Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Arroz con Pollo

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Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) is a favorite in our house. I always have to make a big batch because Steve has no problem having this for dinner two nights in a row he loves it so much. I’m going to be using a super large braising pot for this recipe, if you don’t have one, a large Dutch oven works just fine, all you need to do is to brown the chicken off in two batches.

The traditional Cuban dish is made with short-grain white rice like Arborio, I prefer long-grain white rice. Basmati rice is what I’m using today.

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Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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White Wine And Unsalted Chicken Broth

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Bay Leaves

Saffron

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (10-quart) large braising pot, tongs, dry measuring cups, paring knife, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
10 bone-in chicken thighs, skins removed
1/2 cup of good olive oil
2 cup of frozen peas thawed
2 (8-ounce) bags of mini sweet peppers, tops removed, seeded, and sliced into rings
1 (15-ounce) bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 large Spanish onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of dry white wine, room temperature (Chardonnay)
1 small pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of ground Tumeric
1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of long-grain white rice, Basmati rice (rinsed really well, see my notes)
1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock, unsalted
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Begin by prepping the garlic, onions, and peppers, set aside.
Next, remove the skin from the chicken thighs and any extra fat, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside.

Add 1 cup of room temperature dry white wine to a measuring cup along with a pinch of saffron, give a whisk to combine, and set aside.

Season both sides of the chicken with Tumeric, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

In a large heavy-bottom pot, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, arrange the chicken thighs in the pot smooth side down first. Do not touch or move the thighs for at least 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s time to flip them when they easily release, from the pot, on their own leaving no chicken stuck to the bottom. Flip the thighs and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

While the second side is browning, add the dried oregano into the palm of your hand, rub your palms together as you add the oregano evenly over the chicken. This process allows the oregano to release its oils and become fragrant. Don’t worry if the chicken is not completely cooked, they will finish cooking during the braising process. Go ahead and the browned chicken thighs back to the baking sheet pan, set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the diced onions, sweet peppers, and garlic, season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stirring frequently, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the wine/saffron mixture. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits of the bottom of the pot until clean. Continue stirring, cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the chicken thighs back to the pot. Sprinkle the sweet paprika evenly over the top of all the chicken. Add the bay leaves, rice, and remaining chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer (reduce heat to medium-low), cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, rice is cooked through and the chicken (internal temperature reads 165-degrees F.) is fall-off-the-bone tender.

Uncover, add the peas and garnish with finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley.

To Serve: Spoon in the rice mixture, first, into the bottom of a porcelain serving bowl, top with two chicken thighs, finish with a little more Italian parsley. Serve hot.

.Notes: Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water. Add the rice. Stirring occasionally, allow any starch from the rice to release into the water. Rinse a second time or until the water remains clear. This will ensure the rice won’t get clumpy in the finished dish.

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Pasta, Pancetta, And Peas

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Pasta, Pancetta, And Peas is a quick easy weeknight meal and a great dish 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.

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Heading over to my Hanging Herb Garden for fresh basil and mint for my dish.

Mint

Sweet Basil (2)

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This is what pancetta (Italian bacon) looks like. It’s 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.

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Fresh Mint Leaves

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Prep Time: 3 to 5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 10-inch sauté pan, 6-quart saucepot

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, thawed
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.

In a cold sauté pan over medium heat add the pancetta and cook for 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy pancetta over to a plate, lined with a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from sauté 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 everything 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 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. In 30 minutes you can enjoy Pasta, Pancetta, And Peas.

My Organic Hanging Herb Garden

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Pasta Carbonara

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A match made in heaven, are peas and pancetta. My Pasta Carbonara highlights these two ingredients perfectly. One main ingredient, in this dish, is freshly cracked/ground black pepper. From what I understand, many years ago, this dish got its name from woodcutters who made charcoal for fuel. Those men would come home dirty and black from a hard day’s work. Therefore the black pepper in this dish represents that look.

eggs

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: deep-sided frying pan, 6-quart saucepot, chef’s knife, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 small mixing bowl, a 10-cup food processor, colander spoon

Ingredients:
2 boxes of Gemelli (substitute 1 pound of spaghetti)
1 package of thawed frozen peas
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of dry white wine (substitute unsalted chicken broth)
4 whole eggs plus, 1 yolk
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 1/4 cup back to top serving dishes)
1 pinch of Kosher salt to taste (a good handful of Kosher salt for pasta water)
1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Place a large saucepot on the stove filled with water over medium-high heat. This will allow you time to prepare the ingredients for the dish while waiting for the water to boil.

Have ready, a whole package of thawed frozen peas in a bowl.

In a large cold sauté pan add olive oil and diced pancetta. Do not turn the heat on just yet.

Next, grind up 2 cups of Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Transfer the grated cheese to a bowl and set aside.

Note: Reserve 1/4 cup of the grated cheese to top individual servings.

In another bowl, crack 4 eggs and one egg yolk and beat them together with 1 tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper. Measure a 1/4 cup of dry white wine (or chicken broth), and have the minced garlic set to one side. Once all the ingredients are ready it’s time to make the dish.

Turn the deep-sided frying pan with the diced pancetta and olive oil to medium heat. Start to render down the pancetta, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add a handful of Kosher salt into the pot of boiling water. Add the pasta, of your choice, giving it a big stir, and follow the cooking time according to the directions on the box.

Once the pancetta is crispy transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons the pancetta fat in the pan. If you don’t think you have that much, you can add a little olive oil.

This process goes fairly quickly. Pan still on medium heat, next, add in the minced garlic, diced shallot, and the wine. Using a wooden spoon, and while shallots and garlic are cooking, around 3 to 4 minutes, scrape up all those delicious pancetta bits that are trapped in the bottom of the pan. Let that liquid bubble up for about a minute until the alcohol has cooked out.

To the pan, using one of those large colander spoons, transfer the pasta into the pan. Next, return the cooked pancetta to the pan. Make sure to coat the all pasta with the pancetta fat, wine, and garlic that has remained in the pan. Note: if the pasta seems a little to dry and sticking together, add in a little olive oil to loosen it up.

At this point, add the crispy pancetta, the peas (the heat will warm the peas through), and the egg mixture. Using a pair of tongs, toss to combine while still over the heat, until eggs just start to set. Turn the heat off, but keep the pan on the burner. Immediately add the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Toss those ingredients through then remove from the heat.

Pasta Carbonara is best served hot. Don’t forget about adding more cheese to the top of your dish!

Pasta Carbonara Souffle

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