Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Pasta, Peas, And Pancetta

2016-05-01 17.44.35

This is a quick easy week night meal, and a great one you can serve up to guests. Let me show you how fast this dish comes together. I’m using a Fusilli pasta for this dish.

This is what pancetta (Italian bacon) looks like. I’ts similar to American bacon in that it’s cured, it is just not smoked.You can get this at the deli counter in your local grocery store. For this dish, you do not want to get it sliced, you’re going to want one thick slice about 1/2 inch thick. The deli employees will just adjust the blade on the slicer to the thickness you’re requesting. You may even be able to find pancetta already diced and packaged.

2018-01-05 17.27.08

2018-01-05 17.27.50

Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 pound of fusilli
2-1/2 ounces pancetta, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, reserve 1/4 cup for serving
1 good size shallot, halved, and thinly sliced
1-10 ounce package frozen peas
Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
1 tablespoon of finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves

Directions:
Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite.  Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Heat the olive oil in a medium  (10 inch) saute pan, add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy pancetta over to a plate, lined with paper towel. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon dripping from saute pan.

Add the sliced shallots and minced garlic to the pan,  saute about 3 minutes until tender. Toss in the thawed frozen peas, to warm through, stirring everthing together. Remove from heat. Add the crispy pancetta back in with the vegetables and stir through.

Add the pancetta vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, half the mint,and half the basil to the cooked pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by the tablespoon if needed. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil and mint on top. Serve, passing additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Chicken Milanese- Updated

 

Photo Jun 12, 4 12 07 PM

Chicken Milanese is my favorite of all my dishes. The idea of warm chicken on top of a cool, crisp green salad and  lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, makes me, well….CRAZY

All Chicken Milanese is, is a breaded chicken cutlet that’s been shallow fried in olive oil. My grandmother had her method, she would dip the chicken breasts  in beaten eggs that had been seasoned, and then the chicken would be dredged in Italian bread crumbs.  I’ve updated that a bit.

To make the best fried chicken, chicken should be marinated in buttermilk, for a couple of hours or overnight, as a first step. It really tenderizes the chicken and then, of course, a flour or breading would follow.  I’ve decided to use a seasoned Greek yogurt as a first step then follow that up with the breading. It makes the chicken so tender and the spices really permeate the meat. Then I follow up with the breading.

I’m a really big fan of grilled chicken on top of a Caesar salad, so that gave me this idea! I’m using my favorite brand of a creamy chicken Caesar dressing as a marinate for my Milanese. The spices are already in the dressing, and I love the flavor of a Caesar dressing. This will make a great marinate and tenderizer for the chicken cutlets.

 

 

Photo Jun 12, 3 44 02 PM

 

Photo Jun 12, 4 10 23 PM

 

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Min- 2 hour- Max overnight
Total Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Equipment: Baking sheet and rack

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound of chicken cutlets (breasts)
1-16 ounce bottle of creamy Caesar dressing
2-1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (2 tablespoons of dried)
2 packages of prewashed mixed greens
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 lemons
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, marinate chicken cutlets in 1 bottle of Creamy Caesar dressing. Note: Make sure each on the the cutlets are coated on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Take the chicken out of the frig. Pour the bread crumbs into a large bowl, then dredge each breast in the bread crumbs. Once they are breaded, set them onto the baking sheet fitted with rack.

Preheat large saute pan on medium heat. Carefully add in the olive oil, tilting the pan away from you. Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, ( you can test this by just submerging the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you notice the oil bubbling, surrounding the tip of the handle, the oil is ready.) carefully add the breaded chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the cutlets. You may have to do this shallow frying in batches and possibly add more olive oil. Pan fry about 2-3 minutes per side, just enough to get a golden brown color on both sides.

Transfer golden brown cutlets back onto the baking sheet fitted with the rack. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. Internal temperature 165 degrees F.

To serve:
Divide the mixed greens onto 4 salad plates. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over each salad. Drizzle each with a couple of tablespoons of e.v.o.o.  Sprinkle each salad with salt and pepper. Using a potato peeler, shave a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano over each salad. Top each of the cold crisp salads with 2 of the hot pieces of the Chicken Milanese.  Take the remaining lemon and squeeze some of the juice over all of the chicken. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

 

 

2 Comments »

Whole Foods

photo-feb-25-1-08-05-pm

photo-feb-25-1-08-12-pm

Photo Feb 25, 1 07 55 PM.jpg

I was strolling through the Whole Foods market when this display wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano caught my eye. Oh yeah, the “on sale” sign too!

Right behind the Parmigiano-Reggiano wheel is an enormous wall of cheeses from around the world, I mean that literally! There are cheeses from all over the world, and I’m planning on trying a few of them in the very near future.

 

The most amazing moment was watching the process of opening of an eighty pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel.

