What could be better than a meatball sub? [Read more →]
Do all of you know Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don’t? Get over to her site right now! I’ll wait.
No, seriously, I will.
Isn’t she great? She has the best sense of humor, and her blog is filled with delectable goodies ranging from appies to salads to mains to desserts. I discovered TNS a few months ago, and it has quickly become one of my “first reads” in the morning. Thursdays are “Smackdown” days. Michelle chooses a recipe from one her many cookbooks and makes it. Mondays are “Cheap Assed” days, where she uses pantry staples and inexpensive ingredients to make incredible meals for *under* *$5!* per serving. With today’s economy, that is one hell of a bonus! You may remember her Extreme Rotini and Cheese, that I am totally claiming as my own from now on (sorry Michelle! lol) As of late, she has been making meal after incredible meal…all spot on with my tastes. It’s as if she were trying to seduce me with her cooking. You’re not, are you, Michelle? lmfao I’m just teasing. It’s just that…I dunno…awesome food…swearing…getting my funny on…well, it’s just the best, that’s all. It’s like one stop blog shopping. Treats! Snark! Giggle! See what I mean?
So anyway…the other day she made this incredible looking lentil salad. Lentils! Salad! I’m so there. Not only is this salad good, it’s EXCELLENT. I even cheated. I didn’t cook my lentils with the oh so fun to make cloved onion. I used a jar of lentils. That I had in the pantry. Then added the ever so smallest pinch of ground cloves to the salad. Nobody noticed that I hadn’t spent that extra hour plus cooling time. See that? And? AND I was frugal, because I used pantry goods, as well as basil from my leetle basil plant on the patio. I also subbed Feta cheese, because that’s what I had. That salad was free! I had everything in the house. I bet you do, too.
Now, there are a couple of events that I want to participate in. My very good friend Shaye, at Smarter than Pancakes had a birthday recently, and would like us to bring something to her Birthday Picnic!
I’m bringing this salad. Not only because it’s freaking fabulous, but because it’s a dish that lends itself *perfectly* to an afternoon outside with friends. So, Happy Birthday, Shaye! MUAC!
that I’d like to participate in, seeing as it’s hot as Hades round here, and we’re all looking for refreshing dishes to combat the scorching heat of summer. The catch? No heating up the kitchen! Microwaves and ice-cream makers are allowed, but not the stove or oven or any other heat emitting appliance. Grace, check this salad OUT man. Seriously. If this doesn’t beat the heat, maybe we’ll have to have a beer with it or something. lol
Did I scare you? I mean, the idea of frozen salad probably isn’t that appealing. LOL But. And this is a pretty big BUT. (no, it’s not mine! ) Gazpacho. Sorbet. Combine the two and you have a bit of frozen heaven. This traditional Spanish soup is always served chilled, and often with ice…why not go just another step and turn it into a savory sorbet, I asked? Top that with the traditional finely chopped vegetables for added crunch, and you have entered into yum world. This one is going to be making regular appearances at our summer table, folks. It’s the perfect way to begin a meal in the sweltering heat of summer, or even as an afternoon snack. It’s packed with vegetables, very low in fat, and delicious. Oh! And super easy. So whatcha waitin for?
2 pounds (1kilo) very ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 italian pepper
olive oil to taste (about 3 tablespoons)
red wine vinegar to taste (about 3 tablespoons)
salt to taste
4 cups ice cubes (or more)
Roughly chop all vegetables, reserving a bit of tomato, cucumber, pepper and onion to garnish.
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Add ice and process until smooth.
Serve sorbet garnished with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and topped with finely chopped tomato, cucumber, pepper and onion.
Y en español:
1 kilo tomates maduros
1 pepino, pelado
1 cebolla roja pequeña
2 dientes de ajo
1 pimiento italiano (para freir)
aceite de oliva virgen (3 cucharadas, mas o menos)
vinagre de vino rojo (3 cucharadas, mas o menos)
sal al gusto
4 vasos de hielo (o mas)
Cortar las verduras en trozos (no tiene que ser muy pequeñas), reservando un poquito de tomate, pepino, cebolla y pimiento para adornar.
