Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And the Winner is....

I dropped a list of all the entries from comments and twitter into the randomizer at knowing that whoever came out as number 1 would win the pot.

And here's the list - Congratulations robyncz, you are now the owner of a Carribean Blue Le Creuset 8qt. Enamel on Steel Stock Pot.  You get to cook like the cool kids now!

Email your address to within 48 hours and I'll have your pot off to you lickety split!

List Randomizer

There were 57 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. robyncz!!!!!

Timestamp: 2010-11-16 14:41:08 UTC

Finally - Happy Birthday to my big brother, Doug,....who doesn't read this blog and will never see that his sister does actually like him.  ;D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feeling Saucy?

When you grow up with an Italian mother who makes great sauce, it ruins you for life.  I can't eat red sauce in most Italian restaurants. There has to be a LOT of red wine to get me to do that. Unless I know that the guy in the kitchen has the right accent, an overbearing mother, and a serious temper - proving he's Italian - I'm suspect.

So you're probably not surprised to learn that a jar of Prego ain't gonna cut it around here.  I need sauce that cooked down for hours, I need sauce that is rich and full of deep flavors.  I need homemade sauce.

About 2 or 3 years ago I found a fellow Italian who had a simple and yet A-MA-Zing marinara recipe that I have now adopted as my go-to.  It makes 9 cups so it keeps me in sauce for a while.  That is a good thing.  ;D  I make this on the stove, but you could certainly do it in a crockpot.

It starts with a cool pot.  Oh, you don't have one?  I know this really cook chick that's giving one away tomorrow - HERE.

You start by heating some olive oil over medium heat.  Once it's hot, toss in 6 cups of diced onions and a tablespoon of sugar.  You'll cook these for about 30 minutes - until the onions are soft and brown and singing with happiness!

When the onions look hot, then it's time to let them swim.  Pour in a couple of cups of a dry red wine.  Let this cook for just a minute before you start adding everything else.

When the wine and onions seem to be getting along well you'll add all the seasonings, the bay leaves, and all the variations of tomatoes.  Stir it all together, bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours.  Yep, 3 hours.  It's not hard to make good sauce, you just have to be home for a while.  ;D

I like to freeze this in 2 cup portions - that size is perfect for recipes for the weeone and I.  If you're used to using jarred sauce and want to have the same amount as a jar - you'll need 4 cups...and since the recipe makes 9 you're going to have a wayward cup of sauce.  Just warning ya'.

Lindrusso's Marinara Magnifica
On her Blog
Makes 9 cups
Dry red wine intensifies the well-blended flavors in this lusciously seasoned tomato sauce--magnifico! Serve over your favorite pasta.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
(2 bay leaves)
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and sugar. Cook 30 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 9 cups (serving size: 1 cup)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 169(20% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 5.3g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 131mg; SODIUM 960mg; FIBER 6.5g; IRON 2.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.9g

Buon Appetito!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It Takes a Lot of Clams...

Anytime I hear someone use the word clams, I think about Fred Flintsone.  It's true.  I'm pretty sure you know that if I'm talking clams, I'm talking food, not money!

I was putting away a bunch of canned goods today that I bought at Costco.  As I searched for space in my tiny cabinet, I got a good look at everything that I had and came across this can of chopped clams.

I have absolutely no recollection of buying this can and am wondering if I have ever been to the grocery store drunk because why would I buy a can of chopped clams?  I couldn't even find any recipes in my ridiculously thick "to try" pile that included clams that could be a clue as to why they have been living in the back of my cabinet.  Oh well...I had 'em, so it only makes sense to use 'em.

Despite my Italian heritage, Clam Sauce is not really in my repertoire, so I had to wing it.  Turns out, I'm darn good at winging it...cause this was mighty tasty.  In fact, I think I could bathe in this sauce.  I could marry this sauce and have babies with this sauce (and that's saying something since my uterus has a sign across it that says "Closed for Business").

I started, as I often do, by chopping and sauteeing an onion.  I only used half of the onion and put the other half in a container to use at a later date.  Once the onions were close to translucent, a big pile of garlic joined in the fun.  I think the theme of my blog should be "Garlic:  It's what's for dinner."  ;D

Next in the pan went some butter followed by the clams.  Now I had drained the clams into a measuring cup so that I could use some of the clam juice a bit further down the line.

Next, in went the clam juice and wine.  I also added a secret ingredient.  Anchovy paste.  Yes, I said anchovy paste.  It sounds disgusting and torturous, but it's a great addition to any seafood sauce or dish.  Trust me.  Have I ever led you astray?  I let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes so the flavors could tango, while I boiled 1/2 a pound of fettucine because I was out of linguine.  Eh, you make do.

