Posts Tagged ‘basil’
There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.
Two years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies
PEPPERONI PASTA BAKE
15 oz. part-skim ricotta
5 oz. plain Greek yogurt (I used o% Chobani)
1-1/4 cups chopped broccoli
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 cups marinara sauce, divided
28 (7 oz.) jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package drections
2 oz. mini turkey pepperoni slices
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta,broccoli, basil, and egg. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 cup marinara in prepared baking dish. Fill each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture and arrange in an even layer in dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara, then pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, remove foil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Top with additional basil and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, October 2012.
Happy Valentine’s Day!! What do you have planned today? I am going to the Brooks Museum with some friends for a visiting internet cat video film festival! It’s going to be absolutely ridiculous and I cannot wait. After all, I don’t need to do anything mushy today because I already celebrated Valentine’s Day over the past weekend when I was visiting my boyfriend. We actually made the ravioli I am sharing with you today!
I packed my ravioli press in my luggage, but unfortunately my stand mixer + pasta rolling attachments were unable to come with me. So the BF used his muscles to roll out this dough by hand with a rolling pin. Serious dedication. He even got creative and made a little heart ravioli for me out of the last pieces of dough (which you can make out on the top of the pile).
So stay at home tonight with your favorite person, and make this dish for/with them. Serve with some roasted brussels sprouts and a nice glass of wine. Oh and don’t forget dessert! How about an easy jumbo cookie stuffed with a 5 ounce heart-shaped Reese’s? Scroll down for that lovely treat.
In mom news, her MRA had to be postponed yesterday due to some minor things and as a result was not able to go home yesterday. But I talked to her and she sounds good although still tired. Best part is her vision has already started to improve!
One year ago: Raspberry Hugs Cheesecake Blossoms
Two years ago: Sweet Swirl Cookies
SUN-DRIED TOMATO RAVIOLI WITH BASIL CREAM SAUCE
1-3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch salt & pepper
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 egg yolks (set 2 egg whites aside)
BASIL CREAM SAUCE
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
- Pour flour into a mound on your chosen surface. Make a well in the center of the dough. Add eggs, tomato paste, olive oil, salt and pepper to the well. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs with the tomato paste. Begin to incorporate the flour into the eggs. As the dough begins to form a shaggy mass, switch to using your hands. Begin to knead the remaining flour into the dough, pressing with the heel of your hands. Once all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, form it into a ball and wrap in plastic. Set dough aside for 1 hour.
- Prepare filling by mixing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set egg whites in another small bowl.
- Divide the past dough in half. Using your desired method, roll out pasta until it is about 1/8-inch thick.
- If using a ravioli form: Lightly coat with flour and lay a sheet of pasta over it. Place the top of the form on the pasta sheet, pressing gently to make impressions for the filling. Remove the top of the form, and place 1 tablespoon of filling in each impression. Lightly moisten the border of the pasta sheet and in between the filling with the egg whites, using a pastry brush. Cover the filled impressions with a second sheet of dough. use a rolling pin to roll over the top of the form to cut and separate the ravioli. Push the finished ravioli out of the form. Let finished pasta rest on a baking sheet dusted with flour for about 5-10 minutes.
- If free styling the ravioli: Flour your work surface and place one sheet of pasta dough on the counter. Add tablespoons of filling about 1-2 inches apart. Using a pastry brush, paint around the ricotta filling with the egg whites. Lay the second sheet of dough on top of the first. Press the top layer of pasta onto the lower layer, trying to remove any air bubbles from the ravioli. Cut the ravioli apart using a knife, pizza cutter or pasta cutter. Let finished pasta rest on a baking sheet dusted with flour for about 5-10 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. As the water comes to a boil, prepare the cream sauce. Combine basil, white wine and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour contents of the blender into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add heavy cream and stir with a whisk. The sauce will take about 15 minutes to reduce. Don’t be tempted to raise the heat to high, let it reduce slowly. Once the sauce is close to your desired thickness, give it a taste. Season with salt and pepper.
