Category Archives: recipes

Going Against the Grain – A Gluten Free Italian Cookbook!

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Going Against the Grain

Being that I am not gluten-intolerant, I wasn’t sure I’d be a good candidate to review this beautiful cookbook by Nuccia Ardagna, a celiac patient who happens to have deep roots in Italy!  But because I am following the Dash diet which emphasizes lots of vegetables, fruit and lean meats, I knew that I would love these recipes!  Nuccia, like me, grew up in an Italian family where Mamma and Nonna were excellent cooks, and therefore we know what good food is all about!  When Nuccia was diagnosed with celiac disease, she wasn’t about ready to give up all that she loved!  She learned to adapt the recipes so that she could still enjoy them without compromising on the flavor. And now, she’s brought those wonderful recipes to us in her new gluten-free cookbook Going Against the Grain.

The book is beautifully laid out.  She starts off with an introduction to celiac disease – how to diagnose it and how to live with it.  This is useful information for those diagnosed or those that think they may have this disease.  After these introductions, her chapters are laid out by course – appetizers, first courses, second courses, side dishes, sweets, and bonus stuff!  The recipes are clear and she has included gorgeous photos with each recipe that makes your mouth water looking at them!  As soon as I received my book, I couldn’t wait to begin trying some of them.  The first one I tried was the Insalata Mista Piccante con Asparagi (Spicy Mixed Salad with Asparagus).  If you like the bitter taste of radicchio and crispy asparagus, you will love this fresh and healthy salad!  As my mom always said, bitter lettuces clean the blood!  Whether that’s true or not, you do feel healthier after eating them!

The other recipes I tried were main courses:  Pollo Ripieno con Mortadella and Coniglio al Forno.  I made some substitutions in both of these recipes, but I don’t think they detracted from the savoriness and flavor.  In the Pollo Ripieno recipe I decided to substitute prosciutto for mortadella.  Good mortadella is difficult to find near me (unless I go into SF North Beach), so rather than buy not so good mortadella, I used Italian prosciutto (which is easily found at my local Trader Joe’s).  This substitution may have led to the dish becoming more salty, but since I’m a salt-aholic, this was not a problem 🙂  My absolute favorite recipe from this book, though, and maybe an all-time favorite recipe, was the Coniglio al Forno!  Instead of rabbit, I used chicken drumsticks – again, mostly because they are more readily available.  The ease of this recipe and the flavor make this an absolutely perfect recipe suitable for everyone – family and guests!

I can highly recommend this cookbook – whether your are trying to follow a gluten-free diet or not!  In my opinion, the ingredients are so healthy and nutritious that everyone would benefit from cooking this way!  Kudos to Nuccia for taking an obstacle and working with it to continue enjoying delicious Italian cuisine!

Meet Nuccia with this interview!

How did you do research for your book?

Writing a book about celiac disease does require research mainly because new studies come out on the disease all the time, and with that new information. With regards to the medical part of the book, that certainly did require extensive research. For this, I used various resources; primarily books and reputable online organizations involved in the study of celiac disease. However, much of the first part was drawn from personal experience as well. I also reached out to TME (Topic Matter Experts) for added credibility and was delighted to have worked with a renowned doctor and his staff where they provided valuable direction and useful critique of my work. That same doctor also honored me by providing an exceptional foreword for my book! The recipe part was the most extensive and the part that took the longest time. There was the cooking, writing up the recipes and of course, the pictures, which that in itself was a big project. We wanted to make sure that they came alive through the pages of the book. All in all, cover to cover, it was a lot of hard work and one that I would do all over again if I had to!

Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?

The inspiration really came from my very own home and my precious family. I grew up as a child not having much. My parents worked really hard trying to build a life for us here in Canada. That stemmed from them growing up in Sicily in the 1940’s at a time where earning a ‘lira’ was extremely difficult. Because of that, they were forced to make do with whatever they had on hand. That usually involved coming up with creative ways to feed the family yet another day with leftovers, and using whatever was in the pantry which most of the time, wasn’t very much at all. I share some of those special ones and they mean a lot to me simply because every time they made such a dish it would be accompanied by a touching story. Over the years, these dishes have been tweaked and passed on from generation to generation where many of these traditional ones are known all over the world and served in many restaurants as well. I am so proud to be a part of that!

