Monday, March 29, 2010

Whole Wheat Pasta with Ground Turkey and Cilantro



My roommate and I order most of our groceries through FreshDirect.com - it works out pretty well because we can get fresh food without leaving the apartment. The not so great part is that we don't get to see exactly what we're buying when we get it. In one of our most recent orders, my roommate wanted to get ingredients for guacamole and somehow we ended up with a HUGE amount of cilantro. And when I say huge, I mean HUGE! I don't really like wasting food and I've never cooked with cilantro before, but I was determined to use (at least some of) it. I associate cilantro with Latin food, so I pooled some my knowledge of Latin food together to create this dish.

Ingredients:
- 1 lb of ground turkey
- cumin
- ground coriander
- salt
- pepper
- italian seasoning
- whole wheat spaghetti
- 4 garlic cloves (diced)
- 1/2 red onion (diced)
- 28oz can of diced tomatoes
- cilantro!

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet with some olive oil. Add the garlic and onion, and season with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Add in the tomatoes and season with the italian seasoning and cilantro. Toss in the pasta and check the seasoning. Serve with a few cilantro leaves on top as a garnish. (Ooooh...fancy!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gratin Potatoes


So I know that I've been slacking for a little while in my posts, but I haven't been slacking in my cooking!

I served these potatoes with the chicken from the previous post. It takes a little while to prep the dish with all the peeling and slicing and layering and such, but I think it's worth it in the end.

Ingredients:
- potatoes (cut into about 1/4 inch slices)
- butter
- salt
- pepper
- milk
- nutmeg
- parmesan cheese
- mozzarella cheese

Start with a buttered baking dish. In the pan, you want to layer potatoes, cheese, sprinkles of each of the seasonings and a little bit of butter here and there. Once it is filled, top with a final layer of cheese for a nice golden top and fill with milk about 3/4 of the way up the pan. (This is all very precise of course.) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes and voila!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rosemary's Baby...I Mean Chicken



Want to make some delicious chicken and not have to fuss over it? Then here's your solution.

Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary. Place a pat of butter atop each piece of meat and bake in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

How much simpler can you get?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mac 'n Cheese-Burger



Regular macaroni and cheese is great on its own. However, we all must admit to one simple fact - everything tastes better with meat added. (Well not exactly everything, but most things.) While we're at it, why not switch up the noodle? I think this calls for a pasta remix!

Ingredients:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 can of evaporated milk + the same amount of regular milk (I only had one can, so I needed to combine the two. You can use all of one type if you want - I don't think it really matters...)
- 1 box of gemelli pasta
- 12 oz of shredded cheese (I used 8 oz of monterey cheddar and 4 oz of plain cheddar based on what was in my refrigerator.)
- seasoned salt
- pepper
- garlic powder
- paprika
- 2 tbsp butter

Brown the ground beef in a skillet and season it with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Remove it from the pan when fully cooked, and be sure to drain the meat to remove the fat and grease. I used some paper towels for this task. While this is going on, heat the milk and melt in two-thirds (8 oz) of the allotted cheese in a sauce pan.

After the pasta is finish cooking (in salted water), drain and add the butter to let it melt on the hot noodles and season them with some pepper. Combine the noodles with the cheese sauce and ground beef. Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle it with paprika. This gives it a nice color and a cheesy crust on top. (Yum!)

Bake the dish in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, and be prepared to enjoy the fruits of your labor.




Where's the beef? It's in the macaroni.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Baked Potato Wedges



Sometimes I just want a simple side dish to go along with whatever it is I'm having as my main entree. Enter baked potato wedges. They're almost like french fries, but not. The best part is that they're easy as pie...or potatoes...to make!

Cut the potatoes into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and toss them in it to coat the wedges of goodness. Season with seasoned salt, pepper, and paprika. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and put them into a 400 degree oven. After 15 minutes, turn the oven up to 450 and finish cooking for another 15 minutes.

I hope your ketchup is ready...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hutch's Wings

Yeah...I couldn't really come up with a better name for them. They're fruity, tangy, slightly spicy, and drunk! (There's rum in the glaze.) I thought about keeping this recipe all to myself it's so good, but that really wouldn't be any fun.



