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Greek Panzanella Salad

Greek Panzanella Salad

I have been meaning to try a panzanella salad for a while but I never seem to have the old crusty bread when I think about it. A panzanella salad is a salad that includes bread that is typically old and crusty. I had a Greek salad earlier in the week and I still had all of the ingredients on hand. I thought that a Greek panzanella salad would be pretty good. The bread was pretty stale and I wanted it to soften up a bit so I threw it in a bowl and mixed in the tomato so that the bread absorbed all of the tomatoes juice. The salad turned out pretty good. The bread really soaked up the dressing and ended up being pretty flavourful. I will definitely be thinking of a panzanella salad the next time I have some bread that is getting stale.

Ingredients:
1 cup crusty old bread (broken into bite sized pieces)
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 cucumber (chopped)
1 tablespoon red onion (sliced)
1 handful sun dried black olives
1 tablespoon feta cheese (crumbled)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (I used the oil from the sun dried black olives package)
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 dash oregano
1 teaspoon parsley (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the bread and tomato in a bowl with your hands to get the bread to absorb the tomato juice.
2. Add the cucumber, red onion and olives.
2. Top with the crumbled feta.
3. Mix the oil, vinegar, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and pour on the salad.

Similar Recipes:
Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad)
Greek Couscous Salad

Grilled Eggplant and Goats Cheese Tower

Grilled Eggplant and Goats Cheese Tower

It is getting near the end of the week and I was looking into cleaning out my fridge. Among other things I had a half an aubergine, a half of a roasted red pepper, some marinara sauce and some goats cheese. I remembered seeing a photo of some stacked eggplant slices and decided to make an eggplant tower. I really like grilled eggplant so I grilled the eggplant slices first. It turned out pretty good though it was a bit light. The eggplant that I had was rather small and there was not enough left for a second so I added a salad to complete the meal.

Ingredients:
2 slices of eggplant (1/2 inch thick)
2 ounces goats cheese
1 roasted red pepper (chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 cup marinara sauce

Directions:
1. Broil the eggplant slices until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side.
2. Mix the goats cheese, roaster red pepper and parsley.
3. Place the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.
4. Place one slice of eggplant on the marinara sauce.
5. Place half of the goats cheese mixture on top of the eggplant.
6. Place the other slice of eggplant on the goats cheese mixture.
7. Top with the remaining goats cheese mixture.
8. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10-15 minutes.

Note: You can broil a fresh red pepper at the same time as the eggplant if you do not have roasted red pepper.

Picadillo

Picadillo on Rice

I was looking for a way to use up some of the leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that were sitting in my fridge when I came across picadillo. Picadillo has an interesting combination of flavours. In addition to the chipotles in adobo sauce, it contains cinnamon, raisins and sometime green olives. This dish is spicy hot, savory and sweet all rolled into one. I tried it without the olives this time but next time they will be going in. This recipe made a lot so I will be bringing it to work with me for lunches.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef (or pork)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 chiptole chilies in adobo sauce (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon almonds (ground)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup green olives (chopped, optional)

Directions:
1. Brown the ground meat in a pan and discard the grease.
2. Set the cooked meat aside.
3. Heat the oil in the pan.
4. Add the onions ans saute until translucent.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
6. Add the chili powder and cumin and saute until fragrant.
7. Add the meat, tomatoes, chipotles, cinnamon, sugar, almonds and bay leaf.
8. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
9. Add the raisins and simmer for another 5 minutes.
10. Add the cilantro and olives and remove from the heat.

Use in:
Chili Rellenos

Similar Recipes:
Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Picadillo Tacos

Melon Salad with Prosciutto and Goats Cheese

Melon Salad with Prosciutto and Goats Cheese

I picked up a cantaloupe at the farmers market on the weekend. I was enjoying it with some blueberries and I wondered if there were any other interesting ways of eating cantaloupe. I looked around the web and found several melon salad recipes that sounded tasty. A few of them caught my attention because they contained prosciutto. How can you go wrong with a salad that contains melon, prosciutto, goats cheese and toasted pine nuts? It seems that I have been eating a lot of salads lately. Salads really do seem to hit the spot on warm summer days.

Ingredients:
1 handful lettuce
1 serving cantaloupe (sliced)
1/2 ounce prosciutto
1/2 ounce goats cheese (crumbled)
1 tablespoon pine nuts (toasted)
1 tablespoon basil (thinly sliced)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and peppers to taste

Directions:
1. Arrange the lettuce on the plate and top with the cantaloupe, prosciutto, goats cheese, toasted pine nuts and basil.
2. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and pour on the salad.

Similar Recipes:
Strawberry and Feta Salad
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Butter Toasted Almonds
Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette
Pear and Maple Pecan Salad
Melon and Feta Salad

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Kalyn's Kitchen.

