Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Warm food on a cold freezing rainy night

I have abandoned posting... but I am back! Tonight is cold and gross out with too much freezing rain coming down!!! i made a point to stop by the store on my way home from work and planned ahead.

I made veggie chicken Parmesan for the first time! It turned out well and think I'll put it on my meal rotation. I got the recipe from oprah.com... Thanks Oprah!

Recipe: Vegetarian "Chicken" Parmesan Recipe

I bought boca breaded frozen chick patties and thawed them in the microwave for a minute then fried them in a skillet pretty crispy. I feel fake meat products can easily dry out when over cooked but they also are very forgiving so I intentionally over cooked the patties so it would have some sort of breaded crustiness and come back to a tender form when baked floating in marinara sauce.

I also made Winter Pasta from 101 cook books.

I didn't use penne pasta, rather Orccbiette del prete because it looked fun while shopping. I followed the recipe other than i didn't have lemon juice and after tasting felt it needed something so i added some olive juice to make it salty!! I didn't have thyme either and wish i would have picked some up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rotini Pasta Salad for Summer

This pasta salad recipe has been my summer BBQ “bring something to share” standby. It’s easy to make, and it yields quite a bit, and the leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days of lunches.

16 oz rotini pasta noodles (1 box)
2 tomatoes, chopped1 green bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
8oz Italian-style salad dressing

I like to use cherry tomatoes instead of chopping up larger tomatoes. Depending on the size of the cherry tomatoes that I get, I’ll either slice them in half or throw them in whole. A full onion can be a bit overpowering for my taste, so I like to use just a half. Rather than chop the cucumbers, I sometimes slice them for presentation.

My routine is to get the water boiling and then start chopping. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, throw the noodles in for 10-15 minutes or until they reach your desired tenderness. Drain and rinse in cold water. Then, combine the noodles with all the other ingredients, including the dressing, and then cover and chill for a couple of hours before serving.

The recipe is pretty basic, and I’m sure you can make just about any substitution to customize it for your taste buds. Perhaps use yellow pepper instead of green? Add some mozzarella or feta cheese? For meat lovers, maybe some pepperoni or diced ham would hearty it up. Yum!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blackened Tuna, Basil Rice, Green Beans, and Basil Onion Bread

My Dad sent over his dinner recipe to post up for you all. Looks very good!

Blackened Tuna:

Heat skillet on high heat with tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper the tuna and add blackening spice. I used Cajun seasoning. Just when the oil begins to smoke, add the tune and sear on both side, about a minute for each side. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes to finish cooking.

Basil Rice:

Dice onions, about ¼ cup and place in sauce pan with a little olive oil. Slow cook to soften and then add 1 cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon basil, and rice. Prepare the rice according to package directions. I used ½ cup of Uncle Ben’s converted rice and after bringing to boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Peal a blanched tomato and dice, also diced olives and stir into the rice when cooked. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.

Green Beans:

Dice ¼ cup onions and smoked ham (or bacon bits). Cook in small amount of oil. When softened, add one can of green beans and simmer until hot. About 10 minutes. Serve with some of the broth to keep the beans warm.

Basil and Onion Bread:

In a mixing bowl, add one cup bread flour, one tablespoon sugar, pinch of salt, table spoon of basil, minced onions, make a well in the bowl. Proof yeast in ½ cup warm water and place in well along with a teaspoon of olive oil. Stir to combine and then roll out on cutting board. Knead for 10 minutes until dough to smooth. Place in warm spot for half an hour. Punch down and knead again placing in small bread pan. Let rise again for half hour and then place in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Butter the top for a golden brown crust.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Obento Ya Japanese Bistro, 112 Eatery, and a calzone

For Matt's birthday weekend we went to Obento Ya Japanese Bistro on Saturday and I brought him out to the 112 Eatery on Sunday.

After a weekend of eating out I made calzones for dinner filled with ricotta, cheddar, basil, and (fake) pepperoni.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pizza & Beef, Beets, & Broccoli

We made two amazing dinners two nights in a row. Quite the accomplishment for two sleep deprived, working, new parents.

