Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fettuccine Alfredo from Ruth Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook {Total Comfort Food}!


So last week was an EXTREMELY tough week at school and that is an understatement. On top of that, I was exposed as a girl in my group tested positive for covid. Then I woke up sick the next day. Don't you love how literally every symptom is a covid symptom? Makes things fun, doesn't it? Even better when all the testing sites are booked up and you can't get a test anywhere. Thankfully I am on the mend, but I am still short on patience and just over everything.

I wanted to make something REALLY EASY and SUPER COMFORTING and I have been craving pasta, and loving my Ruth Riechl recipes lately, so I decided to make something super naughty!

Ruth Reichl's Fettuccine Alfredo! It couldn't be easier and....IT COULDN'T BE MORE DELICIOUS! This is the third time I've tried making Fettuccine Alfredo. The first time I made Giada's recipe and it was good. Then I made Nigel Slater's Needs Must Fettuccine Alfredo and it was also good. Then I made this recipe and it was love at first bite. I knew instantly that this was THE ONE AND ONLY!

Seriously, this recipe is simply the best and tastes even better than eating Fettucine Alfredo in a restaurant. The best part is that it is so easy as it is essentially only 4 ingredients: fettuccine, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and heavy cream! You can have it done in the time it takes to cook pasta!

All you have to do is boil the noodles and prep your sauce ingredients: butter, cream, Parmigiano Reggiano. This is where I have some tips for you! Make sure you salt your pasta water very well as this really adds to the overall dish. Also, buy quality pasta and REAL Parmigiano-Reggiano! Lastly, be sure to save at least a cup of pasta water because alfredo has a tendency to seize up after awhile and a great tip is to use that leftover pasta water to help loosen things up.

This is an incredible one pot meal. It is definitely indulgent, but it is a great recipe that everyone in the family will love, and we all deserve a treat right now as things are a bit crazy. 

I like to serve this with a big green salad or some green veggies, but if you wanted to add some meat then you could buy a Rotisserie chicken and add some chicken to the pasta.

Please give it a try!

Fettuccine Alfredo

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Serves 4

 3/4 pound good dried egg fettuccine

1 stick butter

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for sprinkling

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Cook fettuccine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespon salt per every 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water (I like to reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water - for all recipes).

Meanwhile, thinly slice 3 tablespoons butter; set aside.

When pasta is cooked, melt remaining 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a 2- to 3-quart flameproof gratin dish over low heat (I just used the pan from the pasta). Add pasta and toss to coat, lifting strands. Add cheese, reserved cooking water (a little at a time), cream, reserved butter, salt and pepper and toss to combine well. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve immediately. 

*You will want to serve this immediately because the sauce will thicken quickly. I like to keep quite a bit of pasta water to help loosen up the sauce if need be. 







Sunday, September 19, 2021

Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce { A New Favorite}!

Ok, so for years (and I do means years...lots of years) I've wanted to make some version of pork and apples. I've never had it and it ALWAYS looks like the quintessential fall pairing. I mean who doesn't go completely nuts over pictures of pork loin cooked in apple cider with cooked apples on the side? I mean can you just imagine the aroma?

Well, I finally picked a recipe and just made it happen! I looked through my Ruth Reichl cookbooks and found two recipes: Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Brown Butter Buttermilk Potatoes OR Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce. Now honestly, I'd rather have the Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder, but I just didn't have time for a project like that, SO...I decided to make the Brown Butter Buttermilk Potatoes and serve it with Ruth's Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce. Let me just say right now...after tasting the pork chops, I must make the Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder sometime this fall!

This recipe is based on a French dish from the Normandy region. A Normandy sauce is made using cream, stock, butter, and Calvados and is typically served over veal. In this recipe, Ruth uses shallot; apple cider vinegar; apple cider; fresh sage; chicken stock; and cream and the sauce cooks in stages for almost 40 minutes. It is a rather complex sauce that is creamy with a hint of sweetness and a tang that I'm guessing comes from the vinegar. It is literally so good I want to eat it on everything!

I can't tell you this is a simple recipe. It does take awhile. Once the glorious sauce is complete, you simply saute pork chops in butter, then saute the sliced apples, then add the remaining stock and meat juices back to the sauce and cook the sauce down until it has a thick consistency like a gravy.

Now, the pork chops would be just fine served as is with the cooked apples, but I feel compelled to tell you that you really should make the Brown Butter Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, or just plain buttermilk mashed potatoes, or any mashed potatoes because....THE CIDER CREAM SAUCE IS SO GOOD AND YOU WILL WANT IT ON EVERYTHING!

 Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter

1 large shallot, minced

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1/4 tsp. dried

1-1/4 cups chicken stock 

2/3 cups heavy cream

6 (3/4" thick) pork loin chops (2-1/2 pounds total)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 Golden Delicious or Gala apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges or slices

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add apple cider, vinegar, and sage, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.

Add 1 cup stock and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 12 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add chops in 2 batches and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chops to a warm platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Pour off fat from skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, then add apples, and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and gently toss with brown sugar.

Add remaining 1/4 cup stock to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, for 1 minute. Stir deglazing liquid into sauce, along with any meat juices accumulated on platter and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer apples to platter with pork and pour sauce over top.

