Thursday, March 29, 2018

Grilled Lamb Chops with Tomato, Mint, and Garlic Sauce

I don't know how you feel about grilling on an outdoor barbecue grill whether it may be a simple charcoal grill or, a fabulous spacious gas grill that just with one click of the starter button, it lights instantly...just stay away from the fire and not let your hair catch on!

Grilling is not just for men...your hubbies are not always the 'grill masters'! When you watch those cooking shows you can see how many women are quite competent in the grilling contest against the men and win! Well, this is not a grilling or cooking contest post, I'm getting way too off from the subject!
If you're a 'meat lover' and like grilled meats, these succulent 'bone in' lamb chops are perfect and easy grilling, once they have been properly marinated for at least 30 minutes in a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper...ready to grill!

I do recommend the delicious Tomato, Mint, and Garlic Sauce to go along with it. Easter is around the corner this Sunday and if weather permits just get out to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather, and light up your grill. There are other enjoyable side dishes to grill along with the lamb, and have yourself a fun and blessed day!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Tomato, Mint and 
Garlic Sauce

recipe ispired by; William-Sonoma

  • 8 thick-cut bone-in lamb loin chops, each 1 1/2
     inches thick, 2 to 2 1/2 lb. total weight
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for coating, plus 1 Tbs.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,
     to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into narrow strips
  • 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, cut into narrow strips
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine

  •  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes soften and release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the wine and vinegar ,season with salt and pepper. Cook until flavors have incorporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and mint, and set aside until the lamb chops are roasted.

Chops cut from the loin are the most costly of the various types of lamb chops, but they are also the tastiest and most tender. This recipe calls for double loin chops, which are simply cut twice as thick as a typical loin chop. While the chops are resting, a quick pan sauce of tomatoes, garlic, basil and mint that will be drizzled over them at once it is served. Roasted potatoes on the side, couscous or Basmati rice would round out the plate.

Light up your outdoor gill on high and let it heat up for about 10 minutes. Place the lamb chops on the hot and high grill and sear for 2 minutes. Turn the chops and sear for 1 minute on the other side. Immediately turn the grill temperature down to medium and grill the lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 125° to 130°F for medium-rare, 5 to 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the grill, and transfer the chops to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for a few minutes and add the  accumulated juices to the sauce.

Divide the chops among warmed plates. Divide the sauce evenly among them, spooning it over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Linking to:
Full Plate Thursday #373

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Roasted, Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone now, and before you know it, Easter will be coming sooner than we think. Already Spring has 'sprung'...only to find out that some parts north of us are still dealing with snow dreadful! I must share this amazing new way of making Corned Beef and Cabbage...Do Not Boil...seriously, even if the package says so!

I didn't have to google this recipe of mine...just practice, and the common sense of how to roast meats! Here are all the ingredients, that I already love to roast, or bake...but roasting is more appropriate, in fact on the newer models of the stoves there is an option for actual 'roast' selection and do take advantage of it if you can...if you don't have that option, a higher temperature of 425 degrees is the ideal temperature to use for the first 25 minutes will be a great help!

This is how it looks after the first 25 minutes on 425, plus an additional 30 minutes on 350 degrees temperature...but we're still not done roasting yet! As you can see, I even cut a nice chunk of the the corned beef off to sample for my sweet grandson who could not wait to enjoy this feast...still not quite done.

Accompanied by Gold Smashed Potatoes, (no dairy)...just some of the cooking water, and the pan juices used to smash them!d not so tender!

Irish Soda Bread is a must have for St. Patrick's Day, and I must admit this was a perfect combination...half of the bread was gone before the roast was even served. My daughter Lora made the bread this year, and with the raisins which we love so is called the 'Spotted Dog'...what a cute, and odd name for Irish Soda Bread! Link to my daughter's recipe...on Savoring Italy

Irish Soda Bread=Spotted Dog

Before I even go any further, I'm gonna share my recipe with you for the Roasted Corned Beef and Cabbage!

Roasted Corned Beef and Cabbage
source: by, Elisabeth

1- 3 to 3 and 1/2 lbs. Round Beef (with spices inc. in packet)
1 head of Cabbage quartered and core removed
1 or 2 sweet potatoes peeled and quartered
3 stalks of large carrots scraped
1 large sweet onion peeled, and cut in quarters
1 head of garlic with top cut off (optional)
2 cups from a (32 ozs Beef, or Vegetable Broth)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Remove beef from plastic bag, wash and pat dry if bloody. In a 9x13 in. baking pan, or a small roasting pan, arrange the beef in the middle, empty the packet that has the seasoning spices, and rub it on top of the beef, patted down well, so it doesn't slide off. Sprinkle the extra virgin olive oil on top, and pat it down firmly. Arrange the vegetables around the pan, and also the garlic with the top cut off.

Sprinkle 1 Tblsp. of the oil on the garlic head and the rest, sprinkle around the vegetables. Add 1 cup of the broth around the vegetables, cover with Aluminum foil, and with a sharp knife slash some vents on the top of the foil.