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Why yes! I love writing but I also love to blog which is related to writing right? I blog about beauty, fashion and anything that I think we women would love to know about. My blog really started out as a hobby, blogging about anything related to women but just recently, due to my diagnosis with celiac disease I’ve transitioned over to ‘lifestyle’ blogging. Now, in addition to the ‘girly’ talk, I also like to share recipes, gluten-free product reviews and information on celiac disease. Whenever I get the opportunity, I try to do put together some YouTube videos as well.

What is your next project?

I am working on a new book and simply because I felt there was a need out there in the market to educate those who entertain family and friends on how to prepare gluten-free meals. This can be daunting to those who have no clue on what that entails. With these ones in mind, I am co-authoring a book that will focus solely on how to entertain gluten and dairy free and will feature incredible simple to elaborate menus fit for any occasion, whether simple or formal. Stay tuned!

Favorite travel spot?

I actually have two and both for very different reasons. I love traveling to Italy (from North to South) because of the rich history, family, incredible beaches, art, fashion, breathtaking landscapes and of course the food! Need I say more? While I haven’t gone back in a few years, we are planning a trip for 2016 so that we can bring our son to show him where his family is from and introduce him to his cousins and aunts. There’s truly something magical about reminiscing about old times over a glass of wine overlooking the vineyard.

However, when I want to relax, unwind, and not do a thing, I like to head south. I have visited many Caribbean islands, but for some reason, my family and I are drawn to the southern hospitality of Myrtle Beach, SC.  This may surprise some but we just love getting the best of both worlds, meaning, we get to enjoy the beautiful beaches, warm weather and at the same time we get enjoy many of the commodities we are used to here at home.

There are tons of beautiful places to visit around the world and who knows, my favorite travel spots may change in the future.

Nuccia Ardagna

An All-Time Favorite – The Crostata

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La Crostata is one of those desserts that is found everywhere in Italy!  When we last visited, it was present at every breakfast buffet we visited.  It is so simple, but yet so tasty.  I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like it, do you?

My mom is a wonderful baker and all her Italian cakes are very genuine – no extra fluff – just pure goodness and made with everyday ingredients.  I, on the other hand, have a love-hate relationship with cakes.  I don’t like dealing with dough because, according to Mom, you have to feel the dough to know if there is enough flour or you need to add more!  I, obviously, don’t have the “feel” of the dough and end up usually getting frustrated.  But I decided to attempt my luck with this simple crostata.  My mom gave me her directions, but always looking for an easier way, I decided to “you tube” it!  They made it look so easy – just knead, chill, and roll it out with a rolling pin.  On YouTube, it rolled out perfectly and they were able to put it into the baking pan so easily.  “I can do that”, I thought.  So I made my dough without difficulty (for once!), chilled it, and took it out after about 45 minutes.  I began to roll it out with a rolling pin…and oh what a mess!  It kept sticking to the rolling pin and I wasn’t getting anywhere!  So, reluctantly, I decided to go back to Mom’s way of taking the dough and working it into the pan with your fingers.  I covered the whole pan and the sides and made it look really pretty!  And ….best of all, it was really easy!  I have to admit it, but Mom was right!  I guess Mom is always right 🙂  Maybe my daughters will agree!!

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Crostata di Marmelata

1 cube butter, cut up

1 cup flour

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Dash of vanilla

1/2 jar jam

Mix altogether and form a dough ball.  Cut off a little bit for the criss cross decorations on top. 

Lay the rest out in a buttered pan with your fingers.

Spread the jam on top.

Make criss-cross decorations with the remainder of the dough.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until golden.

Not Your Typical Meatloaf

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One of my favorite Italian recipe websites, Giallo Zafferano, posted an interesting meatloaf recipe the other day which “spoke” to me!  Since I’ve been on a low carb, high fiber diet for the last few months, I’m always on the lookout for a suitable recipe to fit the criteria.  And this one fit the bill.  I have to say it was absolutely delicious – so flavorful and healthy, too!  Of course, I used the lowest fat version of everything I could find and also used high fiber bread!

