Category Archives: cooking

Chicken Sung & Soba Noodles

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Yummy, simple and healthy!  This is a great weeknight dinner.

Sauce:
1/2 cup Soy, 5 tbls rice wine vinegar, 4 gloves crushed chopped garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 3 chopped scallions, bunch chopped cilantro, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp chili oil..2 tbls water

For the Chicken Sung:
Saute 1 onion, 5 cloves smashed garlic and finely chopped carrots (about 2 large carrots) for about 5 minutes. Cut up large boneless chicken breasts into cubes (about 6 breasts), add the chicken to saute pan…add chopped mushrooms (one container). Let this cook on medium for about 6-8 minutes, add chopped cilantro and grated fresh ginger and lots of chopped scallions (at least 6).  When chicken is cooked through, add about 4 tbls of the above sauce to pan. Use the rest of this glorious sauce on your lettuce wraps as eat them.

Noodles:
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and are much better for the waistline. They are half the calories of pasta, and half the glycemic index as pasta. Buckwheat has been known to help with both metabolism and cardio vascular support. I love them… they have a nice warm nutty-ish flavor. They take about 6-8 minutes to cook in boiling salted water…then drain and toss with about 1 tbls sesame oil, 1 tbls soy sauce, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions and I like to thaw one bag of frozen edamame and throw them in as well… i also like to add hot chili oil.
(Endless possibilities here… sometimes I add rice wine vinegar, fresh Garlic, and diced red peppers…)

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Paella

Who does not LOVE Paella!   As a child, my father would take us to a Spanish restaurant in Greenwich Village called Sevilla, it was one of his favorite places to eat while he was attending law school at Brooklyn Law.   As far as I know it’s still there.

This was my first attempt at Paella and I felt it necessary (after reading a shlew of recipes) to purchase a Paella pan.  I picked this one up at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $30.00  and I have to say it worked out very well.  I don’t have a recipe (although I will try to get one together when I make it again) because I sort of combined 3 or 4 different ones that I liked.  It’s a pretty easy to make, just a little time consuming and takes a little organizing and prep work.  I made this one with muscles, clams, scallops, lobster, shrimp, calamari, chicken and chorizzo.  This is a great dish to make for a large crowd!  I will definitely be bringing this one back!

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italian easter ring

2 pkgs active dry yest

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup scalded milk, cooled

1/2 cup soft butter

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups sifted flour

3/4 tsp salt

4 egg yolks slightly beaten

2 TBS slivered citron

1 TBS slivered orange peel

1/2 cup raisins

8 hard cooked eggs colored (i use less, maybe 4)

1 cup confections sugar

1 TBS milk

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl soften yeast in warm water.  Scald milk and cool.  In mixer gently beat butter, sugar, salt yolks, citron, orange peel and raisins.  Add to this 1 cup flour.  Add softened yeast.  Beat in remaining flour.  Toss on a floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.  Shape into a ball.  Place in an oiled bowl.  Brush the top of the dough with oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, divide into 2 or 4 pcs.  (can make two rings if you like with 4 pcs)

Shape each pc into a long roll  that can either be twisted together or braided together.  Shape into a circle and nest the colored eggs in between the dough.  Brush top of dough with melted butter.  Cover.  Let rise until it doubles in bulk.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes until golden.  While warm brush (or drizzle) top with the combined confectioners sugar and milk.

First rising time: 2hours  Second rising time:  1 hour

(will post pics in a few days)

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healthy low point stuffed chicken cutlet

Splurge on the weekend and eat really healthy during the week!  I cannot be on a diet 24/7, it just wont work for me.  I am a lover of food and the kitchen and nothing will ever change that, so I try to incorporate balance in my eating and cooking lifestyle.

I am actively on weight watchers.  I am trying to lose about 10 lbs by spring!  So far, I have lost 5 (it’s been almost 2 weeks).  So, here is a quick and easy (and very yummy!!) recipe.  You can use whatever you like, whatever you have in the house.  This recipe is never the same, I always change according to what I have in the house, or what looks fresh in the market.  Sometimes spinach and feta, or basil and tomato, or mozzarella or goat cheese or… just a sprinkle of pecorino (a big calorie saver)!  This time, I had leftover broccoli rabe with cannelloni beans from dinner the night before, and that is what I used to stuff my chicken breast!  I also had the laughing cow light cheese triangles…so i used 1/2 of one in each cutlet!  (only .5 point)!!

