Grilled Cheese month continues! And with the recent bout of cold weather, comfort food really hits the spot. Grilled cheese is always a favorite in this household. Even the cat loves to nibble off of our sandwiches. She has good taste.
I love the contrast of textures in this sandwich. The inside of the sandwich is soft and chewy while the outside is crispy and buttery. Plus the addition of Parmesan onto the buttered bread puts this sandwich over the top. I will absolutely keep doing this to grilled cheese sandwiches in the future! Why haven’t I done this before?!
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle the Parmesan on the buttered bread. Place buttered sides of two bread slices in a frying pan. Bring pan to medium heat. Arrange a slice of mozzarella cheese, turkey, avocado, and a second mozzarella slice of cheese on bread slices, dividing evenly.
Arrange other slices of bread on sandwiches, butter side up. Cover pan with a lid and cook over medium heat until the underside of the sandwich is crunchy-golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Lift sandwiches, flip, cover and cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Being unemployed has left me with a lot of free time. At first it was great – like a stay at home vacation. I got to sleep in, chill out, do whatever I wanted to do. But that got old really fast, once I realized that the things I wanted to do with my free time cost money and I could only watch the movies I already owned for so long. Netflix has become my new cheap best friend.
I reunited myself with old Nickelodeon cartoons for a few weeks. That was nostalgic. I blew through a few documentaries, movies, and then moved onto tv series. Now I am hooked, heck, I am completely addicted to Breaking Bad. Have you watched this show? It’s about a chemistry teacher who begins cooking meth. This show has everything – great characters, memorable lines, awesome music, and it’s packed with drama, action and bits of comedic relief too. Anywho, I will be sad when I get to the end of this series, but I am excited to indulge in another, just as addicting show. I was thinking about watching Mad Men next. Any other suggestions out there?
Anywho, I hate to admit it, but I’ve been more of a couch potato than anything recently. Mister made some beautiful pesto this week so I thought it might be a good opportunity to try this Skinny Taste Chicken Pesto Bake. This dish is light, easy and so flavorful – perfect for those days when I just don’t feel like exercising. 🙂 I added mushrooms to my dish, but you obviously do not have to if you don’t like fungus. I also added more pesto than Gina, because it’s delicious.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean up. Wash and dry chicken with a paper towel. Slice chicken breast horizontally to create 4 thin cutlets. You can skip this step if you are using chicken breast tenders. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
While the chicken is baking, heat a small pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the oven and spread a tablespoon of pesto on each cutlet. Line each cutlet with the sauteed mushrooms, a layer of tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. You could also place the chicken under a broiler on high for 1-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Man, it has been colder than cold here in Colorado lately. I think the high maybe squeaked into the teens today. BRR!! It was time to whip out some warm, hearty recipes… like this one!
Besides my recent “splurge” at Sprouts Grocery Store (I bought an eggplant and some potatoes) I have mostly steered clear of the grocery stores overall. Continuing with my Fiscal Cleanse, I didn’t buy anything for this recipe. I still had leftover cheese tortellini from a previous recipe, frozen peas, and mushrooms in my fridge. If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to omit them, but do not (and I repeat DO NOT) skimp on the Parmesan sauce. It is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!
1/16 crushed red pepper, extra crushed in your hand, optional
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Boil your tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
Saute the onions and mushrooms in olive oil and butter. Once the mushrooms have begun to soften, about 5 minutes, add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper. Saute for another 2 minutes then add the vegetable broth, heavy cream and frozen peas. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low (simmer). Stir occasionally and allow the sauce to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon and Parmesan and remove from heat. Stir until the Parmesan is incorporated in the sauce.
Add the cooked tortellini and gently toss. Serve immediately.
Although all of us enjoy indulging in comfort food dishes from time to time, there are those moments when we feel completely guilty for consuming 1,000 calories in one sitting. If you’re anything like me, that feeling passes relatively quickly but the thought DOES cross my mind.
Cooking at home gives me the chance to control what I eat and it also provides the opportunity for me to make healthier alternatives to my favorite “heavy” meals, including this one.
A lot of times the eggplant in eggplant Parmesan is deep-fried to get that super breaded texture. You can achieve the same amount of crispy tenderness by baking your eggplant instead. This way you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to eat a healthier version of eggplant Parm.
The best part of this dish has to be the marinara sauce. This red sauce is my absolute favorite and you guessed it, I use Italian Plum Tomatoes for the recipe. Absolutely drool-worthy!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Use half eggplant and half zucchini for this recipe for added vegetables. You can also make this ahead of time by arranging everything in your baking dish, refrigerating it overnight, bringing it back to room temperature and then baking.
Summer is great because the corn harvest is sweet and cheap. I’ve cooked my corn many ways – in the husk, without it, on the grill, in my oven, in a pot… I love it all. One thing is certain though, you must, I repeat MUST soak your corn in water with a bit of sugar in it. This will help all the natural sugars come out in your corn when you cook it.
This particular time I had a craving for Parmesan Chili corn. This corn sounds more intense than it actually is. Not one flavor overpowers another. Everything simmers together as the corn plumps and cooks, it’s a magical thing. And yes, you read the ingredients list correctly, I used mayo. Not butter. I know, I know, crazy talk right?
The mayo acts as a binding agent for all the seasonings. As the corn cooks, the mayo practically evaporates and you’re left with delicious chili and Parmesan flavors that stick to each kernel. If you’d try the same thing with butter, everything on your sweet corn will drip right off into a charcoal abyss and that, my friends, is no bueno.
Try this out for yourself and tell me what your taste buds say.
I saw this recipe online and immediately had to try it out for myself.
Really though, any recipe that caters to my recent wonton wrapper obsession trumps any other recipe these days anyway. Just saying.
These little chicken parm wraps are so addicting!! It’s everything you love in a chicken parmesan dinner but in bite-sized form. Plus their finger-friendly characteristics make them super convenient for a potluck party or one of the million BBQs you plan to attend this summer. They are great warm but keep very well at room temperature too.
Place the chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. Mix the meat with the marinara sauce in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the wrappers on a clean work surface. Layer each with a few leaves of spinach, then chicken, followed by mozzarella and parmesan.
Lightly brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water and fold the upper left corner downward, covering the filling, and press to seal on the bottom right corner. Press to seal each of the sides. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Place all filled wraps on a greased wire rack set over a cookie sheet, coat each in cooking spray or a light brushing of olive oil, and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown.
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.
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.
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.
Folks, you are in for a very special treat today. You are witnessing a part of Foodie McBooty history — a huge milestone in the cooking life of Foodie McBooty: I just bought my first basil plant! Before this, I have never attempted growing an herb garden — in fear of my cat eating more of the plant than I actually would.
(*Jaws Theme Plays* AHHHHHH!!!!)
But I couldn’t resist the sweet smell of fresh basil and gave in.
So what’s a girl to do now that she has her own basil plant? I ripped off as many leaves as possible and made fresh basil pesto! I think I left enough plant for the little guy to survive. I think…
1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts, almonds, etc... *see note)
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
Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the nuts and pulse a couple more times. Add part of the olive oil and process for a few seconds. Repeat this step until all of the olive oil is used and your ingredients are smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheeses. Pulse until just combined.
Pesto freezes really nicely. Pop any extra you may have into a freezer bag or small container for future use.
Also, experiment with using different nuts in your pesto. Each provide a slightly different flavor and you might find a new favorite. I've heard toasted macadamia nuts are pretty good. Haven't tried it myself yet.
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.
Instead, I saved on the fat and salt content and used this baked crust instead. A tasty alternative indeed.
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.
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.