Meatloaf Ingredients

500 g lean ground beef

300 g ground pork

100 g whole wheat bread, crust removed and pulsed in food processor

1 egg

100 g grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

1 T. chopped parsley

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Filling ingredients

100 g. sliced cheese (I used Provolone, but you can use whatever you like)

250 g spinach

1 clove garlic, chopped

10 g breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

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1.  All the garlic to a little olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat and place them in a colander to drain.

2.  Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together with your hands for about 5 minutes or until it is all well-incorporated.

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3.  Lay the meatloaf out on some parchment paper, making sure it’s well spread out and flat.

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4.  Take your spinach, squeeze out any excess water, and chop it fine.  Add the breadcrumbs to soak up any liquid and mix.

5.  Lay the spinach over the center of the meat.

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6.  Lay the cheese over the spinach.

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7.  Using the parchment paper, roll up the meat jelly roll style, squeezing it shut to keep the filling inside.

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8.  Place the wrapped meatloaf in the fridge for about half and hour.

9.  Unwrap the meatloaf and place it in a greased casserole dish.

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10.  Cook in a preheated oven at 380 degrees for about 30-40 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the meat releases a clear liquid).

11.  Let it stand for about 5 minutes before slicing it thin.

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Zoodles alla Puttanesca

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I think Italian cooking is always pretty healthy.  It tends to use lots of fresh ingredients and olive oil, but the pasta and breads have to be eaten sparingly.  I am trying to cut those carby things out as I follow the Dash diet but don’t want to give up those delicious Italian flavors!  Last night, I decided to substitute zucchini noodles for the pasta, adding a tasty puttanesca sauce!  Side note:  do you know what puttanesca means?  It means “belonging to the street walker”, and it’s a spicy tangy sauce – much like the spicy lives of a street walker, I guess!  Only Italians would come up with a name like that 🙂  Anyway,  I bought a dandy little contraption call the Veggetti (I know, it’s a funny name, isn’t it?) that makes “noodles” out of vegetables, like zucchini.

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I then made a modified Puttanesca sauce (modified because I added pancetta – yummy) and tossed it all together for a delicious guilt-free  “pasta” dish!  The flavors were so intense and delicious!  This will definitely remain a favorite 🙂

Zoodles alla Puttanesca

4 zucchini – spiralized

4 oz chopped pancetta – Trader Joe’s sells this already chopped, and I always keep some around

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1/2 small can of sliced black olives – drained

2 T capers – rinsed

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce – I make my own and here’s the recipe

1 T anchovy paste

3 Dorot crush garlic cubes – these can be found at Trader Joe’s, too

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Fry the pancetta over medium high heat until it’s crispy.

Add the anchovy paste and mix it up.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the zucchini) and cook until the garlic melts.  Mix it all up.

Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and cook only until they are warm.  DO NOT OVERCOOK otherwise the noodles will turn mushy (yuck!)

Remove from pan and add a bit of olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste.

Welcome to my Gnocchi Making Party

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Last Saturday, when my daughter was visiting from Portland where she’s going to grad school, she asked me if we could make some gnocchi!  “Um, sure”, I replied, a bit hesitantly.  You see, my mom is the gnocchi queen and I’ve always been a bit scared to tackle the job myself without her help and expertise.  Memories of the one other time I made them without her help, and the disaster that ensued, kept haunting me.  That time they had turned into mushy doughy logs that fell apart while boiling.  Yuck! Certainly not how my mom made them!  But how could I resist my lovely daughter’s humble request to make these delicious soft pillows (which, I’m sure, were her memories of Nonna’s delicious gnocchi!)?

Armed with my mom’s verbal instructions, I held my breath (not literally) and began the process.  I boiled 4 large russet potatoes until they were nice and soft.  Working with only 2 at a time, since my mom instructed me that the gnocchi dough needs to be worked while the potato is still calda (hot) and which was stressing me out to work in fretta (swiftly), I left the other two in the hot water for the next go round of gnocchi dough making.  I placed some flour on my counter before peeling the potatoes and putting them through a ricer.

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I then made a well in the riced potatoes and added about a cup of flour, an egg, a touch of oil, and some salt.

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I then began working it all into a dough ball.  I kept adding flour a little at a time and working it all until it formed a nice doughy ball (not too sticky).  I then pinched off a bit and rolled it into a log about 1 inch thick.   Always working quickly (that’s the key, I guess), I quickly cut little pieces that were about 3/4 to an inch thick.

