Dressing Sauces & Condiments
There are two situations in which I will always struggle to stay awake: journal club/seminar and watching TV while lying down. For journal club or seminar, it has nothing to do with the quality of the material presented but rather the darkness of the room or auditorium. No matter how energized I am before entering, I without fail will bob my head at least once. Of course when it’s over I return to my alert, awake state. Bizarre.
Then there’s falling asleep watching TV. If you ever watch TV with me, do not let me turn horizontal because I will be out before you know what happened. Again, I do not necessarily have to be tired but it’s probability of occurring increases with the lateness of the day. For this reason I have a chaise lounge attached to my sectional couch allowing me to stretch out yet stay upright and awake! And yes I own a huge sectional and live alone. ::sprawl::
However, I will never fall asleep in front of food so let’s talk about these burgers. Chicken burgers sometimes can end up a bit dry, but with the addition of Greek yogurt that does not happen here. I was drawn to these not only because of their use of Greek yogurt, but also the rosemary. The last time I made a chicken burger with rosemary it blew my mind – fresh rosemary adds such great flavor!
One year ago: Whole Wheat Thin Crust Pizza Dough
CHICKEN BURGERS WITH GARLIC-ROSEMARY GREEK YOGURT
Makes 4 burgers
GARLIC-ROSEMARY GREEK YOGURT
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Garlic-rosemary Greek yogurt (full quantity from above)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb. ground chicken
4 toasted burger buns
Lettuce, tomato, mayo, etc. (for serving)
- Set a grill pan over medium to medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, rosemary, and garlic until well combined. Add the salt, pepper, and ground chicken and use your hands to gently mix together.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, and shape each into a 3/4-inch thick patty. Transfer to the grill pan, and cook the burgers for about 6 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 F.
- Serve on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, extra mayo or your favorite burger toppings!
Source: Adapted slightly from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.
FINALLY! I have been so curious about these Meyer lemons since last winter, but that curiosity came too late as all the stores near me no longer had any in stock. But sure enough while I was home for the holidays I found them at Trader Joe’s. Of course I then returned to Memphis and found them at Fresh Market, but that just means I can make lots of things with them now! Prepare yourself for a lot of Meyer lemon action.
First, what the heck are Meyer lemons? They are a citric fruit native to China, and are thought to be a cross between a common lemon and a mandarin orange. It is still yellow like a lemon, but round like an orange and is also sweeter than a regular lemon. Sounds good to me!
After digging through all of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures‘ Meyer lemon recipes, I decided to start out by making the Meyer lemon curd because I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had any kind of curd. What’s good about this recipe is that you can use regular lemons, but you will have to increase the sugar a bit. Then eat with a spoon, top on pancakes, or even on shortcakes as I will demonstrate for you tomorrow.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Cinnamon Raisin Apple Bars
Two years ago: Strawberry Fig Newtons
MEYER LEMON CURD
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 4 Meyer lemons*)
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
* You can make the recipe with regular lemons too, just increase the sugar to 3/4 cup
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs together until well combined. Add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the curd has thickened and registers 160 F on an instant read thermometer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a second heatproof bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and store in the refrigerator. The curd will keep for a week.
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Time for November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen, a blog run by a mother-daughter pair where they document the results from recipes they have collected over the years.
Pesto seems to make everything better. And with the ease at which it can be made, all kinds of variations have popped up. Since I had yet to try pesto made with arugula I decided to try it out, despite the copious amount of regular pesto I have stocked up in my freezer. The peppery bite of the arugula was a great change from traditional pesto and I especially loved the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. I am very glad that there is some leftover from this recipe to use later on.
Two years ago: Caramel Apple Pie
ARUGULA PESTO PASTA
4 cups arugula
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat linguini
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with a bit of cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil, set aside.
- To make the pesto, prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the arugula and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove (leaving the water boiling), shake off the excess water, then plunge the arugula into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.
- Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry. Roughly chop the arugula and put in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and walnuts. Blend for at least 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend. Then, add the cheese and pulse to combine. (The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.)
- Place the chicken in the dish and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. Put the pasta back into the pot, along with 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer) arugula pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and the cooking water. Stir well to combine. Serve with the cooked and sliced pesto chicken. Reserve the rest of the pesto for dipping bread or as a spread for sandwiches.
Source: K&K Test Kitchen
Now I KNOW you have leftovers from yesterday. Whether you have some from what you cooked, or from what people who cooked sent you home with to minimize the amount of leftovers they have to eat. Therefore, there is absolutely not reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this lazy Friday and make bagels with that leftover pumpkin puree you never figured out what to make with. Who needs Black Friday shopping? Not me! I’m a Cyber Monday kind of girl.
I’ve always longingly awaited the fall season when it comes to bagels, because that’s when Einstein Bros finally start making their pumpkin bagels and cream cheese schmear (I also really like their pumpkin schmear on a cinnamon-sugar bagel). So I finally decided it was time to make my own pumpkin bagels, since I already attacked the pumpkin cream cheese last fall.
