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That’s Amore! Chicken Parmesan over Spaghetti::¡Eso es Amore! Pollo al Parmesano sobre Espaguetis

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. :D

chicken parmesan

Ingredients:

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)

Preparation:

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! :)

chicken parmesan

Ingredientes:

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

Elaboración:

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

Ingredientes:

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

Elaboración:

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).

Silky Smooth Creamy Zucchini Soup with “Pan Frito”

Let me just start off right away and say that the pan frito?  Is not optional. lmao  Pan frito, or “fried bread” makes this subtly flavored soup really something special.  As I’m sure you already know, we are soup junkies in this house.  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and, in fact, do so often.  You see, one of my kids is anti-vegetable.  (the nerve!)  But if I make this?  I sneak lots of veggies into her at once.  mwa-ha-haaa  You can add more veggies to this, spinach is a great addition.  And it’s easy.  I mean *really* easy.

zucchini soup

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion
2 pounds (1 kilo) zucchini
1 smaller sweet potato
2-3 potatoes
2 carrots
1 double cube of bouillon
water to cover vegetables
1 cup milk or evaporated milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 slices of bread, cubed

Preparation:

Heat oil over medium high heat and lightly brown the garlic.
Add remaining vegetables, roughly chopped (peel the sweet potatoes,potatoes and carrots).
Add enough water to cover the vegetables, and your bouillon cube.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Allow to cook about 20-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Remove from heat, and add the milk.
Using an immersion blender, buzz up your soup until smooth.
Serve with pan frito and freshly grated Parmesan.
To make the pan frito, heat the olive oil in a skillet, and toss the bread around until golden.

Fresh Bread Fast! No Knead English Muffin Bread

Mmmmm…the smell of bread baking on a Saturday morning is almost enough to send me into a frenzy.  But.  BUT.  I don’t exactly want to get up at the crack of dawn to make said bread.  Who does?  I mean, it’s Saturday for cryin’ out loud.  And all that kneading, and waiting for the rise, and then the second rise…fuggedabadit.  Too much time and effort for a lazy Saturday morning.  Until now.  Last weekend, I hopped over to Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy because Susan had posted an English Muffin Loaf recipe that I wanted to try.  I loooooove English muffins, but unfortunately they’re not available for purchase in my neck of the woods, so they must be made from scratch.  Which is fine, but they take a lonnggg time.  Hours.  So I have been putting that little project off for several months. lol  Susan had adapted a recipe from Bellini Valli over at More than Burnt Toast.  Valli’s recipe is fantastic! Very quick, no kneading (did you see that?!  NO KNEADING! Woot!), and ready for consumption in less than 2 hours.  Now that’s what I call fabulous.  And another thing—this English Muffin Loaf is delicious on it’s own, but imagine the possibilities!  Eggs Benedict!  Sausage, Egg and Cheese Nik-Muffins (see what I did there? lol), English muffin pizzas!  I see lots of homemade bread in our future.  Thank you Valli, for a truly wonderful recipe, and thank you Susan for re-posting and kick starting me into bread baking gear! :D

english muffin loaf

My First Restaurant Review: Restaurante Tehran, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Gosh, I have been meaning to start reviewing restaurants since the start of the year…where has the time gone?  I guess we all get busy living life and raising kids and keeping house and posting about food and recipes, though, right?  Or is that just me?  Really?  Just me?  Putting everything else on the back burner?  LOL  Well, whatever, I am getting started on that project now.  Better late than never. ;)

Tehran is one of our favorite places to dine in Las Palmas.  The food is excellent, and the service is impeccable.  Their website is here: http://www.restaurantetehran.com/index.html

I’ve been meaning to write this review for quite some time, now…Tehran.  Owned and operated by sister and brother team Ety and Oran Ghafary, this restaurant is a gem. 

eti and oran 

Let me begin with the food…the FOOD!  Everything we have ever ordered at Tehran has been excellent.  I’m not just saying that, either.  Every single plate has been a veritable dining delight.  We often begin with an array of appetizers, falafel, Iranian sausage, pirashqui (meat and vegetable pies), shirazi (cucumber, tomato and mint salad) or tabbouleh (parsley, tomato and mint salad), hummus and papad (crispy and spicy lentil flour discs) and stuffed grape leaves, but we’ve also had the joy of trying the babaganush, kufte and yogurt mint “soup.” 

The falafel is delightfully crispy on the outside and tender inside. 

falafel

The sausages are tender and mouthwatering, made of lamb with various herbs and bathed in a delicious herb sauce.

 iranian sausage

Pirashqui is amazing…tender, flakey, homemade pastry (Tehran has their own pastry chef), filled with herbed spinach, or ground meat with vegetables, folded into adorable little parcels and baked to perfection.  The Shirazi is usually my go-to salad, with diced cucumber, tomato, onion and mint in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, though the tabbouleh is a close second. 

The hummus at Tehran is unbelievably smooth and creamy, and incredibly flavorful, the perfect balance of chick peas and sesame, garlic and lemon. 

hummus 

The stuffed grape leaves are one of my favorites…tender ground meat with rice and herbs, delicately wrapped in a grape leaf, and bathed in a delicious tamarind sauce. 

stuffed grape leaves 

And those are just the appetizers, folks.  Let’s get to the main course!

