Posts Tagged ‘Parmesan’
Finally decided to get a z-pack in order to fend away this lingering sinusitis that I’ve been battling, but it hasn’t seemed to greatly increase my recovery rate. I may be wrong, but I feel as though the improvements this far are merely my own body’s accomplishments. Guess that means it could be viral, but either way it’s been a week and I’m tired of having stopped up nose and ears. So with that, let’s talk about some healthy comfort food.
If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, this this is a great place to start. As someone who has played around with quinoa a bunch, this was by far my favorite recipe using quinoa. It’s a healthier version of Chicken Parm! I’m almost mad at myself for not trying it sooner, especially after Tracey raved about it. I did note that she mentioned missing the breading on the chicken in the recipe she posted, so I decided to bread my chicken up! Obviously I do not know what it would’ve been like without it, but was very pleased with the results.
Two years ago: White Bean Chicken Chili
BAKED QUINOA CHICKEN PARMESAN
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
16 oz. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup toasted Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed with cold water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Coat the rack with cooking spray and set aside. Also spray a 2-qt baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- To make the chicken: Place the buttermilk in one shallow dish, and then combine the Panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a second shallow dish. Add chicken pieces to the buttermilk, turning to coat. Remove and dredge in Panko mixture. Arrange chicken on prepared wire rack and spray tops with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until done. Set chicken aside.
- To make the sauce: Add the oil to a large saucepan set over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Continue cooking until the vinegar is almost completely absorbed. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer as you continue with the recipe.
- To make the quinoa: Transfer the quinoa to a saucepan and add the chicken broth. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- When the quinoa is almost done cooking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the cooked quinoa and the chicken to the sauce and stir to combine. Add half of this mixture to the prepared baking dish then top with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Add the remaining half of the quinoa mixture and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Top with the Parmesan cheese and then the breadcrumbs.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with the parsley before serving.
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.
Last week, Stephanie (another student in the lab who is planning to graduate this spring) and I attended an electronic dissertation formatting workshop. It was 3 hours long and we both wanted to strangle someone by the time it was over. Actually, we had that impulse before we even got to the workshop because we had an assignment to complete prior to the workshop which consisted of going through a 35 page mock dissertation and editing the formatting errors! Thankfully I did learn something from all of that, but think it could’ve been acquired less painfully. At the same time, neither of us now have very high hopes of finishing the write up of our dissertations in time to start the formatting review process the first of April. Especially since we both have lab work we’re still trying to finish up. It’s a good thing one can just finish whenever you’re done in grad school instead of only two days a year.
Anywho, pardon my rant. I will make it up to you with yet another recipe involving Meyer lemons. It’s cheese tortellini, mixed up with bacon and spinach then covered in a Meyer lemon cream sauce. Feast your eyes upon that plate of glory. (And watch as my frustration magically dissipates a little.)
One year ago: Lighter Pizza Dip
TORTELLINI SPINACH BAKE IN CREAMY MEYER LEMON SAUCE
12 oz. cheese tortelini (I used frozen)
4 oz. (4 strips) bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 30 seconds. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk until browned, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Add Meyer lemon zest and juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan and also crumbled bacon.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted slightly from Our Best Bites.
Before I begin, let me preface today’s post by saying I 100% support the motivation of those people who have newly joined a gym and are actually using it and attending group fitness classes. I will always cheer on any person who makes a commitment to their health and well being. That being said…
At the beginning of each new year there is a large influx of new members to gyms everywhere, and the one at which I am a member is no exception. Parking spots have become a little harder to find, but who cares if I have to park further because I’m there to work out, what’s a few extra steps? Upon entering the gym, the cardio and weight lifting areas also have more people utilizing the space, but I purposely joined this gigantic Mecca because even with the influx there are still open machines here and there most of the time. If not there is a short wait.
However, I start to get annoyed when I have to show up at least 30 minutes early to the group fitness classes in order to get in. Thankfully (being a graduate student working in a lab), my schedule is flexible to an extent which allows me to leave a little earlier in order to stake a claim on a bike/mat/etc. But sometimes even getting there 30 minutes ahead of time isn’t enough and that’s when I get really annoyed. When that happens I try to make the best of it and use one of the ellipticals that may be open on the cardio floor instead. But it’s just not the same when no one is in front of you saying “FASTER”, “MORE RESISTANCE”, etc.
