Italian Dinner – Fennel Pork Chops and Risotto with Mushrooms and Saffron

Recipes in this PostPork chops marinating

Sundays are the day in our family where we really try to keep the Sabbath day. We go to Mass, and I try to not get on the computer. No working on Sunday, sometimes not even to get email.

Spane really likes going to the 5:30 p.m. Mass, the Life Teen Mass, mainly because it is a more youthful Mass, with a band that plays guitar, drum and piano, with really good jazzy singers. I like going to the earlier Masses because I really like listening to Holy Family’s award winning choir. I like to sing, too.

Usually, we go to 5:30 Mass, so I don’t have that much time to make a real “Sunday” dinner, but today we went to 11:00 Mass, so I did. I thought that this was a good opportunity to praise God with a nice dinner, and Italian is always a good choice.

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Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

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Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

This was a dish that Chef John Farion made for me a long, long time ago. He was the chef at Bird’s restaurant in Hollywood, and had gotten the recipe from a chef he was working under.

I have made this several times. I consider it a real treat, something I make for company, or I make for people I really care about. It isn’t really that time consuming, but it is a little expensive.

The recipe calls for Gorgonzola, which is a blue veined Italian cheese. If you cannot find Gorgonzola, or do not want to pay the steep price for it, you can substitute a good blue cheese. Luckily, I live in Glendale, California, which has a high Armenian population, and Armenian grocery stores always have low cost, good quality blue cheese available by the pound. Don’t try to use the already crumbled blue cheese, it is dried out, has no flavor, and is usually expensive.

It goes best with the wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Noodles, as the sauce coats each noodle delicately and the noodles hug the pieces of chicken. Yum!

If you are afraid that your guests will not like the blue cheese – yes, there really are some people who find it too strong and strange – you can add the cheese as a garnish for the people who do want the blue cheese flavor.

I made this tonight with broccoli and served it with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My friend, Amber, and her husband Stevie, just loved it. Spane has had it many times, and even Amber’s persnickety son wanted some.

Recipe: Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts Boned
  • 1 cup Sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Gogonzola Cheese
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Pistachio Nuts
  • Cracked Black Peppercorns
  • Wide Noodles – Pennsylvania Dutch Edd Noodles are best

Instructions

  1. Shell the pistachio nuts. Heat a pan and toast the nuts in it, stirring often to prevent burning. Chop into a course chop and set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into one inch pieces and set aside. Put butter into a saute pan, melt, then add garlic. Saute until translucent, then add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms and add about a tablespoon of white wine. Cook the mushrooms until they brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Boil a large pot of water and add salt. Add pasta.
  4. Put more butter into the saute pan, then add chicken pieces. Saute on high heat until they are browned nicely on all sides. Remove from the pan, and deglaze with wine. Cook the wine down, then put the chicken back. Add the cream, and cook down until the cream has thickened. Add half of the nuts, leaving the rest for garnish. If you do not have anyone that is adverse to blue cheese, add the cheese at this point. Then add the mushrooms. Just before serving, crack black peppercorns over.
  5. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. If it reaches that stage before the chicken is done, turn the heat off. Drain the pasta in a colander and start to plate-up.
  6. Put pasta, then serve chicken and sauce over the pasta. Top with cheese if you have not added it to the sauce, then garnish with remaining nuts and chopped Italian parsley.

Variations

If you can’t get Gorgonzola, you can substitute a good Danish Blue Cheese instead.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

Calories: 611

Fat: 125

Protein: 111.7

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.


This recipe is available for download at BigOven.

Enjoy!

A Little Italian, a Little French, a Little Mexican

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I am Catholic, and I remember as a child that you ate fish on Fridays. There are all sorts of rumors why that is – the only real reason is that the flesh of land animals was restricted on Fridays, not to promote the Italian fishing industry. I think that eating fish on Friday is a good thing. It’s a good way to remember to keep fish in your diet, and there are so many varieties you are always guaranteed a good meal!

When I looked in the pantry on Monday, I saw that I had a can of clams, Parmesan and a box of linguine. Yum! Friday was taken care of, all I needed was some white wine.

Chicken In Wine Mushroom Sauce I went to the grocery on Monday, and found mushrooms on sale, so I picked up the mushrooms and a bottle of Two Buck Chuck at Trader Joe’s. I drank some of the Chuck, and I used some for Chicken in Wine Mushroom Sauce.

That was really good, and we still have a little bit in the fridge.

A Little French

But, the reason for this post is the Linguine and Clam Sauce. I thought that garlic bread would be a good accompaniment. I have a little mini food processor, that does a wonderful job with garlic butter. Have a look at the The Right Tool for the Job page for my recommendation on that.

Garlic Bread
My recipe for Garlic Bread is available on Big Oven, and it calls for Italian Seasoning. Well, I went to Cost Plus World Market a while ago and bought Herbs de Provence and Italian Seasoning in large packages. One I marked (the Italian), the other I did not. Of course, when making this that night, I used the wrong one. Guess what! It was wonderful with that hint of lavender – and that’s the French in the title.

The only thing I did not have on hand was basil, but I did have cilantro – how was that going to taste? That’s where the Mexican comes in.

And now, without further ado, is the recipe for Linguine with Clam Sauce and Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

Clam Sauce

1 can chopped clams
1 bottle clam juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 glass of white wine
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cilantro chopped
Linguine

Garlic Bread

1/2 stick butter
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
Loaf of French bread

Method

Linguine and Clam Sauce

Put a large pot on to boil for the pasta. The best thing to use is a dedicated pasta pot. Add a little salt to the water, but do not add any oil, it just makes the pasta greasy. When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.

While the water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the garlic, being careful not to let the garlic burn. When the garlic is translucent add the clams, clam juice, and wine. Reduce the heat and let it cook down to about half. Add the cilantro, stir and serve over linguine. Top with more Parmesan.

Garlic Bread

Put the butter, cheese and herbs into a small food processor and mix throughly. If your bread has not already been sliced, make slices that do not go all the way through, and butter each side of each slice. Wrap up in foil and bake in 350 oven for about 10 minutes.

Cold Rainy Day Friday Food – Clam and Red Snapper Stew

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It’s cold and nasty today – the kind of cold that makes your bones hurt, so I’m going to make my favorite fish stew tonight with some nice garlic bread and a glass of wine.

When you make this, make sure that the shell fish you buy is still alive, so go to a reputable fishmonger to get your shellfish. The shellfish should be on ice, and you can ask the fishmonger to put in some ice when the fish is bagged up, especially if you live far away.

Here’s my recipe:
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