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Potato Frittata

Potato Frittata

Eggs and potatoes, a delicious breakfast combination. Eggs, potatoes, parsley and romano cheese? Even better. This is one of two frittatas I grew up with.  Most often eaten for lunch rather than breakfast. I can clearly remember walking into the kitchen of my grandmother’s house and seeing this frittata waiting for me with fresh Italian bread.

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Potato frittata is wonderful on Italian bread and makes for a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner.  However, it’s equally delicious served all by it’s lonesome. At this point in my life, I usually skip the bread and just eat the frittata, reserving the extra carb calories for pasta or dessert. If you add a salad, It becomes an excellent option for entertaining. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, it appeals to many. Love that!

Of course, there wasn’t a written recipe for her potato frittata. Nonetheless, I was fed by her countless times and the flavors for this frittata and all of her recipes were imprinted on my taste buds. It took me a couple of tries, adjusting the proportions of ingredients, but I’m now satisfied! My technique for cooking the frittata varies slightly from my grandmother’s, making it a little easier for novice cooks. I begin by cooking the frittata in a skillet on the stove and place it under the broiler of the oven to finish out the last few minutes of cooking time. My grandmother would cook the frittata entirely on the stove, flipping it out onto a plate, then back into the pan to cook the other side.

It brings me so much joy to recreate her recipes. They not only nourished us, but also educated us on eating right, taught us the importance of serving others, and expanded our horizons regarding flavors and ingredients. As I was testing this recipe one more time this morning (making sure it’s perfect just for you), my daughter walked into the kitchen and asked, “what are you making?” I knew by the tone of her voice that the aroma had drawn her in and she was waiting to sample. One bite and she was hooked, asking to have it again tomorrow. proud mama? yes! I know your friends and family will love this frittata as much as my sweet girl does. Give it a try. It’s simple, easy on the wallet, and delicious.

Serves: 2-4.  The recipe is easily doubled, but a larger skillet is required.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and sliced into just under 1/4″ thickness
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 (heaping) tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt, but with the saltiness of the pecorino, you may want to go with 1/4 teaspoon)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Instruction:

Preheat the broiler.

Over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch skillet until shimmering. Fry potato slices in hot oil working in batches, turning when deep golden brown. When cooked, potatoes should be crisp on the outside, deep golden brown on both sides, and tender on the inside. Remove cooked potatoes to a dish lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil. When frying is complete, discard the used oil. I have tried using the oil for frying the potatoes to cook the frittata, but it doesn’t work, its best to start with fresh oil and not compromise the flavor of the frittata.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper together until well combined. Over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the now clean 10-inch skillet. When hot, but not smoking, add the egg mixture. Allow to set up for about 30 seconds, then begin pulling the egg from the sides of the skillet in towards the center With a rubber spatula, redistributing the uncooked egg to the outer part of the skillet. Continue doing this until the frittata is about 75% cooked. At this point, add the cooked potato slices to the top and place the skillet under the broiler. It will only take a few minutes to finish cooking. Be sure to keep an eye on it and check frequently. For me, 4 minutes was the magic number but could be anywhere from 3-6 minutes. The frittata will be puffed and golden when ready and then fall as it cools. Turn the frittata out onto a serving platter and you’re ready to eat. As I mentioned above, this makes for a great sandwich but is also perfect on its own or with a salad.

 

Ganache Dipped Mini Chocolate Cakes with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise and Raspberry Coulis

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Bucatini with Tomato and Pancetta Sauce

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Brown Butter and Bittersweet​ Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Flaked Salt

Brown Butter and Bittersweet​ Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Flaked Salt

Brown butter and bittersweet chocolate chunk cookies with flaked sea salt! Wow, that’s a mouthful! Literally! I just can’t find any way to shorten it. Each ingredient is so vital to the recipe. When I tell you that I have been working on the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe (or at least what I consider to be the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe)  for years, believe me. I am serious about my chocolate chip cookies. I know some that only prefer soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies and some that are fans of thin, crisp chocolate chip cookies. I happen to appreciate both for different reasons. This cookie combines the best of both worlds. It has a bit of crispness around the edges while still remaining soft and chewy on the interior.  So, what don’t I like in a chocolate chip cookie? Well, it mostly comes down to the flour/butter ratio and also slightly the sugar and chocolate quantity. If the flour content is too high in relation to the butter, you end up with a tough,  flour forward tasting, cookie bomb. If there is too much butter in relation to the flour, the cookies will not retain structure and be greasy. The sweetness of this cookie is nicely balanced by the flaked sea salt and contains just the right amount of chocolate! I know it sounds crazy, but there is such a thing as adding too much chocolate to a chocolate chip cookie. I want to taste that which holds the chocolate pieces as well as the chocolate. I have had giant chocolate chip cookies, loaded with chocolate, that look amazing, but all I end up tasting is chocolate. If all I want to taste is chocolate, I’m going for a finely crafted piece of dark chocolate, not a cookie.