Anyway like I said in the beginning, I could never be mad at anyone who is trying to do the same thing as me. So hop on that spin bike and afterwards, make these awesome stuffed shells for dinner! Cause that’s what I would do . Serves with roasted brussels sprouts.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bricks
Two years ago: English Muffins
BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS
Makes 20 shells, and serves approximately 4
20 jumbo shells
2-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese (I used cream cheese)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
10-15 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with salt, pepper, nutmeg and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, flip, then roast for 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and mash with a fork or potato masher until almost pureed.
- Boil water and prepare shells according to directions. Mine called for 9 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside to cool. While pasta is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, garlic and shallots. Whisk until brown bits appear in the butter, then mash into the butternut squash, along with the mascarpone and and tablespoon of parmesan. Spray a baking dish (8×8) or pie plate with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of your shells) of squash into each shell, then lay in the dish. Repeat.
- To make the bechemal, heat a saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook until golden and a nutty aroma appears. Add milk and parmesan and let come to a simmer while whisking constantly. Once sauce has thickened, stir in nutmeg and taste – add salt and pepper if desired. Pour mixture over top of shells, then add mozzarella and sage. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Source: How Sweet It Is
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
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
Even though I am super pumped that the holidays are upon us, I cannot believe how fast they crept up. Like Kita of Pass the Sushi, I had a bunch of other fall-ish/Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to make and share with you before Thursday next week, but guess I’ll have to stow them away until next year. Although I definitely have covered sweet potatoes this season, I haven’t posted any butternut squash recipes and only a few pumpkin.
To make up for the imbalance I have a yummy pumpkin alfredo for you. It’s even good for you! The best thing about making alfredo guiltless is actually the lack of leftover heavy cream in my fridge. Every time a recipe calls for heavy cream I end up with half a carton that ends up going bad before I find reason to use it again. I always say I am going to whip up homemade butter and freeze it, but it never happens. Luckily I always have milk and cream cheese, and those are two ingredients I cannot keep enough of stocked.
One year ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna
Two years ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
TORTELLINI WITH GUILTLESS PUMPKIN ALFREDO
20 oz. package of cheese tortellini
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (I used homemade pumpkin puree)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, in a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, and flour. Process until smooth and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk mixture and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Divide among four bowls and top with more cheese and the parsley. Serve.
Source: Adapted from Handle the Heat.
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.
Guess who turned 6 months old today?? My nephew, Luke! He is sitting up on his own, has two teeth, and has begun the journey beyond the realm of milk. An exciting journey which will eventually lead him to all things spiffy. I might even try making homemade baby food, although I am not sure who I would test it on since they live in Boston. Answering the question of”What’s for dinner tonight?” with “baby food” just doesn’t seem quite right.
Unfortunately, Luke will have to wait awhile for things such as these ravioli, because they require more than two teeth to chew and I don’t think they would taste very good blended up. But for those with a full set of teeth, dig in! You can use any kind of ravioli you desire to make these. If you’re feeling extra crazy you could even use homemade ravioli.
Also in honor of his 1st half birthday, vote for Luke in a Babiators contest on Facebook!
One year ago: Pumpkin Nutella Mini Cheesecake Bites
CRUNCHY OVEN-FRIED RAVIOLI
Serves 4-5 as an appetizer
8 oz. packaged ravioli, about 20 pieces (I used Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomato Ravioli)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Marinara sauce for dipping
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Add egg whites to one bowl, and in a larger bowl mix flour, bread crumbs, panko, romano, salt and pepper.
- Bring water to a boil and cook ravioli for half of the recommended time. Drain them and quickly spray with nonstick spray to help them not stick together. Once cool to the touch, dip each ravioli in egg whites then coat thoroughly with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on the wire rack and repeat until finished. Spray each with a quick hit of nonstick spray. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
- Serve hot with marinara for dipping.
Source: Recipe halved from How Sweet It Is.
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