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My daughter took a fork and rolled the dough pieces on the tines to create some ridges (this helps to hold the sauce better).  We placed the finished gnocchi on a floured platter and put them in the refrigerator to cook later.  We continued this process until all the dough was used up.  I then proceeded to do the exact same thing with the 2 other potatoes that I had left in the hot water (and they were still hot – luckily!)

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Side note:   If you decide to freeze the gnocchi, instead of eating them in a few hours, place the platter in the freezer until the gnocchi have frozen completely and then you can put them into a ziplock bag to use whenever you want.

After cleaning up the big mess (and believe me, it was quite a disaster), we were ready to cook them.  Gnocchi have to be cooked in small quantities otherwise you will end up with a giant potato clump at the bottom of your boiling water.  So, boil some water in a pot, add some salt, and place no more than 10 gnocchi into the boiling water at a time.  Give them a little stir and wait for them to rise to the surface.  Once they have risen, scoop them out with a perforated ladle or spoon.  Place them in a bowl and add your favorite sauce (and grated cheese, if desired).  Cover the bowl with aluminum foil to keep them warm while you proceed with another batch of 10 gnocchi in the boiling water.  Keep doing this until you have cooked all the desired gnocchi.  Once you have finished and your bowl is full, stir the gnocchi gently to coat them all with the sauce and cheese.  Ta da – all done and ready to eat!

This time, my gnocchi were beautiful and fluffy – they looked perfect and they were delicious!  I used 3 different sauces – tomato, pesto and alfredo and called them  “Gnocchi Tre Colori” – red, green, and white – just like the Italian flag!  My daughter’s boyfriend wanted to make sure she took good notes because she will have to make them for him once she gets back to Portland!  And the most rewarding stamp of approval came from my mom, when I brought her some left overs thE day after, and she said they were PERFETTI!!

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The Small Joys of Summer

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While strolling through the local farmer’s market this past weekend, I came across a bag of these beautiful zucchini flowers.

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Immediately, I was transported back to my summers in Italy as a little girl when my grandmother used to make these for me from the few little zucchini plants she had in her tiny garden.  They were such a treat then – and I was hoping they’d be just as good when I made them!  I was not disappointed!  Making them is so simple, once you realize what the heck you need to do with these delicate flowers!

First and foremost – these flowers are very delicate and should be used as quickly after picking as possible (definitely no more than a day or two).  First I very gently rinsed them off in some cold water and put them on a towel to pat dry.  Then I cut off the stem and removed the pistol inside.  I opened them up flat…and now they were ready to become the treats I remembered so dearly.

I took the petals and coated them with some beaten egg that had been seasoned with salt and pepper.  (I added a bit of Prosecco to the beaten egg – some people add beer or mineral water!)  Then I dipped them in some flour and placed them immediately into some hot olive oil in the frying pan.  I cooked each side until they were golden brown.  I laid them in a dish covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil and patted the tops with another paper towel.  Once I was pleased that the excess oil was off of them, I placed them in a serving dish and sprinkled them lightly with some salt.  That’s when I devoured them!  They were SO good 🙂

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Everyday Celebrations – A Guest Post

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I am pleased to introduce you to this new Italian cookbook as well as the author, Maria Loggia!  Enjoy….e Buon Apettito!

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia

Category: Non-fiction

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages

Publisher: Cardinal Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2012

Amazon.ca * Cardinal Publishing * Amazon.com

 

Try One of the Recipes!

 

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

 

 

Ingredienti

For filling:

1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped

½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives

2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices

 

For chicken:

6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened

1 orange, cut into wedges

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half

5 bay leaves

To serve:

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparazione

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)

The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?)

I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

 

Meet the Author

 

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal’s best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

 

An Interview with Maria Loggia

 

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

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Melanzane al Ripieno ~ Stuffed Eggplant

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Yummy and healthy – that’s the perfect combination for a delicious dinner which can be prepared ahead and thrown into the oven when you come home from work!

