Saturday, August 7, 2010

Garlic Scape Pesto

So in my CSA a few weeks ago I got these garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are are the parts of the garlic that grow from the bulb. I wasn't sure what to do with them so I looked up a recipe and decided to make garlic scape pesto.


1 Cup Chopped Garlic Scapes
1/3 Cup of walnuts
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese grated
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend everything but the olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running, and blend until emulsified and smooth. Add a little more oil if you like yours a little looser, but I found that this amount to be just right for me. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Use this as you would use any pesto. We had it with some pasta and it was perfect. It also makes a great dip with some crusty bread. Happy eatting!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Whole wheat pasta with cauliflower and panchetta

So I was eating out every meal for over a week before I settled into my new apartment. Because of all the unhealthy restaurant food, this week I have been cooking as much as possible. However, I am only cooking for 1 and my refrigerator in London is the size of most people's mini-fridges from college, so I've had to be a little creative with my recipes. They needed have 1) less than 5 ingredients, and 2) cooking time of under 30 min since I can only buy groceries and cook after I get home from work.

This is my take on a recipe I saw on another blog.

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 package whole wheat spaghetti
1 small onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 slices panchetta, cut into small half inch chuncks

salt and pepper
Parmesan for shaving over the top

1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over a high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add cleaned and cut cauliflower into pan. Stir and cover, turning the heat down to medium. Saute ~10 until the cauliflower is softened and starts to brown.
3. Boil paste (~quarter package per person).
4. Remove cauliflower, garlic and onions from pan. Add panchetta to hot pan and brown.
5. Once browned, add the cauliflower mix and pasta onto the panchetta. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with shavings of parm on top.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CSA Week 1

I know a lot of you were curious about the CSA that Michael and I signed up for so I thought I would share what we got for week #1. Just to fill everyone in - a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share is when you purchase part of what a farm produces during the spring, summer and fall. Here was our share this week - we got butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, oregano, arugula, mustard greens, radishes, and bok choy.

I literally just picked it up so I'll have to repost on what we end up doing with it all. I mean what does one do with mustard greens?? And radishes?? Luckily Michael actually likes eating those. Now Bok Choy... that's a vegetable I can work with!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fish Tacos

When Michael and I went to Aruba the one thing I ate all the time were these grouper tacos at this little beach bar. Ever since then I've been making them as a quick dinner. It's so simple and yet delicious and healthy. Here is what you need:

1-2 filets of fish - Cod, Tilapia, really anything you want to use
Cajun seasoning
Emeril seasoning
Chopped lettuce
Chopped tomatoes - 1/2 inch pieces
Chopped cucumbers - 1/2 inch pieces
Low fat sour cream
Optional - Mango salsa (I just buy it from local grocery store that makes it fresh)

Season the filets with the cajun seasoning, Emeril season (and whatever you else you want to use). Bake for 15-20 mins depending on the thickness and size of the filets. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm them up in the oven. When everything is cooked assemble filet, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sour cream and salsa in the tortilla. Super easy and super quick. Great for a weeknight meal!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tomato Basil Pasta

This recipe is a modification from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe and I cooked it when we visited Heather 2 weeks' ago. I have delayed to post it on line because I was busy and have also forgotten the password and user name which Heather created for me.

This dish calls for:

1 bunch of chopped basil

1 lb of angel hair pasta

3 to 4 gloves of diced garlic

2 lbs of cherry tomato

1/2 bunch of chopped flat leave parsely

1/4 to 1/2 lb of parmaesan cheese (depends on your taste)

Because lately tomato is expensive, so I only put in 1 lb of tomato, instead, I put in 1 lb of asparagus and 1 lb of sliced kobasa sausage as variation.

First cook the pasta as directed. Put oil in a pan and sautee the kobasa sausage slices until they are done. Take the sausages out and set it aside. Heat oil in the pan again and put garlic in. Cook the garlic for a little while, then put cherry tomato in, sprinkle on top with some salt and pepper and let it cook for a couple of minutes until soft. At the same time, put the asparagus onto a cooking dish, drizzle olive oil onto top and sprinkle on it salt and pepper. Put the dish into oven to roast for a few minutes, then take out to cool and slice into 2 inches long pieces. When the tomato look soft, put the angel hair pasta, asparagus slices, kobasa sausage slices, parmaesan cheese, flat leave parsley in and mix well. Turn off the heat and sprinkle basil on top and toss well. Then the dish is done!!!

