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Last night with a 2001 Turley Pesenti
Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Bacon
Stir fry bell peppers with beef over steamed rice

Recipe for roasted asparagus from
6 bacon slices
2 pounds medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 3 1/2- to 4-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Crumble bacon; set aside.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500°F. Arrange asparagus on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and turn asparagus to coat well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender when pierced with knife, about 7 minutes. Arrange asparagus in single layer on platter. Sprinkle with goat cheese, then bacon. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over.
Went to a wedding tonight that somehow managed to pull off the following:

-real Caesar salad

-real Gulf Shrimp Cocktail (after all, we were partying on the Gulf of Mexico next to this area's shrimp fleet dockage) Nothing beats the flavor of wild shrimp

-Roast beef that was actually served rare and didn't have the consistency of shoe leather (a real rarity at weddings)

-Absolutely, beautifully, rare (seared) sesame encrusted ahi tuna. Why people continue to cook tuna is still a mystery to me.
Yum! I thought I'd try a marinade that I usually use for pork tenderloin on some chicken breasts that I had frozen. Wow, did it work well! They marinated for about 2 1/2 hours and were broiled (raining, grilling would have been a little soggy).

Pork (and now chicken) Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

I "massaged" the breasts Razz every 45 minutes or so to speed the flavor absorption. I'm not sure if this even helps, but it seemed like a good idea.
I made my super-delicious Chicken Romano (Chicken Parm to the masses) with sauce and rigatoni

Quickie how-to on the chicken:

I use thin lean cutlets from my italian store. Usually 2 pounds.

1 bowl of egg mixture. I use 3 extra large eggs
with fresh parsley, half and half or whole milk, salt and pepper. Soak the chicken, then move the chciken to bowl #2.

Bowl 2 is a mixture of flour and italian seasoned bread crumbs. I mix in equal parts of each. Put the cutlets in and pat well on each side. Then place on large flat plate or other tray.

Heat oil in deep pan on high. I use corn oil, but you could probably use anything. Oil must be VERY hot. If not very hot, the chicken will become soft and oily. Test the heat by popping in a small batter piece, if it disintigrates like volcano lava, it's ready. Smile

Fry. It helps to have some experience here. 20-30 seconds on each side maybe? I don't time it, but I fry it less than I would if I was just making cutlets to eat right up. These will be soaking in sauce and then it will be going in the over later, so don't fry to long. This is being heated twice and they are thin. If thicker, then fry longer of course.

I take them out of the pan, salt them a little bit as they come out and separate with paper towels to dry off. I then take my tomato suace that was cooked a few hours earlier and is now warm, not boiling hot. I lay some sauce over the bottom of a large baking tray. I line the cutlets on top, then add more sauce, large basil leaves, and fresh romano cheese over them (parm or other hard sharp cheese works fine too). I don't use that much cheese, as my sauce is THAT good. If your sauce sucks, use a lot of cheese. Big Grin I then will use fresh mozzeralla, sliced in thin small pieces to sprinkle over them. sprinkle a light amount of extra virgin olive oil to soak in a little.

I cover the pan and leave out at room temp. to sit for a few hours. This creates a wonderful sauce marinade that seaps into the chicken. You won't even need a knife later. Of course, the sauce is a huge part of this. "That's the flavor!", as my uncle says. Yes the chicken sitting in the sauce makes it.

30 minutes before eating, put oven on 350 and bake until hot with cheese melted.

Serve and enjoy! Smile
Soaking really softens the chicken and the sauce almost penetrates the insides of the cutlets. It keeps the finished product from having cutlets with overcooked edges and dry where you didn't cover with sauce. I'm sure the other way is still delicious. I just love soft cutlets with the sauce.

It also gives the olive oil, cheese and basil flavors a chance to really sing in there, before blasting it in the oven. It will still have a firm to it though later, as long as you heat the over high enough. Try it.

My sauce also sits. It's always cooked 4 hours earlier and sits in the pot until I re-heat it later. I notice a huge difference in the flavor and consistency. Smile
If you think they are really thin, then they may be thin enough. Mine are probably 1/3 of an inch. I'm just guessing. It's also not just the thinness, it's the lean cuts too, so it's not chewy and it doesn't have any tough fat lines through them. I don't get this quality from a supermarket, so I don't know what kind of store you have access to.
Tortilla Pie

Recipe courtesy of
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-oz) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup mild tomato salsa
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
6 oz pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas (burrito-size)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Accompaniment: sour cream

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Stir together beans, corn, salsa, tomato sauce, cheese, cilantro, scallions, and cumin in a large bowl.
Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until smoking. Brush both sides of each tortilla with oil and fry, turning over once, until puffed and golden in spots, about 1 minute.
Put 1 tortilla in a well-oiled 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan, then spread with 1 1/3 cups of filling. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining tortilla, gently pressing to help layers adhere.
Bake until filling is heated through, about 12 minutes. Transfer with a large metal spatula to a platter, then cut pie into wedges with a serrated knife.

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