Friday, April 1, 2011

But We Would Eat Kraft Dinner...

Baseball season starts this weekend, so Dave has practice most Thursday evenings. When he's not home for dinner, I experiment with whatever we have in the house, trying to use up the fresh produce on hand and make something that he may not like. Last night, it was a little weirder than usual, but the surprising result was quite yummy! Oddly enough, the taste and texture resembled baked macaroni and cheese. I'll do the best I can to write a recipe, since I wasn't paying much attention to quantities. 

Not Really Mac & Cheese

1/2 cup Pasta - I used Barilla Piccolini Mini Ziti
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Butter
1 thin slice of Prosciutto
2 tbsp chopped Red Onion
1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere
5 Asparagus spears
Handful of Green Beans or Haricots Verts

Bring a wide chef's pan or skillet of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to desired softness (for the Piccolini, 7 minutes). Drain pasta into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water. In the same pan, add olive oil and butter, and swirl to coat. Add prosciutto and red onion and cook over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, stirring often to keep from browning. Place beans, onions, prosciutto, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Some broth added to the mix will make this move more quickly. 

Bring another pan of salted water to boil for the veggies. (I started both pans of water at the same time, and just let this one boil while I did everything else.) Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, then add the green beans and cook 3-4 minutes more. Drain and rinse well with cool water. Slice the veggies into bite-sized pieces.

Add the bean mixture back to the pan over medium heat, stir in the remaining broth, and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in shredded Gruyere until it's all melted into the mixture. Stir in the pasta and veggies and heat through. I sprinkled each bowl with a shredded Asiago/Parmesan/Romano mix that we keep in the house because it makes everything better.

End to end, this only took about 20 minutes. I brought the leftovers for lunch today, and found that stirring in a tbsp of water before reheating was a must.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

...You're So Filthy

Last night's dinner was taken almost directly from The 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough & Molly Stevens. I really can't remember where this cookbook came from, but I've had it for quite some time, and never actually made any of the recipes out of it. It turns out that neither Dave nor I had ever eaten a sloppy joe before, so we really didn't know what to expect. In the end, we liked them quite a bit!

Dave loves Tater Tots, but I never make them, so this was a very rare treat.

The only changes made to the original recipe are:
olive oil instead of vegetable oil

1 lb of ground turkey instead of 1.3 lbs - my grocery store only sells prepackaged ground turkey from brands like Shadybrook Farms and Butterball, which are always exactly 1 lb.

28 oz can of ground tomatoes instead of crushed - Not much of a difference, but there is a difference! Crushed tomatoes are mixed with some amount of tomato paste, so the solids to liquid ratio is different. Somehow, I misread the recipe when I was making my shopping list and thought it said diced tomatoes, which I always have in the pantry. When I noticed my error, I figured it would just make a chunkier joe. As it turns out, I didn't actually have any diced tomatoes anyway! Luckily, I found a large can of ground tomatoes tucked in the back of the cabinet. They were given to me in a very cute gift basket that included pasta makings and a huge stockpot. Um, at my bridal shower in September of 2008...

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Mmmm. Love that smell!
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1 lb ground Turkey
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp ground Cumin
1 cup Dry Red Wine
1 28-oz can ground or crushed Tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Molasses
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
6 Kaiser or Portuguese Rolls
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or chef's pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and salt and mix well. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Mix in the cumin and cook for an additional 1 minute.

Add the red wine and reduce by 3/4. Pour in the tomatoes, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and vinegar, stir well, and cook for 2 more minutes to blend the flavors. 

To serve, toast the rolls, split them, and top with cheddar cheese. Spoon on the sloppy joe mixture and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Arriving at the tent city Saturday night, Avon Walk NYC 2009
I <3 nipple rings. Yup, I'm a tattooed, pierced freak. Most of my clothing is black, and some has skulls on it. I listen to music that is more about distortion and screaming than anything else. This is the 3rd year that I'm doing the Avon Walk in NYC, and I've raised over $9,000 combined. Because I love my nipple rings, and I never want to give them up.

Hear Me Squawk

Last night's dinner was super-yummy, and really quick. I had it on the table in 20 minutes or so. For a healthier version, check out the link to make your own taco seasoning. Adding some chopped peppers with the onion would be great, too.

Quick Chicken & Black Bean Tacos
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 lb Boneless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 can Rotell
1 can black beans
1 packet taco seasoning (we use Old El Paso) or Make Your Own
1/2 cup chicken broth

Serve with:
Tortillas - I had soft taco size flour tortillas, but whatever size you prefer, corn or flour.
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Sour cream

Heat oil in large saute or chef's pan until it shimmers (make sure to swirl oil to coat entire pan). Carefully trim the chicken breasts, place them in the pan, and cover. Cook for four minutes on each side, or until juices run clear (thicker breasts may take longer). Remove to cutting board and allow to cool. Shred with fork.

Add onion to the same pan and cook for four minutes, stirring often. Add Rotell and beans and cook for two more minutes. Add chicken, seasoning, and broth, and stir carefully and thoroughly to mix. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for at least five minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Serve with warm tortillas, sour cream, and cheese, and everyone can make their own tacos! :-) As always, the leftovers are great for lunch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

...With a Little Help From...

How about a nice list of my favorite blogs that I follow? Feel free to comment with yours...

Lots of yummy recipes. All over the map in terms of subject, source, and occasion. Updated often.

Excellent recipes for everyday, and for company. Fabulous pics to go with everything.

Lovely tales of knitting, crafts, food, and family.

A man's mission to give away $10 per day for an entire year.

Making it work on a shoestring budget.