Archives for September 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Meatballs and Sunday Gravy

extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 TBS. tomato paste
1/4 c. breadcrumbs (toast bread in oven or toaster, grind using food processor)
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
palmful of coarsely ground pepper
sea salt, to taste
5 ribs celery, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
10 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 TBS. tomato paste
2 28 oz. cans whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes
4 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 cups cabernet sauvignon
sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl.
3. Roll the meat mixture into medium sized meatballs using your hands.
4. Heat a large dutch oven over med-high heat with a few swirls of extra virgin olive oil.
5. Using tongs, transfer the meatballs into the pot, lightly browning each meatball on both sides (work in batches, about 3 minutes on each side).
6. Place the meatballs on a large plate to rest.
7. Add more evoo to the pot and add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic.
8. Allow the vegetables to brown in the pot, constantly mixing with a spatula, about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
9. Add the last five ingredients to the pot and mix well with a spatula until fully incorporated.
10. Place the meatballs back into the pot of sauce.
11. Put the pot into the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the house smells yummy!


Wordless Wednesday

Simple Lemon Chicken

1 1/4 lbs. chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (around 10 pieces)
cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
bunch of fresh oregano
5 cloves of garlic
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 6 lemons
2 1/2 TBS. agave nectar or honey
1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil

1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
2. Using a food processor or blender, process the oregano, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice until fully combined to form a marinade.
3. Place the chicken in a large freezer bag, add the marinade, agave, and evoo to the bag.
4. Seal the bag and toss the chicken around until fully coated with the entire marinade.
5. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
6. Take the chicken out of the bag and place in a large glass baking dish.
7. Bake the chicken in the oven at 400 F for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly browned.


A Berry Sweet Ending

Hey ya’ll,
I’m sorry I have been neglecting my blog, it’s just been a terribly busy week full of tests, work, etc. etc. I have barely enough time to think about food…much less prepare lovely dishes for you all. From now on I will be more consistent and post at least 2-3 dishes every week…at least while I’m in school. If you see more than that number, you will know that my school schedule is winding down. Anyways… summer is drawing to a close, and that not only means the end of hot days (well, maybe if you live in New York, as opposed to Texas, but we can dream, can’t we?), snow cone season, and afternoon dips in the pool. Most importantly, as we enter into the winter months, some of our favorite summer produce becomes discontinued…pulled off shelves as if it never existed, only to be reintroduced at the next season’s earliest convenience. As summer draws to a close, we must unfortunately say good-bye to our beloved blueberry. Now, this summer I have definitely neglected the blueberry in many of my dishes, which is a rare thing because I live with a “blueberry monster,” otherwise known as my baby sister, Leslie. Ever since we were little kids, Leslie has been a blueberry fanatic. I remember one distinct occasion when we were living in Massachusetts. I was around 3 or 4 years old, which would make Les about 1 or 2. Well, one morning I walked into our kitchen, only to see Leslie perched atop the kitchen table, gazing out the window with her sparkling blue eyes…which are only about ten shades lighter than the blueberries in the muffin she was clutching in her hand. It was as though she had seen a ghost, and as she turned towards me, she pointed her finger to the window and exclaimed “SNOW!” Yes, that was Leslie’s first encounter with snow…but what did I remember most? Not the snow, but how she diligently peeled the paper wrapper off of her Little Debbie Blueberry Muffin…and yet still managed to end up with half of the muffin encased on the outside of her rosy little cheeks. Even today…nothing has changed, every morning Les has a bowl of yogurt topped with her favorite cereal, and a bushel of fresh blueberries. Her eyes even light up at the grocery store, as she rushes to the fruit section to stock up on those blue little darling’s. It is going to pain me the next few months to see her joy taken away from her as blueberries go out of season…luckily we still have the frozen substitute. This weekend I decided to say Ciao to summer by making Lessy’s favorite, Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins (with Pecans and Browned Butter Topping). I hope ya’ll will enjoy these last couple of weeks of summer and these tasty muffins. MANGIA!

