Archive for the ‘Old Country Cooking’ Category

Old Country Cooking – Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey guys!

As I’ve written about before, I love my nonna’s cooing. So I compiled a list of meals she made that make me think of her and home. Yesterday, I hightailed it to my mom’s house with a whole chicken, russet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, broccoli and zucchini. I originally planned to make this on my own, but that dang whole chicken scared me! My mom is only second to the nonna when it comes to cooking, so I knew she would be a good teacher! Nonna loved herself some olive oil; my mom goes a little lighter on the stuff, which is healthier and still delicious, but nonna’s chicken and potatoes would be GOLDEN from her use of it. Yum!

Nonna used to make chicken and potatoes in her old school, noise making, outlet burning, convection oven. The skin was crispy and the meat moist. The potatoes were firm and crusty, sprinkled with rosemary, salt and pepper. It was kind of like an anytime meal. She made it for every season.

So obviously, I didn’t want to butcher this. That’s when my mama entered the mix!

We started with potatoes and carrots. I now wish we did more carrots because they were AMAZING! Note to self: roast carrots more often!

3 potatoes and 3 carrots sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Nonna always did her chicken and potatoes together, but my mom wanted to use a rack for the chicken, so we did them separately. Still good!

We spread them out of one of nonna’s old roasted pans! We added some paprika to the mix.  We preheated the oven to 375 degrees and let them cook for 25 minutes. Note turn those guys over! I was in charge of that, and let’s just say they were extra crispy.haha.


While those guys were cooking we prepped some zucchini, broccolini and asparagus. These were in the oven longer d we actually took them out in stages. The broccolini only took 20 minutes, while the asparagus took more like 25-30. We ended up leaving the zucchini in there to get all firmed up.

look at all that GREEN!

Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper

It looks like we grilled it, huh? The flavors were so good!

and then there was the chicken!

My mom took the helm on this guy. This cooked for about an hour and a half on 350-375. It literally fell off the bone after. The chicken was (is- I have sooo much chicken!) so moist. Love! We use lemon(there was half of one in the chicken and half of one’s juice on the chicken), garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and extra virgin olive oil!

woo hoo! Although I have to say, not a fan of looking at a raw chicken. I was a happy camper after it cooked!

My mom cut the chicken up for me and sent me on my way.  This was definitely a mama-helmed meal, but I helped!

And now I have meals for days!

Toodles kids!

Categories: Old Country Cooking

Success tastes like tomato sauce :)

August 20, 2010 3 comments

Well guys,

My lunch/dinner (Linner as I like to call it) was a complete success!

I used what I had available…

Trust me, I did not use all of that garlic 🙂

Here’s the recipe I used. Do what feels right for you 🙂

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot (or a small onion – your choice)

Green Beans!

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup tomato purée or sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

Red pepper and salt to taste

I began with sweating some  garlic and shallot in the olive oil

The smell at this point was kind of beautiful.

As they began to turn a golden color I added the can of diced tomatoes

Then I added the 1/2 cup of the tomato purée, red pepper and salt. It needed about 10 minutes so….

I salted some water (Nonna always did that… it seasons the green beans?) and after it came to a boil I added these bad boys

Meanwhile the tomato sauce simmered…

I only let the green beans boil for about 4 minutes and then added them to the tomato sauce to let them finish (about 3-5 minutes on low heat)

So pretty. I could not wait to eat!

ta da! It wouldn’t be complete without a little cheese!

This was so easy! And I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but it tasted soooooo good. If you don’t think you’re a fan of green beans, try them this way!

Old country cooking success #1 🙂

Old country cooking

August 20, 2010 3 comments

Hey guys,

While I was driving to school to do some work and drop off my schedule (I get to see clients in the fall –  woohoo!) I was thinking of ….



Anyhoo, I was thinking of what I wanted to eat for lunch and suddenly I started thinking of all the things my nonna used to make.  The more I though about it, the more I realized that what she made was delicious and for the most part, relatively healthy. The woman loved bread and cheese, but cooked veggies like nobody’s business. So I have compiled a list of the meals nonna made (both the healthy and not so healthy) that I will try to cook and adapt. I am already more than sure these won’t be even half as good as hers, but even stuff that is half as good as hers is probably pretty good. 😉

1. Green beans in tomato sauce.

2. Cabbage rolls (I am a punk and didn’t want to try them until the last time she made them… they were AMAZING)

3. Biscotti with almond (ps.  you pronounce is as BIZ-COAT-TEE)

4. Veggie Pizza

5.  Rice and peas (She was sneaky… we’d see her making rice or pasta and get excited and then – BAM she snuck peas in there! It was still great)

6.  Tomato sauce – both pomodoro and meat sauce

7. Mineststrone (I feel good about this one… I’m a soup maker at heart)

8. Spaghetti with meatballs

9.  Stew aka spezzatino di Manzo… That should read beef stew 🙂

10.  Chicken cacciatore (my mom makes this  – I have to include this because it’s so flippin’ good!)

11.  Frittatas (like an omelet)

12. Cannelloni (I think of it like an Italian enchilada)

13. Gnocchi!

14. Roasted chicken and potatoes

15. Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans)

16. Pork chop sandwiches.

That last one still cracks me up. When my brother, cousins and I would get home from school, we had a pre-dinner waiting for us usually. My favorite was her pork chop sandwich. I don’t know if I will ever forget the smell! Rosemary, olive oil, pork… She would wipe the oil out of the pan with the french bread she would use for the sandwich. DELICIOUS.

So I may add more to the list as I go. Being that I am trying to be relatively healthy here, I may adapt some of the recipes. I’m excited for this new project!  Today I am going to try the green beans in tomato sauce. I’ll keep you updated!!

Categories: Old Country Cooking