Saturday, December 24, 2011

jaclin-in-chicago is making these on christmas morning.

and so am i.
(you should too.)

will let you know how they turn out. but they've never let us down yet.

the ingredients (note: it should read 4 pkgs. of yeast - not 4 oz.).....

my sister's recipe card
diced butter for faster melting

scalded milk (i used cream this time)

hot cream added to butter and sugar

yeast, flour and salt and eggs and...

filling ingredients minus  orange peel

dough and filling components

finished rolls

please make them!! 

and then we made some muffaletta!

italian rounds split and hollowed

olive salad* spread on bottom half with a layer of sopresatta on next

then the provolone

some spinach leaves


then the mozzarella and mortadella

finally, another smear of olive salad on the top half

close them up. wrap them in foil or plastic and press them under the weight of a pot of water for 30 minutes then refrigerate for at least several hours

slice into wedges and nosh away (photo coming tomorrow when we devour ours).

marcy taught me how to make this

and she graduated from the french culinary institute, so there.
one dish wonder

it contains one of my favorite foods ever.......

rapini (aka broccoli rabe)
add to it some garlic, red pepper flakes, cannellini, italian sausage, parm reggi and a pound of orecchiette and you've got yourself a platter full of vitamin goodness.

it's an easy weeknight supper, requiring only two pots. here's how:

trim and coarsely chop your rapini (i used 2 bunches for a pound of pasta).
bring large pot of salted water to boil.
blanch rapini for 3 minutes and move to ice bath (use tongs or a slotted spoon so you don't dump out the water. you'll be cooking the pasta in it next)
remove sausage from casings (1/2 pound should be enough) and brown. then drain on paper towels.
add 2 T olive oil to pan and saute 1/2 an onion, finely diced for 2-3 minutes, then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 t red pepper flakes (or more if you like!) and cook a little longer. 
boil your pasta in the rapini water.
add rapini and sausage to saute pan along with a can of cannellini and a cup of chicken stock. stir and cover to heat through.
drain your pasta and combine with the rapini mixture.
pile it onto a platter and sprinkle with 1 T lemon juice (if you have it) and some parm reggi before serving.

and here's another often-requested rapini crostini recipe.  you'll want to eat them all yourself. but sharing is recommended. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

sarah g's favorite dish

i made this last week for "teeny tiny group" (hi broomski), and was thrilled to find out that chicken pot pie is a favorite dish of one of my favorite "groupers"- sarah. she especially liked this version because of it's secret ingredient.....and i quote sarah here: "Omg, I'm never not putting bacon in chicken pot pie again!!!".   and i'm encouraging you to make the same commitment. because like so many other things, bacon just makes it better.

the recipe is not very different from the one i use for chicken and dumplings in that they both start with a homemade chicken stock:

some sauteed veggies (this time in bacon fat):

fresh herbs (thyme here):

thyme and wine
and cooked chicken (i cook mine in a mixture of water and milk as it's supposed to make the chicken more tender. could be an old wives tale, but i do it anyway):

ew!! raw chicken!
here's what the pot looks like after you've crisped the bacon, sauteed the veggies in the bacon fat, added some butter and flour to make a roux, poured in the strained chicken stock, a little cream, a glug of sherry and the herbs:

after this thickens, add the cooked chicken that you've now shredded or chopped and pour the whole gloppy mess into a baking dish (cast iron if you have it) and cover with pie crust (thank you mikey!).

bake for 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven then turn the heat back to 350 and cook for another 45 minutes or until the crust is golden.

i can't believe i didn't get a picture of the finished product, but it was a HUGE pot pie....cooked it in our 13" x 16" roasting pan....and it disappeared rather quickly.

hope you get the chance to make some for the people you love. it's comfort food at its best.

ingredients you'll need:
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
6 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
s & p
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 T butter
2 diced onions
3/4 c flour
1/4 c heavy cream
2 c diced carrots
fresh thyme
glug of sherry

pie crust 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

the sunday after thanksgiving

a recipe in pictures (plus one that doesn't belong). and wasn't this thanksgiving one of the best?!! thought so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Before and After...

this is how our thanksgiving started - with a plan (we'll see how that plan plays out...).


Friday, November 18, 2011

coming soon....IT'S HERE!!

