Tag Archives: HERBS

SPIEDIES, MARINATED AND GRILLED SKEWERED CUBES OF MEAT FROM NY STATE,ANOTHER ITALIAN AMERICAN CREATION

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WHO LOVES GRILLED MEATS?  I see lots of raised hands out there so this blogpost is just for you.  Ever have a SPIEDIE??  Well it’s time you did and they are extremely easy to make at home.  They are an ItalianAmerican version of a typical skewered meat/poultry dish popular around the world, but in this fashion it’s typical of the Mediterranean version.  SPIEDO is the Italian Word for KITCHEN COOKING SPIT.  italian meats threaded on skewers in some fashion generally take the name Spiedini which has different regionalities to it depending on the location in Italy or Sicily.Maybe you’re familiar with SPIEDINI, the small rolls of filled meat/poultry threaded with onions and bay leaves, sometimes slices of Italian Bread.  Or you’ve probably had the more well known Greek SOUVLAKIA which is REAL close to ItalianAmerican Spiedies with a few less marinade ingredients and the Greeks us TZATZIKI sauce and a Pita.  Spiedies just get more of the marinade on them and can be rolled up into a slice of American White Bread or an Italian long roll.

So what makes these Mediterranean treats ItalianAmerican? Let’s go back to the old country for a moment.  In the ABRUZZO region a popular dish is cubes of marinated skwered lamb called SPIDUCC’..or SPIDDUCCI. In True ITALIAN fashion each section of the ABRUZZO has local terms for this dish.  ARROSTICINI, ‘RUSTELLE, ARRUSTELLE, all pretty much are the same thing.   The term SPIEDIE though is pure ItalianAmerican.   The cubes are marinated in a simple dressing of Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar (PUT DOWN THAT BALSAMIC!!! IT COMES FROM UMBRIA NOT THE ABRUZZO!! Lidia Bastianich says it best, foods from an area taste best when you use the ingredients from that area/region. Balsamic while delicious is not a substitute for all vinegar dishes, there, I’ve said it.  I know, in America it’s used on everything.  My purpose in  blogging is to give you the real deal, or close to it.  If you use balsamic, just don’t tell me LOL.), garlic or onion, peperoncino, salt, lemon juice, herbs like mint, oregano, basil, bay.  The lamb cubes would be marinated for as long as possible, threaded onto metal skewers and slow roasted over hot coals.    One of the world’s most popular ways of cooking meats yet still amazing wherever you have it.   The American connection comes in via Ellis Island during the great Italian Immigration from 1880s-1930s.  Many paesani from the Abruzzo settled in the area of Central New York State around Binghamton NY.  As is the norm they brought with them dishes from their homeland and adapted them to the new surroundings.  Lamb was first used but in the USA immigrants found ALL meats were easy to get and well priced so in true American fashion varieties of meats and poultry were used to make these Arrosticini or Spidducci which turned into the ItalianAmerican word, SPIEDIES.  Legend hotly contests who the creator of the first one in a restaurant was and who had the first “sauce” for them, but the Iacovelli family of Endicott, NY near Binghamton  in the 1920’s-1930’s gets the most credit.  Plenty of other stories about who and what but that’s where an Italian regional dish made the jump into ItalianAmerican cuisine.  These SPIEDIES were marinated in the cook’s version of SPIEDIE Sauce, and grilled, then with a piece of American White Bread (see, this is what makes things ItalianAmerican too) you roll the bread around the spiedie and pull it off into the bread.  Instant SPIEDIE SANDWICH. Italian Rolls used also.  Now let’s get your charcoal grill stoked and ready for grilling, or prep that gas grill and get this Summer on the road with a platter of SPIEDIES for your dining pleasure!!!

2 LBS MEDIUM CUBED MEAT/POULTRY..Pork, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Turkey
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup LEMON JUICE, not the bottled stuff, use fresh Lemons
1 cup RED WINE VINEGAR
1 TSP PEPERONCINO
3 finely minced GARLIC cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 TSP CRUMBLED DRIED MINT OR
2 TSPS FRESH MINCED BASIL, not both
1 TSP MINCED FRESH PARSLEY

1 1/2 TSP DRIED OREGANO

you will need to make 2 batches of the marinade.

