Sunday, February 28, 2010

Filet Mignon Topped with Portabello,Shrimp,Crab with Creamy Italian Garlic Wine Sauce

Starting with Filet Mignon, add grilled portabello mushrooms, grilled shrimp on the sides, an abundance of crab in the center, pour a creamy wine sauce over the crap and around the shrimp. Delectable through every bite! You may want to add some bread sticks to dip in the delicious remaining wine sauce. We usually buy around 2 lbs of extra crab legs, so we will have an additional surf with this turf. Also a side of garlic mashed potatoes goes well, or parsley potatoes, then indulge by pouring some more of that wine sauce over them...

Flipping once. This will leave a medium pink center, cooking for 6 minutes on each side.


Start off with high heat to sear both sides, then lower the flame, this seals in the juice. Shrimp and mushrooms take around 5 to 7 minutes. Take them off first. Unless you eat your meat rare.


Cook till wine is reduced in half and heavy cream has thickened.


Sauteed garlic, some is on the shrimp and mushrooms, save some for the the wine sauce.
Butter, salt, pepper and minced garlic on top, ready for the grill.

Shrimp, shelled ready for the recipe, crab meat.....


Soon to be grilled portabello mushrooms~


Crab, butter, heavy cream, white wine, garlic, sea salt and pepper. This is my first favorite food, second is Filet!

Two beautiful filet's.
Guess whose favorite cut of meat this is.....yep you guessed mine!





2 Filet Mignon
4 extra large Shrimp or more
1 package of Portabello Mushrooms sliced
1 cup of Alaskian King or Snow Crab legs or lumb canned crabmeat, shelled and set aside in bowl
1/4 cup Chablis White Wine
3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pint of heavy cream
3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
Sea Salt, Pepper,
1 stick Butter
Saute garlic in one tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil till just turning golden. Remove half of the garlic to put on top of meat, shrimp and mushrooms.
Boil a pound of crab legs, remove shell and retain meat in a small bowl.
On a hot heated outdoor grill on high heat, add a dab of butter on both sides of the filet's, add salt and pepper, sear meat on both sides. Lower heat and cook to your desired doneness. Grill portabello mushrooms and shrimp, on the grill seasoned with salt pepper and butter. These cook fairly quick, set aside.
While the filet is cooking make the sauce.
2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup of white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
salt and white pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Use remaining sauteed garlic, add wine in a small heavy frypan on low heat and boil to reduce wine to half. Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a low boil till smooth. Keep on low heat, add the butter, to the wine, stirring with wooden spoon, continually till butter is melted and wine sauce is slightly thickened . I always double this recipe as we love the sauce with extra crab legs to dip them in.
Place filet on a plate add slices of portabello mushrooms, shrimp, crab to center of the filet, add white wine garlic sauce in a generous portion over the top of each filet. Add parsley garnish and serve.
Printable Recipe

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Thin Mints ( A Famous Knockoff Cookie)

Always the perfect pick me up to satisfy a sweet tooth~


A childhood favorite, that lasts forever... the great taste of peppermint in a cookie with a dense thick decadent chocolate dip~ perfect for St. Patrick's Day! I am a huge supporter of G.S cookies, and always will be. Love them all! Such a great cause and the kids are very important. So, this is in no way to replace them.



Crisp, but a delicate butter flavor and oh~~ so good mint!




These cookies will bring back the kid in you~




Always use a good grade chocolate.



The cookies are done when the edges are slightly browned.




Cut 1/4 inch thick when chilled thoroughly...



Roll on wax paper and use to freeze for easy straight and even cutting.




Cookie Dough for Thin Mints
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder( omit and add 2 to 4 drops of green food coloring for Christmas and St. Patricks Day)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Mix cornstarch, flour, (cocoa powder if using to make chocolate thin mints) in a bowl together set aside.
Add cream together butter and sugar. Add food coloring in the milk and the extracts. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until well mixed..
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches wrap in wax paper and freeze for at least 1 hour, until dough is very firm.
Heat oven to 375.
Slice dough into rounds, shape with fingers if not completely round before baking, and don't cut more than 1/4 inch thick, if you cut them too thick they won't be crisp. Place on a parchment lined cookies sheets.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes till edges are brown. Cool completely

Dark Chocolate Coating
2 bags bitter sweet (as used) or semi sweet chips (use a good grade chocolate)
1 bar of paraffin wax melted
In a microwave safe bowl melt a half bar of paraffin wax melt in microwave until completely melted, add a bag of chocolate chunks and keep stirring till melted and thin. If you need more, melt other half of the bar of wax and the bag of chocolate, repeat above directs. Reheat if it gets cold, a minute at a time till thin and easy to dip. Use two forks, dip the cookie into the chocolate and then transfer to wax paper to dry.
Note:
These do not freeze well, as the crispness of the wafer will get soft.
If you love knockoff cookies, try these other recipes: Peanut Butter Pattie's recipe highlighted. Oatmeal Sandwich Cremes , Caramel Delites Samoas ,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ciabatta Homemade Rustic Style Italian Bread (Flour or Herb Crusted Top)