2 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1/3 c. olive oil
1 whole egg
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1 10 oz. package fresh blueberries (I used organic b/c it was the only option available! You can use frozen, but thaw before using)
1/2 c. roasted, unsalted pecans, roughly chopped

For the topping:
1/3 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 TBS. butter

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
2. Place the first six ingredients into a stand mixer, and mix until just incorporated.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the vanilla, olive oil, egg, buttermilk, and yogurt using a whisk.
4. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and combine until fully incorporated.
5. Fold in the blueberries and pecans.
6. Pour the blueberry batter into a muffin pan using a melon ball scooper (I put about three scoops of the batter in each cup) (I lined my pan with paper cups, but you can butter the pan and just pour the batter into the individual slots).
7. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crumble topping using a fork.
8. Top each of the muffins with the crumble mixture.
9. Put the muffins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done (insert a fork or toothpick into each muffin, when it comes out clean…they are done!)

P.S. I am trying to get some ideas for Fall baking. What dishes would you like to see? Let me know in the comments section!

Wordless Wednesday

Roasted Tomato, Artichoke, and Goat Cheese Frittata

5 Campari tomatoes (you can use Roma’s if you can’t find Campari’s)
extra virgin olive oil
14.65 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
palmful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese (I used a Mediterranean and herb flavor)
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in aluminum foil.
3. Place the wrapped tomatoes in a small square baking pan and drizzle them with the evoo.
4. Bake the tomatoes in the oven for 35 minutes-1 hour, or until roasted (roasting time depends on your oven).
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and milk together until fully incorporated.
6. Spray a medium size souffle dish with cooking spray.
7. Layer the chopped basil on the bottom of the dish.
8. Layer the artichokes over the basil.
9. Layer the goat cheese over the artichokes.
10. Take the roasted tomatoes out of the oven and layer them over the artichokes.
11. Pour the egg mixture over all of the layered ingredients.
12. Season with salt and pepper.
13. Bake the frittata in the oven at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until golden brown.


“Labor-Less” Grilled Shrimp Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Happy Labor Day Ya’ll,
You know, I have been laboring ALOT lately. Whether it’s at school, work, or in the kitchen…I feel as though I am running 100 miles/hour 24/7/365. That’s when I decide that I need a break, to say to myself, “Chelsy, stop!..and breathe a little. Naturally, I decide to create some “me time”, so to speak. This usually involves some high-maintenance pampering, where I schedule a deep tissue massage, organic facial, or some sort of spa pedicure (although, I sometimes forgo the spa pedicure to avoid the annoying woman doing my nails who will repeatedly ask me if I want my eyebrows waxed!)…this is the point where I want to scream “I think they are perfect, just because you have no eyebrows doesn’t mean you have to ruin mine!…but I usually say something along the lines of “I’ve got some Italian in me…we are generally hairy people…I have to shave everyday! Anyway, I thought I would take this Labor Day to really relax…which is why I made this dish yesterday so I could just post it today (haha…pretty sneaky of me, huh?). I feel that it’s time to focus more on what’s important in life, rather than stressing over the minor details. I’d rather spend my time sharing my “labor” of love with my family and friends, which is why I have created this time saving recipe, my “Labor-Less” Grilled Shrimp Salad with Cilantro and Lime. Not to mention, this would be a kick-but recipe to serve at a Labor Day get together…I’m thinking along the lines of finger foods, or as an appetizer…but it’s whatever you choose). I hope I “labored” enough over this dish for ya’ll…about a total of 10 minutes of preparation time! So…take this Labor Day easy and spend it relaxing with loved ones! Mangia!

1 pnd. of large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (My shrimp were pre-cooked, but I peeled the suckers myself)
1/2 c. greek yogurt
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sugar
sea salt and pepper, to taste
Ritz crackers

1. If your shrimp are not already peeled, go ahead and peel them.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and grill each piece of shrimp, working in batches (about 2 minutes on each side).
3. Set the grilled shrimp aside in a large mixing bowl.
4. Put the remaining ingredients into a food processor and process until fully incorporated into a smooth dressing.
5. Pour the dressing over the shrimp and mix well with a spatula until fully incorporated.
6. Cover the shrimp salad with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
7. Take the shrimp salad out of the fridge and serve it with Ritz crackers.