Tag: giada

Rigatoni with SteakThis is another Giada recipe, from the first cookbook of hers that I bought (Giada’s Family Dinners). I don’t make it exactly the same way she does, so this is my modified version. She says in the book that it’s a great way to make a pricey steak go further. This is true, as one good size steak feeds 2 people here. But I just like it because it’s delicious.

Rigatoni with Steak (adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners)
Serves: 2

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (12-ounce) ribeye steak
Salt and pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 cups marinara sauce (I used her marinara sauce recipe, also in that book)
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 lb rigatoni
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan

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chicken scaloppine with saffron cream sauceI made this dish a couple of weeks ago, the same night I made the heavenly lemon risotto. This chicken is delicious and super-fast.

Chicken Scaloppine with Saffron Cream Sauce (adapted from Giada’s Kitchen)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken cutlets (scaloppine)
3/4 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning meat
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning meat
2 shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

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lemon risottoThis is so lemony I don’t even know what to do with myself. The recipe from Giada’s Kitchen manages to be both a hearty risotto and a lemony spring treat. I made this as a side dish with another recipe from this Giada de Laurentiis book, Chicken Scalloppine with Saffron Cream Sauce (I’ll post that one later). It’s delicious.

Lemon Risotto (adapted from Giada’s Kitchen)
Serves:  4 main sizes, 8 side-dish sizes
**I halved this recipe and got enough for 2 side dishes, seconds for Adam, and a little left over for lunch.

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veal scaloppineThis is a dish from the very first Giada book I ever bought, Giada’s Family Dinners. I’ve made it many times, it’s fast and feels fancy even though it’s incredibly simple to make. For some reason I haven’t made it for ages, so last night we had this for dinner.

The problem was, saffron is kind of a key ingredient. When I dug through my spices I found that I was actually out of saffron. This never happens, and by the time I realized it the pasta was cooking and the veal was resting. So major improvisation here: I used a tablespoon of pink peppercorns (which I’ve used in another great cream sauce for steaks) and a teaspoon of thyme instead of the saffron. Everything else was exactly the same as the recipe…well, I don’t put mushrooms in since neither of us are fans.  The dish was still delicious, but much more peppery than the original. Now I’ll have to think hard about which version to make next time.

I served it with some buttery spaghetti with chives and pepper. Delicious, and exactly the kind of protein I need to keep pumping into Adam while he’s getting over the worst bug he’s had since I’ve known him.

I’m posting the original recipe.

Veal Scaloppine with Saffron Cream Sauce

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saffronorzoI don’t know what it is about shrimp. I love them, I order them in restaurants no problem. But I’m never just wowed when I cook shrimp at home. I’ve tried all different kinds of shrimp, and I always buy the best I can find from Whole Foods (or Fresh Direct before that). And it’s never actually bad; I’ve made some delicious dishes with shrimp in them. Grilled shrimp, shrimp with pasta, shrimp wrapped in bacon and broiled, sauteed shrimp. The dishes themselves are usually really good, and they’d be perfect except for the fact that they have shrimp.

Adam and I are both puzzled by this because we agree that we both do actually like shrimp. And I’ve learned how to cook it, it’s not that it’s overdone or handled wrong. I know what not-quite-right shellfish can do to one’s digestive system. It’s cooked just fine, but it’s still shrimp. I don’t know what’s wrong with us; it’s gotten to the point where I’ll add a shrimp dish when I make out the menus for the week to grocery shop, and then I’ll dread actually making the shrimp. It’s just one of those things I try to add to spice up the proteins we eat, and it’s just not that exciting for either of us.

So anyway, I tried again on Thursday night with this dish from Giada’s Everyday Pasta. The orzo is fantastically good, and the flavor of the shrimp was excellent. But neither of us finished our bowls. For one thing, shrimp is surprisingly rich. And for another, it was shrimp. So this is a weird post because I do actually recommend this dish if you’re not unbalanced about such things like I appear to be. It’s light and citrusy, and it’s a fast weeknight dinner.