One of our favorite breads, and that could just eat everyday if I had the time to make it and no problem gaining weight! So, this bread, is a treat for us, and I really make this on cold days, when we need the oven on. A very easy recipe, and delicious rustic hard crusted Italian Bread....if you've never tried this or had it, your in for a real treat. Believe me this definitely taste better than it looks. Referred to as the slipper shaped bread, Ciabatta can be used as a pizza dough, sandwich bread, or just with butter on it, simply delicious and pictures can't describe the great flavor of it ...you won't be disappointed if you are a bread lover and I am a breadaholic! Hopin you give this one a try and enjoy this as much as our family does..


The holes inside are perfect to use as a dipping bread for the delicious olive oil and other flavored oils. Make a great sandwich, as well as panini.


Herb crusted and plain flour Ciabatta Bread


Herb hard crusted, very crisp, crunchy, bread..



Ready for flour on top or coated with herbs and egg white wash.


Let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap in a warm area, till doubled. This wonderful Italian bread is named after its ‘slipper’ shape.
Dough is sticky, use flour on your hands and on a board to shape. Shape into 9 inch irregular shaped loaves, and using an index finders press into the dough to make dimples. Sprinkle flour on time.


Time to grease the bowl, place a piece of oiled plastic wrap on top of the bowl, damp towels over the wrap, then place in a warm area let this triple in size (that's the secret) on the first rise. Or for at least 2 1/2 hours.

Still beating after salt added for 4 more minutes


Beat for a full three minutes, then add sea salt.


Stir together yeast and warm milk n a bow for 5 minutes, they add to electric mixer bowl. Place milk mixture, sponge from the day before, water, oil, sugar and flour on low speed for 3 minutes.


After 4 minutes it looks like this, place plastic wrap on top, wait for a minimum of 12 hours or up to one day. I always do this the night before I make this.

This is the bread dough starter you will stir for 4 minutes. This is an easy delicious dough.

Bread flour is a little more expensive, but the results are always very good. I use this flour for all my bread recipes. Be sure the water is warm to the wrist and you measure and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. This is similar to a sour dough starter, just the Italian sponge version.




For Sponge Starter Mix
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup room-temp water
1 cup bread flour
To make sponge: stir together, warm water and yeast.
Let stand 5 minutes, until foamy.
Place yeast mixture to another bowl and add warm water and the 1 cup of flour.Stir for 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Let stand at cool room temp at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

To make the Bread:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk
2/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Place in a small bowl yeast,milk and stir, let stand 5 minutes.
In a heavy duty electric mixer, using a dough hook, mix together milk and yeast, add sponge starter( from yesterday), water, oil,sugar and flour at low speed until flour is moistened.
Beat for 3 minutes.
Add salt and knead for 4 more minutes with dough hook on electric mixer.
Place this dough into greased oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel on top, place in a warm spot until tripled in volume about 2 hours.
Note: Dough is sticky and full of bubbles, this is normal.
Cut out two pieces of baking parchment paper.Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle flour all over it .
Turn dough out onto a well-floured board and cut in half.
Transfer each half to paper and form irregular ovals like a slipper shape, or you can make pizza's round personal size pan pizza shapes for Ciabatta pizza approx 9 inches in size. Dip fingers in flour and dimple loaves.

Note: For Alternative, omit dusting with flour, brush with beaten egg whites on top of bread dough and sprinkle herbs on top. I use a blend of oregano, basil, parsley and minced fresh garlic, red pepper flakes on top, a little Parmesan and pepper, all around 1/2 teaspoon, if measuring. I always make one plain and one herb crusted.

Cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap, a dampened kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until almost doubled.
If you are using a pizza stone pre heat stone for 45 minutes before baking bread. Otherwise use a pizza pan with air holes on the bottom lined with parchment.
If you have room for both, put the other loaf on another pan, place in oven. 425°F or until they're golden brown. Turn off the oven, remove the Ciabatta from the baking sheet, and return them to the oven, leave the oven door open a couple of inches. Allow the Ciabatta to cool completely in the oven; this will give them a very crisp crust.
Remove to cooling racks.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Broccoli and Sausage Cavatelli with Garlic and Oil( Aglio ed olio)


A lighter dish full of flavors. Garlic and oil, a touch of lemon and some homemade cavatelli...... try the recipe highlighted, easy to make and you will never want store bought again. Mom loved her cavatelli with garlic and oil, Dad loved the tomato sauce. Amazing how we adapted through the years, so different from where we originated. Grandma was from Rome, Grandpa from Casserta, my Mom family from Bari....all different family versions of how to cook every dish, and every one delicious. Authentic cooking is just a term, what matters is the art and love that makes it every bit unique. Nothing touches your heart more than how a past loved one made the dish..or someone you love cooking it for you now.

