Monday, October 27, 2014

Italian Wedding Soup, My Way

I love this soup. Chris loved this soup. It was perfect for a cool day. While searching for a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup, and after reading a lot of different recipes, I settled on this version.

First of all, for the meatballs I used sausage meat. I used the same procedure as I was using for the hamburgers this summer, with a couple of changes. I  chopped up 2 slices of rye bread and added about 2 tablespoons of milk. That was left to sit for a moment. Then the bread and milk were mashed up and a beaten egg along with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and salt and pepper were mixed into the bread. The meat was added. The mixture seemed a little too moist so I added some plain bread crumbs until I was comfortable with the consistency. I do not usually add egg to my meatballs so I had to adjust for that. One of the many recipes added an egg so that's why I did. Anyway, I shaped the meat into smaller than golf ball sized meatballs. A baking sheet was lined with parchment paper and the meatballs were placed on the baking sheet and into the oven at 350˚ for 30 minutes.

The soup was started by sautéing chopped onions, carrots and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I added 4 cups of chicken broth to the pan and let that simmer. Swiss chard which was chopped up was added along with the meatballs and some chopped up chicken meat I had in the freezer from when the broth was made. There was a little rice left over for Saturday's dinner and that went in the pot too. Salt, pepper and thyme was added. I squeezed the juice from a half of a lemon into the pot. And that is how I made my soup.

I am so glad I made a large pot of this, looking forward to taking this out of the freezer.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Patty Melt

When I was flipping through last month's Bon Appetit magazine and saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. What's not to like? Hamburgers, caramelized onions, Swiss Cheese and Cheddar. Did the mayonnaise on the bread make a difference? Well, it didn't hurt. Click here for the recipe. Dinner was a huge hit. The Patty Melts were so juicy and the onions and cheese were the perfect combo. This may be put in regular rotation along with Sunday night pizza.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

This weekend I went to Robert's with my 20% off meat coupon. I love this sale and I think it is one of my husband's favorites! We have a pretty stocked freezer. I did not go overboard. I stuck to the basics. I did buy 2 pounds of chicken cutlets, I should have gotten 3 pounds, but I was trying to be frugal. On Sunday I made my Mom's Chicken Cutlets. I love having these in the freezer.

Tonight I topped the cutlets with some of that sauce from Sunday night's pizza along with some Mozzarella and Parmesan. Popped in the oven for about 25 minutes. Oh, this was so delicious. They tasted just like what I remember my Mom's tasting like.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Escarole, Sausage and Bean Soup

The fall means cooking "comfort foods" for dinner.  One of ours, well one of mine, is Escarole, Sausage and Bean Soup. I like just about anything with Escarole.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
2 small onions, cut into wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 19-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 small head escarole, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook the sausage, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Add onions to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, escarole, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole wilts, 3 minutes.
Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

We Do Love Pizza

Was that pizza last Sunday a fluke? Well, one way to find out is making it again! Even made it in the heart shape.

One pie was onion, pancetta and bacon, guess who's pie that was. 
And the other was hot and sweet peppers, artichoke hearts and olives. Both had Mozzarella and Parmigiana cheese. They were both delicious. So we will be making our pizzas using this recipe from this day forward.

Being Sunday I had to do some bread baking. Kept it simple and used the 18 hour recipe. This is a no fail bread.

Last night we ate dinner with Lenore and Ralph. Ralph has a few fig trees that he got from my Dad. They were small and probably in coffee cans he received them. Last night Ralph gave me a bag with some figs from these trees.
This is the stuff that dreams are made of. As I bit into the fig I was back in my parent's yard standing next to my Dad who was waiting to see if I liked the fig. It was delicious and perfectly ripe. A lovely food memory.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chicken, Pancetta, Apples and Leeks

Before I get to dinner, I want to say Happy Birthday to my sister Lenore.

I know I have told you all about the restaurant that Chris and I worked in when we met, Nancy Lee's. There was a dish on the menu, Chicken with Leeks and Bacon. It was delicious. Well, I took it up a notch tonight. Bacon, no I used Pancetta. Pancetta always wins out over bacon. And the apples were a nice addition

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Anniversary Heart Shaped Pizza

Have you seen this month's Bon Appetit? The photo on the cover is a of a pizza baked in the type of pan that I use. A rectangle baking pan. That is how my mom did it and that is what I do. Now in the article they describe a step that I remember my mom doing, but I have not up until tonight. Put the dough in the pan and let it rise again. Okay, this was the missing link in why my pizza did not match what my mom put on the table. I was not doing that last step. There was a snap to crust. It was crisper than before. Chris agreed this was the way to proceed in making pizza. A note to my nephew Nicholas- you have to try this! And I added some Parmesan cheese to the crust before the sauce. I followed the Bon Appetit recipe for the sauce, minus the anchovies. This was the best pizza I have had since I was little and eating my mom's pizza on a Sunday night. I still used the Jim Lahey recipe for the crust. I was not about to stray from that recipe.

And the heart shape was because today is our Wedding Anniversary!

And while we are on the subject of Jim Lahey I made his Pane Integrale, Whole Wheat Bread recipe.

We had our egg and cheese sandwiches on it for breakfast this morning.