Archive for March, 2016

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Spring Pasta Primavera

March 28, 2016

We’ve had a stream of warm weather, which seemed to cry out for a spring-inspired dinner. This easy pasta primavera was just the thing!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, shredded and divided
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb asparagus, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 c fresh peas
  • 1 lb wide pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/4 c chicken stock
  • 1 c milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese or creme fraiche

20160312 Primavera 01

Then you will…

  1. In a food processor, combine the bread crumbs with the lemon zest, half of the garlic, 1/3 (scant) of the onion), a few inches of the cheese, and the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse until well combined.
  3. In a small skillet, brown the crumb topping. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Add the asparagus to the boiling water. Allow to cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the peas to the boiling water. Allow to cook for 1 minutes.
  7. Drain and stop the cooking by placing the veggies in a cold water bath.
  8. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. (If you want to skip this step, use a slotted spoon to remove the veggies from the first pot).
  9. Cook the pasta according to the package, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of the recommended cooking time.
  10. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil.
  11. Add the remaining garlic and onion. Saute for 6-8 minutes, or until softened.
  12. Stir in the flour and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Whisk in the chicken stock and then the milk.
  14. Allow the sauce to thicken, whisking regularly for about 5 minutes.
  15. Whisk in the cream cheese until melted and well combined.
  16. Whisk in the shredded cheese until melted and smooth.
  17. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  18. Toss the pasta with the sauce until well coated. Remove from heat.
  19. Stir in the asparagus and peas.
  20. Serve the pasta topped with the toasted bread crumbs.
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Deep Dish Pizza

March 18, 2016

20160311 Deep Dish 01

Not everyone likes deep dish pizza, but if you have a taste for it, try this one out. It’s full of yummy crust, sauce and cheese plus whatever your favorite toppings are.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1 1/4 t yeast
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 c Parmesan, shredded
  • Any desired toppings (we used some sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions)

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and olive oil.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn until oiled on all sides.
  6. Cover with a warm damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, roughly 1 1/2 hours.
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the garlic and onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until they start to soften.
  9. Stir in red pepper flakes, basil and oregano. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  10. Stir in the crushed tomato. Allow to simmer and reduce by a third, roughly 20-25 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Preheat your oven to 475.
  13. Press the dough into a well seasoned skillet that is 10 to 12 inches wide. Press the dough 1 1/5 to 2 inches up the side.
  14. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and 3/4 c of the Parmesan on the dough.
  16. Add any toppings you want.
  17. Spread with sauce and top with remaining cheese.
  18. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough is golden and cheese is golden and bubbly.
  19. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving to friends and family.

20160311 Deep Dish 03

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

March 11, 2016

These are quick prep and a relatively short bake time. They are perfect warm with a little ice cream and caramel!

20160310 Espresso Bars 01

You will need:

  • 8 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T instant espresso powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and lightly grease.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter with the egg, vanilla, espresso powder and salt until well mixed and airy.
  3. Mix in the brown sugar until well combined.
  4. Mix in the flour and the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden and set in the middle.
  7. Allow to cool ten minutes in the pan. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
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