SALT and BLACK PEPPER, to taste (be generous with it)

LONG HEAVY DUTY WOODEN SKEWERS (soaked overnight in water), or METAL SKEWERS

Double the marinade recipe and blend well.  Let this sit at room temperature for 1 hour.  Now separate in equal amounts.  Cover and reserve one batch for serving with the finished Spiedies.  Add the meat to the other batch and make sure all the cubes are in the marinade.  Add the squeezed cut lemons to the bowl and cover. Marinade in the fridge optimally overnight, or no less than 3 hours. Remove the marinating meat from the fridge and LET IT COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE.  Thread the cubes on the skewers, depending on the length of them make sure to leave some blank space at the tip and the end of the skewers.  On a well oiled medium heat grill start cooking them lining them up without touching each other and give them at least  7 minutes per side, or more, esp with the chicken/turkey.  You can rotate them a few times to get them more evenly grilled.  Discard the first marinade and use a little of the 2d batch to baste certainly using a new bowl. Keep the rest of the marinade for serving with the finished dish.   Remove the finished Spiedies from the grill and place on a platter. Have the extra Marinade and sliced bread or rolls handy to wrap around the SPIEDIES, PULL OFF, add more marinade and ENJOY.  Makes enough for 6-8 servings.

In the Summer an Annual SPIEDIE FEST is held in Central NY…here’s the link:

https://www.spiediefest.com/

 

Happy Cooking!!!  Oh yes, you can buy Spiedie Sauce already made.  Or not.  Make your own.

 

 

 

 

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN WINGS WITH VINEGAR AND BREADCRUMBS

syd17 014  Chicken Wings can be a party planners best friend.  These packets of flavor have the best of all possible snack or starter (or entree) worlds all in a small hand held piece. The skin creates a self basting packet which keeps the meat inside moist and adds tons of flavor and texture. Chicken is like the flavor chameleon.  It readily takes on the flavors of what ever spices or sauces or coatings you’re giving it.  Who doesn’t like wings?  OK, those of you who raised your hand, you can leave the room now, but not until you share this post with someone you know who DOES love wings.  That’s a suitable punishment for such an offense.  Wings, gotta love them.  Wings are yet another food in your recipe arsenal that should have 1000 different varieties to choose from.  Ok, you probably have fried, or Teriyaki, or Buffalo, or some kind of grilled, but….DO YOU HAVE VINEGAR MARINATED AND BAKED WITH A FINISHING COATING OF SEASONED BREADCRUMBS???? I’ll venture a guess and say, no, no you do not.  My hope is that you sincerely thank me for this Foodcentric PSA that will have you making them over and over again.  I just made 72 for 13 kids who came over for my daughter’s birthday.  We also had 6 pizzas and a huge bowl of salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.  All the wings…GONE.  That should be your expectation!

The choice of chicken for this is also key.  Look for organic or natural chickens.  I don’t advise making this with Perdue wings. Why? The skin.  Perdue skin is entirely too thick and you will have flabby texture when you bite into them.  Not putting out a hate on Perdue, but they do not bake the way the whiter, thinner skinned chicken wings do.  You’ve been warned.syd17 003  See the color of those wings?  It’s not that golden yellow.  These will cook way better for you.  OK, onto the cooking..

FOR 36 WINGS                                     3HOURS TOTAL

36 WING PIECES

1/8 CUP APPLE CIDER OR SHERRY VINEGAR

1/8 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

1/2  TSP. KOSHER SALT

1/2 TSP GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1/2 TSP. SWEET PAPRIKA

1/2 TSP SMOKED PAPRIKA

1/2 TSP CRUMBLED DRIED OREGANO

1 TSP. GRANULATED GARLIC OR 3 CLOVES finely minced or pushed through a Garlic Press

1/2 TSP GROUND THYME

Whisk all the ingredients and  pour over the wings, Let them soak in this marinade for at least 1 hour, longer if you like.

1/2 cup BREADCRUMBS

1/4 CUP GRATED PECORINO OR PARMIGIANO CHEESE

pinch of OREGANO

1/2 TSP KOSHER SALT

1/8 TSP CAYENNE

1/8 TSP, GRANULATED GARLIC

mix this together till blended.