- As the sauce is reducing, add ravioli to the boiling water. Don’t walk away, it won’t take that long to cook the ravioli through. Once the pasta floats to the top, it is done, this will take about 3-5 minutes. Fish out pasta with a slotted spoon and set to drain in a colander. Allow pasta to drain for 1 minute before serving. Serve ravioli with basil cream sauce.
Source: Adapted slightly from Wilde in the Kitchen.
JUMBO REESE’S HEART STUFFED COOKIE
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp beaten egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp festive pretzel M&Ms
2 Tbsp white chocolate chips
1- 5 oz. Reese’s Peanut Butter Heart
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a small heart shaped spring-form pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir the butter and sugars together until creamed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix.
- Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir until fully incorporated. Add in M&Ms and white chips and stir.
- Place half the dough in the center of the pan. Press until evenly spread over the bottom. Place the Reese’s heart on top and cover evenly with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove from pan and serve with ice cream.
Source: Adapted from Bake Your Day.
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 have a confession to make. There are recipes sitting my my drafts that have been patiently waiting for their moment in the spot light since August, from when I stayed in Knoxville for a month. Since August people! I thought I wasn’t going to have much time to cook or bake while I was there, so I had guest posters lined up once a week. Only to realize it wasn’t really necessary at all. And with the coming of fall I’ve gotten into the groove of baking and cooking fallish things. I really am trying to cook less in order to get all those saved recipes out the door, but a girl’s gotta eat!
But today I am bringing one out of the vault because it really does deserve some love. My dad and step-mom thought it was so good, that they said it was like eating at a fancy restaurant. It’s always fun when a fairly simple recipe tastes amazing. Of course now I want to remake this, especially since my basil plant is still going strong with the revival of 80 degree weather here. Wasn’t I just wearing boots a week ago?
One year ago: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
CHICKEN IN BASIL CREAM SAUCE
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic (1/2 tsp minced)
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp black pepper
- Place milk and bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls.
- In skillet, heat butter to medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. Cook chicken in butter, on both sides, until juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and sun-dried tomatoes; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat.
- Add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir sauce and cook until heated through. Remember that for a thicker sauce all you have to do is cook it longer. I like my sauce on the thick side so I cooked it for a while (3-5 minutes).
- Serve chicken with sauce poured over the top.
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything
It’s Secret Recipe Club time, woohoo! This month I had Nora’s Natural Noshing. In light of the insanity of my last post featuring a roundup of peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness, you would think I would have to share another peanut butter and chocolate recipe today. I did consider making her bite-size peanut butter layer cups, and would’ve even been a healthier option compared to the majority or recipes I shared on Saturday. But I figured I have an entire football season ahead of me to fill with peanut butter and chocolate, so let’s try something else today.
Quinoa is not yet a staple in my diet, but I do use it occasionally. Most recently have enjoyed mixing in candied walnuts and blueberries for breakfast. So when I saw this recipe on Natural Noshing, I had to give it a try.
Although I didn’t think this casserole quite tasted like pizza, it was a great tasting side to accompany the chicken asiago sausage I had as the main dish. If I had added pepperoni, Italian sausage, and green peppers, it probably would have tasted more like pizza and even been able to be a main course by itself. Or maybe add chicken and have it be a chicken Parmesan casserole – there are many options and is definitely something I would make again!
PIZZA QUINOA CASSEROLE
Serves 4 as a side
1 cup uncooked quinoa cooked in 2 cups water or about 3-1/2 cups cooked quinoa
6 oz. tomato paste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp water
1-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed (used caraway seed because I did not have fennel)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
- Rinse quinoa well and combine with water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is tender and completely cooked. Remove from the heat and leave covered in the pot for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease four 1 cup ramekins, two 2 cup dishes or a larger casserole dish, depending on how you want to bake and serve this.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomato paste with the garlic and onion, water and olive oil. Mix well. Add tomatoes and all the seasonings. Mix well again before adding the quinoa. Once the mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and add more salt as needed. Then divide evenly among the dishes for baking, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly or until the quinoa on top is golden and crispy. If desired, sprinkle with more fresh basil or parsley and serve.