BTW, my husband who is not on WW loves this recipe too!

Ingredients:

  • thin sliced chicken cutlets (4, 3 1/2 ounce cutlets)
  • 3 egg whites
  • tbls mustard
  • 1 tbls parsley (fresh or dried)
  • salt and pepper
  • spinach (box frozen, squeeze out moisture, or use fresh leaves (uncooked)
  • sundried tomatoes (6 pcs)
  • pignoli nuts (or walnuts, pecans, chestnuts…)
  • 2 laughing cow light swiss or garlic (use just 1/2 per piece of chicken)
  • 1/4 tsp grated cheese (peccorino or parmesan) for sprinkling on chicken
  • 1 tsp grated cheese to be added to breadcrumb mixture
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup unprocessed bran

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray glass dish with olive oil.  Combine egg whites, parsley s&P in a bowl.  Whisk.  Add chicken.  Separate plate combine breadcrumb, bran and 1 tsp of grated cheese, mix.  Dip chicken in breadcrumbs.  Layer tomato, spinach, cheese and pignolias, roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Bake in oven for about 45 minutes.  Each one is about 4 -5 points on WW (depending on which cheese you use)!

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sunday dinner

eggplant fritti

fried chicken cutlets

braciole

sausage

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stuffed artichoke or carciofe

There is nothing more delicious and special than a stuffed artichoke.  My parents made these as a special treat for us growing up.  Sometimes cooked in the oven, sometimes on the stovetop.  This yummy spiral journey  begins by eating each leaf, packed with yummy breadcrumbs and a bit of artichoke.  You must scrape the leaf between your teeth.  Like climbing down a flight of stairs anticipating the last step, you come to the heart.  Ahhhh.  Joy.  Be sure to remove all the fuzzy hairy fibers or “choke” that sit atop, protecting the jewel of this glorious vegetable.

Here is what I think is the best and “foolproof” way of making an artichoke.

First wash the artichoke.  Pull off the outer tough leaves, and then with a scissor trim each leaf so the tips are blunt. Next, with a very sharp knife cut off the top third of the artichoke.  I leave the “choke” intact, i don’t mess with it.  Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil, drop carciofe in the water and let cook for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from water, drain excess water.  Stuff them with breadcrumb mixture.

Breadcrumb mixture:

2 cups breadcrumb, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1/2 cup  grated pecorino, bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped, handful of basil leaves chopped, black pepper, 1/2 cup chicken stock

Stir mixture together stuff carciofe (artichoke) and drizzle each one with olive oil.  Roast in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes to one hour.  Cover with foil for first 30 minutes.  You will know when artichoke is done if leaf pulls away with ease.

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my very first buche de noel

I have always wanted to make a bouche de noel and every christmas my mom and I agree to make one, and then chicken out.  so this year I decided I would give it a go.  I think I did ok.  I made a few mistakes that I will share with you.  First, it really helps to watch a few videos (youtube has many).  I watched several.  I chose to use  a recipe from marthastewart.com compliments of Johnny Iuzzini from Jean Georges in NY.  http://www.marthastewart.com/recipes/buche-de-noel

I changed it a little..I  did not make the chestnut cream filling, I used chocolate mousse instead.  Johnny’s genoise recipe is great and easy to roll, the ganache is great too.  You might want to double the ganache recipe, it makes it easier to have extra.  OK, so here is where I screwed up, my mousse was too soft and oozed out a bit, next time I will pop it in the freezer to really thicken it.  Also, after filling and rolling do the following :

1) pop it in the FREEZER for 1 hour.

2) then slice the ends…

3) pour ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

4) adhere stump ends

5) more ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

5) then decorate on serving platter with meringue mushrooms.

I also did not use his swiss meringue recipe.  I whipped up 6 egg whites in an electric mixer (whisk attachment!!) added 1 cup sugar and about 4 tbls of meringue powder…whipped until stiff peaks form.  Use a piping bag and tip #12 to make mushroom caps and stems.  Bake on parchment at 200 for 1 hour.

Happy Holidays!!

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