Poner todo en la batidora o robot y triturar hasta que esté bien molido y homogéneo.
Añadir el hielo y triturar hasta que esté suave.
Servir adornado con aceite de oliva virgen, vinagre de modena y las verduritas reservadas (picadas muy finas).
Mmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, MMMMH! I love Italian food. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? There’s something to be said for a big ol’ plate of pasta, homemade sauce and bunches of cheese. This dish is probably more of a winter weather dish, but what the heck? I figured I’d better sneak it into the menu at least one last time before the hot days of summer sneak upon us. Soon the menu is going to be all about gazpacho, and grilling’ and mojitos. But before that, I really felt that we needed to give Chicken Parmesan a proper send off, one last hurrah before it gets tucked away for cooler days.
Oh! And something *new*! Ahora algo *nuevo*! I’m excited to announce that the recipes I post will now be available both in English and in Spanish. Tengo el placer de decir que desde ahora en adelante, todas las recetas que pongo en el web estarán disponibles en inglés y en español.
2 pounds (1 kilo) spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 quarts (2 liters) homemade sauce (about)
2 pounds (1 kilo) chicken fillets
2 eggs plus 2 tablespoons water
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (or olive oil and butter) to fry
1 cup grated mozzarella (about)
You’ll probably want to start your sauce first, seeing as how it simmers a couple of hours.
While your sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken station.
Beat eggs and water in a deep plate.
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in another deep plate.
Dip each chicken fillet in egg wash first, then in bread crumb mixture and reserve on a plate.
When your sauce has about 45 minutes left to go, heat up enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet.
Fry chicken fillets until golden, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets.
Drain chicken on paper towels, then keep warm in a heated oven.
You might want to start your pasta now.
Once all chicken in fried, and pasta is cooked and drained, you’ll want to plate your chicken Parmesan.
Place a bunch of spaghetti on a plate and top with a generous amount of sauce.
Slice a chicken fillet, and place it over the spaghetti and sauce.
Add a little more sauce and top with some mozzarella.
Try not to die of pleasure, because I think that might be a sin. lol
Y ahora en español!
1 kilo de espaguetis, preparado según el paquete
2 litros salsa de tomate casera (aproximadamente)
1 kilo filetes de pollo
2 huevos mas 2 cucharadas de agua
2 vasos (de Nocilla) pan rallado al ajo y perejil
1/2 vaso queso parmesano recién rallado
sal y pimienta negra al gusto
aceite de oliva (o aceite y mantequilla) para freir
1 vaso queso mozzarella rallado
Querrás empezar con la salsa primero, como tardará unas horitas en hacerse.
Mientras la salsa esté en el fuego, preparar un lugar para el pollo.
Batir los huevos con el agua en un plato hondo.
Mezclar el pan rallado, queso parmesano, sal y pimienta en otro plato hondo.
Pasar los filetes de pollo primero por el huevo/agua y después por el pan.
Reservar en un plato.
Cuando la salsa le quede unos 45 minutos para terminarse, calentar un poco de aceite en una sartén.
Freir los filetes de pollo unos 4 minutos por cada lado, según el grosor.
Escurrir sobre papel de cocina, y reservar en el horno, ligeramente calentado.
A lo mejor querrás empezar la pasta ahora.
Cuando todo el pollo esté frito, la pasta esté cocida y escurrida y la salsa esté hecha, querrás emplatarlo.
Colocar una montañita de espaguetis en el plato, y cubrir con un poco de salsa.
Cortar un filete de pollo en tiras y colocar sobre la pasta.
Cubrir con un poco mas de salsa y espolvorear con queso mozzarella.
Intentar no morirse de gusto, porque creo que eso es un pecado. jijiji
Salsa de Tomate Casera
2 latas (800 gramos) tomates en puré
1 lata (800 gramos) tomates enteras peladas
4-5 dientes de ajo, majados
1 cebolla pequeña, picada
1 pizca de clavo molido
albahaca al gusto
sal marina y pimienta negra al gusto
2 cucharadas azúcar
un chorro de aceite de oliva virgen
100 gramos queso parmesano rallado
En un caldero grande, sofrier el ajo en el aceite primero, hasta que esté doradito.
