The Man and I love The Lady on vacation… she cooks; she bakes; in general she spoils the two of us…

Last week she met Jim Tassielli, Northwest Sales Merchandiser for Sartori Foods and he graciously sent along a few cheese wedges for moi, your humble Feline Foodie, to taste and share with The Man and The Lady. One of the wedges was Gorgonola Dolcino and The Lady immediately whipped up a tangy salad dressing using it and serving it on lettuce wedges and chopped veggies from The Garden of The Man.

Yesterday, she decided to use the rest to make a pasta dish inspired by “Blue Cheese Chicken Pasta Lauren”. Here’s how The Lady adapted the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Pound Pasta – The Lady likes penne best, but you use whatever you like or have in the cupboard

4 Tbsp. White Truffle Butter, divided

2 Tbsp. EVOO, divided

2 Tbsp. Bacon Grease, divided

Splash of Chardonnay

3 Red Onions, thinly sliced (Fresh from The Garden of The Man)

2 Tbsp. Sugar

6-8 Fresh Button Mushrooms, sliced

6 Boneless Chicken Thighs, salted and peppered to taste  – The Lady only uses Foster Farms

Fresh Herbs from The garden of The Man, chopped – The Lady used oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley

4 Ounces Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino, crumbled

1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

Boil water for pasta – The Lady adds chicken bouillon rather than salt.

In a large saucepan add half of each of the butter, EVOO and Bacon grease. Melt on medium heat. Add the onions, sugar and chardonnay. Cut for about 30 minutes to caramelize, stirring every five minutes until they turn deep caramel color. Add the mushrooms for the last five minutes. The sugar adds sweetness.

In another saucepan, melt the other halves of butter, EVOO and bacon grease on medium heat. Saute the chicken thighs until cooked through and a little brown on each side. Set aside; when slightly cooled, slice into strips and toss with chopped herbs.

When the pasta is done, drain but do not rinse. Place in serving bowl and immediately add the gorgonzola and parm/reg. Mix and allow the cheeses to melt.

Add the chicken and caramelized onions to the pasta.

Toss and serve.

Get The Man to clean the kitchen… he’s really good about that…

For dessert The Lady made and served Le Gateau Nantaise… The Man and I have died and gone to culinary heaven with The Lady home and cooking. God Bless vacation…

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

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4 – 4 oz. Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino
1/2 cup Low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, The Lady used Tapatio
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
1 small red onion from The garden of The Man, finely chopped

Crumble Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino.

Add all ingredients to small mixing bowl. Mix together with spatula or large spoon.

Marinate in fridge for an hour before using.

The Lady served this dressing on Iceberg Lettuce wedges with fresh-picked veggies, tomatoes and herbs from The Garden of The Man.

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.


As mentioned over at cheesemonger weblog, The Lady brought home three flavored Monterey Jacks cheeses made by Rocking W Dairy in Olathe, Colorado. We enjoyed the cheeses as a snack last night and this morning I awoke to the smell of bacon sizzling in the kitchen. Naturally I was interested and made my way to discover The Lady making quesadillas using the Rocking W Garlic Chives Monterey. She picked herbs from her herb garden, which is maintained by The Man along with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos from The Man’s garden. She suggested I share the recipe with you, my loyal readers. I also took pictures with her new Droid phone… no easy “feet” for a feline who lacks an opposable thumb…

Here’s what she did…

The lady's Herb Garden

Ingredients

Ingredients:

½ pound of bacon, fried to crisp but not burned

Fresh Herbs; The Lady used parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives and thyme

Bell Pepper, chopped

Jalapeno, half, chopped

Purple Onion, small, chopped

6 ounces Rocking W Garlic Chive Monterey Jack, shredded

4 Flour Tortillas

4 Eggs

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil


Preparation:

While the bacon fried and I rubbed The Lady’s legs to make sure she knew I was interested, she chopped the veggies and the herbs. Then she shredded the cheese and whisked the eggs.

