Thursday, June 30, 2011

Acorn Squash stuffed Ravioli :) Whoa!

There's something about ravioli that I really really like. I must like it so much that I continue to eat ravioli without actually liking what's inside. I have honestly ever bitten into about 3 raviolis that had insides worth raving about. Let's face it, inside of a little carb-castle is the per-fect location for something awesome, so why bland meat and gritty cheese all the time?

Ravioli Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Ravioli Filling:
1 roasted acorn squash (peeled and chopped)
4 cloves garlic
¼ of a large onion, finely chopped
2 T butter
1 pinch of salt
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pesto-Alfredo Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

I know it's a lot of ingredients and pieces and parts, but we'll get through this together... I had a lot of fun making the pasta and trying something new.


1. Mound the flour and salt together on a work surface and form a well. Beat the teaspoon of olive oil, 2 eggs, and water in a bowl. Pour half the egg mixture into the well. Begin mixing the egg with the flour with one hand; use your other hand to keep the flour mound steady. Add the remaining egg mixture and knead to form a dough.

2. Knead the dough until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes; add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. While the dough is resting, prepare the ravioli filling. Saute onion and garlic in butter on medium heat for 7 minutes (until the onions turn clear. If the edges start to caramelize before the onions turn white, turn the heat down.) Combine sauté mixture with squash and mix until the squash is mashed.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and pesto sauce and cook for one minute. Pour in the heavy cream, raise the heat to high, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.

5. At the same time, heat the marinara sauce in another sauce pan on low.

6. Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets no thicker than a nickel. To assemble the ravioli, brush the egg wash over a sheet of pasta. Drop the filling mixture on the dough by teaspoonfuls about one inch apart. Cover the filling with the top sheet of pasta, pressing out the air from around each portion of filling. Press firmly around the filling to seal. Cut into individual ravioli with a knife or pizza cutter. Seal the edges.

7. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the ravioli, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the ravioli float to the top and the filling is hot, 4 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

8. Grease a baking sheet. Place the cooked ravioli on the sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven until brown, about 4 minutes.

9. Layer ravioli, red sauce, and cream sauce. :)

*Info on how to prepare the ravioli dough and sauce is from

Joe's Review: "Two thumbs up... ...Three thumbs up."

Deep Dish Skillet Pizza - My first post!

This is my first contribution to Goodies and Grub so I guess I should formally introduce myself! I am the previously mentioned friend, Monica. I have varied experience in the kitchen, from learning from my parents growing up, to having my own culinary radio show while attending Miami U, I have worked as a short order kitchen cook and manager and even spent some time in a French kitchen in Cape Cod as a sous chef. I'm a foodie friend who is super proud of my girls and all of their kitchen prowess, you're both a couple of culinary cuties!

Like the girls, I also feed the man in my life. His name is Fred and he loves to eat just about as much as I love to cook. He's a meat and potatoes kinda guy and I like to try things that are a bit more daring, he's only worried until the fork hits his mouth. He doesn't do much cooking himself, but he enjoys baking and has promised to teach me his grandma's cinnamon roll recipe which I look forward to sharing with you all!

And now for the meat of the matter...the delicious pizza I stuffed in my belly for dinner last night :)

I have wanted to try this for so long, pizza in a cast iron skillet! And, pizza is the perfect midweek go to for using up leftovers! For a quick and easy fix, I used a recipe of yeastless dough and leftover breaded chicken parmesan.

Yeastless Dough:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup water
Olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add water and then knead together for approximately 2 minutes or until well blended and a little sticky to the touch.

Preheat oven to 325. Use olive oil to coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet, I used a #8 pan. Press dough into the bottom of the skillet and slightly up the sides. Coat the dough top with olive oil before spreading down the pizza sauce. This helps seal the dough to keep it from becoming soggy from the sauce. You can use whatever ingredients you have available, I used leftover chicken parmesan, sliced into thin strips. I started it with Schiavone's red sauce, you can find it at Kroger and it is a perfectly sweet and garlicy sauce manufactured by family friends of mine. A layer of marinated mushrooms, freshly grated parmesan, fresh basil and oregano (from my little balcony garden), and crushed red pepper sealed the deal.