Source: Natural Noshing
It’s official. Not only am I broke (after paying fees for grad school, car repairs, and new contacts), but I am also low on time. In a little over a week I will be packing up and moving to Knoxville for a month to work with a collaborating lab to do mouse studies for my research.The list of things I need to get done before then is ridiculous. And I don’t think the stress is allowing me to sleep properly at night still because I wake up exhausted even after 8 hours. So what does that mean for you? Hopefully nothing other than hearing me complain or freak out from time to time. I don’t plan on letting my blog suffer but just in case I don’t post one day, blame my stress.
Continuing on with quick dinners for my life-style as of late, enter this caprese-style chicken. This recipe is very similar to the Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto but instead of pesto you use fresh basil leaves and then add a tomato. Maybe next time I’ll mesh the two recipes together and use Mozzarella, pesto AND tomato – watch out for me I’m a risk taker (note sarcasm).
Speaking of fresh basil, I have started growing my own in pots on my porch! They are cute little things at the moment, but I still have to resist the urge to pluck off their tiny leaves to eat. Which reminds me I need to take those with me when I leave…
One year ago: Beef Negimaki with Broccolini and Rice
CAPRESE CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION
6 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp butter
6 slices fresh Mozzarella cheese
6 slices tomato
6 large basil leaves
- Prepare chicken on the grill. As chicken is cooking, pour balsamic vinegar into sauce pan or skillet and cook until reduced by half. Add in butter and stir with a flat whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
- Top chicken with mozzarella cheese, basil leaf, and then tomato slice.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve warm.
Source: Add a Pinch
My life has been hectic lately. After my return from Prague and Berlin, I had to pump up the intensity with my lab research in preparation for wrapping things up to be published and also start writing up said publication. On top of that this summer, we are planning for me to train for a month with a collaborator in Knoxville working with mice. Then Tuesday of this week I got into an accident and my car is in the shop for at least a week. Thank goodness for car insurance, but at the same time a graduate student such as myself cannot fork over a $500 deductible very easily. I did luck out by being able to borrow a friends car in the meantime, so at least I don’t have to pay for a rental on top of everything else.
Between the precious time of each day going by and my black hole of a bank account, you could say I’m just a bit stressed out- by a bit I mean a lot. As a result I will be having some guest posters lined up about once a week to alleviate some of that stress. Hopefully I will start sleeping better at night too, due to a combination of getting over jet-lag and mind-racing thoughts even when my head is in contact with a pillow. Sometimes life needs a pause button, if only for one day.
Going along with my busy schedule these days (and yes I am still somehow managing to go to the gym almost every day and cook myself dinner), I have been increasing the number of quick meals I prepare. When I get home at 9pm I require food in front of me in less than 30 minutes, in order to battle the desire to give in to the Taco Bell right around the corner from where I live.
This is a fast and flavorful weeknight no-meat dinner option. And in fact is the very first time I have cooked with orzo. I used to think it was a type of rice, but turns out it is just a short pasta (which is why I could not find it in the rice section of my grocery store). But in this recipe it cooks up just like rice by absorbing the liquid. Then just add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil and you’re all set to chill on the couch with your favorite fur-ball.
One year ago: Italian Herb & Cheese Fettucine
ORZO WITH PARMESAN AND BASIL
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups whole wheat orzo
3 cups vegetable stock
6 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: Tasty Kitchen
There is a juicy, flavorful burger recipe in this post today. It involves homemade pesto using basil, spinach and walnuts, which is mixed into a chicken burger and is then topped off with a blob of fresh Mozzarella that becomes perfectly melted over the hot burger. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the grilled tomatoes that are assembled into the burger. You should probably spread some of the pesto on your bun too.
And of course since I am always thinking about you, I have shared this in time to plan you Independence Day menu around it. You’re welcome .
In other news, here in Memphis we are experiencing yet another grossly hot summer full of sun, humidity and a lack of clouds and rain. This is most upsetting to me because I love being outdoors, but I can barely stand being outside for more than five minutes. And the pool doesn’t fix the problem either. Have you ever gotten out of the pool and then lied down to wait for the sun to dry you off? Yea that doesn’t work because as the water evaporates, you begin to sweat, a lot. I think homemade popsicles are in order soon.