Saffron Orzo with Shrimp

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Yep. It’s finally happened. Today’s the day, February 10th. I am now officially 30. Despite all my talk about accepting it gracefully, I was in a pretty bad mood today. I don’t think it was actually because of my birthday. Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up cranky for no reason and just can’t shake the crankiness all day? It was like that. With moments of sunshine, because I got lots of birthday wishes and all my classes were mercifully well-behaved. Plus my big book order for the year finally came yesterday, so I spent my prep digging through luscious boxes of never-before-opened books. So it wasn’t all bad.

I came home and showered off the grumps, and now I’m feeling happy and waiting for Adam to come home and take me out for my surprise dinner. No idea where we’re going, but I can’t wait.

**I forgot to note that this lasagna is what I made for my 30th birthday dinner party.

waiting to partyJackie’s 30th Lasagne (modified from Everday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis)

I made 2 of these, one with meat and one without. I made a pot of my sauce, but instead of ground beef and meat stock I added extra onion, basil, and only used veggie stock. So it is a vegetarian sauce.

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grilled chicken with basil dressingOne of my 2009 resolutions was to cook some new dishes. Yes, I want to move away from the Italian and American stuff I always cook. But let’s not rush me, there’s plenty still left in those worlds for me to play with. Last night, after The Worst Week Ever (which involved me being carted off from work in an ambulance after an asthma attack), I finally had some energy back to cook something for dinner. So I made this grilled chicken, which is from the first Giada book I ever bought, Giada’s Family Dinners. It was really good, and I just made some garlic bread and caprese to go with it. I didn’t actually grill it, though. I only processed the directions so far, and my brain has been so fried this week that I sauteed them instead of using the grill pan. They were still delicious, though.

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I’ve listed a lot of things on this blog that I’ve cooked at home, but I haven’t included all the recipes. I thought it would be a bad idea since they are not my own recipes, but after reading several food blogs and a little bit on where recipes sit in the world of copyright law, I’ve decided to go back to my original postings and actually include the recipes I’ve used.

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Pizza is my favorite food on earth. It is the one thing I would never be able to give up. So Adam always asks me why I don’t make pizza at home. I don’t have a lot of patience for making the dough, honestly. That’s something I need to get over, I know. But our neighborhood Whole Foods sells pizza dough in their deli department, and I decided to try that out. I’m off today and Adam’s working from home, so I made pizza for lunch. It was unbelievably good and easy! Now I may never learn to make dough if all I have to do is run to Whole Foods and pick some up.

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I’m a little obsessed with Giada De Laurentiis’s cookbooks. She’s one of those TV cooking show hosts that for years I tried to resist until I realized that I actually adore her. I admit that I also have some Rachel Ray cookbooks, but the thing with those is that I always end up tweaking the recipes like crazy until I find a version I like. The Rachel Ray books were things I relied on a few years ago when I was first really learning how to cook, but I quickly outgrew them when my tastes evolved and I wanted more challenges. Giada is a relatively new cookbook discovery for me, and I cannot resist her or her shows anymore! Her recipes are just delicious and easy to follow. It’s like finding out the untouchable head cheerleader/valedictorian is also really nice and likes Nina Simone as much as you do.

Anyway, I stocked up on a couple more of her books recently, including Everyday Pasta. Tonight I tried it out for the first time with her Chicken in Lemon Cream with Penne. It was a hit, Adam told me to put it in the regular recipe rotation. I have my own made-up recipe for Spaghetti with Lemon and Chicken, and this is a more elaborate and created-by-an-actual-professional version. It was really creamy and subtle, the kind of meal that’s hearty but perfect in hot weather.


UPDATE 6/8/08: Here is the actual recipe:

1 pound penne pasta
3 tbs olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp herbes de Provence
Pinch of salt, plus 1/2 tsp
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
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