Recipes from 'Lidia's Family Table'

Still over medium heat, toss the onion wedges and rosemary branches around the pan, in with the potatoes. If using cherry peppers (either hot or sweet), cut the seeded halves into 1/2-inch-wide pieces and scatter them in the pan too.

Return the chicken pieces -- except breast pieces -- to the pan, along with the bacon rolls; pour in any chicken juices that have accumulated. Raise the heat slightly, and carefully turn and tumble the chicken, potatoes, and onion (and bacon and/or pepper pieces), so they're heating and getting coated with pan juices – but take care not to break the potato pieces. Spread everything out in the pan – potatoes on the bottom as much as possible, to keep crisping up – and cover.

Return the heat to medium, and cook for about 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, then uncover, and tumble the pieces and potatoes (and bacon rolls) again. Cover, and cook another 7 minutes or so, adding the breast pieces at this point. Give everything another tumble. Now cook covered for 10 minutes more.

Remove the cover, turn the pieces again, and cook in the open skillet for about 10 minutes, to evaporate the moisture and caramelize everything. Taste a bit of the potato (or chicken) for salt, and sprinkle on more as needed. Turn the pieces now and then; when they are all glistening and golden, and the potatoes are cooked through, remove the skillet from the stove and -- as I do at home -- bring it right to the table. Serve portions of chicken and potatoes, or let people help themselves. Serves 4 or more.

Green Bean Gratinate with Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

• 1½ pounds fresh green beans

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

• 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups), preferably small grape tomatoes

• 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella

• 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves

• 1 cup grated Parmigiano--Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese

• 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Recommended Equipment: A shallow baking dish with two-or three-quart capacity

Arrange a rack in the top half of the oven and preheat to 375º. Fill a large pot with water (at least five quarts) and bring it to a boil.

Dump them all into the boiling water, cover the pot until the water boils again, then cook uncovered, for 10 minutes or so, until they are just cooked through ---- tender but still firm enough to snap.

Drain the beans briefly in a colander, then put them in a big kitchen bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt on the hot beans and toss them so they're all seasoned. Let the salt melt and the beans cool for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse and dry the tomatoes. If they're larger than an inch, slice them in halves, otherwise, leave them whole. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2--inch cubes. Slice the basil leaves into thin shreds or a chiffonade.

Toss the grated cheese and bread crumbs together in a small bowl. Lightly grease the insides of the baking dish with a teaspoon or more of the butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese-and--bread-crumb mix all over the bottom of the dish.

When the beans are no longer steaming, drop the tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella and basil shreds on top. Drizzle the olive oil over all, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss together a few times. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheesy bread crumbs on top and toss well, so everything is coated.

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