Monday, April 27, 2009

Spicy Peanut Pasta Salad

(Makes a bunch! Can be halved.)

1 1/2 pounds linguine
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
4 to 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons red chile oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil (can also use 1/2 cup olive oil)
1 to 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (sold in the Asian aisle)
1 large bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Boil linguine. Drain and set aside. Keep cool or at room temperature.
Make the dressing: to a blender, add garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar. Pulse until smooth. Add chile oil and pulse again until smooth.
With the food processor on, pour in other oils until mixture is smooth and pourable. Chill dressing until ready to use.
To assemble the salad, combine linguine, dressing cilantro, and green onions and toss to combine. Add dressing gradually until the noodles are sufficiently coated.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pioneer Woman’s Creamed Spinach

serves 6 to 8

1 stick butter8 tablespoons flour
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter
24 ounces baby spinach

Melt 1 stick of butter in a pot. Sprinkle in flour and whisk together. Cook over medium heat for five minutes or until light golden brown. Throw in onion and garlic and stir together, cooking for another minute. Pour in milk, whisking constantly, and cook for five minutes while you cook the spinach.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a separate pot. Add spinach in increments until all incorporated, and cook until wilted but not soggy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Season the cream sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add spinach to the cream sauce, stirring gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

(Though it tastes great cold out of the fridge the next day!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pita Chip Pizza

10 ounces Stacy’s Simply Naked or Stacy’s Parmesan, Garlic & Herb Pita Chips
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
4 tablespoons prepared pesto
2 to 3 roasted red peppers, sliced

Preheat oven broiler.
Slightly crush chips on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle pesto evenly over the surface.
Cover surface with mozzarella.
Arrange roasted red pepper strips evenly over the surface.(May add optional ingredients such as green olives, onions, etc.)

Broil for just a couple of minutes, or until cheese is just starting to bubble. You want the chips to remain crispy!

Cut into squares and serve immediately.
(8 -12 servings)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman’s Quiche

1/2 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
7 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound thick cut peppered bacon
1 stick butter
1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, very thinly sliced
2 boxes white mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
Optional: fresh parsley, fresh chives

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Pour out excess grease but don’t clean the pan.
Melt butter in the same skillet. Add onions and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and artichokes and cook for a few more minutes. Salt mixture to taste.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Roll out pie crust and press into deep dish tart pan. (May also use 2 standard pie crusts for this recipe.)
In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper, and set aside. (Add cayenne pepper if you’d like a little kick.)
With a slotted spoon, add mushroom mixture into egg/cream mixture. Stir together. Add bacon and stir.
Add parsley or chives, if desired.
Pour into pie crust and press to submerge ingredients.
Cover loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Bake for slightly longer if quiche is overly jiggly.
Remove from oven and allow to set for ten minutes before serving. Remove quiche from pan and slice into wedges.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Morning Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening (can use 1/4 cup shortening with 1/4 cup butter)
2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
wheat germ (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Place in a mixing bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to mix in shortening (or butter/shortening if desired).
Mix marmalade, orange juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour into dry ingredients.
Beat eggs and pour into the bowl.
Mix all ingredients together gently, using fewer than 10 large strokes.

In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients.

Fill muffin pans with batter. Sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon of topping ingredients over each muffin.

Sprinkle wheat germ over the top for extra crunch.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until done. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
1 egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper*
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Yum. Yum Yum. Yum Yum Yum.