Bibim Guksu (Soba and Kimchi Salad)

Bibim Guksu (Soba and Kimchi Salad)

While I was looking for recipes with kimchi I came across My Korean Kitchen which is a great site with a lot of good looking Korean recipes. The first dish that caught my attention was this one for soba and kimchi salad. This salad is really good! I have already had it twice! The noodles in the salad are served cold and the kimchi and the dressing add a spicy heat making this a perfect summer dish. The salad has a nice mixture of textures from the soft and chewy noodles to the crisp and crunchy carrots and cucumbers.

Ingredients:
1 serving soba noodles
2 leaves of lettuce (thinly sliced)
1 leaf of red cabbage (thinly sliced)
2 inches of cucumber (julienned)
2 inches of carrot (julienned)
1 tablespoon kimchi
1 tablespoon gochujang dressing
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (toasted)

Directions:
1. Cook the soba noodles.
2. Rinse the soba noodles under cold water until the noodles are cool.
3. Place the noodles in a bowl.
4. Add the lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrots and kimchi to the bowl.
5. Pour the dressing on the salad.

Soba and Kimchi Salad (Bibim Guksu)

Similar Recipes:
Bibimbap
Spicy BBQ Chicken Bibimbap
Cole Slaw
Zucchini and Kimchi Quinoa Salad
Kimchi Jjigae (Pork and Kimchi Stew)

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

I am always on the lookout for new tasty sandwich ideas. I came across this tasty looking sandwich a while ago and bookmarked it to try later. The combination of honey, chipotle, cumin and melted smoked mozzarella cheese is really amazing. The sandwich was a bit messy but it made a really tasty Sunday lunch. I think the next time I make this I might try adding some corn.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic (thinly sliced)
1 chicken breast
1 teaspoon oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon honey
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce (chopped)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
1 sandwich roll
1 ounce smoked mozzarella

Directions:
1. Place the chicken in a pan with the water, cumin and garlic and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove chicken and slice thinly.
4. Heat the oil in a pan.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
6. Add the cumin and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Add the tomato puree, honey, chipotle chili in adobo, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and salt and simmer to reduce, about 4 minutes.
8. Add the sliced chicken and cook until warm, about 3 minutes.
9. Place the chicken in a bun and cover with the cheese.
10. Place the bottom of the bun with the chicken and cheese under a broiler until the cheese melts.

Similar Recipes:
BBQ Chicken with Blue Cheese Slaw Wraps

Kimchi Jjigae (Pork and Kimchi Stew)

Pork and Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae)

I was searching the web for recipes that used kimchi and I found several for Kimchi Jjigae or kimchi stew. The main recipes that I found were for pork and kimchi stew. I saw some variations of this dish that replaced the pork with canned tuna (which sounds good) and and some that used tofu in addition to the pork. Many of the recipes called for gochujang which is a spicy Korean condiment made of fermented soy beans, rice and chili powder. Keep in mind that both the kimchi and the gochujang are spiced with chili powder so be careful with the amounts that you use if you do not like it really hot. This stew was pretty easy to make and it was really tasty. I have really enjoyed the few Korean dishes that I have tried so far. I am going to have to start looking for a Korean cookbook.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 pound pork belly (cut into bite sized pieces) - samgyeopsal
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 cups dashi (or water)
1 cup kimchi (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 tablespoons gochujang
1 tablespoon gochugaru
1/2 package tofu (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 small onion (sliced)
1 cup zucchini (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 green chilies (sliced)
2 green onions (sliced)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.
2. Add the pork and saute until it is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the kimchi and water bring to a boil.
5. Mix in the gochujang and gochugaru and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Add the tofu, onion, zucchini and chilies and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and add the green onions.

Similar Recipes:
Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice)
Kimchi Quesadillas
Bibim Guksu (Soba and Kimchi Salad)
Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

More soup recipes!

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad

When I was at the market this morning I saw some yellow watermelons that looked pretty tasty. I don't normally get watermelons because I walk to get my groceries and a watermelon is a little heavy to carry home. My walk home from the farmers market takes about 30 minutes so I would normally pass on getting a watermelon. But, I remembered seeing this post on watermelon and feta. The idea of feta and watermelon together intrigued me enough to pick up a melon and carry it home. I was having problems cutting the watermelon into perfect squares so I decided to just cut it into chunks. I crumbled the feta and tossed it and the melon together in a bowl. I also added some basil. It was pretty good. The salty and dry feta really contrasts nicely with the sweet and wet watermelon. I think that mint would also go really well in this.

Similar Recipes:
Melon and Feta Salad

Peach Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peach Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tonight was a night for leftovers and cleaning out the fridge. I finished up the last of the tomato sauce from the beginning of the week on pasta. I also had some peaches that needed to be finished off and I though that I would try putting one in a salad. The salad ended up a bit bare as there was not much in the fridge but it tasted good regardless. Sometimes simple is best. I got to try a new salad dressing, a maple balsamic vinaigrette.