3 TBS UNSALTED BUTTER (you will be melting this later)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking  tray with foil.  (When you are cleaning this up you will again THANK ME for the foil tip).  Arrange wings on one or two trays depending on space. I made a double batch in this picture:syd17 002

Pour the remaining marinade over the wings.  OH..make sure you oil the foil first…sorry. Let’s move on now. Place in the oven on the bottom and middle rack and let this bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven carefully and top each wing with about 1/2 tsp of the crumb mixture.  Melt the butter and drizzle a small bit over each wing.  Back into the oven for an additional   15-20 minutes or till browned and done. This is how they will/should look:syd17 008and up close they will look like this:sydbday15 008 I love a food close up!! Want another angle? ok, here it is:syd17 012 Let them sit for at least 8 minutes before removing them to a serving tray. Gently move a spatula under them to loosen from the foil and try really hard not to pop them in your mouth.  Ok, are you asking…where’s the sauce?  America loves it’s dipping sauces.  Seriously, for these? You don’t need any. It’s a lazy cooks way of making a hybrid of breaded chicken with baked chicken.  Just enough coating on the top to make a difference from no breading at all.  If you did need a sauce…ok…tabasco and honey or just tabasco or tabasco and ranch…up to you..it’s a no win situation figuring that out because  …you really don’t need any..BUT…i’ll leave that bit of creativity up to you.

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LET THE SUNSHINE ON YOUR SALAD WITH THIS BRIGHT CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

004  While  the dregs of the Winter are in full force please do not think this is a recipe that is limited to any particular season. It’s great for any season but ESPECIALLY when the cold has hung around for months now and Spring is just around the corner.   Florida’s citrus crop is in season and what better way to celebrate than to have those flavors enhance your meals??  There’s a hint of sweet, some spice, some aromatics..the whole thing works in this vinaigrette..btw…the word for a salad dressing in French is VINAIGRETTE…not VINEGARETTE or VINEGRETTE.  A VINAIGRETTE may or may not contain Dijon Mustard, but it will always contain an OIL and VINEGAR.  Good OliveOil is a wonderful flavor in a Vinaigrette, I know, I know..there’s that tasteless neutral oil known as Salad Oil.  Not going to preach, but those oils just aren’t the best due to how they are processed.  I like flavor.  I like the flavor of an Olive Oil and for this dressing I used a Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Above all use a good quality oil,you want that taste and the vinegar should also be of good quality. Put down the Balsamic, it’s a horrible choice for this salad.  I went with a Rice Wine Vinegar. Oils and Vinegars of different types should occupy space in your pantry. Nut based oils are wonderful too but they just turn rancid before you would probably finish using the bottle.  This post is really about the dressing and not the salad however it was a mix of chopped Romaine,torn Baby Spinach, Clementine Segments and ripe Strawberries. They are currently in my local markets, seasonal fruits from Florida, how could I not use them this week??  This recipe will make you a cup of the Vinaigrette.

MAKES:  1 CUP                             TIME: 10 minutes plus 1 hour sitting time

note: Make a vinaigrette AT LEAST one hour before serving and do not refrigerate.  Room temperature and sitting time create the flavors.

  • 2 TABLESPOONS finely minced RED ONION
  • 1TSP COARSE DIJON MUSTARD or REGULAR DIJON if Coarse is unavailable
  • 1 TABLESPOON FRESH CLEMENTINE JUICE
  • 1/2 TSP FINELY MINCED FRESH ROSEMARY (if all you have is dried, FORGET THE ROSEMARY, and use Fresh Thyme)
  • 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS RICE WINE VINEGAR
  • 3/4 CUP SPANISH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (i happen to love the flavor of the Spanish for this, feel free to use any other ExtraVirgin OliveOil
  • 1 dash of TABASCO SAUCE
  • 1 TBS HONEY
  • FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, KOSHER SALT to taste

Blend everything except the Olive Oil..When all blended in a steady stream whisk in the Olive Oil till the mixture is creamy.  Let sit for at least one hour, preferably 3 hours…rewhisk, then use on the salad of your choice.  Certainly, if you are not using it the same day you’ve made it, tightly cover it and refrigerate. This will keep fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge.

