Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Scampi

Summer Scampi
Serves: 3-4
OBJ: TCW be able to take advantage of summer’s freshest ingredients

8 ounces linguini or spaghetti
14 extra large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 TBS unsalted butter plus 1 tsp for later use
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
½ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
1 lemon, quartered, seeds removed
1 head of roasted garlic (see below)
1 tsp dried parsley
2 zucchini, sliced thin and then quartered
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
S & P
 ¼ C Freshly Grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees for bread to heat up for later dunking!
2. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook linguini to package directions
3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat and stir oil (1 TBS), butter, a pinch (about ½ tsp) S & P, roasted garlic squeezed out of cloves  and parsley over medium flame
4. Add shrimp and let cook, about 4-5 minutes (Shrimp will be pink when cooked)
5. Using tongs remove shrimp from pan to a separate bowl and loosely cover with foil
6. Add wine and juice from lemon to pan and turn heat to high flame, scrape the bottom of pan and let wine cook down/reduce for 3-5 minutes
7. Add cherry tomatoes, zucchini,  ¼ C boiling pasta water , another generous pinch S & P, and lower flame to medium low
8. Cover pan for 10 minutes (at this point add your pasta to boiling water)
9. Uncover pan, use a fork to “break” tomatoes and stir sauté
10. Add the shrimp back to sauté, 1 tsp butter, and top with drained pasta
11. Toss generously and sprinkle with grated cheese
12. Serve it up and enjoyJ

Roasted Garlic:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Cut about ¼ in. off the top of an entire head of garlic (leave skin on!)
3. Place de-headed garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil
4. Sprinkle garlic with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
5. Drizzle 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil over garlic
6. Seal foil tightly but leave room inside so that garlic can still wiggle
7. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, let cool in foil

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Greek Veggie Wrap

Greek Veggie Wrap
Serves: 1

OBJ: TCW be able to up her vegetable quota for the day by wrapping her veggies up for lunch

1 tomato flavored tortilla wrap (I used Toufayan brand, but use what you can find!)
2 TBS spinach and artichoke hummus (I used Sabra brand, but again use what you can find or what you prefer!)
½ C baby spinach and baby arugula (cleaned)
½ C romaine lettuce (cleaned)
2 small mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
3 thin slices tomato, laid on paper towel to drain a little
1 thin slice red onion
3 TBS crumbled Feta cheese
S & P salt and pepper

1. Lay out wrap on cutting board
2. Using a butter knife spread the hummus around center of wrap, leaving at least an inch around border
3. Spread all the lettuces on top of hummus
4. Place tomato slices on top of lettuces
5. Sprinkle with a pinch salt and pepper
6. Spread mushroom slices on top of tomatoes
7. Crumble the Feta on top of mushrooms
(What the wrap should resemble before wrapping)

8. Fold the sides in first, then wrap in a rolling motion
9. While cleaning up, place heavy plate on top of wrap to let “set”
10. Cut in ½ and enjoy or wrap in foil and refrigerate for up to a dayJ

*** This is a delicious and healthy wrap for those of you, like me, who are trying to save a buck and cut down on processed lunch meat. Feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you like or have to use up; chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or sliced zucchini would be fantastic in this wrap. What I thought of, after eating this unfortunately, was that a side of honey balsamic dressing (Ken’s Chef Reserve brand, it’s so great) to dip my wrap into would have been a nice touch. Oh well, next time! Hopefully, you’ll try and enjoy too!***

Monday, June 27, 2011

Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters
Adapted from
Serves: 6-10

OBJ: TCW be able to use up her corn on the cob leftovers by deep frying them for a carnival-like treat!

2 Cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 C whole milk
¼ C melted unsalted butter
1 ½ Cups cooked corn, taken off cob (or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained, or about 1 1/2 cups frozen, thawed or fresh
1 medium sized zucchini, shredded and squeezed-drained with a paper towel
3 C vegetable oil

1.      Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl
2.      Combine eggs, milk and butter in a large bowl
3.      Fold in dry ingredients [add more or less flour - enough to bind batter]
4.      Add corn and zucchini last, mix well
5.      Heat about 3 cups vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium-high flame (or however much it takes to have oil go up to at least 1/2 your pan, also make sure the oil is hot before next step: you can check by either placing the end of a wooden spoon at bottom of pan and if bubbles come up, the oil is ready or you can drop a tsp of batter into oil to see if it bubbles and fries immediately)
6.      Drop batter heaping tablespoons into hot vegetable oil and deep fry about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flip fritters ½ way through frying
7.      Sprinkle with salt (or you can use powdered sugar or serve with syrup for a sweeter touch)
8.       Serve corn fritters warm