I have only recently started making my own salad dressings. It is pretty easy to make your own dressings. The basic components of a dressing are oil and vinegar. There are many types of both oil and vinegar and you can use different combinations of them to make different flavours of dressings. You can also add other ingredients to salad dressings: sweeteners like honey, heat from chilis, herbs, garlic, roasted red peppers, pureed raspberries, etc. There are so many different dressings just waiting to be discovered.

I look forward to further experimentation with salad dressings. Though I will also have to learn how to decide which ingredients go well together in the dressing and which dressing go with which salads.

Ingredients:
1 serving salad greens
1 peach (sliced)
1 tablespoon pecans (chopped)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Assemble salad.
2. Mix the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Pour the dressing on the salad.

Similar Recipes:
Shrimp and Blueberry Salad

Buta Kimchi Donburi

Buta Kimchi Donburi

I have been meaning to try kimchi for a while now. Kimchi is a Korean dish of fermented vegetables. Kimchi is typically seasoned with chili peppers and is usually hot. I had seen some cabbage kimchi at a local asian grocery store but I had been wondering what I could do with it. I came across a dish call buta kimchi donburi or pork and kimchi rice bowl here. Buta kimchi donburi is a Japanese dish that uses the Korean kimchi. This dish was tasty and really showed off the flavour and spiciness of the kimchi. I really enjoed the kimchi and I will be looking for more ways of using it.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small onion (sliced)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 serving pork (thinly sliced, I used a 1/8 inch pork chop, sliced into 1/2 inch strips)
1/4 cup kimchi
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1 serving cooked japanese rice
1 green onion (sliced, optional)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until it is translucent.
3. Add the ginger and saute until it is fragrant.
4. Add the pork and saute until the pork is no longer pink.
5. Add the kimchi, soy sauce, sake and sugar and simmer for a few minutes.
6. Place the pork and kimchi on the rice in a bowl and top with the green onion.

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Real Epicurean.

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad)

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad)

With all of the fresh, ripe, local fruits and vegetables that are around it is the perfect time to be enjoying salads. One of my favorite salads is a Greek salad. (I still find that a bit surprising as I did not like either red onions or olives when I was a kid.) This Greek salad has such an amazing combination of flavours. Like most salads, this one is easy to make; just chop every thing up and toss it together.

Many of recipes for salad dressings that I have seen call for a high ratio of oil to vinegar. I like vinegars and I prefer to really taste their bite. I generally use an oil to vinegar ratio of about 1:1. Of course it is always a good idea to mix the salad dressing in a separate bowl so that you can taste it and adjust it if it is needed.

Ingredients:
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 cucumber (chopped)
1 tablespoon red onion (sliced)
1 handful sun dried black olives
1 tablespoon feta cheese (crumbled)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (I used the oil from the sun dried black olives package)
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 dash oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the tomato, cucumber, red onion and olives.
2. Top with the crumbled feta.
3. Mix the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper and pour on the salad.

Similar Recipes:
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Cucumber, Feta and Dill Salad
Greek Panzanella Salad
Greek Couscous Salad
Feta Salsa

Tilapia Baked in Salsa Verde

Tilapia Baked in Salsa Verde

I have been meaning to try tilapia for a while now. I have pan fried fish before; I have broiled fish before; but I have never baked fish before. I have heard of baking chicken in salsa so I thought that I would try baking the tilapia in some of the leftover salsa verde. Baking the tilapia in the salsa kept the fish really soft and moist. The tilapia was pretty good and the salsa verde added a nice flavour to the dish. A really quick and tasty meal.

Ingredients:
1 tilapia fillet
1/4 cup salsa verde

Directions:
1. Rinse the tilapia fillet and pat it dry.
2. Place the fillet on a sheet of tin foil and cover with the salsa verde.
3. Fold the tinfoil to seal it and poke some holes in the top with a fork.
4. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Tom Yum Baked Tilapia
Turkey Breast in Pipian
Pan Seared Tilapia in Avgolemono Sauce
Sea Bass with Mango and Black Bean Salsa
Tilapia Baked in Tamarind Sauce
Tilapia Baked in Thai Green Curry

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Wow, tomato based pasta dishes three nights in a row! I am really enjoying the fresh local vine ripened roma tomatoes. Normally when I make a tomato sauce I use tinned tomatoes but I have been meaning to try making it with fresh tomatoes for a while. I chose to do a fairly simple sauce to so that the tomatoes were the focus of the sauce. The tomato sauce turned out pretty good. It was light, tasty and summery fresh. It is definitely worth using fresh tomatoes while they are in season.

Ingredients:
2 roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 serving pasta (cooked)

Directions:
1. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomatoes.
2. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds and remove.
3. Let the tomatoes cool and then remove the skin.
4. Chop the tomatoes.
5. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan.
6. Saute the onions until they are translucent.
7. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
8. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes.
9. Mix in the basil and remove from heat.
10. Toss the pasta with the sauce.

