Over the summer I feel like Food Network becomes mayonnaise nation. All the potato salads (which seems like the only thing that all Food Network chefs seem to be making during summer season) contain unimaginable amounts of mayonnaise. Maybe it’s cuz I am always watching Food Network around the time when Paula Deen, Ina Garten and Rachel Ray shows are on and these ladies love anything with mayonnaise and butter but I just can’t eat mayo filled salads in the heat.
This salad is perfect for the summer. The apple cider vinegar (don’t try to replace it with any other vinegar!!!!!) makes the onions pickled and so delicious. I used haricot vert but you can use regular green beans even though I think haricot vert are more tender and tend to be more crunchier even after being steamed and boiled.
Ingredients: 1 bag of trimmed haricot vert, 1 pound of small potatoes (like fingerling or teenie meenie ones from Trader Joes), 1/2 chopped red onion, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to season
Begin by steaming the haricot vert for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the beans and throw them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cut the beans in half and add to a bowl.
Add the red onion
Boil the potatoes and add them to the onions and haricot vert. Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. If the dressing is too acidic for your taste (let the dressing soak into the potatoes and onions for 10 minutes though before deciding that though) add some olive oil.
Let the potato salad stand in the fridge 10 to 30 minutes for the onions and the potatoes absorb the pickled taste from the vinegar.
There are two things I can’t cook for the life of me. Dough (pie crust, pizza dough, bread…no matter what kind) and rice. I know rice sounds pathetic for a person who leads a food blog but it’s true. I always either undercook it, overcook it or straight up burn it. So I typically buy boil-in-a-bag rice and just throw it into boiling water for 5 minutes. Yesterday i discovered an even simpler method. Cooked brown rice from Trader Joes. Yet another reason to love Trader Joes (in addition to the frozen falafel, croissants and chicken tikka masala). When I saw cooked lentils, I knew it was meant to be. Dinner in 15 minutes!
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped carrots, 3 minced cloves, 3 cups cooked lentils, 1/2 cup broth, 3 cups cooked brown rice, fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, juice from 1/2 lemon (optional), salt and pepper to season
To a skillet or pot, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onion softens. Season with salt and pepper.
Add broth and allow to cook for 5 more minutes
Add the brown rice
Mix together and add more salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro and feta cheese. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice if desired.
I really do have an excuse(s) though. First, I graduated from college a few weeks ago. Second, I am moving to New York. It is mainly my move to New York (and all the apartment hunting, job searching factors that come along with the move) that has kept me from posting or even cooking. It’s hard to remember the last time I even cooked and not eaten out or taken food out. This will all change now as I have finally secured the most adorable little studio in New York where I will continue to cook but now in a much smaller space. With the move happening this upcoming week, keep a look out for all my new recipes. As for now happy Memorial Day weekend and enjoy this white pizza recipe.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese (make sure to use smoked, otherwise the pizza will be really bland), 1.5-2 cups spinach, pizza dough, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 plum tomatoes thinly sliced, olive oil for drizzling, salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 450. In a food processor or blender, combine ricotta cheese, garlic, salt and pepper
Add mozzarella cheese and spinach
Pulse until smooth. Roll out the dough and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and spread the spinach mixture evenly on top
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Top with sliced tomatoes and bake until the crust becomes golden
Slice and serve
And no, I did not take a pizza and boil it until it became a soup. Sounds silly? That’s what the boyfriend first assumed I was going to make when I told him about pizza soup. When my roomate posted that she was having pizza on facebook, the first comment was “ummm good luck ? sounds so weird!”. Why is there such a stigma against pizza soup??? It’s simply a soup that has all the ingredients that a vegetarian pizza would have. I found it through tastespotting on moderate oven. It tastes amazing!
Ingredients:1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large diced onion, 3-4 pressed cloves of garlic, 1 large julienned green bell pepper, 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms, 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 ½ cups vegetable broth, fresh or dried Italian seasonings to taste, salt and pepper to taste, 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Begin by adding olive oil to a pot. Saute the onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms until the vegetables are soften and the liquid from the mushrooms has almost evaporated. This takes 10 to 12 minutes.
Disclaimer: I was not thinking that day and started sautéing the veggies in a skillet. Once I realized I transferred them to a pot.
Add the tomatoes
Add stock and Italian seasonings
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes.While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven broiler.When the soup has finished simmering, season it to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle it into ramekins. Top each bowl with cheese.
Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown slightly. Remove from the broiler and serve hot.
Filed under Soup, Vegetarian
I honestly really like Giada De Laurentiis and her cooking. I always watch her shows whenever it’s on. I don’t even mind her personality but I feel like I am always picking on her. This time it was Let Them Eat Cake episode about kid friendly meals. These Grilled Cheese with Spinach sandwiches were considered one of these recipes. There is a stick of butter used in these sandwiches! While it was absolutely delicious, there was a little too much butter pouring out of the sandwiches even for me. I honestly suspect that a stick of butter is probably nutritionally not the best thing for kids even if there is a dose of spinach added.
I also have my doubts about the benefits of pancetta so I skipped it altogether when making this recipe. Nevertheless for adults, the sandwiches are delicious delicious. The cheese and the butter melts out of the bread and the spinach goes really well with it. You can also refrigerate the filling and make these grilled cheese sandwiches the next few days.
Ingredients: 1 stick butter, 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 2 cups shredded mild Cheddar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus extra as needed), 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach, 16 slices country-style white bread (I used sourdough cuz that’s my favorite), 1 teaspoon salt, vegetable oil cooking spray
To a food processor or a blender, add the cheese
Top with butter, oil and salt
Blend until smooth. Add more oil if the mixture does not blend easily. Spread the filling on one piece of bread.
Cover with another piece of bread. Spray the panini maker with vegetable oil spray and grill the sandwiches until gold and crispy for 3 to 4 minutes.
A few days ago, I noticed that I had two boxes of easy-make risotto. Uninspired to go to the grocery store (don’t judge Boston is like still 30℉ in March), I decided to make use of the risotto and the baby portobello mushrooms- by stuffing the mushrooms with the Porcini and Parmesan risotto. Here is the result.
Ingredients: 10 oz portobello mushrooms stems removed, 5.5 oz package of risotto (I used the Lundenberg one), 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, olive oil to drizzle the mushrooms, salt and grilled seasoning to season
Preheat oven to 400. Add mushrooms to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and grilled seasoning
Roast mushrooms for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the risotto according to the instructions on the box.
When the risotto is cooked, stuff the mushrooms with it and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
This dish is less about complexity and more about the aesthetics. It is one of the simplest dishes you can make since I used ready made tomato sauce but it looks beautiful when serving as a side dish for guests where each guest can get his/her separate stack. You can substitute the tomato sauce and instead make a gratin type of sauce or simply dress the cooked roasted vegetables with a yogurt, dill and garlic dressing. The secret is in slicing all the vegetables and mozzarella cheese into equally sized circles.
Ingredients: 1 large tomato sliced, 1 potato sliced, 1 red pepper sliced, 1 eggplant sliced (I had to use zucchini since my grocery store ran out of eggplants. Bummer), 1 large ball of mozzarella cheese sliced, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to season, olive oil to drizzle the vegetables
Preheat oven to 350. Begin by arranging all the vegetables in a circle. Make sure to create a reoccurring pattern. I had the order of tomato, zucchini, pepper, mozzarella, potato but it really doesn’t matter as long as you follow one order throughout.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
Pour the tomato sauce into the center and cover the vegetables with Parmesan cheese
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes soften. Serve hot.