Friday, September 15, 2017

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef is one of my favorites to order when I go out. I love the tenderness of the beef and the flavor of the sauce.   I found a tasty slow cooker recipe that recreates this dish beautifully and with little effort.

You start by slicing some flank steak into thin slices and coat it with cornstarch.  In a slow cooker you place some soy sauce, water, brown sugar, carrots, and garlic.  Add the meat, stir, cover and cook for 5 hours on low.  Before serving, stir the beef and serve over rice.  Top with some green onion slices if desired.

You and your family are in for delicious dinner that was so easy to prepare.   Enjoy.









Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
From The Recipe Critic
INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pounds Flank Steak
¼ cups cornstarch
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoons mince Garlic, Cloves
¾ cups Soy Sauce
¾ cups Water
¾ cups Brown Sugar
1 cup grated Carrots
green onions, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut flank steak into thin strips. In a zip lock bag add flank steak pieces and cornstarch. Shake to coat.
2. Add olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar and carrots to slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add coated flank steak and stir again until coated in the sauce.

3. Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender. Can serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Serves 4-6


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

20 Minute One Pan Shrimp and Orzo Dinner

Need something quick and easy for dinner that tastes delicious?  Look no further than this post. This recipe I found on the  Laughing Spatula blog is perfect for those days when you do not want to to spend or have a lot of time to spend on dinner.  This dinner is ready in 20 minutes and the clean up is so easy.  One pan to clean up - a big plus in my mind.

As I mentioned earlier, everything is cooked in one pan.  You start by heating up some oil and butter and adding the onions, garlic and pasta.  Cook until the onions are tender and the pasta is slightly golden.  Next stir in the chicken broth, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.  Next you add the shrimp and some lemon juice, cover and cook until the shrimp are cooked.  Remove the lid, sprinkle with  some Parmesan cheese and serve. 

The pasta had a wonderful flavor and the shrimp were tender and flavorful.  The dish had a nice refreshing flavor from the lemon juice.  This meal was a family favorite. It is  in my file of recipes to make again and again and again.



20 Minute One Pan Shrimp and Orzo Dinner
From Laughing Spatula Modified Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 pound medium shrimp - thawed if frozen
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 fresh lemon cut in half - divided
Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat large skillet on medium high heat.
2. Add butter and olive oil.  Heat until butter is melted.
3. Add onion, garlic and orzo to the skillet.
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and orzo is slightly toasted.
5. Add chicken broth and parsley flakes.  Stir.
6. Reduce heat to medium.   Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is soft and just a small amount of liquid remains in the pan.
7. Toss in the shrimp and the juice from one of the lemon halves.  Stir.
8.  Cover and cook for an additional  5-6 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
9. Cut the remaining lemon half into slices.  Garnish the Shrimp and Pasta with the lemon slices and grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6



Friday, September 8, 2017

Southwestern Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese.  That all time favorite of sandwiches.  You cannot get much better than a Grilled Cheese sandwich, in my opinion.  You can make the traditional grilled cheese sandwich or you can jazz it up a bit.  That is just what I did with this delicious Southwestern Grilled Cheese.  I started with the traditional grilled cheese  added some green chile - a New Mexico favorite and slipped in a fried egg.   Life doesn't get any better.  Every bite was simply delicious.



Southwestern Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
2 slices sandwich bread
Butter
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 roasted green chile - peeled
1 fried egg

Directions:
1. Spread butter on one side of both slices of bread.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
3. Place one slice of bread in the skillet buttered side down.  Place a slice of cheese on the slice of bread, followed  by the fried egg, green chile, another slice of cheese.  Top with the other slice of bread buttered side up.
4. Cook until the bread is a golden brown in color.  Turn the sandwich and grill the other side until golden brown.   Serve.

Serves 1




Monday, August 28, 2017

Blistered Shishito Peppers

I went to one of my favorite Growers Market and bought some Shishito Peppers this past weekend.  I love these delicious little peppers.  Not spicy but they have a little sweetness to them.  They are so easy to prepare and taste fantastic. I usually toss them with some oil and salt, cook them in a frying pan.  When they are done I sprinkle them with some more salt.  I cook them until they are slightly charred and then serve  immediately.  Pick them up by the stem and enjoy.  Everything on the pepper is edible except the stem.


