Monthly Archives: February 2011

Tuna Empanada

Whenever I have no time to cook something up but I am tired of frozen meals and takeout, I make puff pastry pies. Whether with cheese, meat and egg, or with vegetables, it always comes out great and takes little effort and time. This time I made a Tuna Empanada that I found on  Even though it didn’t taste much like a genuine Tuna Empanada (I think there needs to be more acidity in the filling- add tomato paste perhaps?), it was delicious. Me and my room mate are suckers for freshly baked puff pastry and bread. The minute the empanada came out of the oven, me and Anna were on it burning the roofs of our mouths.

Ingredients: 2 chopped plum tomatoes, 1 chopped green bell, 1 chopped onion, 2 cubed hard boiled eggs, 1 lb canned tuna, 2 mined garlic cloves, 1 egg lightly beaten, 2 sheets thawed frozen puff pastry, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to season, nonstick vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 450. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add tomatoes, pepper and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for 10 until they soften.

Add tuna to a bowl and top with vegetables

Add the hard boiled eggs and salt and pepper

Mix together. Spray the baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Roll out the puff pastry on the baking sheet. Spread filling onto the puff pastry leaving 1-inch border.

Brush edges with beaten egg and roll out a second puff pastry sheet over the filling.

Seal the edges with a fork. Brush the puff pastry with the remainder of beaten egg. Cut eight small slashes in the top puff pastry sheet. Bake the empanada until crisp and browned for about 20 to 25 minutes.

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Filed under Pastry, Seafood

Out of Order: Quickfire Salad

I am sick with a cold. It’s terrible. I can’t cook anything that takes any effort. This salad is great when you can only spend 5 minutes in the kitchen. Now back to bed! Hopefully will be back in a few days. My favorite mushroom soup recipe will be posted soon. It has been known to cure all illness.

Ingredients: 2 cups chopped mushrooms, 1 avocado chopped, juice from 1 lemon, salt and pepper to season

Begin by adding the mushrooms to a bowl

Add avocados

Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Mix all together

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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

Eggplant Sandwiches

I never throw out my magazines. Eventually this might become a problem. I subscribe to a lot of magazines, let me tell you. One of the greatest things about keeping cooking magazines, in particular, is that you can always go back and fish (pun intended) for recipes.This recipe came from the May issue of Bon Appetit: Grilled Spiced Eggplant and Minted Yogurt Stacks. Doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, but tastes delicious and can be served as both an appetizer and a main course dish. Even my roomate, who absolutely HATES eggplant, said it was pretty good.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 cup diced cucumber, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 1 pressed garlic clove, 2 eggplants cut into 1/2-inch-thick circles, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, Olive oil (for brushing the eggplant), salt and pepper to season

Preheat the broiler. Begin by making the eggplant rub. In a bowl, mix coriander, paprika and cumin.

Brush eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle on both sides with the spice mix, salt and pepper

Broil the eggplant until slightly charred for 10 minutes, turning and brushing with more olive oil if dry. Meanwhile make the filling. Combine the cucumber with the mint and garlic.

Add yogurt, salt and pepper and mix together. When the eggplant is done, place half of the circles on a plate. Add feta and yogurt mixture evenly over the eggplant circles.

Top with an empty eggplant slice. Garnish with mint if desired.




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Filed under Appetizer, Main Course, Vegetarian

Rice Citrus Salad

After the last two posts, I felt like I needed to compensate for all the unhealthy food that I’ve been eating lately. I saw this recipe on Giada at Home and decided to try it out. Recently I was talking to my friends about Giada and we all came to the conclusion that she really overdoes it when she says Italian food names with her ‘accent’. “Mozallella, proshutto, panshetta…” Giada we know you cook Italian and you know a lot about Italian food but really drop the accent that you don’t have when you say regular things. It is unnecessary and at times borderline annoying. Nevertheless your recipes are amazing. This salad was a hit and officially made my roomate’s favorite dishes list.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (I used brown instead), 1 lemon zested, 1 orange zested, 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 cups sliced green onions, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice,  fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, salt and black pepper to season

Preheat to 350. Lay the almonds on a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast for 5 to 6 minutes. Let the almonds cool.

Bring the chicken broth, salt and oil to a boil and add the rice. Cover the saucepan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook the rice until all liquid has been absorbed for about 40 minutes. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes and add to a bowl. Add the almonds.

Add the parsley, green onions, orange zest and half of the lemon zest. Mix together.

In a blender combine all the vinaigrette ingredients.

Blend until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the rice salad

Mix together and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!


