Monday, August 31, 2009
A little effort breakfast dish that looks and tastes really good - Well Mark Bittman's baked egg with prosciutto and tomato fits the bill. Simply butter a ramekin, add a slice of tomato, followed by a slice of prosciutto, a leaf of fresh basil and crack a fresh egg over top. A little salt and fresh ground pepper and you are all set. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until the egg white is set. (approx. 12 minutes per the recipe) Note: mine took a few minutes longer.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This recipe from Cooking Light was perfect -
A) I had all of the ingredients on hand
B) It was super easy
C) It was spicy - so I could actually taste it
D) Best of all - it was delicious!
The roasted NJ corn was sweet, the goat cheese creamy, and the salsa, spicy - perfect and so easy! Definitely don't skip the fresh cilantro.
Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas - Cooking Light, March 2009
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear)
2/3 cup (5 ounces) goat cheese, softened
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 1 green onion)
10 tablespoon bottled salsa verde, divided
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Place corn in a small bowl. Add goat cheese to corn; stir until well blended. Divide corn mixture evenly among 4 tortillas; spread to within 1/4 inch of sides. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 tablespoon green onions. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons salsa; top with remaining 4 tortillas.
2. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan; keep warm. Wipe pan clean with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with remaining 8 tablespoons salsa."
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Fettuccine Pasta with Prosciutto, Peas, and a Cream Sauce:
1 pound fettuccine pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup diced onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup frozen sweet peas
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Set a large pot of water with a pasta insert over high heat and bring to a boil. Place the pasta in the water and return to a boil, being sure to stir the pasta until the water boils again.
While the pasta cooks, set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium high heat, and add the olive oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Place the prosciutto in the pan and saute for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, peas, salt and pepper to the pan and let the cream reduce by half, 4 to 5 minutes. If the pasta is not yet cooked, turn the fire off the sauce while the pasta continues to cook.
Strain the pasta from the water once it is cooked, and place in a large heat resistant bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the cheese and the parsley. Use tongs are two large forks to stir the sauce into the pasta and serve while hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings"
Monday, August 24, 2009
1 pound uncooked penne pasta (I used farfalle)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vodka
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 (3.5 ounce) links sweet Italian sausage (I used sausage from Cherry Grove Farms)
Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce
Adapted from All Recipes
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown.
Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and serve!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I have a huge pet peeve for people that review recipes that they didn't follow - " I used ground beef instead of quail, garlic instead of shallots... the recipe was terrible. I see it so often that now I laugh and try to find the most outrageous examples!
The paninis are simply made from sliced Italian bread brushed with olive oil and spread with the basil pesto, a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, and a slice of tomato. These are inspired by Ina Garten. I finally broke down last winter and got a panini grill when they were majorly on sale. You could also use a grill pan or even a frying pan - just place a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches to press. Enjoy!
4 cups tightly packed basil leaves (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (about 1 ounce)
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. With the motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until evenly incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse to finish incorporating all ingredients.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
WOW - are we having a heat wave in NJ! I couldn't stand the thought of turning on the oven or working over a hot stove - so salad with chicken cooked on the grill - perfect! I actually cooked the bacon in the toaster oven, which worked out perfectly. I have been trying to make healthy choices and use only the best quality meats - looks like I slipped up a little with the bacon :). But, if I am going to eat anything unhealthy it will most likely be salty meat - think bacon, pork roll, salami... I so love my Jersey tomatoes - delicious with avocados and feta!
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
Recipe Courtesy of marthastewart.com
6 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
1 medium head romaine lettuce (12 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons Vinaigrette
Grilled Chicken Cutlets, thinly sliced crosswise
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into 2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
In a large bowl, toss lettuce with vinaigrette. Place lettuce on platter; arrange bacon, chicken, feta, tomatoes, and avocado on top. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Makes 1 cup.
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a small bowl or jar, combine 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoons honey; season generously with coarse salt and ground pepper. Whisk or shake to combine. Add 1/2 cup olive oil; whisk or shake again. Store in an airtight container or jar, and refrigerate, up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
What a beautiful tomato! The color is just gorgeous - texture of a big beefsteak but superior taste! Grown by my dad in Belmar, NJ. He brought me his very first ripe one and it was so very good. I served it with *gasp* turkey burgers but these are not just ordinary turkey burgers, they are Martha Stewart's favorite! These are my family's all-time favorite turkey burgers as well. I also made them with the premium ground turkey from Whole Foods. Healthy and really delicious!
Favorite Turkey Burger
Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food (May/June 2003)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (93 percent lean)
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Heat grill to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine ground turkey with Gruyere, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties.
