Showing posts with label tomato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomato. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2016

Eggs for Dinner - Shakshuka

I may be strange, but I do not like to eat eggs for breakfast. I prefer sweets in the am. I'm all about French toast, donuts and cinnamon rolls for starting my mornings. I like to reserve eggs for the evening hours. 

And why not? Who ever said that you need to eat eggs only for breakfast? You eat chicken for dinner, so why not eggs? Especially when they are in such a savory dish as this shakshuka.


I have seen this recipe around the internet for a while now and I even say it on a few menus while visiting Istanbul last year. I only recently got around to trying it out and I'm so mad at myself for not trying it earlier. I imagine that it would have been amazing in Istanbul, with fresh feta and vegetables.

Even though I didn't get the feta a eggs from my local farmer, this meal was still absolutely amazing. We had it for dinner one night and I ate the remaining portions for lunch for the rest of the week. Once you prepare all of the vegetables, the dish comes together very quickly, with very little fuss. In about thirty minutes you can have this amazing and flavorful meal prepared, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Don't let the strange name scare you off from trying this dish. And definitely have it for dinner!

One Year Ago: Spring Risotto
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Macaroon Brownies
Three Years Ago: Rosemary Chicken & Potato Pizza
Four Years Ago: Potato & Choriquo Gratin
Five Years Ago: Mango Shrimp Curry


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rigatoni & Meatballs

Winter is the time for hearty foods. Conversely, January is the month of healthy eating.  How does one rectify these two very different ideals?


You make chicken meatballs!


Then pile them high on pasta!


Filling, but not full of calories. Unless you make a tube of crescent rolls to go along with this dinner...  Which you should... Crescent rolls are awesome.


One Year Ago: Wilde Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cavatappi Pasta with Sausage and Butternut Squash
Three Years Ago: Country Sausage Pasta
Four Years Ago: Mini Zucchini Breads

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cream of Tomato Soup with Rice


I can't say enough about this soup. I have made it in the past and never posted about it before. The flavor is so rich and the soup is super filling. I made this soup on a Monday and happily ate it for the rest of the week. With or without the sprinkling of basil, this soup is a winner. It's also made of ingredients that I commonly have sitting around in my pantry.


My only warning? Don't start this soup at 9:30pm! I neglected to read the original recipe and didn't notice that it had to simmer for an hour. We wound up eating something else for Monday night dinner, because this soup wasn't ready until almost 11:00 pm. The house smelled amazing, but there was no way I was going to be able to wait until then to eat. I was already in my PJs by the time I ladled this soup into storage containers.


Stay warm this winter and eat lots of soup! Start with this recipe, you'll absolutely love it!

One Year Ago: Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie
Two Years Ago: Almond Cut-out cookies
Three Years Ago: Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock & Cheesy Potato Soup
Four Years Ago: Lentil Chili

Thursday, October 9, 2014

CTB 2014 - Williams Sonoma - Pasta

Welcome to Fall everyone! I'd love to say that this recipe is coming from my new kitchen. Sadly, the only thing I have made in my new kitchen is oatmeal. And that was from the slow cooker! Our new house is a bit of a mess right now and dinner is the last thing on my mind at the end of the day. It's either been frozen food (prepared fresh in my oven!) or dinner out.


Looking at this recipe, I could totally throw this together at the end of a long day. It took no time at all to boil pasta and heat up the pepperoni and arugula. It would require a trip to the grocery store though. I don't know if I'm up for that right now!


I'll be sharing a more completed tour of our new house in a few weeks. Right now the house can be found under piles and piles of stuff. Not boxes, because we didn't actually put our stuff in boxes to move it. We kind of just tossed stuff in those reusable grocery bags from Wegmans and piled it up in the moving truck. Did I mention that we bought a townhouse that is less than a quarter mile from our old apartment? Such an easy move!


Hopefully soon I will be back in the kitchen. It is completely serviceable right now (I cleaned up the mess from the previous post), but there is so much more to deal with in the house! Plus, we are probably going to re-tile the floor, add a backsplash and paint the walls. A mini remodel is in the works for my mini kitchen!

Until then, maybe I'll make this pasta again. Quick and easy is the name of the game right now!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moroccan Vegetable M'Hancha

Let the Moroccan food parade begin!  Today we're starting off with an appetizer, the M'hancha, or vegetable pastilla.  During our time in Marrakech, boyfriend and I signed up for a Moroccan cooking class, to learn the ways of tagine and couscous.  First we had to locate the riad within the twisting maze of the medina.  Located just off the main place, at the end of a small alley, Riad Monceau boasts a heavy door with multiple locks and a beautiful central pool.


 We were joined at the riad by two couples from the Netherlands and eight Parisian women.  There was a lot of gabbing in multiple languages going on.  I even got to practice my french a bit!  Luckily everyone spoke impeccable english while helping to teach me a little bit of culinary french and dutch.