We usually order the “Cholo Kebab Sultani,” which I think means “Sultan’s Kebab.”  It is aptly named.  This amazing plate, comes with one ground lamb kebab, seasoned with herbs and lemon, and another tenderloin kebab, lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection.  In the center of the plate is a hearty portion of basmati rice, cooked to fluffy perfection.  Now comes the best part—the rice is then combined with a roasted tomato and an egg yolk by your server, mixed right at your table, and then topped with a generous sprinkle of sumac. 

sultans kebab 

There are several types of kebab on the menu. 

chelo kebab 

I’ve tried a couple of the chicken ones as well, and was thoroughly impressed with both the chicken with saffron and lemon,

tehran kebab 

and the tandoori chicken kebab.  Kebabs are not the only main course offered, however.  Their rice dishes are incredible…my favorite is called “Adas Polo,” which is a type of pilaf combining basmati, lamb, dates, and other ingredients to be a veritable feast for the senses.  Vegetarian selections are also offered, but being a meat kind of girl, I haven’t yet tried them. 

Now the dessert!  Their house specialties and absolute perfect finish to any meal, are their baklava:

baklava 

and their Iranian ice-cream, which is made with saffron, pistachios and rose water.

Oooooh!  And don’t let me forget the after dessert, dessert!  Tehran makes their own currant liqueur, which is simply delicious, and simply dangerous.  It’s so good going down, that you may not realize the alcohol content! lol

licor de guinda

Now most of us go to restaurants because of the food.  I do too, but I am very particular about service.  While dining out, I expect the server to be attentive without being overly invasive…I can honestly say that I have NEVER been disappointed with the service at Tehran…quite the contrary…the hosts and servers are respectful, attentive, friendly and go out of their way to anticipate your every need and/or whim.  I feel like the folks at Tehran are practically family…they make us feel right at home…we even have our own special table.  (we sit at this same table every time we go…this pic?  Was taken over 2 years ago, when Sammy was still a tiny little tyke.  (not even a year old)  He’s 3 1/2 now. lol)

So if you are ever in Las Palmas and are looking for a fantastic dining experience for a very reasonable price, look no further than Tehran.

ZenChef’s Phenomenal Clam Risotto (but with cockles instead)

So, remember last week, when I was telling you how badly I wanted to try ZenChef’s (over at Chefs Gone Wild) Clam Risotto?  Well, I did it.  I made his absolutely remarkable risotto and I’m sort of half wondering if I have died and gone to heaven?  Did I?  Somebody let me know if you read this post…to let me know if I died or not.  I mean seriously…it’s *that* good.  I even screwed it up a little–I forgot the lemon juice until after we finished eating it.  Did I mention there was not a single grain of rice left over?  We even licked the cockle shells clean.  I was going to make some really inappropriate joke about sucking cockle shells, but I’d better not.  But we did. lol  ;)   If you know me, you know that I cannot follow a recipe exactly.  It really is some sort of impossibility for me.  I do not feel complete if I don’t change things up at least just a little.  After all, a recipe really should just be a springboard for our own creativity, right?  So, I will note my (minimal) changes, even though I did stick pretty close to Zen’s original post

So, would you look at this?  Don’t you just want to dive into that plate of creamy risotto bliss?  Trust me, it’ll be the best dive you’ve ever performed.

zens risotto

Here are my changes:

*Rather than using 6 pounds (3 kilos) of clams, and a pound (1/2 kilo) of mussels I used a combination of cockles, mussels and prawns (peeled, deveined)
*I used 2 1/2 cups rice (because I had only a little left in the bag. Toss it in there, I said.
*I added the prepared prawns to the clam broth, and then added them in with the rice right away (as you know, prawns either need to be quick cooked, or long cooked for them to be tender, so I opted for long cook, so the broth would have a hint of prawn flavor as well)
*I forgot the lemon. :P
*I added freshly grated Parm cheese to serve.

See? Hardly any changes, really. Just a couple. :)

“French” Mushroom Soup

April is such a fickle month, isn’t it?  I mean sheesh!  A couple of weeks ago, temps were soaring into the 90′sF/30′sC, and this week we are back to cool and windy.  I was all set to buy a pool for the kids to hang out in on the weekends, and now, we’re back to soup and jackets.  I don’t mind the soup part (being a self professed soup junkie and all), but jackets?  I want summer dangit!  Since summer has taken another run for the hills, at least for now, I must console us with soups to warm the heart and soul.  That’s the part I like! lol  One of my best friends in the whole world, (and bratty girl) Lizzie shared her recipe for Drunken Mushroom Soup a few years ago.  It is such a great soup….and of course has my main pre-req’s for most of the recipes prepared in this house…quick, easy, and out of this world delicious.  All of Lizzie’s recipes are so elegant, and generally are light on the workload, but heavy on taste and heavy on ”wow” factor.  This recipe is exactly that…quick, easy, elegant, and WOW! that’s good!  Perfect for company or for everyday (you know I don’t save special foods for special occasions), this little bowl of goodness can be made ahead and simply reheated when needed.  Which for me is right now. lol  Since making this for the first time, I have gradually altered the ingredients and technique just a bit, which is why I’ve changed the name…I prepare this almost as if it were a French Onion Soup, with the addition of a couple of extras and a substitution or two for others. 

french mushroom soup

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups onion, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 pound (400 grams) mushrooms, slice some and chop the rest
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or Maggi
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
6-8 slices baguette
6-8 slices Dutch Gouda
garlic powder, sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish

Preparation:

Melt butter in a 3 quart soup pot (or similar).
Lightly brown garlic, then add onions, sugar, thyme and bay and reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer this mixture about a half an hour, or until beginning to turn golden.
Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
Up the heat a bit, and saute mushrooms with onion mixture about 5 minutes or so.
Add wine and stir around, and let reduce just a bit.
This should take about 3-5 minutes.
Add flour and whisk to combine.
Add remaining ingredients up to baguettes.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered.
Meanwhile, prepare the baguettes.
Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese, and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Broil until bubbly, about 4-6 minutes.
Serve baguettes with soup.

canarygirl




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