Place the pizza in your preheated oven for 25 minutes and then finish off under the broiler for the last 5 minutes, or until crispy and browned to perfection!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baked chicken tikka, tomato lentil cous cous, and mango lassi

Two ways to do Tikka:
  1. Nani's way
  2. From a jar that you can find in the Indian section of your local grocery store.
 If you are so inclined, here is Nani's way :)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • small can tomato paste
Combine these ingredients and marinate chicken drum sticks. Grill or bake at 375 x 30 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the cous cous according to the directions on the box. I used Near East tomato lentil cous cous. It was a great compliment to the chicken.

Mango Lassi: (delicious Indian beverage)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 mango - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 dash cinnamon, 1 dash cardamom
  • 1 pinch salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender. This is one of my favorite treats. It's so cool and refreshing! 

Spring Roll Stir Fry

I recreated a greasy Chinese food favorite as a healthy summer dish :)

1 c long grain rice
2 c water

Blurry picture- sorry!
Ginger dressing/ Some type of sweet Asian sauce from the grocery store.
1/4 of a cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/3 c shredded carrots
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed
1 T olive oil

1/4 lb raw peeled shrimp
1 T olive oil
1/2 c panko break crumbs
1/3 c canola oil

Combine rice and water, bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Then just turn it off until the stir fry is done.

Heat a frying pan or wok with medium heat. Combine olive oil, garlic and onion in pan, saute 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and immediately add cabbage. Let the cabbage cook down, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. It should be warm throughout but still crunchy. Add the carrots just at the end, so they stay crunchy. Toss in the sauce and let sit until your shrimp is done.

Heat canola oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cover the shrimp in olive oil, then bread with panko crumbs. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side.

Layer these ingredients and enjoy this crunchy, tasty stir fry.

Gourmet Grill Out in the Park: Grilled Bread With Zucchini, Ricotta, and Basil

Last minute Travis and I decided that we were going to join our friends at a grill out in the park. I was already planning on making this dish so with a little pre prepping and modification I brought all the ingredients to the park. It came out super tasty and everyone else with their hot dogs were jealous. Even though I served it with grilled pork chops, the bread was the star of this dish.

For the pork chops, I seasoned them with salt and pepper and brushed them with olive oil before putting them on the grill. I also served the dish with a frozen lima bean/corn mixture which I placed in a zip-lock with a Tbs of butter before leaving the house. I heated this up on the grill in a small saucepan and added salt and pepper before serving.


Serves 4

4 1/2-inch-thick slices country bread
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 small zucchini (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup fresh basil, leaves torn
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
kosher salt
1 cup fresh ricotta


Mix ricotta with basil, red pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the bread with oil and grill until golden and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plates.

Grill the zucchini until tender and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Top the bread with the ricotta and then zucchini.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Artic Char with Cucumber-Feta Relish and Ricotta Dumplings

This dish was great for a summer day where I didn't want to bother with the grill and still didn't need to turn on the oven. It was also very easy and quick to make. I have served this fish before but with Jalapeno Goat Cheese Hush Puppies. As I needed Ricotta for tomorrow night's dinner, I made it with the dumplings instead and they were delicious. I used salmon as a substitue for the artic char, they are both in the Salmonidae family.

Artic Char
Serves 4


1 12-ounce cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup coarsely crumbled sheep's-milk feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

4 5- to 6-ounce arctic char (or salmon) fillets with skin
3 tablespoons canola oil


For relish:
Toss first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Season relish with salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

For fish:
Sprinkle fish on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Place fish, skin side down, in skillet. Cook until skin is brown, occasionally flattening with spatula to prevent curling, about 4 minutes. Turn fish over. Cook until just opaque in center, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, mound relish on plates. Top with fish, skin side up. Arrange dumplings alongside and serve.

Serves 4


1 and 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta
1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
1 large egg yolk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 tablespoons unsalted butter


In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, cheese, egg yolk, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until combined. Sift 1/2 cup flour over mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold together. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and sift remaining flour over top. With fingertips, gently incorporate flour into dough and lightly knead until dough comes together (do not overwork dough).

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log about 3/4 inch thick and 20 inches long. With a knife or dough scraper, cut each log into 1/2-inch pieces.
Drop pieces into boiling water. Cook until they plump up and float to the surface, 2 minutes. Drain dumplings and shake off excess water.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium. When it sizzles, add dumplings and cook, undisturbed, until golden on one side, 6 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet containing dumplings and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with cheese.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow's Grilled Halibut with Mango-Avocado Salsa

My grandmother gets me a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine which is always filled with the most delicious recipes. This one was in a feature about Gwyneth Paltrow. It was super easy to make and tasted delicious! I served it with oil and vinegar over a bed of spinach to turn it into a salad and a slice of Texas Toast.