We were in for a long day of chopping, shredding, cooking, sauteing and tangining.  Is that a word?  Maybe not an english word.  One of the most dangerous thing we cooked all day was the m'hancha, because of all the shredding involved and those dangerous box graters!  (When making this at home, the food processor is much more finger friendly.)


The m'hancha came together pretty quickly, probably because all we had to do was shred vegetables, then roll up the coils.  Our chef/instructor took care of sauteing the vegetables and baking the finished m'hanchas. It may be a whole other story when I go to make these again in my own kitchen!  Give these a try, they were deilcious!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Restaurant Wars - Chipotle

I first stepped foot into a Chipotle restaurant over ten years ago in the city of Madison, Wisconsin. I was a first year grad student and had enough of my friend Bhavesh tell me how many burritos he'd eaten that week. I had to try it out for myself. There was only one problem, I'd never had a burrito quite like this before.

In Western New York we grew up eating Mighty taco. There were few other options when it came to quick tacos. Their menu consisted of soft and hard tacos, filled with beef, cheese, sour cream and "Mighty sauce." Whatever that was.


During my college years, at UB in WNY, a burrito place opened up boasting burritos the size of your head. Being of the female persuasion, that didn't really appeal to me. My guy friends were happy to go there and eat six pounds of runny beans, poorly cooked meat and scorched cheese but I begged off and stayed home those nights.


With grad school came a broadening of my palate and the introduction of healthy burrito options. Bhavesh dragged us all to Chipotle, where he really did eat five burritos a week, and introduced us to what would become a weekly treat. Sometimes twice weekly when we had late exams and only time for one meal.


Chipotle has really spread across the country since my first visit back in 2003. Even Amherst, NY now boasts a location and they're always the last to get anything good! I have gone from solely eating soft tacos, to only getting the spiciest fajita burrito. After the advent of the online calorie counter my order swiftly switched to the chicken salad and these days I'll go back and forth between a salad and a bowl. I'm sure your own ordering process has changed through the years too.


I was more than happy to have Chipotle as the first restaurant on my war list. bf and I go there a few times a month and my coworkers regularly visit for lunch. I could definitely go for a burrito bowl or salad without the long drive! I decided to try and recreate my two go-to dishes for this challenge. Here's the verdict.


First, it took forever to prepare everything that I needed to make these two dishes. I made three salsas, salad dressing, chicken marinade. I prepped and chopped lettuce, tomatoes, untold numbers of jalapeƱo pepper and squeezed more limes than I can count. I actually ran out of limes and had to go back to the store for more. I really could have used a staff to help me prep everything. I planned on making this meal for dinner Monday, so I spent two hours on sunday afternoon doing all the prep work.


Next, dinner came together really quickly Monday night, though I nearly drove us out of our apartment. The marinade for the chicken smelled wonderful, but when the chicken came in contact with the grill pan - it was like I set off a pepper bomb. BF and I were both coughing because of the spiciness in air. Maybe grill your chicken outside, or you'll this the police have sent the seat team to your house.


Lastly, adobo seasoning is not the same as adobo sauce. I looked everywhere for a jar of adobo seasoning. I knew it existed because my grocery list app had it programmed into its memory. However, after six different grocery stores I had to give up. Maybe I need to locate a well stocked Hispanic grocery in my area? I wound up buying a jar or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fishing out he sauce I needed.


You can totally cheat on the prep work and buy your favorite mild salsa or salsa verde. I even shredded my own cheese mixture, which you could skip and buy a pre-shredded Mexican-style cheese blend. For the Chipotle flavor though, you can't skip marinating your chicken, making your own fresh corn salsa, tossing your rice with lime juice and blending up a batch of their salad dressing. At least make the salad dressing, after a bit of tweaking of some other recipes I found - it's almost like being there.

One year ago: Chocolate-Peppermint Marshmallows
Two years ago: Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Chipotle recipes - These have all been adapted from so many different "Copy-cat" recipes online. I changed them all a little to try and get as close as possible to the real thing. Be sure to go out and get yourself a bottle of green Tabasco sauce too, because it isn't complete without a dash of heat!

Salsa verde

4 tomatillos, husks removed
1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
2 Cubanelle peppers
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Juice from 1/2 lime

Turn on your oven broiler.  Place tomatillos, onion quarters, garlic cloves and peppers 4-5 inches below the broiler.  Broil for 5 minutes, turn the vegetable over and broil for another 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Peel the charred skin from the peppers, chop in half and remove the seeds.  Combine all of the ingredients except the salt in a food processor or blender.  Pulse to combine, leave the salsa a little chunky.  Give the salsa a taste, season with salt if you desire.  Transfer to an air-tight jar and keep in the fridge.


