30 Minute Meals

Delicious Meals in Under 30 Minutes

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin risotto is extremely creamy and dreamy.  Serve this as an appetizer or as a side dish for your next autumn meal.  Add some cooked diced sweet potato or squash along with the pumpkin to make this a heartier autumn recipe. So simple, so good.

Pumpkin Risotto

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yields: Serves 6

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sunflower seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low, keep warm.
  2. Add oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until sweated, about 2 minutes. Add rice and toast until you can see the white pearls in each piece of rice. Add the wine, simmer and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Add a ladle of broth to the rice mixture. Reduce heat, simmer, and stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth one ladle at a time. This takes about 20 minutes.
  4. At about the 18 minute mark, add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage and cranberries if you wish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds. Serve and enjoy.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pumpkin-risotto/

Fried Eggplant and Goat Cheese Napoleon {Vegetarian}

I’m always a little sketched out when I eat seafood in a land-locked state.  However, Tortugas in Longmont has put my fears to rest.  Their fish is fresh and cooked perfectly and their side dishes come out piping hot.  The atmosphere is cozy and there is plenty of eye candy to look at while you wait for your meal, plus the owners are very one on one with their customers.  A great place to stop if you’re in the area.

The last time we were there, we started with this eggplant dish.  This dish was so good that I was craving it hardcore days after we left.  It’s completely vegetarian yet heavy enough to be an entrée if you had enough of it.  Maybe serve it with a side salad.

The menu describes this as, “fried eggplant layered with goat cheese, roasted tomato sauce, basil pesto, toasted pine nuts and balsamic vinegar reduction.”  I had to make it at home.  Need I say more?

Okay, one thing.  Our version of this recipe is pretty intense.  There are a lot of steps and even more pots and pans to clean.  We have pesto, and home-made sauce, and roasted tomatoes in our version.  You can save some time by replacing the pesto with a few leaves of baby spinach leaves or buying pre-made pesto at the store and buying a jar of natural pasta sauce at your grocer.

Fried Eggplant and Goat Cheese Napoleon

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yields: 4 Appetizer portions

Prep and cook times are approximate. This recipe takes a lot of patience but the result is well worth the effort.

Ingredients

    For the Slow Oven Roasted Italian Tomatoes:
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the Fried Eggplant:
  • Canola oil (enough to have 1-inch of oil in a large skillet)
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices (about 12 slices)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup pine or walnuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Marinara:
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed good Italian tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • For the Sweet Balsamic Reduction:
  • 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • For the Napoleon:
  • 1 log of goat cheese
  • Toasted pine nuts (optional)

Directions

    For the Slow Oven Roasted Italian Tomatoes:
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Combine all herbs in a small bowl and mix together. Slice Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Squeeze the juices out of each half of the tomato. Lay tomato halves on a small sheet pan skin side down. Lightly drizzle each tomato with oil. Lightly sprinkle each tomato half with herbs. Place sheet pan in the oven. Roast for 2 hours.
  2. For the Fried Eggplant:
  3. Peel and slice eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. Lay the eggplant on a tray and salt with 3 tablespoons of salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will extract the moisture from the eggplant. Rinse the salt off the eggplant and dry well with paper towels. Beat the eggs in a bowl.
  4. Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees (medium to medium high heat). Cover the eggplant in flour, then dip the eggplant in the egg, then cover the eggplant with flour again. Place dredged eggplant in heated oil and fry 1 minute on each side or until light golden brown. Place fried eggplant on a paper towel to drain.
  5. For the Pesto:
  6. Follow the directions for basil pesto. Set aside.
  7. For the Marinara Sauce:
  8. Heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute chopped garlic in the oil for 1 or 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and basil. Stir for 3 or so minutes until the sauce starts to simmer. Turn heat off and set aside.
  9. For the Sweet Balsamic Reduction:
  10. In a saute pan, slowly simmer the balsamic on a low heat until it reduces by 60%. It will slightly coat a spoon when it's reduced. Be patient! If this is done too rapidly, it will give the vinegar a burnt flavor.
  11. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ...all together now!
  12. To make your Eggplant Napoleon, slightly warm the goat cheese to make it easy to spread. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a casserole dish, take one slice of the fried eggplant and lightly spread with a thin layer of goat cheese. Place a tablespoon of pesto on top of the goat cheese. Add a roasted tomato. Lightly drizzle a small amount of balsamic reduction on your roasted tomato. Ladle a bit of fresh marinara on top of the roasted tomato. Repeat two more times. Make 3 or so more Napoleons just like this in the casserole dish.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese is nicely melted.
  14. Place warm marinara on a plate and place one Napoleon on top of the marinara. Add toasted pine nuts if you desire. Serve with a crusty loaf of Italian bread or side salad. Enjoy!

