Pasta


This month’s chef of the month is Diana Henry.  When we were cooking with her starting  October 2014 (for the next 6 months) I didn’t get to do many of her recipes.  I saw lots of yummy dishes through the other members of IHCC.  One of them was this dish which looks so tasty.

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Spaghetti with Bacon, Egg, and Smoked Cheese.

This would be a great brunch dish.  A warm gooey egg drizzling down over spaghetti tossed with bacon and cheese.  It was comforting.  It was full of flavor.  It was delicious.  I understand how it got rave reviews from the members who made it.  I will definitely make it again.  The egg mixed with the melty cheese and crunchy bacon. 

The only change I would make would be to use less pasta.  2 ounces was really way too much for a single serving.  I didn’t realize it until I saw all that goodness piled on the plate and I knew I could not eat all of it.

    6 oz spaghetti
    3 tbsp olive oil
    4 oz bacon
    2 large eggs
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (use about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)
    2 oz smoked cheese, grated {I used Smoked Gruyere.}

Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil {I actually didn’t use this for the bacon}in a large frying pan and cook the bacon until crispu and brown. Set aside.
Fry the eggs sunny side up. {If you used the rest of the olive oil, which I didn’t spoon the warm oil up over the top of the eggs to cook the yolks.} Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and put into the saucepan. Add the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the bacon and parsley and toss.
Divide between two plates, sprinkle on the cheese, and top each serving with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

The recipe is from Henry’s Cook Simple:  Effortless Cooking Every Day.  You can find it HERE.  You should try this one.

For more from Diana Henry visit I Heart Cooking Clubs .

The only thing I left out in the title – PESTO!  This is sooo good. Fresh pasta mixed with home made pesto and shrimp.  What a great combination.! How can you go wrong with that?

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fresh linguine with garlic shrimp and homemade pesto

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Surf and Turf.  We could use seafood or beef/poultry/etc.  When given a choice I am definitely going with the Surf!!

I used some whole grain spaghetti instead of linguine and left out the roasted tomatoes – not a fan!   I will definitely make this again.

Try as I might I just couldn’t replicate Curtis’ nice little mound of pasta.  And I tried – several times.  But it’s not how it looks, right!

Did Surf win out over Turf this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs?  Check it out and see!

 

I like to cook. No, I LOVE to cook. Good thing since I need to feed my family. But I only really learned to cook about 10 years ago or so. Beautiful Daughter used to come home and ask me what I was burning for supper that night. I know. But I love her anyway. Cooking was just something I did. NOW it’s something I DO!! And thanks to blogs like Living the Gourmet, which was my Secret Recipe Club ‘assignment” this month, it gets easier all the time.  Catherine, Tammy, and Michael Pappas are the people behind the blog.  Catherine is the founder who wanted a way to leave recipes for her children.  Tammy, her daughter, is the photographer (and her photos are beautiful).  Michael, her son, is in charge of interviews and product reviews.  The three of them are quite a team.

As usual it was hard to find just one recipe, so as is my habit I narrowed it down to three. (Why three?  Once I get my assignment I take a week to read and then try to cook one recipe each week until the reveal.  Makes it easier.)

The first recipe I tried was

ASIAN STYLE MARINATED SALMON FILET 

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A wonderfully flavored salmon fillet marinated in

      3 tbs. teriyaki sauce
      2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
      1 tsp. orange marmalade or apricot sauce
      ¼ cup of Italian parsley – chopped
      1 large clove of garlic – chopped
      1 inch piece of fresh ginger – chopped
      1 tbs. sesame oil
      2 tbs. soy sauce

then baked grilled until the fish is flaky. I’m glad I made two fillets because it was delicious.

Next came

YELLOW SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE AND PASTA

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A delicious mix of pasta, Italian sausage, yellow squash {I subbed in a zucchini}
Catherine’s recipe called for Italian sausage, yellow squash, lots of garlic, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh basil, red pepper flakes and dried oregano for flavor. There is no way you would not like this one.

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And THEN there’s dessert….

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This is no-churn HONEY VANILLA AND BROWN SUGAR ICE CREAM.

I love making no-churn ice cream. I’ve made ice cream in a table top churn for eons but sometimes you just want something easier. And these no-churn definitely are. If you have made this you know it is super simple. Whip together 2 cups of heavy cream with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and a 1 tsp vanilla. Catherine added in ¼ cup brown sugar and 3-4 tbs. honey. Catherine garnished hers with mini cookies but I didn’t have any so I used turbinado sugar.  The honey definitely adds an extra layer of flavor.

I think this one just became my favorite one.

Thanks, Living the Gourmet for some great recipes still to come.

There’s more for Secret Recipe Club.  Click on the frog.

