Classics, Dinner, Italian, Meat, Savory

Braciole

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This is my take on a classic Italian Braciole or beef-roll ups.  This is an easy and hearty dish that looks extremely elegant.  You can make the filling several days ahead and if you use store-bought marinara sauce, this meal comes together in about a half an hour, elevating any boring weeknight to date night!  Here is how I made this dish.

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Ingredients:

For the roll-up:

2 pieces of flank-steak, pounded thin (the package might say “braciole)

A double batch of Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach

1 Tbsp of breadcrumbs

Salt and cracked black pepper to season the meat, about a 1tsp of each.

1 Tbsp of olive oil

Kitchen string cut into 6-8 pieces, long enough to wrap around and tie the rolled meat

For the sauce:

1 cup of marinara or tomato-basil sauce

1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

Method:

Cook the spinach and mushrooms (you can find the recipe here).  You will need to double the recipe so that you have enough filling.  The filling can be made several days in advance.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Mix the bread crumb with spinach and mushroom filling.

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Divide the filling on to the two pieces of flank steak and spread it on to the meat.  Press the filling down, so that it sticks to the meat–it will stay in place when you go to roll it.

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Starting from the short end, roll the steak up like a jelly-roll, tightly; tucking in any filling that may fall out.

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Using the pre-cut kitchen twine ( I like to cut it ahead of time), tie up the rolls tightly.

Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet and once it is hot, add the beef roll-ups.  I like to add some additional cracked black pepper at this step, makes for a really nice crust!

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Sear on high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side, making sure you get the entire surface of the roll browned–not just top and bottom.  After you get the initial sear, you may lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, rolling the beef to a different surface ever 2 minutes.  The entire process will take about 15- 20 minutes.  It might take longer if your rolls are larger.

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let the beef rolls rest for at least 5 minutes before you cutting the string and slicing the meat.

While the beef is searing, heat all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepot.  You are looking to warm up the sauce so that all the ingredients get a chance to blend in and impart their flavor.  You keep the sauce on a low simmer the entire time the beef is cooking.

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To plate dinner, spoon sauce on a plate and arrange two slices of the braciole/beef-roll up.  Pour yourself a glass of red wine and dinner is served!

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Dinner, Gluten-free, Poultry, Quick Dinner, Savory

Prosciutto-Basil Chicken in a Tomato Sauce


A super speedy dinner I pulled together for a quick dinner party.  It used whatever I had in the kitchen and pantry and pulled together a tasty chicken dinner.  Try it !

Ingredients:

5 thinly sliced chicken breasts

5 slices of prosciutto

10 basil leaves

1/2Tbsp of minced garlic

3 stalks of green onions, chopped

2 shallots sliced

Bruschetta spread ( I bought this from Trader Joe’s)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp of cornmeal

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

1 cup of chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Season the chicken breasts with salt.

Spread the bruschetta mix on the chicken breast and lay two basil leaves on top of the spread.


Fold the chicken breast in half and secure with toothpicks.

Wrap each breast with prosciutto.


Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet and fry the chicken breasts till golden on each side.  Set aside.

  
 In the same pan add the chopped garlice,green onions and shallots and saute till pale.

Add 2 Tbsp of the bruschetta mix and cornmeal and saute for 2-3 mins

  
    Remove the toothpicks and return the  chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock

Simmer till the sauce thickens.

Serve with your choice of sides.  I did saffron rice and roasted asparagus.