Orecchiette with Bacon and Tomato

March 5, 2010

I wasn’t excited by this recipe when I saw it in the magazine, but when Martha and Anna L. made it on tv, it got me interested. It doesn’t sound like anything special when you read the recipe – a tomato sauce and some bacon on pasta. I was surprised at how wonderful the flavor was.

I used rotini but that was the only substitution I made. The tomato sauce was quick to whip up, but I found I needed to get a fork in there and physically pull the tomatoes apart. I also had to add more tomato juice to it because it was too dry.

I really, really liked this dish! The bacon gave it a nice smoky flavor and the tomato and onion had a nice sweetness. It really tasted like something that had cooked for hours. Thumbs up on this one Martha!

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Roasted Vegetable Salad

March 4, 2010

I find the name of this salad to be a bit misleading. The recipe is in March Everyday Food. I thought I would be roasting all sorts of different veggies. Not so. You roast mushrooms, onion and garlic. That’s it! You add the mushrooms and onions to a green salad and use the roasted garlic to make a dressing. That dressing was rather unsuccessful for me by the way – my garlic did not mash up. I even used my handheld blender to whiz it up and the garlic remained in a smushy piece, floating around the dressing.

In addition to the vegetables, Martha has you roast some prosciutto. Lay the piece on parchment and stick it in the 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The prosciutto gets nice and crisp and darkens in color. It crumbles nicely into the salad.

The recipe also calls for a side of lavash bread, with melted gruyere cheese on it as an accompaniment. I couldn’t find lavash, but I did find some naan and let me tell you, it was fabulous! I served this with cream of broccoli soup (Martha’s recipe from the Cooking School cookbook) and it was a lovely, light dinner. I liked the roasted mushrooms a lot, but then I am always a big fan of mushrooms! The proscuitto was good too, but a bit salty.

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Sticky Chicken Legs/Wings

March 3, 2010

Martha's recipe

In the March issue of Everyday Food, Martha has a recipe for sticky chicken wings. As you may or may not know, we live in Buffalo. So we know a thing or two about wings. I was interested to try Martha’s take on it, which is actually pretty similar to a recipe I use. I’ll share both here with you.

First up – Martha. I used chicken legs to make this recipe because I can find organic chicken legs but I can’t find organic chicken wings in our stores at this point. I actually think chicken legs are a nice alternative – they are less fatty and more meaty and you can still get that nice crunchy skin on the outside of it.

Martha’s recipe includes these ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

a 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed

1 serrano chile

2 lbs chicken wings

Martha says to mix everything but the wings in a baking dish, add the wings, toss to coat, and bake at 300 for an hour, then increase the temp to 450 for 30 minutes. Martha says to serve with the sliced chile. I skipped that part.

This recipe was pretty good. The legs came out nice and brown and the sauce had a good flavor. It made one hell of a mess in the baking dish though- all the additional sauce burned. I’m actually still scrubbing and soaking it. I’m not wild about fish sauce in general, but it did add a nice note to this sauce.

Now onto to my recipe. This is an adaptation of a recipe in Buffalo Spree magazine.

5 lbs wings, tips discarded, cut into two sections

2 cups honey

1 cup tamari

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp garlic salt

Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375. Arrange the wings and pour the sauce over them, turning to coat completely. Bake for one hour.  Turn the wings and continue to bake for 10 to 30 minutes. The time differential depends on how you like your wings. I like mine very dark, but not burned.  I also find that it will depend on your oven and how well you turn your roasting pan to take advantage of the hot spots in your oven.  If you like your wings spicy, add some hot sauce to the mixture. If you’re interested, traditional Buffalo wings are covered in nothing more than butter and hot sauce and taste best deep fried, but you can replicate it by roasting the wings completely plain and then tossing in the butter and hot sauce mix at the very end. I find that for baking wings you have more success with a sauce like my recipe. You can make my recipe with chicken legs if you prefer.

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Prosciutto and Mushroom Quesadillas

February 22, 2010

The March (“Spring”) issue of Everyday Food has arrived! Just the word ‘spring’ gives me hope! There are lots of recipes I want to try in this issue. To get things started, I made the Prosciutto and Mushroom Quesadillas. You cook onion and garlic and mushrooms. To make the quesadillas, you place prosciutto, Gruyere cheese, the mushroom mix, and arugula on the tortillas. I used spinach tortillas. Then you heat them in a skillet to melt the cheese.

These were really, really good. And really, really easy. It felt much more exciting than making a sandwich for dinner. I would definitely make this again. I love the fact that it is a quesadilla, but isn’t Mexican.

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Martha Mondays: Spinach Frittata

February 16, 2010

Thanks to Karen at At Least Twice a Week for making this week’s pick, Spinach Frittata from Feb Everyday Food.

I haven’t eat spinach in a LONG time, since my recent bout with kidney stones, since it is on the list of foods that cause them for me.  I was ready to try spinach again (at least a small amount) so I was glad this was the pick. This recipe was in the cooking for one section of the mag. I only made one portion and Mr. MarthaAndMe shared it as part of dinner. I did not make the green salad Martha has with it.

The frittata was easy to make. Cook some shallot and wilt the spinach. Beat an egg and 2 egg whites. Add some Gruyere, mix it together and bake in a hot ovenproof bowl with more cheese on top. Simple and delicious. And also very quick. I liked it a lot.

We’re going to skip Martha Mondays next week and resume on March 1. The selection for March 1 will be up on Feb 23, so check back for that.