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Roasted Tomato Pasta

Roasted Tomato Pasta

For my second dish with the fresh local vine ripened roma tomatoes I could not resist making one of my favorite pasta sauces, an oven roasted tomato sauce. This pasta is easy to make and super tasty. Instead of cooking the sauce in a pan on the stove you roast the sauce in the oven. It is really easy; you just chop everything up and roast it in the oven for a while. Roasting the tomatoes in the oven concentrates their flavour. An added benefit of roasting the sauce is that it fills your place with an amazing aroma. I just did a basic tomato sauce as I wanted the tomatoes to be the stars of the show but you could easily add eggplant, or zucchini, etc. If you prefer a chunky sauce you could just mash the tomatoes with a fork instead of chopping it in a food processor.

Ingredients:
2 roma tomatoes (sliced in half)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 pieces bacon (optional, cut, or pancetta, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 serving pasta (cooked)

Directions:
1. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil, bacon, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.
2. Place the mixture in a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 45 minutes minutes.
3. Place the mixture in a food processor.
4. Add the fresh herbs.
5. Use the food processor to chop the sauce to the consistency that you desire.
6. Toss with the pasta and serve.

Similar recipes:
Roasted Tomato Soup
Roasted Tomato and Blue Cheese Sauce
Roasted Eggplant Pasta

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Fresh Tomato Pasta

Fresh Tomato Pasta

The fresh local vine ripened roma tomatoes are finally here. I picked up a basket of them at the farmers market this morning. For my first dish using the tomatoes I wanted something that would have the fresh tomatoes as the star of the show. I decided to do a fresh tomato pasta. This is a pretty simple pasta dish. You just need to cook the pasta, saute the garlic and throw everything together. I really like this dish because it shows off the fresh tomatoes, basil and parsley. This dish is summery and fresh.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 serving pasta (cooked)
2 roma tomatoes (chopped)
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
3. Turn off the heat.
4. Add the pasta, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper and toss to mix.

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Nasu Dengaku (Eggplant Broiled in Miso)

Nasu Dengaku (Eggplant Broiled in Miso)

Over the last few weeks I have been enjoying many eggplant dishes. Given my obsession with Japanese cuisine, I looked for a Japanese eggplant dish. I came across this recipe for eggplant broiled in miso. This dish just could not go wrong; I like miso and I really like broiled eggplant. The miso is salty and the sugar adds a sweetness and this sweet and salty mixture goes really well with the broiled eggplant. Asian eggplants are a longer and thinner dark purple variety of eggplant that I was able to find at the local grocery store.

Ingredients:
1 asian eggplant (cut in half lengthwise)
1 teaspoon (sesame oil, optional)
1 tablespoon miso
2 teaspoons sake
2 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 green onion (sliced, optional)

Directions:
1. Brush the inside sides of the eggplant sides with the sesame oil.
2. Broil the outside of the eggplant sides for about 3 minutes.
3. Broil the inside side of the eggplant sides for about 3 minutes or until tender.
4. Mix the miso, sake, mirin and sugar.
5. Place the miso mixture on the inside side of the eggplant sides and broil until the miso bubbles.
6. Garnish with the green onion slices.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Back in May when I made the Chicken Enchiladas in Green Sauce I had wanted to make the green sauce (or salsa verde) from scratch but I was unable to find any tomatillos. I was a bit depressed because I could not recall having ever seen any tomatillos in any grocery store ever. I resigned myself to using canned salsa verde. When I was at the farmers market on the weekend I saw some tomatillos and quickly picked them up!

Salsa verde is pretty simple to make. You pretty much just cook the tomatillos and blend everything into a salsa. It was great! It was super fresh, it had a great flavour and some heat. I wanted to enjoy the salsa verde for itself so I used it as a dip for tortilla chips. I made a enough that I have some left over that I look forward to using in another dish.

The article on wikipedia says that tomatillos can be frozen. I think I will try to get some more and freeze them so that I can make my own salsa verde again when I cannot find fresh tomatillos.

Ingredients:
1 pound tomatillos (husks removed)
2 jalapeno peppers (sliced in half and seeded)
1 small onion (sliced into 8 wedges)
2 cloves garlic
1 lime (juice and zest)
1/2 cup cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place the tomatillos, jalapenoes and onion in a single layer on a baking sheet with the skin of the peppers up.
2. Broil in the oven until the tomatillos are blackened all over and the jalapenos skin is blackened. Note: You may have to remove the peppers from the oven before the tomatillos. (Feel free to remove the charred outer skins first.)
3. Place everything into a food processor and puree.

Update (10/22/2008):
I have made salsa verde a bunch of times over the last year and I have tried playing around with it in different ways. One of the first new things that I tried was roasting the tomatillos as suggested in the comments below and it turned out great! Roasting vegetables always adds a lot of flavour. I also tried adding some chipotle chilies to add some smokey heat to the salsa verde and it also turned out really well.