Mild tomato salsa

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the fridge.
Cheese blend

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
8 ounces Mild white cheddar cheese
Place cheese blocks in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.  This will make it easier to shred.  Shred and combine both cheeses.  So simple!

Chipotle brown rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
Juice from 1 lime
Juice for 1/2 lime
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Pour 1 cup brown rice into 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil then lower heat to low.  Let simmer for 40 minutes.  Once the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, add citrus juice and cilantro.  Toss to combine.
Fresh Corn salsa

2 cups corn kernals (fresh or frozen)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced small
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients and transfer to an air-tight container.  Store in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.

Chipotle Chicken marinade

1 ounce dried ancho chilies
3 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 red onion, quartered
1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable/olive)
4 chicken breasts

Add boiling water to dried ancho chilies and let hydrate for 2 hours or up to overnight.

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and transfer to a large bowl.  Poke chicken breasts with a fork and pierce all over.  Add chicken to the marinade and toss to coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight.

When ready to cook.  Remove chicken from the marinade and shake off excess bits of pepper.  Grill in a well-ventilated area!

Honey-Chipotle salad dressing


1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine first six ingredients in a blender.  Pulse to combine.  With blender running, slowly stream in olive oil.  Serve over any salad for a tangy and sweet take on your usual salad.
Yum, delicious.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Quiche

Don't worry, boyfriend and I are all good.  My new love?  It's Rock Climbing!

This new love goes back a few months now.  It all started in Alaska.  Boyfriend and I were docked in Skagway and it was his birthday.  To celebrate his big day, I got us a rock climbing/zip lining/rappelling excursion.  Nothing like making someone leap off of a high platform for their birthday. 

The rock climbing portion of the excursion was to take place on a vertical stone wall.  This was not one of those rock gym walls, with all the big and colorful grips.  We were going to be going straight up this 100-foot wall.  Nothing like jumping in head first when it comes to rock climbing.  Luckily we were being belayed by some pretty muscly college dudes.  (Here I am below!)


Climbing those cliffs was fun and exhilarating.  Both boyfriend and I wanted to stay there all day and climb the wall.

Shortly after Alaska we decided to go rock climbing in New Jersey.  We signed up for a belay class to become a certified belayer for each other.  Pressure was on to not drop each other on the ground.  We learned how to tie knots, properly clip in and catch a climber in a fall.  Then, we got to climb.


We've been back four times since our first class, passed our belay tests and started strengthening our climbing muscles.  Did you know you really use those little muscles in your wrists and forearms while climbing?  Also, don't do your nails just before deciding to go climbing.


Now we just have to buy our own shoes and harnesses and we'll look totally professional while climbing at the rock gym.  We'll look professional while on the ground at least, once we start climbing all bets are off.  We're still learning the actual art of rock climbing.  It's not a graceful effort right now!  At least it's a great workout!  And I haven't dropped boyfriend once yet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Pasta

I've made pasta at home a few times before.  I feel like it is a Fall/Winter activity.  This is because it usually takes a while to make and I don't want to spend my summer hours rolling out pasta dough.  I don't mind cozying up in the kitchen with my helper when the sun goes down before I even get home from work. 


That's right, I said I had a helper!  Making pasta at home tends to be a two person job.  To keep me from making a mess of the ravioli, Boyfriend made a special appearance in the kitchen this weekend to lend a hand.  He only whined about it for a second, then he floured up and dove right in. 


Boyfriends main job was to catch the pasta dough as it made its way through the pasta maker.  If you can rope someone into helping you make pasta, it will make your recipe much easier to prepare.


I'm a big fan of storebought pastas.  These days you can get plain, whole wheat, gluten free, tricolor, herb-infused, the choices are endless.  It also helps that pasta goes on sale for a dollar a box.  When a recipe calls for penne, angel hair or rotini, I'm reaching for the pantry, not the flour bin. 


Where I think the storebought pastas are lacking is in their filled pasta selection.  Sure, you can get cheese tortellini or four cheese ravioli, but unless you want to shell out big bucks for fancy pasta you should think about making your own at home.


For todays recipe I decided to go with a sun-dried tomato ravioli, infusing both the pasta and filling with tomato flavor.  Pasta dough is really easy to make.  All you have to do is pile your flour up, make a well in the center and add your wet ingredients.  Mix your wet ingredients with a fork and slowly start to incorporate the flour.  Once the dough starts to come together, you just knead it with your hands and form it into a disk.  Just like pie dough, you let it sit for a little while and let the flour hydrate.


Once your pasta dough is rested, you get out your flattening tool of choice.  You can use a rolling pin, which was my method of choice for the first few times I made pasta.  You need to have patience and keep rolling and rolling.  The pasta will spring back each time you roll it out, gradually getting flatter. 