Blistered Shishito Peppers
Ingredients:

1 pound Shishito Peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Wash and pat dry Shishito Peppers.  Place in a large bowl and set aside  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Toss the Shishito Peppers with the oil.   Sprinkle with salt and toss.  When the skillet is hot place the peppers in the skillet.





3. Cook the peppers until lightly charred tossing frequently.  Once peppers are cooked remove from heat.  Sprinkle with a little more salt - if desired and serve.






Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spicy Ginger Cucumbers

I have been busy picking the cucumbers in the garden.    They have gone wild which is wonderful.  I love the taste of garden fresh cucumbers.  Cucumbers are so versatile in cooking.  You can use them in a salad, make a cucumber salad, pickle them, use them in a sandwich, they add great refreshment to water,  just to name a few.

With the cucumbers I picked this morning, I made Spicy Ginger Cucumbers -  a very easy salad to make.  I start off with a large English cucumber, or  2  regular cucumbers.  If the seeds are large, I remove them otherwise I just slice up the cucumbers into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch chunks.  I place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with some salt.  I place the colander over a bowl, and cover the cucumbers with some plastic wrap.  I refrigerate for one hour and give the cucumbers a toss every now and then.  Once the cucumbers are ready, I pat them dry with a paper towel and toss them in a dressing of Rice Vinegar, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of sugar, a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, some Mirin, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Once the cucumbers are well tossed, I cover and place them in the fridge until I am ready to serve them.

They taste wonderful -  crunchiness, with a slightly sweet and spicy gingery flavor.  I love them - one of my favorite ways to enjoy garden fresh cucumbers.



Spicy Ginger Cucumbers
Ingredients:

1 English cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Mirin
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
1.  Wash and peel the cucumber.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise.  If the seeds are large remove them with a spoon.  Cut each of the halves in half lengthwise and cut the cucumber into 1- 1 1/2 inch chunks.
2. Place the cucumbers in a colander.  Set the colander over a large bowl.  Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt.  Cover the cucumbers and place in the fridge for 1 hour.  Toss the cucumbers every 20 minutes.
3. Pour the rice vinegar in a small mixing bowl.  Add the ginger, Mirin, black pepper, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir until well mixed.
4. Remove the cucumbers from the fridge.   Path the cucumbers dry with a paper towel.   Place in a medium bowl and toss with the rice vinegar mixture.
5. Cover and place back in the fridge.   Chill for 2-4 hours.  Before serving toss the cucumbers.

Serves 4-5



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Canning Peaches

I have been busy canning peaches this past week.  Usually I just make some jams and jellies.  I decided to mix things up a bit this summer.    This is one of my first adventures into canning fruit.  I found a terrific and very informative website.  It gave me step by step instructions on preparing the fruit, the equipment needed, and canning time - water bath.

The canning process wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought.  In fact, I enjoyed it.  It was kinda of satisfying preserving summer's produce to enjoy in the winter,   My next adventure in canning is going to be Crushed Tomatoes.

Here is the link to the website I used for canning peaches.  They have canning tips for various produce.  Pick Your Own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

 I love Mac and Cheese.  A creamy cheesy dish that is very comforting and satisfying.  What could make it better?  Adding some green chile to it.   It gives this traditional dish a nice spiciness but not a hot spiciness. Coming from New Mexico we like green chile in just about everything.

In this recipe a creamy sharp cheddar cheese sauce is spiced up a notch with some hot sauce - my favorite is Cholula.  Add some Worcestershire sauce and you have a very flavorful sauce that will coat your macaroni and green chile.  All ingredients are then mixed together and poured into a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Let the mac and cheese cool about 20 minutes before serving.   A traditional comfort food dish with some added zing.  A very tasty and satisfying meal.


Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 (4-ounce) cans green chile, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.   Cook until mixture bubbles.
3. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream to the mixture. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently.  Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly add in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese. Whisk until  the cheese has melted then add some more cheese.  Next whisk in the cream cheese until melted.
5. Stir  in the hot sauce and the Worcestershire sauce.
6. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, and green chile.   Stir until the macaroni  and green chile are  well coated.
7. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour in the mac and cheese into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the macaroni.
8. Place the mac and cheese in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.   Serve


Makes 8 servings







Thursday, August 3, 2017

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca  pudding is one of those desserts I make  that brings back fond memories.  My mother used to make Tapioca for dessert when I was growing up.  I loved it.  Simple but delicious.      I used to dread making the pearl tapioca because of the time involved.   Not any more.  The Instant Pot came to the rescue.

