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"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Discordant Courses

Some foods that are perfectly good, just don't complement one another.  But given what's in the fridge and garden, they make their way to the table.  Tonight's dinner was a composition of green bean and tomato salad with basil (all from the garden), swiss chard (from the garden) with beans and sausage and some homemade sweet potato gnocchi that were in the freezer and needed to get cooked.

The three made for a rather discordant melody of flavors.  Oh, well.  We're not starving.
Colorful Garden Bean and Tomato Salad
Swiss Chard, Cannellini Beans and Sausage
(See Escarole and Beans elsewhere on this blog)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
(see recipe elsewhere on this blog)
The Sum of the Parts

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pasta alla Prima Verdura - First Vegetables of Summer

Pasta, First Vegetables of Summer as we don't really get vegetables in the "Primavera"

We had this tonight, but I made it yesterday except for the actual pasta.  It's a variation on chicken cacciatore or chicken with peppers.  It takes a few pots and pans.

First fry up some chicken parts - I used chicken legs and some boneless breast.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder while cooking.  Cook thoroughly but do not overcook.  Also fry up some Italian sausages.

In a large saucepan add a half to two thirds or all of a can of tomato puree or for a lighter sauce, use whole or crushed tomatoes.  Add four or five leaves of fresh basil.  Add the chicken and sausage and bring to a simmer.
In a separate pot saute some garlic in olive oil.  Add a sliced onion.  Then add a medium zucchini or a small zucchini and a small yellow squash.  Add two or three handfuls of green beans (stringless, Romano, yellow or any other variety - I mixed all of the aforementioned) cleaned and cut in half.  Stir the veggies occasionally while cooking over medium/high heat.  They should produce a bit of their own juices to steam in but do not overcook.
Once the vegetables are steamed through, add them to the tomato/chicken/sausage sauce.  Simmer until the chicken is easily removed from the bone.

Serve over pasta.  Garnish with shredded mozzarella and parmesan.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Green Beans of the Summer

Picked a good handful of beans this afternoon and wondered how I would use them.  I remembered I bought some mushrooms and peppers yesterday, had some frozen shrimp, an onion, garlic, a little hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, a little rice...
 Stir fried veggies with sautéed shrimp in garlic over white rice.  Nice. Easy, except I used 2 skillets and a pot - hate the clean-up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lazy Leftovers

We often go out for dinner on Friday evening.  Nothing fancy, just the old standbys Blondies' for a burger or fish and chips or Chinese or pizza.  But Leon looked frazzled when he got home from work and when I mentioned going out he didn't have to say more than "If we have to" which means "I really don't want to go out".
So, last night's pasta dish became tonight's Mac and Cheese.  Made a quick roux with butter, flour, milk.  Added whatever cheeses were in the fridge including cheddar, muenster, sour cream, and parmesan (add after turning off the heat).  Pour the whole thing into a casserole with the leftover pasta with broccoli and sausage (hum, where's all the sausage?).  A little breadcrumbs on top.  Into the oven for a bit.  Dinner was ready again in no time.
It's a long weekend, so we're likely to eat out at least once.