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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pastitsio

Total cooking time: A while.

Ingredients for everything

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion(s), chopped
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine, dry
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 oz uncooked penne
2 large egg, lightly beaten
18 oz (2 1/4 cups) fat-free evaporated milk, divided
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9×13 in glass baking dish with cooking spray
  • Get all of your ingredients ready.
  • Red sauce
    • beef
    • onion
    • tomato sauce
    • wine
    • cinnamon
  • Pasta
    • Penne
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • White sauce
    • butter
    • flour
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 beaten egg
    • egg whites

Make the meat sauce and pasta

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef and onion. About 10 mins. Drain off fat.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, wine and cinnamon.
  • Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and put into a large bowl.
  • Combine pasta with 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup of evaporated milk; toss to combine and set aside.

Make the white sauce

  • Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir in flour, salt and pepper.
  • Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk
  • Cook, stirring, until thickened and slightly bubbly, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Very gradually stir 1 beaten egg and egg whites into hot milk mixture (be careful not to ‘scramble’ eggs); set aside.

Make the casserole

  • Layer half of pasta mixture in prepared dish
  • Spread with meat sauce
  • Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese.
  • Top with remaining pasta mixture
  • Pour cream sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover; bake about 15 minutes more or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let stand 15 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces.
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Nonna’s Chicken Soup

Nonna’s Chicken Soup

6 Large Cans College Inn Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or can use 4 cans if you want a little less)
1 Medium to Large Onion (cut in 4 pieces)
3 Stalks of Celery (chopped)
1 Package Baby Carrots
1 medium Broccoli head
1 Medium Russett Potato (cut in half)
1 whole cut up chicken – you can use any other kind of chicken meat too… thighs taste yummy (use less chicken if only using 4 cans)

Plus:
Ancini di Pepe pasta

Instructions:

  • Bring broth to a boil, add chicken and continue to boil lightly for 45-50 minutes.
  • Add vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer 1 hour.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove chicken and place in a separate bowl.
  • Pour remaining soup through a colander into a large bowl.  Remove the potato halves and discard.
  • Put separated vegetables into a blender to puree.
  • Add vegetable puree, and broth back to large pot.
  • Remove chicken from bones and add to the soup.

Once your soup is done.  Ladle out the servings that you want into a smaller pot.  For our soup mugs, use 5 ladlefuls per mug. Add in a heaping 1/3 cup Ancini di Pepe pasta per person, and bring to a boil.  Cook until pasta is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

Nonna’s Italian Cookies

These are Rob’s Nonna’s cookies.  His childhood favorites!

Grandma Magazu’s receipe for Italian cookies

Total cook time: About 4 hours

For the cookies:

10 cups Flour
2.5 cups Sugar
1.5 TBSP Baking powder
1.5 tsp Baking soda
1.5 tsp Creme of tartar
2 cups Crisco
6 Jumbo Eggs
1 TBSP Vanilla extract
3/4 cup Milk

For the glazes:

Milk
Food coloring
Lemon extract (yellow food coloring)
Almond extract (green food coloring)
Vanilla extract (blue food coloring)

Instructions:

  •  Sift the flour and the dry ingredients into a large bowl
  • Cut the Crisco into the flour by the teaspoon.  It should look like sand.
  •  Beat the six eggs and then add the milk and other wet ingredients.  Beat together.
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients into the flour while mixing with a wooden spoon.  You may give a final mix with hands but wash hands often.
  • Knead the dough until it’s smooth.  Take care not to over handle it.
  • Dust the top of the dough with flour.  Cover it with a clean, damp cloth.  Let it sit for one hour
  • Take dough and roll, then cut with cookie cutters and/or roll pieces into tube lengths and curl them like a snail.
  • Arrange in a good baker’s cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Glaze:  1 cup of confectionary sugar with a bit of milk to desired consistency and almond flavoring with a touch of lemon juice.  You may flavor the glaze as you wish.

Braised Beef Strofanoff

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE MAKING!!  