The Tapioca pearls are cooked in the Instant Pot for a few minutes.  Release the steam, stir  in the milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Mix well and bring to a boil.   Let the Tapioca cool.  Your Tapioca Pudding is ready to serve.  The result is a rich and tasty pudding that will be enjoyed by all.

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup Reese’s small-pearl tapioca*
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. In Instant Pot cooking pot, mix together tapioca and water.  Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure with a quick pressure release.
2. Whisk sugar and salt into tapioca in pressure cooking pot.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with milk. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into pressure cooking pot. Select sauté and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker and remove pressure cooking pot. Stir in vanilla.
4. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (Pudding will thicken as it cools. ) Pour into serving dishes and chill. Optional: Served garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

*Do not use minute tapioca. Use a small pearl tapioca that has package directions that instruct you to do an overnight soak, such as Reese’s Small Pearl Tapioca. If the package directions don’t recommend an overnight soak, you may need to reduce the cook time on this recipe.

 Serves 4









Friday, July 28, 2017

Fish Stew

The other night for dinner, I made a wonderful Fish Stew.  After having it for dinner, I wondered why I never made this dish more  often.  It was easy to make and tasted wonderful.   The broth was very tasty and it had just the right amount of halibut, clams, mussels, and shrimp.  The recipe was from Bobby Flay and I modified it ever so slightly.  I used crushed tomatoes instead of diced - the family doesn't like chunks  of tomatoes,  I reduced the number of clams and added some mussels to the dish, and finally instead of chicken broth, I used vegetable broth and instead of snapper I used halibut.

As I mentioned earlier, this dish was delicious and enjoyed by the family.  I also served a nice French Baguette  so we could get all of the delicious broth.

Fish Stew
From Bobby Flay in Food and Wine Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen
INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups vegetable
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
1 dozen fresh mussels, debarred
3/4 pound skinless halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
French Baguette

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, clam juice, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.



2. Add the clams and mussels, cover and cook just until most of them open, about 5 minutes. Add the halibut  and shrimp, cover and simmer until they are cooked through and the remaining clams and mussels have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to 4 bowls. Add the butter and parsley and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, swirling the pan. Spoon the broth over the seafood and serve with the French Baguette.

Makes 4 servings



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Iced Tea

Iced Tea is one of my favorites during the summer.  So cool, refreshing, and great tasting.  In this recipe, the refreshing flavors of mint, orange and lemon are combined to make one of the best tasting teas I have had in a long time.

Brew some tea and make a simple syrup.  To the syrup add some fresh mint sprigs.  In a large pitcher add some orange juice, lemon juice, water, tea, and the syrup - mint sprigs removed.  Stir and chill.  Serve over ice and you will enjoy a very tasty and refreshing summer beverage.



Summer Iced Tea

Ingredients:
4 black tea bags
8 cups water - divided
1 cup sugar
3 mint sprigs
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:
1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  In 2 cups of boiling water brew the tea bags for about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
In the remaining 2 cups of water add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let set for 20 minutes.
2. In a large pitcher add the remaining 4 cup of water, orange juice and lemon juice.  Remove the mint sprigs from the simple syrup and pour into the pitcher along with the brewed tea.  Stir well and chill for about 2 hours.
3.  Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig if desired.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding is a wonderful comfort dessert.  A rich pudding made with milk, rice, raisins, vanilla extract and some cinnamon.   This recipe made in the Instant Pot is truly one of the best recipes for Rice Pudding I have made.  The rice is cooked perfectly, the pudding is not too runny, and has wonderful vanilla flavor.  I did not put any cinnamon in the pudding.  I let individuals sprinkle it on top of the pudding after I served it to their taste.

This is a easy tasty recipe to serve.


Instant Pot Rice Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
Ground cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine rice, sugar, salt, and milk in Instant Pot. Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, cover and lock lid in place.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select Low Pressure and set timer for 16 minutes.
2. While rice is cooking, whisk eggs with half and half and vanilla.
3. When beeps sound, turn off pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and then use a quick pressure release. Turn valve to venting setting. Carefully remove the lid. Stir the rice in pot.
4. Stir the egg mixture in to the pot. Select Saute and cook uncovered until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker. Stir in raisins.
5. Serve immediately, or put into serving dishes and chill. When serving serve with some ground cinnamon.  Note:  The pudding thickens as it cools.