Salsa Verde with Chipotle Chilies


Similar Recipes:
Korean Style Salsa Roja
Pipian
Pico de Gallo
Tomatillo Pico de Gallo
Swiss Chard Pesto
Roast Zucchini Salsa

Use in:
Chili Verde
Salsa Verde Turkey Burger
Salsa Verde Carnitas
Tilapia Baked in Salsa Verde
Burritos
Salsa Verde Lasagna
Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich
Salsa Verde Huevos Rancheros
Turkey and Zucchini Green Chili
Mushroom and Zucchini Enchiladas
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Asparagus Huevos Rancheros
Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese
Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce
Carnitas Tacos
Carnitas Eggs Benedict
Summer Vegetable Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans
Grilled Corn, Roasted Poblano and Bacon Zucchini Crust Pizza
Pork Tinga Quesadillas
Quinoa White Chicken Chili
Chicken Carnitas Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Cilantro Lime Salmon Taquitos
Taco Salad

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Once, long ago, I had a black sesame ice cream at a Japanese restaurant. I really liked it but I could never find it at a grocery store. After getting an ice cream maker it was bound to be one of the first ice creams that I tried to make. I was however, unable to find a recipe for it... I decided to take the basic vanilla ice cream recipe from the instruction book that came with the ice cream maker and modify it to suite. It turned out pretty good. I really like the flavour of black sesame and it goes well as a dessert.

Given that the instruction manual that came with the ice cream maker only has about a dozen recipes in it, I will have to look for a book of ice cream recipes.

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan.
2. Grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (or coffee grinder, etc.).
3. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and sesame seeds in a sauce pan until it almost boils, about 5 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low.
5. Add one tablespoon of the cream mixture to the egg to temper it.
6. Add the egg to the sauce pan.
7. Cook at low heat until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
8. Chill the mixture in the fridge.
9. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.

Use the leftover egg whites in:
Coconut Macaroons
Molten Chocolate Cake
Green Tea and White Chocolate Opera Cake
Green Tea Macarons
Strawberry Souffle
Meringues
Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Pizza with Grilled Chicken, Roasted Red Peppers, and Asiago Cheese

Pizza with Grilled Chicken, Roasted Red Peppers, and Asiago Cheese

I have been wanting to try making a pizza from scratch (including the dough and the sauce) for a while now. Since the red peppers at the market were looking so good I decided to go with a grilled chicken and roasted red pepper with asiago cheese pizza. This is one of my favorite pizza topping combinations. The dough turned out pretty good. It was crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The pizza sauce was a bit plain... I will have to try playing around with it. I did not end up forming a very good circle with the dough but that did not affect the flavour. It was pretty good. I think I will be making my own pizzas from now on rather than getting them from a store. And there are so many topping combinations to explore!

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough
1 cup pizza sauce (more or less as desired)
1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
1 chicken breast (grilled and sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 roasted red pepper (sliced)
1/2 cup asiago cheese (grated)

Directions:
1. Place the pizza sauce on the pizza dough.
2. Spread the mozzarella cheese cheese on top.
3. Place the chicken and roasted red peppers on.
4. Top with the asiago cheese.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Shrimp Scampi Pizza

Simple Pizza Sauce

This is a really simple pizza sauce.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil.
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan.
2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add everything else and simmer until it thickens, about 10-20 minutes.

Use in:
Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Pizza Quesadillas (aka Pizzadillas)
Pizza Poppers
Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

Basic Pizza Dough

This is a basic pizza dough. It has a nice crispy crust and a soft inside. If you place cornmeal under the dough it helps to prevent it from sticking to the baking dish.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 handful cornmeal (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix the yeast and warm water in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Add everything else and mix until it forms a dough.
3. Cover and let sit until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
4. On a well floured surface form the dough into a flat circle.
5. Transfer the dough to a baking pan with cornmeal spread over it.
6. Top with toppings and bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Saganaki

Saganaki

Saganaki is a really tasty of fried cheese snack. Halloumi or kasseri cheese is fried in butter and lemon. When the cheese is fried it takes a really nice texture. The outside is crispy and the inside is warm and chewy. It has a really nice salty and lemony flavour.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
* Halloumi cheese (sliced about 1/4 inch thick)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 splash ouzo (optional)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan.
2. Add the cheese and fry until golden brown on both sides.
3. Pour the lemon juice and ouzo onto the cheese and remove from heat.

Not to be confused with:
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)

Pepper Sauce

Pepper Sauce

The other day I was watching Jamie at Home on the Food Network and he did some kind of pepper dish. I am not really sure what it is so I will just call it a pepper sauce. It sounded pretty interesting with roasted red peppers, chili's, onions, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. I could not find any red chili peppers so I used jalapeno peppers. It was pretty interesting. It was a bit sweet, hot and flavourful.

