Tag Archives: olive_oil

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce can be better than most anything you can buy in a store. It’s easy to make and since it uses canned tomatoes, you don’t have to worry about them being in season.

This recipe is based on a recipe by Mario Batali and is great on pizza.

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Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

This recipe is from a video by America’s Test Kitchen. They researched the various Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizzas and figured out how to replicate them at home. This may be the best pizza I’ve ever made.Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

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Italian Cassoulet

Looking for a quick and easy meal? This one can be done in about 30 minutes and doesn’t require cutting anything up. Easy enough?

Italian Cassoulet

This recipe is based on a recipe on Serious Eats.

Notes:
1) You will need a 10″ – 12″ cast iron pan or a saute pan with high sides.
2) The best way to prepare the garlic cloves is to separate them from the head, take each one and smash it as hard as you can under the broad side of a chef’s knife. At this point you can easily peel the skin off leaving the rest of the smashed clove.

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Napa Rose Blackberry Zinfandel Braised Short Ribs

This is a dish you would pay for in a restaurant (and I have) but can make at home. I learned the techniques in the Napa Rose Cooking School to make this dish. It takes a long time to prep and is a bit expensive (the veal demi-glace is $25) but is definitely worth it. The best part is you can make it in advance, cook it the next day and it tastes even better. It is wonderful with any side dish, but I found that pan roasted sweet corn kernels go particularly well with it.

The recipe calls for a zinfandel and if you substitute a different wine, make sure it is fruit forward and low in tannins. I used Wilson Creek 2006 Estate Zinfandel when I made it. Whatever wine you use, make sure it is one you would be happy to drink.

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Autumn Risotto

This risotto variation is perfect for autumn. In fact, you can make the yam and apples as a side dish by itself. Start with a standard risotto recipe. For the protein I used pork brisket but you can use anything you think would go well with the other ingredients (crumbled bacon or left over turkey would do the trick). For the vegetable portion I took a garnet yam (one pound of orange deliciousness) and two apples (I prefer fuji). Cut them both into 1 inch cubes and put them in a large bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, one and a half tablespoons of maple syrup, juice and zest from half a lemon and a teaspoon of fresh thyme. Combine thoroughly and spread in a single layer on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake at 425°F for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown (check every 15 minutes and turn mixture over). Finally, I toasted a cup of pecans and coarsely chopped them to add crunch.

The yam and apples are delicious as a side dish in their own right. The roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the produce and the maple syrup aids the caramelizing.

Chicken Risotto with Pan Roasted Corn

This variation of risotto is perfect for summer. The caramelized corn gives it a hint of sweetness that is accented by the mascarpone cheese. I roast the corn in a skillet but there isn’t any reason you can’t grill the ears of corn and then take the kernels off. Finally, I suggest you use white corn if it is available as it is sweeter than yellow corn.

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