• Cilantro Pesto Pasta

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    The inspiration for this recipe came from a recipe from Cooking Light, but we’ve adapted the original recipe to create our own family favorite. If you’re vegetarian or don’t have any chicken on hand, omit the chicken, and it’s still delicious. Definitely a crowd pleaser, and if you omit the serrano, it’s very kid friendly. Everyone we’ve ever served this to has LOVED it, so enjoy!
    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
    • 1 package fresh mint, leaves removed from stem
    • 6 oz cotija cheese
    • 3 TBSP pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, or almonds
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 serrano chile (optional)
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt to taste
    • Black pepper to taste
    • 1 lb. pasta
    • 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    • Grilled chicken

    Important notes — add pasta water to thin if necessary, don’t add salt until after cheese is incorporated because cheese can be very salty

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta according to directions
    2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken and grill, then cut into bite-sized pieces
    3. Place cilantro, mint, cheese, nuts, garlic, and serrano in a food processor; process until well blended. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute, process until well blended. Add pasta water, if desired to thin pesto.
    4. Combine pasta, tomatoes, chicken, and pesto; toss to combine.

    Cilantro Pesto:

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  • Fruit Pizza

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    This recipe comes from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook at the grocery store checkout. This sugar cookie base with sweet cream cheese and seasonal fresh fruits and simple and delicious.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package (20 oz) refrigerated sliceable sugar cookies, sliced
    • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
    • Assorted fruit, such as kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, grapes, raspberries, blackberries etc.
    • 1/4 cup apricot preserves, pressed through sieve to remove lumps
    • 1 TBSP water

    Directions:

    1. Preheat over to 375. Line 12 inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Arrange cookie dough slices in a single later in prepared pan; press together to form crust. Bake 14 minutes; cool. Invert onto serving plate; carefully remove foil. Invert onto large serving plate or tray so crust is right-side-up.
    2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spread over crust.
    3. Arrange fruit over cream cheese layer. Mix preserves and water; brush over fruit. Refrigerate 2 hours.
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    Fruit Pizza:
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  • Curried Lo Mein

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    I got this recipe off 28 cooks. It was just ok, but I may make it again and substitute Thai red curry paste for the curry powder. The curry paste may give this dish the wow flavor I was hoping for. There’s nothing wrong with this recipe, it just didn’t wow us.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 oz. cooked linguine
    • 1 TBSP sesame oil
    • 1 TBSP canola oil
    • 1 TBSP ginger, julienned
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 TBSP curry powder
    • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
    • 1 c. carrots, matchsticks
    • 1.5 cups bell pepper, julienned
    • 1 c. mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 c. bean sprouts
    • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced

    Directions:

    1. Toss cooked noodles with sesame oil and set aside
    2. Heat canola oil over medium high heat. Saute ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add curry and sugar, saute for 15 seconds. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute, then cover and cook an additional minute. Add sprouts and green onions, cook 1 minute uncovered. Add noodles and soy sauce, cook 2 minutes. Add cilantro, mix well, and remove from heat.
    3. Serve hot and enjoy.

    Curried Lo Mein:

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  • Tomatillo Tartar Sauce

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    Here’s another recipe from those recipe cards at the grocery store. This recipe has great promise, the flavors are really great, but next time we will substitute sour cream for the mayo…neither of us cared much for the mayo flavor. We served the tartar sauce over some wonderful rockfish fillets, but this sauce would make an awesome sauce for baja fish tacos!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 lb. tomatillos (about 8 medium)
    • 1 cup mayonnaise (we’ll use sour cream next time)
    • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (we used 1)
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well; finely chop to make 1 cup tomatillos.
    2. Stir together tomatillos, mayonnaise/sour cream, lime juice, jalapenos, cilantro, cumin and salt.
    3. Serve with grilled seafood.

    Tomatillo Tartar Sauce:

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  • Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani

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    This recipe comes from the July 2007 Saveur magazine. It had really good flavor, but if we make it again then we’ll use boneless chicken instead of bone in chicken. It was kid friendly, so that’s a super big plus, and because of that we will likely make it again. The marinade is pretty strong and smells quite spicy, but by the time the dish is complete, it is very mild and not spicy at all. In fact it might be even better if it had more of a kick. I also thought about trying red curry paste in the marinade, because I love most things with red curry paste, but then it wouldn’t be too kid friendly.

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 TBSP ground coriander
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
    • .5 tsp pepper
    • 6 shallots, roughly chopped
    • 1 5 inch fresh peeled ginger, roughly chopped
    • salt
    • 6 skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise through the bone
    • 6 skinless chicken drumsticks
    • 2 TBSP oil
    • 1 cup jasmine rice (recipe actually calls for 2.5, but the water added below doesn’t mesh with that amount, so I adjusted the amount of rice accordingly)
    • 2 kirby cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced
    • Thai-style chile sauce, such as Sriracha

    Directions:

    1. In a blender, combine coriander, cumin turmeric, pepper, shallots, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp. slat, and 1/3 cup water; puree to a paste. Toss chicken and spice paste together in a large bowl to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to let marinate for 1 hour.
    2. Heat oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and all the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is deeply caramelized and chicken is just beginning to brown, 12-14 minutes.
    3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes. Add salt to taste and 2 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until rice is just tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Uncover and, using a fork, gently toss together the chicken and rice. Serve immediately with cucumbers and chile sauce on the side.

    Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani

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  • Coconut Lentil Curry

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    This lentil curry dish is delicious, and it’s super easy to make. It’s spicy, so if you don’t care much for spicy food, you’ll want to hold back on the curry paste. If you entertain a lot of vegetarians, this is a good recipe to serve. This recipe is from www.28cooks.blogspot.com

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 1/4 c onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
    • 1 tbsp thai red curry paste
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 fresh serrano pepper, finely minced
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 1/2 c dried red lentils
    • 2 c zucchini, chopped
    • fresh cilantro, for garnish

    Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Add salt, cumin, and pepper, and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add broth, coconut milk, and lentils, and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and cook an additional 15 minutes, covered, until lentils and zucchini are soft. Remove from heat, serve over rice, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro.
    Coconut Lentil Curry
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