 

To make this “vegan-Friendly” omit the Honey and use Agave Nectar,I like the dark Agave better, more flavor.

 

VINEGAR AND GARLIC CHICKEN WINGS, BAKED AND CRISPY

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Chicken Wings…so good, so versatile, so many ways to cook them.  Wings are my favorite part of the bird for a few reasons with flavor being the most important one. Because of their compact side and the phenomenal ratio of skin to meat all that good stuff that bakes or fries on top of the wings you get in every single bite.  Apologies to the breast, legs and thighs, they all have more meat and less skin, a wing guarantees you that prize each time to reach the wing to your mouth.  Delicious!  Chicken skin, while it’s not for eating every day certainly contains whatever it is that makes things taste good (i’m sure it’s the fat content, let’s be honest) so for those who are careful with their fat intake make this an occasional treat.  Skinless or boneless wings…no interest..they are silly.  I’ll stick with boneless thigh or breast if that’s the road I’m taking.  Wings need bones and skin, the whole package is what makes them rarely a dry piece of meat, unless they are way overcooked or as old as your collection of 80’s cassette tapes.  The meat, let’s talk about it..it’s not really all white meat, and it’s not really dark meat…hence it’s that perfect balance of both.  Self basting I may add because it’s not all white meat and those bones add moisture and flavor.  This is not my only wing recipe but it’s one of my favorites, especially for a crowd.  Vinegar is one of my preferred condiments/ingredients in much of my cooking.  Blame my southern Italian genes as chicken baked with vinegar, olive oil, garlic and herbs is a mainstay of that cuisine.  I grew up on that and Mom applied that vinegar and oil approach to her grilled wings as well.  She’d either pour her own over the chicken or a bottle of Italian Salad Dressing, however when we would grill the bottled ones they always scorched quicker than her own mix.  Why?  The reason why processed foods contribute to all that’s wrong with our eating, there’s sugar or corn syrup in many of those bottled dressings.  I’m not anti sugar, i have a sweet tooth but long ago I guess I realized that adding sugary ingredients is not really necessary. Certainly there are great wing recipes with sugar glazes in them, however this isn’t one of them.  newyearseve14 023  That’s achieved without using a bottle of processed salad dressing.  Let’s have some fun with acid and aromatics and let this chicken sing.

 

SERVES: 6                                  TIME: 1 hour cooking, 6 hours marinading

36 WING PIECES (SEPARATED)FIND WINGS ON THE LARGER SIDE, THE SMALLER ONES REALLY SHRINK DOWN

1/2 CUP WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR, OR APPLE CIDER VINEGAR,plus more for seasoning while cooking.

1 TSP. BELL’S SEASONING OR 1/2 TSP GROUND THYME AND 1/2 TSP GROUND SAGE

1/8 CUP OLIVE OIL, PLUS EXTRA FOR DRIZZLING

1 TSP. KOSHER SALT, plus more for seasoning for cooking

4 GARLIC CLOVES

1 TSP. PAPRIKA, plus more for seasoning while cooking.

1/4 TSP. BLACK PEPPER, plus more for seasoning while cooking.

GRANULATED GARLIC (IT’S BETTER THAN POWDER BECAUSE IT’S JUST GARLIC)

In a food processor add all the ingredients except the chicken (lol.please don’t process them!!) and the granulated garlic. Blend them so the garlic has become sort of a paste. Make sure the chicken wings are dry, then add them to a LARGE bowl and pour the marinade over them.  Toss till they are all coated. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and place in the fridge.  After 3 hours, turn then so the wings on the bottom move up to the top.  Re-cover for an additional 3 hours, OR overnight.  Chicken loves marinade, the longer the better.