Serves 4

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce halibut or mahi-mahi fillets
4 lime wedges

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Gently combine the avocado, mango, tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature, gently tossing occasionally.

Place fish fillets in a 13x9x2" glass baking dish. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon lime juice over. Season fish with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, turning fish occasionally.

Brush grill rack with oil. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon mango-avocado salsa over fish. Squeeze a lime wedge over each and serve.

Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff

Travis is an avid hunter and we always have plenty of venison in our freezer. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into our meals and this is by far one of my favorite recipes. If you don't want to use venison you can use cubed beef instead. I served this dish over brown rice.

Serves 2 to 3

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
11 ounces venison loin, fat and sinews removed, trimmed and sliced into finger-sized pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
9 ounces mixed exciting, robust mushrooms, wiped clean, torn into bite-sized pieces
Small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped, stalks finely chopped
Knob of butter
Good splash red wine
1 lemon, zested
2/3 cup sour cream


Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and pour in a glug of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until softened and golden.

Season the meat well with salt, pepper and the paprika. Rub and massage these flavorings into the meat. Place the frying pan back on a high heat and pour in some more olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then add the meat and fry for a minute or 2 before adding the parsley stalks (you can do this in 2 pans or in batches if your pan is not big enough) and the cooked onion and garlic. Toss and add the butter and red wine.

After a couple of minutes of simmering, stir in the lemon zest and all but 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and season, to taste. Continue simmering for a few minutes. Any longer than this and the meat will toughen up.

Serve over rice and top with sour cream.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rave review of Casey's Quiche

Tonight I made Casey's Cheese and Chile Quiche and it hit the spot! It's been WAY too long since we've had breakfast for dinner, and just the act of it felt kind of rebellious.

I had a blast roasting the peppers- it seemed so simple but, believe it or not, I've never roasted a veggie before. The process was fun and kind of neat! Another favorite moment was grating an onion: tear jerker alert! I had to leave the kitchen for 10 minutes after grating that sucker!

All in all, an excellent meal that's made me SO happy to be blogging with Case. And as predicted, we went back for seconds :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garlic Lovers Shrimp, Spinach, and Mushroom Barley Risotto

This dish is for Garlic Lovers Only. However you can adapt the dish by boiling the shrimp in water instead of sauteing them in butter, garlic, and white wine. But I suggest the alcoholic butter and garlic shrimp bath. The barley in this recipes is cooked like risotto, low and slow, adding chicken broth half cups at a time. Like risotto, if you don't have 20 to 25 minutes to stand in the kitchen stirring this barley then don't make this dish.

1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp flour
1 T butter
4 cloves garlic, grated
2T white wine
1 8oz package baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2t salt, divided
1 cup slow cook pearl barley
1/2 c. white wine
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2T fresh lemon juice
1/4t ground black pepper

Coat shrimp in flour. In a cast iron or saute pan heat the butter until melted over low, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and white wine. Saute shrimp on medium-low until pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside including all pan juices.

In the same pan add mushrooms, onion, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt; cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender. Add a little EVOO if necessary. Remove mushroom mixture from pan; set aside and keep warm. Add barley to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine and remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook for about 4 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing liquid to be absorbed after each addition, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp with juices, cheese, lemon juice, and pepper. Serve immediately.

Chicken Carbonara

This dish requires cardiac clearance prior to consumption. But it's so worth it after a long day of work (not to whine...).


Serves 4-6

• 3/4 lb. fettucini (I make the whole pound then set some aside for pasta salad or thai peanut noodles...)
• 4 oz. bacon, diced
• 1 med. onion, diced
• 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
• 2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 1/2 c. grated cheese
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 4 egg yolks
• Some chopped parsley
*1/2 c peas (opt)
*1 c spinache (opt)


Cook pasta in boiling water according to directions on box. Meanwhile, in large saucepan saute the bacon bits until golden. Drain off some drippings; add butter, chicken strips and onion, and cook until chicken is tender. Drain spaghetti and place into pan with chicken. Add cream, salt and pepper, stir well over heat until just boiling. Add the cheese and egg yolks. Turn off heat, stir well. Place on dish, top with chopped parsley; serve immediately.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

This year I've been living with my fiance's sister, Erin, and she's moving out soon. Having come to love many of the things that I make, without taking much of an interest in the "How To" portion of our time together, she'll be using this blog as her cook book. I make these pepperoni rolls for lunches on work days, and she's requested that I post the recipe. It's super straight forward and makes a yummy lunch!

Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

  • 1 frozen bread loaf
  • 1/8 lb sandwich pepperoni
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese
  • pinch garlic powder
  • olive oil 
Put the frozen dough on a cookie sheet and lather it with olive oil, then cover it with saran wrap, put it in the turned off oven and let it sit for 6 hours. The dough will thaw and just about double in this time. Cut the thawed, raised dough into 4 pieces. Stretch each piece by hand into a rectangle (about 4"x8") and layer 4 pieces of pepperoni, a pinch of cheese and a bit of garlic powder into it. Roll the whole thing up and set it back on the cookie sheet with the seam on the side. (I like the crusty bit of bread that the side-seam creates when it bakes. If you don't like that, put the seam on the bottom)

Repeat for the rest of the dough hunks.

Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Brush the rolls with butter or olive oil when the first come out of the oven for nice soft crust, or just let them cool for a crispier crust.

Chicken Marsala

This came out fantastic! I layered Tyler Florence's recipe for chicken marsala over creamy mushroom risotto and the result was perfect (to pat my on self on the back).

Chicken Marsala Ingredients:
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • all-pupose flour, for dredging
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz prociutto, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz porcini or crimini mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 1/2 c sweet marsala wine
  • 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them pound whit a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.

Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat. Now, add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Risotto Ingredients:

  • 1 c Arborio Rice
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 c chopped mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T freshly ground parmesan cheese

Add 1 T olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Saute mushrooms for 3-5 minutes, and set aside. Saute onion and garlic in the remaining oil for 3-5 minutes, then add the dry risotto to the pan and brown for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 c of chicken stock and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed. Then add 1/2 to 1 cup of broth at a time and stir constantly until the broth is again used up. Once all broth is absorbed, add the mushrooms and parmesan cheese.

Layer the chicken and mushrooms over the risotto and enjoy :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheese and Chile Quiche

Travis is a big fan of breakfast for dinner, and who can't resist a creamy, cheesy egg dish?! So quiche is a big hit in our house. This is one of my favorite quiche recipes as it is simple and only has one main "non-essential" ingredient in it, roasted poblanos. I served this dish by itself because even after you are full you will want seconds. I suggest it eating it on a rainy day, while on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, watching a good movie (that's what we did last night)!

Notes on the Pie Crust (READ THIS):
I do not use pastry dough for this recipe, instead I use store bought, premade crust from the refrigerated section of my grocery store. If you use this kind of dough DO NOT do steps 2 through 4. If you precook your pie crust it will be very overcooked when you bake it again with the quiche filling. Do step 1, place your premade crust in a tart or pie pan pushing it down and getting all air bubbles out, and then go directly to step 5.

Notes on the Poblanos:
To roast the poblanos preheat your oven to 400 degrees, place the poblanos on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes turning and checking on them every 10, until they become almost a blackish green color and have a slight char. Once they are done, place them in a Tupperware with a lid for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to peel them. Take the poblanos out and use your hands to peel and seed them. You can use this method for any sort of vegetables that needs to be roasted and peeled like red bell peppers or garlic.

Serves 4

Pastry dough
1 large garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb poblano chiles (about 4 large), roasted and peeled (directions above)
6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Mexican crema or heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely grated white onion (using small teardrop holes of a box grater)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (2 1/2 to 3 cups)

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Fit dough into tart pan, without stretching, letting excess dough hang over edge. Fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Line shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until pastry is set and pale golden along rim, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until deep golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Put tart pan in a shallow baking pan. Leave oven on.
  5. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using side of a large knife.
  6. Discard seeds, ribs, and stems from chiles, then pat dry if necessary and cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips.
  7. Whisk together eggs, milk, crema, onion, garlic paste, and pepper in a large bowl until just combined, then pour into baked tart shell.
  8. Sprinkle cheese and chiles over custard (chiles will sink slightly) and bake until custard is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. (Center will jiggle slightly; filling will continue to set as it cools.)
  9. Transfer quiche in pan to a rack to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
  10. If you use a tart pan, to remove side, center a large can under pan and let side of pan drop. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Giada's Dirty Risotto with Caprese Salad