Majar los tomates (con las manos mismas) y ponerlos en el caldero.
Añadir los ingredientes restantes, incluyendo las albóndigas o carne que quieras y cocer a fuego mínimo durante 3 horas (removiendo de vez en cuando).
You know, living here in the Canaries has it’s advantages. (duh! lol) I love the fresh local produce that abounds in the produce markets, and whatever the season, we’ve always got fresh oranges, lemons, avocados, pineapples, kiwis, tomatoes, zucchini, and a number of others. One thing that hasn’t caught on so much here is the concept of fresh herbs (apart from parsley, cilantro and spearmint)…My neighborhood vendor normally has fresh basil and arugula (not so common around here!), but this week, the basil was looking a little sickly. Bummer for me, because I have been seriously craving Caprese salad to accompany one of the many barbecues we’ve been having lately. You see, my dear hubs is on vacation, and our regular schedule is a bit out of whack. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely awesome having him home instead of never seeing hide nor hair of him! lol Just that we’ve been veering off of the beaten path of routine. Alvaro *loves* grilling, so we’ve been doing a lot of that while he’s home, and frankly, I haven’t pulled out the camera or food set-up stuff to share what’s been gracing our table very much. Besides, Alvaro likes to hog the computer! LOLÂ So, anyway, back to the salad. Yesterday we grilled some steaks and potatoes, and I was hell bent on having my Caprese salad. I have to admit, the fresh basil is crucial. It wasn’t as good with dried, even though I let it marinate for about an hour, but, even so, it was still good, so I’ll share it. Vine ripened tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella really make the difference, too. I’m thinking that the next time I make a Caprese, I’m going to really go wild and use vine ripened cherry tomatoes, and chop up the motz and shred some fresh basil…a wild and crazy chopped up Caprese. Because that’s what this world needs. Fo reelz. Seriously, this is SUCH an easy salad for any meal, I wholly recommend it. But get fresh basil. I’m just sayin.
1 large vine ripened tomato, sliced thick
1 small round of buffalo mozzarella (8 ounce/200 grams), sliced
cracked black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed is best)
red wine vinegar (I like tarragon flavor)
1 teaspoon dried basil (please, learn from my mistake and use fresh instead–I’d go with about 1 handful of basil leaves, sliced chiffonade or even just roughly chopped or torn)
Layer tomato and cheese slices on a plate (and fresh basil).
Season with remaining ingredients.
Allow to marinate for about 1 hour.
See? Easy Peasy.
Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious multi vegetable stew very typical of the Canary Islands. Here, rather than have all the food served at once, meals are served in courses. Generally a first course, which can be either a soup, stew, salad, or pasta and is then followed by the main course and of course following that, dessert and coffee. Many restaurants in Spain offer a lunch “menu,” where you can choose a first and second course from the day’s specials, and it comes with a beverage and dessert. I’m pretty sure that the variety of potajes are as varied as the chefs that prepare them. There are lentil potajes, watercress potajes (look for this one soon), corn potaje…the limit is your own creativity, much like soups and stews everywhere else in the world. Let me share with you my mil’s recipe for Potaje Canario….
*note, add or subract at your preference, the amounts are approximate.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cob corn, broken in two pieces
3 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large handful of fresh pinto beans, shucked (you can also use canned)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 of a sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 chunk of pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 thick slice of bacon, sliced (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
enough broth to generously cover vegetables (I used about 3 1/2 quarts I’d guess?)
In a large stockpot (this makes a LOT!), heat olive oil and saute garlic just until golden.
Add tomatoes, onions, paprika, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper.
Saute until vegetables are tender (this is called the “refrito.”)
Add remaining ingredients and generously cover with stock.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer another hour or so, until the stew begins to thicken.
Serve with Queso Fresco and nice crispy baguettes.