Stuffed Shells with Proscuitto

November 2, 2010

I was inspired by Lucinda Scala Quinn’s stuffed shells on Mad Hungry recently and wanted to try a version of her recipe. She uses prosciutto in hers, which intrigued me. I could only find large shells, not XL which was a bummer, but I made do. I also did not use radicchio since I don’t care for it. Instead I substituted spinach. I used jarred tomato sauce and cottage cheese instead of ricotta (what a cheat I am). I like some sauce on top of my shells so I poured some over the top before baking.

This was good, but I don’t think I would use the prosciutto again. It was interesting, but was kind of a smoky taste that I didn’t feel really went with the dish. I do like stuffed shells and I wish I could find the XL ones because stuffing all those little shells took me FOREVER!

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Watching the New Shows

September 13, 2010

I just had to put up a quick little post to say I watch Martha’s season opener today on Hallmark and I also watched Everyday Food (for the first time) and Lucinda (Mad Hungry). I hope you’ll share your thoughts on these with me – I would love to hear what you think.

As for Martha, first of all, I thought she looked fantastic. “Rested,” perhaps? That segment with the MTV guys was weird. It has nothing to do with Martha and it was awkward due to the time delay. Just awful. The interview with Jennifer and Alexis was awkward. Very stilted and strange. I haven’t watched their show yet (tonight maybe I will get to it) but it looks kind of odd. Jennifer has lost a ton a weight and looks fantastic. The questions from the audience were strange and the answers worse. They couldn’t name any of their upcoming guests? What did Martha think they did to prepare for the show? They seemingly had nothing to talk about. It was all just uncomfortable to watch. Jennifer tries to please Martha. Alexis remains aloof and snotty. Very weird TV.

I skipped the pet segment. The cookie segment with Sarah Carey and John Baricelli was also a little odd. All they did was dunk cookies in sugar – not a lot of baking there! The cookies sound good though and I may have to print out the recipe. I love Lucinda, but a quesadilla with bacon, cheese and peppers? Not exciting.

Onto Lucinda’s show, Mad Hungry. I’ve GOT to make those pork chops. And the potato wedges. And the cabbage. Sigh. I’ve got her cookbook and really liked it but haven’t tried these items. I was surprised her show was an hour – it seemed like a long time. Loved her set – it was very her. I may have to allow Teen Martha a peek at her son Calder who is quite cute! This is a show I will definitely tune into, although I do have a tendency to fast forward through the boring parts.

Everyday Food. This was my first time catching this. I was surprised that each segment was a different host. I kind of liked it for quick ideas but I don’t know if it is something I would sit down and watch on a regular basis. And when did Sarah Carey have long hair? It’s been short every time I’ve ever seen her.

So those are my impressions. What were yours?

Update: I watched Whatever. Not quite sure what to think. Jennifer seemed VERY nervous, but looked fantastic. The opener was a little awkward, but as always I enjoy hearing Alexis complain about Martha. The guest segments seemed really long. Are there fewer commercials on Hallmark? Paula Abdul was fun. Partially incoherent as usual. I would have liked to know more about what her new show really is about. The dance lesson was lame.  I fast forwarded through most of the guy who has had over 100 Internet dates. I just didn’t care! I liked the third guest, about the beauty products and am going to get her book. I will continue to tape this and watch it at least for now. I don’t quite ‘get’ how this is different from other talk shows yet, but maybe it will evolve.

Spatchcocked Chicken

November 17, 2009

spatch chickenI’ve had a whole organic chicken in the freezer for a while and I finally decided to use it up for Sunday dinner. I came up a hybrid Martha/Lucinda Scala Quinn method for cooking it. I have Lucinda’s book, MadHungry (which is great) and have seen both her and Martha spatchcock (I know it sounds obscene!) a chicken on the Martha show (spatchcocking means you cut out the backbone and flatten the chicken to cook it – it cooks much faster this way). I combined this method with the idea in November Everyday Food to cook carrots and potatoes in the pan with chicken parts and with Lucinda’s pan sauce for her spatchcocked chicken in her book. spatch chicken2

So, first I cut out the backbone and flattened the chicken. I put it insides down in a roasting pan and surrounded it with carrots and baby red potatoes. I seasoned the chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper and some roast chicken seasoning I got from my mom. I put the salt and pepper and rosemary on the veggies, as well as some olive oil and roasted it all in a 400 degree oven for about 45  minutes (until the chicken was 165). I removed the chicken spatch chicken3and carrots and stuck the roasting pan on a burner with the potatoes still in it – I wanted them a little crispier. When they were done, I removed them and added a few tablespoons of olive oil, 2 chopped cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp lemon juice to the pan. I cooked it long enough to soften the garlic then served it.

This was AMAZING. First of all, it’s so much faster than a regular roast chicken and feels less fussy. The pan sauce was fabulous and so incredibly simple -something about the lemon and garlic is just to die for. We ate the sauce on both the chicken and on the potatoes. It was perfect. I highly recommend this dinner!!!

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Slow Roasted Salmon

April 3, 2009

On a recent episode, Lucinda Scala Quinn demonstrated some of the fish recipes from April Martha Stewart Living. Now, I have professed my love for Lucinda before and I must say she has not disappointed me this time.

I decided to make Slow-Roasted Salmon.  Salmon is one of my go-to meals and I prefer to use wild salmon, but it’s out of season, so I had to settle for farmed salmon. When I make salmon I often grill it and serve it with lemon and dill. Sometimes I will oven roast it. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a fab recipe for asian salmon that is to die for.

Lucinda’s recipe is super simple. You mix up some chopped tomato, chopped orange and chili paste (the only chili paste I could find was a sweet and sour Thai version – but that worked for me since I don’t like hot spicy things too much). You slit your salmon filets and sort of stuff them with the mixture, then the directions say to roast at 250 for 25 minutes.  At 25 min mine was still raw, so I cranked on convection and put it up to 400 and finished it off quickly.

slow-roast-salmonThis tasted terrific. I loved the citrus flavor and the chili paste gave it a little zing, but not too much for me. It was simply beautiful looking. I’ll definitely make this again. Points for Lucinda.

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