If you want a smoky flavor to the wings that wonder spice from Spain, PIMENTON, Smoked Spanish Paprika can be used in place of the sweet paprika.   I like the sweet Paprika from Hungary.  It also comes in Hot as well.  If going the Hot Paprika route use 1/2 sweet, and 1/2 hot.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil (or not, up to you but the clean up is easier with the foil liner).  remove the wings from the bowl and let them drain for 10 minutes on racks.  Line them up on the pan or in two pans and then give them a good sprinkle of more salt, pepper, and the granulated garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil (drizzle, not drown) then sprinkle of more vinegar.  Then another dusting of Paprika.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove them,  turn the wings and season again with the salt, pepper, paprika, granulated garlic.  Let them cook another 15 minutes,  Remove, flip the wings to the top side up again and bake for 5 minutes more. At the end of this process they will look like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Resist the temptation to have one.  Part of good cooking is having patience and the chicken actually will taste better as it cools down.  Plus you will not accidentally rip the lining of the roof of your mouth out.  Let them rest.  Serve 10 minutes out of the oven. (have you ever really held anything that was 425 degrees in your hand without some severe discomfort??  you need those fingers to eat these delicious treats!!)

NOTE!!:  ALL OVENS ARE DIFFERENT. WHAT IS WORKING IN MINE MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT THAN YOURS.  DO NOT MAKE THE FOLLOW THE RECIPE MISTAKE OF NOT USING YOUR SENSE OF SIGHT AS AN IMPORTANT COOKING TOOL/GAUGE.  IF THEY ARE BROWNING TOO QUICKLY, LOWER THE OVEN A BIT…IF THEY ARE COOKING FAST IN ONE SPOT ROTATE THE PAN…IF THEY ARE LOOKING DONE BEFORE THE RECIPE TIME SAYS SIMPLY TEST ONE.

America, thanks to our corporate Restaurant mentality insists on pairing everything with a dipping sauce.  These do not need a dipping sauce but if you are not happy with the prospect of a wing with no sauce to dip, whisk some olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic together and dip it in that.  No bleu cheese dressing on this wing.

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There it is.  Vinegar and Garlic wings.  Baked, That accumulated pan juice you can either hoard for yourself with massive amounts of bread to dip into it…or platter the wings and pour the jus over them.  Make sure there are plenty of napkins!!

 

CRANBERRY SAUCE BY A FOOD OBSESSION, THANKSGIVING STAPLE

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It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house…hopefully there is no chaos in your Thanksgiving Eve.  There was a time when this night was the best night to bar hop thru Manhattan or wherever you live but it’s settled into a night with the family and getting ready for Thursday’s onslaught of family, friends, and lots of foods.  Can you imagine a Thanksgiving Day table without turkey and it’s Cranberry Sauce?  If you don’t care for cranberry sauce this may be a good time to go back to the Candy Crush game you were just playing.  If you DO care for Cranberry Sauce you will fall into a few different camps…there’s the IT MUST BE FROM A CAN, because that’s the way it was and always should be.  Respect that people, do not ever get between a Thanksgiving diner and their heartfelt sentiments, ever.  No dissing the canned.  Then another camp is the I HATE IT..ok, we’ve already dealt with that group of malcontents.  Another camp is the SCREW TRADITION LET’S MIX IT UP…a colorful group, to be commended for free thinking and wild abandon…is that an ancho chile dusted pecan in that raw chop of cranberries, limes, oranges and honey?  Kudos to the free thinkers!  There’s the NO WHOLE BERRIES group, they can get vicious if a stray whole berry makes it’s way onto their plate.  Be vigilant.  And then there’s the WHOLE BERRY WITH SOME INTERESTING ADDITIONS WITHOUT TURNING THE WHOLE THING UPSIDE Group…I fall into that one.  Familiar enough to the canned, whole berries for a daring culinary adventure of sorts, and a few additions to just make you think you could maybe win on Chopped or TopChef.

Let’s make Cranberry Sauce with a hint of orange, spice, and Rosemary.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package of fresh Cranberries

1 sprig fresh Rosemary

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1/4 tsp. ground allspice.

Combine sugar and water and rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to  a boil then add cranberries, return to the  boil. Reduce the  heat and boil gently for 10 minutes  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and gently apply pressure to some of the berries to ensure their popping.cranbrys Remove from heat as the berries should have all popped and thickened the sauce.  This is not be as “jelled” as the canned stuff but will have some body to it.  Add the Allspice and the orange zest now and blend.  Cover this and let it sit for at least 1 hour.  Then empty it into a bowl, removing the rosemary sprig.  Cover and refrigerate and serve the next day.  Warm, Spicy, Bright.  It brings all the flavors together that match your turkey or even pork and chicken.

