Monday, March 14, 2011

Italian Week: Days 6 and 7 (Oh, and the start of Spanish Week!)

Hello and welcome to Everyday meals! I want to apologize for being away so long. I was on a "mini vacation" and failed to drag my laptop along with me. I was a mess without you all! To make it up to you all, I have a very special treat for you all. Not one, not two, not even three recipes today. We are doing four, yes, four recipes! We will finish off our Italian week with two recipes and start Spanish week with two recipes. The reason for two Spanish recipes is because we should have started it on Sunday. Anywho... enough blabbering. Let's get cooking!

Macaroni with Roasted Vegetables

You will need:
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 egg plant, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound of plum tomatoes, cut into fourths and seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces dried short-cut macaroni
  • 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cups strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved
Ready to begin this recipe? Okay.
  1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Spread out the onions, zucchinis, bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle with the garlic, drizzle with the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir well until all of the vegetables are coated.
  4. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and stir well again.
  5. Return the vegetables to the oven for and additional 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottomed pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until Al-Dente.
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, transfer them to another pan and add the strained tomatoes and olives.
  8. Heat through gently, stirring occasionally.
  9. Drain your pasta and transfer to a heated dish. Add the roasted vegetable sauce and toss well.
  10. Serve!
Okay... time for a tiny breather and then we will begin on recipe #2.

Chicken Peperonata

You will need:
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 (of each) red, yellow, and green bell peppers, sliced thinly
  • 14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • salt and pepper
Let's do this!
  1. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and toss the chicken in the flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide skillet and fry the chicken quickly until sealed and lightly browned, then remove from the skillet.
  3. Add the onion to the skillet and fry until soft.
  4. Add the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, and oregano, then bring to a boil, stirring.
  5. Arrange the chicken over the vegetables, season well with salt and pepper, then cover the skillet tightly and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooks and tender.
  6. Serve!
Phew! That was an easy one! Are you ready for Spanish food next? I am. ^_^

Chorizo and Ham Paella

You will need:
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 6 ounces serrano ham, diced (If unavailable, use prosciutto)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 ounces tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved, broiled, peeled and sliced (I know, I know... (-.-) )
  • 1.5 (1 and a half) cups medium-grain paella rice (be generous)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 generous cup white wine
  • 2 pints simmering chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
NOTE: I'm sorry about the amount of ingredients in this dish, but I couldn't let you guys go on with this blog without this dish.
  1. Put the saffron threads and water in a small bowl and let infuse for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan and cook the chorizo and ham over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the onion, stirring, until softened.
  4. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and saffron and its soaking liquid and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomato wedges and red bell pepper slices and cook, stirring for and additional 2 minutes.
  6. Put in the rice and thyme and cook, stirring for to coat the rice.
  7. Pour in the wine and most of the hot stock and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 19 minutes. (Do NOT stir during cooking, but shake the pan once or twice and when adding the ingredients)
  8. Season to taste and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked. If the liquid is absorbed too quickly, pour in a little more stock.
  9. Return the chorizo and ham and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
  10. When all the liquid has been absorbed and you can detect a faint toasty aroma coming from the rice, remove fro the heat.
  11. Cover the pan with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve!
Oy vey... That was complicated. I'm sorry, but you will forgive and forget when you eat this dish! Promise. Okay. One more...

Tortilla Espanola

You'll need:
  • 1 pound of waxy tomatoes, peeled and cut into cubed
  • 2 cups Spanish olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the potato cubes and onions, then lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently so that the potatoes do not clump together (20 minutes or until tender, but not browned)
  3. Place in a strainer over a large bowl and drain well. Set aside the oil.
  4. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the potatoes and onions.
  5. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil.
  6. When hot, add the egg add the egg and potato mixture, lower the heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the underside is just set.
  7. Use a spatula to submerge the potatoes down into the egg and loosen the tortilla from the bottom of the skillet to stop it from sticking.
  8. Cover the tortilla with a plate and hold the plate in place with the other hand.
  9. Drain off the oil in the skillet, then quickly invert the tortilla onto the plate. Return the skillet to the heat and add a little more oil if necessary.
  10. Slide the tortilla, cooked side uppermost, back into the skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes, or until set underneath.
  11. Slide the tortilla onto a serving plate and let stand for a few minutes.
  12. Serve!
Okay. We have had a long blog today! I hope all of these dishes are enjoyed and shared. I'll see you all tomorrow for day 3 of Spanish week. Adios!

Pictured above: Tortilla Espanola
Pictured above: Macaroni with Roasted Vegetables
Pictured above: Chicken Peperonata
Pictured above: Chorizo and Ham Paella