Monday, September 20, 2010

Caesar Dressing and Croutons

3 c. sourdough bread cubes (1/2 in.)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 t. EACH kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil, and paprika
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice, strained
2 T. mayonnaise
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. anchovy paste
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. olive oil

Toast bread cubes in olive oil over med-high heat until lightly browned, toss with salt, pepper, basil, and paprika.

In a food processor, combine shredded cheese, lemon juice, mayo, garlic, anchovy paste, sugar and Worcestershire. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss dressing with 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped, and garnish with croutons and shaved Parmesan.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This was inspired by a turkey and mushroom enchilada casserole, but it became quite different and needed its own recipe. It can easily be divided into smaller casserole sizes, just cut back on the cooking times. I usually make two smaller casseroles and freeze the second one. It makes for a great freezer meal!

14 CORN tortillas
1 28oz. can of Green enchilada sauce, Medium spicy
1 lb. ground chicken
1 packet taco seasoning (I recommend Taco Bell brand)
1 small can diced green chiles
1/2 cup water
8 oz. mexican blend shredded cheese.

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown chicken, drain. Add green chiles, taco seasoning, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer for about 5 -10 minutes.

In 9 x 13 dish, pour just enough of the sauce to cover the bottom.

Layer 6-7 corn tortillas along the bottom. Spoon meat mixture over top, using a spatula, pat down so it's as flat and compact as can be. Top with remaining tortillas and pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for about 35 -40 min, then remove foil, sprinkle cheese over top and broil on LOW for 5-10 min...till cheese on top is bubbly and starting to brown.

Let stand for about 10 min. before cutting.

Fried Eggplant Mozzarella

I tried a dish like this at a restaurant and I had to try and copy it! The results were nearly perfect and this is one of my new favorite dishes. The key is to use the Stove-Top Marinara (recipe is in the next entry).

1 eggplant
1 c. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. olive oil
Sliced fresh mozzarella (about 10 oz.)
Red pepper flakes
Stove-Top Marinara (see blog entry for recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 450. Slice eggplant into 1/4 in. thick rounds, season with salt and pepper. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into separate shallow dishes.

2. Bread the eggplant by dipping it first in flour, then eggs, the breadcrumbs.

3. Heat 1/4 c. olive oil in a large saute pan (I used an electric skillet) over med. high heat. Fry half of the eggplant slices until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes total, then transfer them to a cookie sheet. Continue until all eggplant are cooked.

4. Top each slice with a slice of fresh mozzarella and red pepper flakes. Bake until cheese melts, about 15 minutes.

5. To serve, put about 1/2 c. Stove-Top Marinara on a plate and top with the eggplant rounds. Serve with pasta topped with marinara.

Stove-Top Marinara

This spaghetti sauce is SO good! I don't know if I can ever go back to canned sauce! The best part is that I almost always have these ingredients on hand, so I can make it any time I want. I would also recommend using this for my Fried Eggplant Mozzarella.

1 c. diced onion
3 T. olive oil
2 T. minced garlic
2 cans (28 oz. each) whole tomatoes
1 1/2 T. sugar
2 t. dried basil leaves
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (more or less depending on the desired spiciness)
1/2 t. ground black pepper
Kosher salt to taste (I used quite a bit)

1. Saute onion in oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; saute briefly. Stir in tomatoes with their juice. Crush tomatoes with a potato masher and simmer sauce for 15 minutes.

2. Stir in sugar, basil, peppers, and season with salt. Simmer 15 minutes longer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mushroom and Herb Risotto

This was a very tasty risotto, but extremely time intensive. I will definitely make it again, but only on special occasions! To save on the cost, I bought dehydrated shitakes and boiled them in the chicken broth to rehydrate. After they cooled, I cut them and sauteed them with the other mushrooms.

1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved (reserve stems)
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 T. minced garlic
6 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 c. dry white wine, divided
Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
6 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c. minced shallots
2 c. dry arborio rice (DO NOT substitute rice types!)
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. unsalted butter
Crumbled chevre (goat cheese)

1. Saute shiitake, button, and cremini mushrooms and garlic in 3 T. oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with 1/2 c. wine, simmering until liquid evaporates. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper; transfer them to a bowl.

2. Simmer broth and reserved shiitake stems in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Strain broth; discard stems. Keep broth warm over low heat.

3. Saute shallots in remaining 3 T. oil over medium heat in the same saute pan used for the mushrooms. Cook until shallots are soft but not brown, 3-4 minutes.

4. Stir in rice; cook 1-2 minutes to coat grains with oil. Add remaining 1/2 c. wine; simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. broth; simmer until it's completely absorbed. Continue adding broth in 1/2 c. increments, stirring frequently and adding more broth only after the previous addition is absorbed.

5. Taste rice after cooking it for 15 minutes. Continue cooking until rice is firm but not chalky in the center. Remove risotto from heat.

6. Stir in mushrooms, Parmesan, parsley, chives, thyme, butter, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle risotto with chevre before serving.