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garlic Knots

Outta Garlic, Garlic Knots
Serves: 4-6

OBJ: TCW be able to use spices to make up for her lack of garlic (gasp!) for a quick side to have with dinner

¼ C extra virgin olive oil
¼  tsp salt
¼  tsp fresh ground pepper
¼  tsp garlic powder
¼  tsp dried parsley
2-4 ounces pizza dough (about the size of a baseball)

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.      In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except dough
3.      Roll dough out to about 1/8 in thick
4.      Cut long strips, should make for 4 long strips
5.      Cut each long strip in half
6.      Loosely tie a knot with each piece of dough, doesn’t have to be perfect or even get all the way through knot hole
7.      Using a pastry brush, brush about 3 dips of the oil mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet
8.      Place knots on baking sheet, brush each knot twice with oil mixture
9.      Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping knots over ½ way through
10.  Once time is up or lightly browned, place on plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional)
11.  Enjoy with marinara or by themselves

*** This recipe was inspired by a lack of yet another key ingredient when making dinner: Italian bread! I thought I had a loaf in the freezer, but obviously didn’t. I remembered that I had some extra pizza dough left from the pizza I made earlier in the week, so viola!  This recipe can definitely be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled if you have more dough to use or use upJ

Monday, June 13, 2011

Manly Chicken Burgers

Manly Chicken Burgers
Serves: 6

OBJ: TCW be able to take manly burger necessities (bacon, cheese, etc) and combine them with lean chicken so that she won’t have to worry about her hubby’s arteriesJ

1 lb lean ground chicken meat
1 egg
1 tsp parsley
½ C red bell pepper diced
½ C onion diced
3 slices bacon, cut into cubes
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
S & P: salt and pepper
¾  C Port Wine Cheese
6 Ciabatta rolls, trimmed to fit burgers
Baby Spinach
6 slices fresh tomato

1.      In a medium sized pan, sauté oil and a pinch S & P over medium heat
2.      Add bacon, peppers, and onions, stir to combine
3.      Let cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure bacon browns and onions are see through before turning off heat
4.      Turn off heat and let cool in a seperate, paper towel-lined bowl for about 30 minutes
5.      In a large mixing bowl, add chicken meat, egg, parsley and sauté mixture
6.      Mix well to combine, divide meat into 6 sections
7.      Using your hands form into patties (can make 4 larger burgers or 8 smaller depending on your taste). Push each center in a little as that will poof up when cooking later
8.      Place on plate, cover, and let set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
9.      Preheat grill pan or outdoor grill over medium- high heat
10.  Slightly oil grill
11.  Place burgers on grill, turn once after 5-6 minutes (If difficult to flip let cook 1 more minute)
12.  Grill other side for an additional 5-6 minutes or until chicken meat is white and cooked in the center of each burger
13.  While this side is cooking, lay out the bottom halves of buns and place 5-8 baby spinach leaves on each
14.  Spoon and spread about 2 TBS of port wine  cheese over each burger and place on bottom halves on buns
15.  If desired, place tomato slices on each burger and top with other halves of buns
16.  ServeJ

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mini Pasta Cakes

Mini Pasta Cakes
Serves: 6-8

OBJ: TCW be able to use up her leftover linguiniJ

½ lb leftover linguini (any sautéed pasta leftover should work, this is from my linguini recipe earlier this week)
2 eggs
¼ C whole milk
¼ C shredded Gouda cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
¼ C shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp S & 1 tsp P:  salt and pepper

1.      Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.      Spray a 12 cup cupcake pan with non-stick spray
3.      In a small-medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheeses, S & P
4.      Add to leftover pasta, stir well
5.      Using two spoons, fill about 8 cups of pan ¾ full
6.      Pour water ¼ way up remaining cups of pan
7.      Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese and Gouda cheese over top
8.      Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set, bubbly and lightly browned
9.      Let sit for 5 minutes, remove from pan and serveJ

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stuffed Chicken

Stuffed Chicken with Sweet Peppers, Provolone & Shredded Squash
Serves: 2

OBJ: TCW be able to pan sear her stuffed chicken so that it looks somewhat like a restaurant dish

3, 4 ounce (medium sized) skinless boneless chicken breast, pounded thin
4 ½ slices sharp provolone cheese
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ medium onion, diced
1 yellow squash/zucchini (use green if that’s all you have) shredded and squeezed drained with paper towel
1 C all purpose flour
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 C chicken broth, simmering over stove
1 C dry white wine (I use pinot grigio, but use what you booze)
3 TBS  Wondra flour
S & P salt and pepper

