Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beef Rolls In Red Wine Tomato Sauce - Italian

Beef Braciole ~ These tasty, tender beef rolls are cooked in a robust tomato and wine sauce. They go perfectly with a side dish of Risotto Milanese, garlic mashed potatoes, or polenta.

Serves 6

1 1/2 Pounds Top Sirloin, Cut Into 12 Small Thin Slices
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary
6 Thin Slices Of Prosciutto, Cut In Half
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup Olive Oil1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1 Carrot, Finely Chopped
1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Celery Stalk, Finely Chopped
2 Cups Chopped Canned Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

Pound each piece of the beef into thin slices. Spread a little bit of the minced garlic, chopped rosemary and grated cheese over each slice. Cover this with a slice of prosciutto, and roll up into a small bundle, securing each with toothpicks.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown all of the bundles well on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a separate dish, and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the wine, and cook up until it is reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, until the sauce has begun to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the bundles, and return them to the skillet. Add the fresh parsley, and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Serve hot with a side dish of your choice.

Pesce in Acqua Pazza - Italian

This dish at a small restaurant in Positano on the Amalfi Coast called O'Capurale and was very impressed with how flavorful yet light it was. Pesce in Acqua Pazza means Fish in Crazy Water. Many American interpretations of this dish seem to take this translation extremely literal. They really accentuate the "crazy", using it as an excuse to clean out the refrigerator and add all kinds of ingredients to flavor the water. I am not sure of the origins of the name, but I do know that all it needs is a simple flavoring of garlic, herbs, tomato, salt and a pinch of hot pepper as presented in the Ingredients here.

Serves 4

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves chopped
12 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds sea bass or red snapper fillets

1. In an ovenproof pan at least two inches deep and large enough to hold the fish in one layer, add the olive oil, water, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper and salt.

2. Turn the heat to medium and allow the crazy water to simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Place the fish in the pan skin side down, transfer pan to oven and cook until fish is done, approximately 20 minutes.

4. Transfer the fish to warm plates, pour a little of the crazy water over and around the fish, making sure to include some tomatoes, and serve immediately.

Steak Pizzaiola - Italian

The Neapolitan dish that consists of bottom round steak which is pounded to tenderize and then cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. As the sauce resembles sauce used to make pizza, it was named pizzaiola, can also be said is "pizza style".

Serves 6

2 Pounds Bottom Round Steak Sliced 1/4 Inch Thick or More Tender Cut Left Thicker
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, Finely Chopped
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Red Pepper Flakes
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Red Wine
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley


Gently Pounding the steak with a mallet until thin if using bottom round. Season the meat well with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, and brown the meat well on both sides. Remove it and keep warm. Add some onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until tender. Add the tomatoes and the wine and season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes as needed. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thicken. Return the meat to the pan and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the fresh parsley.

Note: it can sometimes add a tablespoon or two of capers to change the flavor.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Broccoli Marinara - Italian

The quick way of an Italian traditional side dish in Italian family all the way from Italy. You can use fresh tomatoes and basil. However, as a Italian mother of four, she opt for the quick method as she're sure other parents of small ones can appreciate. The kids really love this dish too. Buon Appetito!"

4 Servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil and olive oil
1 pound broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the tomatoes with their juices, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about 1/2. Place the broccoli on top of the tomatoes, and season with a little salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Do not over cook the broccoli, it should be a vibrant green. Pour into a serving dish, and toss to blend with the sauce before serving.

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta - Italian

"This recipe is the definition of versatility - if the weather's mild, use the grill outside to prepare this appetizer. In colder months, use your oven instead. The amount of ingredients for this recipe can be scaled back or multiplied to accommodate any range of party guests. You can also alter the amount of most of the ingredients according to your personal preference. You'll enjoy this variation on regular old bruschetta appetizers!"

8 Servings


2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/4 cups Italian salad dressing, divided
4 cups fresh spinach, torn
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, chopped
1 (1 pound) loaf focaccia bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil

1) Place the chicken and 1 cup salad dressing in a bowl. Cover, and marinate at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

2) Preheat the grill for high heat.

3) Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard dressing used for marinating, and grill chicken 7 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Cool and shred.

4) In a large bowl, mix the cooked chicken, spinach, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and remaining dressing.

5) Brush the focaccia bread with olive oil, and cook 1 minute per side on the prepared grill, or until lightly toasted. Place portions of the chicken mixture on the toasted focaccia to serve.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lemon Chicken - Pressure cooker.

So simple, yet this is one of the most delectable sauces you can find for chicken. Be sure to allow a few hours to marinate the chicken.

3 1/2 lb (1.6 kg) chicken, cut in serving pieces
1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
2 teaspoons (10 ml) oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup (125 ml) chicken stock

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken and marinate for several hours, or overnight. Dry the chicken well on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in the pressure cooker and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Reserve chicken pieces on warm platter. Pour off the fat and add to the pressure cooker the reserved marinade and the chicken stock.

Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure, then lower heat and cook for the suggested time. Allow pressure to drop by the quick release method or automatic release method and remove the lid. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over it.

Suggested time for fast 15 psi pressure cookers: Cook for 8 minutes on high pressure.

Serves 4

Chicken and Rice - pressure cooker

This chicken and rice is a Spanish classic enjoyed with many variations.

3 lb (1.3 kg) chicken, skin removed and cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 large ripe tomatom peeled, or 2 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup (250 ml) uncooked long-grain white rice
1/2 cup (125 ml) frozen peas
3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pressure cooker. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper and tomato. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the peas, stock, salt, chicken pieces, and chorizo sausage, with any accumulated juices. Stir well.

Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure, then lower heat and cook for the suggested time. Allow pressure to drop by the quick release method or automatic release method and remove the lid.

Suggested time for fast 15 psi pressure cookers: Cook for 7 minutes on high pressure.

Serves 4-6

Mandarin Chicken - Pressure cooker.

3/4 lb (350 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock or broth
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried tarragon
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons (60 ml) cornstarch
8 oz (225 g) Chinese wheat noodles
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In the pressure cooker, combine chicken, vinegar, stock and onions. Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure, then lower heat and cook for the suggested time. Allow pressure to drop by the natural release method for 10 minutes, and then release remaining pressure by the quick release method or automatic release method and remove the lid.

Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm. Leave the stock mixture in the pressure cooker, and stir in tarragon, oranges, honey and soy sauce. Combine the cornstarch and water. Stir into the stock mixture, and cook uncovered over medium heat until the sauce thickens.

Serve the chicken over cooked noodles. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Suggested time for fast 15 psi pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.

Serves 4

Monday, April 14, 2008

Beef Pot Roast With Tomato and Pearl Onions (pressure cooker)

Serves 2-3

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1.5 lb (700 g) pot roast such as chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons (45 ml) vinegar
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water

16-24 very small pearl onions, peeled
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
A potpourri bag of 2 bay leaves, 8 allspice and
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker until very hot. Add the pot roast and brown well on all sides. Transfer to the steamer basket. Add the onion to the pressure cooker and sauté until wilted. Stir in the vinegar, tomato paste, water, salt and pepper. Lower the steamer basket into the pressure cooker.

Suggested time for 15 psi pressure cookers (What is a 15 psi pressure cooker?): Cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.

Add the pearl onions, garlic, potpourri bag, sugar and more vinegar, if necessary. Adjust seasoning. Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure again, then lower heat and cook for the suggested time. Allow pressure to drop by the quick release method [2] or automatic release method [3] and remove the lid. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce and the pearl onions.

Easy Beef Pot Roast (pressure cooker)

Serves 2-3

3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil
1.5 lb (700 g) pot roast
Salt and pepper

1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water or beef stock

Place canola oil and roast in pressure cooker and brown on all sides. Place roast on trivet in cooker. Season roast with salt and pepper. Add chopped onion, bay leaf, and water.

Suggested time for 15 psi pressure cookers (What is a 15 psi pressure cooker?): Cook for 35 minutes on high pressure.
If not sufficiently tender, lock the lid back in place and heat to high pressure for another 5 minutes.