But I couldn’t just make the same cream cheese spread again, I had to try this new one I saw that uses up even more leftovers – cranberry sauce! You mix the cranberry sauce into some cream cheese along with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts. Yea, it’s better than any flavor cream cheese spread I’ve ever encountered. And just like the originator, Jenn of Peas & Crayons, I want to smother it on everything in sight now.
One year ago: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
PUMPKIN BAGELS WITH CINNAMON-WALNUT CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
Makes 8 bagels and about 1 cup cream cheese spread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
4 Tbsp cranberry sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- For the bagels, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar. Whisk together slightly and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes or until slightly foamy.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix using a dough hook, then begin to slowly add the flour mixture. Mix for 5 minutes or until smooth, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add flour. You want to mix it until the dough is no longer sticky. After 5 minutes, if the dough is sticky, you can incorporate another 1-2 tablespoons of flour*.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in size, around 1 hour.
- Remove the dough and punch it down. Divide into equal pieces. A digital scale is very helpful, but if you don’t have one just eye out 8 even pieces of dough. Press your finger through the middle of the ball, and form into a bagel shape. They will rise some more, so if you want a hole, make it bigger than the size of a quarter. Repeat with the the rest of the dough. Place on a lightly greased surface and let rest until risen but not doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring 12 cups of water to a boil with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In batches, boil the bagels for around 20 to 30 seconds per side. Remove from water and place on prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before serving.
- While the bagels are baking make the cream cheese spread. In a smell bowl, combine the cream cheese with cranberry sauce, honey and cinnamon. Fold in chopped walnuts.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so many of you are probably not thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. Since I will be on the road during dinner time, sweet potato pie oat bars will be keeping my belly filled. But for the rest of you, I have a quick and easy dinner idea. It’s called trapanese pesto and is filled with all kinds of wonderful things, such as cherry tomatoes, almonds, basil and a pepperoncini. Who knew pesto could be so much fun? If you have some time to spare, this is great served with some oven-fried chicken and a spinach side salad.
What are you plans for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting dinner or bringing a side dish to someone else’s home? Or will you be enjoying the couch, away from any responsibility in the kitchen?
One year ago: Butter Pecan with Brandy Ice Cream
PENNE WITH TRAPANESE PESTO
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup almonds, lightly toasted
2 cloves garlic
12 basil leaves
1 pepperoncini, stem removed
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, pepperoncini, crushed red pepper, cheese, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to get it going. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream. Taste it. Add a little more salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
- Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss to combine. You don’t have to use all the pesto if you don’t want to. Store whatever is left in a sealed container in the fridge for a week.
- Serve with with more cheese and basil.
Source: Bev Cooks
I finally got my hands on a purple sweet potato!!! One day at lunch I noticed that Qing was eating something that had a beautiful purple color and I immediately knew what it was. You see, months earlier I had been searching for purple sweet potatoes after finding out they existed at all. Unfortunately my search produced no results. That was until Qing informed me that her friend grows them in his backyard! The very next day she came in and handed me the biggest sweet potato I have ever laid my eyes on. In other words, I am going to be making more than one recipe out of that baby.
This purple beauty came into my life at the perfect time too, because I recently discovered that November is “Better Nutrition Month”. Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are praised for being one of the best sources for beta-carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A). But what about purple sweet potatoes? Their purple color is caused by anthocyanins which have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. But no matter the color, sweet potatoes contribute greatly towards your daily intake of Vitamin A and antioxidants. Totally nutritious and delicious! Now let’s make some gnocchi out of it, because it’s my favorite thing to make out of potatoes.
Obviously, I do not expect you to find your own personal purple sweet potato grower but you can most definitely make these gnocchi with a regular sweet potato. I am not aware of any taste difference, but my color preference is most definitely biased. However, when trying to decide what kind of sauce to make with these gnocchi I was perplexed. At first I thought of a pancetta butter sauce, but felt like that was just an easy way out after the butter sauce I served with another sweet potato gnocchi recipe I posted. But then I though of the guiltless alfredo that I love so much and decided to change it up a bit with goat cheese instead of using cream cheese. Now I want to smother everything in this goat cheese alfredo sauce. It’s so stinking good! And not overpowering, for those of you that might not enjoy a strong goat cheese flavor.
PURPLE SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI WITH GUILTLESS GOAT CHEESE ALFREDO
Serves 4, with some extra sauce
1 lb purple sweet potatoes (about 2 cups cooked and mashed)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup flour
2 cups 2% milk
3 oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp light butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- For the Gnocchi: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender and fully cooked, between 40 to 55 minutes depending on size. Cool slightly.
- Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure the sweet potatoes measure about 2 cups.
- Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes back to the large bowl. Add the egg, salt, nutmed, and pepper and blend until well mixed. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out each ball into a 1/2-inch wide rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
- If desired, roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork using your thumb. Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large baking sheet lightly sprinkled with flour. Continue with the remaining gnocchi.*
- For the Alfredo: In a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt. Process until smooth and set aside.
