Monday, August 3, 2015

Grilled Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Tonight we had a simple dinner. I had a package of Kayem Sweet Pepper and Provolone Sausage. Bishop's had yellow and orange peppers on sale. The Sausage, Peppers and some Red Onion were all grilled. What a perfect blend of flavors. The peppers were just sweet enough. And this was the first time we tried Kayem Sausage. Just delicious!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

This Is Our House Potato Salad

I was planning on trying out a few Potato Salad recipes this summer to find the one we liked the best. Well, I did not get very far in my search. Caesar Potato Salad with Sugar Snap Peas is our winner. The dressing is so good. The salad is very photogenic, not that it should matter, but you do want your food to look appetizing. The recipe is from Bon Appetit. I of course did not add garlic.

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled assorted fingerling potatoes or baby potatoes (such as white-skinned, red-skinned, and purple), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 ounces trimmed sugar snap peas
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Steam potatoes on steamer rack set in large pot over boiling water until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and steam until peas are crisp-tender and potatoes are just tender, about 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Cool slightly. Add radishes and onion.

Whisk next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in Parmesan. Season dressing with salt and generous amount of pepper. Add dressing to potato mixture; toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Grilled Flank Steak, Vegetable Tian and Pie

No I have not posted a single blog post this week. Let's just say between the heat and life in general, it did not happen. But we are at the start of a new week and a new month.
I took a half day on Friday and I have Monday off so let's get blogging!
Tonight we had Grilled Flank Steak with Chimmichuri Sauce, from the Bertolli Olive Oil site. Delicious. I brushed the steak with olive oil and salt. I used a Pepper that I got Chris for Christmas, Pirate's Bite Spice Blend. It has sea salt, black peppercorn, bird's eye chile pepper, coriander, fennel, chipotle peppers, cumin, cayenne pepper, Dahil pepper, habanero powder, and Scotch Bonnet pepper.
Chris took over at the grill. I had made the Chimmichuri Sauce earlier in the day.
I did not have fresh oregano and could not find it at the store (!!!) so I substituted some dried oregano and added in some fresh thyme and basil from the plants on the deck. Not bad. First time making Chimmichuri Sauce and I liked the results.

For a side dish I made a Summer Vegetable Tian. I found the recipe on 12 Tomatoes.
I loved this recipe. But of course I cut too many veggies and potatoes so I ended up making a frittatta for either later in the week or I could use it for a couple of lunches.

And just because it was a Saturday night we opened a bottle of wine. Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC 2012. I would say it was a nice wine pairing.

And than there was dessert. I went to Bishop's yesterday and the peaches were on sale. I could not resist. Blueberries were on sale at Stop & Shop so I made a Peach & Blueberry Thyme Galette. I found this recipe on Food 52. I added the blueberries because I love Blueberry Peach Pie. I use to bake pies and sold them to local restaurants. The Blueberry Peach was always my favorite. This pie was delicious. The Thyme and Honey was a nice addition. It was just a hint of Thyme. The crust was a little different from my usual recipe. I liked the dough. It was very easy to work with.
I always think of my Dad when I eat pie. He would have probably said it was not sweet enough and needed Vanilla Ice Cream. I would have to agree at least on the Vanilla Ice Cream.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pappardelle with Broccoli Rabe Sausage in Tomato, Butter and Onion Sauce

Okay that is one long title for a blog post. I could have left out the Pappardelle but it was amazing. I purchased it at Bogatti's on East 187th Street on Thursday.
They took the fresh noodles and hand cut them to the size I wanted. Wow!

The Broccoli Rabe Sausage, yes sausage with Broccoli Rabe in it, was from Peter's Meat Market on Arthur Avenue. I was amazed when I saw it in the meat case and was amazed when I tasted it. A little spice which was the perfect.

And the sauce. Such a perfect sauce. If you make this there is no reason to buy jarred sauce. Okay I do have a jar of sauce just in case but this is better than anything you can ever buy. A 2 pound can of tomatoes, 5 tablespoons of butter and an onion cut in two. After the sauce cooked and I pureed the onions in the sauce I added the sausage, which I had browned in a little olive oil in a saute pan. Click here for the only Tomato Sauce recipe you will ever need.

Tonight's dinner summed up why I cook the way I do. Why I take time to make homemade sauce. Why I get excited about hand cut pasta and Broccoli Rabe Sausage. Chris thoroughly enjoyed dinner. He loved the sauce. He loved the pasta. He even loved the Broccoli Rabe Sausage. Good food. Good wine. Good company. That's a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ingredients From Arthur Avenue

Now what did you think I was going to make for dinner? Actually it was hard to pick what to make first. Obviously there had to be an antipasto.