Homemade turkey sausage, healthy, and so easy to make.


Homemade turkey sausage, you can make it as spicy as you would like, then add broccoli and lots of Parmesan......

Bruschetta is great with this dish, make sure to get a good grade of balsamic vinegar.

Boil cavatelli in salt water until they float to the top...

Saute garlic, and watch carefully not to burn or overcook.

Steam broccoli for a few minutes before frying in garlic and oil to make sure it is pre cooked.

2 bunches of broccoli, cut into florets removing stalks
1 pound of fresh Italian sausage or turkey sausage homemade (or store bought)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds cavatelli pasta fresh or frozen
1/2 cup reserved pasta water or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In microwave in a large glass pan, microwave broccoli 10 minutes as I like it softer than most( or boil it if you prefer) Drain, and set aside, add lemon juice on broccoli.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until lightly golden, being careful not to burn it. Add the broccoli, and garlic powder. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Broccoli should be tender yet crisp to the bite.
In a large fry pan using a spray oil to coat, fry sausage or(bake on cookie sheet on 400) until cooked. Slice sausage into chunks.
Meanwhile, cook cavatelli in a large pot of boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water or chicken broth, and place in a large serving bowl. Toss with the broccoli,sausage, salt and hot pepper flakes. Top with Parmesan cheese. Garlic bread or bruschetta goes well with this.



Optional: Omit sausage and use 1 pound of cubed grilled chicken breast. Also mushrooms and roasted peppers can be added to this dish as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Italian Escarole & Beans with Crusty Italian Bread a few different ways!



Greens and Beans, Scadahl and Beans, Escarole and Beans, could be thick, or like soup. Just beans, over bread, or both.

                                 Whatever way grandma made this we ate it up...and loved it.



She called it depression food, inexpensive and fed many! Sometimes she fed the whole block, no kidding!



Poured over bread, the oil and garlic soaked up the bread and this was a delicious Italian Speciality! Mom made soup and this was an awesome change of pace on cold winter days, rib sticking foods.



Grandma was from Rome ,Italy and made a thick style escarole greens and beans over crusty Italian bread, just omitting the broth. Mom came from Bari, made this like a soup rich with chicken broth and my Dad's father came from Casserta and they liked just plain garlic seasoned beans over hard crusty bread, normally hard as a rock bread! So we had our fill of this many ways. I love every kinds of beans, greens plain but for me what made it a meal was the bread. I am a bread lover and thats my weakness, I very seldom eat a meal without dipping bread into the soup, sauce and yes I am a dipper~ Not much to adapting these recipe to pretty basic, easy and filling, Can you believe this was considered depression food back then?



I can't seem to get past eating my Italian foods without good Old Fashioned hard crusted Italian Bread.


Escarole is one of my favorite greens in many great recipes and one favorite of our is Traditional Wedding Soup and it's wonderful flavors ..



Dried beans done overnight in the crockpot, a huge difference in taste these are northern white beans.

Escarole and Beans Recipe:
1- 8 oz can of chicken broth or 1 cup fresh
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed) more for on top when serving
2 large heads escarole
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of each oregano, basil, parsley, we used all fresh ingredients when possible
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves minced garlic
2 lbs of fresh cooked dried northern beans   highly recommended or 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
plenty of pecorino romano cheese
If using fresh beans reserve 1/2 of the bean water
3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped,
pinch of cayenne pepper


Boil escarole seperately until tender about 35 minutes, drain.( Or take a shortcut if you work, do dried beans with water in one crock pot on high for 8 hours all day or overnight and escarole in the another crockpot filled with water and when you get home from work,  saute in oil and garlic, add broth, heat through add the seasonings and pour over hard crusty Italian bread!!! simple.)

For canned beans method. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat saute garlic till brown, add boiled escarole and coat with oil and garlic flavors.  Add the broth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and other seasonings. Stir in cooked beans, at this point.

Heat throughly and serve over bread.


For soup style shown, add 16 oz can of  Chicken broth, you can also add boiled chicken and ditalini to make a hearty meal out of this. Boil until mixture gets thicker and looks creamy. Serve with plenty of grated cheese on top and thick chunks of crusty bread and a few drizzles of olive oil.