Showing posts with label Salt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salt. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rosemary Focaccia and Book Giveaway!


You would think I have not cooked or baked anything in the last couple weeks since I've been staying at my son's house watching their 16yr. old sweet Black Lab named Thai whom I thought was still only 13yrs old. She is actually going to be 17, and still going strong...although she is practically deaf, has major cataracts, but is as beautiful and sweet, with a shiny black  hair her tummy totally grey now, and in the best shape ever (meaning she is not overweight)...Family finally came home last night, and I'm so happy that they all had such a great time.
I, in the meantime have been eating at my daughter's house and enjoying company with Fabrizio's young cousins from Italy. Two lovely young girls, ages 18 and 20. Lora and I were taking turns cooking the main meal at lunch time, and also for dinner. I decided to make my favorite rosemary focaccia...with lots of fresh chopped focaccia, homegrown from their little garden. I've been trying to find a decent photo of this, but what difference does it make?...not even trying to get into the Top 9 for Foodbuzz, so "what you see is what you get"...it is what it is!!!
Sometimes I prefer a nice simple focaccia instead of pizza, because it does take less work and you don't even need a topping other than fresh herbs. The dough is so fresh, the topping is crunchy, and I also added fresh course sea salt on the top before I baked it. I love course sea salt, and also love salted bagels, but have to watch the sodium, because that can bloat you and too much of a "good thing" can harm your health!

Before I continue the rest of this post regarding rosemary focaccia, I would like to offer a very nice and unique book giveaway...another "thrift find" which is by the way a brand new book that I happened to find at my favorite Goodwill store. A few of you have it already a giveaway gift, from other bloggers, so now it's my turn to offer it as a giveaway since I do not bake in small quantities but I did want to get this book for a chance to offer it to someone that really could use it!

You honestly don't have to do a thing...it only applies to followers of my blog. Very simple! You have till Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 11:00PM EST. to reply on my blog, and I will use Random.org to determine the winner, and will ship ANYWHERE else, outside United States and Canada. Now isn't that a nice offer? So drop me a few lines, and let me know if you're interested in  this wonderful Small-Batch Baking book!


True Random Number Generator




Min:

Max:

Result:


14


Powered by RANDOM
...and the winner is, Suhaina

Congratulations...I will contact you by e-mail!
Thanks to all of you for your participation, and support!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Italian Sausage and Peppers

I was not going to post this...seems like I'm contradicting myself about eating healthy. Actually this is not so bad, considering I made it as light as possible. No grease, no extra fat...this would certainly can be categorized in the Atkins diet, maybe even Weight Watchers?...been there, done all that...and so, the saga continues.

Before I post the recipe for my Italian sausage and peppers, I will proudly show off my Suzanne Somers stainless steel skillet, 10 in. in diameter, has a nice non-skid handle, and the best part was, that this skillet has never been used by any one. I paid $2.99 for it, at Goodwill, and I've had it for over 1 year. In order to cook or fry on high heat, you must either have a cast iron skillet, or a calphalon, or a heavy duty stainless steel, as it is in this case. You will only destroy you nice non-stick pan. I absolutely love this frying skillet, it's easy to clean, even if you get burns on there. When you soak it in hot soapy water, the stain just rolls off. I am all green practically, with cleaning supplies. Just simply scour it with baking soda...takes the place of the strong chemical scouring powder, and you can also clean your sink with the baking soda, and will freshen up your garbage disposal. So now, on to my recipe...actually not really a recipe, just the instruction of how I came up with this great idea for the sausage and peppers. Not drowning it in oil, not letting it get lost in red sauce, but everything fresh from my refrigarator, that needs to be used up, anyway.