She let the bacon drain on paper towels and then she crushed it up. At that point, I made my intentions clear and was rewarded with my own share of bacon… ahh… I love it when a plan comes together…

Using a bit of olive oil, The Lady scrambled the eggs easy and lightly sautéed the veggies and herb. Then she built the quesadilla inside the sauté pans. She browned them on one side and flipped them to brown the other side. She served them with a Pico de Gallo she made from The Man’s garden bounty (recipe follows) and guacamole from the salsa bar at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer.

Garden of The Man Pico de Gallo:


Ingredients (all veggies and herbs from The Garden of The Man):

Tomatoes; both heirloom and cherry

Jalapeno

Bell Pepper

Chives

Purple Onion

Oregano

Rosemary

Thyme

Taco Seasoning

Preparation:

Chop everything and toss together.

Add the Taco Seasoning to taste.

Refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to blend.
Member, Association of Food Bloggers

Pasta Marcella

June 11, 2011


The Lady loves to use ingredients she has on hand to construct meals. She calls it “The Kitchen Sink” approach to cooking. Having just returned from Dallas the night before, she feared the cupboard would be bare when breakfast rolled around. But to the delight of The Man and moi, your feeling-humble today Feline Foodie, she found enough items to make an omelette for The Man and a pasta dish for the two of us.

Ingredients:

Bacon – 4 strips
Bowtie Pasta (Any pasta you would use for mac n cheese would do – bowtie was what she had on hand)
1 Parmigiana Reggiano Rind
EVOO
Golden Glen Creamery’s Farmstead Butter
Tillamook 2-Year Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar (our “everyday” cheddar)
6 Eggs (3 for the omelette and 3 for the pasta
Fresh Herbs from the deck (She snipped Italian Parsley, Curly Parsley, Chives, Rosemary and Thyme)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tomato, chopped.

Preparation:

Fry bacon in pan you will later use to assemble and cook your eggs and cooked pasta. Put aside and leave bacon drippings in pan.
Boil water for pasta. Add the Parm rind to the water. Cook pasta. Drain; do not rinse. Toss rind.
While bacon and pasta are cooking, grate cheese, chop herbs and whisk your eggs.
Add salt and pepper to taste to the whisked eggs.
Divide bacon drippings into two pans (one will be the one you used to fry bacon) and add a little EVOO and butter to each pan.
Divide eggs and put into two pans to cook. Use medium heat on both.
Add equal parts of cheese and herbs to each.
In bacon pan, add your drained pasta. Toss pasta to coat with eggs and cheese and let cook, stirring to avoid excessive sticking.
Cook omelette using normal methods and hope it comes out looking more like an omelette rather than scrambled eggs – either way it will taste great.
Serve everything when eggs are cooked.
Garnish with chopped tomato.

Eat.

Clean kitchen.


UPDATED 5/14/2011 – SEE BOTTOM FOR DETAILS

Ingredients:

Pasta

2 Chicken Breasts – pounded thin or sliced into thin pieces

Salt and pepper

Flour and your favorite seasonings/herbs/spices for coating chicken

Zipper bag for coating chicken

Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Zest of 1 large lemon – you want this sauce to be very “lemony”

Juice of 1 large lemon – about ¼ cup

½  teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup grated Cello Grated Romano**

Capers (optional)

Directions:

Set your water boiling for your pasta. Cook it to time up with when chicken and sauce are ready.

Prepare your chicken breasts either by pounding to make them thin or slice thin. We only use Foster Farms chicken around the manse.

Salt and pepper raw chicken pieces to taste.

Put flour and favorite seasonings in zipper bag. The Lady added a little dry chicken bouillon, celery seeds, paprika and chili powder.

Put chicken in zipper bag and toss to coat chicken pieces.

Heat olive oil in frying pan.

Add chicken and cook until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through. About 5-7 minutes each side.

Set chicken aside and cover to keep warm.

In same pan, add and heat cream until just about boiling. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic to cream. (If you choose to use capers, add them here as well.)

