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Cooking Projects for February

SallyBR1's picture

Here are my projects for this month

1. Braciolle - not sure of the spelling, but it is the traditional Italian dish, rolled meat enclosing a bunch of tasty things

I haven t decided on a recipe yet - if someone has a tried and true, feel free to let me know. I intend to look into Marcella's book

I have never made it before.

2. Ravioli. Probably a butternut squash filling, with brown butter sauce or something along those lines. Of course, the idea is to continue practicing with homemade pasta dough. And put my KA roller to good use again.

3. Paella. Also something I've never made before. As our student gave us a small paella pan, excellent Spanish olive oil, paella rice & saffron, it will be a good cooking project

Since it's already Feb 6th, I am picking just 3 projects for this month. Will try to do a little better in March

Stay tuned... :-)



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Amy's picture

(post #67240, reply #1 of 21)

I made braciole (I don't know how to spell it either!) from Giada's book. Hers is one big one. I know there are other recipes that are lots of little ones. Which are you thinking of doing?

Tess's picture

(post #67240, reply #2 of 21)

This one from Mario Batali is not technically "braciolle," since it's actually a meat loaf, but it's very pretty when you slice it. I've made its several times and the presentation is WOW. and it is delicious.

edit to say I just read the user review and that person could not have followed the recipe.

Edited 2/6/2008 10:23 am ET by Tess

Tess's Japanese Kitchen
Gretchen's picture

(post #67240, reply #3 of 21)

I love Julia Child's paella recipe. I'm sure I have posted it here.

soupereasy's picture

(post #67240, reply #4 of 21)

Funny, I was just in the market and in the prepared food section they had done a braciolle with chix breast. It had proccutio and asiago.

Spell check is hopeless!

avak123's picture

(post #67240, reply #5 of 21)

If you are going the rolled and stuffed chicken breast route, I highly recommend the following version included in Inspirations--The Girls Who Dish. Very yummy for a chix dish!

Rolled and Stuffed Chicken Breast - serves 6 to 8

3 large chicken breasts, removed from the bird whole and deboned (I usually buy deboned whole breasts with skin on from WF instead of using whole birds)

2 Japanese eggplants

8 oz. feta cheese

1/4 c. chopped fresh mint and 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

1 c. tapenade

12 slices prosciutto

1 jar (14 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained

pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper and pound with a heavy object like a frying pan. Give chicken 2 to 3 "smacks" until double in size. Slice eggplant in 1/4 in. rounds. Brush with olive oil and pan-fry or grill over medium-high heat on both sides. Mix together feta, mint, parsley and tapenade.

To assemble, lay the chicken breasts skin side down on your work surface. Place eggplant evenly over each breast in a single layer. Top each with 4 slices prosciutto, then a few slices of red pepper. Top with 1/3 of the feta mixture. Roll each portion of filling between your palms, forming a sausage-like roll. Place a roll in the centre of each breast. Give each a gringing of pepper. Roll up jelly-roll fashion and tie with string. Brush with olive oil. Grill over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. But chicken into slices and serve hot or cold.


SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #6 of 21)

Reporting on first project - ravioli

It was ok, not great. THe whole experience reminded me of golf - you know how a very small mistake in alignment can make your ball go waaaay off target?

I feel that pasta dough can be a bit like that - the dough turned out a little bit too soft, needed more flour. I tried to compensate during the rolling, but should have adjusted to the situation and rolled the dough a little thicker. Would have worked better.

Even though the filling was not overly moist, it added insult to injury - the ravioli turned very thin and wrinkly - some were too fragile and opened during cooking, even if the water was at a bare simmer.

Like most cooking projects of this kind, I think the more you do it, the more you develop the feeling for what is "just right" - I made ravioli before and was lucky that it worked very well then. Now I think I know what to look for, so I'm hoping that from now on I can get it right.

the filling of eggplant and ricotta was very good - I decided to make a very light tomato sauce, adding orange zest to it at the end. Turned out quite good and matched the ravioli well.
I know that brown butter would be better, but we try to avoid going in that direction for hubby's cholesterol issues.



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Tess's picture

(post #67240, reply #7 of 21)

Next time when your pasta dough feels too soft, you should flour it generously then fold it over itself into a thick layer like what you started with. Go all the way back to step one (thickest setting) and reduce thickness a second time. I use a hand roller (Atlas) but I think it would work the same with the KA.

edit to say that it sounds like it was good anyway.