Notes

Try grilling your eggplant pieces instead of frying them to save on some of the fat content.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/fried-eggplant-and-goat-cheese-napoleon/

Photo courtesy of FortWayne.com

Stuffed Chicken Divan with Sherry Dijon Sauce

At first I had no idea what “Divan” meant.  I originally thought it was a specific way you prepare the dish, like a souffle or to sauté.  After researching online, I still don’t really know if it has a meaning outside of being a dish consisting of chicken, broccoli and cheese.

Either way, those three ingredients are items that I have mixed together in casseroles in the past.  This is like that casserole but in a more gourmet fashion.  I found this recipe online, futzed with it a bit, and ended up with this healthier version of Chicken Divan.  Who says eating healthy has to be bland?

This recipe calls for transferring your chicken to a baking dish.  If you have a cast iron skillet, use it to save you the hassle of washing one more dish.

I served mine with rosemary roasted red potatoes.   Steamed vegetables or brown rice make good accompaniments as well.

Stuffed Chicken Divan with Sherry Dijon Sauce

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Stuffed Chicken Divan with Sherry Dijon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4-ounces) fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup (2-ounces) grated Gruyère cheese
  • tab of butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (go easy on the salt because the sherry has a lot of salt already)
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Mist a shallow rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well again and squeeze dry in paper towels.
  2. In the mean time, sauté your garlic in a small pan in a bit of butter, 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Chop the broccoli and toss in a bowl with Gruyère and sautéed garlic mixture. Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of each chicken breast to make a pocket. Use your fingers here to extend the pocket as large as the piece of chicken can handle. Stuff each chicken breast with equal amounts of the broccoli mixture. Rub both sides of the chicken breasts with oil and thyme and season with salt and pepper. You may need to stab the opening of your chicken breasts with toothpicks to prevent the stuffing from spilling out during the cooking process. If you do, remember to take these out later.
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium to finish cooking through. Transfer to the baking dish.
  5. Combine the milk and stock in a small pot, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the sherry and cornstarch until smooth and whisk consistently. Cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes. You may need to add more cornstarch if the sauce is too runny. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Top each chicken breast with a bit of sauce, enough to wet the chicken, and place under the broiler. Broil until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. Once rested, cut each chicken breast in half on an angle. Whisk the mustard into the remaining sauce and spread a few tablespoons on each plate. Top with halved chicken breast, serve hot and enjoy.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/stuffed-chicken-divan-with-a-sherry-dijon-sauce/

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Ricotta Cheese

Everything tastes better with bacon.  Dates are no exception.  When it comes to this salty and sweet finger food, you want to buy the biggest, most plump dates you can find.  If this requires pitting them yourselves, I’d recommend doing it.  Pit these by making a small slit in the date with a small paring knife and pushing the pit out with a skewer.

I filled my dates with ricotta.  To me, it seemed to compliment the sweet dates the best.  I have also seen recipes with cream cheese, blue cheese, and Parmesan.  The choice is yours.  I do recommend keeping the filling very simple.  The bacon and the dates really speak for themselves.

No matter what filling you choose, you should keep one thing in mind: thin bacon works best for these dates.  Thin slices of bacon will crisp up nicer and easier than thick-cut bacon and as we all know, crispy bacon is like crispy pieces of heaven.