Tonight's dinner was Beef, Beets, & Broccoli. We did a modified version of this recipe I did several years ago.

The best part about this dinner was the beets! Yum. I'm super into coconut right now. So, I tossed the very thinly sliced beets in coconut oil, a few splashes of rice vinegar, and some salt and pepper. I roasted them for about 45 minutes (I wasn't really keeping track) at 400 degrees.

Paul pan fried some small beef chunks with some curry paste and ginger. The beef and beets were served next to some bright green steamed broccoli.

All I can say is beets roasted in coconut oil, AMAZING!

Sunday night Paul made some amazing pizza crust and tried his hand at tossing the dough instead of using a rolling pin. Turned out great. Somehow he made it the exact size of the pizza stone. We topped it with garlic, olive oil, fresh hand pulled mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil. To finish it off we used a little Himalayan pink salt that we scored from a friend and fresh ground pepper. Yum!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mexitaly Tacos!

I bought the ingredients for grilled chicken tacos a few days back, but had to abort the meal. Last night, I decided it was time to act; some of the ingredients had slowly started disappearing--snacking, mostly.

Pulling what was left from the icebox I saw a perfect opportunity to slap some tacos together with the sundry components that survied. A little here, a little there and, Voilà! (Or should I say, Booyawn!) Mexitaly tacos!

Chipotle-Lime Chicken Tacos:

Chicken breasts, cut into strips, marinated in macerated chipotles, adobo sauce, salt, lime, grilled
Pico de gallo - Fresh tomatoes, Onions, Jalapeño, (tad o garlic if you like) cilantro, salt, peper
Farmer's cheese (such as Chihuahua)
Cilantro as garnish
(personally, I can't get enough cilantro, but if you're like Steve D-N, cilantro tastes like nothing. Whatevs, Steve)

So I made four with the chicken and moved on to the more adventurous Italian inspired taco. We like Antipasti (cured meats, caprese salads, marinated white beans, so I decided to use these leftovers to create a taco).

Antipasti Mexitaly Tacos:

Marinated Large White Beans
Prosciutto (four slices)
Asparagus--oiled, s&p, grilled
Fresh Mozz
Fresh Basil
Thinly sliced red onion

I first crisped up about 4 thin slices of Prosciutto--fancy bacon! I set the large marinated white beans to a slow slow, oh so slow simmer in the same pan after removing the meat. (you can get these awesome bean treats at the whole foods olive bar). I grilled asparagus until slightly charred and tender, then compiled the taco, starting with the asparagus, ending with the crispy Prosciutto, all topped with chopped fresh basil.

And Here we go: Served family style--grab it like it's hot.

While I was waiting for the chicken to rest (during which time is reabsorbs its juice, I think the technical term is "Re-suckin' the Juice") I lightly grilled stacks of corn tortillas (stacks of 5 or so) until just slightly steamed. If grilling tortillas, it really really helps to use something that has some kind of fat in it--lardy, it's way better that way.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baked Cod Pipérade

My dad gave me a used copy of Fresh From France a few years ago. Most of the recipes take a lot of work so we don't cook from it that often, but when we do every meal turns out both interesting and tasty. Tonight we walked over to the fish market and the veggie market and picked up the ingredients to try this one which sounded good. I'm a big fan of cooking things in spicy tomato sauce (there's an egg recipe that I love where you mix the egg whites into a spicy tomato sauce and then carefully cook just the yolks on top).

This one wasn't too hard:
Cooked onions, hot pepper, red peppers, and tomatoes for about an hour to make a thick sauce:

Put a layer of the sauce on a baking pan, and put the cod on top:

Added another layer to cover Mr. Fish up in his nice cozy bed, and baked him for 15 minutes in the oven at 425. The end result is perfectly done fish, with a spicy tomato/pepper sauce:

Thinking about it I might try the same sauce and cooking method with proteins other than fish, as I think it would work with just about anything you wanted to keep flavorful and moist.