Ciao, all!Our Foodie Trio on table

Are you getting ready for the big day?  We are too.  But we don’t like big “ta-do’s” so we are going to spend it gobbling up our own Favorite Foodie Trio!  For us, “it don’t get no better than this!”  Take a look:

Pizza with Pizzaz

The Chef found an amazing pizza dough recipe on Allrecipes.com and it inspired his own creation.

Pizza Dough:

This dough takes preparation.   So it’s best to plan ahead!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 tsp white sugar

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 ½-cups all-purpose bread flour

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.molding pizza dough in pan

Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat with dough hook or work with your hands until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and roll into a somewhat rectangular or round shape to fit your pan.  The Chef used a 10” x 14” rectangular pan with a silicon liner.  (Grease the pan if you are not using a silicon liner.)

Transfer crust to a pizza pan or baking sheet.  Cover again and let it rise for another hour before adding toppings.

Toppings:

Ingredients:

(mix and match to your taste)

6 slices American cheese

4 marinated artichoke hearts

12 pitted black olives, sliced

12 grape tomatoes (halved)

1 tbsp pine nuts

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheesePizza before cooking

Pizza Preparation:

Spray dough in the pan with canola oil cooking spray, concentrating on the edges of the crust.

Spread on your favorite toppings.  The Chef started with a base of six slices of America cheese then added the remaining toppings.  (If you want to add tomato sauce, add to the top of the cheese layer.)

Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  When done, the crust will make a hollow thump when tapped with your finger.

Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

NachosNachos in Cast Iron Pan

Ingredients:

1/2 bag of nacho chips

1 can refried beans, warmed until soft

1 small can green chilies

3 slices of American Cheese

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

Layer the chips in an oven-proof pan or dish.  We used a 10-inch cast iron skillet!

Cut the American cheese slices in half and arrange on top of the chips.

Dollop the refried beans and green chilies on top of the chips and cheese.

Dress it all up with the Mozzarella cheese and place in the preheated oven at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).  If you just made the pizza, your oven is ready!

Bake until the chips begin to brown.

And as for the Antipasto Salad, check out our blog titled, “Late Night Antipasto Salads with Low-Cal Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing!

And there you have it!  The most delicious Foodie Trio that you’ll ever dig into!

Hope your team wins!

A presto!

Katherine and The Chef

Ciao, everyone!  And a Happy 2013 to you, as well!

The Best Antipasto!

The Best Antipasto!

We’ve been travelling, so there hasn’t been much time for cooking.  I’ve missed reaping the benefits of The Chef’s culinary delights!  Now that we are settled in (for a while any way),  we have been enjoying our late-night dinners once again.  This week, I was treated to my absolutely most favorite salad:

The Antipasto!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 dozen pitted black olives
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 sweet red and yellow peppers
  • 2 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 4 ounces sliced American cheese
  • 1/8-ounce Italian salami (thinly sliced)
  • 1/8-ounce Prosciutto (thinly sliced)
  • 1 dozen grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
1. Saute the onions and peppers in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender.
2. Break up the lettuce on each plate and arrange the toppings.
3. Sprinkle each plate with grated parmesan cheese and pepper to taste.
4.  Mange!

The Chef topped it off with a revised edition of a salad dressing that I found via Pinterest from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Low-Calorie Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

Another Version of The Antipasto with the Low-Fat Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

Another Version of The Antipasto with the Low-Fat Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp Splenda or other sugar substitute
  • 1/4-cup red onions, finely grated (about 1/4 of a large red onion)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2-tsp sea salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1-cup canola oil

(This will make about 18 ounces of salad dressing.)

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl and serve in a cruet!

Then, simply enjoy over your favorite salads!

We think that you will enjoy our salad and the revised edition of Mel’s sister-in-law, Mary’s delicious dressing!

We are looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday – the food more than the sport!  And we will be sharing Our Foodie Trio with you next week!

A presto,

Katherine and The Chef

Ciao, everyone!

We are busy getting ready for the Christmas Celebration at Grandma Rotolo’s!  We are arriving at her house on Christmas Eve, so The Chef had to get dinner “started” and frozen so that we could celebrate in the only way that we know how….antipasto (not frozen, of course) and Chicken Cacciatore with none other than Marie’s Tomato Sauce and Meatballs!  There’s absolutely no other way to do it in our family!  And since Marie Rotolo’s (my mom) sauce and meatball recipes are delicious and oh-so-simple to make, we decided to share them with you.  You will not be disappointed!

tomato sauce cans

Marie’s Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato Sauce
  • 3 (6-ounce) cans of tomato paste

Directions:

1. In a 8-quart cast-iron pan, heat oil over medium heat and add the garlic.  Sauté for a couple minutes stirring with a wooden spoon and then remove the pan from the heat.  Don’t burn the garlic!

2. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Add a can full of warm water for each can of tomato products added.  Stir with wooden spoon to mix well.

3.  Add meat balls (see Marie’s Meatball recipe), sausage or pork chops; as desired.  Salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Heat the sauce until it boils, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer 60 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

meat for sauce2

Marie’s Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Italian Style Breadcrumbs (as needed)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, salt and pepper with your hands.  Add 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and mix.  The mix will likely be very moist, so you should add more breadcrumbs until the meat can be formed into balls.  If too many breadcumbs are added, add warm water until the correct consistency is achieved.
  2. Form the meat mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs.  Then place them in a cast iron skillet that has been coated with oil.  Continue until the skillet is full.
  3. Place the skillet on the burner and heat the meatballs over medium heat. Use tongs to turn the meatballs until they are browned on all sides. They do not have to be completely cooked if you are going to finish them in tomato sauce (see Marie’s Sauce above).

OPTION: Ground Turkey tastes terrific too!

OH, and add some pork to the sauce, too!  Adds such a nice flavor.

Mmmm, I’m am so looking forward to enjoying this feast on Christmas Day.  I hope you’ll give it a try some day soon and let us know what you think.  I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed!

Sauce and meat2

A presto!

Katherine and The Chef

Savory Vegetable Soup

Savory Vegetable Soup

Ciao, everyone!

Brrrrr!  Winter is rearing its head and I am shivering to prove it!  I’ve never been a cold-weather person so, needless to say, Summer is my favorite month.

Fortunately for me, however, The Chef loves to brew up the most heart and body warming soups!  This week it was Savory Vegetable Soup!  Yum certainly is the operative word here.  Here is his take on it:

“If you are looking for an easy to make soup that will warm you up on these cold nights, try this recipe. Serve with a side salad and crusty homemade bread.”

Savory Vegetable Soup

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

2 quarts of chicken stock or canned broth

¼ cup of Olive Oil

1 tablespoon of sea salt

3 medium onions, chopped

2 large carrots, diced

3 stalks of celery, diced

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, minced

1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Just add salad!

Just add salad!

Directions:

1. In a large sauté pan or Dutch Oven, heat the oil.  Then add the onions, carrots and celery.  Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

2. Add the parsley, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook for another minute.

3. Add the chicken stock or broth and bring the soup to a boil.  Then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Finish with grated cheese.

Options:

1.  Add a can of drained cannellini or kidney beans when you add the broth.

2. Add 5 cups of tomato juice with chicken broth for a tomato soup that serves 6.

Ahhh, yes, the ultimate warm-me-upper!  Give it a try and shake off the shivers on a brisk, wintery night.  Let us know what you think!

A presto!

Katherine and The Chef

Ciao, everyone!

We’re back after a wonderful trip to Rome, NY, to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Having been born and raised in that town in Central New York, I miss the down-home, true-blue Italian cooking that can only be found there!  At one time, you could find it on every street corner.  Now, you need to look long and hard to find that kind of Italian Culinary Experience!  This time, as always, we hunkered down on the night we arrived to partake in the awesome food at The Franklin Hotel!    If you’ve ever eaten there, then ‘Nuff Said!  Anyway, time to get back to The Chef’s recipe of the week.  I think that you’ll like this one.  He’s added a nice twist at the bottom!

My goodness, I can smell it cooking as we speak!

Chicken Cacciatore  – Dutch Oven Style

Cooking Time: 80 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chicken drumsticks, thighs or bone-in chicken breasts (adjust as needed for number of servings)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 fresh mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped, undrained
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 quart Chicken Broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary and thyme.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

1.  In a 5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Sprinkle salt over chicken and cook 20 minutes, until browned on each side, turning halfway through cooking. 
 Remove from pan and set aside.

2  Add onion, green pepper and mushrooms to pan and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Drain off excess liquid.   Add chicken and remaining ingredients to onions and mushrooms; mix well.  Stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Serves 2-6 (depending upon the amount of chicken that you choose to include)

WW points plus: Use your guide to determine points based on the amount of chicken and olive oil used.  The rest of the ingredients are pretty much “gratuito!”

An Interesting Option:  Take the Dutch oven out to the gas grill.