 

It turns out, this is a pretty big undertaking, and definitely takes some time to complete. Once that wheel is cracked open, it’s pretty awesome! I bought myself a couple of big wedges. When I returned home from the store, I placed one in the freezer and one in the frig. I think it’s going to be a pasta night!

photo-feb-26-3-21-25-pm

photo-feb-26-3-21-33-pm

 

Leave a comment »

Chicken Cacciatore

2016-11-05-18-02-13

2016-11-05-18-02-05

A very dear friend of mine, Chris, who just happens to be a fireman with the Orlando Fire Department, shares my passion for cooking and delicious food.

Chris and I were talking recently, he told me that he would like to make a dish for the men and women at the department. I knew just the recipe I wanted to share. I thought my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore would be perfect.

This dish is one that braises chicken low and slow and is basically done in one large pot. I’ve made it on top of the stove, but it can be done, just as easily, in a large disposable pan with a tight-fitting lid, in the oven. Delicious and easy, this recipe can easily be translated into serving a large number of people.

For this recipe, I chose a Pappardelle pasta. Pappardelle is a thick cut pasta.  This style of pasta allows the sauce to cling to the noodles really well.  Egg noodles would also work great and are readily available in most grocery stores.

Equipment: 2 baking rimmed baking sheet pans, 6-quart Dutch Oven
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time For Roasting Chicken: 20 to 25 minutes
Total  Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients For Chicken:
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breast cut in half
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, black pepper, dried rosemary- liberal sprinkling

Ingredients:
1 diced onion
2 pints of sliced mushrooms
1 red and yellow bell pepper diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of white wine (Chardonnay)
1/2 cup of unsalted chicken broth
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes with juice
1 15-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
1 16-ounce package of Pappardelle or egg noodles
1 package of fresh basil leaves

DirectionsFor Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Take the 4 chicken breasts and cut them in half (giving you 8 pieces) as shown in the pictures above. Lay them out, skin side up, on the baking sheets. Using a paper towel, pat and dry each piece really well. This will allow the chicken to brown nicely. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each piece and rub the oil all over the top of each one. Next, liberally sprinkle Kosher salt,  fresh ground black pepper, and dried rosemary over each of the pieces.

Tip: Be sure to crush the dried rosemary between your fingers to release their oils.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Switch the oven to broil. Let the chicken continue cooking, another 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown.

Note: If your oven does not have a broil option, then turn the temperature up to 450-degrees F., keeping a close eye on the chicken. Let the chicken brown and crisp up that way. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Directions For Stove Top Method:
In a preheated Dutch oven on medium heat, add in the olive oil and diced onions. Sprinkle in some Kosher salt and pepper, to taste, to start the onions sweating. Stir the onions for a minute, then add in the diced bell peppers and mushrooms. Continue sautéing the veggies, another 5 minutes.

As the veggies start to release their water add the minced garlic, tomato paste, and spices. Continue stirring all the ingredients together. At this point, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and stir that through. Next, add the white wine and chicken broth. Let that come to a bubble and cook for another 5 minutes.

Moving forward, add in the whole tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes and brown sugar. Using a wooden spoon, break up the whole tomatoes and stir. Add back into the pot the precooked chicken pieces. Make sure they are not completely submerged. Bring everything back up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let everything simmer together on low for another 45 minutes, until chicken is nice and tender.

Transfer the chicken pieces carefully to a plate. This time, keep the lid off, turn the heat somewhere between medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce come up to a bubble, stirring occasionally, cook for another 5 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off and add in the fresh basil leaves. Stir the basil throughout the sauce.

Have a pot of the boiling salted water ready so while the sauce is thickening on the stove, you can drop the pasta and everything will be done at the same time.

To serve, place the pasta in the bottom of each serving bowl. Top with two pieces of chicken and ladle this delicious sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh basil.

Directions For Making More Than 4 Servings At One Time:
Equipment: Large disposable foil pan with tight-fitting lid, and 1 large or more than 2 1/4 sheet pans.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Prepare and precook the chicken the same as above.
Adjust all the ingredients, from the (4 chicken breasts) 4 servings above to the amount you intend to make.

Add all the ingredients to the large foil pan. Mix all the ingredients together. Next, place precooked chicken on top making sure not to completely submerge the chicken. Place the lid on tightly. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid, remove the chicken from the pan and place onto a plate covered with foil to stay warm. Note: Check to make sure chicken temperature is at 165 degrees internally, and nice and tender. Due to the fact that cooking on top of the stove in comparison to oven cooking times may vary.

Pour the sauce from the pan into a large pot. Turn the burner to medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce cook down and thicken, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is starting to reduce, have a pot of salted boiling water ready, drop the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off, stir in the fresh basil leaves.

To serve, place pasta in the bottom of the single serving porcelain bowl. Place two pieces of chicken on top, and generously ladle the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: