Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Cheesy Buttery Ciabatta Garlic Bread

My Cheesy Buttery Ciabatta Garlic Bread is so simple to make, so delicious to eat. I’m using Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta bread. It’s really important to start out with a really good loaf of bread.

Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread (1)

Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread (2)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (plus 1 to 2 minutes under the broiler)
Total Time: 40 minutes
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

1 loaf of Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta bread, (substitute regular Ciabatta)
1 stick butter, unsalted and room temperature
2 cloves garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated, plus 3 tablespoons
8-ounces of Mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl add softened butter, grated garlic, freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix these ingredients together until combined.

Slice in half a whole loaf of the Ciabatta bread down the center lengthwise as seen in the picture above. Spread the butter mixture evenly over both halves. Place the two halves back together once more. Wrap the whole loaf in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet pan, bake for 35 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven. Adjust the oven setting to broil.
Unwrap the bread and open up the two halves. Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella cheese and 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano over each half. Place the open halves of bread back into the oven on the center rack. Broil with the oven door slightly ajar, keeping a close eye on the bread. When the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, it’s done.

This Cheesy Buttery Ciabatta Garlic Bread is ready to slice and serve.

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Cast-Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza


This Cast-iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza was as easy as shown on TV.  I picked up some pizza dough from the local pizzeria. Your local pizza parlor is happy to sell pizza dough and it’s really convenient especially for a weeknight meal. I believe most grocery stores carry pre-made pizza dough in their bakery department too. Either way, it’s a win-win!

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley


Sweet Basil (2)

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (27)


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Pizza Filling (2)

Balsamic Vinegar


Olive Oil

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Pizza Filling (3)

Pizza Filling (4)

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Dried Parsley Flakes


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Cast-Iron Skillet


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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 (12-inch) deep-dish pizzas
Equipment: 2 (12-inch) cast-iron skillets, 4 medium-size mixing bowls, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, rolling pin

Ingredients For Blackened Seasoning:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions For Blackened Seasoning.
In a small mixing bowl, add all the spices along with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place.

Ingredients For Blackened Chicken:
8 chicken cutlets, 1/4-inch thick
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
2 tablespoons of blackened seasoning
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes

Canola oil to grease cast-iron skillets
all-purpose flour
2 (16-ounce) balls of store-bought pizza dough
8 chicken cutlets, blackened and grilled, sliced on the bias, divided
5 tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus, 2 teaspoons, divided
1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese, divided
1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, divided, extra for the top
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, freshly grated and divided, reserve a little back for the top
2 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, divided
4 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, divided, extra to garnish the top
1 (24-ounce) jar of marinara sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 225-degrees F.
Start by adding the cutlets to a large mixing bowl. Add blackened seasoning, dried parsley and olive oil. Using your hands toss until all the cutlets are evenly coated.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place three chicken cutlets into the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Some of the cutlets may be slightly thicker and may need a little longer. Transfer to a meat-safe cutting board, slice the chicken on the bias and transfer to an oven-safe platter. Repeat this process 2 more times until all the culets are cooked.

Note: Cover the platter with foil, place it into the oven to keep warm.

Adjust oven temperature to 400-degrees F.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sliced onions, bell peppers, minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until vegetables soften and become slightly brown in color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar. Continue stirring and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Divide evenly between two mixing bowls.

Add the blackened chicken divided evenly between the two bowls containing the onion and pepper mixture, mix to combine

In another two bowls, divide evenly the ricotta, grated Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, basil, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Mix to combine and set aside.

Dust a flat surface and rolling pin with all-purpose flour. Roll the first pizza dough ball out into a circle, 14 and 16 inches in diameter.

Liberally oil both cast-iron skillets. Transfer the skillets to the oven until the pans begin to smoke. Immediately move the pans to the top of the stove, arrange the pizza dough in the bottom of both skillets allowing the sides of the dough to hang over the rim.

Start by ladling the one-quarter of sauce into each skillet covering the pizza dough, next, add 1 bowl of the ricotta cheese mixture spreading that out evenly, then arrange half the blackened chicken, pepper and onion mixture, finishing with another quarter of the sauce to each skillet. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Carefully tuck the dough inwards around the rim of both skillets. Brush each pizza crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer both skillets back into the oven for another 30 minutes. Oh WOW!, How great does this pizza look? Garnish with a sprinkling of finely chopped Italian parsley.

Allow the Cast-iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza rest for 15 minutes. Cut and serve.

A Good Tip: You can definitely make the filling for your pizza in advance.


Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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My Quinoa Roasted Stuffed Peppers are really flavorful and delicious. I promise you, the fact that there’s no meat in this recipe is not an issue. The colors and texture I’ve incorporated in this dish will blow your mind!


Flat Leaf Italian Parsley






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Stuffed Roasted Peppers


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan, 2 (9 x 13) baking dishes, chef’s knife, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls

1 tablespoon of olive oil, extra for the tops of the stuffed peppers
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 orange bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
4 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups of Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
1 onion quartered
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups of wheat germ
1 1/4 cups of vegetable stock plus 6 tablespoons, unsalted
1 cup of quinoa

Note: You may have to trim a very thin slice off the bottoms of each pepper so they will stand upright. Be careful not to cut too much off exposing the inside of the pepper.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Arrange the peppers on two rimmed baking sheet pans. Cook for 30 minutes allowing them to soften before filling.

In the meantime start by making the filling. Add quartered onions and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, again, pulse just until finely chopped. Add the chipotle pepper and the processed mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the same bowl.

Add the drained Roma tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl, mix to combine. Set aside.

In a small dry sauté pan over medium-low heat add the pine nuts. Cook, swishing the pan around, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until you start to smell their aroma. Immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.

Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa to remove the *saponin. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-low heat add (or leave) some of the water remaining on the quinoa so that it’s moist. Add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. Using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around allowing any excess water to be absorbed by the grains of quinoa.

Once the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue stirring until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

After 30 minutes remove the peppers out of the oven.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil. Transfer the processed vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, all liquid has evaporated, and the vegetable mixture has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the thawed peas and toasted pin nuts, stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked toasted quinoa. Stir to combine. Using a large spoon fill all 16 peppers to the top. Arrange the peppers, side by side, in the baking dishes. Sprinkle wheat germ evenly over the top of each pepper. Top each one with shredded Mozzarella.

Drizzled 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock into the bottom of each of the baking dishes.  Bake for another 30 minutes.  To finish, turn the oven to broil setting, (keep a close eye) and cook for around 5 minutes or until the cheese and the tops become a light golden brown.

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