If you are looking for an easy, and inexpensive pasta dish... try Lemon Spaghetti.
This is from the Food Network and was prepared by Giada De Laurentiis.
1 lb. SPAGHETTI
2/3 c. OLIVE OIL
2/3 c. PARMESAN CHEESE, freshly grated
1/2 c. LEMON JUICE, freshly squeezed
SALT and freshly ground PEPPER
1 Tbsp. LEMON ZEST
1/3 c. BASIL LEAVES, chopped
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite (about 8 minutes).
Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 c. at a time as needed to moisten.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.
If desired, serve with a salad, crusty Italian bread, and some grilled Italian sausage.
Pasta with Pesto di Peperoni
We recently got a subscription to the magazine "La Cucina Italiana".
No sooner had it arrived and my husband decided to make one of the pesto recipes to put over pasta.
The page layout was a bit confusing... somewhat difficult to pair up the photo of the pesto on a spoon with the actual recipe.
It was not until he had finished the pesto that he realized he did not make the one he thought he was making.
He visually had paired up the red pepper pesto with the spoon holding the red-colored pesto (two tomato pesto)
and wasn't he surprised when he ended up with a bright orange pesto!
Because the roasted red peppers were combined with almonds and pine nuts, the resulting pesto was orange rather than red...
So... here is the recipe for pesto di peperoni:
2 RED BELL PEPPERS
3/4 c. sliced ALMONDS
1/2 c. extra-virgin OLIVE OIL
2 tsp. dried MARJORAM LEAVES (the recipe called for 1/3 c. fresh marjoram but it was unavailable here)
2 Tbsp. PINE NUTS
2 Tbsp. minced SHALLOTS
1/2 tsp. fine SEA SALT
Freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
Char peppers over a gas burner set on high, turning frequently until skin is blackened and blistered on all sides.
Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes.
Rub skin off peppers and remove seeds and core and discard.
Place the cut up roasted peppers in a blender and puree with almonds, oil, marjoram, pine nuts, shallot, salt and a generous pinch of pepper.
This is enough pesto for a pound of pasta (cook pasta according to directions).
I happened to have some yellow cherry tomatoes, orange pepper and scallion on hand so I simply sauteed them in a little olive oil and put them on top of the prepared pasta with pesto.
I think the next time I will add a clove of minced garlic to the saute mixture.
If desired, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Have fun cooking... it is always an adventure!
Spicy-Hot Pineapple Ice Pops
OK all you chili-heads... here is something for you!
Icy cold, spicy hot, sweet, tart. Oh... YUM! Beware... do not offer this to the children!
This is for ADULTS ONLY!
Today is July 4th, 2011 and I prepared this recipe from the book "Paletas" by Fany Gerson and it is a winner!
This will feel like sparklers going off in your mouth with a nice after-burn.
Paletas de Piña con Chile
1 c. WATER
1/2 c. SUGAR
1 small SERRANO CHILI or JALAPENO PEPPER, split lengthwise
1 ripe PINEAPPLE, peeled
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed LIME JUICE
1-2 tsp. ground DRIED CHILES (piquin, guajillo, or arbol)... I used arbol
1/2 tsp. SALT
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan.
Cook over mediu-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved.
Add the serrano chili, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the chili.
Finely dice 1 1/2 cups of the pineapple and coarsely chop the rest.
Mix the finely diced pineapple with the dried, ground chile and salt and set aside.
Put the coarsely chopped pineapple in a blender or food processor, pour in the syrup, lime juice and blend until smooth.
Divide the blended mixture among the molds leaving enough room for the diced pineapple.
If using conventional molds, don't snap on the lids yet.
Freeze until the mixture has a slushy consistency... about 30 minutes. (This will prevent the diced pineapple from sinking to the bottom when added.)
Drop the diced pineapple into the ice pops, dividing it evenly among the molds. If it floats, push it down with a small spoon or an ice pop stick.
Snap on the lid and freeze until solid, about 5 hours.