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I could eat this on it’s own, like a bowl of it…OK, i have a thing for anything cranberry.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  Happy Cooking!!!

ROSEMARY CHICKEN TENDERS WITH SEASONED BREADING, STOVE TOP COOKING

165994_3211681293308_1441686714_n (1)CHICKEN TENDERS….they are not just for the kiddies and they do not have to be an over processed mess of unpronounceable ingredients, fats, and sugar and salt.  Yes, here’s an adult Chicken Tender recipe that will satisfy adults and self proclaimed “we only eat Chicken Fingers” kids.  Breaded Tenders are part of the American fast food scene, a big part but let’s not demonize the tenders.  Let’s be honest, you like them, maybe you LOVE them.  Me?  What do you think?  Good, you know me and yes, I LOVE THEM!  While I echew the QUICK AND EASY as the first thought in  approaching a recipe (simply because it takes away many key components to a dish or uses processed ingredients or takes away the best part of cooking (for me) which is the whole process of cooking itself.  Turning raw ingredients into a table of finished dishes for self, family and friends, that’s why I cook), this is a fairly easy recipe.  A little definition lesson here, a chicken tender is the inner part of the breast which is nestled along the breastbone.  It pulls away from the rest of the breast very easily.  It really is the most tender part of the chicken and requires the shortest amount of cooking.  It’s like buttah!  Not convinced that a chicken tender recipe will meet your adult needs?  Keep reading.  By the way chicken fingers are the rest of the breast cut into strips.  Tender, but not as tender as a…..TENDER.  Here’s the downside to most breaded chicken tenders from a technical point of view, there’s the flouring, the egg, the breading, the frying.  These tenders I’m presenting to you do not contain those steps.  See?  My idea of quick and easy.  The seasoned breadcrumb mix is simply pressed into the raw tenders and sauteed, not deep fried .  The breading doesn’t stay on in a uniform way like the traditional breading process does, think free form, think lots of flavor and a little time saved.  I don’t use one process over another, my cooking is impulsive.  My mood or available time will always dictate what and how I’m cooking so this is not a substitute for frying, it’s a whole ‘nother recipe for you.   Fresh Rosemary has such flavor,  let me pontificate on that for a moment…do not use dried.  The flavor is different and the texture certainly is different.  Most supermarkets carry fresh rosemary year round so I’m not sending you on a “hard-to-find” ingredient journey.  The difference between dried rosemary and fresh is so vast, i will not bore you with dull details, but it’s all about bright fresh flavor which the dried rosemary cannot deliver.  So having said all of this I hope you’re as excited to learn and cook this as I am to share my recipe with you!

 

FOR: 4 PEOPLE                                    TIME: 1/2 HOUR

12 CHICKEN TENDERS, LIGHTLY POUNDED (LIGHTLY, NOT THE SAME WAY YOU POUND A CUTLET), MAKE SURE TO TRIM OFF THAT LITTLE WHITE “TAG” THAT IS AT ONE END

1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL

1 CUP SEASONED BREAD CRUMBS (OR CREATE YOUR OWN)

1 1/2  TSP. FINELY MINCED FRESH ROSEMARY

2 TBS. GRATED PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO

KOSHER SALT, GROUND BLACK PEPPER

3 TBS MAYONNAISE

1 TBS DIJON MUSTARD

 

Whisk the mayo and mustard together in a wide bowl.  Set aside.  Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmigiano and Rosemary, if using plain or your own breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Do not season “Seasoned breadcrumbs”…obviously, you’ll over season/salt the crumbs.

Lightly coat the tenders with the mayo/mustard mix then press the breadcrumbs into the tenders on both sides.  Remove to a rack until you are done with the breading. You just want to moisten them with the mayo/mustard so they allow the crumbs to adhere to the tenders.