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Filed under Salad

My First Meatball Sub

Recently watching something on Food Network, I realized that I had never had a meatball sub. I might seem weird but I never had this desire to order one at a sandwich store. I am more of a cold sandwich kind of girl. This realization prompted me to cook my own version of a meatball sub that I knew I would enjoy. They boyfriend was puzzled by the presence of rice in the meatballs and the cream in the sauce but again I put cream and rice in everything. So feel free to neglect the bread and cheese and just use this as a baked meatballs recipe. It is delicious!

Ingredients: 1lb ground beef and pork (o.5 lb of each), 2 cups cooked rice, 1 onion chopped, 1 egg, 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes, 2 grated carrots, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons light cream, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and italian seasonings to taste.

Preheat oven to 400. Begin by adding the meat, 1/2 the onion, rice, egg, salt, italian seasoning and pepper to a bowl

Add sour cream and mix together. Form the meatballs and set aside in a baking dish.

For the sauce, saute the remaining onion and carrots in a skillet with olive oil. Cook until the onions turn golden.

Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes

Add the vegetables, salt and pepper to the blender and top with cream

Puree the mixture until smooth. Spread the sauce over the meatballs

Bake for 30 minutes. Add to toasted bread and cover with cheese.



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Filed under Meat, Sandwich

Death on a Stick

“What is in these? They are delicious”-someone asked me at the Super Bowl party I took these to.

“Just bacon, sugar, maple syrup and blue cheese”-I listed

“Just everything that is bad for you”-

Basically. But does it matter when these chicken bites are so delicious? Is there anything better than bacon and blue cheese though? Especially when the maple bacon is dredged in sugar and stuffed with blue cheese. I found this recipe on food network and updated the original Paula Deen Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps recipe by adding some blue cheese in the middle of it all.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts, 1 lb sliced bacon (I used maple bacon), 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the chili powder and brown sugar

Slice the chicken into slices. Paula Deen cut the chicken into cubes but since I added blue cheese, I sliced it instead. Add blue cheese to the chicken strips.

Slice the bacon into thirds. Wrap each chicken slice with bacon

Secure with toothpicks

Dredge the chicken bits in sugar/chili mixture

Spray the cookie sheet with non-stick spray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes

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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Even though it’s cold out and all we want to eat is bacon potato soup (at least that’s what I crave from January to April), there is nothing wrong if we remind ourselves of Spring months before it actually happens. I got this recipe from Ina Garten in Glamour’s October issue but I think it originally came from her new book, Barefoot Contessa, how easy is that? The combination of fresh herbs, lemon and fresh salmon is just amazing and reminds us that Spring might not be that far off.

Ingredients: 1 skinless and boneless salmon fillet, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup minced scallions (white and green parts), 1/2 cup minced fresh dill, 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, 1/4 cup dry white wine, salt and pepper to season

Roasted Potatoes: 10-12 small sized potatoes, 1 tablespoon grilled seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon paprika and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Preheat oven to 425.

Place salmon in a glass dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over the salmon and let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine all of the herbs. Coat the salmon with the herb mixture on both sides.

Pour wine around the salmon

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is almost cooked at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon just in the very center.

For a simple side of roasted potatoes, combine potatoes with the seasonings and olive oil.

Roast for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes become tender. Serve with the salmon.

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Filed under Fish, Main Course, Side Dish

Dip good for a game and a snow day

For those of you who have and use twitter, you must have noticed the hilarious terms that have been going around to describe the crazy weather that we’ve been having. Snowmaggedon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, snowtorious, snOMG are just some among the many hilarious hashtags that there are out there to describe the crazy snowfall that we’ve been having for the last 24 hours. With the Super Bowl so soon and with most of us trapped in the house because of the snow days, what can be better than dip? Recipe from Paula Deen.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoon flour, 2 cups half-and-half (or cream or milk), 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup sherry, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 egg yolks lightly beaten, 1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped, 1 lb clean,peeled and deveined shrimp, 1/4 lb mushrooms chopped, 3/4 cups grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, dash of salt, red pepper and paprika.

Preheat oven to 350. Begin by melting the butter in an ovenproof pot on medium heat.

Add the flour and blend together. Add half-and-half (I used milk) and whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.

Add Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, sherry, salt and pepper. Mix together.

To a bowl with yolk add a few tablespoons of the cheese sauce to temper the yolks so as not to cook them.

Leave aside for 2 minutes and then add back to the pot with sauce.Add the mushrooms to the pot.

Top with shrimp and artichokes

Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika

Send the pot to the oven. I covered my pot with some foil to prevent the cheese from burning but it’s up to you. Bake for 30 to 30 minutes.Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

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Filed under Appetizer, Seafood