Saturday, March 29, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta

A few months ago, my husband and I went for a romantic weekend in Delaware.  Despite the cold weather, we were looking forward to walking on the beach, shopping, and enjoy dinner out.  However the first morning we woke up on our trip, we were both incredibly sick.  Despite being sick, we had a great time.  One of the places we went to, we tried this amazing roasted vegetable bruschetta topped with goat cheese.  Although we were both sick and had little piles of tissues in front of us, we both loved this dish.  So I spent some time trying to replicate it.  

Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta
30 min prep time
90 min cooking time
10 Servings

·       1 medium loaf of bread
·       4 oz of goat cheese (crumbled or chopped up)
·       2 zucchini
·       3 small tomatoes
·       ½ cup of chopped mushrooms
·       1 onion
·       2 cloves of garlic
·       3 Tablespoons of White Balsamic Vinaigrette
·       3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
·       1 Tablespoon dried basil
·       1 Tablespoon of Salt

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Grease a 13 by 9 in pan and set aside.
Chop up zucchini, onion, tomato, and garlic.  

Add to the pan and mix in the White Balsamic, Olive Oil, salt, and dried basil.

Roast Vegetables for 90 minutes, occasionally stirring it so it evenly cooks.
Thinly slice the loaf of bread.  Line the bread on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

When vegetable mixture is thoroughly cooked, pull out of oven and allow it to cool off.  (I used the refrigerator so it would cook quickly.)  When the vegetables are cool, scoop up enough to top each piece of bread.  Sprinkle goat cheese on top of each piece.  

This is a wonderful appetizer to serve for a crowd.  The veggies can be prepped a day ahead to save time. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chicken Fried Rice

I am a huge Benihana fan, but I don’t have a lot of time to go out during the week or the weekend.  So I began researching ways to make fried rice at home.  I attempted to make this an easy and healthy recipe to replicate.  It was incredibly tasty and with very few leftovers.

Chicken Fried Rice
15 min prep time
30 min cooking time
4 servings

·       1 cup uncooked rice
·       1 Tablespoon garlic powder
·       1 sweet onion
·       3-4 carrots
·       ½ cup peas ( I used frozen for convenience)
·       ½ cup corn
·        1 chicken breast
·       4 Tablespoons canola oil (divided)
·       2 large eggs
·       3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

I used a griddle, just because it saved me space and time.  But feel free to use a wok or just separate pans to fry everything.

Cook 1 cup of rice according to directions.  You can also prep this the day before to save time.  

Chop carrots and onions.  Steam carrots either on the stove in a small pot with water, or utilizing a small microwave veggie steamer.  (I use the veggie steamer, best gift ever!)

Coat the griddle with two Tablespoons of canola oil.  Cook chicken breast on one side and onions on other. Sprinkle Tablespoon of garlic powder over both the chicken and the onions.  The onions will take time to caramelize, allow them to cook on low and occasionally stir to cook evenly.  When chicken breast is cooked through, set aside to cool.  When it’s cool enough, shred the meat.  

Coat empty side of griddle with another Tablespoon of canola oil and begin to cook the rice on the griddle under low heat.  Scoop caramelized onions with spatula and mix into rice.  Add peas and carrots to rice mix.

On empty side of griddle, add last Tablespoon of canola oil and fry up both eggs.  Chop up the eggs as you scramble them.  When cooked, add to the rice and mix thoroughly.  Add Soy Sauce and cooked chicken to the rice, turn up heat to medium and cook for about five minutes consistently stirring mixture.  

           The rice should then be perfect to eat.  I like to serve it with some sautéed bok choy or sautéed veggies. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Simply Souffle

I love souffles but have not had the best luck in making them.  Sometimes they come out soft but tasteless.  Sometimes they've come out with a burned top and raw bottom.  Occasionally they have tasted like cardboard. 
Here is an example of a very sad attempt.

After numerous tries, I have finally found an awesome yet simple recipe to make a souffle. My goal with making souffles was finding one that didn't have a lot of ingredients and wasn't super involved.  In other words, a lazy souffle to satisfy my sweet tooth. 

Dark Chocolate Orange Souffles
10-15 minutes prep
15 minutes cooking
Will make 2 souffles, just double ingredients for 4. 
Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, divided.  Plus extra for dusting.
  • 1 teaspoon of orange oil (you can use a different flavored oil if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons of dark cocoa
  • butter to grease ramekins

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place a cookie sheet into the oven while it preheats.  Grease your ramekins and gently dust them with the powdered sugar.

Separate your eggs into two bowls, with the yolks in one and the egg whites in the other.  Mix in the cocoa, orange oil, and 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar in with the egg yolks.

In the second bowl begin to beat your egg whites.  Add the egg whites begin to turn white, slowly begin to add little by little the rest of the powdered sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Add a dollops of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  When it's a light brown color begin to slowly fold it into the egg white mixture. 

Pull out cookie sheet and place ramekins on top.  Fill both ramekins evenly with the mixture.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT open the oven to check on it while it's cooking.  It took me far too many ruined souffles before finding out that little tidbit.  The souffles will puff up beautifully when finished.  Check out how it looks through the oven door.  It should only taken 15 minutes to cook through.  Serve immediately with whipped cream or maybe some fresh fruit. 

These were INFREAKINGCREDIBLE and even my husband Tom, the guy who doesn't like sweets tried to eat both of them.  I'm looking forward to trying maybe a savory souffle in the future. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This time of year I love to experiment with winter vegetables, and since it's getting close to Saint Patty's Day, I thought I'd go with cabbage.  Cabbage is a wonderfully healthy veggie, but needs strong flavors to make a recipe work.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

·       1 pound of ground turkey
·       Cooked White Rice (I made about 1 cup uncooked rice, but you can make less)
·       1 Large Cabbage head ( About 12-13 leaves pulled off)
·       ½ of a red pepper, diced
·       1 large onion diced
·       2  medium carrots diced
·       1 egg
·       2 cups of Tomato Soup (featured earlier in the blog), divided
·       1 cup of water
·       1 teaspoon salt
·       1 teaspoon pepper
·       1 Tablespoon nutmeg
·       2 cloves of garlic
·       1 teaspoon cinnamon
·       1 Tablespoon olive oil

There are many ways to pre-treat cabbage before peeling the leaves off.  The way I used was to heat up water and pour over the leave for 5-10 minutes or until the leaves pull off easily.
In a sauté pan, heat up olive oil and add diced red pepper, carrots, and onion to brown.  When they are almost done browning (when the onions are translucent and the carrots soft), add the garlic to sauté it.  Let it cook for a few minutes

In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, raw ground turkey, egg and veggies.  Season the combination with the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix thoroughly. 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Pull of the cabbage leaves one by one.  Use the largest ones to cover the bottom of the pan, so the rolls wont burn.  

Grab a baking dish, cover the bottom/cabbage leaves with a cup of tomato soup and a cup of water.  
Gently rolls the layers of cabbage off, work carefully so you dont tear the leaves too much.  (But if you tear it, keep at it, itll still be tasty)
Youll need to think about how much mixture per cabbage leaves.  I think about 12 cabbage leaves with a half cup of the mixture per roll. 

Take each cabbage leaf and cut the vein out of the leaf.  Itll make it easier to roll.
Roll up the mixture in each cabbage leaf like a burrito.  Folding the leafs sides and roll tight.  Place each roll into a pan.  When finished top with the 2nd cup of tomato soup and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Cook at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.  

Serve with fresh veggies or a cup of the Tomato Soup.