Can I get a ‘Hallelujah?’

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Ricotta Cheese

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thinner-cut bacon
  • 25 Medjool dates (about 3/4 pound), pitted
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • Toothpicks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut the bacon in half lengthwise.
  3. Place the ricotta in the bottom corner of a ziplock bag and seal tightly. Use the scissors to cut the corner of the bag to create a piping bag. Remember, you can always cut more off if necessary, so start smaller. Use the piping bag to fill the dates with the cheese.
  4. Wrap the stuffed dates with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick through the belly of the date. Arrange all the prepared dates on a parchment or aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, allowing at least a little space between each one for good browning. Bake for 10 or 15 minutes, until the bacon is browned and crispy, turning the baking sheet around 180 degrees halfway through baking. Remove from the baking sheet and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/bacon-wrapped-dates/

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

This beautiful photo belongs to Brown Eyed Baker.

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

I have been craving this dish ever since I had a version of it at The Dickens Tavern, a small restaurant down the street from where I live.  Although absolutely delicious, it’s not exactly the most healthy meal if you make Shepherd’s Pie the way it is supposed to be made, so I added a few suggestions in the ingredients list to cut down on the fat and carbs for those nutrition buffs out there.


If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet on hand, any frying pan will do.  Just layer the ingredients into a casserole dish instead of your skillet before baking.

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or cream cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or lamb (you can use buffalo or turkey for a lower fat content)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. I like to add a bay leaf if I have one handy for extra flavor. Combine sour cream (or cream cheese), egg yolk and broth. Whisk together the mixture and add it into the pot of potatoes and mash until mostly smooth. I tend to leave a few lumps here and there for the added homemade touch.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to pan and the chopped carrots. Toss and cook carrots for 4 minutes then add your meat (I've found that if I don't cook the carrots first, they tend to remain too undercooked for my liking). Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain most of the drippings, and add garlic and onion to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until meat is fully cooked.
  3. In the mean time, in a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and flour together for 2 minutes. Whisk in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy for 1 minute and add the peas. Stir, then add the gravy to meat and vegetables in the skillet.
  4. Preheat broiler to high. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly, top with paprika and cheddar and broil for 6-8 inches away from the heat until the cheese is evenly browned. Top with fresh parsley for color and serve hot!

Notes

You can substitute all or some of the potatoes with steamed cauliflower or sweet potatoes for a healthier alternative.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/shepherds-pie/

 

Black Bean Veggie Burgers {Vegetarian}

This is the ultimate veggie burger!  These things are so packed with flavor — you’ll never have a bland black bean burger again.  You can mix and match ingredients depending on what you have available in your fridge or garden, but try to keep the size of each ingredient to a minimum.  Larger pieces will cause the patties to fall apart even more than they already do.

For those of you who haven’t had a black bean burger before, don’t expect this to taste anything like a beef burger.  These veggie burgers are in a category of their own.

I broiled these on a lightly greased pan in my oven instead of grilling them.  I had problems keeping the patties together, but they were easy enough to reform afterwards.  Next time I will make smaller patties and make sliders instead.

Overall, these turned out pretty darn good!  Slap one of these guys on a toasty roll, add some fresh corn salsa or condiments of your choice for a guilt-free (and delicious) meal.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 6 Large Burgers

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry bread cumbs

Directions

  1. Bring the brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. Mash black beans in a large bowl with a fork until thick and pasty; set aside.
  3. Place the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and chop finely. Stir the bell pepper mixture into the mashed black beans. Place the brown rice and mozzarella cheese in the food processor, and process until combined. Stir the mixture into the black beans. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the black bean mixture. Stir in the bread crumbs, adding additional bread crumbs as needed until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into 6 large patties.
  5. Place patties onto the prepared foil, and grill until browned and heated through, about 8 minutes per side.

