Posts Tagged ‘basil’

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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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Sundried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

October 2, 2015

Sundried tomatoes are delicious. This pasta dish combines sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and chicken with a mix of cheeses.

You will need:

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz sundried tomatoes in oil, drained with 2 T of the oil reserved and tomatoes chopped
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c light cream
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1/2 c reserved cooked pasta water

20150731 Sundried Tomato Pasta 02

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the box, removing from the water 1 minute early.
  2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until the juices cook off.
  3. Add the garlic, sundried tomatoes, sundried tomato oil, and the chicken.
  4. Mix in the salt, paprika, basil and red pepper flakes.
  5. Saute until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
  6. Add the cheeses and the cream. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer. The cheese should melt into the sauce.
  8. Mix in the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as needed.
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Salisbury Meatballs and Gravy

September 27, 2015

This a savory twist to meatballs that is perfect for a quick family dinner. We served it on top of mashed potatoes and along with roasted carrots.

You will need:

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c + 1 T ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 c Dijon mustard
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 3 t dried parsley, divided
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 2 T cornstarch

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with the breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, mustard, 1/2 of the onion, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of the parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder, and basil.
  3. Form the mixture into inch-sized meatballs.
  4. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the meatballs (in batches if needed). Brown on all sides until cooked through.
  6. Remove the meatballs and transfer them to a baking dish in the warmed oven. Cover the dish.
  7. In the skillet, melt the butter.
  8. Add the remaining onion and saute until they are softened and starting to brown.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the beef stock and cornstarch.
  10. Stir the stock mixture into the skillet.
  11. Mix in the remaining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and parsley.
  12. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the sauce starts to the thicken.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve hot.

20150813 Salisbury Meatballs 03

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Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs

July 23, 2015

The other night I brought dinner to a friend’s house just because it seemed liked a fun way to spend the night. My friend has two small children, so whatever I made needed to be kid-friendly. These turkey-zucchini meatballs were the right choice, and a great way to sneak veggies into a family meal.

You will need:

  • 1 c shredded zucchini, excess water squeezed out
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t ground basil
  • 1 t ground oregano
  • 1 t ground parsley
  • 1/2 t ground garlic
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lb ground turkey

20150623 Turkey Meatballs 03

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the zucchini with the eggs and spices.
  3. Mix in the bread crumbs and the turkey.
  4. Form the mixture into meatballs (about 1-2 inches in diameter; should make roughly 18 meatballs) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 15-18 minutes until cooked through.
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Gorgonzola Blush Pasta

April 4, 2015

D and I like stinky cheeses. This pasta sauce takes advantage of crumbly Gorgonzola, while the tomatoes and other ingredients mellow out the cheese. We used a spinach linguine with it, and we loved it! If you wanted to make this a vegetarian entree, you can omit the pancetta and saute the shallots and mushrooms in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

You will need:

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked to al dente and reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • 4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14.5 oz (1 can) diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 c light cream
  • 2/3 c crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1 c fresh basil, thinly sliced

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, start to brown the pancetta over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallot and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are starting to turn golden.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes with their juices and the garlic until broken down.
  5. Add to the skillet along with the salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Stir in the light cream and bring to a simmer.
  8. Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.
  9. Mix in the half cup of the pasta cooking water.
  10. Mix in the Gorgonzola and stir until melted into the sauce.
  11. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
  12. Allow to simmer another 2-3 minutes.
  13. Stir in the basil and serve hot!

20150304 Gorgonzola Blush 02

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Parmesan Herb Baked Zucchini Spears

January 4, 2015

This simple side dish is quick to pull together. Get creative by using whatever cheese or herbs you have handy; the different flavor combinations will make this feel new each time!

You will need:

  • 4 zucchini, quartered with each spear cut into two shorter halves
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t cracked pepper
  • 1/2 t paprika

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread the zucchini in the baking dish and toss with the olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cheese and herbs.
  4. Sprinkle on top of the zucchini.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until roasted and golden.

20141226 Baked Zucchini

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Basil Cashew Pesto

July 1, 2014

D and I have a cute little basil plant on our deck. We used some of its fresh basil along with some cashews to make a pesto sauce the other night. We added some light cream and fresh pasta to round out the dish. It was a wonderful dinner! We liked the creaminess you get by adding cashews to the pesto plus the lightness from the lemon.

The pesto will keep for about 2 days in the fridge; I recommend topping with plastic wrap to keep its bright green color. You can also freeze it using ice cube trays and then put the pesto cubes in a ziptop plastic bag for up to 6 months.

You will need:

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 t salt, scant
  • 5 c fresh basil
  • 1 c unsalted and roasted cashews
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 c Romano cheese, grated (or could substitute Parmesan)
  • 1 c olive oil
  • Pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Add the garlic and salt to a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground.
  2. Rinse the basil and add (still wet) to the food processor.
  3. Add the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice and cheese to the food processor.
  4. Blend until well mixed.
  5. With the processor on, slowly add the olive oil until mixed together to form the pesto. You can add extra olive oil to thin the sauce as needed.
  6. Add a little pepper to taste.

20140525 Basil Cashew Pesto

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