Edited 2/10/2008 9:31 am ET by Tess

Tess's Japanese Kitchen
SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #8 of 21)

According to hubby, I am too hard on myself. I disagree - we all have standards....

for him, shooting 82 on golf is a bad day - for me it would be hitting the jackpot (won t ever happen.... :-)



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Tess's picture

(post #67240, reply #9 of 21)

You could pretend you're bowling out there, and a high score would be great. ;-)

But seriously, I know what you mean about being too hard on yourself. Growing up, my mum always said that whatever I made/did was great/wonderful/fabulous, and so I was willing to try all sorts of new things. But at some point, I realized that in this world (beyond my mum) there are STANDARDS and since then I've been very self critical. But you are smart, warm, and willing to learn new things. Just remember a little self crit is ok, but you have to accept encouragement or (hard for me) even praise. Well, I'm sure you already know that.

Tess's Japanese Kitchen
SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #10 of 21)

Braciole Project Report....

Success! I am particularly happy about this project because it was not easy to decide how to do it. It seems to me there are as many variations on this classic as there are Italian Grandmas

So, I made my own recipe getting bits and pieces from advice I got here and a few recipes from the net

turned out excellent - the photos are not that good, we were in the middle of the dinner with guests, I felt bad about stopping to take photos, so I snapped a few and that was it. Braciole is not the most attractive dish, I would have to work a little harder to arrange the food before taking the picture.

Anyway, if you want to see the whole set, (includes the making of twice baked goat cheese souffles) - here is the link

login - sallyparis2002 at
password - cookie



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

kathymcmo's picture

(post #67240, reply #11 of 21)

Your hair looks really cute! And your eye makeup too--is that the Benefits cream shadow you mentioned?

Dinner looks great too, I hasten to add

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #13 of 21)

Benefits indeed, together with a little MAC eyeliner in gold - for almost 48 years I have wear next to zero makeup - now I am trying to be a little more adventurous.

by the way, Ebay is a great place to find MAC cosmetics



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

KarenP's picture

(post #67240, reply #12 of 21)

 Beautiful meal, Sally.  The braciole is beautiful and looks so tasty.  I love those goat cheese souffles.  
 The haircut really sets off your eyes. I think you made a great choice. 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #14 of 21)

These twice baked goat cheese thingies are a great dish for dinner parties because you can make it well in advance.

It is nice to be able to just stick them in the oven whenever it's time for dinner - barely having to leave the guests to do it.



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

soupereasy's picture

(post #67240, reply #15 of 21)

Have to first say the new do looks beautiful!

Dinner looks wonderful!
Had to smile, my mother had a whole set of that cranberry glass dinnerware. Does set off a place setting.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #16 of 21)

Hubby found those plates on ebay - he does not like to admit it, but he does have a little ebay addiction.

good match for my cookbook/gadget/recipe downloading obsession



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

soupereasy's picture

(post #67240, reply #17 of 21)


SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #18 of 21)

Reporting back on my last project for February


You can see the photos at

login sallyparis2002 at

password - cookie

This was really very very good - I ended up following Julia Child's recipe, except I did not add garbanzo beans. We have a small paella pan, for 4 people - and it was tricky enough to add everything we had (chicken, sausage, shrimp, peas, tomatoes, olives)

I've been reading a lot about paella, for obvious reasons. The recipes are divided in two general methods: brown the meat, add stock, simmer and add rice


brown the meat, remove from heat - sautee rice on oil, add stock, finish everything cooking together

I was worried that, using chicken thighs, the second method would lead to undercooked and tough meat. Julia CHild's recipe seemed to make a lot more sense. In her recipe the chicken and sausages are simmered for 15 minutes, so that the meat is more than 50% cooked, then the rice is sprinkled on the broth.

The tricky part is to make sure the rice gets properly cooked, the crust (socarrat) forms at the bottom, and every component is cooked to perfection

I am not 100% satisfied with the recipe -somehow, it seems to me that the rice would benefit from an initial sauteeing in olive oil - so, I might change a little bit the recipe next time, using pieces of chicken instead of a whole chicken thigh

at any rate, this was excellent for a first timer... The flavor is complex, it is not too spicy, comfort food at its best



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

soupereasy's picture

(post #67240, reply #19 of 21)

Well done! Something I have never tried to prepare. Just seemed a bit too daunting. I take my hat off to you.:)

PS. I love it that you are ready to tweak the recipe.

Edited 3/1/2008 10:41 pm ET by soupereasy

Jean's picture

(post #67240, reply #20 of 21)

Beautiful.  Makes me want to rush out and buy a pan. :)

Youth is fleeting. Immaturity, however, can last forever.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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SallyBR1's picture

(post #67240, reply #21 of 21)

I don t see why it would not work with another kind of pan, just go for it

(low carb it is NOT, though... :-)



It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)