Winter Whites

Cauliflower and Broccoli with a Gruyere Sauce

Gruyere cheese is one of my favorite cheeses so when I came across this recipe on internet I had to make it. I added broccoli to the mix, it was for cauliflower only so I adjusted the  quantities in the sauce. Recipe courtesy  of

8 cups of bite size cauliflower florets, (about 1 head)

4 teaspoons all purpose flower

1 cup 1% milk, divided

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese or 2 ounces

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives or parsley

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic or 1 clove, I love garlic so I added more and I simmered it with the milk

1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam or boil the vegetables till tender 8 to 10 minutes.


Meanwhile whisk the flour with 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Add the flour mixture. cook whisking till the sauce bubbles and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat add the cheese, chives or parsley, garlic and salt and pepper. Spoon over the cauliflower and serve.

Chicken Piccata

This dish is a staple in my house, I make it all the time.  I usually serve it with mash potatoes. It is courtesy of Ina Garten. Serves 2. But it is easily doubled.  I usually do the prep work ahead and leave the breaded chicken in the fridge for at least and hour before cooking.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 extra large egg

1/2 tablespoon water

3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature and divided

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, keep the lemon halves

1/2 cup dry white wine

sliced lemon for serving

chopped fresh parsley for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the chicken between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound it out to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow dish. In a second plate, beat the egg with 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs in a third plate. Dip the chicken in the flour, shake off excess, dip in the egg and then the bread crumbs.


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large saute pan over medium heat to medium low. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side. I cook them till they are brown ans crispy. Place them on the sheet pan, place in the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes. I usually place them in  a baking pan.


For the sauce, wipe the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and then add lemon juice. wine, and the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Boil over high heat until the reduced by half, about 2 minutes.


Off the heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve over chicken.

I put the sauce in a gravy boat because I found that it made the chicken soggy. I happen to like the crunchiness.

Apple Cobbler

I’m not much of a baker but, around this time a year I like to make this apple cobbler. The recipe was handed down to me by a family member. It’s very simple to make.

4 cups of peeled and sliced apples ( I like to use Macintosh)

1 1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons of melted butter

1 1/2 cup of flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

2/3 cup milk

Place apples in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and dot with 2 teaspoons of melted butter.


Combine flour, baking powder, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup melted butter and mix with fork till mixture is slightly coarser than cornmeal.


Combine egg and milk and pour into the dry ingredients.


And spoon over the apples. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 -35 minutes or till golden brown.

Boeuf Bourguignon

This is my favorite time of the year for cooking soups. I love the fact it can be made ahead of time , if entertaining and the left overs can go in the freezer. It’s great to have something on hand when it’s cold outside. This recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten.

She revised it so that it is quicker in cooking time.

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces bacon, diced

2 1/2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1 inch chunks

2 yellow onions, sliced

2 teaspoons garlic, 2 cloves

1/2 cup cognac or brandy

1 bottle of dry red wine, such as Burgundy

2 to 2 1/2 cups canned beef broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature and divided

3 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 pound frozen small whole onions

1 pound mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally til lightly brown. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon onto a plate.IMG_0567

Dry the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In batches of single layer brown on all sides. Remove to the plate with the bacon.IMG_0568

Toss the carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoon of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally till the onions are slightly brown.


Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the cognac, stand back, ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. ( skipped this part) . Put the meat and bacon back in the pot with it’s juices. Add the wine and enough beef broth to just cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover the pot tightly and place in the oven for 1 1/4 hours or till meat  and vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and place on to stove top.

Combine the flour and 2 tablespoons of butter with a fork and stir in the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium pan, saute the mushrooms in the remaining butter over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or till lightly brown and then add to stew.


Bring the stew to a boil, lower heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste. Serves 6.

1 Way to Help You Meet New Readers: Meet and Greet

Great idea!

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  HUMP DAY!!  No, that is completely wrong…it’s Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts…

View original post 23 more words

Sformato di Verdure e Carne (Vegetable & Meat Casserole)

Here’s another one skillet stovetop to oven dish I made the other night. This recipe is with ground turkey but it can be substituted with ground chicken, beef, pork or veal.  Courtesy of Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions, thinly sliced

1 pound zucchini, diced

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cup white wine

2 fresh bay leaves

1 3/4 pound russet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced less than 1/4 inch

8 ounces low moisture mozzarella, shredded

1 cup grated Grana Padana or Parmigiano Reggiano

2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Preheat oven 400f. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook till slightly softened. About 3 minutes.



Add the zucchini and teaspoon of salt and cook till tender. Using a slotted spoon remove to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and then add the ground turkey. Cook and stir till it crumbles and browned, about 4 minutes.IMG_0541

Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Then the wine and bay leaves, bring to a simmer and cook till wine is reduced and saucy, about 5 minutes. Sir in the zucchini and onion mixture.IMG_0542

Toss the potato slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining teaspoon of salt in a bowl.


In a medium bowl toss the two cheeses together. To assemble, butter a large oval baking dish (4 quart in size) Layer the potatoes in the bottom.

Sprinkle with a third of the cheese, layer the turkey mixture on top and then the rest of the cheese.


Cover with foil, not letting the foil touch the cheese. Place on the bottom rack and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes more till top is browned.

Skillet Gratinate of Zucchini and Chicken

In the last couple of weeks I’ve made several of these one skillet gratinate dishes from Lidia Bastianich, delicious and so easy to make.

2 pounds of chicken breasts or chicken tenders ( I buy the thin chicken breasts)

3 small or 2 medium zucchini

3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup or more of flour for dredging

1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons of soft butter

1 cup of Summer Tomato Sauce (she has given a recipe in her book, but I make my own or used can tomato sauce)

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 cup white wine

12 small fresh mint leaves or large shredded

3/4 cup grated Grana Padana or Parmigiano Reggiano

1 cup of hot simple vegetable broth, if needed (I never had to to use it)

Preheat oven 425F.

Flatten the chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch. ( I like to buy them already thin cutlets)

Slice the zucchini into ovals, about 1/4 inch thick.  Place 3 tablespoons in skillet and heat over medium. Toss the zucchini pieces in flour and lay them in the pan. Keep the heat moderate and let them caramelize slowly for about 2 minutes per side.


With a slotted spoon place the zucchini on a dish without using paper towels salt and place aside. Using the same pan you should have at least 2 tablespoons of oil and place 1 tablespoons of butter. Salt and dredge the chicken in flour.  When the butter is sizzling place the chicken in pan.


Cook them gently for about 1 1/2 minutes with no browning. Sprinkle again with salt. Spread a heaping tablespoon of tomato sauce over each cutlet. Arrange the zucchini pieces on top, overlapping.


Now raise the heat a bit to develop  a sauce. Add the hot pepper flakes, drop the remaining butter in small pieces all aroung the pan. Pour in the wine, spoon in the rest of the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer add the mint, shaking the pan a bit and then add the cheese.

IMG_0533 (1)

Place the skillet in the oven, bake for 10 minutes. Then give the skillet a gentle shake then bake for another 8 to 10 minutes.