Lightly oil grill. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The sauce for this chicken is so delicious and spicy! My daughters affectionately call it "Chinese Chicken Pasta" - which they named it when they were younger - well it is actually an Italian inspired dish. I think that the corn starch as a thickener for the sauce is what makes it Chinese-esque. I rarely use corn starch, generally only to thicken stir-fry sauces. Well, anyway this is quick and so good! Buon Appetito or 请享用!
Nicky D's Hot Chicken Scarpariello
6 to 8 boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
5 garlic cloves, minced
6 to 8 hot cherry peppers, chopped, or to taste (remove most or all of the seeds) or leave the seeds if you like extra hot!
1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz.)
3 tablespoons parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
juice of 1 lemon
Cut chicken into small cubes and toss in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil (just enough to cover bottom of pan, when hot add chicken and pan fry until slightly brown. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add garlic to the pan and cook until softened - about 30 seconds.
Add can of chicken broth, chopped cherry peppers, butter, 1/3 cup of wine, dash of salt and pepper, lemon juice, and cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook and stir for a minute or two.
Add browned chicken to mixture in pan back to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with fresh parsley and serve with your choice of pasta.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sometimes simple is best, especially when you have fresh, top quality ingredients. I like to serve my grilled eggplant very simply with some sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil. I have also served the eggplant with some fresh mozzarella or sliced asiago cheese and roasted red peppers. A slice of grilled, crusty, italian bread rubbed with a clove of garlic on the side - perfect!
Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices. Place the eggplant in a colander and salt liberally with kosher salt. Leave the colander in the sink to drain for approximately a half hour. The eggplant will then have given off some of its moisture (and bitternes.) Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the eggplant lightly with olive oil and grill turning once until tender. I like to grill mine indoors on a grill pan.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Who doesn't love a brownie? These were some of the best - rivaling favorites such as Ina Garten's and the King Arthur flour recipe. All good, but these just might take first place!
Inspiration: Annie's Eats - A beautiful blog - everything looks amazing!
Recipe courtesy of Baking Illustrated
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Well, I am really glad that I splurged on grass-fed ground beef for my burger craving! I actually really liked the film (Food, Inc. - previous post) and did not find it to be propaganda-ish. I hate scare tactic type films, but did not get the sense with this one. My daughters and I saw Food, Inc. at The Showroom in Asbury Park. The theater has been open for only 4 months. We found it to be a cute venue - $8 tickets, a small viewing room, nice crowd, after-movie panel discussion and free gifts- not too bad! I would categorize myself as a "quirky-conservative." I tend to be conservative in basic values but I am also open-minded. I basically believe in small-government and people helping people - in a nutshell. I am definitely a locavore - I learned today that the term actually made Merriam Webster! I am not at all radical but live responsibly and treat others as I would like to be treated. The film made some very good points - but I wasn't shocked by most of it. I stopped buying supermarket ground beef and oversized chickens long ago - they seem unnatural and kind of gross. I was sort of surprised by the soy bean information and repulsed by the level of animal and worker cruelty. Overall, I'm glad that I saw the film. I will need to rethink my purchases of supermarket chicken and pork - I already avoid most of the film's worst offenders. Tonight's dinner is pasta with local eggplant!
I realized that summer is almost over and I have not had a hamburger all season. We really do not eat ground beef - but I was just kind of craving a classic burger and some NJ corn on the cob. So my daughters and I headed out to the Red Bank farmer's market this morning and picked up some organic, grass-fed, ground beef from Cherry Grove Farm and some fresh hamburger buns from the Lithuanian bakery. I mixed the beef with a little olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Grilled up and seved with cheese, diced onion, lettuce, and tomato - classic. Some perfect, sweet, white corn from Samaha's in Aberdeen - perfection! I am going to miss summer!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Baja Fish Tacos
Adapted from Fisherman's Market and Grill
For the fish:
4 Cod Fillets cut into 2 inch pieces
1 box tempura batter mix
1/2 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup beer
Add the box of tempura batter to a mixing bowl. Toss the cod filets in the dry tempura batter mix, shaking off excess. Set aside on a plate. Next, add the water and beer to the remaining mix (approx. 2/3 package). Whisk to combine - batter should be lumpy. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat until hot enough to fry. Dip the cod filets into the tempura batter and then immediately into the hot oil. Fry until crisp and browned. Turn filets over and cook until browned on the other side. Drain fish filets on a wire rack or on a plate lined with paper towels.
For the cilantro slaw:
4 cups fresh shredded cabbage
4 sliced green onions
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil and lime juice. Toss in the remaining ingredients, cover, and refrigerate until time to serve.
For the white sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve the beer battered fish filets with corn tortillas, the cilantro slaw, the white sauce, lime wedges, and your favorite hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot- for me!) I served the tacos with black beans and rice. So very tasty! Success! My family loved this dinner!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman
1 cup cream, half-and-half, milk or a combination, gently heated just until warm
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup grated Emmenthal, Gruyère, Cantal or a combination
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or hard pecorino
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Butter as needed.
