Saturday, January 29, 2011

Breakfast Tacos

This is the kind of meal that happens when Anna and I share a morning off work.
We've got 4 fresh whole grain tortillas from Central Market (our mutual employer.)
scrambled eggs
fresh avacado
black bean dip (homemade recipe follows)
diced sauteed veggies
-bell peppers
shredded cheddar & habanero cheddar

with some roasted potatoes on the side (pictured in the aluminum foil)

Homemade Black Bean Dip:

Soak dry black beans overnight then boil for 2 hours or until soft
(or use ready to use canned beans)
2c cooked beans

Sautee half an onion in oil with 2-3 cloves garlic. Once soft, add with the black beans into a blender or food processor, with the juice of half a lemon OR a Tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Puree and slowly add in oil until you reach your desired consistency. Add salt to taste. I also like to add cumin, paprika and cayenne.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick Buttery Sage Sauce

This sauce would go really well with sweet potato gnocchi, any kind of creamy nut filled ravioli, or squash stuffed pasta. The ravioli I had on hand were filled with Butternut Squash. You could also sautee some fresh veggies and toss it with angel hair pasta. The options are always limitless.
I had sage left over from the mac n cheese, and the ravioli was in the freezer, so it just made sense to whip this up.
½ stick butter
8-10 fresh sage leaves
1 shallot minced
1c vegetable stock
1t arrowroot powder (get it from your natural grocer’s bulk dept.)
red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the shallots and sage and cook for a few minutes, carefully not to burn the butter or herbs. Sprinkle in the arrowroot powder, then whisk in the cup of vegetable stock. You may add more stock if you wish. The sauce should become nice and thick, I prefer this to an ordinary butter sauce. Finish it off with the pepper flakes and parmesan and toss in your pasta!

Open Face Eggplant Parm Tortillas

I usually don’t buy jars of marinara sauce, my Momma taught me better. However, I work in a Natural Grocery store, this sauce was on sale and looked really really good. Its an Artichoke Parmesan sauce, every once in a while, if I do buy a jar of sauce I’ll throw it on something like this and call it lunch/dinner for a couple days. Its really easy and cost effective.
You could replace the eggplant with zucchini squash here.
1 medium eggplant
1 egg + ¼ c milk
½ c- 1c Italian style breadcrumbs (there is a breadcrumb recipe in August)
tortillas or bread
marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 400
Cut the ends off the eggplant, cut it in half, and cut/peel the skin off. I like to slice my eggplant long-ways (top to bottom), it usually makes less pieces. One medium eggplant, cut in half, then sliced length-wise made 8 pieces here. Salt each side of each piece liberally and let sit for 30min. This will pull all the bitter juices out of the eggplant and make a much better tasting finished product. Rinse off the eggplant and pat dry. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. On a plate pour your bread crumbs. Dip each piece in the egg mixture, then cover in crumbs. Place each piece onto a greased tray. I find it helps to crisp the breadcrumbs if you spray olive oil onto each side of the pieces. Bake for 10-12 minutes on each side.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anna's Birthday Mac N Cheese

4 Cheese Shrimp and Herb Mac with Asparagus

1lb shrimp
12oz dried pasta (not too small & should be tubular/shells to hold cheese sauce)
4T unsalted butter
1 ½ c chopped onion
½ c chopped celery
½ T arrowroot powder3 ½ c milk
1c dry white wine
8-10 chopped fresh Sage leaves
black pepper
4oz shredded Gruyere (Swiss)
4oz. shredded Emmentaler (Swiss)
4oz shredded Fontina (Italian)
½ c breadcrumbs
2 oz grated Parmigiano
2T fresh chives

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then set aside. In separate pot melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook on med-low, covered, for at least 20min. Stir frequently until golden and very soft. Whisk in the arrowroot powder, then slowly add the milk in a steady stream. Raise the heat to med-high, whisking constantly until the sauce begins to thicken and bubble. Add the white wine, sage, salt & pepper. Bring mixture to low simmer mixing constantly. Stir in the Fontina, Gruyere, and Emmentaler. Once the cheese melts add the raw, shelled, shrimp and slowly stir until the shrimp are cooked. Stir in the pasta shells. Serve with parmigiano, breadcrumbs, and chives as garnish.

Birthday Pancakes with a Blue Lavender Lemon Syrup

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Meyer Lemon Pancakes

Traditionally, Anna is the pancake maker in the family. But, for her birthday I took over the breakfast duties.
For the pancakes, simply add frozen/fresh blueberries, chocolate chips and the zest of one Meyer lemon to your favorite "from scratch" Buttermilk Pancake recipe.

The Meyer Lemon is in season! They are hybrids of a lemon and a mandarin (some say orange) with none of the tartness of a lemon. You can only find them in stores Nov-April (roughly) but they are GREAT for cooking and drinking!!

The Syrup
I just threw this together, so the recipe is an estimate :) Don't worry, it is nearly impossible to mess up, unless you add too much lavender or overheat it.

In a small pot on medium-low heat add about 3/4 c Blueberries.
1/3c Maple Syrup
1/4c Honey
pinch of Lavender
juice of 1 Meyer Lemon
dash of Balsamic Vinegar

Reduce by half. You can make this in advance and stick it in the fridge or serve warm with the pancakes! We ate every singe one of those pancakes in the picture above.

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

1 T Butter (I used a garlic herb butter)
1C Cream
1/4lb Gorgonzola

If you have trouble thickening the sauce, whisk in a slurry of 1t arrowroot powder + 1/2t cream

We usually stock up on good frozen raviolis when they are on sale. It makes for a quick delicious dinner. These ravioli were actually bought fresh from Central Market and are filled with Rock Shrimp and Basil. It wasn't exactly a "healthy meal" so I through in some steamed Broccoli Raab.

The next night with the left over cream sauce, we made veggie& shrimp fajitas. There were sauteed portobellos, yellow bell peppers, broccoli, red onion and fresh tomatoes, avacado, and cilantro in attendance.