Heat 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil in a non-stick pan and when the oil is hot cook the chicken for on the first side for at least 5 minutes on medium heat, make sure you hear the sizzle or it’s too cool and the oil will soak into the breading and then burn. When there is a nice golden crust on the bottom you can flip them over and let them cook for 4 minutes or until golden.  Remove to a platter until all are done.  Serve with  sprigs of fresh rosemary.  Something magical happens here.  The fresh rosemary over the hot tenders adds more aroma to the dish and you will be tasting that while eating..  Dipping sauce?  This blogger says no, there are not fast food chicken fingers, these are succulent chicken tenders.    They look beautiful on a plate and as very flavorful.  Serve over a brown rice or rice pilaf and a vegetable.

I realize we all don’t want/care to spend time in the kitchen, but maybe think deeper about the “quick and easy” prefacing of cooking.  There can be a happy medium without compromising the food and the dish.  Happy Cooking!

 

 

POTATOES! OVEN ROASTED, WITH OLIVE OIL, GARLIC, AND HERBS

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I was thinking up a clever title for this blogpost but then said ditch that idea, just say what it is because that really will say it all.  Today was National Potato Day and really, that potato needs more than just one day to be celebrated.  I celebrate it all the time in all of it’s forms…however, I could write for hours discussing ways to cook and eat potatoes and cover all the world’s cuisines with that but I’m going to limit this celebration to a simple and flavorful oven roasted version.  Yes, you’ve see this all before, but maybe some of you haven’t and this came out so good I want to share it.  Like the picture?  Please say yes, I’m sensitive and can’t handle rejection…ok, thanks for liking it.  Let’s move on..Oven Roasted potatoes are not uniquely Italian, but they are made from North to South and East to West in Italy.  If someone knows of a region in Italy where they are not side dish in , please  leave me a comment here.  In my travels to Italy the Olive Oil roasted potato perfumed with garlic and usually Rosemary, or any one of a bunch of local herbs were always served with the SECONDI, the second courses.  Here in the U.S. they are a mainstay of the Italian-American kitchen, and many times are the potato standard in Restaurants..although in the NYC area the Potato Croquette is more popular.

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For enough portions for 5-6 people use 2 1/2 lbs of scrubbed potatoes…peeling?  that’s up to you.  A “cleaner” presentation is done when you peel them, me, I don’t need “clean”, I like rustic and love the taste and texture of the potato peel.  For tonight’s dish I used White Potatoes, they have a naturally thin skin so they work really well here.  Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees, if you have a convection (like I do) go to 375 degrees.  Cut all the scrubbed (water only, then pat dry with paper towels) potatoes in 1/2 then into 1/4 inch wedges.  Easy.  Put them all into a bowl.  Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil with 4 cloves of finely minced garlic, and 4 tbs of a mix of chopped herbs…now you are on your own…
What do I mean?  The choices of the herbs..this recipe I combined 3 herbs from my garden which is still flourishing at the end of October.  I used fresh picked Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme.  Think of your dinner profile..I’m going to give you ideas here that will allow you to take this recipe and fit it into your particular dinner plans…Asian/Indian?  Mint, Cilantro, Basil… Mexican?  Oregano, Cilantro, Thyme…so this is up to you..Tonight I made a Chicken with Cremini and Spinach in a Marsala Wine Sauce so, I went with a typically Italian profile.  Once the oil is whisked, season  the  potatoes themselves with 1 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt, and 1 tsp. of ground black pepper.   Now pour the oil over the seasoned potatoes and with your hands coat all of the potatoes with the oil.  Pour this out onto a sheet pan …PAY ATTENTION HERE!~!! and make sure they are not on top of each other.  Roasting is a wonderful way to cook potatoes but you need to have all the sides in contact with the heat, not each other.

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Place into the oven and let them roast for 20 minutes.   Shake the pan and flip the potatoes onto their other side and let them roast another 15 minutes.  Check then, they should be done at this point but if not, shake the pan again (please..with pot holders!!!,  i take no responsibility for burns!) and let them cook another 5 minutes.
They will look like this when they are done:

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Let them cool for a few minutes then serve with your main course.   Happy National Potato Day…it’s a day that is celebrated with all good things!  Trying to think of a potato dish I don’t like..hmmm..nope..can’t think of one.