Tempura

I saw this recipe on Giada at Home and thought it would be fun to try. I love vegetables. I’m usually not a fan of anything that makes something so inherently healthy unhealthy, like tempura, but sometimes you just need to indulge! Tempura is just so much fun. It’s so flavorful, especially when paired with a little soy sauce. I had some leftover broccoli to use last night and I decided to give this recipe a try as a little appetizer. The main course was a roasted chicken with turnips, radishes, carrots, and garlic roasting in the pan drippings.

I made broccoli tempura, but you can do almost any vegetable. Giada uses green beans and asparagus. For the amount of broccoli I had (see pic), I used half the recipe and it was perfect. Tempura batter doesn’t keep well, so make what you think you’ll need. Also, this recipe is MUCH easier with a deep fry or candy thermometer. You really need to get the oil to the right temperature or the vegetables will be soggy instead of crispy.

I think that’s about everything! Now just follow the link below and start making up your tempura batter!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/green-bean-and-asparagus-tempura-recipe/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage with Sausage

I made this dish tonight to go with my frozen homemade pierogies (http://wp.me/p1S4sU-2V). I wish I was able to find kielbasa because that would have made it truly Polish style, but, alas, all’s I was able to find at my grocery store was Italian sausage. Oh well. Maybe the butcher about 3 miles away has it. You might be wondering why I didn’t just go to the butcher to begin with since it is that close. Well A) the grocery store is right across the street and B) our car is getting repaired. It’s a brand new car and already it needs a new part. An air condition compressor. Whatever that is. According to the guy at Bay Ridge Honda, the fact that we need this part is just bad luck. I could have taken the Q22 bus (that’s a Queens bus) up Rockaway Beach Boulevard, but that’s so slow and my kielbasa would have gotten warm. So now you see why I ended up at the grocery store with my Italian sausage.

When making this dish, I used a medium cabbage and oh goodness gracious did it cook down. I knew it would a little, but it surprised me that it cooked down as much as it did. So I suggest getting a big head of cabbage. Also, I used turkey bacon, but feel free to use pork bacon of course!

So here are the ingredients:

1- Cabbage, cut into small strips

2- 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped into bits

3- 1 lb kielbasa (or sausage!) cut into small pieces.

4- 1/4 cup water

5- 2 tbs brown suger

5- A little salt and a little pepper

All my ingredients prepped and read to go!

Directions:

1- Add the 1/4 cup water to a pan, the cabbage, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Let cook for about 10 minutes.

2- Add the kielbasa or sausage to the pan and cook until the kielbasa or sausage is cooked through and browned. You can cook longer if you want the cabbage nice and caramelized.

3- Add the bacon bits when ready to serve. If you refrigerated the cabbage mixture, heat up the bacon bits for about 10 seconds before serving.

Serve with your homemade pierogies, just like I did for dinner tonight!

Sauteed Peas with Prosciutto

We always have a vegetable with dinner, always. Whether it be a quick salad, frozen steam in the bag Brussels Sprouts (which are REALLY good, by the way), or yummy roasted carrots. We always have something. Anyway, this half used bag of frozen peas has been sitting in the freezer for a while now so one night last week when thinking about what vegetable to serve with dinner, I remembered that bag. Now what in the world to do with frozen peas? Steam them and add some butter? No, too boring. Hmmm Let’s just see if my good friend Marcella Hazan has anything to say about peas. And you know what? Of course she did. Why was I surprised? That lady knows everything. I skimmed the ingredient list and realized I had everything home except the prosciutto. Luckily the grocery store is right across the street and they have that computer kiosk at the deli, so all’s I had to do was put my order in the machine and wait for the deli counter person to slice it and put it in the refrigerated collection area. Minimal human interaction. Sounds pretty good to me. Sometimes I’m too tired and just don’t feel like talking to people. Anyway, I get home and start making my peas not following the recipe at all really. Marcella just gave me the ingredient ideas, I implemented on my own and it came out quite well! I think Marcella and I work well as a team 🙂

Here are the ingredients with quantities listed for a half bag of frozen peas. Really just make everything proportionate and you should be fine.

1- frozen peas

2- 2-3 slices prosciutto, sliced into pieces

3- 2-3 cloves garlic, whole

4- olive oil, about 2 turns of the pan

5- salt and pepper

Directions:

1- Add the olive oil to the skillet over medium high heat and add the garlic to the pan. Allow the garlic to flavor the olive oil for a few mins. The garlic should turn a golden color. After this has happened, remove the garlic.

2- Add the sliced prosciutto to the pan and quickly stir to coat with the olive oil.

3- Add the peas and the salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook until the peas are done (about 3-5 mins).

4- Pile high in a pretty bowl and enjoy.

Lemon Vinaigerette Dressing

I was watching an episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food Network the other day and caught the very end of an episode where Anne made a warm arugula salad with lemon vinaigerette dressing. It looked delicious. I ended up making it tonight to go with our chicken wrapped in prosciutto. The lemony flavor juxtaposed with the peppery arugula was delicious. Heating the dressing a bit before wilting the arugula in it makes all the flavors meld together nicely too.

The ingredients presented below makes enough dressing for two large salads.

Ingredients:

1- 1/4 cup olive oil

2- 1 tsp dijon mustard

3- zest of half a lemon

4- juice of half a lemon

5- 2-3 cloves garlic, leave whole

Directions:

1- Whisk all ingredients together.

2- Heat the dressing in a pan over medium low heat until the garlic turns a light brown. Remove the garlic and discard.

3- Turn the heat to low and wilt the arugula in the dressing.

4- Serve warm with some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and croutons.

Pressed Potatoes Ă  la Rachael Ray

I saw this variation of roasted potatoes both on her show and in her magazine this month. I gave them a try the other night to go with the crock-pot chicken and veggies and boy, what a delight! The skin was so crispy! I had some prosciutto on hand from a recipe I meant to put it in the other night, but forgot. I cut that up and put it on the potatoes about 5 minutes before they were do to come out and the saltiness of the prosciutto lent a nice touch.

Here’s what you need:

1- red potatoes

2- salt and pepper

3- olive oil

4- prosciutto, if desired

Directions:

1- Boil the potatoes until fork tender

2- While potatoes boil, preheat oven to 425 degrees

3- Once potatoes are out, place them on a foil lined baking sheet and smash flat with the bottom of a glass. Don’t smash too hard because they will fall apart.

4- Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

5- Put in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. If using prosciutto, add at about the 20 minute mark.