One year ago: Bubble Up Pizza
PESTO CHICKEN BURGER
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup walnuts
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grilling
1 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper
1 lb. ground chicken breast
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 whole wheat buns, halved
- In a food processor, puree basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, oil, and water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon pesto, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chicken. Form into 4 patties. Lightly oil hot grill. Grill patties, covered, or 4 minutes. Flip patties and top with cheese.
- Brush tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes to grill and cook, flipping once, until tomatoes and lightly charred and burgers are cooked, approximately 4 minutes.
- To serve, spread remaining pesto onto burger buns and assemble burger with a tomato slice.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food July/August 2012.
I picked up Brady from the vet yesterday and was none too pleased to be stuffed back into his cat carrier, but upon his release back home he was happy as a clam! I was sent home with two weeks worth of antibiotics and hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that. Definitely do not like that I will be leaving town again soon, but he will have a good cat-sitter who has been given advanced approval to take him to the vet at the first sign of any new flare-ups. But for now, hooray happy kitty! Totally enjoyed reading on the couch with him snuggled up next to me again last night.
Now that all is well let’s talk about dinner. I am guilty of being subscribed to several cooking magazines, yet rarely do I cook from them. I will fold over pages and drool over everything in sight but for some reason I easily forget even the most tantalizing images. I have this problem with many of the amazing cookbooks I own as well. Although while we are at it, I probably only ever make a fraction of the number of recipes I bookmark online. Alas.
Thankfully for me, I managed to make this stir-fry from a recent issue of Cooking Light. This meal satisfies the taste buds with all the great flavors going on. A spicy basil sauce coats the chicken which is served with sautéed snow peas and peppers and brown rice with sesame seeds. But if you are looking to cut back on time, you can use instant brown rice and some steamed vegetables instead. The chicken holds the spotlight anyway.
One year ago: Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese
SPICY BASIL CHICKEN
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 (4-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp fish sauce (I used additional soy sauce instead)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/4 tsp chile sauce with garlic
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sliced basil leaves
2 tsp dark sesame oil, divided
2-1/2 cups fresh snow peas, trimmed
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- For the chicken, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 13 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-high heat for the vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add snow peas and bell pepper to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Drizzle vegetable mixture with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and toss well to combine. Set aside.
- Cook rice according to package directions, omitting fat. Stir in juice and salt. Sprinkle with seeds. Set aside.
- Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan with the chicken, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and stir with rice and sautéed vegetables.
Source: Cooking Light, April 2012
Please take a moment to check out Wilde in the Kitchen’s Bake Sale benefitting Relay for Life. And bid on my “Big, Fat, Chewy Multichip Cookies” or any of the other delicious treats up for grabs!
I enjoy both traditional and nontraditional pizzas. But with how frequently I have pizza for dinner it’s refreshing to have some very different options out there.
So now it is time for a very nontraditional pizza. There is no tomato sauce or even pesto, instead the sauce is sweet Asian chili sauce. To continue with the lack of tradition, it’s topped with zucchini, peanuts and cilantro. The only things not out of the ordinary are the chicken, mozzarella and basil. But do not fear the unexpected because your taste buds will love this – that is if you are into nontraditional pizzas and Asian flavors.
In other news, I am off to a wedding in northern NJ on Friday followed by a day trip to NYC and then snuggles with my nephew Luke in Boston! Consider this your warning for baby pictures appearing next week.
One year ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
THAI CHICKEN PIZZA
1 recipe pizza dough
Olive oil, for brushing
1/4 cup sweet Asian chili sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp chopped peanuts
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 500 with a pizza stone on the bottom third. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Spread the chili sauce over the crust in an even layer. Layer with the shallot, zucchini, red pepper flakes, shredded chicken, and cheese.
- Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle evenly with the peanuts, cilantro, and basil before slicing and serving, with additional sauce drizzled on top if desired.
Source: Annie’s Eats