Notes

Make smaller patties to create Black Bean Sliders and serve them at your next event for a healthy snack alternative.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/black-bean-veggie-burgers/

Recipe adapted from Sweet Pea

Baked Coconut Curry Chicken Fingers

My good buddy D$Rock inspired me to make this meal.  He was nice enough to share part of his lunch with me, which happened to be chicken tenders and mashed potatoes.  After I had a taste, I really wanted to make more so I could completely indulge and satisfy.

This recipe is super tasty and really affordable.  You can make a lot of these little guys when you’re on a tight budget.

If you’re not familiar with panko, it’s a Japanese style bread crumb.  The bread crumbs are very light and crispy and once you use them, it’s hard to go back to regular bread crumbs.

{Once you go PANKO, you don’t go back}

I only had ketchup and mayo on hand, but I think these would be tasty with a sweet BBQ sauce or apricot sauce of some kind.  This dreamy sauce recipe is still in the works!  What would you use?

Baked Coconut Curry Chicken Fingers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken tenders
  • 1-2 eggs (start with one and crack another one if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped to match the panko
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (or to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Give the coconut a rough chop so it's about the same size as the panko pieces. Combine the coconut with panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices.
  2. Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating.
  3. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge the chicken in flour, then dip in the egg mixture and then finally coat the chicken in the coconut-panko mixture. Press the coconut-panko mixture into the chicken with your fingers to make sure the entire piece is well coated.
  4. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (for easy clean up). You can spray or brush a bit of olive oil on the tops to help them crisp up if you'd like.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear. Flipping your tenders at around 10 minutes will help crisp up both sides of the tenders. Try not to overcook these because chicken tends to dry out very quickly. The coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp and light in color when the breading is done.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/coconut-curry-chicken-fingers/

 

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Toasts

For anyone who has only tasted canned mushroom soups before, this is a winning homemade recipe to transition away from the realm of canned soups and into a world of exploding taste buds.  There are certain recipes that when you begin them, you instantly know that this is something you will make again and again.    That’s how I felt after making this wonderful Wild Mushroom Soup.  The wild mushroom ragout was divine in itself.  Pour the ragout over risotto and use the leftovers for this soup the next day!

I should add that I did not puree the ragout as the recipe calls for.  This recipe offers a series of techniques to create a wonderful mushroom soup that provides nuances of flavor – whether you puree it or not.

Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Toasts

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Toasts

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bread, cut from a long country or sourdough loaf
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • at least 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • paprika
  • Wild Mushroom Ragout
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 cup of peas

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until toasted. Flip the bread, sprinkle with the Parmesan and a pinch of paprika and broil for 1-2 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden and toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, puree 1 cup of the mushroom ragout in a blender until smooth. Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan. Add the remaining mushroom ragout, the stock and peas and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish with the chives and serve with the Parmesan toasts.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/wild-mushroom-soup/


Mr. Magoo’s Mushroom Ragout

Okay, I freely admit that I have no idea if Mr. Magoo would approve of this dish or not, but it helps me remember that “Ragout,” is not pronounced like “RAG-OUT.”

{Shakes her fist at the English language}

For this recipe I used a mix of earthy crimini mushrooms, meaty shiitake mushrooms and agaricus (more commonly known as white) mushrooms for my sauce.  I could not stop sneaking spoonfuls of this sauce!  The mushroom flavor came out so well in the sauce itself, I didn’t need to taste it with a piece of mushroom at all to understand the beautiful chemistry that was happening.  Also, the sauce was thick enough to coat the pan, but not too thick that it became too rich to devour a whole mess of it.  Perfection!

The only change I would make to this recipe regards the pancetta (which, in my opinion, more recipes could use some pancetta).  This recipe instructs you to cook the pancetta until golden.  When I made this for the first time, this ragout was a precursor to the inevitable Wild Mushroom Soup.  I should have cooked the pancetta a little longer than the recipe calls for, until it was much crispier.  My result, although still delicious in flavor, was a bit too chewy in texture for my liking.  Keep this in mind depending on what you decide to do with your Mushroom Ragout.

