Saturday, October 18, 2014

Italian Cuisine

Because I have been talking about cooking so much lately, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Italian recipes: 

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew (serves 4, prep time: 20 mins, cook time: 4-6 hours) 

6-8 chicken thighs, fat and skin removed, cut into pieces 
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 
2 stalks celery, sliced 
1 medium onion (EEWWWW) diced 
2 cloves minced garlic (I just mined like 19 cloves of garlic at the convent yesterday, my hands still stink!)
2 medium tomatoes, diced 
12 baby potatoes, cut in half 
1 and 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste 
2 tbsp white wine

Just before serving add: 
1/4 cup of water
1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch 
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
a twig of fresh rosemary, chopped
salt to taste

Place ingredients in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on lowest setting. Add water, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar and rosemary just before serving and stir until no lumps remain. Add additional salt if necessary and serve hot and fresh! 

Limoncello (takes one month to prepare) 

Infuse bottle of 100 percent-proof vodka with rinds of 15 lemons for 30 days
Heat 2 cups of sugar and 5 cups of water to make the syrup
Combine syrup with the lemon vodka then add a second bottle of vodka 
Wait another 30 days then bottle and serve from the freezer 

Spaghetti Carbonara (makes 4 servings, prep time: 5 mins, cook time: 15 mins) 

8oz. spaghetti
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan
4 slices bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of water and drain well
In a bowl, whisk together eggs and parmesan and set aside
Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes while reserving the excess fat
Stir in garlic for one minute, then add the pasta, egg mixture, gently toss and combine while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved pasta water, combing one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached
Serve immediately, with wine ; ) 

Pumpkin Cannoli's (serves 12 mini cannoli's)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tbsp powdered sugar 
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
12 mini cannoli shells (y'all can make yours from scratch, but I prefer to purchase these, much easier!)
Semisweet mini chocolate chips, for decor 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a small mixing bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the ricotta mixture and chill for one hour
Once chilled, pipe the mixture into each individual cannoli shell and add the chocolate chips 

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