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Caesar Salad for Two (times two)

February 10, 2010

The recipe for Caesar Salad for Two is part of the eat out at home section in Jan/Feb Living. Mr. MarthaAndMe is a huge Caesar salad fan, so I thought I would make it for him one night. As I was feeding four, I doubled the recipe. The ingredients were pretty standard for the dressing – 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, 2 garlic cloves, 4 anchovy fillets, 3 tsp Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Martha says to use egg yolks or pasteurized egg yolk. I don’t like to use raw egg and did not have any pasteurized, so I did what I always do in Caesar dressing – I substituted mayo. I used about 4 tbsp. I whizzed this up in the Cuisinart and then added about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

I served it over romaine lettuce and used (gasp!) store bought croutons, although Martha says to make your own (and I do like to do that sometimes, but just didn’t feel like it).

Mr. MarthaAndMe loved it. Teen Martha thought the dressing was a bit strong – and it was quite garlicky. I would use less garlic next time – just one clove I think.  Other than that, this was pretty good. Just as a note, I have made Caesar dressing in the past and used anchovy paste when I didn’t have whole anchovies hanging around and it works beautifully.

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Heart Sandwich Cookies

February 5, 2010

The recipe for this is on the back page of Jan/Feb Everyday Food. I was dying to make them since they looked so cute, and had healthy ingredients like rolled oats and whole wheat flour in them!

I mixed up the dough and refrigerated it. When I went to roll it out, it was kind of a mess. It was very crumbly. I gave up on the rolling pin and just used my hands since it was the only way I could get to stick together somewhat. I ended up with a thicker dough than Martha said – I just could not get it thinner without crumbling.

Even though I mumbled and grumbled under my breath as I was making this one, it did turn out reasonably well. The cookies are crunchy and hearty. They are filled with Nutella, which my kids are simply nuts about. My cookies are a bit bigger than Martha’s suggested size – I didn’t have a 2 inch heart cookie cutter and had to use a bigger one. Even with all of those bumps in the road, these were good, and quite cute too! This is a cute cookie for Valentine’s Day.

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Lemon Icebox Cookies

January 28, 2010

Looking for a yummy lemon cookie? This is a good one. Lemon Icebox Cookies from Jan/Feb Everyday Food were a winner here. I made half a batch of this since it said it made 60 cookies. You make the entire thing in the Cuisinart which is a nice quick solution that I loved! You do have to chill the dough after you make it, which adds some time to this. Once the log of dough is chilled, Martha says to roll it in sugar, then slice it. I think if I made this again, I might do something to the cookies after slicing – they looked pretty plain with just a little sugar on the sides.

They were wonderful though. They taste like a lemon shortbread, but just a bit lighter. They would be wonderful with tea or to serve to people after a nice lunch.  I enjoyed them a lot and everyone in the house gives them a thumbs up!

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Chicken, Ginger and Mango in Parchment

January 13, 2010

Parchment again? Yup. I got a lot of comments when I made salmon in parchment. I was so happy with it, that I was excited to try Chicken, Ginger and Mango in Parchment from Jan/Feb Everyday Food.

I think I am in love with parchment paper cooking. This was so easy. You cut up a mango, cut chicken breasts in half (so they are thinner) and use one cutlet per packet, make matchsticks from an inch of peeled ginger, toss in some cilantro, salt and pepper and a dash of olive oil and wrap it all in parchment (just fold it over and twist the ends) and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375. Done! You serve 4 people. No baking dish to clean up, so saute pan. Truly magnificent.

And this was so flavorful! We squeezed lime on it when eating. It was tropical and bright and was a wonderful bright dish to have on a cold winter night. I am a huge fan of this dish and am going to make it again and again. I served it with some rice and another vegetable. Truly fabulous.

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Beef Rolls on a Hard Night

January 12, 2010

Although I had hoped that 2010 would be a drama-less year for us, we’ve already started out with a few medical issues hanging over our head. Hopefully everything will turn out to be minor, but I would appreciate your good thoughts until we get some answers from upcoming tests. I had a hard day after learning about the latest possible medical complication and after allowing myself time to stew and worry, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and decided keeping busy was the best plan. Fortunately, there was lots to keep me busy. First we put away all the Christmas decorations (and considering it usually takes an entire weekend to get them up, getting them down in a day was an accomplishment). Once that ginormous task was done, I piddled around the house doing laundry and other household tasks. Mr. MarthaAndMe turned on the tv and my favorite movie of all time (Same Time Next Year with Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda) was on.  We watched the last half of it and I had a good cry, which I always do with that movie,but which was especially cathartic that day.

Then it was time to make some dinner. I felt unmotivated, but knew I had some sliced top round in the freezer, which I bought to make Martha’s Beef Rolls with Spring Salad. So I got them out and got to work. I was leery of this recipe because I was afraid the beef was going to be tough. I also had to get a little creative. Mr. MarthaAndMe and I had the beef rolls as described in the recipe (sans salad – I made a pasta with broccoli in it instead), but Dude Martha doesn’t like cheese, so I left that out of his. Teen Martha doesn’t like peppers, so I made hers with just cheese.

These took forever to cook. Finally I ended up covering it to get it cook quicker, but it was still almost too pink inside for my tastes.

Yes, I just dumped these on a plate and did not make it look pretty – some days just getting food on the table is an accomplishment.

As for taste, it was ok. I thought the beef was a little tough, especially at the edges. I liked the peppers and onion and cheese. It was kind of like a cheesesteak in a way. It’s hard to make these without the cheese oozing out all over the place, unfortunately. It was fine, but I wasn’t wild about it. I probably wouldn’t make this again.

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