Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bacon & Corn Manicotti

1 medium size can of corn, drained (if using frozen, thawed and drained)
4 strips of bacon (save some of the fat to grease the baking pan)
15 oz of ricotta cheese
1 clove of garlic
a few leaves of basil
1 egg

1 cup of whole milk, room tempature
1 cup of mild provolone cheese
3 tablespoons of butter, room tempature
2 tablespoons of flour
about a palm full of paprika

Manicotti noodles
about 2 cups of provolone cheese and parm. cheese

Cook your bacon (stove top or microwave) until crispy to your liking. Save some of the bacon fat. Put the bacon strips in the food processor with the corn, garlic, and basil with salt and pepper to mix into a pesto-like texture. In a medium bowl, mix in the corn/bacon mixture with the ricotta, (a handful) parm. & provolone and egg. Set aside

Boil water to cook the manicotti noodles to close to al-dente (they will continue to cook in the oven), drain and let cool enough to handle to stuff in the bacon/corn mixture.

In a small sauce pan on medium heat, melt butter and flour, mixing it until thick with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the milk. When the milk is slightly thickening, start adding the provolone cheese a small handful at a time whisking into the sauce to smooth and thick. Season with a little pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika.

Grease a baking dish with the bacon fat and pour some of the cheese sauce on the bottom. Stuff the bacon/corn mixture into the cooled manicotti, placing them in a row of the baking pan until full. Sprinkle the remaining provolone/parm. cheese mixture on top

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. If you would like the cheese topping to brown more, use the broiler for a few minutes (keep an eye on it so it wouldn't burn). Let stand for about 10 minutes before digging in.

'Winging It' Turkey Stew

1 yellow squash, chopped
1-2 spring red onion, chopped
1 can of Northern Beans, drained and rinse
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large red chili pepper, seeds and ribs removed and sliced
1 lb of ground turkey
1 tablespoon of bacon fat
1 tablespoon of EVOO
1/4 cup of chicken broth

2 cups of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of rice

salt and pepper

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan (with lid). Add bay leaf, butter, salt and pepper, and the rice. Close with lid to let rice soak up the broth. After about 20 minutes, fluff with a fork, season to taste.

Turkey Stew:
Over medium-high heat, heat up EVOO and bacon fat. Cook the ground turkey for about 10 minutes or so. Put the ground turkey in a bowl to set aside. Heat up a little more EVOO to cook the spring red onion and red chili pepper for about 5 minutes before adding in the garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the yellow squash for about 5 minutes. Add the northern beans for a couple of minutes before adding the kale until wilted. Add in the ground turkey. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring and scrapping any bits on the bottom until the broth reduced down as a thick sauce.

To set up the dish, put the rice down and on top the turkey stew

I made this dish as I went along

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

I used whole wheat/grain penne pasta, gruyere cheese, and sauteed the cauliflower

Friday, February 8, 2013

Roasted Fennel & Carrot Soup

1 large bag of shredded carrots
2 bulbs of fennel (save the top)
1 yellow onion chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped (include the celery leaves)
tarragon (dry or fresh)
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Slice fennel bulbs as thin as possible. Mix together with the shredded carrots, eyeball a few shots of EVOO, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven 20-30 minutes

Meanwhile, in the large pot or dutch oven, heat up some EVOO in medium heat, adding a bay leaf and saute chopped onion for about 5-7 minutes when start to caramelized before adding celery and letting it cook for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and dry tarragon (if using fresh, you make mix it in along with the fennel fronds chopped up at the end).

After when the carrots and fennel is out of the oven, immediately add them to the onions and celery, stirring it  and letting it cook for a couple of minutes (under 5 minutes) before adding the vegetable broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf before blending it (I used a blender, about 3 batches at a time; I used a large bowl to put the puree soup in until all blended together before pouring the soup back into the pot/dutch oven). Put back on the heat and add in the fennel fronds (and fresh tarragon, if using). Season to taste before serving.

Squash Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

Squash Spaghetti:
my Squash came with directions sticker on- you can either microwave or heat in oven until tender
Once it was done, I let the squash cool down while I tended to the chicken meatballs. When cool enough to handle, I use a fork to scrap the "spaghetti" out of the squash into a bowl. I seasoned with salt, pepper, parm. cheese and basil on top after spreading it on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for the remaining 5 minutes of baking the Chicken meatballs (see below).

Chicken Meatballs:
1 lb of ground chicken
1 cup of bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
1 cup of parm. cheese
3 cloves of garlic
about a small handful of basil, chopped
1 egg
about a tablespoon of EVOO
Mix all ingredients into a bowl (while the Spaghetti squash is heating up). Once the squash is done in the oven (if you choose to use; you can also microwave the squash), crank it up to 400 degrees. Roll the mixture into about 15 1-inch size balls and roast for 15-20 minutes.

When both trays are out of the oven, put the squash spaghetti into a serving bowl, stirring it and top it with the chicken meatball and sprinkle with more parm. cheese and basil. Serve.

New York Strip Steak smothered with onions

served with a little horseradish sauce
corn-carrot souffle
swiss chard-yellow squash saute 

Veal Marsala

Served with broccoli and brown rice/quinoa