- 2 whole organic young chickens – 2 or 3 pounds each
- 1 cup flat parsley, rough chopped
- 1 bag of carrots, about 7 or 8 peeled and chopped
- 4 or 5 celery stocks washed and chopped
- 20 cups of water (filtered or bottled)
- 1 whole onion peeled
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 2 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
Noodles from Scratch
- 3 Eggs
- 2 3/4 Flour
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup of Milk
Unwrap and rinse the chickens. Make sure to take out any of the innards from the chickens. Most come with neck and livers inside, discard them. In a very large stock pot, (12 plus quarts) add the chickens, crushed garlic and the peeled yellow onion. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile use this time to peel and chop all of your veggies, setting them aside in a bowl.
After simmering for an 1 1/2 to 2 hours, remove and discard the onion. Remove the chickens and set aside to cool. Add your bowl of chopped veg and bring the stock back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the veggies and stock for about 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.
Once the chickens have cooled, carefully separate the chicken from the bones making sure to discard any funky pieces. Tear apart the chicken into small pieces with your hands. This will ensure that you have removed all of the bones and inedible pieces of chicken. Add the chicken back into the soup with the vegetables. Now for the noodles.
Noodles From Scratch -
Making the noodles (Country Noodles also sometimes called Spaetzle) from scratch is the most time consuming piece of the recipe. Up until this point we’ve chopped a few veggies and waited for time to pass. In a separate pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, salt the water with about 1 Tbsp kosher salt. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and flour. Mix until smooth.
On a clean flat cutting board pour 1/3 of the noodle batter onto the cutting board. Use a butter knife to evenly spread the batter across half of the cutting board up to one edge. While holding the cutting board over the pot of boiling water, use the butter knife to shuck (or scrape) small, even amounts of the batter into the water. Have fun with the size of your noodles, tailoring them to the size you like. Cook the noodles in batches, making sure the water continues to boil.
As the noodles rise to the top they are done cooking and can be transferred to the chicken soup with a slotted spoon or a spider. The noodles cook fast, in about 30 to 60 seconds depending on how large they are. Repeat and continue this process until no batter remains and all of the noodles have made their way into the stock pot full of soup.
I could eat pasta anytime, any day. I’m a pasta junkie. The good news for me and other pasta junkies is that pasta, and their accompanying sauces are really versatile. There is a combination for every season. A rich meaty bolognese (see here) is great on a cold winters night. With the summer upon us, I’ve got the perfect pasta recipe to share with you. I’ve been making this dish for years, to the joy of family and friends. Made with ripe cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, garlic and olive oil, this dish bursts with flavor. The tomatoes and garlic marinate in the olive oil, making a deliciously light summer sauce.
Inspired by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa -
Perfect Summer Pasta
1lbs Angle Hair Pasta
2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
5 – 6 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
15 – 20 Basil Leaves, Julienned
1/4 Cup of Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Rinse, then slice all of the cherry tomatoes in half. I used a variety of both red and yellow cherry tomatoes. In a bowl top the sliced tomatoes with 1 tsp of kosher salt. This is really important, because the salt pulls the water and flavor out of the tomatoes. This helps to make the sauce extra flavorful.
Add to the bowl, the sweet basil, red chili flakes, and garlic. Pour the olive oil into the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for 2 – 4 hours. This allows time for all of the flavors to come together.
The rest is easy. Boil your water and cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Angel Hair pasta usually cooks really fast, in just 3 – 4 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked and strained pour the tomato and olive oil sauce over the top along with the parmesan cheese, toss together. Plate, and top with a little extra parmesan cheese. If you friends and family are like mine, they will be clamoring for seconds, so make plenty.
Naan Pizza is perfect as an easy mid week dinner or a quick throw it together lunch. Kate and I on occasion order a pizza and a salad to be delivered. This Naan Pizza can be thrown together faster than you can order for delivery.
It’s easy and starts with grilling the Naan on a panini press (or in a frying pan if you don’t have a panini press). Once your Naan is hot and grilled your ready to top your Naan Pizza and broil it for just a few quick minutes to melt the cheese and warm your toppings. It’s that easy!
Heat the Naan on a Panini Press
Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and begins to turn golden brown
Presto, you’re ready to eat – Could you order delivery that fast?
