Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian pasta dish served with chicken in a lemon, butter and caper sauce. The chicken is pounded thin, lightly breaded and browned in a pan. Pounding the chicken thin is an important step because it helps cook the chicken more evenly. The drippings from the chicken are used to make the savory pan sauce which, in my opinion, is the highlight of the dish. The sauce is a simple combination of white wine, butter, lemon, and capers. Making everything only takes about half hour so this is a great meal when you’re short on time for dinner!
This recipe is a perfect and easy pizza for cold winter nights! The roasted vegetables are a mix of red potatoes, butternut squash, onions and carrots baked in the oven until tender. The mozzarella and ricotta go very well with the veggies. The vegetables are seasoned simply with fresh rosemary and garlic. I like to pre-bake the pizza dough crust before adding any of the other ingredients just to ensure that the crust is cooked through and not too soggy. I really liked how all the veggies worked so well together so I will definitely be having this again sometime!
This pizza is layered with roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, and topped with Fontina cheese. The potatoes are tossed with fresh rosemary and olive oil, then roasted in the oven until brown and just crispy. My technique for making pizza is to pre-bake the pizza dough and broil for several minutes to melt the cheese. This recipe lends itself well to this technique since all of the toppings are cooked prior to baking. The rosemary potatoes with the caramelized onions and bacon were an extra delicious trio. The result was really tasty and ended up being a great Fall recipe.
One of my favorite summer dishes is caprese salad. Sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar offer the perfect combination of flavors. It also turns out these ingredients are a perfect grilled cheese in the making! The one issue was the balsamic vinegar–how to incorporate a liquid ingredient on a sandwich that isn’t a dressing? My solution was to simply roast the tomatoes in balsamic vinegar in the oven which infused the flavor of the balsamic into the tomato. I chose sourdough for the bread which worked nicely with the other ingredients. The sandwich was really tasty and not hard to make at all. It was a great way to turn a caprese salad appetizer into the main course!
A while back I made a prosciutto, mozzarella and fig panini on ciabatta bread. I wanted to revisit those flavors because I loved the combination of smoky and savory prosciutto along with the sweet and fruity fig jam. Instead of mozzarella I went with Manchego which is a cheese that I have been using quite a bit in sandwiches lately. Manchego is a little bit sweet and a little bit tart so it worked perfectly with the other ingredients. I decided on sourdough bread instead of ciabatta just to try something a little different. The sandwich turned out really great! I loved how the flavors balanced each other really well. It’s really easy to make too since it only needs 4 ingredients! The fig jam can be sweet so I just spread it thinly over the bread. It was a great combination of sweet and savory flavors, so I will definitely be having this again!
Coppa is an Italian cured meat made from thinly sliced pork shoulder. It is a perfect meat for sandwiches and goes well with melted cheese (then again what doesn’t?) I thought the tangy, Spanish Manchego cheese would go nicely with the flavors of the coppa. I read online that coppa is usually seasoned with white wine before curing so I marinated the tomatoes in white wine, then roasted them in the oven. I patted down the tomatoes a bit so that any wine vapor wouldn’t make the oven catch fire! The result was a wine infused roasted tomato and a fire-free kitchen. On top of the roasted tomatoes I added a layer of basil and grilled it all together. I really liked the sourdough bread with the slightly sour/tangy manchego. The roasted tomatoes provided sweet acidity and the pork was flavorful and a little smoky. All the ingredients were nicely balanced and it was an all around tasty sandwich!
I bet everyone since the coming of the internet has thought of a great idea, searched for it and realized a lot of people had the same idea. This pizza was practically an epiphany for me: “…a vodka sauce pizza?“ The recipe for the sauce makes enough for the pizza plus a little extra for any future pasta nights. I chose the margherita style pizza because I thought it would work best with the vodka sauce and not mask the flavor of it. The fresh mozzarella, thin crust, and basil leaves were the perfect accompaniments to the vodka sauce. After I had finished enjoying the pizza I couldn’t wait to make a post about it. It turns out other people thought the same thing! I don’t mind though..sometimes good ideas start from all over.
After making several batches of eggplant panini sandwiches I had some leftover eggplant that needed to be used up. First, I roasted the eggplant in the oven, and then cooked it in red wine with the prosciutto and tomatoes. The eggplant browned a bit in the oven and absorbed the flavors of the wine in the pan. It was pretty easy to throw together and doesn’t take long to prepare. The wine, eggplant, and prosciutto all complimented each other really well. I topped the pasta with a little fresh basil and feta cheese.
Eggplant has become a recent favorite food over the last 2 years. Before that I just never gave it a second thought. It’s an under rated vegetable and that might be due to the trickiness of cooking it. There’s acid in eggplant so it’s good to press some of the juice out to remove the bitterness. Grilling eggplant is one of the best ways to cook it just because it chars the eggplant and gives it a smokier flavor. I chose some roasted tomato slices to compliment the eggplant along with fresh mozzarella and olive tapenade. The roasted tomatoes were especially good because they are in between fresh and sun-dried. The tomato is concentrated like a sun-dried tomato but it remains just juicy enough to eat on a sandwich. It was so good! I really liked all the flavors together and I will definitely make this again.
Butternut squash is a food that can be surprisingly versatile. So far I have enjoyed it in a variety of recipes but this pizza is by far one of the best. The squash is coated in olive oil, sage and rosemary and baked until soft. The onions sauteed in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar provide a nice balance of sweet and tart. Those flavors work really well with the squash and smoky pancetta. As for the cheese, I used Mozzarella but I would guess that Fontina cheese would be fine too. I also scooped some of the seeds out of the squash to roast in the oven which I used as a final topping. They taste just like pumpkin seeds and it was a really nice last minute addition on the pizza. I wouldn’t use a lot of salt on this recipe as the pancetta is naturally on the salty side and roasting the seeds with salt provides enough flavor for the rest of the pizza. The result was a great pizza with flavors that complimented each other really well.