Ingredients:
1 red onion (sliced)
2 roasted red peppers (chopped)
4 roasted jalapeno peppers (chopped)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Caramelize the onions.
2. Toss everything into the pan and simmer for 30 minutes or until it thickens.
3. Remove the bay leaf and the rosemary.

Asagohan (Breakfast)

Asagohan (Breakfast)

I was going through some of my photos and I came across this one that I had forgotten to post about. This is my typical work day breakfast (asagohan). It is a fairly traditional Japanese style of breakfast. It consists of green tea, umeboshi (a pickled plum), some yogurt, miso soup and nattou (fermented soy beans) on rice. The breakfast may look a bit large but I normally eat breakfast at about 6:30am and I normally have lunch at 12:30 so the breakfast needs to hold me over for a while.

Given that I eat this type of breakfast five days a week, I am constantly trying different types of miso soup. With summer here, there are a lot of fresh vegetables to use in miso soups. Here a few of the miso soups that I have been eating lately:
Asparagus and Aburage Miso Soup
Butternut Squash and Wakame Miso Soup
Corn and Milk Miso Soup
Kabocha and Spinach Miso Soup
Oven Roasted Eggplant and Mushroom Miso Soup
Shimeji and Aburage Miso Soup
Shitake and Spinach Miso Soup
Tofu and Sesame Miso Soup
Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup
Tomato and Shiitake Miso Soup
Zucchini and Onion Miso Soup

With so many fresh fruits and berries around I have been having plain yogurt with fruits and berries. Recently I have been enjoying the fresh local blueberries for in my yogurt for breakfast.

A Shot of the sticky nattou:
Nattou

Take a look at the Weekend Breakfast Blogging roundup at A Fridge Full of Food.

Oven Roasted Eggplant and Mushroom Miso Soup

Oven Roasted Eggplant and Mushroom Miso Soup

I have really been enjoying the eggplants this year. I just had to try and eggplant miso soup. I ended up doing an oven roasted eggplant and mushroom miso soup. Simple oven roasted eggplant is really good. The oven roasted mushrooms added a really nice flavour to the broth. I think that this oven roasted eggplant and mushroom miso soup is my new favorite miso soup!

Ingredients:
1 slice eggplant (1/2 inch thick)
4 cremini mushrooms (quartered)
1 cup dashi
1 tablespoon miso
1 green onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Broil the eggplant and mushrooms in the oven for about 10 minutes.
2. Cut the eggplant into bite sized pieces.
3. Bring the dashi, eggplant and mushrooms to a boil in a small sauce pan.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Dissolve the miso with some of the heated dashi in a separate bowl. (We do not want to boil the miso as it will not taste as good.)
6. Add the miso back to the soup.
7. Pour the soup into a bowl and top with green onion.

More soup recipes!

Blueberry Fool

Blueberry Fool

I had some blueberries left over and I was looking for a something to do with them. I came across a dessert called a fool. A fool is basically pureed fruit folded into whipped cream. A simple cool treat for warm summer days. With all of the fresh fruits and berries around right now there are a lot of choices.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whip cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup blueberries (pureed)

Directions:
1. Whip the cream and sugar.
2. Fold in the pureed blueberries.
3. Garnish with some whole blueberries.

Raspberry Sorbet

Raspberry Sorbet

For my second "ice cream" I decided to do a sorbet with some of the fresh raspberries from the local farmers market. Instead of pureeing and straining the raspberries as called for in the instructions that came with the ice cream machine I just mashed the raspberries with a fork. This left some of the raspberries globes intact and they froze more than the rest of the sorbet. The frozen raspberry globes gave the sorbet an interesting texture. The sorbet turned out pretty good. It had a nice texture and tasted great. Sorbets are really simple and the abundance of fresh fruits and berries right now it makes for a lot of possibilities. I really like knowing exactly what is in the "ice cream" that I make.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup crushed raspberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:
1. Heat the water and sugar in a pan until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Place the syrup in the fridge until completely chilled.
3. Mix the syrup, raspberries and lemon juice.
4. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.

Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Salad)

Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Salad)


I could not let eggplant season go by without trying this tasty looking recipe for melitzanosalata or a Greek eggplant salad or dip similar to a baba ghanoush. The base melitzanosalata recipe calls for grilled aubergine, olive oil and lemon juice. This recipe adds some garlic and feta for flavour and some parsley for colour. Unfortunately I do not have a grill so I was forced to broil the eggplant in the oven. It turned out really well! I ate it as a dip with baked pitas and I ended up finishing it all in one sitting. I now have one more tasty eggplant recipe in my collection. I have really been enjoying eggplants so far this summer!

Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Salad)

(makes 4 appetizer sized servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup feta (optional)
1/2 lemon (juice)
extra virgin olive oil to taste
1 handful parsley (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Pierce the eggplant with a fork a few times and grill or broil it until it is charred on all sides.
2. When the eggplant is cool enough to work with, cut it open and scoop out the inside.
3. Blend the eggplant, garlic, feta and lemon juice in a food processor.
4. Add olive oil to bring it to the desired consistency.
5. Mix in the parsley and season to taste.

