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

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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