Ingredients:
- chicken wings
- seasoned salt
- pepper
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- 1/2 cup of orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup of apple rum
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- the juice of 1 lemon

Season the chicken wings with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

In a saucepan, add the marmalade, rum, sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp of chili powder. Boil the glaze for about 10-15 minutes until it's thick and syrup. (You may not be able to tell the consistency of the glaze while it's on the flame because the heat will keep it loose.)

Toss the wings in the sauce and enjoy! Try not to eat the glaze by itself as tempted as you may be. I must admit that I may be slightly guilty of this...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hearty Spicy Tomato Soup



I was watching Giada on Food Network one day and she made this delicious looking soup. I decided to take her recipe, modify it slightly, and it was great! It's super simple and very delicious.

Ingredients:
- 1 lb of hot italian sausage
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 2 15.5 oz cans of cannellini beans
- 2 mugs of chicken broth
- 1 mug of uncooked orzo (or any small pasta)
- olive oil (a couple of tablespoons)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- salt (to taste)
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes

Brown the sausage in a large pot with olive oil. Add the tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth to the pot. Season with garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. Throw in the pasta and let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. You can vary the amount of spiciness by altering the amount of red pepper flakes that you add. Be sure to let it cool a little bit before serving so that you don't burn your tongue like I did.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Facing My Fears: Fried Eggs


So I've been reading Julie & Julia, and one of the commonalities I've discovered between myself and Julie Powell is a recent discovery of eggs. Growing up I would almost never eat them. They have a weird consistency that's almost a solid, but they're not quite there. When I would go to diners and such places for breakfast (side note: I LOVE diners), it became hard to escape the ovarian beast as it came along with almost every meal. At first I would pawn them off on unsuspecting strangers, but slowly I began to try stomaching them on my own. My solution: scrambled eaten with hash browns (another one of my favorites) and ketchup (I still eat my eggs with ketchup to this day). And now I can say that they can be quite tasty. The next step in my journey was the fried egg. (Dun...dun...dun!) I don't think I've eaten or even cooked a fried egg in the past decade (not that I can remember anyway). The yellow yolk oozing out of its gelatinous shell when pierced kind of creeps me out. Plus, they're just plain hard to make. Flipping an egg without breaking might be more difficult than curing cancer (not really of course...but close...kind of...). In the end, I fried two eggs - one more successfully than the other - and consumed them along with some toast and bacon for my brunch.

Scene: Some diner in the future.
Waiter/Waitress: "How would you like your eggs?"
Me: "Scrambled please."
Fini.

Pan-Seared Steak with Gravy and Beef & Pea Risotto

This was my absolute first time attempting to cook risotto and it turned out...decently. For one thing, I used regular long-grain rice, instead of the usual short- or medium-grain rice such as the standard aborrio. Secondly, I decided to use beef broth since I figured I was making it to go with steak, so I thought, "Bring on the beef!" (This is to say that I'm not sure if I will venture into the world of beef risotto in the near future as it didn't fit my mind's tongue of what risotto should taste like.) And the straw that broke the camel's back - I tried making it from memories of seeing it produced on various cooking shows. Afterward, I looked up a recipe online and found that I left out one of the beginning steps (coating the rice in some sort of fat, i.e. butter or oil). Let's just say I'll chalk this one up to experience, but it still tasted fine in the end.


Ingredients:
  • any steak of your choosing
  • montreal steak seasoning
  • worsterschire sauce (don't ask me to pronounce it...please)
  • canola oil
  • beef broth
  • flour
  • butter
  • 1 mug of rice
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
Season the steak with the montral steak seasoning (I bet you couldn't have guessed that!) and fry in the canola oil. For the gravy, add a pat of butter to the pan that you cooked the steak in along with about a tbsp of flour to make your roux. (I just realized the other day what I've been using the wrong roux in previous posts. Roux is the thickening agent for gravies, etc. versus rue as in regret. The more you know...and shooting star...) Allow the raw flour taste to cook out for a minute and then add about a cup or so of beef broth and a dash of worserschire sauce. Taste check for seasonings and then you're good to go.

The basic technique for making risotto is to slowly add some sort of hot liquid to a pot of rice until the rice becomes tender. Then add in some grated parmesan cheese and serve. I also added a couple of tablespoons of butter and during the cooking process and folded in some frozen peas at the end to let them warm through.