Monday, July 26, 2010

Super Easy Artichoke Sauce

I just found this recipe, and its on the stove NOW.  Smells great.  I kinda wish I could add a scratch and sniff function to this blog.  I'm not making pasta tonight because I'm lazy and its late, so I picked up some spinach whole wheat spaghetti to toss with the sauce.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 butter
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 can artichoke hearts (chopped if desired)
small bunch of basil chopped
1/2 lemon (for juice)
touch of pepper to taste

Melt the butter with the oil in a good sized sauce pan on low.  Add the minced garlic and slowly cook until golden (2-3 minutes).  I chopped my hearts for better distribution in the noodles, then added them to the butter and garlic.  Add the chopped basil and the juice of about a 1/2 lemon.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until you can't stand it any more.  Toss with noodles and add pepper to taste.

Enjoy and Eat! I know I'm about to.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weds Night Dinner

C made me dinner this evening, which was a happy surprise after yoga.  Though this was on our menu since Sunday, I came home to a finished and ready to eat dinner.

On the menu this evening was Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus, Quinoa/Couscous and a small helping of Roth Private Reserve cheese.

Red Potatoes quartered
Herbs de Provence - rosemary, thyme, savory, basil, marjoram
Italian Seasoning- oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram
Olive Oil

Asparagus Steamed/Boiled

Couscous and Quinoa cooked/mixed up

Hard cheese- tonight was Roth Private Reserve
 Quarter your potatoes and lay out in a casserole.  Cover with oil, butter and spices (courtesy of BFF), mix well and bake at 450 degree Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or so or until soft.
Steam/ boil your asparagus until desired firmness, I kinda like mine crunchier, so Chris quickly boiled the ends for about 5-10 minutes until kinda slumpy looking.

Quinoa and Couscous were prepared earlier this week, that recipe later, by cooking separate then mixing afterwards with oil and seasonings or just salt.  Couscous cooks 1.25 cups of water to every 1 cup of dry couscous, and quinoa cooks 2 cups of water to every 1 cup dry.

Plate and serve with a little bit of cheese. MMMMM Yum.

And because I'm a slacker I'll have hopefully plenty of more recipes in the next few days that are awaiting typing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I made a loaf of honey whole wheat bread the other day and meant to photograph it, but after it cooled and I ate my obligatory warm slice of bread I knew this guy wouldn't last long.  I was right.  It barely made it to this morning.  It really made great cheese toast in the morning with muenster cheese.
Bread is probably my most favorite thing to make for other people.  Its always better when you can share.

1.5 cups King Arthur All Purpose flour
1.5 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat flour
1 pkg of active dry yeast
1 palm full of kosher salt (approx 1 tablespoon)
1 small fist full of sugar
1 cup 130-140 degree cup of water
1/4 cup of honey

If using a stand mixer (kitchen aid) mix all dry ingredients.  Add the hot water and mix on a low setting.  Slowly add the honey.  All to knead for 2-4 minutes until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, then knead again at mixer's recommended setting (mine is 2).  Remove your dough, oil the bowl it was mixing in, toss in extra kosher salt and roll dough in bowl to become oiled.  To guarantee a good rising, place mixing bowl on stove and boil a pot of water on a near by burner, rise for 1 hour or until double.

When dough looks good, punch down and shape as desired.  I roll mine out and swirl it up like a sleeping bag, pinch ends under and place in a loaf pan.  For all shapes, rise again for an hour.  Brush some oil on crust and sprinkle with salt (trust me it MAKES the loaf).

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Top should be golden brown, and when flicked, sound hollow.  Remove and cool.  If you can wait 15-30 minutes slice and smother with butter  ;-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Pie

While digging through the goodies at the farmer's market on Sunday, I came across these big beautiful and very ripe heirloom tomatoes. 
On the spot I decided I needed to make tomato pie.  Very easy dish, especially if you buy the pie crust.  Eat it cold and you have yourself a perfect lunch or dessert.
Traditionally a southern recipe with a mayo topping; I'm putting my northern twist on it.

2 heirloom tomatoes (I used German Johnson)
1 field tomato
1 green field tomato
Dash of salt
1 medium yellow onion or leek chopped - I highly suggest leek, but I'm broke this week and cannot  afford it 
12oz of ricotta cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 egg
Some fresh basil chopped

1 9" pie crust and pan

Pie Crust Recipe:
1 cup flour (whole wheat pastry)
6 1/3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1-2 tablespoons of cold water

Start by slicing your tomatoes 1/4 of an inch thick and placing on towels to absorb moisture.  Sprinkle with salt.  These guys will need to sit for 20 or so minutes.

Preheat your over to 425.

Begin your pie crust.  Mix flour and salt.  Add butter.  Use either pastry cutter or your hands to break up the butter in to small pebble-ish sized pieces.  You want an even amount of butter throughout the flour but don't let it melt.  Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time.  DO NOT OVER DO IT.  If your put too much water in the mixture, you are going to have a hard time fixing it.  Move quickly, but carefully.  Keep it dough cold.

Roll out dough carefully on a floured surface.  Place carefully in your pie pan. Poke with a fork across the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown.

While pie is pre-baking saute the onions in a skillet with a touch of butter.  Cook until transparent.  And if your multi-tasking skills are up for it, in a large bowl mix ricotta, egg and mozzarella.  

When crust is done place on rack and assemble the rest of your ingredients.  Spread the onions across the bottom of the pie crust.  Then layer the tomato slices evenly with green slices in the middle or towards the top.  Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes, and top with ricotta mixture, covering all the tomato bits.

Bake for 20-30 minutes in the oven you had blaring this whole time.

This recipe is best made in the morning before the heat of the day settles in, then you can enjoy its awesomeness that afternoon or evening.    Enjoy.