For sauce you can follow the recipe below or use your favorite jared sauce (you can cheat I won’t tell. Plus it’s faster).
Pizza Sauce -
1 15 oz can of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
1/2 Can of Hunt’s Tomato Paste (The small 6 oz can)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Oregano
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. If you have time let the sauce sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors combine.
For cheese – I like to use sliced provolone (Sargento is a good choice).
Don’t forget, Pizza and a salad is a solid combination.
I am not a fan of prepackaged spice combinations. I usually mix or add my own spices depending on what I am cooking. While living in New Hampshire, my local butcher introduced me to Harris’ Pelham Inn seasoning. He told me to sprinkle a little on a prime rib roast I was purchasing. What a great recommendation! Harris’ Pelham Inn seasoning is a pretty simple spice combination with celery salt being the predominate flavor. For years I’ve been having it shipped to me from New Hampshire. It’s only available in a few local shops in the New England area. The seasoning is just incredible and is a wonderful compliment to beef and lamb!
For Easter a few years ago, I served lamb chops slathered in garlic and seasoned with Pelham Inn seasoning. I received nothing, but rave reviews. This past weekend I attempted to figure out the right combination to make my own Pelham Inn inspired seasoning. Let me tell you, it wasn’t hard. All of the ingredients were listed on the label. My attempt was a success, and I’m ready to share it with you!
I love lamb chops and adding a little minced garlic and Pelham Inn seasoning makes these little puppies explode with flavor! A side of arugula salad topped with Parmesan cheese and couscous… Can you say gourmet dinner! A gourmet dinner, made fast and with ease.
You Will Need -
Enough for 2 Portions – You can easily double or triple the recipe if desired
Amazing Lamb Chops -
1 lb Lamb Chops
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Pelham Inn Inspired Seasoning (recipe below)
Spice Rub Inspired by Pelham Inn Seasoning -
1 ½ tsp Celery Salt
½ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
Arugula Salad -
2 Large Handfuls Arugula
3 Tbs of Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, shaved
Couscous – I use Near East, Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil -
Prepare according to the directions on the box
Start your water boiling for the couscous. Combine all of your dry spices in a bowl to make the Pelham Inn inspired seasoning. Mince or press your garlic and rub each side of the lamb chops with the garlic. Sprinkle each side of the lamb chops with the seasoning. Don’t be skimpy!
In a salad bowl squeeze the juice of one lemon and add the olive oil. Mix vigorously with a whisk to create an emulsion, where the oil and lemon juice come together. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add 2 large hand fulls of arugula and toss. Cook your couscous according to the directions on the package.
Grill your lamb chops to your desired doneness. They cook very quickly, only 2 – 3 minutes on each side. I actually used a panini press to cook mine. It’s kind of like a George Forman grill on steroids. You can broil the lamb chops in an oven or cook them on a grill. Plate your lamb chops on top of a bed of couscous. place your arugula salad next to the lamb chops and top with the Parmesan cheese shavings. That’s it, a great quick gourmet dinner. Go, cook, eat and enjoy!
Questions, comments, love the dish? I would love to hear your comments below.
There is truly something special about sitting down with friends and family and sharing a meal together. It can be a wonderful time of deepening relationships that can last a lifetime. I enjoy spending time cooking for my wife’s aunt and uncle and their five children. We have made great memories over the years breaking bread together, really getting to know one another. The older kids are now off at college, so we have fewer and fewer meals all together. When we all do get to sit down together, it’s special. With college classes set to start again, we gathered for a send off meal of Beef Bolognese served over pappardelle pasta. Extra wide noodles, perfect for holding on to the thick meaty sauce.
Beef Bolognese is a delicious hearty meal with a touch of tomato, perfect for a cold day. Not a lot of prep time is required and you slow cook the sauce for several hours in a slow cooker. Slow cooking the sauce for 5 to 8 hours brings all of the great flavors together. This is a meal that can be made ahead of time, allowing you to spend more time with your friends and family.
