Posts Tagged ‘GYO’

GYO: Antipasto Pesto Pasta

I love the sound of that :-) And the dish was pretty good, too.

We had about 16 people over for Thanksgiving, and since we had spent two weeks in Europe, including a week in Italy, in September, naturally I wanted to serve antipasto for an appetizer.

But most people were holding out for the main event, so there was quite a bit left over. What to do with all these preserved meats and veggies? Put them in a pasta, of course! I found this great-sounding recipe and modified it for what we had and like, and it turned out great. I’ll definitely make it again.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the foodie event started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie. GYO celebrates the food we grow ourselves. We grew the basil and parsley for the pesto in this dish, and I froze pesto to use during the winter, since the basil was so prolific. The round-up of all the entries has been posted, so check them out!

Antipasto Pesto Pasta
1 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup marinated cocktail onions, halved
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 ounces salami, chopped
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
8 ounces uncooked bow-tie pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Place the roasted pepper, onions, olives, salami, mushrooms, and artichokes in a large bowl and mix gently.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt; drain. In a small bowl, mix together the pesto and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; add to bell pepper mixture, and toss to combine. Add pasta to bell pepper mixture and stir.

Sprinkle each serving with 2 tsp. remaining cheese and 2 tsp. pine nuts.


Antipasto Pasta

Parmesan-Rosemary Focaccia in a Bread-Machine

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgWow, where did October go? Oh, yeah – work, work, work. Come home and guess what? Don’t really want to hang out at the computer. So the blog has suffered a bit. Ah, well, maybe it will get better during the holidays ;-)

Anyway, last night we went to a Halloween/Birthday party and I took a platter of sandwich bites made with homemade bread-machine focaccia. I let the bread machine make the dough, and then I spread the dough in a pan for the last rise and bake it in the oven.

A friend asked me for the recipe, so here it is. I’ll save the sandwich recipe for another post. This recipe is a hybrid of one from Cook’s Illustrated magazine and one in the cookbook that came with my bread machine. As it happens, I used fresh rosemary from the garden, so this qualifies as a long-overdue contribution to the food blogging event Grow Your Own, created and hosted by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

Bread-Machine Rosemary Focaccia

1 cup water at 80 degrees F
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp.
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups bread flour
1-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast, or 1 tsp. QuickRise yeast, or 1 tsp. Bread Machine Yeast
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled

Place the ingredients – except the Parmesan cheese, rosemary and 2 tbsp. olive oil – in the bread-machine pan in the order given. Turn to the dough setting and turn it on. Watch it for the first minute or two – you may need to use a spatula to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the dough ball. Then let the bread machine do its thing through the first rise time, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Generously oil a jelly roll pan – I use a Pampered Chef 9″x13″ stone baking pan. Remove the dough from the machine, wet your hands with water (to prevent sticking), and press the dough flat into the pan, pushing it into all the corners. If it resists, let it rest for 10 minutes and continue. Use your fingers or a pair of chopsticks to press dimples into the dough at even intervals – your yummy toppings will collect in these. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm, draft-free place while you heat the oven, at least 20 minutes. I put it in the microwave – no drafts in there.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Press dimples into dough again. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, then the cheese and rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares or wedges to serve immediately. To serve later, cool completely and reheat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Cooled focaccia can also be frozen for up to one month. To reheat, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F, then heat directly on oven racks for 10 minutes.

There are lots of variations on this basic recipe: You can add garlic powder and/or onion powder and/or herbs to the dry ingredients, or add caramelized onions to the topping. Focaccia is great for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or you can slice it lengthwise and use for panini.

Rosemary-Parmesan Focaccia
This is half the recipe.

GYO: Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgThis was almost a contest to see how many items from the garden I could use in a recipe :smile: Turns out, a lot!

This is a great recipe if you like eggplant, which, event though I keep trying it, I just don’t really enjoy. The only way I really like to have it is in moussaka, drowning in spiced ground beef and tomato sauce, so I guess I’ll have to make some of that soon, since I have another eggplant given to me by my next-door neighbor.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products, started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, and hosted this time by MomGateway. The onion, garlic, tomatoes, basil and parsley came from our garden, while the eggplant was a gift from our neighbor, in return for some of our abundant cucumbers that I gave to her.

eggplant-pasta

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 pound short pasta, such as penne or rotini (I used radiatore)
Sherry vinegar
2 cups diced tomato
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Put chicken breasts and Italian dressing in a plastic bag for an hour to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant in 1/2 inch cubes. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl . Place them on a roasting pan in a single layer and roast for 25 minutes or until they are soft.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat, then cook chicken five minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the box. Drain.

Heat a large skillet to medium. Pour in the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and saute until they are starting to color. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and then deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry vinegar.

Add the eggplant to the skillet along with the diced tomato, red pepper flakes, and basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the pasta. Toss until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and sprinkle with the parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Slice chicken in 1/4-inch slices and place on top of the pasta. Serve.