Take it out to the Grill!

1.  Adjust the grill temp to 350 degrees F to heat the Dutch oven and cook the chicken as described above.

2.  Then lower the temperature to 300 degrees F for the second step. Once the veggies are sautéed and the other ingredients and chicken are added back to the oven, simmer for 60 minutes, adjusting the temperature to simmer the sauce without burning it.

Well, there you have it in a nutshell…or a Dutch oven, to be exact!  We hope you enjoy and

A presto!

Katherine and The Chef

A Delizioso Fall Favorite!

November 19, 2012

Hello again from the Cucina!  We have been having some scrumptious fall vegetable creations that will make your mouth water!  Always having been a fan of squash, the Chef has searched the net for flavorful ways to include it in his Italian recipe collection.  And this is what he came up with!  As with all chefs, he’s never quite satisfied with one recipe.  So, he whipped and shaped and molded the ones he’s tried, and voila!  This is his latest seasonal delight.  Mange and Enjoy!

Baked Italian Spaghetti Squash

 

A generous portion of cooked squash in baking dish.

1- large spaghetti squash

2-4 second olive oil spray

¼ – cup chopped green bell pepper

¼ – cup chopped onion

½ – clove garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (drained)

1/2-cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon minced basil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 – pint of homemade (or store bought) tomato sauce

Tomato, Pepper, Basil Topping

Directions: 

1. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Place the squash in a steamer and cook covered about 25 minutes until tender. Remove and allow the squash to cool, then use a fork and scrap the squash pulp from the shells in strands. Set aside.

2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook bell pepper, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, pepper and basil to the pan and simmer for an additional two minutes. Drain the topping on a plate covered with paper towel to remove excess liquid.

3. Heat the sauce in a pan.

4. Assemble the dishes in ovenproof dishes. Place a generous portion of the cooked squash in each oil-sprayed plate. Top the squash, with the pepper, onion and tomato mixture. Smother each plate of squash with tomato sauce and 1/4-cup of mozzarella chesse.

5. Cover the plates with foil and place on a cookie sheet.

Top them off!

6. Bake 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).

Serves 2- WW Plus Points: 2 points per serving

Make ahead: Steps 1 and 2 can be prepared and refrigerated the day prior.

The sauce is soupy, kind of like my dad likes his, and makes for a nice, warm fall dinner delight!

We hope you enjoy it and that you will send us your comments!

Buon Appetito!

The Chef and Me!

…cover and put into the oven!

Add cheese…

Enjoy!

Buongiorno!

November 5, 2012

Welcome to the launching of our Parsley, Oregano and Olive Oil blog!  This is a place where Food and Wine are First and where you can share in our most delightful culinary experiences!  My favorite chef will put together some of his favorites from his recipe file, as well as plenty of new additions, for you to try.  My job in all of this is two fold:  taste and type!  I’m very adept at both of those and I look forward to my valuable role in this blogging adventure.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Our first “share” comes in the form of my favorite food – Pizza!  And, believe me, The Chef can whip up a mighty mean pizza!  This one is his:

TOMATO BASIL THIN CRUST PIZZA        

Ready for the Oven!

Ingredients

1 – Boboli or other commercial pre-cooked 12” crust

2-4 second spray of olive oil

¼-cup chopped green bell pepper

¼-cup chopped onion

½ – clove garlic, minced

1  (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (drained)

1-cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

3 – slices American cheese

1 tablespoon minced basil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional toppings: black olives, artichokes, leftover chicken (use your imagination!)

 

Directions

1.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bell pepper, onion and garlic in oil until tender.  Add the tomatoes, pepper and basil to the pan and simmer for an additional two minutes. Drain the topping on a plate covered with paper towel to remove excess liquid.

2.  Place the crust on a baking sheet.  Tear the American cheese into strips and place on crust and spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust.  Then top the pizza crust with the ingredients in the pan and any optional toppings.

3.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional).  Extend the time for extra toppings but, careful, don’t burn the crust.

Ready to Eat!

WW Plus Points tally:

Thin Crust- 24 points

Mozzarella Cheese – 8 points

American Cheese – 3 points

Total=35 points (add extra points as needed for additional toppings)

Serves 2 for 18 points per slice

Serves 4 for 9 points per slice

Serves 6 for 6 points per slice

This was a quick and easy prep recipe that proved to be a winner for a spur-of-the-moment dinner!

We hope you will try it and let us know what you think!

Until next time,

Buon Appetito!

The Chef and Me!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.