Monday, September 22, 2014

Picnic With Willie

This weekend the hubs and I were privileged to see Willie Nelson in concert. WILLIE NELSON WILLIE NELSON! I never get tired of yelling it! LOL! Not only is he just an all around cool guy, but, at 81 years old, the man can still rock the house. I never considered myself to be a huge fan of his but I sure as hell am now. This was hands down one of the BEST concerts I have been to. Everything about it was spectacular, the crowds, the venue and the food. Well, there was one douchebag security guard/cop with a shitty attitude but there ALWAYS seems to be one no matter where you go. The concert was held at a campground in Webster, Mass called Indian Ranch. I don't know why I have never been here before as it is close to home and just a really cool place. The concert area actually has a picnic area with grills and you can bring in coolers and cook up food right there! How cool is that! Many people bring up campers and RVs and catch the show and stay the night - great idea especially if you plan to drink a few cocktails. For a small place they book some really big name acts too. I really can't wait to go back! This was the last weekend for this years concert season so I will have to wait until next year but I can't wait to see what they have lined up. Anyway on to the food! For this concert I packed us a nice picnic lunch that consisted of Pressed sandwiches and tortellini salad and chocolate chip cookies. YUM! I Even remembered to take a picture before I finished my sandwich! LOL!

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
1 Loaf Ciabatta bread
1/2 Cup pesto sauce
2-3 oz goat cheese (can sub fresh Mozzarella)
Fresh spinach leaves
3-4 grilled, thin chicken cutlets
5-6 slices prosciutto de parma
2-3 roasted red peppers
1/2 cup sun dried tomato spread (Click Here for recipe)

Cut Ciabatta loaf in half and spread 1 side with pesto and the other side with the sun dried tomato spread, Layer remaining ingredients on one half of the bread and top with remaining half of the bread. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Place a heavy book or other object on the sandwich while refrigerating. The next morning cut into individual sandwiched and enjoy!

Here I am before the show hanging with my new friend, Not Willie Nelson. LOL! I told you the crowd was great!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Monster Chicken

This is not only what I call this recipe but also describes the bird the breasts must have come off of when I made it last night! Seriously! One HALF of the breast was enough to feed Hubs and I WITH LEFTOVERS! Crazy what they are doing to these poor birds! Frankenfood at it's finest if you ask me. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about it but we ate it and enjoyed it nonetheless. This recipe came from my Ex-MIL and everybody that tries it loves it. It is super simple to make and comes out juicy and delicious every time so give it a go and feed it to some friends.

Chicken Cutlets with Muenster Cheese (a.k.a.Monster Chicken)

1-2 chicken breasts, thinly filleted - No Joke - fillet them as thin as you can
2-3 eggs lightly beaten
2 Cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 Cups Parmesan or Romano cheese
Frying oil (I use peanut)
1/4-1/2 lb deli sliced muenster cheese
1 can chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400F
Heat frying oil in a wide shallow pan to 350F

Place beaten eggs in a wide, shallow bowl
Soak fillets in egg mixture and toss them to coat - you can work in batches if you have a lot of fillets.
In a separate shallow dish, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan/Romano cheese
Remove a fillet from the egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumb mixture to coat evenly and place in hot oil to fry - repeat until pan is full. Turn fillets once to brown on both sides.
Once browned on both sides remove fillets and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Once all of the chicken is cooked, arrange cooked cutlets in a single layer in a baking pan/casserole dish - you need something with a little depth.
Pour chicken broth over the cutlets. You do not want to completely submerge them but want all of them to be sitting in as much broth as possible
Top cutlets with muenster cheese (you can substitute mozzarella) and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and broth is bubbling

Serve Hot! YUM!

I traditionally serve this with angel hair pasta as the broth makes a nice light sauce for the thin pasta. The leftovers make fabulous sandwiches.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer Bounty

Man, am I wiped out today. Last night was a late one but it had to happen. There was no way I could, in good conscience, let all those beautiful tomatoes and tomatillos of mine rot on the counter. So, even though it was a school night, I stayed up late for a hot and sweaty canning marathon. While I am quite pleased with myself today, I have to admit for all the work it takes to can veggies, I sure thought I would end up with more! LOL! Canning really isn't all that difficult it is just a tad time consuming and HOT! Even on a cool evening that big pot of boiling water really heats up a room (or 2). But now I have lots of tomato puree, enchilada sauce and salsa verde to get me though the winter without having to use any chemical laden canned stuff. yay me! If my house were bigger I'd invest in a big-ass freezer and forgo the canning process altogether but unless I hit Lotto that won't be happening anytime soon, which means my little deep freezer is reserved for meats only!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Simple is Better

Well, the summer is officially over. BOOOO! Thankfully, the relatively cool start has resulted in a bumper crop of end of season tomatoes and man are they good! To celebrate the Labor Day weekend the Hubs and I, along with some friends, decided to hit the Big Apple. You know what that means.....FOOD! First we hit Lombardi's for some pizza - YUM! Then off to the heart of Little Italy for cheese and deli meats and sausages and cannoli! They were gearing up for the Feast of San Gennaro so between that and the holiday the scene was happening. The result of our trip was one of the best sandwiches EVER! A simple thing made with good fresh Italian Bread, fresh ricotta cheese, good pesto sauce and a ripe tomato straight from the garden. HEAVEN! Seriously, my husband and I ate nearly the entire loaf of bread because we couldn't get enough of this sandwich. Silly me forgot about the prosciutto cotto I had bought - it also would have been an excellent addition to this sandwich.  But in all honesty we didn't miss it and appreciated the lightness of this combination. I highly recommend that you try it while the fresh tomatoes are still with us!

UPDATE: I revisited this sandwich this week and added a little prosciutto cotto and prosciutto di san daniele. OMG so over the top I can't even describe it. This sandwich went from being awesome to completely off the chain!