Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pasta with Veggies from the Fridge - serves 4 with leftovers

At the end of the week there is always an array of leftover veggies in my fridge that I hate to throw out. So, this recipe is great to serve so you don't have to and it tastes great. I'm using what's left in my fridge so don't go buy anything if you don't have to. Just use what's in yours and it will be just as good.

1 cup of mixed red and yellow pearl tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 cup of broccoli, cut into florets
6 large mushrooms
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound wheat spaghetti (or any other pasta you have)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cream
Kosher salt and pepper

Boil pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, cooking for 30 seconds. Add broccoli and mushrooms, cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and spinach, tossing for an additional 4 to five minutes.

NOTE: Before you drain your pasta, save about 1/2 cup of the water.

Add this water to your vegetables and cook for about 3 more minutes, adding the peas. Add the cream and parmesan cheese. Stir to coat. Stir in with the pasta and salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna - serves 6

This is one of my oldest recipes. I worked at Patrizzio's for a few years as their Sous Chef and made this recipe a thousand times. I've tweaked it even more and it has become a family favorite. I will say that it's great w/out meat and I had planned to make it this way today however, my redneck husband said, "lasagna without meat? That's like dove hunting without ammo." So, I've added it which required me going back to the store and missing my son's baseball game. All in the name of love, right?

1 package of no boil lasagna noodles
2 tbs olive oil
1 pd organic 98% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs Kosher salt
1 tbs ground pepper
1/2 tbs dried oregano
1/2 tbs dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
80z pkg button mushrooms, sliced
2 pkgs spinach
1 15 0z part skim ricotta
1 12 oz sour cream
1 28 oz can tomato sauce (get one small can extra if you like extra sauce)
6 cups mozzerella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
9 fresh basil sprigs

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs olive oil. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, 1/2 tbs pepper, 1/2 tbs salt, 1/4 tbs oregano and 1/4 tbs of thyme. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add ground beef adding 1/2 tbs garlic powder. Stir well, breaking up meat until browned. Remove from heat and pour beef mixture in bowl and set aside. Using same skillet, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add spinach in handfuls, adding more as spinach wilts. Stir well until all spinach is used. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, add ricotta and sour cream. Add remaing garlic powder, pepper, salt, oregano and thyme. Add red pepper and stir until mixed well.

Spray a 9.5x13.5x2in casserole dish. Using a spoon, add tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Add three lasagna noodles. Add more tomato sauce to cover the noodles. Add three large spoonfuls of ricotta mixture, spreading to cover. Next, add spinach/mushroom mixture, spreading over ricotta (doesn't have to cover enitrely) then adding meat mixture. Top with mozzerella cheese. Repeat one more time, topping with last three lasagna noodles, through ricotta mixture. Top with remaining spinach/mushroom mixture (if you have any left) and mozzerella. Spread the parmesan over, topping with basil sprigs.

Cover with foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and let cool slightly and serve. (Can heat more tomato sauce to pour on plate before serving.) Enjoy!

(This can be made ahead and refrigerated, just add about 15 minutes to cooking time.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two Bean Soup with Kale - serves 4 with leftovers

I found this recipe in a magazine and thought it looked good. I've never been a fan of kale. Honestly, everytime I see it in the grocery store I think of it growing in someones yard, apart of the landscape. My mother swears by it as do some of my health nut friends. So, with reluctance, I gave it a whirl. Bottom line, substitute the kale for chard or spinach if you like. That's what I'll do when I fix this again.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Emeril's), divided
7 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.
2. Place half of cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spaghetti with Mushrooms - serves 4

Husband is a little under the weather today. To bad, because this was delish! If you can't get the Italian music in the background for the full affect of the meal, have your husband start snoring on the couch. A real ambiance setter!

