Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saffron Carbonara

I was excited to find Saffron at Trader Joes because it is pricey! This recipe was good but would have been just as good with bacon instead of pancetta.

1 pound linguine, tagliatelle or egg tagliatelle pasta
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron (2 pinches)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/3 pound thick-cut pancetta (from the deli counter), chopped into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 egg yolks
1/2 to 2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more to pass around the table
A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of pasta cooking water.

In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock and saffron to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic for 1 or 2 minutes, then stir in the wine and turmeric.

Beat the egg yolks with the reserved pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet. Pour in the saffron stock and toss; season with pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolks, cheese and parsley. Pass extra cheese at the table.

3 Cheese Sausage Penne Bake


Thank you Debbie for putting this recipe into my birthday cookbook! I used pork Italian sausage and a yellow bell pepper but kept everything else the same. The goat cheese was the best part! I doubled the recipe below to fit a 9x13 pan.

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne (about 8 ounces tube-shaped pasta)
Cooking spray
2 (4-ounce) links sweet turkey Italian sausage
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (when I doubled the recipe, I only used 1 1/2 t and it was spicy!)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash of salt
1 (8-ounce) can garlic-and-herb tomato sauce
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper and next 6 ingredients (through salt) to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in tomato sauce. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add pasta to pan, tossing gently to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir in mozzarella and goat cheese; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes or until bubbly and top is browned.

Banana Crumb Muffins


Jaime- you are to blame for getting me addicted to these!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cheese Flautas with Cilantro Pesto

I couldn't get these flautas to roll up without lightly frying the tortillas first. So, they were a delicious, greasy mess!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup pepitas (green hulled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), softened by moistening and lightly toasting over a gas burner (turn with tongs)
2 cups (6 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup peanut oil

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over mediumlow. Cook garlic until golden, 1 minute. Add pepitas; cook, tossing, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Pulse to a paste in a food processor. Add cilantro, lime juice, and remaining olive oil; pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Spread some pesto on a softened tortilla; top with cheese. Roll up; place seam side down. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat.
Heat peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium until shimmering. Fry flautas in 2 batches, seam sides down, 1 minute. Using tongs, roll to brown evenly, cooking 1 minute more. Drain on paper towels, dabbing tops to remove excess oil.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fettuccini with Basil and Brie

The flavors were pretty good in this pasta but I was expecting the brie to be a lot more melted and creamy. I don't think just adding hot pasta got the dish hot enough. I would add the tomato/brie mixture back into the pasta pot to heat it all up together.

12 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cubed Brie cheese
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Directions

In a large bowl combine chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, brie, chopped basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat, cook the fettuccine until al dente, about 12 minutes.
Drain the fettuccine and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Mexi Pizza


Rachael Ray always has such fun pizza ideas- including this mexi pizza. I felt like the poblanos and chorizo were almost double what you could fit on one pizza. We saved the extras for omelets the next day.

4 poblano peppers
3 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Salt and black pepper
1 ball fresh pizza dough (see below for recipe I used)
3/4 pound Mexican (fresh) chorizo or make your own
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 small red onions, 1 chopped and 1 sliced
1 cup queso fresco or ricotta (I used ricotta)
Juice of 1 lime
2 avocado ripe, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced

Preparation

Preheat broiler.
Place peppers on a baking sheet, drizzle them with EVOO and season with a little salt and pepper. Place them under the broiler and char each side, turning them every couple of minutes.
Once the outsides of the peppers are nice and black, remove them and turn the oven down to 400˚F. Place the peppers into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5-10 minutes then peel away the charred skins of the peppers. Cut peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds then cut them into strips.
On a clean work surface, roll out dough so it fits a pizza pan or baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and slightly crispy, about 15 minutes.
While the pizza dough is in the oven, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO. Add the chorizo and brown well. Remove and reserve on a paper towel-lined plate.
Once the pizza dough is done, remove from oven and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese, poblanos, chopped red onion and chorizo. Pop the pizza back into the oven for about 3 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the queso fresco or ricotta and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top. Serve with a salad of sliced avocado, tomato and sliced red onion alongside.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe
2 teaspoons dried granulated yeast
3 cups bread flour (I used normal flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water, plus
2 tablespoons water

Add to bread machine in order or ingredients listed above. Start dough cycle.

Cantaloupe Bread


This bread was really moist but didn't really taste like cantaloupe. I will make this again!

