I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

An Awesome Italian Meal

Today I got a big package in the mail containing Rao's Cookbook. I'll give a little story about Rao's sometime. I haven't been there and I will never be able to go there, but it would be a great place to go. Instead, I do what I always do when I want food that I can't have. I made it at home. I leafed through the cookbook and found two recipes that looked tasty. One dish that Rao's is famous for is their Lemon Chicken. I made that. Another dish in the book that had a great and delicious looking picture is their gnocchi. If you don't know what gnocchi are an easy way to describe them would be to call them biscuits made with semolina pasta flour. Rao's serves them with melted cheese on top and smothered in marinara. Rao's makes their marinara pretty much the same way I do, so you can find the recipe on this blog. Just look for one that uses either fresh or canned plumb tomatoes. I grow a strain in my garden called Super San Marzano that I can up whole so I just used some of those. I also added some sausage and baby portobello mushrooms.

You serve gnocchi like you would pasta, so you probably wouldn't want to have gnocchi and a pasta but I suppose stranger things have been done.


Makes enough for 3 people with 2 gnocchi each.

2 cups whole milk
1/2 pound semolina flour
1 t salt
2 T salted butter

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon for quite a while, up to 30 minutes, until dough turns into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Stir in 2 egg yolks and stir for a few minutes until back to the same state. Remove from pan and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool. Cool and then use a biscuit cutter to cut into round pieces. Place pieces into a buttered dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Before serving cut a slice of mozzarella for each gnocchi using the biscuit cutter. A few minutes before serving put the gnocchi topped with cheese under the broiler.

Lemon Chicken

Take a whole chicken, cut it in half and broil it for 30 minutes, flipping once. The skin should blacken up in spots and the juice should run clear. Meantime make up the lemon sauce:

1 cup lemon juice
1/2 c olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
fresh ground black pepper

When chicken is done cut it into pieces and place in a baking dish. Pour over the sauce. Return under broiler and broil for 3 minutes on 1 side and 1 minute on the other. Put chicken pieces on a plate. Pour juice into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add about 1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Pour over the chicken pieces. To serve grate some Romano cheese over the top.