Thursday, April 16, 2015

Roasted Local Lamb Chops with Herbs and Walnuts

These French cut lamb chops are from a local vendor that was at the winter farmers' market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket a few weeks ago. I can't remember the name of the vendor but these local chops were fresh, tender, moist and delicious.

I simply seasoned the chops with Herbs de Provence, a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I then sprinkled some extra virgin olive oil over a baking sheet and laid out the chops. After pre-heating the oven at 400 degrees, I roasted the chops for about 8-10 minutes (check half way through cooking for desired doneness). 

After tasting the chops I felt they needed something more so I processed about a cup plus of walnuts, a large clove of garlic, about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, what was left of the fresh parsley I had in the fridge from another meal, and a little salt and pepper. I had just enough of this walnut parsley pesto to top each chop with about one teaspoon full.

These chops made a nice addition to our Easter feast but would be easy to make anytime of the week for your family.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cod Puttanesca

This is an easy family meal to make. And there is plenty of left over sauce to save for a pasta meal another day or freeze, which makes our cooking-at-home lives much easier!

Ingredients for the sauce:
3 cups of your own pasta sauce, or 1 25 oz jar of organic marinara
1 28 oz can of organic Italian whole peeled plum tomatoes
    (I like the texture these add. Just squish them up with your hands before adding to the pot.)
1 12 oz jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Dark or light. I used light.)
About 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley and basil, mixed. This is fresh cooking so
    it really doesn't matter -- it can be all parsley or all basil. Whatever is on hand. Whatever you like.
1 large shallot
2-3 cloves garlic, depending on size and how garlicky you want the sauce to taste
1/2 teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes, to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (The olives, capers, and canned/jarred tomatoes, if not
   low-sodium, could already add enough salt.)


Add everything to the pot, bring to a boil, stir around then simmer while preparing the fish.

For our meal, I used four large fillets of fresh cod that I cut in half. There is a lot of sauce for more fish. If using less fish, freeze the leftover sauce for other meals. 

I sprinkled a little extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of the casserole dish, added the fish, ladled the sauce over the top of the fish in amount that looked good and baked at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the fish looked done.

This cod puttanesca tastes great with simple oven roasted potatoes or crusty bread. I love roasting potatoes with an Italian herb mix and rosemary.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brussels Sprouts Roasted With Maple Syrup

As simple as can be. Sweet and savory.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your cleaned brussels sprouts in half. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet for easy clean up because the sugar in the maple syrup will stick to the pan. Toss brussels sprouts with a little extra virgin olive oil to coat, a few sprinkles of white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic), a generous tablespoon of real maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 5-7 minutes or until you start smelling the aroma and they look tender. Check for doneness and once you plate them you won't be able to stop eating them!

See, I didn't use parchment paper or foil and the maple sugar stuck to the pan. 

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