Saturday, January 14, 2012

Italian Beef Stew

This is an old family favorite.  I found the recipe when we first got married and have been cooking it ever since.  It also freezes well so when I cook it, I usually cook at least a double portion.

Italian Beef Stew

1 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes
3 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can tomatoes, cut up
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large, heavy saucepan, brown the beef in hot oil.  Remove and set aside.  Add onion, celery and garlic to pan drippings; saute until tender.  Return beef to pan and add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender.  Serve alone or over noodles.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lemon Sticky Roast Chicken

This is a standard in my house and VERY much loved.  It can be cooked regular (350 until done) or with this method but I find this way turns out REALLY good and it's great when I'm busy in the afternoon.

Lemon Sticky Roast Chicken

6-7 lb. whole chicken roaster
1 tsp. each:  salt (up to 2 tsp.), paprika, onion powder, sage, garlic powder and lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 lemon

Put chicken in baking pan and squeeze lemon over the skin.  Mix all spices and rub on the outside and inside of the chicken.  Put the quartered lemon in the cavity.  Roast at 250 degrees for 5 hours, ignoring the pop-up timer if there is one.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Williams Sonoma Baked Ziti

This was delicious!!!  Hubby doesn't like baked ziti because it's just....baked ziti.  This one he loves.  He rated it a 9.5 just because he can't quite get it up to those few things that are his favorite.  :)  The kids all gave it a 9.5 to a 10 so that means it stays in the rotation!!!  I changed the recipe a bit to make sure it was enough for my family so I'll post the link to the original recipe but I'll post what I actually made.

Here's the original recipe:

Here's mine:

Baked Ziti with Eggplant and Sausage

4 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 lb. ziti, cooked until al dente
2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/3 cup rinsed, chopped Kalamata olives
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.  In a 10" nonstick fry pan over medium high heat, warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil.  Add the sausage and cook, stirring and crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

2.  Discard all but 1 Tbsp. of the fat in the pan.  Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm 2 tspl of the olive oil.  Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

3.  Set the pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Add the onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits.  Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

4.  Add the sausage, basil, olives, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce to the bowl with the eggplant and stir to combine.  Add to the pasta (use a large bowl or the pot the pasta was cooked in).  Season with the salt and pepper.  Transfer the pasta mixture to a large casserole and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.