- In a medium-large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should become thicker.
- Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan until melted and cover the pan immediately.
- Let stand for at least 10 minutes prior to using. It will continue to thicken to desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 3 batches and cook until tender but still firm to the bite; they will float when they are done. Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon and sprinkle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Serve (I served it with pecan crusted chicken).
*If you would like to save some of the gnocchi for later, after forming the gnocchi, freeze on a cookie sheet in a single layer then transfer to a sealed freezer bag. When you want to cook them, proceed with directions, although they may take a tiny bit longer to cook.
Source: Gnocchi adapted from Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter Sauce. Alfredo adapted from Guiltless Fettuccine Alfredo.
I am a minimalist when it comes to my guacamole. All I do is mash up two avocados, add some diced Roma tomatoes, then a little salt and a clove or two of minced garlic. And commence inhalation. So when I saw this recipe for a guacamole seasoning, I was a bit hesitant at first because I love my simple guacamole.
But now that I’ve tried it, I would love to make a big batch of this seasoning and store it for later use. Might be a good gift too (since we are becoming ever closer to that gift-giving time of year). I also tried this guacamole with the Trader Joe’s black bean quinoa chips which were fabulous themselves. First time trying those too, and in combination with the guacamole I just might’ve eaten the entire bowl by myself O:-).
One year ago: Breakfast Quesadillas
Makes about 1-1/2 tsp seasoning for 2 avocados-worth of guacamole
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried minced onion or onion powder
Pinch of cumin, to taste
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients. Store in an air-tight container if not using immediately.
- Too make guacamole, mash two avocados with the seasoning, then stir in 1 chopped Roma tomato. Add 1/4 tsp lime juice to prevent browning. Serve.
Source: Adapted from Peas and Crayons.
Have you ever heard of hazelnut praline paste? I know I didn’t until a recipe I wanted to make called for it. When I looked into buying some, it definitely was not a inexpensive item to purchase. So I sought out ways to make my own and sure enough found a recipe out there on the internet. It’s kind of like making your own Nutella but without the chocolate. Some of you may be saying “No chocolate? Why bother ?” – I say, why not? Although I am not a chocoholic (unless it is paired with peanut butter), I still think that those who are would enjoy this spread. Afterall, it’s hazelnut praline ground into a spread! I am not sure there is any way to say no to that. And actually, I ended up using it in combination with chocolate in a recipe which will be shared tomorrow.
One year ago: Pumpkin Danish
HAZELNUT PRALINE PASTE
Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups
2 cups raw, whole hazelnuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
- Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper, set aside.
- Toast two cups of hazelnuts at 325 degrees until the skins have darkened and the hazelnuts are giving off a wonderful toasty smell. Then wrap them in a dishtowel and let them steam for about 10 minutes (don’t skip this step!)
- After steaming, use the dishtowel to remove the hazelnut skins.
- When the hazelnuts are skinned, mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a heavy saucepan. After you’ve stirred the sugar and water, leave on medium high heat, and DON’T TOUCH. After about 10 minutes, it will reach a lovely golden brown in its darkest part, and that’s when you add the hazelnuts. Immediately pour the hazelnut pralines onto prepared baking sheet.
- To make the praline butter, break the caramel into pieces that will fit into your food processor. Start running your food processor, and add the pieces of broken caramel one or two at a time, and process until they’re ground. The ground mixture will look like graham cracker crumbs, but keep processing. It will start to get smooth, like thick peanut butter. At this point add a teaspoon of kosher salt, and keep processing. Start adding oil. Add a tablespoon at a time, and process until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
Source: Savour Fare
Once upon a time I made dark chocolate peanut butter banana cookies. Then once day I decided to take those same three characteristics and turn them into a peanut butter spread! Check out this recipe in my guest post on Erin’s Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts today!
DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA PEANUT BUTTER
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Today is most unfortunate because I must return to Memphis after a very eventful weekend. Does anyone want to have dinner ready for me upon my return? I would totally be okay with something simple such as this dish. You heard correct, this long titled meal is actually easy to make.
Oh and the flavors in this dish: lime, avocado, cayenne, cilantro and some creaminess brought to you by Greek yogurt. Amazing-ness. And it’s even gluten-free. Just looking out for all my friends out there .
By the way, Luke pictures from my visit are on their way tomorrow!
BLACKED CHICKEN WITH CILANTRO LIME QUINOA AND AVOCADO CREAM SAUCE
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 0% plain)
- Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.
- Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a medium pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.
- Add the chicken broth and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for10-15 minutes with the lid on, until all the broth has been absorbed.
- After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.
- Remove the warm quinoa from the heat. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the flesh from an avocado along with two tablespoons of Greek yogurt in a small bowl and mash together until until smooth.
- Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa with avocado sauce.
Source: Adapted slightly from Sarcastic Cooking.