How many times over the past 20 or so years have we made New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight?  Or at least eat healthier?  Only to have those initiatives fade after a couple of months.  Diet is a four letter word.  I don’t use it any more.  I also don’t make resolutions any more.  I use the word suggestion and it is easier to follow.  So is eating healthier when Ellie Kreiger is around.

Our ‘assignment’ this week was to find something from Ellie to give us a FRESH START.  So, owning 5 of Ellie’s books I went recipe hunting.  It is cold and windy outside.  It is supposed to rain and thunder.  I needed comfort food. What about Mac and Cheese?  Perfect!

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Not as ooey-gooey as my regular M&C but tasty and definitely healtheir.

It’s all about not using as much cheese as you normally would and subbing in something to replace the flavor.  Like Winter Squash. And low fat milk.  And ricotta cheese.

    1 pound elbow macaroni
    2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
    2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
    4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
    2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
    1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon powdered mustard
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.    Original Recipe The recipe is also from The Food You Crave. page 168
We liked the sweetness of the butternut mixed with the spice of the cayenne and dried mustard. The only change I would make would to make the chess sauce ‘saucier’ before adding to the pasta, or using less pasta.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe and cut the ricotta in half because I didn’t have enough.  (I think that is why it was just a tad dry.) It was plenty for two people to have more than two medium servings each.  Ellie said the whole recipe made eight 2-cup servings and I didn’t need that much. Each serving is only 390 calories.

Definitely something to make more of this winter when the wind is howling.  The rain is blowing.  The night is dark and dreary.

Check out what the other IHCC members made for their FRESH START.

 

My choice this week and I had to go with a shrimp dish.

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And this was a good one. Even though I only made 1/4 of the recipe. One meal. But definitely a keeper and repeat. I was pulling out the ingredients and found I only had 4 ounces of orzo. Which is unusual because I usually keep it stocked. And did they have any at the store – NO!! So 1/4 recipe it was.

Shrimp, peas, basil, mint, shrimp, onions, lemon, all topped with feta right before serving. How can one possibly go wrong with that?

The recipe is on page 180 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders which is the book the Eating with Ellie group is working through for the moment. We will probably branch out into other books later. We’d love to have you join us. The recipes are listed on the EwE page. We post every Thursday. And we would add your choices to the rotation in December. Thank about it!

So many mushrooms in this dish. It was earthy. Rich. Filling. Delicious.

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Hazan uses dried porchini mushrooms as well as fresh crimini to make this tasty pasta. Throw in some fresh tomatoes, onion, and parsley and you have the perfect meal.

The recipe is on page 90 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pastas.

Check with Kayte, Peggy, Chaya, and Glennis and see if they made a pasta this week.

It’s MYSTERY BOX CHALLENGE week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I love a good challenge. Especially when I can meet the challenge.

This weeks mystery box contents:

    Salmon (fresh, smoked, canned),
    Green Peas (dried, fresh or frozen),
    Hazelnuts,
    Eggplant,
    Parmesan Cheese,

    Kale,
    Apples (Any color/kind),
    Blue Cheese,
    Bread Rolls/Buns, and
    Rosemary.

I managed to complete the challenge with three of the ingredients, weak, yes, but still…

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Gratin of Ziti and Vegetables

I love making dishes with the fruits of our garden and this one had it all – squash, tomatoes, eggplant, corn. I cannot think of a better way to use these all up.

    2 quarts water
    4 ounces ziti or penne
    3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
    4 ounces string beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
    1 small eggplant (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/22 cups)
    1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
    1 pattypan (or other type) squash (8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups){ I used zucchini.}
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 ripe tomatoes (about 10 ounces),cut into 12-inch pieces (2 cups)
    2 ears sweet corn (about 1 pound), husked and kernels cut off (1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup black olive shavings, preferably from Nyons olives { I used kalamata.} (about 2 dozen olives)

CRUMB TOPPING

    l slice fine-textured white bread, processed into crumbs in a food processor (2/3 cup)
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup minced chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the sizi in boiling water with salt until al dente. Drain and briefly run ziti under cold water. Cover, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet then add the onion and beans.
Cover and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the eggplant and herbes de Provence. Cover and cook, over medium heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the squash, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 2 more minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Mix in the tomatoes, corn, and olive.
Mix in the cooked pasta and pour the mixture into an 8-cup casserole dish.
In a small bowl mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, OO and chives. Pour the mix over the pasta and veggies.
(Note: The dish can be prepared to this point, covered, and
refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)
Bake the gratin at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes {mine took about 22 minutes} until nice and brown. Serve immediately

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This was very very good. But it was also very very very dry. I went back to the recipe to see if I had left something out, but I followed it correctly. The crumbs on top did not stay well on the dish, but were good mixed in. I will make this again, but it really needs some ‘juice’ of some kind. {Original recipe is on page 102 of Jacques Pepin’s Table.

The other Mystery Box dishes are probably delish. Check them out at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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