If using glasses or unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (45 minutes to an hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid.
Creamy Coleslaw with Grapes, Blueberries, Herbs, and Walnuts
This recipe appeared in Food Network Magazine.
My husband made this to go with dinner last night.
He has made more versions of coleslaw than I have ever made, and this may well be one of the best.
It has a light refreshing taste for summer and an interesting mix of herbs.
The original recipe did not include blueberries, but I thought these would go quite well with it.
3/4 c. WALNUT PIECES or PECANS
2 Tbsp. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 Tbsp. DIJON MUSTARD
1 Tbsp. SUGAR
KOSHER SALT and freshly ground PEPPER
2 Tbsp. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2/3 c. SOUR CREAM
1 small head of GREEN CABBAGE, finely shredded
3 Tbsp. chopped, fresh CILANTRO
3 Tbsp. chopped, fresh DILL
3 Tbsp. chopped, fresh TARRAGON
8 SCALLIONS, chopped
2 c. SEEDLESS GREEN GRAPES, halved
3/4 c. BLUEBERRIES
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil until well blended and then whisk in the sour cream.
Add the cabbage, cilantro, dill, tarragon, scallions, grapes and toasted nuts.
Toss to coat with dressing.
Cover and refrigerate 1-4 hours.
Scatter blueberries on top before serving.
Corn on the Cob with Garlic, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Lime Butter
8 ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 large clove GARLIC
1 JALAPENO PEPPER, seeded and cut in pieces
1 Tbsp. CILANTRO
ZEST from 1 LIME
1 Tbsp. fresh LIME JUICE
1/2 c. BUTTER, cut into pieces
Put garlic, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and lime zest in food processor and pulse several times.
Add lime juice and butter and process until combined.
This may be rolled in a cylinder in waxed paper and kept in the refrigerator or freezer or you may use it immediately to spread on cooked corn.
The sultry heat of summer saps my strength and makes me dread going outdoors.
I close my eyes and dream that I am on the coast of Maine watching the ocean waves as they crash on the rocks below.
I can almost feel the spray of salt water on my face and feel the ocean breeze as it ruffles my hair.
I want to be far away from the Texas heat... the noise... the pollution...
So, I go to the kitchen to fix a cool soothing drink to calm my spirit.
I venture to say that most people do not know the smell or taste of cardamom. It happens to be a favorite of mine.
Years ago I made an applesauce recipe that was flavored with cardamom and I fell in love with it.
So today I pull out a recipe from Saveur magazine for a Cardamom Lassi... perfect for a day such as this and so very easy.
2 c. plain WHOLE-MILK YOGURT
3 Tbsp. SUGAR
1 tsp. GROUND CARDAMOM
Put all ingredients into a blender and purée until well combined.
Divide lassi between 2 glasses and chill for 30 minutes.
(If you prefer, you may add a little ice as you blend the ingredients and then serve immediately.)
Mexican Beef and Chorizo Meatballs with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
My husband made this and I must say, the sauce was too hot for my taste but would be delicious with less chipotle chiles than indicated in the sauce recipe.
But you be the judge. Taste as you go to find an agreeable level of heat for your palate.
A great appetizer!
3 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
1/4 small RED ONION, chopped
3 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 large EGG
2 Tbsp. MILK
1/4 c. plain BREADCRUMBS
3/4 c. JALAPENO JACK CHEESE, grated
3 Tbsp. CILANTRO, chopped
1 Tbsp. CHILI POWDER
2 tsp. ground CUMIN
1 tsp. OREGANO
1 lb. GROUND CHUCK
1/2 lb. CHORIZO, casings removed
SALT and CAYENNE PEPPER to taste
VEGETABLE OIL SPRAY
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with vegetable oil spray.
Heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Whisk egg and milk in a mixing bowl, and add bread crumbs, cheese, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and mix well.
Add sauteed onion and garlic to the breadcrumb mixture and then add ground chuck and chorizo. Mix well to combine ingredients.
Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place on prepared pan.
Spray tops of meatballs with vegetable oil spray.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove from pan and serve immediately accompanied by a bowl of Creamy Chipotle Sauce for dipping.
CREAMY CHIPOTLE SAUCE
1 C. MAYONNAISE
2/3 c. SOUR CREAM
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed LIME JUICE
3 SCALLIONS, white parts and 3-inches of green tops, chopped
3 cloves GARLIC, minced
3 CHIPOTLE CHILES in ADOBO SAUCE, finely chopped
(Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers. These are found in a can in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.
Beware... these are very hot and spicy, as is the sauce. Start with only a small amount and taste for the level of heat desired.)
1 tsp. ADOBO SAUCE
SALT, to taste
Combine all ingredients and whisk together.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
This Italian eggplant salad is of Sicilian origin and can be served with pita chips or toasted rustic bread as an appetizer.
It would be a great addition to a picnic lunch and would also be good as a filling for an omelet or tossed with pasta as a cold salad.
Even if you think you do not like eggplant, this recipe might just surprise you!
I first made this years ago.
It is from the Frog Commissary Cookbook by Steven Poses, Anne Clark, and Becky Roller.
Look for this cookbook on Amazon.
My copy is tattered and has many food splatters as it is filled with so many wonderful recipes that I have made through the years.
1/2 c. OLIVE OIL
3 c. EGGPLANT, unpeeled, cut in 3/8 inch dice
1 1/2 c. ONIONS, coarsely chopped
1 c. CELERY, in 1/4 inch slices
2 c. TOMATOES, seeded and chopped
3 Tbsp. GARLIC, minced
2 Tbsp. TOMATO PASTE
1/4 c. WINE VINEGAR (I used white wine vinegar)
24 small stuffed GREEN OLIVES, sliced into thirds
1/2 c. CAPERS, drained
2 ounces ANCHOVIES, drained and chopped
3 Tbsp. SUGAR
1/2 tsp. crushed RED PEPPER FLAKES
1/2 c. PARSLEY, minced and lightly packed
1/2 tsp. SALT (taste before adding as the anchovies are salty)
1/2 tsp. PEPPER
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the eggplant and sauté several minutes until parially soft.
Add the onions, celery, tomatoes, and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly.
Chill until ready to serve. This may be served chilled or at room temperature.
1 package of WHOLE WHEAT PITA
Slice each round horizontally and place smooth side up on a cutting board.
Brush each pita round with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.
(You may also sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs, as desired.)
Cut each round into eight wedges and place on baking sheet.
Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
Allow to cool and serve with caponata.
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
My grandbaby, Alaina came over for a "girla's day" with Lala (that's me).
I had prepared a special wicker basket filled with old clothing, hats, scarves, jewelry and shoes so she could play dress-up.
Knowing how much she likes to bake with Lala, I thought we would make some gooey caramel pecan brownies;
however, she made it known, loud and clear, that she does not like nuts! "How can that be?", I thought to myself.
So... I scrambled to find a recipe that was quick and easy that did not include nuts,
and decided to make Snickerdoodles from my old, tattered, falling apart, tried-and-true first cookbook... "Betty Crocker".
The front and back covers are missing and the pages are tearing away from the 5-ring binder.
Some pages are a bit stuck together from splatters through the years.
1/2 c. SHORTENING
1/2 c. BUTTER
1 1/2 c. SUGAR
2 large EGGS
2 3/4 c. FLOUR
2 tsp. CREAM OF TARTAR
1 tsp. BAKING SODA
1/4 tsp. SALT
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix shortening, butter, sugar and eggs thoroughly.
Blend all dry ingredients and add to the above ingredients.
Roll into balls the size of small walnuts.
Roll the balls in a mixture of 2 Tbsp. SUGAR and 2 tsp. GROUND CINNAMON.
Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. (These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out.)
Makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.
I sent most of them home with Alaina. She was so proud!
