Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sage Pasta

-3/4 package of a 500grams of any type of pasta desired.
-3-4 leaves of fresh sage
-1 clove of garlic (slivered)
-1 slice of bacon thinly sliced
-3-4 tbs. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Saute (with 1 tablespoon of olive) the bacon until crispy then add the sage and garlic. Once the garlic is browned remove the garlic pcs. Now this is the "sauce" for any type of pasta you like, whether it's, spelt, wholegrain, white, or even gnocchi. Cook your pasta as per instructions and add it to your mixture and saute it together so all the flavours amalgamate. Then serve and enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rice Artichoke Salad

-2 cups cooked white or Brown rice (as per instructions on bag/box)
-1/2 cup tomato sauce
-1 small jar of artichokes drained and cut into small pieces
-1/4 cup of red peppers
-2 thin slices of pancetta (Italian bacon) cut into strips
-1/2 small onion, chopped
-3 tbls. olive oil
-1 clove garlic, finely minced
-salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan add oil and saute the onions and pancetta, until transparent, then add the garlic (be careful not to burn the garlic) add the tomato sauce and let all these ingredients simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add the drained artichokes and peppers to the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. This makes a small amount of sauce; but add it to the boiled rice and mix all together.
The rice should look pinkish and all the vegetables will accent the look of this dish.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tuna Pate

-1 large can of tuna with oil
-1 package of Cream cheese
-3 tablespoons olive oil

For this all you'll need is food processor

Blend the all the ingredients together until smooth. It's that simple!

Tip: If you want a liter pate, use lite cream cheese and tuna without oil and use less olive oil.
The more olive oil you use the creamier your pate will be. Serve with you favorite crackers and you set!

My Spinach Salad

-1 bag of spinach (the quantify is your preference, 2 cups of "not compressed" spinach is a small quantity)

-1 boiled egg

-bacon pcs 1-2 tablespoons

-balsamic vinegar

-olive oil

-salt to taste

Clean your spinach and strain and pat dry (your dressing sticks better to your spinach if you do this) Chop your egg and get your bacon bits and set aside. Dress your salad with the olive oil and vinegar and salt to taste. Add your chopped egg and bacon bits on top. This is a unique combination and tastes great!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Arugula Salad with a Twist

1 Bag/Head of Arugula. The quantity is your preference. For example 2 cups (not compressed) is a small quantity.
Asiago Cheese or Parmeggiano
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Dried Figs cut in half (optional)

Wash your arugula and let sit so that the water drains. (you can pat it dry as well and set aside)
Shave some slices of Asiago cheese with a cheese shredder or you can use parmeggiano.
In a large bowl put your washed arugula add some Olive oil and well aged Balsamic vinegar and salt to taste add your shavings of cheese and some figs if you like. It's a simple salad that tastes great!
Tip: As you can see I said well aged Balsamic vinegar because it more sweet and this is a nice contrast to the bitterness of the arugula. The figs also adds more sweet to this salad, but it's totally up to you if you like this taste in your salad. My second tip is, if you do finer shavings of your cheese it adds a nicer presentation to this dish.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Baked Chicken

-chicken pieces either white (breasts) or dark (legs, thighs or wings)
-Hys Seasoning salt (if you don't have this spice, you can use the following:)
-poultry spice or sage, tyhme or rosemary

Pre-heat oven to 390 degrees (convection bake is best) if not regular bake is fine.
Line a pizza tray with parchment paper sprinkle sparingly your spices on the paper.
Place the chicken pcs. on the seasoned parchment paper and then sprinkle the seasoning on your pcs of chicken. Place tray in oven in middle rack for 55 minutes (if convection bake) there is no need to turn the pieces of chicken.
(if your oven is regular bake) Place the tray on bottom rack for 1/2 the cooking time and 1/2 on the top rack for the last half.
Tip: try to keep your pcs of chicken similar sizes because the cooking time may vary. A wing will cook alot faster than a chicken breast.

You can make your chicken wings this way too!

It's simple and easy. It makes a very crispy chicken and very moist on the inside. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bocconcini Pops

-12 small to medium bocconcini (soft Italian cheese) Can be found in most grocery or specialty stores.
-3-4 slices of prosciutto
-2 cups of arugula, washed and patted dry
-olive oil
-dry figs cut in small pcs. (optional)
-salt to taste

Cut you prosciutto in 3 strips length wise and lay 3-4 leaves of arugula on the prosciutto strip and drizzle very little olive oil. Place the bocconcino on one end of the strip and wrap the prosciutto around it and pierce a "fancy" toothpick through the bocconcino this will prevent the prosciutto from unravelling. Lightly salt to taste and they are ready to serve.
*you can add the dry figs and sprinkle them on the bed of arugula it add a nice contrast sweetness to the bitterness of the arugula.

Roasted Tomato and Pepper soup

-2 large red peppers halved and de-seeded
-4 large tomatoes cleaned and halved
-1 large onion halved with skins
-2 large potatoes peeled and halved
-olive oil for brushing on vegetables
-chicken stock or boullion (whatever you have available)
-salt to taste

Brush olive oil on all the vegetable skins and place them
on a pizza tray face down. Broil on medium heat until vegetables start to blister and brown (5-7 minutes) keep watching.
Once the vegetables are browned remove and let cool down, remove the skin from the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a stock pot and put about 5 litres of water and add 3 chicken bouillons. (if you have stock use 3 litres of water and 2 litres of chicken broth) then add the potatoes

Bring your mixture to a boil and boil for 3/4 of an hour until all the veggies are really tender, remove your pot off the stove and with a hand processor blend until smooth.
Salt to taste and it's ready to serve. You can put a dash of sour cream with a basil leaf for a nice presentation. It's a healthy and a warming dish on a cold winters day.