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In addition to the right balance of ingredients, the method for making these cookies is also important. As with many baked treats, not overmixing helps to retain the tenderness of the cookie. So, no over mixing, okay?  Now for the most important step to follow… the refrigeration of the cookie dough for 2 hours or overnight (if you have the willpower). I know it’s hard when you’re craving a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. The cookie dough is made, you’ve possibly most likely sampled the raw dough and you’re now anticipating the awesomeness of that warm, melty, crisp yet tender, cookie! Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator causes the fats to solidify resulting in cookies that don’t spread flat. In addition, the flavor develops as the cookie dough becomes more concentrated throughout the resting time.

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Wanting all my ingredients to shine in this cookie, I chose a quality chocolate and chopped it myself. I prefer the variation in size that hand-chopped chocolate provides.  So much time has been spent in the preparation of the recipe… browning the butter and resting the dough. Let’s honor that time investment with the best chocolate we can find/afford. In my area, the best option was Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate 70%.  I purchase the 9.7 0z. size, using half for this recipe and the other half for the next time I make these fabulous cookies.

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I just want to mention one more thing regarding the method for preparing these cookies. Most of you already know this, but in case you don’t, measuring your flour properly is key to achieving perfect results.  You need to stir your flour with a spoon to lighten it. Then, spoon flour into your measuring cup, overfilling the measuring cup and leveling excess off with a knife. If the flour is simply scooped up with the measuring cup, you could mismeasure by as much as 1/4 cup. Yikes!

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I hope that you receive as much enjoyment from these cookies as I do. I am always learning and experimenting with recipes, so I’ll never say that this is it, no need to try anything new, but for now…I’m totally content.

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Yields:  30 (if scooped with a 1/8 cup scoop)

Preheat oven 375°

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if using sea salt or table salt)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup quality bittersweet chocolate (70%), roughly chopped
  • flaked sea salt for finishing after the cookies come out of the oven (I use Maldon)

 

Instructions:

Begin by creating your brown butter. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will be very noisy and sputtering. When it starts to quiet down, pay attention, that’s when you will begin to see it starting to brown. The milk solids that have sunk to the bottom of your pan will now be brown, be careful not to let them burn. Pour into a glass measuring cup and allow to cool (15-20 minutes).

Meanwhile, sift all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Mix with a whisk to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the browned butter with the brown and white sugar and mix on medium speed until well combined (1-2 minutes). Add in the eggs, (one at a time, mixing well after each addition) and vanilla. At this point, your mixture will be thickened and almost resemble frosting. Now, with your mixer on low, slowly add your flour mixture, turning off the mixer just before it is completely combined. Remove your bowl from the stand mixer, add the chopped chocolate, gently stir until combined and chocolate is evenly distributed. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of two hours or overnight.

After dough has rested, adjust the oven rack to center, preheat the oven to 375° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop or a 1/8 cup measure, place 9 scoops of cookie dough on the lined cookie sheet, spaced about 1 1/2″ apart (reference the above photo). Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Repeat this process with the remaining dough, refrigerating the unused dough between baking shifts. While cookies are still warm, sprinkle with the flaked salt and try not to eat the whole batch!

