Caesar Salad


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My daughter loves, loves caesar salad. She loves it so much, in fact, that every time we eat out ( which is not that often;-) she orders a caesar salad as an appetizer.

In all the years that she has asked for them, I have come to realize what a good caesar salad is. A good salad is not one that has chopped romaine lettuce, croutons,  shredded parmesan and caesar dressing. Everybody can do that!!!

A good caesar salad needs to have a real caesar dressing made from scratch!!!

Gerhard’s cafe, here in Spartanburg makes his from scratch and it is fabulous. My brother-in-law also makes a good one. I actually learned to make my dressing from him. Though in 20 years, my recipe may have changes a bit from his.

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  •  1/2 tsp of anchovy paste
  •  1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove minced or pressed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/16 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp of grated parmesan
  • salt to taste ( you may need any as the anchovies are salty
  • 2 heads of romaine salad, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more of croutons
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan
  1. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, anchovy paste, egg, lemon juice, and pepper together.
  2. In a slow stream pour the olive oil slowly in this mixture while whisking the dressing. Whisk until the dressing is thickening.
  3. Add the parmesan to the dressing and whisk.
  4. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if you deem necessary.
  5. Add the chopped salad and toss.
  6. Add the croutons, the shredded parmesan and toss again.
  7. Serve on individual plates and eat up;-)

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So easy and so yummy!!!

This salad dressing will only keep for 1-2 day as the yolk is fresh and not cooked!!! Do not keep longer!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Chicken Parmigiano


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I love Italian food, great Italian food. I love to eat it and I love to fix it. So how did I learn to make good Italian food? Well the answer is very simple. I learned it from my first boyfriend’s grandmother. She was Sicilian and she taught many wonderful recipes such as Gnocchi, Fresh Pasta, Osso Bucco and Chicken Parmigiano.

I love to fix Italian food, but like French food, many recipes takes much time to prepare and cook.  For those reasons, fixing French and Italian fare is not practical to fix on a school night. Today however I will share a quick way that will allow to fix Chicken Parmigiano in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken Parmigiano for 4-6 people:

  • 4 chicken breasts,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper,
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder,
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumb,
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan,
  • 2 eggs,
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce,
  • 1/2-1 cup of italian cheese shredded
  • oil spray
  1. Turn the oven on the 400.
  2. Clean the chicken breast of any fat.
  3. Then place one chicken breast inside the roulpat and fold the roulpat over the chicken breast.
  4. With the rolling pin, pound the chicken breast to flatten it a bit. Remove the chicken breast and repeat this process with the other ones.
  5. In a bowl, break 2 eggs and mix them with a fork. Add to it, the 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder and mix well. Then place the chicken breast in this mixture and turn it so that it will be well coated with the  egg mixture.
  6. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the parmesan.
  7. With your fingers, transfer the chicken breasts in the bread mixture  and turn the chickem so that it will be coated with the bread mixture.photo 3
  8. Take a large silpat or the deep flexipan ( previously laid on perforated sheet) and lay the chicken breasts on the it.
  9. Use an oil spray or a vegetable spray and spray the chicken breasts with the oil spray.
  10. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 13 minutes. For regular bakeware, cook the chicken for 25 minutes or until it is done. photo 1
  11. When the chicken has a nice golden color, remove it from the oven and drizzle the tomato sauce on it.
  12. Sprinkle the cheese and cook the chicken for another 5 minutes at 425 so that it can get a nice golden color. Et voila!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Parsley and Onion Risotto


Growing up my mom would either make white rice or what I used to call ” sticky rice”. She would make that “sticky rice” in many flavors. She would make it with curry, onion, parmesan, tomato… I really was not fond of that type of rice then. All i wanted was boiled white rice with a ton of butter and fresh Emmenthal… Yummm!!!

Today i love that “sticky rice”. In fact, I would rather “sticky rice” than that plain white rice au naturel.  Well, it took me many years to figure out that what she cooked all along was risotto. Isn’t it funny???

Today I will present you the recipe of parsley and onion risotto. It is yummy, easy to fix, and can accompany many meats or fish. I served it with herb coated pork tenderloin.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 8 z. of risotto rice
  • 1 purple onion sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • 4 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 5-6 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of butter or mascarpone ( optional)
  • grated parmesan ( optional)

In a medium-sized pot, warm up the olive oil so it is hot. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute them. Lower the temperature to medium/ low and continue cooking the onions until they are a light brown yellow and are soft. Then add the rice, the chopped parsley  and stir to coat with the olive oil. Pour 2 cup of hot broth over the rice and stir. Bring the mixture to boil, and when it has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook at a low temperature. Stir often. When the broth is all gone, add more and stir. Cook until the rice is al dente. When the rice is to your liking, add 2 tbsp. of butter, or 2 tbsp of mascapone, 1/2 cup of parmesan. Et voila!!! You eat it by itself or with a meat.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!