Wintery Beef Bolognese Sauce
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Beef lean
1 lb Ground Pork
1 Cup White Wine
1 Medium Yellow Onion
3 Stalks Celery
3 Cloves Garlic
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
2 Cups Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
1 lb Pasta (I like pappardelle)
Peccorino romano cheese
In a pot heat your olive oil over medium heat. Once your oil is hot add your onions and celery and cook until translucent, 4 – 5 minutes. Add your garlic and cook 2 – 3 minutes, don’t let it darken or it will become bitter. Add your ground beef and ground pork. With a wooden spoon, break the meat apart. Cook through until no longer pink. Season with 1 Tbs of salt, 1 tsp of pepper and the garlic and onion powder. Once the meat is cooked add the wine and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chicken stock and tomato paste. Stir and let come to a simmer.
Remove from heat and transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 5 – 8 hours. I like to serve this over pappardelle. If you can’t find it you could use linguini or fettuccine. Serve Bolognese over the pasta and top with about 1 Tbs of Peccorino Romano cheese. The Peccorino adds a very nice salty element that really enhances the dish.
Saturday mornings in our house usually include, a cup of fresh brewed coffee, maybe some music for background noise and a stack of cookbooks to peruse for meal ideas for the upcoming week. My son will usually be tugging on my PJ’s looking to sit in my lap, which always makes me smile.
After evaluating the weeks activities we usually pick a few of our GO TO meals, which we conveniently keep listed in Evernote (I highly recommend it). Evernote is perfect for storing recipes or even just pictures of recipes, and both are searchable.
I like to try at least one new recipe each week. Those new recipes may just turn into GO TO recipes in the future. I also like to keep things new and fresh. Food boredom is for the birds. I will either choose a specific recipe that excites me or search for inspiration. I might look at 2 or 3 recipes for the same dish and pull out what I believe are the best aspects of each, creating a hybrid of sorts.
This weeks “lets try something new dish” turned out to be stuffed cabbage. We have a new Slow Cooker Essentials cookbook by Williams-Sonoma and have found several great recipes in it. I was a little skeptical at first, but the recipe called for bacon! What’s not to like? It was outstanding! Cabbage isn’t always a family favorite, but the way you slow cook this dish you almost don’t taste the cabbage. Sometimes cabbage dishes can be bitter, not this one! Get out of your comfort zone, take a risk, you won’t regret it!
Stuffed Cabbage – Adapted from – Essentials of Slow Cooking, Williams-Sonoma
Serves 4 to 6
1 Green Cabbage about 2 lbs
1 lb Lean Ground Pork
1/2 cup Cooked Rice (I used brown rice)
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
4 Slices Bacon
1 Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Rib of Celery, Chopped
1 Carrot, Chopped
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Fill a pot with water large enough to boil the cabbage. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees if you are crunched for time and only have an hour and a half for cooking. 200 degrees if you are going to slow cook the stuffed cabbage for several hours. (I slow cooked mine for 4 hours). Chop your vegetables and set aside. Once the water comes to a boil, place the cabbage in the water and boil for 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and set the cabbage aside to cool. In a Dutch oven (I use a Le Cruset) cook the bacon over medium heat (don’t let it burn). Once the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate covered with paper towels. Add your chopped vegetables, the onions, carrots and celery to the Dutch oven and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Remove one or two of the outer leaves from the cooked cabbage and chop, about 1/4 cup. In a bowl add your pork, green onions, rice, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Pepper, the 1/4 cup of chopped cabbage and a beaten egg. Mix all of the ingredients together with your clean hands. As the Barefoot Contessa would say “the two best tools in the kitchen.”
Once the vegetables are soft, add to the Dutch oven the caraway seeds, crushed tomatoes, red wine vinegar and the bacon crumbled. Simmer over low heat.
The cabbage should be cool enough to begin peeling the leaves from the cabbage. Carefully peel off about 12 leaves. depending on how much of the pork mixture you put in each cabbage leaf, you may only yield 8 total. Take a small handful of the pork mixture and gently roll it into a large meatball. Once pealed the cabbage leaf will take the natural form of a bowl, place the pork meatball into the thicker end of the cabbage. Fold in the sides and roll forward. Place the stuffed cabbage into the Dutch oven with the tomato sauce seam down. Repeat until all of the pork is used. Spoon some of the sauce over all of the stuffed cabbage. Cover and place in the oven.