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
2/3 cup boiling water
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
3 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 (4-ounce) packages exotic mushroom blend, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Sage sprigs (optional)

1. Rinse porcini thoroughly. Combine porcini and 2/3 cup boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Chop porcini.
2. Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon salt in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, mushroom blend, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in porcini, sherry, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates.
4. Finely grate 1 ounce cheese; crumble remaining cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup grated cheese, cream, chopped sage, and pepper; toss well to combine. Drizzle with oil; toss. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon crumbled cheese. Garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chicken with Papaya Stir Fry - serves 4

I swear, this made my kids screaming for more! The combination of the soy sauce with the sweet papaya is a perfect combo. The kids lapped it up, not to mention others at the table. Serve with basmati rice according to package directions.

2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 poblano or red Anaheim chile, seeded and thickly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Two 1/2-pound ripe papayas—peeled, seeded and cut into 3-by-1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large scallion, thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce with the wine and cornstarch. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the poblano and crushed red pepper and continue stir-frying until the chicken is cooked through and the poblano softens, about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the orange juice to the wok and boil until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the wok, add the papaya and stir-fry until hot, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter. Garnish with the scallion and serve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegetable Stir Fry - serves 4 with leftovers

I'm a BIG fan of Whole Foods. I love their produce and I love their selection of bottled sauces. This being said, it's worth the trip (and the money) to make this recipe using their ingredients.

1 pkg of premade/precut fresh vegetable stir fry (frozen can be substituted)
1 cup brown rice, made from package instructions, made in advance
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup of The Ginger People Ginger Lime Cooking sauce (or any other Asian cooking sauce)

Heat garlic and oils in large skillet, about 30 seconds. Add vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes, tossing in oils. Cover and simmer about 3-5 minutes.

Add cooked rice and Ginger Lime Cooking Sauce and toss until mixed well. Serve!

Run to the nearest Chinese Restaurant for egg rolls and this makes the meal complete.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Skillet Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie - serves 4 with leftovers

Nothing says fall like pot pie. This is a simpler version of the standard pot pie recipe I found awhile back. My husband loves this so much that we rarely have leftovers. It's amazing how fast it disappears especially when he's on the couch watching football.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 tablespoons Madeira (or Marsala wine/dry sherry)
2 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
Eight 1-inch-thick slices of bakery white country bread (about 1 pound), crusts removed

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion, mushrooms and carrots and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring once, until the vegetables are just softened, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and Madeira and cook, stirring, until blended. Add the milk and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the chicken and peas and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the bread over the chicken mixture, trimming it to fit snugly in a single layer. Brush the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the bread is golden. Serve right away.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Buffalo Tacos - serves 4

This is one of our familes favorite recipe that I fix. The first time I fixed it, I didn't tell anyone I used buffalo opposed to ground beef. After they ate it ALL, I told them and I haven't used ground beef since.

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 small)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground buffalo
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups water
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and buffalo; cook 5 minutes or until buffalo is done, stirring to crumble. Add tomato paste and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); stir well to combine. Stir in 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick.
Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each tortilla; top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons chopped tomato, 2 tablespoons lettuce, 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons olives, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream. Fold in half.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Osso Bucco with Balsamic Vinegar

I love this rainy, cool weather. There's nothing like the smell of a slow cooked surprise that sends fragrant aromas throughout the house. It keeps my mind off the loud snoring going on the couch.

4 thick (1-1 1/2 inch) veal shanks, trimmed of fat by the butcher
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
6 - 8 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups of chopped carrots (about 4)
6 - 8 cloves of minced garlic
1 28 oz can imported Italian, whole tomatoes (juice and all) (Cento or San Margarita)
4 tbs tomato paste
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbs chopped parsley

Season both sides of the veal shanks with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour shaking off excess. Heat a large Dutch oven or a pot big enough to fit the shanks with olive oil. Add the shanks and brown about 5 minutes per side. Arrange the slices bone side up and add 1/2 the garlic, all of the carrots, onions, tomotoes and tomato paste. Next, pour in the chicken stock and wine. Stir as well as possible, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cover the pan and reduce heat. Let simmer gently for about 2 hours. Add gthe anchovy fillets, the rest of the garlic and balsamic vinegar. Correct the seasoning if needed. Stir well and let simmer 15 more minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

This is great over mashed potatos or polenta. Enjoy!