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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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Cajun Style Jambalaya

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A great way to be transported from your dining room to the French Quarter is with my Cajun Style Jambalaya! This one pot wonder is done in layers. What I mean is, I’m going to season and cook each layer as I go, building layers of flavor.

First is to prep all the vegetables. Next, on to the proteins for the dish.

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I marinate the chicken and shrimp in a mixture of olive oil,  Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, along with a Cajun seasoning blend.

Next, is to marinate the diced chicken breasts.

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Slice the sausage.

Once you season the shrimp transfer them to the refrigerator until they ready to be added to the pot. They’re the last ingredient to be added.

The liquids along with the tomato paste are ready. So we are ready to start!

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Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Marinade For Chicken And Shrimp:
Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Chicken:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced yellow bell pepper
1 diced Poblano pepper
1 finely chopped Fresno chili
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, whites sliced,  (slice on the bias, green tops save for garnish)
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 12-ounce package Andouille sausage sliced (5 links)
2 boneless- skinless chicken breast (around 1 pound)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning blend
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
1 28-ounce can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes
3 cups of unsalted chicken stock

Directions:
1. In a large preheated Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add garlic, Fresno chili, white parts of the green onion, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add in marinated diced chicken. Cook until golden brown, around 5 minutes

3. Add in bell peppers, diced onion, diced Poblano pepper, tomato paste, sliced Andouille sausage, and stir through. Cook until fragrant, around 4 minutes.

4. Add unsalted chicken stock, Cajun seasoning blend, crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and rice. Reduce heat to medium-low heat. Cover with tight-fitting lid and cook until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed around 25 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, around 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Turn heat off and stir in green onion tops for garnish and serve.

Serve hot.

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Savory Beef Brisket

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I love making beef #brisket for so many reasons. It’s really just one of those styles of meats that you can #tastethelove and do just about anything with. I like to take the cooked brisket and portion it out. Because there is only two of us, a 3-pound piece is more than enough to make different styles of meals from that one cooked Savory Beef Brisket.

For example; on the first night, I added some of my homemade barbecue sauce to half, and we had barbecue beef brisket sandwiches. My favorite way is to not add anything to the finished brisket, and with its savory beefy broth, I make tostadas. That’s what I’ve done here. Let me tell you how easy this recipe is to do.

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Now after the meat has rested for a bit in its juices, I pull the foil off, take a fork and scrape the cooked tomatoes off moving them to the side. I pull the tender brisket out carefully and place it on my meat board. Transfer the cooking liquid to a saucepot, set the heat to medium-high and allow the cooking liquid to reduce, intensifying that beef flavor.

I start with cutting the fat cap off, then I just shred the meat with two forks.

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I happen to have some Pico de Gallo first because I always do. You can get my recipe for Pico de Gallo by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

I place some of my Savory Beef Brisket on a Tostada, then I add some freshly grated Jack cheese, then top it with some of my delicious Pico de Gallo. This is definitely my favorite way to eat this scrumptious #savorybeefbrisket.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish, large sauce pot

Ingredients:
3-pound flat top beef brisket
1/4 cup of beef consomme
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon
4 dashes of liquid smoke
3 cloves of chopped garlic
2 large onions, quartered and broken up
1 15-ounce can of drained fire roasted tomatoes ( diced tomatoes are fine)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300-degrees F.
Start with a flat-cut brisket. Turn the meat over so the fat side is up and score the fat. I just simply season the meat liberally with salt and pepper on the scored fat side. To the baking dish add 1 of the quartered onion pieces along with whole garlic cloves. Lay the brisket in the dish fat side up. In a large mixing bowl add beef consomme, low sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon, whisk to combine. Pour that mixture over the brisket. To that, add the remaining onion pieces and place around the outside of the brisket. The last ingredient is a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes that have been drained and spread the diced tomatoes over the top. Next, I wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator for 24 hours or overnight.

The next day, remove the plastic wrap off and replace it with foil, bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes a pound. So for this size piece of brisket, comes to 3 hours and 45 minutes. Because oven temperatures may vary slightly, check on the brisket after 3 hours to see how it’s doing, because sometimes it may not need the whole 45 minutes. If after 3 hours you can stick a fork into the brisket and you can tell it’s going to fall apart easily, then go ahead and take it out and let it rest covered on the counter for about 15 minutes.

On the other hand,  check for tenderness to see how much longer you may need to cook the brisket. You may need another 15 minutes and not the whole 45 minutes.

Once finished cooking, remove from oven, let rest covered for another 15 minutes. Take the tomatoes from the top and scrape them off the sides of the meat. Remove the brisket out from the dish carefully, transfer to a cutting board and cut the fat top off. Using two forks shred the beef.

Transfer cooking liquid (including the vegetables) to a large saucepot on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the cooking liquid has reduced by half, turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Carefully pour the reduced cooking liquid (with vegetables) back into the baking dish. Return the shredded beef, toss through the sauce. You can see how the meat just absorbs most of that delicious broth. I like to keep it covered with foil so it stays nice and hot until you’re ready.

 

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

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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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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 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 Top Sirloin Filets
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 a cast iron skillet, 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. For medium-rare, this takes around 15 to 20 minutes. 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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