The Pinwheel Steak was so good. Prosciutto and Mozzarella and a hint of garlic. As always, grilled perfectly!

The Green Bean Salad was made with beans from my sister's garden. The dressing was what my mom use to make. Olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Arthur Avenue AKA Disneyland

I have been so beside myself with excitement about today's road trip to Arthur Avenue.
I had never been to Arthur Avenue before. All my life I have heard how if it's from Arthur Avenue it's the BEST! Well they were right. Let me back up a bit. At our last book club meeting we decided to take a road trip to Arthur Avenue. Have I told you that I am in the best book club ever! Kate drove us there in her van. We found the "perfect" parking spot. We visited the Church of the Lady of Mount Carmel and then we started shopping.

First stop was the pasta store, Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles.  As this was the first stop I had to make sure I did not overspend, which was not easy. I purchased a 1/2 pound of dried basil pasta and a pound of hand cut pappardelle noodles. I was in love at this point. I should add that I did not take a lot of photos or instagram or facebook posts though out the day. I tried to take the day in first hand, not through the lens of my phone/camera. I actually turned off and put my phone away for most of the day. I tried to go old school...

Last night I did a little research on the area and saw that one of the stores, Tino's Delicatessen, sold something called 'Nduja. It is a spreadable pork sausage from Italy.
It is typically made with parts of the pig such as the shoulder, belly and jowl, roasted peppers and a mixture of spices. I found it and will be trying it very soon. Stay tuned!

 Bread. Yes bread. I was so good at the bakery. Madonia Brothers Bakery. Remember that name. Only purchased one loaf of bread, now kicking myself for not buying more. And
I purchased a 1/2 pound of biscotti. I can not believe I had such restraint!

All this shopping and we have not eaten yet! Karen made reservations at Gerbasi. What a fantastic lunch. They were playing Jerry Vale, which brought me back to my Dad's house. The waiter was so accommodating. We all had wine and for lunch three of us had the Salmon Piccata, and Kelly had Lasagna and Kate had Fettuccine Alfredo, which looked so good.
It was a wonderfully relaxing and delicious lunch.

Now back to shopping. The Cheese Store... Calandra AKA the happiest place on earth!
I wanted to move in there. The Prosciutto... just typing the word brings tears to my eyes.
I have said it often - when I die I want to be buried with a nice piece of Prosciutto, preferably from Arthur Avenue. Then I know I will get into heaven! So at Calandra
I purchased Smoked Gouda, Pecorina Locatelli, Prima Donna, which is a mild cheese from Holland. I also bought some Soppresetta and of course, Prosciutto.

And lastly we hit the meat market. Inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, you will find Peter's Meat Market. And that is where I found Broccoli Rabe Sausage and a Pinwheel Steak with Prosciutto and Mozzarella. Stay tuned for more on both of those.

Some Hazelnut Gelato from Tino's Delicatessen put the finishing touch on a perfect day.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sesame Beef Noodle Salad

It was a hot today! A cold noodle salad was the perfect dinner. I received the Ree Drummond's, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food From My Frontier for Christmas this year (Thank you Cindy!). I was flipping though it the other day and came upon this recipe. I had the meat. I had the pasta. But I am not a big Cilantro fan. So I used Parsley and Thyme from the plants on our deck.

My version of Sesame Beef Noodle Salad, from Ree Drummond's, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food From My Frontier -

1/4 cups Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Sugar
3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil (less If You Can't Handle Heat!)
1/4 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup Sliced Green Onion
8 ounces Spaghetti
1 cup chopped fresh Parsley and Thyme
1# Sirloin Steak Tips  (the original recipe calls for on 1/2 inch thick Sirloin Steak)
Kosher Salt To Taste

In a bowl, combine Soy Sauce, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot chili oil,  and 4 tbsp canola oil. Mix to combine, then taste and adjust flavors/seasonings to your taste. Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dressing.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a bowl.  Pour the remaining dressing over the top and toss to combine. Finally, toss in green onions. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or until cool. You can make the noodles well in advance of when you want to serve.

Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Grill until medium rare. Place the steak inside a plastic bag and add the 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Stick it in the fridge and allow it to marinate for at least a couple of hours. You can also use leftover steak.

To serve, slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Drizzle a little soy over noodles just to give it a little flavor boost, throw in plenty of parsley and thyme leaves, and toss to combine. Serve strips of beef over mound of noodles, or throw it all into a bowl together.