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cantaloupe - peeled, seeded and pureed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable, sugar, vanilla and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pecans and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lemon Thyme Succotash with Parsley Shrimp

This recipe was very light and flavorful. It was a fun meal to usher in Spring with!
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored seeded and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 lemon, zested and cut in wedges
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions
1Heat two skillets, one over medium heat and the other over medium-high.
2To the hotter pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt and pepper. Give the pan a shake.
3To the second skillet, add the remaining olive oil and the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.
4Saute the shrimp until they become pink and firm 3-5 minutes.
5Add the frozen corn and cannellini beans to the succotash in the first pan.
6Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and then add the thyme and lemon zest. Once the beans and corn have warmed through, turn off the heat.
7Add the parsley and the wine to the shrimp and toss for 1 minute.
8To serve, pile the succotash onto plates and top with the shrimp. Pass the lemon wedges at the table to squeeze over the shrimp.

Taqueria Style Tacos


I'm going to post the original recipe below but when we make this again (yes, this is good enough for me to repeat a recipe) I will serve them with love sauce instead of the roasted veggie salsa listed in this recipe. It was good but love sauce is better.

3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 white onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 dried New Mexico chile pods
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

1 (32 ounce) package corn tortillas
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions

Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.
In a small bowl, stir together 1 chopped white onion, cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Set aside to use as a relish for the tacos.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast chile pods in the skillet for a few minutes, then remove to a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Place the tomatoes, 1 onion, jalapenos, and 4 cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until toasted but not burnt. Place the roasted vegetables, and soaked chile pods into a blender or food processor, along with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Tortillas may also be warmed in a microwave oven. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of the pureed salsa. Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve.

Molten Chocolate Surprise

Molten Chocolate Surprise
I had to use this photo from the Kraft website because mine looked like...well, not appetizing. And these really do have an amazing molten center and are very easy to make. Most of the ones I made did not have the perfect cookie top like the above picture because I'm not sure how to prevent some of the chocolate batter from oozing underneath the cookie during baking, but they are still delicious!

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup flour
12 CHIPS AHOY! Cookies
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
make it!

HEAT oven to 425°F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Beat whole eggs, yolks, sugar and flour with whisk until blended. Gradually beat into chocolate mixture.

LINE 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper liners; spray with cooking spray. Place 1 cookie, upside-down, on bottom of each cup; cover with batter.

BAKE 8 min. or until cakes are firm around edges but still soft in centers. Let stand 1 min. Carefully remove cakes from pan. Invert into dessert dishes; remove paper liners. Serve with whipped topping.

Gingery Quinoa Salad


Angela got this recipe from Vegetarian Times and I'm going to use her picture because I forgot to take one of my own. I liked the flavor combination but Mark said he was not the biggest fan. I think it was the coconut that threw him off :)

1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups beet-carrot or carrot juice
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium apple, diced
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Toast almonds in saucepan over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to brown, stirring often. Cool. Wipe out saucepan; add oil and onion. Saute onion 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger, quinoa, and juice, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and scatter peas over cooked quinoa. Cover, and let stand 10 minutes, until peas are thawed. Stir apple, coconut, and almonds into salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kim's French Toast


My cousin Kim put this recipe for french toast in my birthday cookbook. It was SOOOO good. This might have to start making a regular rotation into our Saturday pancake ritual! I was able to find Brioche at Thriftway near my house but they didn't have it at Fred Meyer. I think most "higher end" grocery stores will have it.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Sixteen 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups cornflakes, finely crushed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
4 cups mixed berries
Maple syrup, for serving

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 250°. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter on each of 8 slices of brioche and cover with the remaining 8 slices, making sandwiches.
In a pie plate, beat the eggs with the cream and vanilla. In another pie plate, spread the crushed cornflakes. Lightly soak the sandwiches in the egg mixture, then dredge in the cornflakes, pressing to help them adhere. Transfer the sandwiches to the baking sheet.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a very large skillet. Add 4 of the sandwiches and cook over moderate heat until golden and crisp on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the half-cooked sandwiches to the baking sheet. Add another tablespoon of the butter to the skillet, flip the sandwiches back into the skillet and cook until golden and crisp on the bottom, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet and cook the remaining sandwiches. Transfer the French toast to plates and dust with confectioners' sugar. Top with the berries and drizzle with maple syrup.

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