Thursday, September 22, 2016

Eggplant Wrapped Ricotta Gnocchi

It's vacation time! That means Ottolenghi get's pulled of the shelf.  This is one of those recipes that you make when you have the day off.

Eggplant Wrapped Ricotta Gnocchi
Adapted from Ottolenghi

1 cup ricotta
2 egg yolks
4 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

1 small/medium eggplant
1/2 cup olive oil

1 stick butter
20 sage leaves, chopped

1. Mix first set of ingredients in a bowl and let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Trim the top and bottom off the eggplant. Thinly slice eggplant lengthwise, about 1/4 inch slices. You will need about 8-12 slices to wrap your gnocchi.
3. Lay eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush eggplant with olive oil and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
4. Now we make the gnocchi!  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Wet your hands and make gnocchi about 3 tablespoons large and sort of a barrel shape.  Carefully drop dumplings into water and cook until they float to the top.  Use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi from the pot.  Place on paper towel lined plate to drain excess water. Brush with remaining olive oil.
5. Once eggplant and gnocchi are cooled, wrap each gnocchi with a strip of eggplant.  Place in a small greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
6. In a small saucepan melt butter with sage leaves and salt (if using unsalted butter).  Pour butter over cooked eggplant wrapped gnocchi.

This is a lovely and delicate meal.  It's definitely not going to feed a crowd like my usual recipes so just keep that in mind.  This is a great romantic meal for 2.

I love making fancy lil meals on my vacation! Victory!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lasagna Burger

It is still technically summer for another couple of days so I thought I could throw one more burger recipe your way.  I was pretty psyched about sharing this lasagna burger recipe with you guys because...well...obviously lasagna + burger = heaven.

Lasagna Burgers

burger patties
fresh basil
marinara sauce
garlic powder
Italian seasonings
burger buns

1. Butter your buns and season with garlic powder and Italian seasonings.
2. Grill burgers to your liking, melt mozzarella on top for the last few minutes. Toast buns on grill.
3. To assemble: spread ricotta on bottom bun, top with burger and torn basil leaves, spread sauce on top bun and devour!

Seriously there is no way you aren't drooling.  Just go make this for dinner. Now!

Yes, it is every bit as delicious as it sounds and looks.  Why are you still sitting here reading this when you could be eating a lasagna burger!?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Vegetable Baked Ziti

I know, again with the zucchini!  But let me tell you I had 2 zucchini that were so massive they made multiple dishes.  I still have 1/3 of a zucchini in the fridge that I haven't decided what I'm doing with yet.  Any suggestions?

Remember when I said I couldn't stop buying corn?  Yep, here it is again.

Vegetable Baked Ziti

1 lb pasta, ziti perhaps?
1 cup ricotta
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups tomato sauce 
2 ears of corn, for the kernals
2 cups zucchini
2 cups kale
2 tbsp oil
salt and pepper

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large saute pan, add vegetables and cook until vegetables are tender.
3. Mix ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add in pasta, vegetables, and tomato sauce. Dump it all into a 13x9 in pan.  Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted.

If you put enough vegetables in your cheese-carb pan, you can feel a little better about yourself.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Zucchini Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tried to shorten the name of these cookies, but I just needed you to know all the fun stuff that's waiting inside!

Zucchini Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Two Peas and Their Pod

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Combine oil and sugars until smooth add egg and vanilla.  Slowly add in flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in zucchini, oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
2.  Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet.
3.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges. Cool on wire racks.

The zucchini makes these cookies extra moist and chewy which is just the best way a cookie can be.

You can totally eat these cookies for breakfast because hello, vegetables and oats, totally a great way to start your day.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Grilled Pork Burgers

These zesty burgers have bacon inside! Bacon! Inside the burger! Yea, get excited because there are some chilies in there too along with fancy cheese on top.

Grilled Pork Burgers
Adapted from Food52

1 1/2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp diced green chilies
2 lb ground pork
3 oz smoked bacon, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
6 slices Manchego cheese
burger buns

1. Heat oil in a small pan, cook onions until softened.  Add chilies, garlic, thyme, cumin, and salt and pepper. Cook until another minute or 2.  Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl mix pork, bacon, cooled onion mixture, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Portion into 6 oz burgers,  I was able to make 6 because my pork packages were a little bigger than 1 lb each.
3.  Grill burgers 3-4 minutes on each side.  Top with Manchego cheese and grill until melted. Toast up those buns and eat up!

This is a really tasty alternative to your run of the mill burger that you probably need a break from by the summer's end anyway.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Miso Sesame Farro Salad

Want to bring something to your Labor Day BBQ that isn't covered in mayonnaise or riddled with bacon bits?

I've got you covered.

Miso Sesame Farro Salad

1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp honey

8.8 oz uncooked farro (I used this package from Trader Joe's)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup greens, sliced thinly (I used a kale/spinach combo)
sesame seeds for garnish

1. Whisk first set of ingredients in a bowl or large measuring cup to make the dressing.
2. Cook farro according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool for a bit.
3. Mix cooled farro, vegetables, and dressing in a large bowl.

This is such a tasty and healthy alternative to the usual BBQ fare.

I was so excited to try farro for the first time!  If you haven't tried it yet it's super simple to prepare (at least the bag I got at Trader Joe's was) and has a nice nutty flavor and texture to it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Creamy Corn Pasta with Bacon and Zucchini

Summer time produce is here! I can't stop buying corn and I have accumulated several pounds of zucchini.  Hooray for fresh produce!

Creamy Corn Pasta with Bacon and Zucchini
Adapted from NY Times

1 lb dried pasta
4 slices bacon
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 ears of corn, shucked (2 cups kernels)
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup basil, torn
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
2. In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp, remove and drain on paper towels.  Cook zucchini in bacon fat until softened, remove from pan.  Add some oil, if needed, to cook scallion whites.  Add all but 1/4 cup of corn and 1/4 cup of water.  Simmer 3-5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper and transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth adding water to achieve desired consistency.
3. Add butter and reserved corn to the skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes.  Add corn puree and stir until combined and heated through.  
4. Add pasta to the skillet along with half of the reserved pasta water (adding more if it seems too thick). Stir in bacon, zucchini, green scallions, parmesan, basil, and red pepper flakes.

I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but this really is a simple meal.  Feel free to eliminate the bacon to make it vegetarian, it is definitely not an essential ingredient.