Italian Sausage and Peppers

2 links of mild Italian sausage
1 link of hot Italian sausage
(about 1 lb.)
1 green bell pepper
2 Hungarian wax peppers (or banana peppers
or Cubanelle, you can variate the peppers of your choice)
1 large onion
1 or 2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium tomatoes (fresh)
1/2 cup vegetable broth or plain water is good
salt and peppers, (optional)
(sausage and peppers, are hot and salty enough)
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
Cut sausages with a sharp blade knife, to 3 inch pieces. ( slices will just fall apart, so this is suggested.) Cut peppers lenghtwise into about 1 inch strips, (not too thin) Cut onion in half, and cut fairly thick slices, lengthwise, also. Tomatoes cut in half, and also sliced thick into lentghwies slices. (Everything is cut lenghtwise, so they look nice and uniformed.)  First, start with the sausage to brown them in the vegetable oil, on med.high heat, for about 10 minutes, so they get nice and brown. Lower the heat, and just cook them low, for an additional 15 minutes. Add all the peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and saute them, leaving the sausages in the skillet, but at this time, add half of the broth or water. It will start to caramelize it, and keep cooking them for an additional 15-20 minutes, adding the rest of the broth to keep getting nice and juicy, this way it will not burn, or get dry. You should end up with perfectly cooked sausages, and just the right texture of the peppers, and onions. The tomatoes will stay nice and soft, and not falling apart. Serves 2.
note: 
Leftovers are great for the next morning with scrambled eggs, or reheated and served in a hoagie roll with melted mozzarella. (that is if you're cooking this for 1, but if for 2, you will not have any leftovers.) If you like pork, this is an ultimate comfort food!
Another excerpt, from WOMEN FOOD AND GOD

The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value and possibility. To change your body, you must first understand that which is shaping it. Not deprive it. Not shame it. Not do anything but accept--yes, Virginia--understand it. Because if you force and deprive and shame yourself into being thin, you end up a deprived, shamed fearful person who will also be thin for ten minutes. When you abuse yourself (by taunting or threatening yourself) you become a bruised human being no matter how much you weigh.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

A glass of pinot grigio wine.Image via Wikipedia
Fettuccine Alfredo is such an easy pasta dish to make. I recommend dry pasta for this. I tried it with homemade pasta, but it just seems to soak up all the sauce, and you need more sauce than recipe requires. This one also soaks it all up but just to the point of perfection.
There are quite a few versions of this, but I just like to use my version for now. Heavy cream, unsalted butter, imported parmigiana cheese-lots of it, a small amount of freshly grated nutmeg, very little sea salt, and fresh grated tricolor pepper. A small amount of snipped fresh parsley on the top. This is what 8 ounces looks like, not to mention what 16 ounces would look like. You can feed an army with one pound of pasta, This portion generously feeds at least 2 adults. and perhaps 2 children. Very filling, and oh so tasty.
This is what 1/4 pound looks like. Parsley already mixed in, not just for decoration. A nice glass of good quality Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio goes well with it. This is so filling, you may not even want to have a salad with it, just another glass of wine, and a nice espresso later.
I highly recommend De Cecco pasta, one of the best out there. My favorite supermarket had this on sale, 3 for $5.00. What a bargain. They usually cost nearly $3.00 or more, for a 16 ounce box. Check for bugs, in the box! Maybe it's old?...Not to worry, just kidding. Our supermarket is immaculate, and everything is dated, and all the fresh produce could not be better, even at the produce market, unless you have your own garden.
These wonderful graters work best. The larger one I've had, since I don't know when, it's at least 30 years old,  Ekco brand, made in the U.S.A. The smaller one with the fine grating is a Farberware. Both are stainless steel and they last forever.
Recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo:
Fettuccine Alfredo
8 ozs. of dry De Cecco fettuccine (half a box of a 16oz.)
1 cup of heavy cream
4 tablespoon (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
3/4 cup imported parmigiana (Parmesan cheese)
small amount of freshly grated nutmeg (dry is good too)
A small amount of snipped, (not chopped) parsley. (snip it with a kitchen scissor)
very small amount of sea salt
fresh grated tricolor pepper, or black pepper (I don't use white pepper)
1/2 cup cooking water reserved
In a large skillet, melt butter with cream, and 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan. Slowly heat, and stir, until it gets nice and thick. In the meantime, boil pasta until al-dente, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.(I always save at least one cup for reserve.) Mix the pasta with the sauce, right into the large, skillet. It should be at least a 12 inch skillet, or a large pot, if you prefer. Now, grated the nutmeg, the sea salt, careful, not to add too much because the cheese is salty too. add another 1/4 cup portion of the cheese. At this point, the pasta has absorbed quite amount of the sauce, so you need to thin it out a little, with the reserved cooking water, a small amount while you are heating up the pasta. When it's nicely incorporated, put it into a medium serving bowl, or separate serving plates. Dived the cheese to sprinkle on top, and add parsley, not just for presentation, but it really tastes very nice with it.
Serves at least 3.
 
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