Recipe adapted from Get Saucy, by Grace Parisi

Mr. Magoo’s Mushroom Ragout

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 2-3 Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound (4-ounces) thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup madeira or marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate; leave the fat in the skillet.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until the shallot is softened. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the ragout is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the pancetta.

Notes

The ragout can be stirred into pasta or risotto, folded into omelets, spooned onto crostini or poured over polenta.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/mushroom-ragout/

Photo courtesy of Matthew Tivy

Pain Perdu with Sweet Strawberries

French for “Lost bread,” Pain Perdu is a New-Orleans-style french toast.  This is a great way to use up your leftover bread from Tuesday night’s Italian dinner.  Any fresh fruit is a great addition to this recipe.

Feel free to omit the powdered sugar with the strawberry topping.  The benefit to adding sugar to your strawberries is that you get a nice strawberry compote as a result.  Practically your own homemade strawberry syrup.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten of Food Network

Pain Perdu with Sweet Strawberries

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 6 Servings

Pain Perdu with Sweet Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 1 day old french loaf, cut diagonally into 1-inch thick slices
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • Unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Whisk milk, honey, 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and eggs in a large bowl.
  2. Place bread slices in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and pour egg mixture over bread. Turn to coat.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning occasionally until all of the egg mixture is absorbed.
  4. In the mean time, combine strawberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, and rind in a bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.
  5. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bread slices to pan, cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Repeat with remaining butter and bread. Warm cooked bread in a plate in the oven at 200 degrees F while you finish cooking the rest.
  6. Place bread onto plates and dust with powdered sugar. Top with strawberry mixture.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pain-perdu/

Photo Courtesy of Kthread Photography

World’s Best Pancake Recipe?

A couple weeks ago my friend and I made what some deem as the “World’s Best Pancake Recipe.”  Who considers this the best pancake recipe?   Who really knows.  Never-the-less we made them anyway.  Our pancakes turned out fluffy and golden brown, crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside.  Everything a pancake should be.  Real buttermilk is absolutely key in this recipe and makes a big difference.

So is this really the best pancake recipe out there?  Probably not.  But these pancakes were pretty darn good!

Recipe courtesy of Robie’s Buttermilk Flapjacks.

World’s Best Pancake Recipe

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

World’s Best Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baker powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups real buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 beaten eggs

Directions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, whisk. Slowly add to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  2. Fry in a pan with butter on medium heat. They are ready to flip when there are bubbles all over the top. Flip and finish frying until the bottom is golden brown.
  3. Top with maple syrup, fruit or whatever your heart desires.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/worlds-best-pancake/

Baked Parmesan-Crusted Fish for the Fish Fry Lover

In Wisconsin we love, love, LOVE our Friday fish frys!  It’s a Catholic tradition that has extended into Wisconsin culture. Ever since I moved I moved to Colorado, fish fry Fridays are much more difficult to come by.  In the spirit of the Wisconsin fish fry I created this delicious layer of buttery, lemony, crusty coating to accompany my fish!  I admittedly avoid deep-frying food in the apartment in fear of death by grease fire.  Okay, so I’d deep-fry everything if I could.

[LONG BEAT]

Instead, I saved on the fat and salt content and used this baked crust instead.  A tasty alternative indeed.

Baked Parmesan-Crusted White Fish

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Baked Parmesan-Crusted White Fish

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (regular or panko)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Dash of celery salt
  • 2 pounds of your favorite white fish

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients together and press into both sides of the fish filet. I typically broil my fish. When I use this recipe, I broil (on high) each side of the fillets for 1-2 minutes, add the crust, then broil again for an additional 1-2 minutes until the fish is flakey and the crust is crispy. Be careful not to overcook them, this happens fast. Serve with your favorite side dish.

Notes

I have never tried to pan fry this crust. Keep that in mind all you adventure-seeking chefs!

Also, this recipe is VERY forgiving. If you don't have celery salt or [whatever] spice, play with it a bit. My taste buds just happen to like this particular combination.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/crusty-fish/

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