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Tuesday
Sep262017

Sheet Pan Chicken with Olives, Lemon, Capers & Pecorino

 

ceramic platter from Fifty One and a Half

 

I love cooking things in the oven on sheet pans lined with foil.  Such easy cleanup! In this dish, I've combined a few of the flavors I love together to make a chicken dish that is so easy to make with minimal clean up. 

In this recipe, you first rub chicken parts with some seasoning and then roast them along with really good green olives, lemon and capers.  The olives I'm using are called Castelvetrano olives - do not swap them for Spanish olives! They are totally different.  If you've never had a Castelvetrano olive, please get a jar and try them now.  They are not hard to find. The olives are from Sicily and are meaty and delicious.  In Italy, they are served atop salads frequently and are used as a great snacking olive for antipasti. They pair beautifully with lemon and capers. I have used them whole in this dish but if you want to pit them, it's easy to do.  Just lay them on a cutting board and, using the side of a wide knife, smash them a bit - the pit comes right out. 

 

Cuisinox Olive Spoon

 

I love lemon and capers together.  Be sure to only buy small capers packed in salt. Just give them a quick rinse. They add a nice little bite to food.  

I like using bone in, skin on chicken.  The chicken has more flavor.  You can use any combination of chicken parts you like, of course.  If you want to add chicken wings to the dish, add them halfway through the cooking time - they are going to cook quicker than other parts.  Also, if you are combining dark meat and white meat be sure to see if the chicken breasts are on the thin side or thick side.  If they are very thick, you can add them along with the dark meat but if they are thinner, don't cook them the whole time because they also will cook faster.  

Hope you enjoy. 

Thanks for dropping by!
Elaine 

 

 

Chicken with Olives, Lemon & Capers

for a printable recipe, click here

serves 4-6

How long to cook the chicken will depend on the size of your parts and if you are cooking dark or white meat.  Be sure to check for doneness as you go, after about 30 minutes of cooking time, so you don't overcook the chicken. 

Rub:
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt


2½ pounds of chicken (any parts you like)
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 lemons, zested and sliced
15 Castelvetrano olives
1 Tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed
4 garlic cloves, skin removed and cloves smashed (use the side of a knife)
1 cup chicken broth 
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese 

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.  

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl.

Place chicken pieces on the baking sheet and toss generously with the rub, coating all sides. Add the onion wedges, lemon slices, olives and capers. Add the lemon zest to the chicken broth and heat in microwave. Stir. Set aside.

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes until skin is lightly brown.  Reduce heat to 375°F. Add the chicken broth to pan and roast for 15 minutes more. Flip chicken over, coating the chicken with the lemon broth. (Start testing for doneness). Roast another 15 minutes. Flip chicken again and roast about another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (you can pierce a piece and make sure juices run clear).  

Remove chicken, onions, lemon slices and olives to a platter. Discard garlic. Lightly tent with foil to keep warm. Transfer the liquid in the baking sheet to a small saucepan and boil vigorously for about 5 - 7 minutes, until thickened slightly.  Drizzle over the chicken.  Sprinkle with the parsley and Pecorino cheese.

 

Monday
Jun262017

Classic Blackberry Crisp

 

 

It's summertime and everyone should know how to make a classic fruit crisp dessert.  They are easy to make and you can make them with so many different fruits.  I'm making this one with blackberries, but you can add blueberries and raspberries for nice mixed berry crisp.  And leftovers are great the next day or even as a sweet treat for breakfast with your coffee.  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun012017

Whole Roasted Branzino with Lemon Caper Sauce

  

 

 

Branzino, or Mediterranean Sea Bass, is such a popular fish in Italian restaurants and for good reason.  It's a mild, firm delicious fish with hardly any small bones.  So why not make it at home?  If you are afraid of overcooking fish, roasting the fish whole is the way to go - leaving the skin on and the head intact helps keep the fish moist and adds to the flavor.  Branzino can be found more easily now in good grocery stores, as it has gained such popularity.

It really is simple to roast a whole branzino this way.  The fish should be scaled and gutted when you buy it, so there is no prep for you to do when you get home. Simply season the cavity of the fish and stuff it with lemon and herbs.  Roast the fish in a fairly hot oven for about 15 minutes.

There are a few things to look for when selecting a whole fish, to make sure it is fresh.  Look at the eyes of the fish - they should look plump and moist, not sunken, cloudy or dried.  The fish should look shiny and bright, not dull.

 

 

After the fish is cooked, deboning and serving a Branzino is really easy -  you cut away the top filet, exposing the spine. The entire spine will lift out easily by pulling on the tail toward the head.  And there are almost no small bones to deal with.  

I've made a quick little Lemon Caper Sauce to drizzle over the filets.  You can certainly just eat this fish as is, with no sauce.  It's a great fish and I hope you try it. 

 


buy the smallest capers you can find, packed in salt

 

Whole Roasted Branzino with Lemon Caper Sauce

for a printable recipe click here

Make the lemon caper sauce while the fish is in the oven, roasting.  

serves 2

1 whole Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass), about 1.5 pounds
1 large lemon, zested
2 teaspoons capers in salt
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons butter (if you don't want to use butter, you can use extra virgin olive oil)
1 Tablespoon minced red onion
¼ cup white wine
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
salt & pepper 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 400° F.   Rinse fish, inside and out.  Pat dry.  Make 3 slits with a very sharp knife in the sides of the fish, about a quarter inch deep.  Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or foil.

Cut the zested lemon in half.  Juice one half and slice the other half into 3 slices. Rinse the salt from the capers.

Season the inside of the fish with some salt and pepper.  Stuff the cavity with the lemon slices and fresh thyme. Place the fish in the oven and roast for 12 minutes.  

While the fish is cooking, make the sauce:
In a small skillet, add the butter and onion.  Saute the onion gently until soft, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and cook for a few seconds, then add the lemon zest and the capers.  Cook on low for about 2 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and parsley, shut off the heat and cover with a lid to keep the sauce warm and moist. 

Turn on broiler and broil the fish for about a minute and a half, til it crisps up a little. 

 

the blue lines are where you are going to cut the fish, so
the top filet can be removed from the fish,
exposing the spine.  Here are step by step photos:

 

 


cut along the backbone, down toward the head

 

 cut across the tail section, down the belly and then below the gills. 
This should allow the whole filet to be lifted up. 

 

 Gently lift the filet off the fish and place on a serving dish.  Now the
spine is exposed.

 

Lift the tail up and pull the spine away from the fish. The head will come off
along with the spine.  See if there are any large bones missing
from the spine. If there are, take them out of the filet. Place the
lower filet on the serving dish.

 

Debone the fish:
Place a serving platter next to the fish.  With a very sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone, across the tail, across the belly and below the gills.  With a spatula, remove the top fillet and place on the serving dish, skin down.  Grab the tail of the fish and pull up.  The spine will come away from the underside of the fish, along with the head.  If any bones are obviously missing from the spine, remove them from the fish. (Branzino doesn't have many small bones, so if you get the spine out with the large bones, that's what counts.)  Remove the top and bottom fins, if they are still attached.  Place the bottom fillet on the serving dish. 

Drizzle the lemon caper sauce over the fish and serve immediately.