Sunday, October 26, 2014

Romano Noodles

There's a first time for everything and mine was grating garlic.  I've crushed it, minced it, baked it...but I had never grated it with the same cheese grater that I used with the Romano cheese.  It's a fast way to get the garlic into small pieces perfect for sauces.  

Romano Noodles

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp parsley
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, grated
3/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup pasta water

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large saucepan.  Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and Romano cheese.  Cook 8 oz of pasta.  I used linguine.  When it's cooked al dente, remove 1/2 cup of the water for the sauce and drain the remainder.  Stir the sauce and add in the pasta.  Toss until coated and turn into a large serving bowl.  Top with a tablespoon or two of additional grated Romano cheese.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Parmesan Meatballs

Some freshly grated Parmesan adds a little cheese flavor and a bit of saltiness to these easy to make meatballs.  A dash of crushed red pepper flakes adds a little heat.  

Parmesan Meatballs

1# extra lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp parsley
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Hand mix until all the ingredients are combined.  Form into 1 1/2" meatballs.  Bake on a baking sheet for 25 minutes at 350°.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken With Fontina Sauce

My Sunday dinner was leaning towards Italian this week.  I found some nice looking prosciutto and I had chicken breasts so I combined the two with a creamy, Fontina cheese sauce that works to serve with potatoes or pasta on the side.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Fontina Sauce

2 - 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated for each chicken breast
2 - 4 slices prosciutto

Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts.  Season and top with the Parmesan.

Roll up and wrap the prosciutto around and place in a greased pan, seam side down.

Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.  Serve with the Fontina sauce.

Fontina Sauce

8 oz grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt & pepper to taste
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Heat over a low heat and cook until the cheese melts.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sweet Potato & Toffee Ice Cream

One of my favorite sides to a grilled steak is a sweet potato topped with cinnamon, butter and brown sugar.   I made this ice cream to taste just like that but without the butter.  I added in the toffee bits for a little crunch factor but they are optional.  This is a perfect dessert on Thanksgiving for any pie haters you may have.  

Sweet Potato & Toffee Ice Cream

2 cups cooked and chilled sweet potatoes (2 medium sized worked perfect)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Heath Toffee Bits (optional)

Place chilled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and beat using a hand mixer until smooth.   Add in brown sugar, spices and vanilla.  Gradually stir in cream and milk and then transfer to your ice cream maker.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pizza Chicken

A perfect weeknight meal with lots of flavor and it doesn't take much time to make.  I chose only pepperoni as a topping but you can add mushrooms, green pepper slices...whatever your favorites are on a pizza.  Luckily, I did have pizza sauce in my freezer that I had made earlier but store bought is fine to use too.

Pizza Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pizza sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
your favorite toppings

Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-ready frying pan.  Lightly brown seasoned (with salt and pepper) chicken breasts.  Place in a pre-heated oven to 350°.  Bake for 20 minutes.  You can use this time to make a side or two.  Remove from oven and top each chicken breast with a tbsp of pizza sauce.  Add in your favorite toppings and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the cheese with oregano and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Calico Chili

The fall leaves come in a variety of colors and your nice, warming bowl of chili should also.  I used three types of beans in this easy to make chili.  I made it in my dutch oven but you and also put it in the crock pot for a game day meal.  

Calico Chili

1 - 15 oz can Light Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1- 15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 oz can Cannellini White Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 pound extra lean ground beef, cooked
1/2 small onion, minced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chili powder to taste
1 tsp oregano

In your dutch oven or a large skillet, brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients to the dutch oven or  crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or longer in the crock pot. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Bite-size tastes of Italy on a lightly toasted bun.  The chicken is not breaded, but instead cooked in the easy-to-make tomato sauce.  

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Place the following in the crock pot ~

1 - 6 oz tomato paste
2 cups diced tomatoes or a 14.5 oz can
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 bay leafs
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Stir the above in the crock pot.  Season 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground pepper before nestling down into the tomato mixture.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for a least 3 hours.  Shred and serve on toasted buns.  Melt some mozzarella on top of the mixture on a bottom bun.