Since my pictures are in my thumb drive in the office, I have to insert the photos tomorrow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Baked Shrimp

This recipe is actually Michael's but I convinced him to let me put it on. What I love about this recipe is that it's a pretty healthy version of baked shrimp. Here is the recipe:

20 medium to large size shrimp pealed, butterflied and cleaned
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon of parsley
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
3 tablespoons of plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup of wine
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon of butter

Sauté olive oil and garlic over low to medium heat. It's a lot of garlic so make sure you have enough olive to cook the garlic in so that it doesn't burn. When the garlic softens add in red chili flakes, parsley, lemon and bread crumbs, mix together and add half of the white wine. Mix the wine and mixture together, let it cook for another few minutes and then remove to a separate bowl.

Place the shrimp into a oven proof pan (we use our cast iron pan). Put a little olive on the bottom and place shrimps in the pan. Bake shrimp at 375 until it's pink or almost pink. Take the shrimp out of the oven and put the breadcrumb mixture you made earlier on top of the shrimp. Place back in oven for 5 more mins and add the remaining 1/2 cup of white wine. Mix together and voila! it's done.

We normally serve the shrimp with some rice and a vegetable. Tonight's vegetable is broccoli rabe.

Sunny Day in Orange County

Dan loves the outdoors, and most of all he loves to RELAX. And unfortunately, he doesn't find house chores relaxing. So I decided to treat him to a lovely day outside in nature. We went to Corona Del Mar and we had a fun picnic where we read books and played games and unfortunately I got a sunburn. I made a fantastic Antipasto Salad and a Chicken Caeser sandwich.

- Antipasto Salad -

1 Pound Fusili
Cubed Asiago (about 1/2 - 1 cup)
Cubed Provolone (about 1/2 - 1 cup)
Cubed Salami (about 3 oz, although I put more)
Diced Hot House Cucumber
Sliced Smoked Turkey (about 3 oz)

*These are all interchangeable with any ingredient you want and you can use as much or as less as you want, I used more because I really wanted to stretch out this pasta salad for Dans lunches.

- Basil Vinagrette -

1 Bunch Fresh Basil, Stemmed and leaves chopped (2 cups)
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove Garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
1/3 cup Olive Oil

Cook the Fusili, once it cools add all the ingredients in a bowl and add the vinaigrette on top, mix well and enjoy!

- Ceaser Chicken Sandwiches -

2 split (1 whole) Chicken Breast bone in skin on
Good Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 oz thinly sliced Pancetta
1 large Garlic Clove, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
1 1.2 tsp Anchovy Paste
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tbs freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 cup good Mayonnaise
1 Large Ciabatta Bread
2 oz Baby Arugula, washed and spun dry
12 sun dried tomatoes, in oil
2-3 oz Parmesan, shaved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Rub chicken breast with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast skin side up for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool, discard skin and bones, slice thickly and set aside.

Place pancetta on another sheet pan in single layer, roast 10-15 minutes until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Caesar Dressing - Place garlic and parsley in food processor until minced. Add anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, mayonnaise and process again to make smooth dressing. (Can be made ahead along with all other components of the sandwich, except I would buy the bread the day of serving)

Slice Ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from bottom, toast the bread cut side up for about 5-7 minutes in the oven.

Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread, then layer in order: sun dried tomatoes (or regular tomatoes), shaved Parmesan, crispy Pancetta, and sliced chicken. Finish with another layer of arugula. Place top slice of bread on and then cut sandwich into desired lengths. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

Our friend Danielle came by with her doggie, Turbo too! They said that it was the BEST Pasta Salad they ever had and they LOVED the sandwich too. I actually think it was the best pasta salad I ever had too! Happy Cooking!

Dan drinking beer out of the mug we sneaked=)