Cook Time: 2 hours

Prep Time: 1 hour-ish

Braised Beef Stroganoff
serves 4 to 6

Vegetable oil or clarified butter
2 pounds braising beef (Sirloin steak tips)
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
2 cups unsalted beef broth
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 pound mushrooms (I used oyster, shitake, and cremini), cleaned and sliced
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream (I used light)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cooked pappardelle
Flat leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300°.

    1. Freeze the beef for 20 mins. Then dice into 1 inch cubes.  Pat dry
    2. Salt and pepper the beef, allow to rest for a little while.
    3. In the All Clad (or a dutch oven) Melt 3 Tbsp butter on high heat. Add the beef and braise for about 3-5 minutes (DO NOT COOK ALL THE WAY THROUGH). Work in batches if necessary, but add all the beef back once done with this step.
    4. Add 3 tbsp of flour and stir till it’s mixed entirely, about 1 minute.
    5. Add wine to deglaze then allow to reduce by half, about 10-15 minutes.
    6. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil
    7. Once at a boil, cover and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins (if using steak tips; longer 2:30 mins for crappy steak). Basically until the meat is very tender.
    8. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes then season with salt and pepper to taste.
    9. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Saute the onions until softened.
    10. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.
    11. Add the mushrooms and onion to the beef sauce.
    12. In a medium bowl, stir one cup of the beef sauce into the sour cream.
    13. Fold the sour cream mixture back into the rest of the beef sauce.
    14. Season to taste.
    15. Gently reheat over low to medium-low heat if necessary.
    16. Serve over Papperdelle noodles.

Delicious Chocolate Muffins

Delicious Chocolate Muffins

Muffins:

1 package Devil’s food cake mix
1 15oz. can Libby’s pumpkin
6oz.  (1/2 of 11.5 oz bag) Nestle Chocolate chunks

Topping:

8oz. Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in chunks
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix muffin ingredients together with a spoon till cake mix is moist.
  • Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes.  (Makes 9 large muffins)
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring whipping cream and butter just to a boil.
  • In a medium bowl, add chocolate then pour the heated cream/butter mixture over it.  Stir until chocolate is melted.
  • Allow the mixture to set for 5-10 minutes.
  • Then spoon the mixture over muffins and allow them to sit until ganache sets.

Focaccia Bread

Foccacia bread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.

2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

I used the pancetta/mozzarella mix on top instead of veggies.    It’s okay to leave it rising for  a while.

Chicken, Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken, Broccoli, and cheese FettuccineAlfredo

2+ lbs of chicken thighs

1 broccoli crown

1 package pancetta, cooked then finely chopped

12 tbsp butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 c heavy cream

1 c Parmeseano Reggiano finely grated cheese

1 c Gruyere cheese finely grated

Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, and Olive Oil

Directions

Prepare all ingredients (cut chicken, cut broccoli, cook pancetta, chop shallots, grate cheeses, etc…)

Once chicken is chopped season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

In a big skillet, cook the pancetta. Set aside

Then, in the same skillet, add a bit of olive oil and cook the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned (may need to drain halfway through)

Meanwhile start the water for the broccoli blanching and pasta cooking (do in the same pot of hot water)

After your chicken is cooked, set it aside and start a new large saucepan to heat up.

Once the other pasta/broccoli water is boiling add the chopped broccoli stir around, and let cook for 2 minutes till blanched.  Then remove the broccoli and set aside.  Then add the pasta to start cooking. Keep one eye on this.

Once the pasta is added, melt your butter in the preheated saucepan.  Add the scallions half way through and cook them till softened.   Allow to boil lightly and reduce for 5-10 mins.  At the very end, add the chopped pancetta for about a minute.  Then add your cream, and heat until bubbly and slightly reduced.  Next stir in the cheeses, and mix thoroughly.  Cook until mixture is thickened.

Next add the cooked chicken and broccoli to the sauce mixture and turn the heat to high.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil.  If sauce is too thin, add a TBSP of flour then stir constantly for 1 minute, continue adding 1 TBSP of flour until desired texture is reached… meanwhile keeping an eye on your garlic bread and pasta!