Serves 8

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Another great meal in my Instant Pot.  Tonight I made Chicken and Dumplings.  A classic and very satisfying comfort meal that is ready in minutes.

Start by sautéing some chicken  with some herbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot and manually set time for 5 minutes.  Be sure the Instant Pot valve is on sealing.  Once the chicken was cooked, I let it  rest for about 5 minutes before I released the pressure.  I ladled into bowls and served.

A  tasty meal that was super  easy and quick to prepare.

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
From Southern Family Fun

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 tube (16oz) refrigerated biscuits
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

1.Flatten each biscuit to about 1/8" thickness. Use a knife to cut into 1/2" strips.
Place 1 teaspoon olive oil, chicken, oregano, onion powder, basil, garlic, salt and pepper into the instant pot and mix to coat.
2.Turn instant pot to sautee and cook chicken (with the lid off) until brown on all sides, stirring frequently.
When finished, shut off instant pot by pressing cancel.
3. Add chicken broth, water, carrots and peas to instant pot and mix well.
Stir in biscuits.
4. Seal lid of instant pot and close the pressure knob.
Set instant pot to manual for 5 minutes.
It may take 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and then you will see the count down of time from 5 minutes.
5.Once cooking cycle is finished, press cancel to turn off the unit and quick release steam/pressure.
Spoon chicken and dumplings into bowls and serve.

Serves 6



Monday, June 26, 2017

Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

A refreshing salad for those host summer days.  Juicy, sweet peaches and nectarines  tossed in syrup flavored with rosemary and lavender.   Add some pecans and you have a perfect dish you can serve as a summer salad or dessert.


Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
3 ripe white or yellow peaches, sliced
3 ripe white or yellow nectarines, sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves

Directions:
1. Place the honey, water, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of kosher salt  in a small saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and swirl until sugar is dissolved.
2.  Remove saucepan from heat. Add rosemary and lavender buds.  Stir and let syrup cool. Once cool remove the sprig of rosemary.
3. Toss peaches, nectarine, and pecans with the syrup in a large bowl.  Serve.

Makes 4-6 servings





Friday, June 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

I found this fantastic recipe in the latest edition of Cook's Country June/July 2017.   Ropa Vieja  is  Cuba's national dish.   The legend for this dish is a man too poor to afford meat for his family stirred some old clothes  ("ropa vieja" in Spanish) into a pot of broth. He prayed over the pot and later ladled out a rich stew of beef and vegetables.

This tasty dish comes together very nicely in a slow cooker.  Start by cooking some red  bell peppers and onions in a skillet until soft.  Then you push the veggies aside and add a mixture of tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.  You then add some white wine to the mixture.  Once the wine has evaporated pour the sauce into the slow cooker.  Add some soy sauce and bay leaves.  Next nestle the flank steak into the veggies.  Cook on low for about 6-7 hours.  When the meat is done, shred the meat, return to the slow cooker and add some sliced olives and vinegar.  Stir  - season with salt and pepper if needed and serve over rice.

Your family will have a very tasty and satisfying meal that was easy to prepare.


Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
From Cook's Country Magazine

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, halved and sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves,minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut crosswise against grain into 4 equal pieces
3/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Cooked rice

Directions:
1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onions and bell peppers and cook, covered, until softened and spotty brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Push vegetables to sides of skillet.  Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to enter and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir vegetables into tomato paste mixture.  Add wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetable mixture, soy sauce, and bay leaves to slow cooker.  Season steak with salt and pepper and nestle into vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook until meat is very tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.






3. Transfer steak to cutting board.  Discard bay leaves.  Using 2 forks, shred steak into bite-size pieces, then return it to slow cooker.  Stir in olives and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked rice.

Serves 4 to 6





Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pancakes

Pancakes are a wonderful meal to prepare anytime.  They are easy and you can add blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, granola -  whatever you feel to make them a personal favorite.  I usually make a large quantity and freeze them so you can just pop them into the microwave when you need a quick breakfast or a pick-me-up.

There are so many wonderful recipes out there but my personal favorite is the one I found from the NY Times Cooking.  It is your basic recipe of flour, salt, eggs, milk, butter, and baking powder.   I like it because you can add whatever flavors you wish.



