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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Rotisserie Chicken

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Ciabatta

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Homemade Croutons (3)

Homemade Croutons (1)

Homemade Croutons

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Rotisserie Chicken is a staple in my house. The meals you can pull together, in a pinch, are endless. I’m thinking of a cool crisp salad with warm tender chicken on top, YUM! I find it’s a great way to clean out your frig.

In my refrigerator, I’m seeing some seedless green grapes, strawberries, half a red onion, and one of those bags of mixed greens. This is going to work out just perfectly. Whenever I’m at the grocery store, I always make sure to bring home a pint of those sweet grape tomatoes. I think I’m obsessed with those babies.

Well, I need a huge bowl so everyone can join the party. First, the greens, next to the fruit and tomatoes. Wait!, I need something crunchy. I walk to the pantry and what do you know, walnuts, perfect!  A quick chop and right into the bowl with those. Now I’m thinking about cheese, back to the frig to grab some goat cheese. That soft, creamy, tangy, goodness crumbled all over the top will make this extra special. Now, for the Rotisserie chicken.  I’m adding some warm shredded chicken to the top of the salad. I believe I have a zip-lock baggie of my Homemade Croutons, somewhere,..found them!

A quick and simple lemon vinaigrette dressing to drizzle over the top, a glass of sweet tea and the TV remote. I’d say, this is the perfect ending to a busy day.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

 

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Homemade Plum Crumble

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I guess it must be the English and Italian in me that makes it impossible to resist a fruit crumble. I never really understood the difference between a fruit crisp and a fruit crumble, but I do now. The difference is the oats that go into the topping. It makes the topping extra special. There’s the English. Now I’m guessing the Italian part are the plums. My grandmother always had plums in her house.

My Homemade Plum Crumble is perfect when you’re hosting a dinner party.  Stored in the refrigerator, the topping can be made a day in advance. Hot, room temperature, or with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, it’s the perfect ending to a meal.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: a ceramic pie dish or a 9 x 13 baking dish, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 pounds of large dark red plums, pits removed, cut into 8 slices per plum (6 cups of sliced plums)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of organic apple juice

Topping:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup of whole oats
2 sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter, reserve half for the top of the crumble.

Directions:
Butter a baking dish really well. In a large bowl throw in your sliced plums. To the plums add granulated sugar, flour, apple juice,  orange zest, and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix all this together so all the plums are coated nicely. Transfer the plums to a buttered baking dish. I like my fruit crumbles to be piled high. It gives it an old fashion look.

In another large bowl, add the ingredients for the crumble topping. Flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, whole oats, a pinch of Kosher salt. Whisk all those ingredients together before adding in the cold cubes of unsalted butter. Reserve back 1/2 a stick of the butter to dot the top. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks coarse meal, shown above.

Sprinkle the crumbled topping evenly over the plums. If a little of the crumble topping slips down between the fruit, that’s fine. If some of the plums are showing through that’s also fine. Using the reserved butter cubes to dot the top. Using a baking sheet to place under the pie dish, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, at 350-degrees F., until the plums are tender and bubbling, and the top is golden brown.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve my Homemade Plum Crumble, hot or room temperature. Don’t forget the ice cream!

 

 

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Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs

 

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This style of mussels is so delicious. Most importantly, the broth that rests in the bottom of the bowl is heavenly. This is my recipe for Mussels With BasilGarlic Breadcrumbs.

Having the toasted flavored bread crumbs nestled inside the shells gives great texture to the mussels. The fresh herbs and garlic add extra flavor. It’s so simple to make. Let me show you.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Time for Mussels: 30 to 40 minutes (includes filtering the sand out in the sink)
Prep Time For Bread Crumbs: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Bread Crumbs: 5 to 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, spider, mini food processor, large mixing bowl, Microplane

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels
1 bottle of Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1 stick of melted butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought 3 pounds of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. After going through all of them, you may find ones that are open or cracked. This means they are no longer alive and are no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.

Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I divide the mussels into three large Tupperware containers. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

In a large preheated stockpot over medium-high heat add the cleaned mussels. Pour in a whole bottle of white wine. Place the lid on and let the mussels steam. Once all the mussels have opened, they’re done. If you see any mussels that have not opened discard them. I like to stir the mussels once through the steaming process so they can all drink up some of the wine. This whole process happens really quickly.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add unsalted butter. Allow the butter to melt then add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Pernod. To the melted butter add Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Using a spatula, toss to coat. Folding the bread crumbs continuously, until the bread crumbs have absorbed the flavored butter and have toasted up nicely 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the garlic cloves, pulse until minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, lemon zest, and toasted breadcrumbs, mix to combine.

Next, to the food processor add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil leaves. Pulse them a few times just until finely chopped but not minced. Transfer to the bowl containing the toasted breadcrumb mixture, stir to combine.

To serve, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl. Finish by generously sprinkling the toasted basil-garlic breadcrumbs over the top. These are my Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They’re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

Mussels Three Ways

Mussels In A Tomato-Basil White Wine

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