 

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Melanzane al Ripieno (serves 4)

2 medium sized eggplants, sliced lengthwise

4 small zucchini – chopped

2 sausages – remove the case on one of them and chop it up.  Slice up the other one into thin slices

100 g shredded mozzarella cheese (reserve some for the end)

50 g sliced bread

50 g grated parmesan cheese

50 g grated pecorino

100 ml milk

1 red onion, finely chopped

6 basil leaves

olive oil

broth

salt & pepper

Trim the eggplants, wash them, slice them, and then hollow out the inside leaving the shell and saving the pulp(making a sort of “boat” which will hold the filling).

Cut the pulp into small pieces and set aside.

Salt the inside of the eggplant boats and turn them upside down on a paper towel until they release their water.  Dry the inside of these boats and set aside, awaiting the filling.

Mix the chopped eggplant pulp, zucchini and chopped sausage. 

Soak the bread in the milk and then squeeze it to remove as much milk as possible.  Chop this bread finely and set aside.

Saute the chopped onion in some olive oil.  Add the eggplant/zucchini combo.  Add some chopped basil and some broth.  Cook slowly for about 15 minutes until the vegetables and sausage are cooked and the broth has been absorbed.  Season with salt and pepper. 

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Transfer this to a bowl and add the chopped bread and the cheeses.  Mix it all up (I use my hands as it’s more efficient for me!). 

Brush some olive oil inside the eggplant boats and puncture them with a toothpick.  Fill the boats with the filling.  Add a couple of sliced sausages to each half and sprinkle with some of the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place them on an oiled oven proof dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake them at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes.  Remove the aluminum foil and bake them for a bit more until they are browned and the cheese is melted. 

Enjoy!  Let me know if you try this and how you liked it 🙂

Pollo alla Cacciatore al Tesoro

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There is always so much one can do with chicken – it is one of the most versatile of all meats and I cook with it often!  I always buy the best chicken I can find, and lately that has been the organic chicken they sell at Costco in the refrigerated section.  They carry boneless skinless thighs and breasts, and drumsticks.  They come in 3 packages connected together- with each package containing several pieces of chicken that are just the right size for a meal for my family of 4.

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For last night’s dinner, I used the drumsticks, but you can use a cut up whole chicken if you prefer.

Pollo alla Cacciatore

Chicken alla Cacciatore (Hunter’s Chicken)

6 drumsticks, skin removed

Flour for dredging

1/2 onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped (you can use any kind, even dried porcinis if you want)

2 tomatoes, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth (or mushroom soaking water if you use dry mushrooms)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Herbs you like such as rosemary, sage, oregano or thyme – chopped fine

Salt & pepper to taste

Olive oil for cooking

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Salt and pepper the chicken and dredge it in some flour, shaking off the excess.

Brown the chicken in some olive oil until it is browned on all sides.  Remove and set aside.

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Saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms in some additional olive oil until the vegetables are soft.

Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook for a couple of minutes.

Increase the heat and add the white wine.  Boil it all together for a few minutes until some of the wine has evaporated.

Dissolve a spoonful of flour in about 3 T. of water and add it to the vegetable mixture.  Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the broth (or mushroom water) and tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes. 

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Return the chicken to the pan and spoon some of the vegetables on top of it.  Turn the heat down, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook until done – around 15 more minutes.  Be careful not to burn the chicken or vegetables. 

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Buon appetito!

 

 

Got any Chianti Lying Around?

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If you were good and didn’t drink the whole bottle of Chianti at your last sitting, you might want to use the leftovers to make these Chianti Braised Short Ribs! They are so tender and delicious…and the Chianti makes it just perfect for a cold wintry night’s dinner. You need some time to prepare this, so it’s best to make it when you are stuck at home waiting for the rain or snow to subside…

Chianti Braised Short Ribs
Serves 4

3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs – your butcher and remove the
bones if they don’t have boneless ones readily
available.
Virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Chianti wine
1 32oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups beef broth
2 tsp. chopped rosemary
Carrots cut into large chunks
Mushrooms cut into quarters
Salt & pepper to taste

Dry the short ribs and season with salt and pepper.
Sear the short ribs in olive oil until they are brown on all sides.

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Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Saute the onions until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the Chianti, rosemary, broth and tomatoes to the pan and reduce a bit.

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Return the short ribs to the pan and cover the pan. Simmer for about 2 hours.
Add the carrots and mushrooms to the pan, and continue cooking for another hour or so until the carrots and beef are tender.

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This is delicious on it’s own, or can be served over rice or polenta.