Pancakes
NYT Cooking

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
2 eggs
1 ½ to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted  butter for cooking, or use neutral oil

PREPARATION
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Beat eggs into 1 1/2 cups milk, then stir in 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter, if using it. Gently stir this mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour; don't worry about a few lumps. If batter seems thick, add a little more milk.
Place a teaspoon or 2 of butter or oil on griddle or skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle batter onto griddle or skillet, making pancakes of any size you like. Adjust heat as necessary; usually, first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown, after 2 to 4 minutes.
Cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes.






Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pasta Primavera

I have made this dish for years.  Fresh veggies and pasta tossed with chicken broth, butter and cheese.  A delicious and light meal that is  perfect for hot summer days.

I found this recipe in a favorite Italian Cookbook - Italian Family Cooking Like Mama Used to Make by Anne Casale.  A great cookbook loaded with lots of fantastic and easy to follow recipes.


Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 pound zucchini
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound gemelli (twists)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chicken broth, heated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano    cheese
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese for serving

Directions:

1. Wash asparagus several times in lukewarm water to remove sand.  Refresh in cold water, drain well in a strainer and blot dry with paper towel.  Slice off tough ends.  If asparagus are thin they will not have to be peeled; if larger, peel lower portion with a vegetable peeler.  Slice diagonally into 1-inch lengths and place tips in a separate bowl.
2. Scrub zucchini and blot dry with paper towel.  Trim both ends and cut into 2-inch lengths.  Slice each piece into 1/2-inch strips.
3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until haze forms, then add 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in garlic and saute until lightly golden; discard with a slotted spoon.  Add scallions and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.  Add the bottoms of the asparagus and cook until barely tender when tested with a fork, about 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring constantly with spoon until tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in asparagus tips, l teaspoon salt and pepper; continue stirring and cook until tips are barely tender when tested with fork, about 2 minutes (do not over cook tips or they will fall apart when tossed with pasta).
4. While you are cooking vegetables, cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt until al dente.  Drain pasta in a colander, transfer to a bowl containing 1 tablespoon softened butter and toss quickly.
5. Mix half of the vegetables, heated broth and Parmigiana cheese with pasta; toss well.  Spoon remaining vegetable mixture on top and serve with additional fresh grated Parmigiana cheese.

Serves 4 - Main course
Serves 6 - First course




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Garlic Knots

I love Garlic Knots.  They are a great bread to serve with any meal or just to eat all by themselves.  You can make your own bread dough or use pizza dough.  Just cut the dough into strips, tie a knot and bake.  Top with  butter, garlic and  parsley.

I found this recipe on Simply Recipes.  I used the dough recipe and the knots turned out delicious.  Next time I am going to try using pizza dough.


Garlic Knots
From Simply Recipes




INGREDIENTS
If you are making your own dough:
3/4 cup warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 package (2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
1 3/4 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

If you are using store-bought pizza dough:
14-ounces pizza dough

Garlic-Butter Coating:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt

METHOD
If you are making your own dough, follow steps 1-3. If using store-bought pizza dough, let thaw to room temperature and proceed to step 4.
1 Proof the yeast: Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes, until it begins to froth a bit.
2 Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil, then the yeast-water mixture.
Mix this together to form a soft dough and knead for 5-10 minutes. (Can use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook for this step.)
3 Let the dough rise: Shape the dough into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil. Put it in a large bowl, top the bowl with plastic wrap and set it at room temperature to rise to double its size. This should take anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours.
4 Quarter the dough and flatten into rectangles: When the dough has doubled in size, cut it in half. Set out a large baking sheet and line it with a silicone pad or parchment paper. Take one half of the dough and cut it in half.
Working with one piece at a time, flatten into a rough rectangle about 5 inches long 1/2 inch thick.
5 Slice into strips and form knots: Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into strips of about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long. Cut these strips in half.
Take one piece and work it into a snake, then tie it in a knot. The dough will be sticky along the cut edges, so dust these with flour before you tie the knot.
Set each knot down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Remember that the dough will rise, so leave some space between each knot.
6 Brush with olive oil and let sit to rise: Once all the knots are tied, paint them with a little olive oil.
Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again until doubled in size, anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours or so. Toward the end of this rising period, preheat the oven to 400°.
7 Bake the knots: Uncover the knots and bake in the oven 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
8 Make garlic butter parsley glaze: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot and cook the garlic gently in it just long enough to take off that raw garlic edge, about 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the salt and parsley and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
9 Brush cooked knots with garlic parsley butter mixture: When the knots are done, take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Paint with the garlic-butter-parsley mixture and serve. These are best warm, but are good at room temperature, too.