Cook for a minute or so and stir constantly.

Add Cello Grated Romano and stir until incorporated.

Drain cooked pasta and put in pasta bowl. Place chicken on top. Ladle sauce over chicken and pasta.

Serve.

Enjoy… I know we did… The Man even swooned.

Serves 2 plus a cat.

** Cello Grated Romano (Vacchino – made from cow’s milk) is distributed by the Arthur Schuman Company.

Romano is a hard cheese generally used for grating on top of pasta and into salads and sauces. It has a lower water content and the Romano cheese made from cow’s milk is a little milder and less salty than the pecorino version.

Romano cheese is made by a special method called “rummaging curd” which involves draining the curd quickly after molding. The surface is then pierced slightly before the cheese is salted.

It is named after the city of Rome, Italy where it has been made for more than two thousand years.

The Lady and I are very impressed with Cello Romano and she plans to use it next on pizza and then in meatballs… The man and I are grateful she enjoys cooking so much… even though it should be duly noted that I am not thrilled with her “friendliness” toward the interloper who likes to lounge on my deck…

FTC Full Disclosure – The manufacturer/distributor sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

Updated 5/14 – The Lady made this using Cello Riserva Parmesan and it, too, was a huge hit here at the manse. Read our review of Cello Riserva.

We apologize that “play-by-play” pictures aren’t available… The lady and I review cheese and don’t consider ourselves Chefs… and when cooking… The Lady and I have one primary goal: to eat!!

From the post at our sister blog, you know that The Lady and I have fallen back in love with the Dutch cheese, Parrano, an aged Gouda that thinks it’s Parmesan. It’s quite a terrific cheese!! The Lady made Chicken Primavera Alfredo using Parrano instead of the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Parrano added a depth and complexity to the sauce that has led me to crown Parrano Alfredo Sauce, “The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!”

And here’s how she made it:

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 275°.

Pasta: Use what you have in the pantry: we used Farfalla. Cook according to directions. When you drain it, do NOT rinse. The sauce sticks better to unrinsed pasta.

4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs (we use ONLY Foster Farms, home of those great Imposter Commercials) Cut into small chucks and/or strips.

Fresh Veggies: Use what you have in the fridge: we used mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus

Murray River Flake Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper to lightly season the chicken thighs

EVOO (for sautéing the chicken thighs and veggies)

1 Cup Heavy Cream (This is the cream that The Lady treats me to every morning: she buys it just for me; I was happy to share for making The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!)

½ Stick Butter (1/4 Cup)

1 Cup Shredded Parrano (Divided)

Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper

Preparation:

Heat a deep sauté pan.

Add the EVOO.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté the chicken thighs until almost cooked through.

Add the veggies and toss all to cover with the EVOO and juice of chicken. Sauté all for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Place in oven to finish cooking and remain warm.

In another sauté pan, heat the heavy cream. Add the butter and whisk to melt. Add ¾ cup of the Parrano and continue whisking. Grind fresh pepper on top.

Remove chicken and veggies from oven. Remove top. There will be extra liquid. Put over high heat and evaporate liquid without burning or further cooking.

Add cooked and drained pasta.

Top with sauce.

Toss and serve immediately. Use remaining Parrano to top individual dishes.

Enough for 2 with just enough left over for The Lady to take to work for her lunch.

And this how you make “The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!”

 

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Grandma Maroni’s 100 Year-Old Meatball Recipe

The Lady is really good about using ingredients she has in the kitchen rather than rushing off to Freddy’s every time The Man issues a last-minute special dinner request. Last night it was “Just some good ole spaghetti and meatballs”. The Lady headed to the laptop and found the above referenced recipe and adapted it as follows:

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients, except the EVOO, thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs.

Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball.

Heat saucepan to medium heat.

Add EVOO to saucepan.

Add meatballs to EVOO and brown well without over cooking.

Serve with your favorite pasta and simple marinara sauce.

6-8 Servings