Popeye’s Pick

August 19, 2014

So…it’s been awhile since I blogged.  Don’t hate.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Even though I have not been blogging, that certainly does not mean I haven’t been cooking!  One of the hubby’s most recent faves is a recurring Meatless Monday dish.  It even has approval from my vegetarian friend (please note: I have more than one vegetarian friend, however, only one has tried these).

I kinda don’t get how this is so delicious.  The recipe is so simple, yet the flavors just go crazy in your mouth. This is one of my, “When I own a restaurant one day, this will be on the menu,” recipes.  Seriously. Make these.  Soon.

Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

2014-03-24 19.30.19

 

 

I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

Easy Peasy Pesto

August 30, 2012

Pesto is such a flavorful condiment, I honestly don’t know why I don’t make it more often.  The variations on this basic recipe are endless and the fact that there’s no cooking involved in preparing it, makes it perfect for whipping up on a hot summer day.  It’s so versatile it can be used on pasta, fish or even a burger.

Tell me, what do you like to serve your pesto on?

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Pesto spread on wheat buns for Portabello Paninis

Basil Pesto

printable recipe

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and continue processing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

If you are brave enough to slice up three pounds of this season’s especially pungent onions, this soup will be well worth your tears.  A great beginning to any dinner, or enjoyed in a mug, curled on the couch watching really bad tv

French Onion Soup

Serves 4-6
  1. Melt together the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot.
  2. Crush and peel the garlic. You don’t have to mince it; it will caramelize and turn soft and sweet as it cooks. Caramelize the garlic in the olive oil and butter.
  3. Pour in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and stir around just until the onions are all coated in the olive oil/butter.
  4. Add in the fresh thyme and the bay leaf and let the onions caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  5. Once the onions are caramelized and have cooked down, pour in the stock, about 4-6 cups depending on whether you prefer your soup more onion-y or more soup-y.
  6. Then, pour in the beer and simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour and as much as three hours, tasting occasionally to adjust the flavors.
  7. Meanwhile, slice down your bread. Stale bread is perfectly okay for this, just heat it up a bit in a warm (250ºF) oven first to soften it. Toast the bread; you can rub both sides with a cut clove of garlic first, if you like. You’ll want 2 pieces of bread per person – one for the bottom of the bowl, and one for on top.
  8. Grate together about 1/2 cup each of parmesan, gouda, and mozzarella and set it aside.
  9. Preheat your broiler. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the soup.
  10. Arrange your oven-safe individual serving bowls or coffee mugs on a baking tray with a thin lip.
  11. TO SERVE: drop a toast slice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the soup and cover with a second slice of toast. Then cover the toast with cheese. Be generous! You want the cheese to seal in the soup and drape over the edge of the bowl.
  12. Broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling on top. Garnish with a little fresh thyme, and serve.

Original recipe can be found here.

Trees Please

December 25, 2010

I had some left over broccoli after making Knishes and thought Broccoli Cheese Soup would be delicious in the cold weather — it was perfect.  The hot, creamy soup will definitely be making it to my winter rotation — especially with the spicy croutons!  Your family will thank you for the hearty wholesome meal.

broccoli soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup with Southwest Croutons

Directions

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)

Add the cream and bring to barely a simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.

Croutons:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Essence. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light golden brown on top, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Ding How

October 3, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Chinese food.  In the past, it seems that whenever I’ve tried to make it at home, it just doesn’t come out as tasty as take-out.

Thanks to Bon Appetit, that is no longer the case.

This dish is perfect.  It will have your family and friends asking for seconds, so you might want to double the recipe.  (We fought over the leftovers.)

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Beef, Mushroom & Snow Pea Stir-Fry

  • 1lb. sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 1TBS Asian sesame oil
  • 1TBS minced (and peeled) fresh  ginger
  •  2 large handfuls of mushrooms (I used Cremini, but the original recipe called for Shiitake — use what you like!)
  • 1 large handful of fresh snow peas
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced, divided
  • i cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped and divided
  • 5TBS Hoisin sauce
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1TBS Sriracha
  • 1/4TSP Chinese five-spice powder (You can find this at the grocery store, but I made my own)

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over med/hi heat.  Add ginger and mushrooms; stir-fry for about 3 minutes.  Add beef to skillet and stir-fry for another minute.  Add snow peas, half of the onions, half of the cilantro and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Stir in hoisin, Srircha, garlic and five-spice powder. Saute  until peas are crisp tender, about 2 minutes. 

Serve over brown rice and top with freshly chopped cilantro and green onions.

Bon Appetit!

 

So…my inspiration for this dish was the May 2010 cover of Bon Appetit.  I tweaked the recipe a bit to my liking, so I’m listing the original recipe below, as well as my variations — so you can make it how you like it.  Afterall, isn’t cooking really all about what explodes on YOUR tastebuds?  Oh, and if you haven’t gotten into the  Stieg Larsson series.  You should. 

Fettuccine with Peas, Roasted Broccoli & Pancetta 

Ingredients 

  • 12 ounces fettuccine or penne (I used whole wheat fettuccine)
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (I subbed a head of broccoli, which I roasted with a little EVOO before adding to the dish)
  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts (I didn’t have green onions in the house, so I used half a yellow onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (I used about a cup)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (I used about a cup here, as well, to make it saucier)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided (I used dried)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided (I used dried)

Preparation 

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. 

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese. 

My twist on Bon Appetit's pasta

Fingerlingin’ Good

February 23, 2010

This is an easy and tasty side dish — and goes with breakfast or dinner (I had mine alongside omelets).  Enjoy!

Garlicky Fingerling Potatoes

  • Two handfuls of fingerling potatoes, quartered, lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (dried or fresh)
  • Four garlic cloves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss all the ingredients together in a baking dish, place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.

Ready to go into the oven

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