...the penultimate recipe for Italian Wedding Soup.

i usually get this started the night before serving it...while everyone's in the kitchen cleaning up from supper so i have a little company. i get the stock going and let the kids help form the tiny meatballs so that the next night, all we have to do is saute some carrots and onions, add the stock, throw in the meatballs, add the greens and stir in the cheese/egg mixture...which takes about 30-40 minutes.

first, i'll tell you how to make.....

it really is easy to make your own stock and will make all the difference in the flavor of this soup.
here are the items i typically include in the stock pot:
chicken pieces (necks and backs are often sold in the meat section for just this purpose)
bay leaves
herbs (thyme and parsley are particularly good in chicken stock)
s & p
some people include garlic, but i'm not a fan of it in this soup

throw whatever combination you have of these ingredients into a pot and add water. put it on the stove to simmer, cover the pot and go mix up the meatballs....

the meatball mixture

you'll need:

2 lbs of ground meat (i use equal parts pork, sirloin and veal)
3 eggs  
1 t pepper  
pinch of salt 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 c pecorino romano cheese  
1 c chopped fresh parsley  
1 c bread crumbs 
1/4 t nutmeg

mix it all together with your hands and form into small meatballs (3/4" in diameter). put them on a cookie sheet and back into the frig until tomorrow night.

leave the stock on the stove until you're ready for bed (an hour or two longer) then strain it into a container and pop it in the frig.

when you're ready to make the soup....pull out your soup pot and saute some carrots and onion, diced small (4 carrots and a whole onion) until they begin to sweat but don't let them brown. now add your strained chicken stock and bring it to a simmer. once it's simmering, drop in your meatballs (you can add some tiny pasta now too if you like - acini di pepe cooks relatively fast). once the meatballs start floating it's time to add the greens (spinach or escarole) that you've slivered. give that a few minutes before you stir in what i think is the most amazing part of this soup - the egg & cheese mixture.
stir together 3 eggs with 1 c romano cheese and then gently pout this into the simmering soup, stirring while you pour so the egg/cheese mixture forms threads (kind of like egg drop soup) throughout.

adjust seasonings and serve with additional grated romano cheese.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

new york gluttony

just got back from a week in the city where i was taking a break from this frenzied north carolina pace of life. i'm not kidding. new york WAS comparison. because if you remove a woman from her husband, children, home, job and community for a week, with barely a days' notice, she will have a hard time figuring out how to fill the hours of her day. so i turned to food. it was the perfect companion.

each morning i'd visit the gastro-equivalent sites of (,, looking for my perfect afternoon 'date'. and boy did i find some winners.
here are a few:

the 'spicy redneck' from crif dogs, williamsburg
you're looking at a steamed dog, fluffy bun, chili and some creamy slaw that just wouldn't quit...requiring a minimum of four napkins at the ready before consuming.

falafel sandwich, spicy, with everything from oasis, williamsburg
there's no website for this little gem of a place, but that's no surprise as they don't need one. word of mouth seems to be enough. three bucks of mouth-popping flavor.

the classic #1, spicy at banh mi zon, lower east side
i don't care how 'last year' these crackery-crisp-bunned bits of vietnamese sandwich goodness are. i will never tire of them. never. 

my one venture with food-trucking at waffles and dinges, williamsburg

the commodore's fried chicken, williamsburg

again, no website needed. but here's what the times had to say about this place: The Times.  i swear that chicken was fried in bacon fat.....

chicken feather found in one of our thighs. we called it 'macaroni'.

pastrami sandwhich

still hungry? then head on over with me to carnegie deli on 7th ave between 55th and 54th for a 4" pile of tender tasty hot pastrami on rye. and don't forget to slather on some of their famous mustard. served with two different kinds of pickles (not shown) and two of these napkins:

dirty napkin. but not as dirty as it was  2 minutes later...

and now for a little pallet cleansing:

giant pomegranate from the vorberts' in w'burg

and finally......

post-CSA pick-up, monday night supper @ the vorberts'

chef marcy can cook. she whipped up this belly-warming dish while maintaining dual conversations with  two very talkative onlookers. pasta, brussel sprout leaves, kale, red pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, cannellini, chicken broth, parm reg, toasted breadcrumbs and a whole lot of love. hope to share the recipe with you all soon!