Similar Recipes:
Baba Ghanoush
Tzatziki (Greek Cucumber Salad)
Htipiti (Greek Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Dip)
Hummus
Baba Ghanoush Topped with Lamb and Yogurt

Szechuan Prawns on Soba Noodles

Szechuan Prawns on Soba Noodles

I have been seeing some really nice looking dishes with prawns or shrimp lately. I have never really cooked prawns before* and I wanted to give it a try. I went to the market and got some raw tiger shrimp that was still in the shell. Luckily the fish monger had cut open the shell and de-veined the shrimp already so all I really had to do was remove the shells and rinse the prawns. I decided to go with a spicy szechuan style sauce. I let the sauce reduce a little too much while waiting for the noodles to cook and there wasn't much left to cover the soba noodles. It tasted pretty good though. I really liked the prawns. The prawns had an amazing firm and juicy texture. I will definitely have to try more dishes with prawns!

*When I was a kid I did not like seafood and thus I never really ate it. Recently I tried it again and found that I now liked it. I still don't eat much seafood but I am trying to eat it more often.

Ingredients:
80g raw tiger prawns
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red bell pepper (julienned)
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon chili sauce (such as sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon starch
2-3 tablespoon chicken stock
1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
2 servings soba noodles (cooked)
2 handfuls bean sprouts (blanched)
1 green onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Wash, shell and de-vein the prawns.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the red pepper and saute for about 2 minutes.
4. Add the prawns and saute until they turn pink.
5. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about a minute.
6. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sherry, chili sauce, tomato puree, and honey and stir.
7. Mix the starch into the chicken stock and add to the pan and stir.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cilantro.
9. Place the noodles on a plate, place the bean sprouts on and top with the prows in szechuan sauce.
10. Garnish with green onions.

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Moussaka

Moussaka

I got some more egg plants at the farmers market on the weekend. I have been wanting to try a moussaka for a while now and I took this opportunity to make it. Moussaka is dish that typically has three layers; a layer of vegetables (commonly eggplant or aubergines), a layer of meat sauce and a layer of white sauce. This was my first time eating and making moussaka. It turned out pretty good. It was pretty easy to make (even if it took a while), and it was tasty. I really liked the way that the cinnamon in the meat sauce and the nutmeg in the bechamel sauce added a really amazing spiced aroma to this savory dish. I will definitely be making this dish again.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 can of pureed tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 eggplant (sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices)
2 cups bechamel sauce
1/2 cup pecorino (grated)
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions:
1. Brown the ground beef in a pan.
2. Remove the ground beef from the pan reserving a bit of the grease in the pan.
4. Add the the onions and saute until translucent.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
6. Add the ground beef, tomatoes, wine, basil, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Broil the eggplant until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
8. Place the eggplant on the bottom of a baking pan.
9. Pour the meat sauce onto the egg plant.
10. Melt the most of the cheese in the bechamel sauce.
11. Pour the bechamel sauce onto the meat sauce.
12. Top with the bread crumbs and the remaining cheese.
13. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Moussaka in Pan

Similar Recipes:
Moussaka Burgers
Eggplant Wrapped Kebabs Baked in Tomato Sauce
Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
Imam Baildi
Moussaka Patty Melt

Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam

Continuing on the blueberry theme, I did a blueberry jam next. The blueberries were much easier to prepare for jam than the strawberries or cherries. I just needed to rinse them, pick out any bad ones and remove a few stems. I used a mixture of cultivated and wild blueberries. The blueberry jam set really well. With only a few hours to set it was solid enough to be a bit difficult to spread on lightly toasted bread. The next time I make jam I am going to have to try making it without the use of pectin to see how it goes.

Ingredients:
5 cups blueberries (halved and crushed)
1 cup water
1 box Certo pectin crystals
2 & 1/2 cups sugar

Directions:
1. Bring the blueberries, water, pectin and 1 cup of sugar to a boil with high heat in a large pot.
2. Add the rest of the sugar.
3. Bring to a hard boil for 1 minute.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Stir and skim foam for 5 minutes.
6. Pour into sterilized jars.

To sterilize the jars:
1. Wash in hot soapy water.
2. Keep the lids in boiling water until ready to use.
3. Place jars in 225F oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until ready to use.

Blueberry Jam on Toast

Blueberry and Lemon Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

The local blueberries are in season and I could not let them go by without making one of my favorite breakfasts, blueberry coffee cake. This recipe comes from my mother. I really like the way the sugar on top is crispy and lemony. The coffee cake itself is light and fluffy and full of blueberry goodness. This coffee cake freezes well so you can easily store any leftovers for another time.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (soft)
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups milk
1 cup wild blueberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Mix in the eggs.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
4. Mix the flour mixture and milk into the butter and sugar mixture.
5. Mix in the blueberries.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9' x 9' baking pan.
7. Bake in a preheated 374F oven for about 40 minutes.
8. Mix the lemon juice and rind with the icing sugar.
9. Pour the lemon mixture over the coffee cake.
10. Sprinkle the sugar onto the coffee cake.
11. Place the coffee cake under the broiler until the sugar bubbles, about 2 minutes.

