Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy Penne alla Vodka

Easy Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla Vodka is one of Miss F's most favorite pastas. It only trails behind spaghetti and meatballs or Daddy pasta.  I have several recipes that I like, but I really wanted to simplify it for an easier weeknight meal, something that didn't involve hours in the oven or a food processor.  This meal was a huge hit, I served it with pizza chips and broccoli, with barely any leftovers of anything.  Miss F called dibs on what was left for her lunch box the next day.  I liked the fact that the sauce came together in the same amount of time as it took to cook the pasta.
Easy Penne alla Vodka

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup vodka
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Prepare the pasta per package instructions, drain and set aside, reserving the pasta water. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the vodka to the pan, bring to a simmer and swirl in the tomato paste, simmer for 2 minutes more. Stir in the red pepper and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream and salt, once the mixture begins to bubble, stir in the Parmesan. Add the pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Pork Milanese

Pork Milanese
I love any breaded and fried pork chop, pork things are still my go to, but I do like to mix it up. I selected this recipe because I am still trying to use all the lemons in the house. It is from Giada De Laurentiis and it couldn't be easier.  My pork chops all pounded out so strangely, each one of the turned into a "C" shape, it was the oddest thing.  Miss F at the whole lemon, skin and all.  So gross, but she loves them.  She refused to eat hardly any of her dinner except for the lemon, I blame the time change.  Isn't that what all moms do this time of year for any and all bad behavior?
Pork Milanese

¾ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
1 large egg
3 boneless pork loin chops, pounded thin to 1/3 inch-thick (¾ pounds total)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lemon wedges

Coarsely crush the Panko into a shallow bowl, stir in the Parmesan. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, dip into the egg then into the Panko mixture, patting to coat completely. Plate and refrigerate the pork for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Plate and serve each with a lemon wedge.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken
I am still going through the plethora of Meyer lemons that my mom gave me. I got a whole chicken on super sale and adapted this recipe from Our Recipe Box.  I added red potatoes to the pan and they were my most favorite part of the dish, they were so bright and full of lemon flavor.  C was not a fan of the lemon potatoes and once he decided he didn't like them, Miss F refused as well.  But who am I kidding, she refuses all potatoes no matter what the flavor.  This made an incredibly moist bird, which I credit to roasting it "upside down," that is with the breast side down in the pan.
Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
zest from two Meyer lemons
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken
3 Meyer lemons, cut into quarters
6 to 8 red potatoes, quartered

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together two tablespoons of olive oil, rosemary, zest, salt and pepper. Spread the oil mixture over the chicken. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Squeeze one of the lemons over and inside the chicken, add the squeezed quarters to the cavity of the chicken. Toss the potatoes and four more lemon quarters with the remaining oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange the potatoes and lemons around the chicken. Roast "upside down," with the breast side down, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the thigh temperature reads 165 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the remaining lemon quarters.
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