What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Veal Parmesan! Actually, this recipe works really well with chicken, if you choose to substitute. Either way, it’s a gourmet dinner entrée that deserves a friendly nod of approval. By first browning the coated veal in a skillet, the crust seals in the rustic Italian flavor. Top it with Muenster cheese instead of mozzarella for a tangy smooth complement to the savory tomato sauce.
1 pound veal cutlets or chicken breasts
1/3 cup Italian dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup Panko seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups Italian tomato pasta sauce, chunky
2 cups Muenster cheese, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°. Between plastic wrap, flatten each cutlet to a disc. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and milk together to blend. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Dip veal into egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the veal 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. In a greased baking dish spoon half the pasta sauce on the bottom. Next layer the veal cutlets. Spoon remaining sauce over veal. Top with Muenster cheese overlapping the meat. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown in spots. Garnish with fresh basil.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey Sauce! In honor of an Irish tradition, this classic staple is made with simple ingredients. The hard crust and dense center is very filling and meant to be eaten often with meals. The sign of the cross on top symbolized protection of the family. Since yeast is not used, preparation comes easily and on short notice for unexpected guests who pop in. Make this bread today and the aromas linger to keep your home smelling nice in the days ahead.
IRISH SODA BREAD WITH WHISKEY GLAZE
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup Irish Whiskey, or water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup buttermilk
Irish Whiskey Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon butter, softened
3 teaspoons Irish Whiskey*
*For nonalcoholic glaze, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 2 1/2 teaspoons milk.
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine raisins, Irish whiskey or water, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce to a simmer until the raisins are plump and the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat. Do not drain. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Add raisins plus liquid. Stir to blend. Gradually stir in buttermilk until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes until smooth. Shape into a round loaf. Transfer to baking sheet. Cut an “X” in the top before baking. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. While the bread is is in the oven, combine powdered sugar, butter, and Irish whiskey. Stir until creamy. When the bread is finished, brush with glaze. Serve warm.
Dining Outside the Home: Pizzeria Portofino in Lihue, Kauai! If the aromas of Italian tomato, roasted garlic, and fresh basil waft through the air the second you raise the lid of the takeout box, you already know the pizza inside is going to taste good. The Americano combination of savory sauce, salty pepperoni, and gooey mozzarella cheese make chowing down come easy. Whether the crust is chewy soft or charred crisp, everyone wins at Pizzeria Portofino. That’s the beauty of ordering to please. Spend all day at the beach, then save some serious dough. Dine-in or carry out. For me? With a view like this with a private balcony, it was an easy choice to make.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Zested Orange Cranberry Sauce! Infuse the traditional cranberry sauce with cinnamon, orange, and citrus to reap a perfect blend of holiday flavors. By simmering the mixed fruits together, it transforms ordinary sauce into a fancier version of a popular classic. Elevate your taste buds from semi-sweet to welcome complement. Top off baked Brie, spoon onto a dish of yogurt, or slather across a piece of toast. It’s perfect for now as well as all season long.
ZESTED ORANGE CRANBERRY SAUCE
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1/8 teaspoon granulated lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup fresh orange juice, from 2 oranges
1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
Combine marmalade, orange rind, and lemon zest. Set aside. Combine juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add cranberries and return to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries pop and sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in marmalade mixture. Cover and chill.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Loaded Lettuce Cups! Eating with your fingers is so much fun! Here’s an idea for supper that is not only kid-friendly, but has an Asian flair that adults adore. By toasting the rice and noodles in butter, it gives the food a nice crunchy taste complimented by sesame and soybean undertones. Add chicken and water chestnuts for a healthy meal. The mere fact that it’s all wrapped up in the soft, buttery Boston lettuce leaves make it an all-star hit!