Kibbee and Bits

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgMy sister-in-law, Jennifer, is of Lebanese descent and when we were visiting one time, she showed me a cookbook she had – “Kibbee ‘n’ Spice and Everything Nice: Popular and easy recipes for the Lebanese and American Family,” by Janet Kalush. I was looking through it and talking about how much I like to try new things, and she gave me the book right there. Thanks again, Jen! :-)

She also mentioned that kibbee is one of her favorite foods; I hadn’t heard of it before, but I tried it at Azar’s, a local Mediterranean restaurant, and liked it a lot. So I finally tried making it myself.

This is a variation of Lebanon’s national dish. The traditional way to make kibbee is to make the meat mixture shown below, then make another meat mixture to use as a filling; then the kibbee is baked or fried. I skipped the filling (this extra step is probably why I hadn’t made it earlier) and grilled them instead. You have to be very careful when grilling these; the bulghur wheat makes them a bit fragile. But it works!

btw, Dan kept calling it Kibbee and Bits, so here we are: Kibbee with bits of grilled potato :-)

Kibbee Patties (spiced ground beef or lamb with bulghur)

1 cup finely ground bulghur wheat
1/2 medium onion, or one small onion
3/4 tsp. kibbee spice (see below)
2-1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. finely ground beef or lamb
2 rounds of pita bread
tzatziki sauce (cucumber/yogurt sauce)

Kibbee Spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. crushed dried mint (I used fresh mint from the garden, then dried it in the toaster oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes)
1-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine thoroughly in a small bowl; transfer to a spice bottle and keep in a cool, dry place.

For Kibbee

Rinse the bulghur wheat in cold water twice and drain. Cover by half an inch with fresh water and let soak. Finely mince the onion in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and add the kibbee spice and salt; combine thoroughly. Add the ground meat to the bowl and mix completely by hand.

Squeeze excess water from the bulghur wheat and add to the meat mixture. Mix by hand until well blended. Add ice water if necessary, to maintain a soft consistency.

Form meat into eight 3-inch patties, and press in the center with your thumb to form a dimple. Grill 3-4 minutes on both sides until cooked through.

To serve: Serve kibbee patties over tzatziki sauce or in pita pockets. To serve in pita pockets, briefly grill pita rounds to warm them a bit; cut in half. Put a few tablespoons of tzatziki sauce in each pita half and place two kibbee patties on top of sauce. Serves 4.

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Andrea herself.

If you count the cucumber in the tzatziki, I used three ingredients from my garden in this meal: cucumber, onion and mint.

Kibbee patties ready for grilling
Kibbee patties ready for grilling

Kibbee with tzatziki sauce and grilled potatoes
Kibbee with tzatziki sauce and grilled potatoes

GYO: Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgAs you can see, we have lots of really big cucumbers coming in right now, so I’ve been looking for new recipes to use them in. I came across this “Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad” recipe that sounded really good and decided to try it. Delish!

It could use a bit more seasoning, but we liked it. Dan was worried it would be too vinegary, because I *love* vinegar-soaked cucumbers, but this had only a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, which is less acidic than the white vinegar I usually use, and other ingredients as well. It turned out very good, but I think I will double the chili-garlic sauce next time.

Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar, to taste
2 tsp sesame oil, to taste
2 tsp sugar, to taste
2 tsp soy sauce, to taste
1/2 tbsp chili paste, to taste (optional)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Wash and then peel the cucumber skins in alternating stripes (or peel completely or not at all). Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with the salt and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour.

After an hour, squeeze the cucumber slices of as much liquid as possible with your hand. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add a little soy sauce and mix the salad. Taste and add more soy sauce until you reach the desired saltiness. Stir in the chili paste and serve cold; it will taste even better if you let it marinate overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds

.

spicy-cucumber-salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). The roundup of all the tasty recipes is here.

GYO: Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgThis is one of my favorite potato salads to make – it’s delicious and good for you, and one of the main ingredients came from our own garden: the peas.

Ever since we started a vegetable garden many years ago, we’ve been growing peas. Dan especially likes them – in fact, he’ll eat them raw right out of the garden! But this year, they were especially prolific, so he got some, I got some, and there’s lots more in the freezer for later :-) We planted both snow peas and sugar snap peas this year, and they both did great.

peas-in-garden
Peas in the garden

So to go along with a grilled dinner, I made this potato salad with peas and roasted red peppers, a take on this recipe from Rachael Ray. I changed the dressing for this one, and it was excellent :-)

Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

2 1/2 pounds white thin skin potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. snipped chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus 2 tbsp.
Salt and pepper

1 (6-ounce) jar, roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas

Put potatoes into the cold water and bring to a boil, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt, and boil for 10-12 minutes or until tender; drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Put drained potatoes into a large bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully mix in the dressing. Add the peppers and peas and mix, being careful not to break up potatoes. Chill until ready to serve; garnish with reserved parsley.

potato-pea-salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and eating our own food. It was created by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this month by Zora of gardenopolis.

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