Roast, or bake at preheated 425 degree oven for the first 25 minutes, remove the foil, and add the other 1 cup on top of the beef, and around the pan over the vegetables, but not the garlic. Lower temperature to 350 degrees...bake for another 30 minutes covered, and remove the aluminum foil....and bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered until it gets a nice crust on the top and vegetables are roasted nicely. Let the roast rest for 15 minutes and slice across the grain. Serves 6-8 generously

Linking to:
Full Plate Thursday #372

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Learn To Cook: How to Make Fresh Pasta (Homemade Fettuccine)

"Get to the chase"...a favorite saying of mine! OK we're there! I have these photos of some of the process in my fresh pasta making from a few months ago, and decided to do a post on it. Instead of showing the video at the end, it showed up on the actual beginning, by googling ...'how to make fresh pasta' to show you, instead of me explaining step-by-step!

So, this is my pasta sheets without seeing the video, but now I see my mistake where I should've cut the pasta strips straight across to make even to feed into the machine...but, no worries, it still worked feeding it into the machine to stretch the dough out to the right consistency.

Homemade Pasta from 2010, and other memories!

When you finish the pasta strips, you are ready to stack them into little nests and let them dry like need to hang them on a rack, unless you make a lot and plan to freeze them, which is way too much work. Just make enough for one serving, enough for 4-6, which is plenty. I actually made a double batch recently when we had family visiting from Italy!

Pasta Fresca...versus Pastasciutta...that is the question?

Fresh, or dry pasta...should not even be the 'question', because there is no such question here in the U.S. asking, which one you prefer to eat. Hahh?...why would you even want to ask...only in Italy they ask; as far as I remember it wasn't like that 30 or so, years ago! Either way, you have to boil both type of pastas and serve them topped with sauce of your choice! When I first heard that term a few years ago...'Pastasciutta'...literally, 'dry pasta' why are you asking me if I want to eat 'dry pasta'!? insane, so not correct...we all know you're not gonna run into the kitchen at that point and start making a batch of 'fresh pasta' if that is what I would prefer to why are you asking me if I would like to eat Pastasciutta! OK, I made my point, I think...go figure, only in 'Italy'! Mangia, mangia ! Basta parole! (enough words)
Pastasciutta=Dry Pasta
Pasta Fresca=Fresh Pasta

Linking to:
Full Plate Thursday, #371

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Crespelle con il Ragú=Italian Pancakes(Crepes) Filled with Meat Sauce

Since I've been MIA...totally 'missing in action', I've still been 'cooking my heart out'...just not focusing on food photos, snapping a few pictures here, and there, so to speak! One recipes that really got my attention was the Crepes with the Bolognese meat sauce which truly is a classic from the 70's...a vintage sauce that never goes out of style!

As for the photo...please excuse the unprofessional presentation of what should have been nicer if I focused more on the presentation knowing that I would post it on my food blog!

 So, here's the finished product of the Italian comfort casserole of the Crespelle con il Ragú, that is a famous vintage recipe from non other than Marcella Hazan the Queen of retro 70's and 80's and into the 90's cookbook author whom we worshiped back in the 'good old days'! I still have 4 of her 6 books and still cherish them. She passed away in 2013, but her Facebook profile still lives on by her beloved husband, Victor! She is truly loved and missed by us all, still learning so much technique and followed her recipes!

Crespelle con il Ragú
Italian Pancakes filled with Meat Sauce
source: The Classic Italian Cookbook
~Marcella Hazan

for 4 persons

1 1/2 cups meat sauce, Bolognese Style
1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Béchamel Sauce
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Crespelle (Italian Pancakes=Crepes)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons butter

1. Draw off all the fat that floats to the surface of the meat sauce, then combine 1 cup of the meat sauce with 2 tablespoons of béchamel and the nutmeg in a bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 450 F.
3. Stuff the crespelle (fill and roll up) and arrange them in a lightly buttered flameproof bake-and-serve dish, following the directions of the preceding recipe.
4. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup meat sauce with the 1/2 cup béchamel and spread it over the crespelle. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, dot lightly with butter, and place in the uppermost level of the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then run under the broiler for less than a minute, until a light crust has formed. Allow to settle for a minute or so, then serve from the same dish.

In order to properly assemble this recipe, you will need Marcella's recipe...

Classic Bolognese Sauce by: Giuliano Hazan (Marcella's son)
 Marcella's Béchamel Giuliano Hazan

You will need Marcella's Crespelle recipe...

1 cup milk
¾ cup flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon of salt

Put the milk in a bowl, and sift in the flour, whisking to remove any lumps in the mixture. Beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk to incorporate. Season with salt. Place the bowl in the fridge for an hour. When you’re ready to cook the crespelle, put a non-stick pan over medium heat, and coat with non-stick spray (or use butter). Ladle between 1/8 and ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the pan, swirling to spread the batter in a circle. Cook for about 45 seconds/side, until they start to get some color on them.

Sharing a photo of the actual Crespelle Bolognese by:Gavin's Cooking...

We salute you Marcella, and you will stay in our hearts with your famous Classic Italian recipes that will live on throughout generations!💖

Photo source:New York Times, in honor of Marcella Hazan's famous classic Bolognese Sauce

 Linking to: 
Full Plate Thursday#370