I decided to use the others for ice cream sandwiches and filled them with vanilla ice cream, wrapped them in plastic wrap and tucked them in the freezer.
I had some pita bread left and decided to make a batch of hummus.
1 clove GARLIC, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped PARSLEY
1/3 c. LEMON JUICE
2 c. canned CHICKPEAS
2 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL, or a little more
1/2 c. TAHINI
1/2 tsp. CUMIN
1/8 tsp. CAYENNE
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
1 Tbsp. PARSLEY (for garnish)
OLIVE OIL, to drizzle on top
CAYENNE or SMOKED SPANISH PAPRIKA to sprinkle on top
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
I like to present it drizzled with additional olive oil and a sprinkling of cayenne or paprika.
Serve with pita chips or warm pita bread.
Name This Recipe
These sweet potato fries are to die for!!!
I just bought my first copy of Food Network Magazine and I am hooked!
But... it was not until this afternoon that I realized that the last page has a contest to "Name This Dish."
The deadline is tonight at midnight!
The winner will receive a $500 gift card to foodnetworkstore.com.
I was intrigued and since I had no specific plans for dinner, I decided to make the dish, and it is just AWESOME!
(Please understand that I cringe when I hear that word used, or should I say, over used)
but my husband and I could not stop eating these fries and ended up eating the whole thing!
OK... so now I am totally embarrassed!
I have submitted a name for this recipe and I will announce the winning name as soon as I hear the results of the contest.
(And the winning name of this dish: "Pad Fry")
So here is the recipe:
1 16-20 ounce bag FROZEN SWEET POTATO FRIES... I used Ore-Ida 19 ounce package
(Be sure you do not get seasoned fries as that would compete with the Asian drizzle)
3 strips BACON, chopped
2 Tbsp. packed BROWN SUGAR
1 Tbsp. FISH SAUCE (I used 3 Crabs brand)
2 tsp. Asian chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 1/2 Tbsp. LIME JUICE
1/2 tsp. grated LIME ZEST
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh CILANTRO
Fried thinly sliced ONIONS or fried SHALLOTS, for topping. (I sauteed these in just a little bit of butter until browned on the edges.)
Bake the sweet potato fries as the label directs.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brown sugar, fish sauce, chile sauce, lime juice and lime zest to the drippings.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Transfer the fries to a serving dish.
Drizzle the chile sauce mixture over the fries with a spoon.
Sprinkle with the bacon, cilantro and fried onions.
These get better and better as the fries soak up that incredibly delicious sauce.
It becomes addictive.
Do try them and let me know what you think...
Ultimate Caramel Nut Brownie
Life sometimes just goes better with chocolate, and what could be better than an ooey, gooey, chocolate, caramel, nut brownie?
This is from Baker's chocolate and has been a favorite of mine for years.
4 squares UNSWEETENED BAKING CHOCOLATE
3/4 c. BUTTER (1 1/2 sticks)
2 c. SUGAR
1 c. FLOUR
1 pkg. (14 oz.) CARAMELS, unwrapped
1/3 c. HEAVY CREAM
2 c. PECANS or WALNUTS, divided
1 pkg. (12 oz.) SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease foil-lined 13x9-inch baking pan.
Microwave chocolate squares and butter in microwavable bowl on high 2 minutes or until butter is melted.
Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Stir sugar into chocolate until well blended.
Mix in eggs. Stir in flour.
Spread half of the batter in prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until batter is firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, microwave caramels and cream in microwavable bowl on high 3 minutes or until caramels begin to melt.
Whisk until smooth.
Stir in 1 cup of nuts.
Gently spread caramel mixture over brownie batter in pan.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Pour remaining unbaked brownie batter evenly over caramel mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining nuts. (Some caramel mixture may peek through.)
Bake additional 30 minutes.
Cool in pan.
Run knife around edge of pan to loosen brownies from sides. Lift from pan using foil as handles.
Cut into 24 brownies.