LOADED LETTUCE CUPS
1/4 cup butter
1 cup instant white rice
1 1/2 cups fine home style noodles
10-ounce can chunk chicken breast, drained
14-ounce chicken broth
4 green onions, chopped
8-ounce can of slivered water chestnuts, drained
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup soybean seasoning sauce
Boston lettuce leaves
Melt butter in a deep skillet. Do not burn. Add white rice and thin noodles. Coat well. Cook them over medium heat 3-5 minutes, turning often until golden brown. Stir in chicken broth and chicken chunks. Cover. Simmer 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Add chopped green onion with tops, water chestnuts, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and soybean seasoning sauce. Mix well and serve in Boston lettuce cups.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Kohlrabi Fritters! I stumbled onto this odd shaped vegetable at the Farmers Market and was intrigued by the green spiked bulbous shape with its long leafy shoots. It reminded me of a turnip, but had the faint aroma of cabbage. After learning its name, I just had to try it. My mind was already thinking of its seasoned taste fried crisp in olive oil.
1 medium kohlrabi
1 small sweet potato
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 green onion
Olive oil for frying
Peel kohlrabi and sweet potato. Using a food processor, grate the kohlrabi, sweet potato, and yellow onion. It should equal 3 1/2 cups of shredded vegetables. Transfer to a bowl. Add seasonings, baking powder, and flour. Fold in the beaten eggs to coat well. Snip the green onion with kitchen shears and gently mix in. The fritters should stick together. Pour enough olive oil in a skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat on medium high. Drop kohlrabi mixture by heaping spoonfuls into the oil. Pan fry 2 minutes without burning. Turn over and fry another 2 minutes. Watch! Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue making fritters until all mixture is used. Serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt and garnish with green onion snips.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Judy’s Pumpkin Sea Salt Caramel Sauce! I always get excited when I receive the gift of food. My friend, Judy, thrilled me beyond measure when she shared this treat from her kitchen. It’s the perfect combination of sea salt caramel and pumpkin purée. It not only transforms a cup of coffee into a pumpkin spice addiction, but it also tastes incredible on a breakfast muffin. If you ask my husband, he’ll say you can eat it over ice cream by the spoonful.
JUDY’S PUMPKIN SEA SALT CARAMEL SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a 2-quart heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring often to avoid scorching. Continue cooking until sugar turns light amber in color and all sugar crystals have dissolved, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and mix well. Change utensils to a heat-resistant whisk and quickly whisk in the cream and pumpkin. Lastly, add cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, removing all lumps. Transfer to a jar. Cool at room temperature, seal, and store in the refrigerator.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Fried Green Tomatoes! The key to success is using solid, firm green tomatoes. Ripe ones will turn mushy and very disappointing. Even if you don’t live in the South, everyone can enjoy these crisp and juicy medallions. The seasoned cornmeal crust will have you resurrecting a southern drawl that sounds as authentic as a waitress in a country café. Try the first one with a fork and then have seconds as a sandwich.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
2 green tomatoes, sliced with skin on
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
On a sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoned salt, and pepper. Blend with a fork. In a shallow bowl, mix egg and milk. Dip a green tomato slice in the egg mixture then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Repeat. Set aside. Continue until all slices have been coated. In a deep skillet on medium-high heat add vegetable oil for frying. Place tomatoes in a single layer. Do not crowd. Fry each side 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn over and fry the other side. Remove and place on a wire rack to remove excess oil. Repeat until all green tomato slices are used. Serve hot. Garnish with a dollop of wasabi aioli.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Food Whisperer: Original Marinara Sauce! Marinara isn’t just a fancy name for spaghetti sauce, it actually lacks one key ingredient that sets it apart. You guessed it: MEAT. Basically, marinara is a tomato-based sauce infused with herbs and spices. It can be prepared very easily in less than half an hour. Personally, I find it perfect for a meatless meal. I like chunks of tomatoes, the hint of garlic, and a slight kick of red pepper spice. Look again at the snapshot. Perhaps it’s time to make marinara at your house.
ORIGINAL MARINARA SAUCE
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
28-ounce can Italian Roma tomatoes, diced with sauce
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm olive oil. Add minced garlic; sauté for one minute until slightly brown, stirring occasionally. Add diced Roma tomatoes with sauce, fresh oregano, chopped basil, sea salt, marjoram, agave nectar, and red pepper flakes. Simmer sauce until thickened, approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Marinara sauce will be chunky and thick. Serve with cooked pasta.