Archive for July, 2018

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Double Mushroom Balsamic Pasta

July 31, 2018

Pasta is a wonderful quick meal choice. This dish is hearty thanks to the mushrooms and it gets amazing flavor from the balsamic vinegar. To enhance the mushrooms, I recommend using the truffle balsamic for the double mushroom flavor. This pasta goes great with a fresh crusty bread or a crisp green salad.

You will need:

  • 1 lb dried fettucine
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into quarters (6ths if larger mushrooms)
  • 1/3 c truffle balsamic vinegar (or regular if you can’t find truffled)
  • 1/4 c whipping cream
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fettucine 2 minutes shy of al dente, and save 1/2 cup of the cooking water. (The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter into the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet.
  4. Saute until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in the mushrooms and allow to saute until they start to brown, about another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the vinegar and let cook down for about 3 to 5 minutes, until reduced by half.
  7. Stir in the cream and Parmesan.
  8. Stir in the fettucine to coat with sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add some of the pasta water to reach the desired thickness, if needed.
  10. Season with fresh cracked pepper to taste.

20180710 Mushroom Fettucine

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Instant Pot Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs

July 23, 2018

Check out this Instant Pot recipe for an easy and flavorful entree. If you don’t want any spice, you can omit the sambal oelek…however give it a whirl! Sambal oelek is an Indonesian chile paste made from crushed raw red chiles, vinegar, and salt. Most grocery stores carry it in the international foods section.

20180710 Sweet Chicken Thighs 01

You will need:

  • 1/3 c honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 c tamari (or can substitute low salt soy sauce)
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-3 T sambal oelek (add based on your spice preference)
  • 2 T dried oregano
  • 4 T sesame seeds, divided
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 T sesame seed oil
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

Then you will…

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the honey with the garlic, tamari, ketchup, Worcestershire, sambal oelek, oregano, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, salt and pepper.
  2. Set your Instant Pot to saute and warm the sesame seed oil.
  3. Sear the chicken 3 minutes per side.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture on top of the chicken.
  5. Close your Instant Pot.
  6. Cook on manual (or pressure) for 10 minutes.
  7. Wait for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure.
  8. Shred the chicken and mix back into the sauce.
  9. Serve topped with the remaining sesame seeds and the scallions.
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Guava Puff Pastry Pockets

July 17, 2018

I first had pastelitos de guayaba (guava puff pastries) at a little market in San Antonio. Pastelitos are a popular Cuban dessert, and you often find them filled with sticky guava paste and sweet cream cheese. I made a variation without the cream cheese for a summer picnic this month. I loved how portable they were and how well they handled the summer heat. Another bonus: there are only two ingredients!

20180703 Guava Puffs 05

You will need:

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 1 package guava paste (you’ll need about 12 oz)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Roll out each piece of puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.
  3. Slice your guava paste and place on one sheet of the puff pastry. You want to space them to create twelve pockets of guava.
  4. Top with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Cut into the twelve pieces.
  5. Use a fork to press the edges together.
  6. Make three small slices in the top of each piece to vent.
  7. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before eating.

20180703 Guava Puffs 01

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Indian Spiced Meatballs

July 11, 2018

20180703 Indian Meatballs 06

We love Indian food and are lucky to live in an area with multiple great Indian restaurants. We want our kids to love Indian dishes as much as we do, so we’ve been playing around with a few recipes that bring our favorite flavors home. These meatballs were kid-approved. Add your favorite store-bought Indian simmering sauce mixed with some plain Greek yogurt to round out the dish.

20180703 Indian Meatballs 03

We made these with ground lamb, although you could substitute whatever ground protein you want. We also thought the flavor was even better the next day; try making them in advance for a quick meal during the week!

You will need:

  • 3/4 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 T garlic powder
  • 4 t garam masala
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 2 T olive oil

20180703 Indian Meatballs 04

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the panko and milk.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the onion with the ginger, garlic powder, garam masala, cumin, salt, pepper, and baby spinach until just mixed.
  3. Add in the panko-milk mixture, and blend until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach-spice mixture with the ground lamb.
  5. Form into three dozen meatballs.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line an edged baking sheet with nonstick foil
  7. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium high heat.
  8. Brown the meatballs, about 2 minutes on each side.
  9. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake 15-20 minutes until cooked through and not pink in the center.

20180703 Indian Meatballs 05

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Salty Oat (Chip) Cookies

July 5, 2018

There is a tea house and cafe near my office that has “salty oat” cookies. I think they are the perfect treat: comforting and not too sweet. They are delicious with tea, coffee or cocoa. I set out recreate them, and this dough is awesome both with semisweet chocolate chip and without them. The last time I made them, I made half into cookie bars and used the other half of the dough to make frozen dough balls. Then I could pop a few cookies in the oven whenever we needed a quick treat!

20180608 Salty Oat Cookies 01

You will need:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • Optional: 1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if making cookies. Line a 9×9 baking pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick spray if making cookie bars.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Mix in the eggs until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix in the flour.
  6. Mix in the oats (and chips if using) until just combined.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of the dough for cookies or spread half of the batter in the baking pan for bars.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes for cookies, until turning golden and set around the edges.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes for bars, until golden and set in the middle.

20180608 Salty Oat Cookies 03

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