Olive Pate

-1 small can of pitted/sliced black olives
-30-35 oven dried black olives pitted
-2 small anchovies
-1/4 teaspoon of dry chilies
-1/4 cup of olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor, if you see the pate is too thick add a little more olive oil until desired consistency.

This is a quick and easy olive pate and can be made far in advance and topped up with olive oil to maintain it's freshness in the refrigerator.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Grilled veggies

Grilled Veggies are great. They are easy to prepare and can be made well ahead of time when your busy preparing other dishes for your guests.

-2x large red peppers
-2x zucchini
-2 medium eggplants
-1 Tablespoon Olive oil
-1 teaspoon of balsamic
-1 teaspoon of oregano
-Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and pat dry your vegetables. Slice the red peppers in slivers 1-2 inch pieces. Slice the zucchini and eggplant in approx. 1/4" slices. Put your sliced vegetables in a large bowl add the olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. Toss all the vegetables until well coated. If you see that the vegetables are not well coated just add a little more olive oil and balsalmic.

At this point there are two ways you can cook your vegetables.
1. cook them on a barbecue (medium heat) until they are still firm but tender.
2. in a pre-heated oven on the top rack 385 degrees. (20-25 minutes) until browned

tip: use parchment paper on a pizza tray if cooking your vegetables in the oven. It makes the cleanup quick as a snap!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Humus

Humus: This is such a quick fix appetizer and ready to serve with your favorite cracker or pita or any other bread you like. Use what you want and save the rest in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a week. It's a no brainer and a very healthly snack.

1x large can of chick peas (or some people call them garbanzo beans) 540 ml/19 oz.
1x large clove of garlic
olive oil
1/4 lemon juice
salt to taste

In a food processor put all the ingredients in and puree it. If you notice I didn't put an amount of olive oil, because it depends on what consistency you like. If you like a thicker more dense humus then put less olive oil as you puree your mixture. If you like it more spreadable or creamy then add more. The choice is yours and you can add a little parsley to add a contrast to your mixture it looks good and tastes great!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In the beginning

My name is Laura Moscone, born in Toronto Canada, of parents of Italian background. My father was born in Italy and my mother and Italo/Canadian was born in Toronto as well. I am the third sibling of 4. Our household was a very busy one. My mother Argentina, helped my father, Benedetto with the family business, a tile/contracting business started in 1952. Since the business was run out of the house; it was expected that dinner be on the table at 6:00 pm every night. I was always around my mother while she frantically cooked dinner to make sure the "start time" wasn't missed. I was interested in how things were done. I loved the aroma of her fresh sauce that simmered on the stove. I always asked questions and Mom would always show me how she made her meals. But I always knew I had a knack for cooking because, once I tasted something I would look at it analyze it and wonder how it was made and with a pretty good success rate I could re-create that dish (with a few changes of course). I didn't just want to cook I wanted to "create" something that another person would really enjoy. So I would experiment and usually, with very basic dishes I would come up with a dish that everyone would like. I would really only make a main course. My menu was very basic and simple. As time went on and I got married and had children my dishes were always geared towards the loving people around me. I always wanted to create something new and exciting which made me want to learn and create more. I really felt I was an artist and my kitchen was my canvas!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pasta Aglio e Olio

Coming from and Italian back round my dishes are largely a reflection of this, but if I see or taste something I like, whether Italian or not I try to re-create it add something to and make it my own. Cooking should be simple and as a result it will make your cooking experience a pleasurable one. The simplest pasta anyone can make is "Pasta Aglio e Olio" translation: Garlic and oil.

-4 tables spoons of good extra virgin olive oil
-2-3 large cloves of crushed garlic
-250 grams (1/2 package) of cooked spaghetti (as per package instructions) "al dente" is best.

Saute the crushed garlic in the oil until very lightly golden. Add your cooked pasta to this oil mixture and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Voila! Add a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley it adds a nice color a make a wonderful presentation. This is the easiest pasta you can make and the oil mixture is essentially the start to every other type of sauce for pasta.

Home Made Chicken Broth - for the Soul

Soups are great especially in this cold January that were having with the temp. at -10 degrees Celsius and for anyone south of Ontario Canada that's real cold! A soup is great because what ever you have in the fridge can go in. The main ingredients for a good soup is a celery stalk and onion and a carrot and a piece of fresh chicken.

-large stock pot
-3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-1 largely chopped medium onion
-2 celery sticks cut in 2-3 pcs.
-1 large carrot cut in half
-one whole tomato
-1 to 2 pcs of chicken thighs and legs with skin
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 chicken bullion (optional)

Saute the veggies 2-3 minutes add water to the stock pot to 3/4 full add your chicken pcs. & tomato. You can add your salt and pepper and or bullion
Let boil for 2 hours until the chicken meat is so tender that it coming off the bone easily.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked veggies, and the chicken and set aside.
Strain the broth with a fine strainer and let cool.
Take the skin and bones of the chicken off and put the chicken pieces aside. At this point your broth is made and you can add your favorite cooked rice, noodles, tortellini
You can put the excess broth in the freezer so that you can use it at a later date.


Italian tuna salad

2 large tomatoes1 small shallot
1 can of tuna and type you like
2 table spoons of olive oil
2 leaves of fresh basil washed
salt and pepper to taste

cut tomatoes in cubes
thinly slice the shallot

Mix these ingredients with the can of tuna tear the fresh basil into small pcs. to garnish
Enjoy this with a fresh piece of bread or toasted bread which ever is your preference. This is a healthy dish quick and easy.