Blueberry Coffee Cake in Pan

Similar Recipes:
Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Cranberry Crumb Coffeecake
Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberries
Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake
Blueberry Mochi Cake
Blueberry Buckle
Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Chicken and Mango Curry Salad

Chicken and Mango Curry Salad

I still had some mangos to use up and I remembered seeing this recipe for Chicken and Mango Curry Salad. I still did not have any plain yogurt, so once again I used peach yogurt. I had just picked up a jar of mango chutney and I thought I would try tossing some in. I had some leftover cooked chicken in the fridge so all I really had to do was assemble everything. It took no time at all to make and it tasted great. With a combination of mango mayo and curry how can you go wrong?

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yogurt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mango chutney
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 green onion (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1 serving chicken (cooked, cut into bite sized pieces)
1 mango (diced)
lettuce

Directions:
1. Mix the mayo, curry powder, mango chutney, cilantro, green onion, salt and pepper.
2. Toss in the chicken and mango.
3. Place the chicken and mango mixture on a bed of lettuce.

More Mango Recipes

Matcha and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Matcha and White Chocolate Ice Cream

I have been seeing a lot of amazing looking home made ice cream recipes on a lot of of blogs lately. When I saw this one made with two of my favorite flavours, matctha and white chocolate, I was no longer able to hold off getting an ice cream maker. I was lucky and found the Cuisinart ICE-20C on sale with an extra freezer bowl.

I halved the recipe size and only melted half of the chocolate adding the other half as chocolate chunks. I used a Green and Blacks White Chocolate bar. I followed the recipe and tried microwaving the chocolate in 30 second intervals but the chocolate burned and turned granular after the second go. Luckily I had another bar and I was able to melt the chocolate in a double boiler. I was not able to get the matcha to mix in completely and the ice cream ended up with dark green flecks.

The ice cream came out of the ice cream maker at the perfect consistency to eat right away. But waiting even a few moments to pull out my camera gave the ice cream time to melt enough to leave a large puddle under it. I loved the texture of the ice cream just out of the ice cream maker. It was cold enough to be ice cream but warm enough to easily melt in your mouth.

I placed the remaining ice cream in the freezer. The next time that I had some of the ice cream it was solid enough to hold together while I played around with the camera. The chocolate chunks were cold enough that they were a bit difficult to chew.

Overall the "Matcha and White Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks" tasted amazing!! A great new matcha and white chocolate recipe for my collection and a great start to home made ice cream.

Ingredients:
3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
2 large egg yolks
3.5 oz white chocolate (finely chopped)
1 tablespoons matcha powder (sifted)

Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan bring the cream, milk, sugar and salt to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.
2. While whisking eggs, pour about 1/4 cup of the hot cream mixture in a thin, steady stream in the bowl of eggs. (This should temper the eggs.)
3. Pour the tempered eggs in saucepan with the hot cream mixture, in a thin, steady stream while whisking the hot cream.
4. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. (Do not let this mixture boil.)
5. Pour this mixture through a strainer.
6. Melt a little more than half of the chocolate in a double boiler.
7. Sift the matcha into the chocolate and mix well with a whisk.
8. Add the white chocolate to the cream and mix well.
9. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator.
10. Mix in the remaining chocolate chunks.
11. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.

Similar Recipes:
Green Tea Macarons
Green Tea and White Chocolate Opera Cake
Green Tea White Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Chicken and Mango Curry

Chicken and Mango Curry

They had some really nice looking mango's on sale at the grocery store on the weekend. I had been enjoying them as snacks all week but I realized that I would not be able to finish them soon enough. I needed to use them quicker. I had just tried some mango chutney and really liked it so I thought that a mango curry would be interesting. This is a variation of my standard curry recipe. (I forgot to pickup some plain yogurt and ended up using the peach yogurt that I had on hand.) It turned out a little too sweet but pretty good. The heat from the peppers and the curry spice helped to balance out the sweetness.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 thumb ginger (grated)
1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
1 green chili pepper (chopped)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tomato (chopped)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 mango (pureed)
3 tablespoons yogurt
1 mango (diced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Brown the chicken and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in the same pan.
4. Add the onions and red pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
5. Add the garlic, ginger and Jalapeno pepper, green chili pepper and flour and stir.
6. Add the curry powder and let cook for a few minutes.
7. Add the tomato, chicken stock, pureed mango and yogurt and bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
8. Add the mango and cilantro and remove from the heat.

Similar Recipes:
Curried Mango Bread

More Mango Recipes

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Kalyns Kitchen.