After making pasta a few times, I decided to get a pasta maker.  It's heavy duty and clamps onto the countertop.  The pasta maker makes it much easier to roll out the pasta to an even thickness.  I find that the pasta dough springs back less when using a pasta maker.  My machine also came with a spaghetti and linguine cutter.  There are attachments that make thicker or thinner pasta, even a ravioli making attachment.


Boyfriend and I made the ravioli by hand after rolling out the pasta.  When it comes to ravioli, I've found that it's best to roll out the pasta to the thinnest option on the machine.  You'll be putting two pieces of pasta on top of each other and the last thing you want is to bite into a thick piece of pasta.


The best thing about homemade pasta is that it takes so little time to cook!  Once the pasta was done, dinner was ready in fifteen minutes.  The sauce took a while to cook down.



One Year Ago: Parmesan Chicken with Thyme Ghocchi
Two Years Ago: Roasted Red Pepper, Leek and Potato Soup

Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce
A Wilde Original

Be sure to prepare your pasta dough on a wooden surface or plastic cutting board.  Don't prepare the dough on a granite countertop because it will chill the dough too much and decrease the elasticity of the dough.

Pasta
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
pinch salt & pepper

Filling
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 egg yolks (set 2 egg whites aside)

Basil cream sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Pour flour into a mound on your chosen surface.  Make a well in the center of the dough.  Add eggs, tomato paste, salt and pepper to the well.  Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs with the tomato paste.  Begin to incorporate the flour into the eggs.  As the dough begins to form a shaggy mass, switch to using your hands.  Begin to knead the remaining flour into the dough, pressing with the heel of your hands.  Once all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, form it into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Set dough aside for 1 hour.

Prepare filling by mixing ingredients together in a small bowl.  Set egg whites in another small bowl.

Divide the past dough in half.  Using your desired method, roll out pasta until it is almost paper thin, mine was about 1/8-inch thick.

Flour your work surface and place one sheet of pasta dough on the counter.  Add teaspoons of filling about 1-2 inches apart.  Using a pastry brush, paint around the ricotta filling with the egg whites.  Lay the second sheet of dough on top of the first.  Press the top layer of pasta onto the lower layer, trying to remove any air bubbles from the ravioli.  Cut the ravioli apart using a knife, pizza cutter or pasta cutter.  Let finished pasta rest on a baking sheet dusted with flour for about 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  As the water comes to a boil, prepare the cream sauce.  Combine basil, white wine and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour contents of the blender into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add heavy cream and stir with a whisk.  The sauce will take about 15 minutes to reduce.  Don't be tempted to raise the heat to high, let it reduce slowly.  Once the sauce is close to your desired thickness, give it a taste.  Season with salt and pepper.

As the sauce is reducing, add ravioli to the boiling water.  Don't walk away, it won't take that long to cook the ravioli through.  Once the pasta floats to the top, it is done, this will take about 3-5 minutes.  Fish out pasta with a slotted spoon and set to drain in a colander.  Allow pasta to drain for 1 minute before serving.  Serve ravioli with basil cream sauce.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ramen Vegetable Soup

I knew it was going to happen, Fall has come and the sun has started to set early.  I came home last night as the sun was going down.  By the time my train made it to my stop the sun had completely gone and I was walking home under the streetlamps.  This means two things.  1. I'm going to have to break out my light box again soon to take after dark pictures of dinner.  2. It's time for more soup!


 I prepped this soup on Sunday and it was ready in no time for dinner.  I chopped all of the vegetables and stored them in a single container, this meant all I had to do last night was heat up the pot and toss the ingredients in.  Dinner was hot and ready in just 30 minutes. 


I hope Fall is treating you well.  Are the leaves changing in your town yet?  Have you broken out an extra layer to wear on your commute in the morning?  Maybe you've been indulging in buying sweaters?  Whatever you've been doing to ring in the season, be sure to stay warm and have some soup!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marinated Tomato Pasta with Gorgonzola

I'm finally back from our weeklong hiatus in the great white north.  No, not Canada.  Alaska!

Boyfriend and I spent a week among the seals, bears and whales, sailing the chilly Pacific on the Celebrity Infinity.  What can I say about Alaska?  It's just plain majestic.  We cruised by, hiked through and flew over some of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever seen. 


Towering mountains with blue glaciers clinging to their sides.


Green hills, peeking through an early morning layer of clouds.


Huge boulders, floating on a river of flowing blue water and ice.


Our trip through Alaska was also one of the most active vacations we've taken.  Thankfully we had a day at sea to recover from all the activities.

Hiking...


Rock Climbing...


White Water Rafting...


I'm a little tired still.  That's why I went with a simple pasta dish from my new Alaskan cookbook, even though this dish seems like the least Alaskan dish I could find.  No salmon to be found!

But here's a bear...


And here's the pasta!


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