Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Eggplant grows like a weed in our garden. Therefore, I am always trying new recipes and modified this recipe by Rachel Ray tonight. The list of ingredients were lengthy but I actually had them all in my pantry or garden. Some of the spices might not be in everyone's pantry but if you like to cook you may have them all. I must say I loved the rice the most. It is extremely flavorful.
Eggplant and Chick Pea Curry with Lemon Rice
adapted from Rachel Ray
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 teaspoons, minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
6-8 Asian eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/2" slices
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 (14 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, drained
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot curry powder (or more if desired)
Heat a medium pot over high heat. Add water and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Add rice, bay leaf, lemon zest, turmeric, coriander, cumin and cardamom. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
While rice is cooking, chop eggplant, onions, and bell peppers. In large skillet or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook 2 - 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, eggplant, and bell peppers. Cook 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, chick peas, salt, pepper and curry. Stir and cook an addition 2 - 3 minutes. Serve over rice.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Confession: I took this picture in the car. I was bringing it to someone's house and snapped this on my lap. But hey, at least I had good natural lighting!
Anyway. I have been making variations of this tart for quite some time. It is my go-to summer dessert. Sometimes when I want to be fancy, I'll make it in individual tart pans, which I find adorable. I bet you could make this a million different ways, exchanging orange for lemon, strawberries for blueberries or raspberries...you get the idea. The foundation of this is simple: tart crust and a mascarpone cream. Everything else is just icing on the err...tart.
Strawberry Tart with Orange Mascarpone Cream
1 recipe tart dough, baked and cooled (My favorite is from Mark Bittman and can be found here.)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup orange marmalade or apricot preserves (I used blood orange marmalade, to be exact.)
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, sugar and orange zest. Spoon into the cooled tart crust. Arrange sliced strawberries on top. Melt marmalade/preserves and lightly brush onto berries to create a nice sheen. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8.
Monday, June 20, 2011
This is one of my favorite pies that I created for the local fair contest several years ago. It is perfect for this time of year with fresh blueberries. With the tartness of lemon and the creamy layer on top, each layer together gives a mouthful of satisfaction.
Lemon Blueberry Zinger
2 pie crusts (your favorite recipe or refrigerated pie crusts)
1-1/3 c. sugar
½ c. lemon juice (3 - 4 lemons if using fresh lemons)
1 tbsp. lemon zest
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. flour
¼ t. baking powder
½ c. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ c. powdered sugar3c. fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 415° F. Place one crust in bottom of pie pan and crimp edges. Put holes in bottom of crust with fork. Bake in oven for 10 minutes (will not be completely baked). Remove from oven.
Make the lemon filling by combining the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, flour and baking powder in mixer and mix well. Pour filling into saucepan and cook on medium high stirring often until slightly thickened for 5 minutes (this is to prevent a soggy, sticky crust). Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove and cool.
While pie is cooling, cook second pie crust. Cut out a circle the diameter of the inside of the pie + ½” with the second pie crust. Bake 7 minutes or until golden at 450°F. Cool. Place on top of lemon-filled pie.
Make creamy layer by mixing sour cream, cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar in bowl. Blend well until smooth & creamy. Place on top of pie crust layer.
Top with 3 c. fresh blueberries. If desired, garnish with lemon zest, mint or lemon balm leaves.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Summer means putting together easy dinners so you have more time for fun with your family. This quick pizza recipe is made in a flash with thumbs up from everyone!
Easy Barbecue Chicken Pizza
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (or more if desired)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
bunch of cilantro
Make pizza dough recipe. While dough is sitting, chop chicken and vegetables. Spread pizza dough out on large cookie sheet or pizza pan. Spread barbecue sauce evenly on dough. Sprinkle chicken, onion, peppers and cheese on top of pizza. Mince and sprinkle desired amount of cilantro on top of pizza.
Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Serve.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
This recipe is from a good friend. It is the perfect pasta salad to take to a luncheon with friends. Nothing is better than having a memory of a friend attached with a recipe. I made just a few adjustments. Thanks Mary Ann!
Chicken Pasta Salad
1 - 16 ounce package tri-color rotini
2 cups shredded or cubed chicken
1/2 cup snow peas, sliced in 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, rinse and cool. Add chicken, snow peas, red pepper, onions, and almonds.
In small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, tarragon, mustard, ginger, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta. Thoroughly mix dressing with pasta and ingredients. Chill and serve.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
My grandchildren came to visit today and Nana had no homemade cookies for them. I had an idea for a quick dessert I used to make often when their mom was little. Funnel cakes! They were so excited when I said I would make them. To see their cute faces with powdered sugar all over them made my day! A few ingredients whipped up in a few minutes, with two of them helping, made a treat that can't be beat!
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg beaten
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup milk
vegetable oil for frying
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Wisk the egg into the milk mixture. Then add to the flour mixture and mix. Mixture should be like pancake batter.
Heat about two inches of oil in a large high-sided skillet on medium high heat. Pour about a cup of batter in to a funnel. Hold funnel in one hand with your finger plugging the hole and let the batter flow into oil making a spiral pattern. Cook until the batter floats and is golden brown about 30 seconds. Flip with tongs. Transfer to paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar.
Monday, June 6, 2011
This is a favorite recipe at our home when the eggplant arrives in the garden. My husband's grandmother created this recipe many years ago and it is actually printed in an old Southern Living cookbook. Again, I always make a slight change or two but it is close to the original. You can use Chinese or Japanese eggplant. I prefer the Japanese variety.
Spicy Sausage and Eggplant
½ lb. ground pork
1 lb. sliced or cubed Asian eggplant
3 cloves minced garlic
2 t. fresh ginger
2 green onions, sliced
1/8 c. soy sauce
2 T. vinegar
1 t. sugar
1 heaping T. chili garlic sauce (Lee Kum Kee-very good brand)
1/3 cup chicken broth
Brown sausage in skillet. Remove sausage from pan. Add eggplant to skillet and sautee 3 minutes. Remove eggplant from skillet. Place in bowl with sausage.
In skillet, add garlic, ginger and onions. Cook on low heat 2 minutes and add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili garlic sauce. Add sausage and eggplant back to skillet and stir well over medium heat. Add chicken broth. Cook about 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat. Add 3 shakes sesame oil and minced cilantro, if desired. Stir and serve.
Friday, June 3, 2011
My favorite time of the year is when I can pick lots of basil from my garden. I picked a handful last night and made this easy pasta salad for dinner. It is so fresh tasting and full of flavor from the basil and fresh vegetables. I think I will be making this for dinner every week this summer.
Basil, Corn and Tomato Pasta
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 ear of corn
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup parmesan
1/2 cup basil, minced
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse. In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat tablespoon of olive oil in small fry pan. Slice kernels off corn and cook 2-3 minutes in oil. Remove from heat and set aside. Toast pine nuts for 2-3 minutes in 425 F oven.
Add tomato, corn, pine nuts and Parmesan to penne. Pour over oil and vinegar mixture and stir to combine. Stir in basil. Serve.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Jalapeno peppers and cilantro are two of my favorite ingredients in recipes. When I saw a jalapeno and cilantro hummus in a grocery store recently, I knew I had to try and make one myself. This recipe does have heat but the hummus is really tasty with pita chips or spread on a wrap.
Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus
1 - 15 ounce can chick peas, drained
1 tablespoon tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup cilantro
1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree or pulse until smooth consistency.