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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Antipasto Platters Made Easy

 

Antipasto Platters

Antipasto Platters (2)

Antipasto Platters (3)

Whenever I’m doing an Antipasto Platter, start with great quality ingredients. I like to assemble a few and dress of few.

For example, the artichokes can be tossed with strips of roasted red peppers, and the cantaloupe and breadsticks, wrap delicious cured meats.

Keeping the same items together gives a more uniform look to the platter. I also always try to utilize herbs in my garden. Here I’m using fresh basil as a garnish for the platters.

Simple dress the grape tomatoes with E.V.O.O. and a sprinkle of Kosher salt.

What’s great about this, all the ingredients are store bought. This makes these platters quick and easy to put together. For the seasoned Bocconcini, my recipe is really simple. I doubled the recipe below for my platters in the pictures you see above.

Ingredients: Marinate For Bocconcini
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

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Homemade Meatloaf

Homemade Meatloaf

Growing up in the ’70s, I remember one of the most traditionally made dinners was meatloaf. My mom had her version #tastethelove, my friends’ moms had their version, and my grandmother had her version. They were all delicious but so very different. I think that’s what makes this dish so common throughout many households but so individually unique. Meatloaf is a blank canvas to use whatever flavor profile you’d like. Traditionally meatloaf was made with ground beef, but that’s not the case anymore, ground pork, chicken, or turkey can be used to make meatloaf today.

My Homemade Meatloaf is a family favorite. Let me show you what goes into my Homemade Meatloaf, starting with the roasted garlic.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes (prep the vegetable while roasting the garlic)
Cook Time:  2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 12-inch sauté pan, 3-quart saucepot

Ingredients:
1-pound lean ground sirloin
2-pounds ground pork
1 bulb of garlic, 4 cloves, roasted, 2 cloves, raw and minced
1 1/2 onions, small dice
3 ribs of celery, small dice
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, small dice
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt (1 tablespoon for sautéing the veggies)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (1 teaspoon for sautéing the veggies)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-style
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup

Ingredients For Brown Gravy:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Kitchen Boquet, browning and seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups of unsalted chicken broth

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet and set aside to cool.

While garlic is roasting prep all the vegetables.

While the garlic is roasting in the oven start sautéing the vegetables. In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add olive oil, diced onions, diced celery, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic. As the veggies start to soften, add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and freshly chopped thyme leaves, stir to combine. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off and remove from the heat to let cool.

Adjust the oven to 350-degrees F.

In the large mixing bowl, with the roasted garlic, diced roasted red peppers, and beaten eggs add the Italian-style bread crumbs, half and half, fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, Kosher salt, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and the cooled vegetable mixture, mix to combine.

Next, it’s time to add the meat to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Using your hands, mix in the meat until it’s all just combined, do not overmix. After everything is combined and all that goodness is mix throughout, form the meatloaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the meatloaf delicately into a pretty looking loaf. Refer to the picture above. There’s no need to do anything else to the meat. The oven will take care of making it look all nice, beautiful, crispy, and brown. Trust me!

While the meatloaf is in the oven make start the Lumpy Mashed Potatoes, Click the link below for the recipe.

I bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer the meatloaf to the counter, cover with foil and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. You want to make sure that the meatloaf is cooked completely through. Use a meat thermometer and make sure it reads at least 155 degrees F. before letting it rest on the counter. There will be some carry over cooking time.

Directions For Brown Gravy:
In a saucepot on medium heat, melt the butter, add the fresh thyme leaves. Next, the flour and whisk together making sure to get all visible lumps. Add Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, continuously whisking until mixture turns light brown in color. Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add Kitchen Boquet and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat back up to medium. Continue whisking until gravy boils and thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Lumpy Mash Potatoes

 

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Spicy Grilled Chicken Over Pesto Bow Tie Pasta

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I love using a pesto as a sauce for pasta. Pesto doesn’t over power any dish but it’s a freat condiment for pasta and adds so much flavor. I’m going to top the pasta with a spicy grilled chicken breast. The chicken is marinated in a the Greek yogurt flavored with blackened seasoning.

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Above is a picture of a similar pesto I’d made earlier. It’s my sweet pea and mint pesto. The same process is followed to make this version.
Ingredients:
1-15 ounce package of thawed frozen peas
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/3 cup E.V.O.O. ( may vary slightly)
Directions For Pesto Below:

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: indoor grill, food processor

Ingredients For Pesto:
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 1/2 cups arugula leaves
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup E.V.O.O. may vary slightly
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 box of cooked bow tie pasta, well drained

Ingredients For Spicy Grilled Chicken:
2 skinless-boneless chicken breast, butterflied then sliced into 2 breasts each, yielding 4 thin chicken breasts.
2 cups Greek Yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
1 clove garlic grated
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
Parmigiano-Reggiano shaving for garnish

Directions For Toasted Pine Nuts:
In a large dry sauté pan, on medium heat. add the pine nut. Toast until the nuts become fragrant. Remove from heat.