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in middle of it. Combine all ingredients except butter and beat until well blended.
2. Pour into 4 to 6 buttered ramekins (or a buttered gratin or pie plate) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost firm; it should still jiggle just a little in middle. Cool on a rack, then serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
8 tablespoons olive oil
24 large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 1/2-inch thick red onion slices
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.
Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.
Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
2 medium eggplants, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1/2-inch thick medallions
1 pound fresh mozzarella di bufula, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
12 leaves basil
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch dice, with juices
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Place eggplant slices on a sheet tray and bake for 15 minutes, until light golden brown.
Form sandwiches out of the eggplant slices and cheese, placing one slice of cheese between two eggplant slices. Dredge each sandwich in the flour and dip in the egg. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until almost smoking, and fry the sandwiches until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
Arrange sandwiches in a ceramic pie pan and distribute the basil leaves evenly over the sandwiches. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste, and spoon them over the sandwiches. Sprinkle each sandwich with Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for 17 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Feta-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
The inspiration for tonight's dinner was the beautiful cucumbers and tomatoes from my friend from work - Thanks Tony!! Fresh NJ vegetables - nothing beats them! Feta-stuffed turkey burgers with a tzatziki-esque sauce- quick, healthy, so good!
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side.
3. Combine cucumber, yogurt, and mint in a small bowl. Arrange 1 turkey patty, 1 tomato slice, 1 lettuce leaf, and 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture on bottom half of each roll. Top with top halves of rolls.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
As adapted from Cheap, Healthy Good (love the blog!)
Falafel Hot SauceRecipe courtesy of "Recipes for an Arabian Night" by David Scott
About 2 cups canned tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. brown sugar
Chili sauce to taste (1/2 tsp. makes a mild sauce; 1 tsp., a hot one)
Salt to taste
Put all the ingredients into a small, heavy pan, bring to the boil, and simmer uncovered until the tomatoes break up (about 30 minutes). Adjust the seasoning and allow to cool. Makes 2 cups.
From "Recipes for an Arabian Night" by David Scott
Tahini Sauce by Saad Fayed (About.com)
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Preparation:In a food processor or mortar and pestle combine garlic and tahini. Add kosher salt. Remove from food processor and add olive oil and lemon juice. If too thick, add a teaspoon of warm water until desired consistency. Mix in parsely. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Note: the first time I made tahini sauce, I thought that I did something wrong because it didn't come together nicely - all separated. Just keep adding water until it comes together and is a nice saucy consistency.
Monday, August 3, 2009
For the eggplant:
1 eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
seasoned flour for dusting
1 egg whisked with a tbsp. of water
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a baking sheet or jelly roll pan and generously coat it with olive oil. Place the pan in the oven to heat the oil. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Next lightly dust the rounds with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Next dip the eggplant into the egg wash mixture and finally coat with the seasoned bread crumbs. Remove the hot pan from the oven and add the eggplant in a single layer. Bake until crisp and lightly browned on the bottom. Flip the eggplant and return to the oven until the other side is browned as well. Remove from the oven and place the eggplant in a casserole dish, add marinara sauce and freshly sliced mozzarella cheese and return to the oven until the cheese has melted. Serve with marinara topped pasta and a green salad. Buon Appetito!
Adapted from Rao's recipe
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3tbs. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
6 leaves fresh basil, torn
pinch dried oregano
Place oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until soft - approx. 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until softed - about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the canned tomatoes and season to taste with kosher salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer until thick (about an hour). Stir in basil, oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I made my basic pizza dough recipe but used hot sauce instead of marinara. Topped with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, breaded, pan-fried chicken cutlets (sliced into strips) and tossed in hot sauce to coat. I drizzled blue cheese dressing on once the pie was out of the oven. I'll have to check out Soho one day - but this did not disappoint!
4 tbs. melted butter
2 cups Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Combine together in a sauce pan over low heat.
Place flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls Coat chicken with flour. Tap off any excess, then dip in the eggs, then the breadcrumbs, being sure to get an even coating. Pan fry in about a 1/2 inch of peanut oil until nicely browned. Drain the chicken on a plate with paper towels. Toss the chicken in the hot sauce to evenly coat.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
8 farm fresh eggs whisked with a little water
1 tbs. olive oil
3 green onions sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 large tomato chopped
pinch of dried oregano
salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Whisk the eggs and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, tomatoes, basil, and oregano and saute in the olive oil until cooked down and slightly softened (approx. 3 minutes). Next, add the whisked eggs, stir gently and cook until mostly set (slightly runny on top). Top with crumbled feta and sliced olives. Place pan under the broiler until lightly browned. Watch closely, this will only take a few minutes. Top with some fresh basil and sliced olives for garnish. Serve immediately. Enjoy!