A chopped pile of flat leaf parsley was the last step before draining the pasta, plating and serving it up!

By the way, it finally started cooling down in Htown.  I froze my tushy off while the weeone had a lacrosse camp this afternoon.  And by froze, I mean it was like 55 degrees.  Yes, Yankees, you may now laugh at me!!!

Don't forget you have one more day until I give away an 8qt Le Creuset Enamel on Steel Stockpot!

Linguine with Clam Sauce
Serves 4-6
(nutritional info is based on 5 servings)

1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
1/4 cup butter (4 Tbsp)
1/2 of the drained clam juice (about 1/2 cup)
1 can chopped clams (15.5 oz)
2 Tbsp dry white wine
Pepper to taste
1/2 pound linguine
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Start a pot of water to boil the linguine and follow the package directions to cook.  In a large skillet sautee the onion and once translucent, add the garlic continuing to sautee for 1-2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until it thickens slightly.  Serve over the linguine topped with chopped flat leaf parsley.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 320, Carbs 48g, Fat 6g, Protein 15g

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stock Up for Winter Giveaway!

Even though it's like 85 degrees in Houston on November 12th, I know that most of you are starting to feel the chill of winter.  I might see something below 75 by Christmas if I'm lucky!  I keep cranking my a/c down really low so I can wear flannel pajama pants and sleep with tons of blankets, but doesn't affect the weather.

But you know what?  When it gets cold...I make soup.

To make need a great pot.  Hey! Hey! Hey!  That's where I come in!!!  I have a Le Creuset stockpot that I use to make large batches of soup and I love, love, love it!  I think you need one too.

So, up for grabs is one Caribbean Blue Enamel on Steel Le Creuset 8 qt stockpot.

Isn't it pretty?

Since it's enamel over steel, it's really lightweight, so even full of soup you can easily lift and carry it!
How do you get it?  Get 1 entry for each of the following - 

#1 - In the comments, tell me what your favorite type of soup is!!!

#2 - Tweet a link to the giveway (make sure to @AGirlintheSouth)

Easy Peasy, right?

I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, November's my brother's birthday, so I figure that day's as good as any!!! *The winner will have 48 hours to email me at the email listed over there -----> before I pick another winner.



I've never done a giveaway....but I seem to have a lot of readers these day - *waves hello* - but not as many followers.  So, just to entice you to stick with me longterm, I'm going to "stock" someone's kitchen with a piece from Le soon as I get to 50 followers.  So, is blue your favorite color?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner - Ole!

Is there anything better than breakfast for dinner?  I suppose dessert for dinner or dessert for breakfast or maybe...well, you know what I mean right?  right?

When I don't really want to cook, but I do want to cook I cook breakfast.  It's generally quick foods, laden with either sugar or protein.  I wasn't in the mood for French Toast (although remind me to have a serious discussion with you someday about Nutella Stuffed French Toast because it's A-MA-ZING!).

My go-to breakfast order when we go out on a Saturday or Sunday morning is not sugar's Mexican.  It's Migas.  Oh my how I love Migas.  I don't speak Spanish, I have NO clue what Migas means and frankly, I don't care.  All I know is that it's the perfect blend of eggs, veggies, spice, cheese and tortillas.  When it's paired with refried beans Migas is happiness on a breakfast plate.

So. no real actual written out recipe...but Migas.  yum.....

I started out by crisping up several corn tortillas in a cast iron skillet.

Once the corn tortillas were crisp, I diced onion, bell pepper and jalapeno and drained a can of Rotel tomatoes.  I would have used fresh tomatoes and diced green chiles, but I didn't have any green chiles and really wanted them in there....hence the can of Rotel.  Don't judge.  I cooked.

I sauteed all the veggies next.  I did sautee the jalapenos separately from all the veggies because the weeone doesn't like the heat (yet - I'm workin' on her!) and that way I could just add the jalapenos to just my Migas at the end.

While the veggies were sauteeing I took out all of my aggression on 6 poor, innocent, helpless eggs.  It made me feel better.  ;D  I also added a bit of milk to the eggs.  You know, habit.  Then the eggs went into the cast iron skillet with the veggies and I mixed it all up while the eggs cooked.

Once the eggs were fully cooked, I mixed in the previously crisped tortillas (well the pieces the weeone broke them into for me!)

Last but not least....Monterrey Jack Cheese.  You don't need a lot, but you need some.  It makes it all get along somehow.

I topped it off with some salsa and nestled it onto the plate next to refried beans.  Ole!

The weeone asked for seconds....need I say more?