Directions For Pesto:
In a food processor, add the Cannellini beans, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, garlic, Kosher salt, black pepper, arugula. Drizzle in the E.V.O.O.through the feed tube around 6-8 times. Remove the lid, add the grated cheese, pulse a few more time until cheese is combined. Add more E.V.O.O. if needed. The finished pesto should have a smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Cook the bow tie pasta according to the box instructions. Drain well. Toss the pesto with the hot pasta and set aside.

Directions For Spicy Grilled Chicken:
In a large bowl, add Greek Yogurt, Agave nectar, blackened seasoning, Kosher salt, and grated garlic, mix well. Add the 4 thin chicken breasts. Make sure all the chicken is coated well with the seasoned yogurt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat indoor grill pan on med-high heat. Have the oven set on 250 degrees F. Place the chicken breast on grill pan. Grill the first side for 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken and grill for another 3 minutes. Transfer the grilled chicken to a sheet pan and place in the oven to stay warm. Cook pasta, drain well. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl, add the prepared pesto and toss.

Remove the chicken from the oven. On a cutting board for meat, slice chicken on the bias. Add the pasta to a large serving bowl, top with sliced grilled blackened chicken. Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Serve hot.
 

 

 

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Zucchini And Tomato Tart With Goat Cheese

Tomato And Zucchini Tart With Goat Cheese (3)

This Zucchini And Tomato Tart With Goat Cheese is a great alternative to eating meat. It really satisfying and delicious. The jam takes quite a while to make but the good news is you can make it in advance.

First, you want to caramelize the onions. Start with a sweet onion like a Vidalia. Vidalia onions are really the best ones to use for this dish because they’re naturally sweet.

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Puff Pastry

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields: 2- 9 x 13 tarts 6 servings
Tomato Onion Jam Yields: 2 cups
Equipment: mandolin, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 13

Ingredients For Tomato Onions Jam:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced in half moons
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar for caramelizing the onions (optional)
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 box of Puff Pastry sheets
5 Roma tomatoes, 1/4-inch in thickness
2 zucchinis, sliced, 1/4-inch in thickness
2 yellow squash sliced, 1/4-inch in thickness
1 1/2 cups of roasted red bell peppers, julienned
12-ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
Garnish with fresh oregano leaves (substitute julienned basil leaves)

Directions For Tomato Onions Jam:
In a large non-stick sautèpan on medium heat, add olive oil. Add thinly sliced onions, sugar, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Place a lid on the pan to give them a head start in softening, about 5 minutes, remove the lid. Sautè the onions stirring every few minutes, preventing the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Adjust the heat to medium-low if you see the onions are starting to burn. Cook until they become soft and caramel in color, about 40 minutes.

Next, to the caramelized onions add the quartered and seeded Roma tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Turn the heat up to medium bringing the mixture up to a boil reduce heat to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have broken down and jam has thickened and developed a jammy consistency, around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Thaw Puff Pastry according to instructions on the package. Once thawed, roll the sheet into approx. 11 x 13-inch rectangle. Transfer the sheet of Puff Pastry onto a lined baking sheet. Prick the center of the sheet of dough all over with a fork leaving a 3/4-inch margin on all sides. This way the center won’t puff up during baking. Repeat this process for the second sheet of Puff Pastry. Transfer the 2 baking sheet pans into the refrigerator to chill the dough, about 15 minutes.

Using a mandolin (is a tool that allows you to make the vegetable slices uniform in thickness) slice the zucchini, yellow squash. Next, using a very sharp knife slice the Roma tomatoes 1/4-inch in thickness.

After 15 minutes, remove the pans from the frig. Divide the tomato onion jam between the two sheets of dough. Spread the jam all over leaving the 3/4-inch border on all sides. Next, layer the sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and sliced Roma tomatoes alternating them in color. Repeat process for the second sheet pan. Crumble goat cheese over all the veggies.  Lay the julienned roasted peppers, here and there, on top. Drizzle the top of each tart with olive oil, then sprinkle each with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Brush the edges of the Puff Pastry with an *egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it’s nice and golden brown in color. Garnish with fresh oregano (or basil leaves) leaves.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

*Egg Wash: Whisk together 1 beaten egg and a tablespoon of water or milk.

*Mandolin: A tool that allows you to slice vegetables in several widths and thicknesses.

 

 

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