As mentioned above – I cooked mine for about 4 hours at 200 degress, but if you are in more of a hurry you can cook it at 325 for about an hour and a half. If you decide to slow cook the stuffed cabbage for 4 hours, cover the Dutch oven with a sheet of tin foil before placing the lid on it. This will ensure that the liquid does not evaporate. Once the stuffed cabbage has cooked, plate and enjoy!
With Hurricane Ike spinning its way towards Houston just hours before making land fall, most Houstonians decided to get out of town. The memory of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans was fresh in people’s minds. Millions of Houstonians packed up their cars and tried to head north. Traffic was so bad that some sat in their cars traveling only 5 miles in a period of 8 hours.
It was easy to make the decision to “hunker down” as they say here in Texas. If we wanted to leave town, we couldn’t. The brunt of the storm was felt by Galveston Island. Our house, sitting south west of Houston was thankfully undamaged. Getting through the storm was one sleepless night, but living without power for a week was a challenge! You quickly realize how much you take electricity for granted. I was constantly flipping light switches on, and for a brief moment wondering “why didn’t that light come on?” We had no power, a freezer of defrosting meats, and little to do. It seemed like a perfect time to make Chili! Local grocery stores where either closed or had a very limited supply of ingredients. We had to make due with what was on hand. It seemed as if everything but the kitchen sink went into our chili. The original version included steak tips, ground beef and even some ground buffalo. (Feel free to add either if you would like). A little of this and a little of that made a crowd of nine say “Wow! This hurricane chili is great!” Hurricane (Ike) Chili – created September 14, 2008.
Hurricane (Ike) Chili
Makes 6 – 8 Servings
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion – Chopped fine (I use my trusty food processor)
4 Cloves of garlic – Chopped fine
1 ¼ lbs of turkey or ground beef – Your choice
1 Cup Red Wine
¼ tsp Onion Powder
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ chili de arbol powder (if you can’t find chili de arbol powder, substitute another chili powder)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Chili Powder
1 28 oz can of Tomato sauce
1 28oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 15oz can of Pinto Beans (Ranch Style Beans is a brand I like)
1 15oz can of Kidney Beans (Rinsed)
1 Heaping Tbs pureed Chipotles in Adobo (see Notes below)
1 Square Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate
1 Heaping Tbs of Honey
Plus your favorite Chili toppings
The Original List of Ingredients
Heat a large thick bottomed pot (I use a Le Cruset) over medium heat. Add your oil. Chop the onion and garlic fine. Feel free to use a food processor if you have one, but make sure not to puree the onions. You want some small finely chopped pieces not mush! Add your chopped onions to the pot and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add your chopped garlic to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can smell the garlic aroma. Add ½ tsp of salt to the onions and garlic, add a few pinches of pepper.
Once your onions and garlic (Soffrito) are cooked, add your ground meat and directly season it with 1 tsp of salt. While the meat cooks, in a bowl combine the dried spices. Cook the ground meet until no pink remains. Add the red wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
Next you are going to add your beans. If you are using Ranch Style Beans they come in a nice flavorful sauce, don’t rinse them. however rinse the kidney beans and if you use plain pinto beans, rinse those too. Once the beans are added, bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Add your dried spices, pureed chipotles in Adobo, Bakers Chocolate and honey. Stir and let come to a simmer. Remove from the heat and transfer into a slow cooker. Continue to cook in the slow cooker for 3 – 5 hours on low heat. Serve in a bowl topped with your favorite chili fixings – mine are sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onions.
A few Notes -
- Chipotles in Adobo are smoked jalapenos that come in a can and are usually found in the Latin section of the grocery store. Place the entire contents of the can in a food processor and blend until smooth. You will have leftovers after making the chili, which can last up to a month in your fridge. Adding some to mayo will make a great kicked up spread on your next sandwich!
Pureed Chipotles in Adobo
- If you don’t have a slow cooker or don’t want to transfer the chili, you can continue to cook the chili in a dutch oven (I use a Le Cruset) in your oven at around 225 degrees for several hours. Before placing your lid on the dutch oven place a sheet of tin foil over the chili to make sure none of the liquid evaporates.
- Chili is a great party food and Super Bowl parties are right around the corner! Get creative, you can use this chili recipe to make some delicious nacho’s and other fun snacks.