Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TV Ideas

So, last week I was flipping through the channels trying to find some garbage worth watching on television. On the Food Network was a show called The Greatest Thing I Ever Made that features their various personalities offering up recipes for their best dishes. This time around it was Marcela Valladolid. I have no idea what her culinary credits are but I knew she generally makes Mexican or Mexican inspired dishes. I like Mexican so I figured I would watch. What she made was a sweet corn and poblano lasagna. Now it being the peak of sweet corn season, I was really interested. I watched, and then I made the recipe at home. It was pretty darn good. Fattening as hell but good. I upped the garlic and corn content because I like those things....a lot. I could not find Oaxaca Cheese so I had to settle for plain old Mozzarella but I don't think that mattered all that much. I accidentally mistook a hot pepper from my CSA for a poblano (it looked similar and when I pick up my share I throw everything into 1 bag - oops). I did notice the mistake before I assembled the lasagna and tried to pick them all out but 1 or 2 pieces made it and gave the dish a nice kick that my husband did not care for. Oh well, I thought it was good. I would definitely make this again as a way to use up the summer bounty but not too often because it is certainly not low calorie.

You can find the recipe and photos HERE.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Spoils

I don't know what to call this concoction, other than delicious. It sort of blurs the line between a lasagna and a gratin. Regardless, I ate WAY too much of it. But, seeing as it was vegetarian and used far less cheese than I normally use (I was running low), I regret nothing. It started with the abundance of summer vegetables in my CSA share. I wanted to use as much as I could because the stuff generally doesn't last long being that it is free of pesticides and preservatives. So, I started with a TON of tomatoes that were starting to get squishy,  1 small eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 green pepper and 1 onion. I cut away all the icky parts on the tomatoes and cored and diced them to make a quick sauce. I didn't have any garlic left (the horrors!) but I did have some garlic scapes left in the back of my veggie drawer that were still hanging on so I cut them up and threw them in with the tomatoes along with a handful of fresh basil and let that all cook away (lid on). While the tomatoes were cooking I sliced my eggplant into planks, the zucchini into coins, the onion into rings and the pepper into somewhat flat planks. I cooked each of these in my grill pan until they were soft and pliable. You could certainly cook them on a grill but I didn't feel like sweating my ass off outside. The humidity has been off the charts lately and it is gross out there. The goal is to remove as much liquid from the vegetables as possible so you don't end up with a soupy mess of a casserole. Once that was done, my tomatoes were ready to process so I added a can of tomato paste to them and hit them with the immersion blender. BAM - sauce done. Next came the assembly. I coated the bottom of a casserole dish with sauce then I added a layer of eggplant followed by a layer of zucchini. Next came a layer of ricotta cheese - maybe 3/4 cup, followed by a layer of onion and pepper. Next came another layer of sauce topped with the last of the eggplant and zucchini. This was topped with more sauce and about a Cup of shredded mozzarella cheeses and a handful of Parmesan cheese. I baked this at 350F for about 40 minutes. Now, you should let this stand for a bit before eating it but I was hungry and dove right it. It was delicious.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Bake
2 Cups tomato sauce - jarred or homemade
1 small eggplant - cut lengthwise into planks
1 medium zucchini - cut into coins
1 medium onion - slice into rings (do not separate rings, leave in disks)
1 green pepper - cut into planks
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat over to 350F

Grill vegetables on both sides until soft and pliable. Set aside.

In a casserole dish layer vegetable, cheeses and sauce as follows:
Ricotta cheese
(Repeat with what ever veggies are left - I had enough eggplant and zucchini for 1 layer using them together)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving (or not if you're hungry).

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer YUMs

I am so tired right now I could cry. The hubs and I are leaving for vacation tomorrow and I have been frantically trying to prepare for the trip while working and doing a million other things. It doesn't help that hubs scared the shit out of me last night when he left for work and it took me 3 hours to get back to sleep. UGH! Last night I was up late trying to cook up all the CSA produce that I had in the fridge that would not be coming with us on vacation. I was inspired by a stuffed pepper recipe I saw on the blog Proud Italian Cook (click here to see her beautiful recipe photos). I had a bunch of cubanelle and hungarian wax peppers that fit the bill perfectly. Plus I had tons of tomatoes from the CSA and my own garden that needed to be used along with a bulb of fennel. So I made a nice marinara with tomatoes and fennel to go with this take on stuffed peppers:

Stuffed Italian Peppers

1 bunch broccoli rabe
5 cloves garlic sliced
2 Tbs oil
6 cubanelle peppers
1 pound Italian sausage
1Cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

Preheat over to 400F

In a large pan saute broccoli rabe with oil and garlic until soft. Chop and set aside.

Cut tops off of peppers and slit down one side. Remove core, membranes and seeds.

In a bowl mix sausage, cheeses and broccoli rabe  until combined.

Stuff mixture into peppers and place in a baking pan

Bake for 40 minutes

Serve with warm marinara.