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.      In a large dutch oven or large sauté pan that is oven proof, heat 3 TBS olive oil over medium-low heat
3.      Add peppers, onions, shredded squash and about 1 tsp salt and pepper. Stir and sauté until veggies are soft, about 10 minutes.
4.      Scrape veggies into a separate bowl to let cool down
5.      Lay each chicken breast out, lay 1 ½ pieces of provolone on top of each, so that only the outer edges of chicken show
6.      On each chicken breast, spoon about 2 heaping TBS of veggie sauté and spread over provolone pieces (you will have extra veggies for later useJ)
7.      Starting on the wider side of chicken, tightly roll
8.      It’s okay if some filling comes out, just use tooth picks to secure roll (see below)

9.      Let set for about 30 minutes covered in refrigerator
10.  In a shallow dish, mix 1 tsp salt and pepper with all purpose flour
11.  Roll each stuffed chicken breast in flour mix so that they are completely covered
12.  In the same pan you sautéed veggies from earlier, heat  additional 3 TBS of oil over medium flame with left over veggie sauté
13.  Sear chicken on each side for about 2-3 or until browned (about 10 minutes total) (If bottom “bits” are burning, add some chicken broth while doing this)
14.  Add chicken broth and wine to pan, stir up bottom “bits” lower heat to simmer for 2 minutes
15.  Cover pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is done, juices run clear
16.  Remove chicken to a platter and add wondra flour to juices left in pan, whisk to thicken
17.  Pour over chicken
18.  Serve & Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fresh Linguini with Shrimp, Zuc & Cherry Tomatoes

Fresh Linguini with Shrimp, Zuc, & Cherry Tomatoes
Serves: 4-6

OBJ: TCW be able to finally use the frozen linguini from her freezer by lightening it up with summer fresh veggies

1 lb fresh linguini, or whatever pasta you have
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS unsalted butter
3 strips bacon, cut into small strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ C sweet onion (Vidalia), minced
½ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, half of the pint cut in 1/2 , leave other ½ whole
2 medium size green or yellow zucchini, cut into ¼ in rounds, then quartered
1 lb extra large shrimp, cleaned, peeled & deveined
½ fresh grated parmesan cheese
S & P salt and pepper
1 loaf of Italian bread

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees for breadJ
2.      Boil water for pasta and make according to package directions, see below for when to add         ** fresh pasta takes much less time to cook than regular dried so def. check the directions!**
3.      In a large sauté pan, heat oil & butter until melted over medium flame
4.      Add garlic, onions, bacon, and a pinch S & P, stir
5.      Turn flame to medium low and allow veggies to cook and soften and bacon to brown, about 8 minutes
6.      Drain 1-2 TBS of drippings from pan if too oily
7.      Add wine, stir to get up the bottom “goodness”, and turn heat to high and boil wine to reduce, about 3-4 minutes
8.      Add cherry tomatoes, ¼ C pasta water, another pinch S & P, stir, turn heat to medium low and cover pan. Leave covered for 8-10 minutes (This allows tomatoes to release juices & burst)
9.      Uncover pan, add shrimp, turn heat back to medium and stir frequently
10.  Remove shrimp when pink and cooked to a side dish, loosely cover with foil
11.  Add zucchini to sauté, a pinch more S & P and stir, lower heat to medium low and cover
12.** At this point, I would add my pasta to boiling water**
13.  After pasta is done, drain well
14.  Add shrimp back to sauté pan, add pasta, ½ C pasta water, and toss well over medium heat
15.  Turn off flame and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on topJ
16.  Serve with warm and crusty bread!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stepped Up Blue Box Mac & Cheese

Stepped- Up Blue Box Mac & Cheese
Serves: 3-4

OBJ: TCW be able to take an ordinary box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and make it a show-stopper

1 Box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
3 slices American cheese, torn into pieces
½ C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¾  C Italian-Style breadcrumbs or homemade (*see below*)
1 TBS unsalted butter, melted
S & P salt and pepper

1.      Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.      Make mac and cheese according to package directions
3.      Place mac and cheese in a large casserole baking dish
4.      Toss American and Cheddar cheeses together
5.      Cover mac and cheese with cheeses
6.      Spread breadcrumbs on top of cheeses, sprinkle about 1 tsp S & P over breadcrumbs
7.      Drizzle melted butter over top
8.      Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly around edges of pan

** Homemade Breadcrumbs**

½ loaf Crusty Italian bread
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1.      Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.      Slice bread into chunks, toast in oven for about 15 minutes
3.      Let cool
4.      Place bread and spices in food processer and chop until fine