The food of romance . . .
All of the dishes below either came from my books or are inspired by them. I hope you’ll make them and enjoy!
Roasted Garlic Cheese Dip
I think Sarah would make this when she and Gideon invite the football team to their farm for parties. And remember garlic is perfectly acceptable if both kissers have eaten it! <3
2 heads garlic
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups shredded asiago cheese
1 cup sour cream
1?4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup Italian shredded cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Peel most of the outer layers of the garlic off, then slice off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves inside. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic, letting the oil sink down into the cloves. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Once the garlic has cooled, turn heads upside down and gently squeeze the garlic out of the skins.
3. Reduce oven temp to 350.
4. With a food processor or electric mixer, blend cream cheese, shredded cheeses, sour cream and parsley until well-blended. Add garlic and blend again.
5. Place mixture into a baking or casserole dish and sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top.
6. Bake about 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown on top.
7. Serve with firm crusty bread.
Italian Love Knots
Vincent made these for Amanda on a very special occasion. I recommend serving these to someone you love!
5 cups of unbleached flour
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups of cooled melted butter
1 cup of milk
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon for cookie
1 ounce of lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, and then the extract and zest.
In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder, then slowly add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.
When everything is incorporated, let the dough rest for 5 minutes, or wrap and chill overnight.
Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
To form the knots, use a cookie scoop to keep the size uniform. Scoop the dough and roll it into a log about 5 or 6 inches. Take one side of the log and form a circle, then tuck the other end down.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Vincent made this for Amanda when she was sick. I make it for my family, too. It cures everything!
1 large chicken
1 onion, roughly cut
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 carrots, finely cut
2 stalks celery, chopped
Bebes (or other small pasta like Acini di pepe)
In a large stock pot, place chicken and cover with water. Add vegetables and garlic, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for four to six hours. Add water as it evaporates.
Remove the chicken and vegetables, straining stock. When chicken is cooled, remove from bones and return to pot. Add finely chopped carrots and celery. Bring to boil and add escarole (if desired).
You can add the bebes to the boiling soup if you like, or you can boil the bebes separately and add to each individual bowl, which will keep the liquid from being absorbed.
Reheat as often as you need. Excellent cure for colds, flu and all manner of crud.
Chicken Fried Steak
(From Ree Drummond)
As served at Kenny’s Diner in Burton to Tori and Hunter!
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra tenderized)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 to 4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mashed potatoes, for serving
For the steak: Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes. Mix the milk with the eggs in one; the flour mixed with the seasoned salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, paprika and cayenne in another; and the meat in a third. Then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
Work with one piece of meat at a time. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Finally, place it back in the flour and turn to coat (dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture). Place the breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with the remaining meat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it’s sufficiently hot. When the butter sizzles immediately, you know it’s ready. (It should not brown right away, if it does, the fire is too hot.) Cook the meat, 3 pieces at a time, until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and keep them warm by covering lightly with another plate or a sheet of foil. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.
After all the meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the skillet, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the grease back to the skillet and allow it to heat up.
For the gravy: When the grease is hot, sprinkle the flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix the flour with the grease, creating a golden-brown paste. Add more flour if it looks overly greasy; add a little more grease if it becomes too pasty/clumpy. Keep cooking until the roux reaches a deep golden brown color.
Pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the seasoned salt and black pepper to taste and cook, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned.
Serve the meat next to a big side of mashed potatoes. Pour gravy over the whole shebang!