 

 

Sunday Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage

Sunday Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage

Slow cooked Sunday sauce or gravy with ultra tender meatballs and sausage will delight and impress friends and family!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Espresso Pecan Crumble

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Espresso Pecan Crumble

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Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi with crusty bread to soak up the garlic, butter, and wine sauce is my new favorite dinner for entertaining. It’s special, easy to prepare, doesn’t require all day tending to, and is sophisticated while still remaining approachable. I’ve been making shrimp scampi for ages, serving it tossed with pasta. It’s always enjoyable, but this year, I nixed the pasta and chose to serve the scampi with a warmed loaf of ciabatta. Why haven’t I been doing this all along??? It’s insanely delicious! When the scampi is tossed with pasta, the flavor becomes less concentrated. The shrimp absorb more flavor from the sauce when served this way as well, taking them from ordinary to extraordinary. And, there is plenty of that amazing sauce left on the platter, ready to be mopped up with warmed, crusty bread.

There are two other components to this recipe that set it apart from common scampi recipes. First, briefly marinating the shrimp in olive oil and garlic… it’s a must. This way the garlic flavor penetrates the shrimp, not just sits on top of it. Second, making a simple shrimp stock from the shells and adding it to your sauce, adds another element of delightfulness! Seriously! The first couple of times I made this recipe, I didn’t think to do a reduced shrimp stock and although still a noteworthy recipe, with great flavor, I was questioning what else I could do to enhance the sauce. But the next time… as I completed the peeling of my last shrimp, I thought, I should make a shrimp stock reduction and add it to the sauce. I’ve done a reduced shrimp stock every time I make another of my favorite recipes for shrimp (shrimp, and grits), so why not with this recipe? The shrimp stock reduction was the ticket! Love when that happens!  Your guests will not be able to pick out why your scampi is better than any they’ve eaten in the past, but you can bet they’ll notice a difference. Taking the time to do the additional steps, will reward you with a dinner you’ll want to recreate again and again.

I mentioned that I’m a fan of entertaining with the shrimp scampi as an entree. But, it’s also an awesome addition to a tapas menu or casual gathering where appetizers make up the menu. Guests love harassing the cooks in the kitchen, don’t they? If they’re going to be in there anyway, why not fill their mouths and bellies and keep them out of your hair while in the final stages of cooking. Invite everyone into the kitchen, Setting out cold appetizers such as a cheese board with the accompaniments of olives, nuts, and various cured meats and allow guests to chat, eat, and drink. Have the shrimp marinated and the shrimp stock made so that you’re just minutes away from serving this fabulous dish to your adoring fans.

This is certainly not a low-fat dinner option, having a hefty amount of butter. But, personally,  I have 0 issues with high quality, grass-fed butter. Using real ingredients is what matters most to me.  At the time of writing this post, we are still a couple of days away from the New Year, so… technically, we’re still in the glutinous eating time frame. Plenty of days ahead for counting calories. For now, enjoy and celebrate with loved ones and great food!

Serves 4 (as the main entree), easily doubled for more guests.

Ingredients:

Shrimp Stock

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Reserved shrimp shells from 1 lb. of shrimp
  • 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 cup celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 small handful of Italian flat leaf parsley, stems included
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme and oregano  (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water to cover shells

 

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (shells reserved for stock)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry, white wine
  • 1/4 cup reduced shrimp stock
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped

 

Instructions:

Shrimp Stock

Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Next, add the remaining ingredients for the stock, except water. Stir to combine and cover, reducing heat to low. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, concentrating the flavors. Pour in water, just to cover shrimp shell mixture, and reduce over medium-low heat, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Pour through a fine, mesh strainer into a bowl and set aside until needed.

Shrimp Scampi 

Begin by marinating the peeled and deveined shrimp. In a large bowl, add the shrimp, sliced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Gently stir to combine and allow to marinate, in the refrigerator, for 30 minutes.

After marinating time for shrimp is complete, have all the rest of the ingredients ready to go, finishing the recipe will only take minutes at this point. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, cooking about 1 minute per side. The shrimp should be just cooked through, even slightly undercooked, but not brown. Remove from the pan to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the oil. Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes to the pan, sauteeing briefly. Now, the wine, reduced stock, and lemon Juice go in. Reduce this mixture by half over medium-high heat. Add the butter, swirling the pan until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened ( 5-7 minutes). At this point, check for seasoning, adding salt if needed, keeping in mind the shrimp were salted earlier in the marinade. Return the shrimp to the pan and lightly toss to coat. Remove immediately to a warmed platter, sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley, and serve with crusty bread or rice.

 

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

The best gingerbread cookies! They are soft, slightly crisp, full of flavor and retain a beautiful shape for decorating. Perfect for your holiday cookie tray.