices. Blend in the cornstarch mixture, simmer a minute, then raise heat and boil rapidly until the sauce is lightly thickened. Stir in tarragon and butter.
Serve chicken with sauce. Good sides are peas, potatoes, asparagus, carrots or broiled tomatoes.
The recipe above is from Julia Child’s, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One, Pages 249-251.
You can watch the original episodes on Amazon Prime Video or your local PBS online site.
Amazon Season 1 Episode 3 Chicken Video is the recipe for Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions, and Potatoes -a variation of the above recipe called Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme.
The Roasted Root Vegetable recipe can be found here.
4 cups shredded russet potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
3 cups diced leftover roasted root vegetables
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Gently press the shredded potatoes between paper towels to dry them as best as possible.
In a 10-inch glass pie plate melt the butter in the microwave or the hot oven. Toss the potatoes with the melted butter in the pan. Add salt to taste. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
Sprinkle the bacon and half the cheese on the bottom of the crust.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, and diced roasted vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the crust and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and then in the oven.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Homemade Tomato Soup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, diced
2 carrots with green tops, diced including the tops
3 stalks celery with leaves, diced
The top of one fennel bulb with fronds, diced (save the bulb for another recipe)
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 lbs fresh plum tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
A few dashes of hot sauce
I freeze the tomatoes and then defrost them overnight. The skins slip off easily. Or you can
bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes, or until skins loosen. Carefully remove tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon. Set aside until tomatoes are cool enough to handle; carefully slip off the skins and discard. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy Durch Oven over medium-high heat; add the garlic, leeks, carrots, fennel, celery and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped tomatoes.
2 pork tenderloin filets about 12 oz each, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 oz container unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons apple cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Slice tenderloins lengthwise, cutting to, but not through the other side. Open halves, laying the tenderloins flat. Place plastic wrap over the tenderloins; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet. Overlap the two tenderloins by about an inch or so to create one piece of meat. Press together.
Combine onion, applesauce, parsley, sage, lemon zest, and garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the pork. Spread the applesauce mixture over the tenderloins, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the outside edges. Roll up the tenderloin jelly-roll fashion, starting with the long sides. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the roulade. Place the tenderloin in a large zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roulade; cook 5 minutes, turning until browned on all sides. Add broth, apple cider, and mustard. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Remove the roulade from the pan; keep warm. Cook broth mixture until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Stir in lemon juice. Remove twine from the roulade. Slice crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Place a serving of the potato carrot puree on each serving plate. Place a serving of pork over the puree and drizzle with sauce.
Carrot Sweet Potato Puree
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
Put the carrots and the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Process until a chunky mixture forms. Add the buttermilk and garlic salt and process until smooth and creamy.
Roasted Asparagus With Creamy Lemon Sauce
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoon butter, diced
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Trim the bottom 2-inches from the asparagus, and if desired, peel the lower 2 inches of the stalks. Place the asparagus in a greased baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with the butter
Roast the asparagus for 15-20 minutes,
For the sauce:
Grate 1 teaspoon peel from the lemon and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice into a small bowl. Whisk in sour cream, heavy cream, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Spoon sauce over asparagus and garnish with chives.
Adapted from an article by Anthony Bourdain in Gourmet.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 ounces small whole mushroom caps
1 chopped shallot
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup of water
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Bouquet garni (wrap two sprigs of parsley, two bay leaves, and a sprig of fresh thyme in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie into a neat bundle with string)
1 pound fresh sea scallops, dried well
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bread crumbs for the topping
Grated Gruyère or Fontina cheese
In 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan saute the shallots, garlic, and mushroom caps until the mushrooms brown and lose their liquid. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Add the water, wine, bouquet garni, and lemon juice to the saucepan and bring yo a boil. Add the scallops, cover, and remove the pot from the heat. Let the scallops sit in the liquid for 5 minutes. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Strain the liquid and discard the bouquet garni. Set aside
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan and whisk in the flour. Do not let it get dark. Add 3 tablespoons of the scallop cooking liquid and mix until blended. Over very low heat, blend the flour mixture into the remaining scallop cooking liquid. Add the cream and simmer and stir until blended and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the scallops and mushroom mixture, and stir.
Fill 4 scallop shells or shallow 6-inch ramekins almost to the top with the scallop mixture. (If you’re not ready to serve the scallops, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
Sprinkle the top lightly with bread crumbs and top with grated cheese.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the scallops until the mixture bubbles and the cheese melts and turns golden brown.
Save the leftover roasted vegetables for a delicious quiche. Recipe after Christmas.
1/2 cup olive oil
4-5 large carrots, peeled, cut on the bias, about 1-inch thick
3-4 parsnips, peeled, cut on the bias, about 1-inch thick
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and quartered
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic, cloves, peeled and cut in half
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with sides in foil.
Heat the olive oil in the microwave until hot. Place the carrots, parsnips, fennel, onion, garlic, and thyme on the prepared baking sheet. Pour the hot oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the salt. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender and brown, about 45 minutes.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, very soft
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2 pounds skinless halibut fillets
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish.
In a bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onions, salt, and hot pepper sauce.
Arrange the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish. Spread with the sauce.
Bake the halibut fillets 15-20 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.
For a brown topping broil for 2-3 minutes. Place the fillets on individual plates and pour any sauce left in the pan over the fish. Serve immediately.
Simple Roasted Carrots
The carrots and the fish can be baked at the same temperature.
6 carrots, cut into 2-inch diagonal lengths
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
On a baking sheet lined with foil, toss carrots with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast until tender and lightly caramelized, 45 minutes. Serve with the fish.
Onions and Swiss Chard
2 large bunches green Swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
Wash the chard in several changes of water. Cut the stems and center ribs from the chard leaves and reserve them for soup. Stack the chard leaves and roll them lengthwise into cylinders. Cut the cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy skillet with a cover over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding the next batch, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Most of the ingredients in this pie are leftovers from my roast chicken dinner that I shared last week. Here is a link to the post: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2019/11/13/mediterranean-style-roast-chicken/
Roasting a whole chicken is a delicious and economical way to give you several meals over the next week. Here is the recipe for one of them. Later in the week, I will share the Chicken Enchilada recipe I made with the remainder of the chicken.
2 carrots, diced
2 cups cubed leftover roasted chicken
2 cups diced leftover green beans with mushrooms and onions
11/2 cups leftover sauce from roasting the chicken
2 cups leftover olive oil mashed potatoes
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Partially cook the carrots either in the microwave or by boiling. Set aside.
Reduce the chicken sauce down to 1 cup in a small saucepan.
In each of 2 individual ovenproof casserole dishes, place half the carrots, half the chicken, half the green beans and ½ cup chicken sauce. Mix well.
Spread 1 cup of mashed potatoes over the top of each pie bringing the potatoes to the edges of each dish.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray the mashed potato topping with butter-flavored cooking spray.
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the broiler on for a minute or two to brown the topping if it doesn’t brown during the baking.