Technique

homemade frico (baked cheese crisps)

I’ve had frico on my To Do list for some time, sharing the recipe that is, not making them. They’ve been part of my cooking tricks for a while now. Last week, while shopping at Whole Foods, I noticed a little pack of frico, and looked at the price out of curiosity—I should’ve had something soft to catch me before I hit the floor (insert dramatic pause). They were $25 per pound. Let’s do the math here. Pecorino Locatelli cheese usually comes in around $15 per pound. I make my frico with a blend of cheddar cheese to save money. That costs $8 to $10 per pound. If I’m doing a 1:1 ratio of cheeses, that puts my homemade frico at $12 per pound for ingredients.

 

Start by using a fine toothed grater to shred the cheese.

Start by using a fine toothed grater to shred the cheese.

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rosemary syrup

Simple syrups are incredibly easy to make. You can season them as you like, infusing fresh herbs, or dried fruits, and then you’ve got a nice flavor boost for cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The Rosemary Rise, my new favorite coffee drink, has a whisper of this fragrant, pine-scented syrup. Continue reading »

sautéed zucchini, sliced almonds & dill {cooking for one}

Recently, I decided to scale back on carbs. While I toyed with the idea of doing the Whole 30 (it seems everyone I know is doing it, or has tried it), the diet just isn’t realistic for me on a number of levels. For starters, I truly believe everything is fine in moderation, unless of course you have a true sensitivity or allergy. I know many people have taken the route of this elimination diet to get at the source of triggers making them feel unwell. It’s such a bigger discussion about how our food is produced and sourced, but not one I want to get into here, and now.

The last two years I’ve struggled a lot with my weight, and self image. Regardless of whether people think I look good, my old jeans tell the story of a much thinner person. I look around at the women in my family—all sticks when they were younger, and all now, well, let’s just say Brooklyn Italian women get plump as they age. I never imagined leaving an urban environment where I walked every day, every where, would have such a dramatic effect on my weight, and yet it has. Lesson learned. Continue reading »

crispy potato skin straws

Last week I had a moment while peeling potatoes for soup—that’s how these crispy potato skin straws came to be. I’d just started a new vegetable scrap bag for the freezer. What’s that you ask? Well, if you compost, you can easily discard those trimmings from the tops and bottom and carrots, celery, onions, etc., into your compost bin. That’s certainly better for the planet, but not necessarily your purse.Vegetable Peelings & Trimmings | In Jennie's Kitchen

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dry roasted cauliflower

I’m a late bloomer in my love for cauliflower. No particular reason, except for the fact that we didn’t grow up eating it. During my years in the restaurant business, I tasted some delightful preparations, and yet it still didn’t translate to my home kitchen. Last year, we began a serious affair, a hot and heavy one, with me eating it every chance possible. And then, one day, my little one asked to taste a bite. She was hooked like her mama. Recently, I decided to try this dry roasted cauliflower method.

Cauliflower releases a lot of liquid as it roasts, so rather then drench it with more liquid in the form of oil, I tried this approach. Start off by preheating your oven to 375ºF (190ºC) with a rimmed sheet pan on the rack. Once the oven is good to go, remove the pan, and add the cut up florets (and stalks, if you like, but I save them for slaw). You’ll hear a sizzle! Season with salt and pepper, then roast for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. This way the cauliflower gets a nice golden sear as it cooks. Continue reading »

homemade crema

I’ve had crema a few times but none have inspired me to try and make it until eating at Diego’s in Kingston, NY. Now, how this little gem of a restaurant was sitting under my nose all the time I lived upstate is beyond me. Well, actually, it’s not that surprising. I live 18 miles west of Kingston, and with it being on the other side of the reservoir, it’s not exactly my first choice, location wise, for eating out.

I ordered cauliflower tacos two ways. Much to my embarrassment, I can’t remember both preparations. I choose to believe it’s because the fried cauliflower taco with crema blew me away so hard, knocking the memory of everything else I ate that day. To be so in awe, you have to be a cauliflower addict like myself. The taco was dressed with a zingy slaw and a drizzle of the crema. The simplicity is what elevated the crema, letting it play a strong supporting role in a very uncomplicated dish. Continue reading »

homemade vegetable egg rolls

Before we go any further, I owe an apology for the RSS feed if you’re a subscriber (if you’re not, click this link). The last couple of weeks the images have been wonky, and not exactly matching the actual post. There’s so much admin work to do when you’re a one-woman shop like myself. Much as I try to dot every “i” and cross every “t”, something falls through the cracks. It kills me like you can’t imagine.

Sooo, until I can sort out with my web developer why the image doesn’t auto fill when a new post goes live, I have to manually go in and change it. Even worse than having to do it manually is I have to remember to do it. My apologies, and I hope it hasn’t deterred any of you from clicking through and reading. I will try to get better about it! Continue reading »

slow roasted chicken soup

I know. You’re not sure it’s soup weather exactly. My little one wore shorts to school yesterday, but don’t count winter out yet. Spring doesn’t officially arrive until March 20th, and as past years have proven, even that isn’t a definitive when it comes to temperatures. Besides, we’ve already discussed my love for soup. It’s a meal that knows no seasonal boundaries as far as I’m concerned.

This Slow Roasted Chicken Soup is so good, it’ll leave you craving a bowl in the middle of August (I’m souper serious here, folks).

A pho craving kicked in a few weeks ago. I wanted a hearty, rich stock, to slurp up with rice noodles. Rather than mess up the stove top with grease splatter to make my regular stock, I decided to take my stock to oven. Now, let’s just get this out of the way before you begin (and not at all to discourage you). The first hour or so, is a bit all hands on deck. This is because we’re building the flavors, and that means adding ingredients in stages, so be patient. Trust me on this one. I promise the resulting soup/stock/broth will make your knees weak. Once you get it going, you can walk away from the stove, and let the stock do it’s thing. Continue reading »

a whole lotta pizza

I remember years ago, Isabella came home from elementary school, and told me her gym teacher said pizza was junk food. They were covering a healthy eating unit in Phys Ed. You’ve never seen a head whip around quicker than mine. If you do it right, and take a balanced approach, I’d go so far as to say pizza is health food. Okay, I know. I’m reaching far here, people. But really, the homemade version is nothing to demonize. The crust is a simple combination of flour, yeast, salt, and water. A homemade tomato sauce is nothing more than tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and basil. And when it comes to the cheese, I try to mostly use a freshmade mozzarella from the Italian market. You should see my freezer, with containers of mozzarella balls suspended in a sea of water from Caputo’s. Continue reading »

homemade almond milk

In putting together a Pinterest board for National Almond Day yesterday (yeah, there’s pretty much a food holiday for every day of the year), I came across an old recipe that I wanted to share. I used have it on another site, but realized yesterday that it wasn’t over here on In Jennie’s Kitchen. So, here you go—my recipe for homemade almond milk! Continue reading »