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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Rigatoni with Sweet Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Mozzarella

On a quest to use up both tomatoes and eggplant, I happened upon this lovely recipe. I didn’t use rigatoni or mozzarella, but it was good all the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 firm ripe pink, black, or white eggplant
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • Two 14-ounce cans good-quality plum tomatoes [I used a mixture of canned and fresh]
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 fresh or dried chilies, chopped or crumbled, optional
  • Bunch fresh basil, leaves ripped and stalks sliced
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne
  • 7 ounces cow’s-milk mozzarella [I used crumbled bleu cheese instead]
  • 1 piece Parmesan cheese, for grating

Directions

  1. Remove both ends of the eggplant and slice it into 1/2 inch slices, then slice these across and finely dice into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Now, put a large saucepan on the heat and drizzle in 4 to 5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. When it’s hot, add the cubes of eggplant, and as soon as they hit the pan stir them around with a spoon so they are delicately coated with the oil and not soaked on one side only. Cook for about 7 or 8 minutes on a medium heat.
  3. Then add the garlic and onion. When they have a little color, add the canned tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Stir around and season carefully with salt and pepper. Optionally, add some chopped fresh or crumbled dried chili. Add the basil stalks, and simmer the sauce for around 15 minutes, then add the cream.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cook according to the package instructions until it is soft but still holding its shape, then drain it, saving a little of the cooking water.
  5. At this point add the tomato sauce to the pasta. Season carefully to taste with salt and pepper. When all my guests are sitting round the table, I take the pan to the table, tear up the mozzarella and the fresh basil, and fold these in nicely for 30 seconds. Then very quickly serve into bowls. Serve at the table with a block of Parmesan cheese and a grater so that everyone can help themselves.

–Recipe courtesy Leite’s Culinaria/Jamie Oliver.

Yum:

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Garlic-Lemon Pork

This is another meat-practice recipe (as with the Chicken with Mushrooms). It also turned out pretty good, but I prefer the chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 very thinly sliced
  • 1 pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch slices and pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a shallow dish and stir in 1 tsp lemon zest. Season pork with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium-high. In batches, cook pork until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and remaining tbsp butter and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  4. Add broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 4 minutes. Return pork to pan along with any accumulated juices and lemon slices; cook until sauce has thickened slightly, 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chives.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine, September 2012.

Pork:

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

North African Chickpea & Kale Soup

A non-vegan friend posted this vegan soup on her Facebook wall, and I commented that it sounded good, though I’d probably non-vegan it by using chicken broth (I don’t have any other kind of broth generally on hand, I wasn’t attempting to be particularly vengeful about taking the veganness out of it). We commented back and forth a little, then a “friend” of hers chimed in to say that the soup has all the nutritional value it needs as a vegan dish, and chicken broth would only serve to “add cholesterol and cruelty”. One of my pet peeves on Facebook is when people stick their noses into conversations they’re not involved in and don’t belong in to say how much is wrong with the people’s actions in the thread being discussed. I wanted to be really rude, and I probably just should have said nothing, but I couldn’t help making it a joke, saying “Mmm, tasty cruelty.”

BTW, the soup was really tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced or diced
  • [I added a stalk of two of celery]
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed [didn’t have this]
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • [I added a can of corn]
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon)
  • 1 large bunch kale, thick center ribs removed and chopped (at least 8 cups) [I used a bag of prepped kale from Trader Joe’s]
  • about 2 cups water
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray and heat it. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped kale and stir. If necessary add water to cover the kale and cook until it is tender, about 10-25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your kale. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry and add water as needed. Add salt to taste and serve.

–Recipe courtesy FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Chicken with Mushrooms

I don’t have a lot of experience cooking meat, so I decided to make some relatively simple recipes I found in September’s Everyday Food just to level up a bit. Chicken with Mushrooms turned out really well and was quite tasty both fresh and left over. I definitely want to make it again.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium-high. In batches, cook chicken until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, add thyme, mushrooms, and remaining 2 tbsp butter, and cook until softened, 6 minutes.
  4. Add wine and broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to pan along with any accumulated juices; top with parsley.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, September 2012.

Chicken!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Vegetable-Barley Salad

The hunt for tomato recipes continues! This salad is very hearty, and it was super easy with some pre-cut kale from Trader Joe’s (I just had to inspect for big stem pieces and take those out, but that was no problem). The salad was also robust enough to eat later, even after it had been dressed. After I figured out where quick-cooking barley is kept in the supermarket (near the rice), I discovered it’s the basis for a great side dish as well!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into half-moons [I don’t think my cukes were English variety, didn’t really matter]
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice onion and toss with vinegar, set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add 1 cup barley. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender and water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice the leaves of the kale and add to a large bowl along with cooked barley, red onion mixture, the halved tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper.
  4. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine, September 2012.

Pretty and tasty!

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sweet Tomato Jam

This jam is so good on toast with cheese. Also, with a grilled cheese sandwich. I love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled and diced*
  • 1/2 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • A few dashes of freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, basil, honey and salt in a saucepan. Add a couple dashes of cayenne pepper and black pepper.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, adjust the heat on the stove to keep the tomatoes simmering until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy, about an hour or two.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. Serve at room temperature. Can be refrigerated up to three days. Makes about one cup.

*How to peel tomatoes:

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a rolling boil. Wash tomatoes, core out the stem part and with a paring knife, make an X on the non-stem end. Place tomatoes in boiling water with slotted spoon. Leave for about eight seconds or so. Scoop out with slotted spoon. Let cool enough to handle. The skin should peel off easily.

–Recipe courtesy foodloveswriting.com.

Jar of tastiness (We ate it quickly enough that canning methods weren’t really needed):

 

Great vehicle for the jam, on toast with ricotta:

 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Ricotta Pizza with Fresh and Roasted Tomatoes

Deep in the throes of tomato overload, I was trying to find as many recipes as possible to use them up. Luckily, in September’s issue of Everyday Food I found this recipe. It was super tasty with our homegrown tomatoes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (4oz) [I used Asiago]
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large tomato, preferably heirloom, cut into half-moons
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500, with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  2. Combine ricotta and Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and stir in egg.
  3. On a baking sheet, drizzle pizza dough with 2 tbsp oil and stretch or roll into a 16-inch-long oval.
  4. Spread ricotta mixture on dough, leaving 1 inch border.
  5. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cherry tomatoes with remaining 2 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake cherry tomatoes on bottom rack and pizza on upper rack until tomatoes are soft and skins have burst, 15 minutes.
  7. Remove tomatoes and bake pizza until crust is deep golden brown, about 8 minutes more.
  8. Toss cherry tomatoes with sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Transfer pizza to cutting board and top with tomato mixture and oregano.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, September 2012.

Really awesome pizza:

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized