Archive for January, 2010


January 31, 2010

Dad…recipes, please?
Posted by Chammer

Dad (or Mom),

Could you please post three recipes sometime soon?

Vegetable Soup
Minestrone Soup
Foccacia Bread

Thanks, love you!!! 🙂

Side Dishes

Roasted Potato Salad
Posted by Chammer


Betsy just requested this one… 

I love this potato salad, especially living in California, because we can get such fresh veggies.  I’m not a huge fan of mayo/mustard potato salad, so this kind of mixes it up.  It’s beautiful on the plate too! I can’t access the Roasted Potato recipe part, so we always just guess how many potatoes to use (we use 2lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, spread them on a roasting pan with olive oil and S&P, roast at 450 degrees until soft), or you can just use the recipe for Roasted Potatoes posted below by Betsy.  I love the flavor of roasted Yukon Golds and the roasted corn. Yum!

Roasted Potato Salad

recipe courtesy

1 ear fresh corn, in the husk
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups red, yellow, or orange cherry tomatoes (or a combination), halved
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
2lbs roasted Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes
3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Remove the husk and put the corn on a small baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tsp. of the oil onto the corn and rub it over all the kernels. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast, turning the cob occasionally, until the corn kernels are light brown in a few spots, about 20 minutes. Let the corn cool. Cut the kernels from the cob.

Add the corn, tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers, onion, basil, and garlic to the potatoes. Toss gently. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the vinegar together and add to the salad. Toss again. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

From Fine Cooking 80, pp. 50
September 1, 2006

Main Dishes,Turkey

January 30, 2010

Stuffed Shells
Posted by Chammer

Tags: ,

I made this for Will and he said he might not ever eat regular stuffed shells again…I was thinking the same thing.

Then I told Mama about it, and she wanted me to make it for her and Daddy. And Dad WANTED it.  He kept harassing me about making it! Goes great with California Syrah!

Stuffed Shells

Recipe courtesy Giada de Laurentis


  • 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

Arrabbiata Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

Yield: approximately 6 cups


Main Dishes,Pork,Soup

Pork Fat Rocks, Exhibit A
Posted by betsyjo

Tags: ,

It’s winter in the Midwest, which causes me to seriously doubt some of my life choices.  Why would one choose to live in a place where the sun doesn’t shine for a week at a time?  When there are plenty places in the world where people don’t have to worry about wind chills and temperatures below zero, why do I live in Illinois, of all places?  But, the silver lining is that I love soup.  Not only is it filling and warming, but it freezes well and is great for taking to work.  What more could you ask for?

So I present to you tonight’s dinner.  Yes, this particular Friday night, I stayed in, made soup, and ate KALE.  It’s rough living such a glamorous life.  This soup starts out with sausage, which definitely makes the soup.  The kale is good – this is only the second time I’ve cooked with it – but I might prefer this soup with zucchini or spinach (just barely cooked).  Or maybe I needed to chop the kale a little more; it doesn’t cook down as much as spinach.  In any case, thought I would share because this is a really easy recipe that turned out pretty tasty!

Sausage, Cannellini, and Kale Soup
modified from Fine Cooking, Via Serious Eats

1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 large cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken broth
Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. Lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 4 firmly packed cups)
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1Ă—3 inches; optional)
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling. Cook until browned about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the broth, beans, kale, and Parmigiano rind (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Side Dishes

Simple Roasted Potatoes
Posted by betsyjo

Tags: ,

I made these last weekend, and they really are the perfect roasted potatoes.  There’s nothing fancy about them, (this is more a technique than anything else), and I’m sure you can add a thousand different things to them to suit your tastes.  But these came out crunchy and delicious!

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

From Chocolate and Zucchini

– 2 1/2 pound potatoes (waxy or floury — both types will work equally well)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
– kosher salt

Serves 4 generously.

Preheat the oven to 410°F.

If your potatoes are smooth-skinned, scrub them well and peel them in alternative stripes so that strips of skin remain. If, on the other hand, the skin of your potatoes is rugged and grainy, peel it off completely (no need to scrub) then rinse the potatoes well in cold water.

Cut the potatoes into even chunks, about the size of a bite. Place them in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them, cover with cold water, and add a teaspoon coarse salt. Set over high heat, cover, bring to a low boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

As soon as the water boils, pour the fat into a rimmed baking sheet, and place the sheet in the oven, so the fat and baking sheet will heat up.

After the 5 minutes of boiling, drain the potatoes — they will not be cooked at that point — and return them to the saucepan. Place a lid on the saucepan. Holding the lid firmly shut with both hands (the saucepan will be hot, so wear oven mitts or use dish towels), shake the saucepan vigorously for a few seconds, until the surface of the potato chunks is fuzzy; this will help the formation of a crust.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, pour the potatoes onto the sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and stir well to coat with the fat.

Return to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes halfway through, until cooked through (when you insert the tip of a knife in one of the pieces, it should meet no resistance), crusty, and golden.

Serve immediately.