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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Farro Breakfast Bowl

Farro Breakfast Bowl (3)

Farro is an ancient grain from Rome. Its delicious nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture remind me a lot of barley. Farro has been a long time coming. You just couldn’t get your hands on it anywhere! Now, it’s readily available in your local grocery store.

I’m showing two pictures of my Farro Breakfast Bowls, one that’s topped with an egg, and one below without. That’s where Steve and I have a strong difference of opinion. I’m not even sure if “opinion” is even the right word. I’m no fan of the fried egg.  To be fair though, eggs are a big part of any breakfast and Steve loves them, that’s the reason for two pictures.

Anyway, this Farro Breakfast Bowl is easy to make while combining great flavor, color, and texture. Here’s how this dish comes together.

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Let’s talk about Farro

 

I took a screenshot of this brand because it’s the one I’ve used for this dish. You know I love to take help from the grocery store, this cooks up in about 25 minutes and includes some Porcini mushrooms. I’m SOLD!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch sautèpan, saucepan with tight-fitting lid.

Ingredients:
1 package of cooked Alessi Farro with Porcini mushrooms, 7-ounce package
1 pound, cooked bulk Italian chicken sausage (casings removed) (substitute pork or turkey Italian sausage)
1 small can white shoepeg corn (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of 1-inch diced red bell pepper (1 medium-size pepper)
1 cup of 1-inch diced yellow bell pepper (1 medium-size pepper)
1 cup yellow onion,  1-inch diced
1/2 cup carrots, 1-inch dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachios (optional)
7-ounces Feta cheese, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese,  shredded or grated
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
1 fried egg (optional, cooked to the temperature of your choosing)

Directions For Farro:
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Feel free to use either water or unsalted chicken stock for cooking the Farro. In place of the butter on the package, I substitute olive oil.

Tip: Cook the sausage while the Farro is cooking.

Directions:
Start by cooking the Farro. Next, in a large sautèpan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a wooden spoon start by breaking up the sausage. Turn and toss the sausage allowing it to brown on all sides or until the sausage is complete brown with no pink spots, around 10 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, diced peppers and carrots to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Stir and continue cooking until vegetables become tender another 7-10 minutes.

Don’t worry about the sausage bits sticking to the bottom of the pan because once the vegetables are added, they’ll release their water allowing those bits to be released.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape as much of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan, that’s all flavor!

Transfer the cooked Farro and shoepeg corn to a large mixing bowl. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl. Next, add the pistachios (optional), Parmesan cheese, cubed feta, and fresh herbs, then toss together.

Ladle the Farro mixture into a serving bowl and top with a fried egg (optional). Serve hot!

 

 

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Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables

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What’s the definition of comfort food?, Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables. It’s so comforting you’ll get warm fuzzies inside! I do have to honest here, I didn’t make my own dumplings or this dish, I took some help from my local grocery store. I mean, making your own from scratch is probably best and can make all the difference in the world to the finished dish except if you’re like where the value of your time is really important, these store-bought dumplings are a quick alternative to making your own, a great time saver.

One ingredient that’s a staple in my frig is, chicken fat. Steve loves to grill chicken thighs and doesn’t use the skin, he gives those to me. I render the skin down and collect all the drippings for recipes such as Matzo ball soup and this dish. Chicken fat can add extra flavor to your dish. I’ll show you how I incorporate it.

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Equipment: 4-quart sauce pot with glass lid, 6-quart stockpot
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time For Poaching Chicken: 30 minutes
Cook Time For Soup: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Note: While chicken is poaching, prep the vegetables.
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 tablespoons chicken fat (or 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
1 yellow diced yellow onion
3 diced carrots
3 ribs diced celery
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
pinch of dried rosemary (crush up in your hand)
1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1-10 1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings (12 ounces, break strips in half- freeze unused dumplings)
1 package frozen peas – optional
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth (make sure there is enough broth to come over the half-way mark)
4 tablespoons of corn starch
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of finely chopped, fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

Tip: While chicken is poaching, prep all the vegetables for this dish.

Directions For Poaching Chicken:
To start, place 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, in a single layer, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, into a large pot. Cover the chicken with either water or (I’m using) unsalted chicken broth. If the 1 quart of broth does not cover the chicken completely, add water so that it will cover the chicken by at least 1-inch.

Bring the chicken to a boil on medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the liquid starts to boil.  Since I’m not using the poaching liquid for this recipe, there is no need to skim this off, it’s fine to leave it.

As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. The chicken will typically finish cooking between 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it has a bone.  The chicken breasts are done when they are opaque through the middle, and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads- 165 F.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, transfer the cutting board, and begin shredding them using two forks, transfer to a bowl.

Directions For Frozen Dumplings:
Gently separate the dumplings right before adding them to the broth.

Directions For The Chicken And Dumplings:
In a small dice, dice the onions, carrots, and celery.  Finely mince the garlic. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil, and chicken fat over medium heat. Add in all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, bay leaves, and a pinch of dried rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Saute until the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cream of chicken soup to the pot and stir. Next, add the chicken broth (making sure to add enough broth to where it comes up to over the halfway mark in the soup pot), and give another good stir. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings one by one. Let them boil in the soup, (45 minutes according to the package), stirring occasionally until they are all tender. Next, carefully fish out the two bay leaves.

Return cooked shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir through.

To Thicken Broth: Optional
In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water.
Add to the boiling broth, a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency.

 

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Corned Beef And Cabbage

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My recipe for Corned Beef And Cabbage is so easy. Once you look over how easy it is, I believe you won’t have to go out, instead, you’ll be able to enjoy this traditional holiday dish at home.

Making this dish for St. Patrick’s Day fills my house with the smells and memories of growing up and knowing Spring was just around the corner.

