Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pioneer Woman's Lemon Pasta Pronto

The Pioneer Woman recently posted a video of herself making this recipe for Lemon Pasta Pronto on her Instagram stories. It sounded right up our alley so I printed out the recipe (fair warning, the recipe on the Food Network site doesn't include all the ingredients/directions).

To blog

Past experience has taught me that I can always add more lemon juice but I can't take it away so I was skeptical about using the juice of two lemons in this recipe. Sure enough, one was plenty.

We all LOVED this but I'm not sure I'll spend the extra money for the pancetta next time. Bacon would be just as good and a heck of a lot cheaper. I served this with an incredible beet, citrus and ricotta salad that I'll be blogging soon and it was just the thing to cut the richness of the pasta.

Lemon Pasta Pronto
Modified from the Pioneer Woman

Kosher salt
1 pound orecchiette
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 lb pancetta or bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 lemons, 1 juiced and both zested, divided
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup panko
1 cup grated pecorino

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

While the water is coming to a boil, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until the fat starts to render and the pancetta gets crispy. Add the thyme, garlic and onions and cook until the onions soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the zest and juice of one lemon, the peas and half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the panko and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the panko is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the zest of one lemon. Stir and then set aside.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the pecorino. Toss together, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The original recipe calls for the juice of two lemons but a lot of people said it was too lemony. If you want more lemon flavor, add more juice. Remember, you can always add but you can't take away!

To serve, spoon some of the pasta into a bowl or on a pasta plate. Sprinkle some of the crispy panko on top.
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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Chicken Pizzaiola

This chicken pizzaiola is another one of those recipes that I've looked at countless times over the years and bypassed time and time again. Who knows why; it's not like it's a complicated recipe. My only note is to make sure you use plenty of pepperoni so you can really taste the flavor.

Chicken pizzaiola

Such an easy, delicious weeknight meal. I made my own quick pasta sauce but jarred would be fine, too.

Chicken Pizzaiola
From America’s Test Kitchen, modified from Pinch of Yum

3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (or make your own, see note)
1 cup shredded Parmesan/pecorino cheese
4 large/6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces sliced pepperoni (see note)
1 cup sliced mozzarella
8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta

Heat the oven to 450. Spread pasta sauce into a 9×13 baking dish (I had 6 chicken breasts so I needed another small baking dish). Spread Parmesan/pecorino in a shallow dish.

Put one chicken breast at a time in a plastic food storage bag and pound to an even thickness. You don't want it too thin but it should be the same thickness throughout. Season all the chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with Parmesan/pecorino. Lay each piece of chicken on top of the sauce in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, cook pasta. Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken from the oven and top each breast with a few slices pepperoni and mozzarella. Increase oven to 475 and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Spoon some sauce from the baking dish into the pasta pot and toss to combine. To serve, put some pasta on a plate and top with a piece of chicken and some sauce.

1. It's really easy to throw together a quick pasta sauce. I usually just heat up a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (rinse the can with some water and add to the pan so you get all the sauce from the can) and season with plenty of oregano. I had half an onion in the fridge so this time I minced that up and sauteed it in oil with some salt and pepper before adding the crushed tomatoes.

2. I hate excess grease on my pepperoni so I put three layers of paper towels on a plate and top with a single layer of pepperoni slices. Top with two more layers of paper towels and microwave 15 seconds, then another 15 seconds (don't do 30 seconds before the pepperoni can burn). Blot the grease off with the top paper towel layers.
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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole

I'm always on the lookout for new make-ahead breakfast casseroles. I love them for holidays because you do all the work the day before and then you get to enjoy a delicious breakfast with minimal effort the next morning. Just make sure you plan ahead because most of them need to bake for about an hour. My family is always hounding me to make the hour go by faster because they're starving.

Everything bagel casserole

I have a lot of Everything But the Bagel seasoning in my spice cabinet but if you don't, just use everything bagels instead of plain bagels.

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Home Made Interest

5 plain bagels, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. bacon, cooked and diced
8 oz. Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
Everything But the Bagel seasoning, to taste
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add half the bagel cubes to the casserole dish. Top with half the bacon, half the Jarlsberg and half the cream cheese. Sprinkle Everything But the Bagel seasoning evenly over the top. Repeat with another layer of bagel cubes, bacon, Jarlsberg, cream cheese and Everything But the Bagel seasoning.

Combine eggs, half and half, salt and pepper in a 4-cup measuring cup. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then pour evenly over the bagel pieces, making sure to cover all of them.

Cover the casserole with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cling wrap and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes.
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