If I am ever craving something and don't know a good recipe for it, I always go to This recipe came from
celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. Risotto is a delicious, creamy Italian rice dish, however, it is a labor of love. If you don't have the time to stand around the kitchen for 30 minutes constantly stirring your rice then don't make this dish. Without constant attention and stirring the chicken broth will not absorb properly and your dish will not come out correctly. For the chopped pancetta I think the precubed pancetta you can get in the deli section of the grocery store is to expensive. I get one slice, or however much you need for your recipe, cut a 1/2 inch thick and cube it myself at home. I served the risotto with a fresh caprese salad (recipe below).

Serves 4 to 6

5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 link (about 6 ounces) spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 ounces button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancett
a and sausage and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next (this is the key to risotto, you need to wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more broth) until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.

Caprese Salad

Travis grows fresh bail on our porch which we used as a garnish for the salad. It was delicious!

Serves 2

2 large bib lettuce leaf (to serve salad on, optional)
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 tomatoes, one orange and one red for color, sliced
Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper

Place 1 large bib lettuce leaf on each salad plate. Start with a slice of tomato, then a slice of mozzarella, then of tomato (interchanging tomato colors if you have more than 1), mozzarella, tomato, and so on until you have used all your cheese and tomatoes on both plates. Top with basil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lettuce Cups with Stir-Fried Chicken

These lettuce wraps are super easy and quick to make. They aregreat served as an appetizer or as a main meal. I served them with Ming Ling Pork and Vegetable Dumplings. These can be found in the frozen food isle of the grocery store and are AMAZING! They also come with a delicious dipping sauce.


4 Appetizer Servings or 2 Dinner Servings

16 large butter lettuce leaves
1/2 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, minced
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 medium shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce), st
emmed, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted cashews, chopped


Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter. Pour chili sauce into a small bowl; place on platter with leaves. Mix chicken, scallions, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl; marinate 10 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 15 seconds. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add chicken mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaves, dividing equally. Garnish with cashews. Roll leaves around filling and dip into chili sauce.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie (Dad's favorite)

In honor of Father's Day coming up, I'm posting what I made for dinner tonight and will be making two more of this weekend for my Dad and Grandpa. My favorite thing about this dish is the leftovers- oh the leftovers! This recipe came from my cooking Bible, "The Hillbilly Cookbook," that was handcrafted by my great grandmother, her sisters, and friends.

The Filling

  • 1 large chicken breast, quartered
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups of assorted veggies (corn, green beans, carrots, asparagus, whatever)
  • 1 package of chicken gravy mix (When I make a beef pot pie I make gravy from scratch, but I can't draw any drippings from boiled chicken breast- so don't judge my powdered gravy mix lol)

  1. Boil a couple quarts of water. Toss in the chicken and diced potatoes. Let the chicken cook about 10 minutes before pulling it out and let the potatoes go about 20 minutes.
  2. Mix 1 c cold water and 1 package gravy mix. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook on medium heat until boiling, then reduce the heat and stir until it thickens.
  3. Steam the veggies.
  4. Once the chicken has cooled, chop it up into 1/2 inch cubes and season it with salt, pepper, garlic, house seasoning.
  5. Mix all of these ingredients in a large bowl.

Grandma Diamond's Pie Crust

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 c flour
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) butter flavored crisco
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 c cold water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl until well mixed. 
  2. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in Crisco until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (some chunks can remain).
  3. Beat egg in a separate small bowl; add water and vinegar and stir until mixed.
  4. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir all together using a large spoon or by hand.
  5. Press the mixture into a ball. 
  6. Cut it into two segments, 2/3 and 1/3, and roll one out on a sheet of wax paper until about 1/2-inch thick. 
  7. Place another sheet of wax paper over the top and roll until 1/8-inch thickness. If dough is too sticky, dust very lightly with flour and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Repeat with the other piece of the dough.
  9. Gently lay the larger crust into a cast-iron dutch oven/skillet, or a pie pan.
  10. Add the pie filling in a heaping pile.
  11. Gently add the top crust and seal the edges. Poke a few holes into the top crust.