Amazing Apples @ IHCC!



Sunday, September 12, 2021

Curtis Stone's Favorite {and Healthy} Potato Salad

My co-worker had potato salad for lunch the other day and it looked so good. All at once I was craving potato salad something fierce. The problem is, classic potato salad isn't the healthiest.

I've tried the versions of potato salad using yogurt instead of mayo and they are just not the same. I just can't with them. Then I found this recipe, which uses a combination of broth and a little bit of mayo, and I just kinda knew it would be great.  

What makes it healthy? Curtis does something a little different here that I've never seen before. He uses chicken broth and simmers it with the shallot, capers, and cornichons. This trick accomplishes three things. First, it softens the harsh flavor of the shallot, Second, it flavors the broth, which is then poured over the potatoes and flavors the potatoes. Third, it greatly reduces the amount of mayo you use, making the overall recipe much healthier than classic versions.

When you pour the broth over the potatoes and stir, the potatoes become flavorful and creamy all on their own. This means it is only necessary to use a very small amount of mayo. I have to say, I was really impressed with this method and couldn't believe how creamy and "classic" this potato salad looked and tasted.

You can serve this warm and it is really good that way, but I enjoyed it most when it was chilled and the flavors were allowed to marry together. I have to tell you, this is THE HEALTHY POTATO SALAD RECIPE and I am so glad I discovered it and had a chance to make it before summer officially goes away. I can have a reasonable portion size and still feel totally good about eating it!


My Favorite Potato Salad

Adapted from Good Food, Good Life

by Curtis Stone

Serves 8

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2" chunks

kosher salt

8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), finely diced

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

2 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1/3 cup finely chopped cornichons

1/4 cup drained capers

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley*

1/3 cup Aioli or mayonnaise

freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender; a sharp knife should pierce a piece of potato easily and the potato should slip off the knife without falling apart.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over high heat. Add the shallots, cornichons, and capers, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer very gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shallots soften slightly. Remove from the heat.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and gently shake them to release excess moisture. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.

Add one-third of the broth mixture to the hot potatoes and, using a silicone spatula, gently fold and turn the potatoes in the hot broth for about 2 minutes, or until most of it has been absorbed. Repeat 2 more times, adding all of the solids and just enough of the broth to moisten. The potatoes should break down a bit. Set aside.

Gently fold the bacon and parsley into the warm potatoes, then gently fold in the aoili or mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. 

Holding On To Summer @ IHCC





Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Peppers Stuffed with Feta


I wasn't supposed to be home this weekend. I was supposed to be up in Ohio visiting my Dad and my friends, but you know...the ruiner of all things caused problems, yet again.

This past Wednesday I got a sore throat. I thought it was allergies, but wanted to be responsible so I searched high and low for a rapid covid test. I couldn't find anything. Nothing. Nada. I finally found a place that would do a rapid test Thursday night. They were supposed to get me results within hours. That didn't happen. Then results were supposed to come in 12-24 hours. That didn't happen either.

Long and short of the story, I couldn't get results in time to leave when I needed to. When the results finally came back they were negative. It was allergies. I should've went, but I just couldn't risk my Dad and his wife getting sick so I stayed home. Covid is now enemy #1 in my house. The ruiner of all things! I realize my attitude isn't healthy and also that it has everything to do with perception. So many people have it worse than I do with Covid, but I am literally at the end of my rope with it. There is just no end to it. What is the endgame? Does an endgame exist?

I binged five episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu and I ate several of my son's chocolate bars that he's selling for a fundraiser. I stayed in my pjs. I read books. I ate ramen noodles. I cursed. I was mad at the world.

I couldn't muster energy for any elaborate blog posts, but I have been wanting to make Tessa's Peppers Stuffed with Feta for a super duper long time, so I went with it. This was a recipe I could handle. 

Simply cut the tops off the baby bell peppers, clean out the seeds, stuff with feta, put the caps on and saute in olive oil with some oregano. Less than 10 minutes and I am actually eating the first healthy thing I've ate all weekend. These little peppers are addictive and colorful and a great vehicle for one of my favorite cheeses of all time: feta. They are so pretty and they definitely put a smile on my face for awhile. I highly recommend them if you need to smile, too!

Now I'm headed back to my chair. I've decided I need a dartboard. In the center of the board is going to be a new bullseye: an image of spiky fuzzy ball that we've all come to hate. For the first time in my life, I just might hit the target!


Peppers Stuffed with Feta

{Piperies Yemistes Me Feta}

Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens

Serves 4

4 small red and green sweet peppers, about 4 inches long

7 ounces feta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, optional (or fresh)

Cut the tops off the peppers and carefully remove the seeds, keeping the peppers whole. Crumble the feta and stuff tightly into the peppers, then replace the tops. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the peppers over high heat (propping the peppers up against the sides of the skillet so the filling doesn't ooze out), gently turning them over, until they are lightly browned on the outside, and the feta is melted a bit but not running out (the hats may fall off, but replace when serving). Serve whole or cut into thick slices, with the oregano crumbled over the top, if desired.


Go Greek @ I Heart Cooking Clubs!