Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raw Egg?

Usually if I see "raw egg" anywhere, I run the other way. I'm just not a risk taker when it comes to raw stuff even though I love sushi. But I decided to give this recipe a try.  But technically, the egg isn't really raw when you eat it. You see, the egg cooks when you throw it together with the piping hot pasta. And the breadcrumbs you see? I took the easy route. Remember those crostinis I bought at Whole Foods from my last entry? Yeah, I crumbled those up and tossed in some red pepper flakes and kosher salt to use as garnish. If you don't have access to those, you could do the same thing with some fresh breadcrumbs and just toast them with a little olive oil.

Whole Wheat Fettucini Carbonara
Two heaping servings

Breadcrumb mixture (explained above)
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 lb. chicken tenderloins
half a package of whole wheat fettucini 
1/8 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup frozen peas


Prepare breadcrumb mixture and set aside.

Start boiling a large pot of salted water to use later.

In a bowl, whisk together egg, cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute bacon pieces until they crisp. Transfer to a plate and drain with paper towels.

Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook 4 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to bacon mixture.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

While pasta is cooking, throw broth, wine, and lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Scrape bits off the sides of the pan.

Drain pasta in a strainer over the peas to quickly defrost them.

In a large serving bowl, mix pan mixture, chicken/bacon, sauce, and pasta with the peas. Garnish with breadcrumb mixture before serving. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweet Onions

Now that the temperatures are cooling down (barely, but I'll take it), it seemed like the right time to bring soups back into my life. I love a good soup especially when I can use my slow cooker since it's so easy. This soup was no exception. For those that do not like your onion soup on the sweeter side, you can use red onions instead. As far as the crostini goes, you can slice a french baguette and broil it with a little olive oil and butter or you can buy it already made like I did. I found them in the bread/bakery area of Whole Foods. They look like this:

Slow Cooker Vidalia Onion Soup
Makes about 4 bowls


2 lbs. Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp Port
Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

1. Place sliced onions, butter, oil and salt in the slow cooker.  Cook for one hour on high. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-5 more hours. Stir every once in awhile.
2. Mix sugar and flour into the onions. Cook for 20 more minutes on low.
3. Pour stocks into the pot and cook on high for 45 mins-1 hour.
4. Cook on low for 1- 1 1/2 hours before stirring in the Port
5. Serve in bowls with crostini and cheese over the top.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthier Pasta Dish

Last night, I took a simple dish that I've made before (I can't remember if I posted it here?) and made a few tweaks.  I switched the regular pasta to whole-wheat and the pork sausage to chicken sausage. I thought it had a great flavor. But it's all in the wine. I used to be one of those people who picked up whatever wine was cheap if I was just planning to cook with it. That was a mistake. Using a cheap wine (unless it's one that you know you enjoy) can break a meal especially when the flavors come through like with this recipe. I know it seems like such a waste to buy a good wine when you are throwing it in the pot/pan, but really, splurge a little on what you like. Then, plan on drinking the rest of the bottle. You won't regret it.

Healthier Pasta Ragu
Serves 2

8 oz. Whole-Wheat Fusilli Pasta
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp EVOO (e-v olive oil)
1 really small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 links of uncooked Italian Chicken Sausage, casings removed (I like the spicy variety)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup Parmesan, grated
fresh parsley


Heat butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil salted water and cook pasta according to directions. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water.

While the pasta is cooking, Add sausage to onion mixture and turn up the heat slightly. Break up the sausage with a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring every so often.

Add the tomato paste to the meat and mix together. Add wine to deglaze pan and let reduce.

Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the pasta and reserved water. Last, toss with the cheese and fresh parsley before serving.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get A Little Messy

Because I was afraid to. Yeah, yeah, I know you are supposed to eat ribs with your hands and I usually do when it's bbq. But since these were Asian-style ribs, I tried the knife and fork way. Let's just say I would've had a lot more meat had I just got a little dirty and picked these suckers up. They were good nonetheless.

Hot and Sticky Asian Ribs
Source: Cuisine At Home

Picture taken while still cooking:

1 jar hoisin sauce (8 oz.)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. toasted sesame oil
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. fresh ginger, minced
Heat, Season, Saute:
2 T. canola oil, divided
8 bone-in country style pork ribs (about 3 1/2 lb.)
Salt and pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl for the sauce.
2. Heat 1 T. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat; season ribs with salt and pepper.
Saute 4 ribs until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes; remove from pan. Repeat process
with remaining oil and ribs.
3. Return ribs to pan; add half the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes. Flip ribs and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered, turning occasionally to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to low; simmer an additional 15 minutes, turning often. Serve with remaining sauce

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More BBQ

This is a another really easy recipe and it's for slow-cooked barbecue. I have to get it in before summer is completely over! For the same reason, I made a corn dish with this meal. I have tried a few slow cooker barbecue recipes but I think this is one of the better ones. I made less than half the amount in the recipe for two people.  With a side, it was enough. 

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pork

3-3 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder/butt
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 white onion, chopped
2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard

Mix all ingredients except for pork in a slow cooker/crockpot. Add pork and turn to coat with mixture. Cook on low for 9 hours.  Shred the pork with a fork and return to the slow cooker to mix with the sauce. Serve with your favorite bbq sauce or on a bun. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Skip The Takeout

...and make your own Thai food! It's really not that hard. Try it!

Thai Basil Chicken with Coconut Rice
Source: Cuisine At Home

Coconut Rice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup basmati or jasmine rice 

2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Tbs unsalted butter

Bring broth, coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a boil. Stir in the rice and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the rice from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and then adding the lime juice and butter.

Thai Basil Chicken
 Combine for the Slurry Mixture

3/4 Cup Coconut Milk 
1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional)

Season: Stir-Fry in 2-4 Tbs Vegetable Oil

1 lb raw boneless chicken breast cut into pieces

1 1/2 Cup of green beans, blanced (boil them briefly and then cover with ice water)
1 Cup red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbs Garlic, minced

Stir in; Garnish with

1 cup sliced basil leaves

1 jalapeno thinly sliced with seeds
1/2 Cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Combine all ingredients for the slurry and set aside
Season chicken with salt and pepper and then stir fry in 2 T oil over high heat for 5-8 minutes flipping halfway through. Remove and set aside. Heat 1 T oil in same pan add green beans and stir fry 1-2 minutes, add bell pepper and garlic and stir fry another 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and any juices and stir fry 1 minute. Stir in slurry mixture and cook 2 minutes allowing sauce to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and jalapeno and garnish with peanuts. Serve over Coconut Rice