  1. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes
  2. Uncover and bake at 450 for 20 minutes (until golden brown)
  3. Let stand uncovered for 20-30 minutes (this thing comes out of the oven filled with hot lava... you want to give it enough time to let the gravy set up or you'll have a hot mess)

Enjoy! I had seconds :) Don't forget a few dashes of Hot Sauce!

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Grilled Tandori Chicken, Tunisian Vegtable Salsa, and Flatbread

    This is my take on Indian/Mediterranean food. I tend to mix the two as flavors and concepts can be similar. I served the grilled chicken, salsa, and flatbread with raita (recipe below), boxed batsmati rice, and aloo matar (a Northern Indian vegetable dish made from potatoes and green peas in a medium sauce).

    Tunisian Vegetable Salsa
    I only made half of this salsa recipe and I had plenty left over. It is great chilled and served the next day with left over flatbread.

    Makes 4 cups

    4 large unpeeled garlic cloves
    4 plum tomatoes (about 12 ounces total)
    2 small whole unpeeled onions (1/2 pound total)
    2 large red bell peppers
    1 large poblano chile
    1 Japanese eggplant (about 5 ounces)
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Fresh lemon juice
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Thread garlic cloves onto a metal skewer. Put garlic skewer, tomatoes, onions, peppers, chile, and eggplant on grill rack. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred all over, 6-7 minutes for garlic and tomatoes; 10 minutes for eggplant; 15 minutes for peppers and chile; 20 minutes for onions. Place peppers and chile in a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop peppers and chile. Coarsely chop tomatoes and peeled eggplant. Peel and coarsely chop onions. Pulse all vegetables in a food processor, along with oil, until puréed to desired consistency. Transfer to a large bowl. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

    Grilled Flatbreads
    I made all of this dough recipe but froze half of the dough. The best point to freeze the dough is right after you break it into 8 balls before you let it rise the second time. Thaw it out in the fridge over night the day before you want to use it. Before use kneed each one and let rise on the counter until they reach room temp. Follow the same grill directions. In place of the standing mixer and dough hook you can also use a food processor with a sharp blade.

    Makes 8

    1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast
    1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for brushing
    5 cups (or more) all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Red pepper flakes

    Pour 2 cups warm water (105°-115°) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or food processor with blade in. Sprinkle yeast over. Let sit until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. Mix in 1 tablespoon oil. Add 5 cups flour and 1 Tbsp. salt; beat until dough forms, about 1 minute.

    Transfer dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour by spoonfuls as needed for soft but still slightly sticky dough, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll into balls; space 2" apart. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rest 15 minutes.

    Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Lightly brush 4 baking sheets with oil. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll out into 9" round. Place 2 dough rounds on each prepared sheet. Brush lightly with oil; season with cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

    Brush grill rack with oil. Working in batches, place flatbreads spice side down on rack. Brush with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until lightly charred in spots and cooked through, 1-1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface. Cut into wedges.



    Makes 1 cup
    1/4 c cucumber finely diced
    1/4 c cilantro
    1/2 Tbs lime juice
    1 c plain Greek yogurt
    Salt and pepper

    Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

    Grilled Tandori Chicken

    1 package tandori marinade
    2 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
    1 lb skinless, bone-in chicken quarters

    Make a slit in the chicken quarters. Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bag and let marinade overnight.

    Pre heat the grill to medium. Grill for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Once easy to handle you can pull the chicken to make eating it with the flatbread easier. That is my suggestion.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Grilled Chicken Fajitas

    As you can probably tell by all my grilling recipes, I try not to turn the oven on during the summer unless necessary. So, I have turned many of my favorite stove top dishes like this one into grilling recipes. I served my chicken fajitas with boxed rice and refried beans. My favorite box rice of all time for Mexican Night is the Mexican style Rice A Roni, it is delicious. Along with the side dishes I like to make sure I have an array of toppings for the fajitas including sour cream, guacamole, salsa, romaine lettuce, and hot sauce.

    Serves 4

    1lb chicken breasts
    1 packet fajita seasoning
    1 yellow onion, sliced
    1 red bell pepper, sliced

    Place chicken breasts, fajita seasoning, and 1/2 cup water in a plastic bag. Let marinate for 1 to 3 hours. Preheat the grill. Place chicken, bell peppers, and onions on grill. Once these are cooked quickly heat the tortillas on the grill.

    Serve with rice, beans, and toppings suggested above.