Monday, April 30, 2012

Meatless Entree...

Does the idea of cutting meat out of your menu rotation scare you or entice you?  It is very easy to do, it just takes a little planning and with the help of Forkful of Simplicity and this blog it is all very possible.  There are so many options for a meatless supper...pasta, veggies, fish.  Meatless entrees are endless and can be just as satisfying as a meal with meat.  Start tonight with Spinach and Feta Pie other wise known as...


Pam Spray
2 Sheets Puff Pastry (thawed at room temperature)
1 Box Frozen Spinach (thawed with all liquids squeezed)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
Low fat Feta Cheese (crumbled)
Salt / Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Dill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam Spray
Gently unfold 1 puff pastry sheet and gently place it in the bottom of baking pan
In a medium size bowl mix the spinach, eggs,cottage cheese, feta, salt, pepper and dill
Spread mixture in pan
Top with second sheet of puff pastry
Tuck the corners of the puff pastry
Place pie in oven and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-8 minutes before cutting into squares

***Make sure all liquid is squeezed from the spinach, it should be as dry to the touch as possible, this will ensure your pie will not be watery or soggy.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner...

Indeed it is Thursday and the week is winding down - finally - it has been a long week I think and what better way to round out the work week with some chicken.  Chicken cutlets are so verstile and delicious especially when they are just breaded and cooked to a golden brown.  So how about chicken cutlets tonight for dinner with some peas & bacon and your favorite potato!  Enjoy...

The Classic Chicken Cutlet
Boneless / Skinless Chicken Cutlets 
1 Zip Lock Bag 
2 Cups Bread Crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees 
Place chicken cutlets in Zip Lock Bag 
Add Bread Crumbs
Seal zip top and shake till chicken is covered with bread crumbs 
Remove Chicken from bag and place in oven proof dish 
Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and bake for
15 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside

Peas & Bacon
1 Frozen Bag of Peas (thawed)
1 Small Onion (minced)
Olive Oil
4-5 Slices Pre-Cooked Bacon (crumbled)

Coat the bottom of  a pan with olive oil
Add onion and season with salt/pepper
Saute for 4-5 minutes
Add peas and saute about 5 minutes or until warmed
Put peas in a bowl and toss with bacon
Serve warm

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just Roast It...

In a recent conversation with my mother we were talking about cooking dinner, of course because what else would we be talking about, and she said well you roast everything...and that is correct!  Roasting is my favorite cooking method for vegetables.   I just love that crispy, caramelized delicious flavor of a roasted vegetable.  In my opinion it gives the vegetable life and flavor.  It is the complete opposite of a boiled, limp, bland vegetable that nobody wants to eat.  Now granted I am sure that there is a vegetable that cannot be roasted and when I find it I will let you know but in the meantime let's roast veggies.

Roasted Greens
1 lb. Green Beans (cleaned)
Medium Onion (sliced)
Olive Oil
2 Handfuls Pecans (chopped fine)
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350
In a bowl toss the beans and onion with olive oil
Season with salt/pepper
Lay beans on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes
After 10 minutes turn beans over and roast for an additional 10 minutes
Remove from oven
Toss with pecans and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busy Bee...

I know, I know it has been a while since I posted and I appologize for that.  I have been working on the new recipes, cooking tips, a second Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook, deciding whetether to self publish or traditional publish, taking pictures... loads and loads of amazing decisions and endless possiblities.  None of these are valid excuses for not posting so lets begin with a new and amazing recipe shall we...

Grilled Skirt Steak with Oven Roasted Broccoli Raab

This recipe is amazing.  It is so simple to prepare, minimal ingredients, and little prep work for a flavor and a taste that cannot be denied as something less than wonderful. The flavor of the meat up against the bitterness and garlic bite of the broccoli raab is fabulous and best of all it is a team effort.  Tony grills the meat and I prepare the broccoli raab all in about 20 minutes.  So grab your spouse, a loved one, a friend, a neighbor - get a bottle of red wine and make this meal...Enjoy!   

Grilled Skirt Steak 
1 1/4 lb. Skirt Steak
Vegetable Oil
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Fresh Ground Sea Salt

Preheat grill
Bring the steak to room temperature
Lightly coat steak with vegetable oil
Season with black pepper (to taste)
Place steak on the grill over medium heat
***Grill for 5-6 minutes per side
Remove steak from grill and season with a touch of salt
Let the steak it rest for 3-4 minutes
Cut steak on a bias and serve along with broccoli raab

***Adjust your cooking time for desired doneness of steak.  5-6 minutes will result in a medium/rare steak***

Oven Roasted Broccoli Raab
2 Large Heads Broccoli Raab 
Cloves of Garlic (sliced thin)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
Rinse and dry the top of the broccoli raab 
Carefully cut the broccoli raab above the twist tie and discard the bottom stems 
Separate the broccoli raab evenly among two non-stick cookie sheets
Sprinkle the garlic over the two pans of broccoli raab 
Season with salt/pepper 
Coat with olive oil and toss with your hands 
Place in oven for 15 minutes 
Remove from oven and re-season with a pinch of salt and toss 
Cool slightly before serving 

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter...

What an amazing time of the year filled with new life, love and all around goodness for all of us to share.

I can remember a s a child preparing for Easter dinner with my grandparents.  Everything revolved around the food - everything always revolved around the food - and that was fine by me.  Nana and Pop would start Easter preparations at the beginning of Easter week.  Meat pies, sweet pies, and homemade macaroni were always at the top of the list along with prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe - my favorite!

What a glorious spread they would serve, never short of anything.  Appetizer, macaroni, main entree, side dishes, fruits, nuts, coffee (black and brown), and dessert.  A five star restaurant would have trouble keeping up the pace with Nana and Pop in the kitchen.  Those memories are etched in my mind forever and as we prepare for this beautiful holiday I hope that your table is filled with the same bountiful goodness, the same delicious aroma of your family's traditional Easter food, as well as peace and love...Happy Easter!

Pizzagaina - Traditional Italian Meat Pie

2 lbs. Ricotta
1/4 lb. Thin Sliced Hard Salami (chopped)
1/4 Thin Sliced Pepperoni (chopped)
1/2 lb. Prosciutto(chopped)
2 Cups Grated Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Eggs
2 (9 inch) Deep Dish Pie Shells
1 Pie Sheet (cut into strips)
Beaten Egg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl combine ricotta, meats,cheeses and eggs
Mix well
Evenly distribute among pie shells
Place strips over each pie in lattice pattern
Brush the top of each pie with lightly beaten egg
Bake 1 hour
Remove from oven and cool before slicing
Serve at warm or at room temperature

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