Well, I probably shouldn't do this, but I've started another Blog. Like I don't already spend too much time at the MacBook. As some of you might have guessed, I like to cook and I love to eat. So I thought I'd share my recipes, humble as they may be and an occasional dinner menu at our house. I am somewhat "reluctant" to share this project right now, but caution to the wind. The plan is to be discovered by the Food Network for my cooking show Cranky Franky's in the Kitchen.
Am I ready for critics? Probably not. I know my instructions are not always clear or precise. Let me know if something doesn't make sense. Anyhow, if you're interested, check out "Dinner's Ready"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Variation on Grandma's "Aglio e Olio"

Grandma made "agghiu ogghiu" (proper italian: aglio e olio; translation:garlic and oil) with spaghetti.  Simple and one of my favorites.  My aunt added anchovies. This version has veggies so it's so much better for you.  This serves 4 to 6.

In the time it takes to boil pasta:

Get 5 or 6 hot Italian sausages frying in the skillet.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

Peel 4 or 5 garlic cloves and put them into a small skillet with several tablespoons of olive oil, (up to 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and let them all sizzle, (add hot pepper flakes if you like),  let the garlic get a little brown but not burnt.

Wash and cut up three small heads of broccoli.

Add the pasta to the boiling water -  I like farfalle (bow ties, literally butterflies).

In another pot put a half an inch or so of water, bring to a boil and add the broccoli, cover and steam for a few minutes till cooked but still a little crunchy (al dente).

Cut the sausages into bite size pieces.

Drain the pasta, toss in the broccoli, the oil and garlic and the sausage pieces.

Serve with parmesan cheese of course.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love to Make Bread

Give us today our daily bread:

Well, I don't bake daily, but today seemed like a good day for bread.  As I've said, I really don't use a recipe, so I will have to get Leon to make a video of the baker at work one of these days.

Monday, June 13, 2011

White Pizza Night

 Last night was White Pizza Night.  Starting with my pizza dough made with King Arthur Unbleached and a little Whole Wheat.  Started with a couple of coffee mugs of warm water, a package of yeast, olive oil and salt.  After an hour and a half to two hours: Isn't that beautiful?

Getting the fillings and toppings ready:  Ricotta and spinach with some parmesan cheese, salt, pepper.

Eggplant drizzled with garlic infused olive oil, salt pepper and oregano, then oven roasted.

Onion and mushrooms oven roasted with olive oil.

I divided the dough into four pieces:

I flatten them out on the counter top with enough flour to keep them from sticking.  I don't twirl.  (Well, maybe some years ago, at the disco.)

Two of the pizzas got stuffed with the ricotta mixture and some fresh mozzarella.

The folded pizza or calzone was sealed using the Florentine Tapestry method (I made that up).  See the sealed edge of my calzone.

See the edge on the Florentine Tapestry

Put steam holes on top, then bake in a preheated HOT oven - 450 to 500 degrees

This pizza has eggplant and drizzled with more olive oil.

I recently acquired some nice asiago cheese, so grated some and put it on top.

The other pizza has the roasted onion and mushroom mixture and the asiago too.  I really shouldn't bake all of these at once, because my little 11 year old, $245 "Sears dent-and-scratch oven"* is not meant for such tasks, but I am not known for my patience.  So in they went.  If I could crank the oven to more than 500 degrees, I would have.

Here they are, waiting for everyone to dig in.  The calzone oozed out some of the filling.

Taste test:  Everyone thought they were tasty.  The onion and mushroom was a good combo.  I thought the eggplant needed something - a little more salt maybe;  I had a piece with some of the ricotta filling that had oozed out of the calzone and that was exactly what it needed: eggplant and ricotta pizza, yum.

*bring out the red robe, the crown and the bouquet of roses now

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spinach and Gorgonzola Frittata/Omelette

Spinach was on sale this week at Discount Food Outlet. Had the eggs and gorgonzola. A little salt and pepper and served up with a toasted Portuguese roll. A light and delicious meal.

The fold-over for an omelette is always a challenge for us "impatient" types; so mine always looks more like a frittata.

(Dom DeLuise explained the difference: an omelette coddles gently over low heat in melted butter, slowly cooking, then filled and delicately folded over;  a frittata, by contrast, starts by pouring half-beaten eggs into scalding hot olive oil in a frying pan over a flame as high as you can make it and it sizzles and dances among the peppers and onions and potatoes that were already in there and just this side of burnt.)
Buon Appetito.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Amateur Chili

I did not grow up eating chili.  I don't remember when I first had it, but it was probably at a picnic or pot luck.  And I must admit that I am not partial to those Southwest spices like cumin and cilantro and coriander. So when I make chili, it is usually very light on the pungent spice.  I'm also not very adventurous with things like coffee or chocolate.  I'll have my coffee with a chocolate biscotto.

The discount food market had London Broil for $1.99.  That's less than ground chuck, so I bought a slab and sliced and cut it into smaller than bite-size pieces.
Olive oil and garlic in the pot, added some chopped onion and the last of the hot lemon peppers from last year's garden that were in the freezer.  Some green pepper and the meat.  Let the meat saute with the veggies and some salt and pepper.  Then added a good spoon of chili powder and a couple table spoons of brown sugar.  There was a half can of tomato puree left from making pizza the other day, so that went in along with one large can of red beans.  It sat over a low flame for a about four hours.
The meat was tender and the chili seasoning was not overpowering.  It could have used a little more hotness but had a mild bite tempered by the sweetness of the brown sugar.
That Lettuce Leaf  and the Splash of Sauce
is What Ruined This Photo Op
Spooned it out with some grated cheddar on top, along with a nice salad and a Portuguese roll, it made for a good dinner on a hot day.  I was so hungry, I forgot to have a beer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Greens

The only thing that makes this a bit special is that we picked the first arugula from the garden tonight for our salad to accompany the pizza.  One pepperoni pizza for Leon, a sausage one for me; both with mushrooms.  Naturally we have a half of each leftover.

The pizza recipe has already been posted.

First Arugula From the Garden
Sausage and Mushroom
Pepperoni and Mushroom