I start this dish with a flat-cut of brisket. Because it’s just Steve and me, I’m using a piece that’s around 2 1/4-pounds. Let’s get started!

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The mixture of chicken and beef broth together make for a perfect combination of flavors.

For the spices, I use what’s known as a pickling spice. This spice blend is readily available now in the “spice section” at your local grocery store.

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Around an hour into the corned beef cooking,  I start working on the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.

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Yields: 2 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart stockpot, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 1/4-pound flat-cut brisket, room temperature
1 tablespoon of pickling spice
2 small heads of green cabbage, quartered
7 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
5 medium-size carrots, peeled and slice 2-inches thick
1-quart of low sodium beef broth (for the brisket)
3-quarts of unsalted chicken broth (1 for the meat, 2 for the vegetables)
2 cups of hot water
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt (2 tablespoons for the potatoes)
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the room temperature brisket in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Next, add the pickling spice and the mixture of unsalted chicken and beef broth. The meat should be totally submerged. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven, continue to cook on medium heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. After 2 1/2 hours check the corned beef to see if it is ready. If not, continue cooking for another 1/2 hour. You want the meat to be tender but still hold its integrity so, when sliced, the corned beef doesn’t break up into tiny little shreds.

Around an hour into the cooking process of the corned beef, prep your vegetables. Peel and slice the carrots, 2-inches thick. Peel and quarter the potatoes.

Transfer the quartered potatoes to a large stockpot and cover with cold water. On medium-high heat bring the potatoes up to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of  Kosher salt. Continue to boil for 5 minutes before turning the heat off. Pour them to a colander to drain really well, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In the meantime, cut the cabbage into quarters. Using the same large stock pot add the quartered pieces of cabbage. Pour 2-quarts of unsalted chicken broth into the pot. On medium-high heat bring the cabbage up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Still, on medium heat, add the parboiled potatoes to the pot. Add the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and continue cooking the cabbage and potatoes together for another 20 minutes.

At this point, the liquid will have slightly evaporated. To ensure there is enough liquid left in the pot you’ll need to add 2 cups of very hot water before adding the sliced carrots.

Continue cooking the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes together for another 20 minutes, then turn the heat to off and place a lid on allowing the carrots to become fork tender.

Remove the corned beef from the pot (if any pickling spices are clinging to the meat just brush them off) transferring the corned beef to a plate. cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Note: Check to make sure the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes are still hot before plating. Reheat if needed.

Place a few slices of the corned beef and a good helping of the vegetables on a plate. Ladle the broth from the vegetables over the top of the Corned Beef And Cabbage. 

Have a side of yellow or spicy mustard on hand!

Serve hot.

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Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes

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This is a dish that I came up with in my early years of motherhood. I was always playing around in the kitchen with different ingredients and flavors. Using everything I learned from my mother and grandmother, who helped me with having a grasp the importance of learning technique when your learning to cook. Having learned those basic methods, helped me to come into my own style of cooking. This #recipe for my Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes combines the influences from both sides of my family. This recipe is so easy, flavorful, and really doesn’t take very long to make. Let me tell you how I did it.

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Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast iron skillet, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of canola oil (2 tablespoons for the Sofrito0
1 onion cut into chunks
2 large carrots, 1-inch chunks
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 15-ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes (really just for color)
3/4 of a cup of unsalted chicken broth

IngredientsFor Steaks:
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
3 5-ounce steaks  (top sirloin fillets)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Ingredients For Potatoes:
1 bag of small-size multi-colored Yukon potatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley ( dried is fine)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
First, start with the sofrito (sauce) for the steaks. In a food processor add diced onion, whole garlic, carrots, can of diced tomatoes, dried parsley flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pulse the ingredients, for the Sofrito, until it’s the consistency of a Cantina style salsa. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside.

Place the halved the potatoes on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle dried oregano, Kosher salt, and black pepper. With your hands toss the potatoes so they’re all coated with the oil and seasonings. Roast the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes until golden on the outside, and fork tender on the inside. After they come out of the oven, sprinkle fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. Now while the potatoes are roasting in the oven start on the steaks.

Preheat cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
Tip: Turn the overhead fan on.
Drizzle the steaks on both sides with Canola oil. Season both sides with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder. Using a pair of tongs, place the steaks into the skillet. You’ll hear that sound when something hits a very hot skillet, and that’s what you want to hear.

You just want to sear the steaks on both sides to get a nice crust. This process only takes 2 to 3 minutes per side. When you see that deep brown color on both sides, turn the heat off and transfer the steaks to a plate.

In the same skillet, on medium heat, add Canola oil, dried oregano, and tomato paste. Stir those around allowing those to bloom in the oil for a minute. This technique will bring out the essential oil in the herb and melt the tomato paste intensifying the flavors.

Next, add in unsalted chicken broth, using the back of a wooden spoon scrape, all the bits from the steak off the bottom of the skillet. Add the Sofrito, letting it come to a bubble up then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally cook the sauce, giving all the ingredients a chance to soften and all the flavors marry around 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a pair of tongs, nestle the steaks in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat turning the steaks every few minutes. This takes around 15 to 20 minutes. depending on how you like your steaks cooked. If you like your steaks more done then leave them simmering in the sauce for maybe 30 to 35 minutes. The sauce will finish cooking the steaks.

By the time the steaks are done, the potatoes will be just about ready to come out of the oven. This technique of braising of the steaks in the sauce keeps the steaks tender and moist. That’s all there is to it. I think that once you try having steak this way, you’ll definitely want to make this dish again.

To serve, slice the steak and place onto the serving plate. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the steak. A helping of those delicious roasted potatoes, and a piece of crusty bread for dipping.

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