Monday, July 21, 2008

Baked Penne with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Basil

source- Cooks Illustrated - Cover and Bake cookbook

This is SO good! Eric insists he's had this at Olive Garden. It has one of those rich, delicious pasta cream sauces. It tastes so much better than what this picture looks like.

This recipe calls for FRESH basil and other ingredients which we used so I cannot guarantee any results if you use dried.

Topping : (I like to skip this part, I don't like bread crumb toppings, but Eric likes it)
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 lb zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced ½” thick

1 lb yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise, ½” thick
Kosher salt (not regular salt, it will not wipe off as easily)

¾ lb penne
4 Tbsp olive oil

6 medium shallots, minced (about 1 c)
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press

¼ c flour
2 ½ c low- sodium chicken broth
1 ½ c heavy cream

2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 c)
¾ c chopped fresh basil leaves

¼ c chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400.

Toss zucchini and squash with 2 Tbsp kosher salt and place in a colander and set inside a large bowl to drain, about 30 minutes. Bring 4 quarts water to boil over high heat. Stir in 2 Tbsp kosher salt and pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot and toss with 1 Tbsp oil. Set aside.

Process the bread and butter in a food processor fitted with steel blade until coarsely ground, about six 1 seconds pulses. Set aside. (Again, I skip this part)

Spread salted squash evenly over a double layer of paper towels and pat dry with additional towels. Wipe off any residual salt. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and slightly charred, 5-7 minutes. Transfer squash to plate. Add another 1 Tbsp oil to pan and repeat with remaining squash.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

Add 1 Tbsp oil to skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and cream. Bring to simmer and cook, whisking often, until lightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in Parmesan, basil, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (we didn't season and it was fine)

Add the sauce, tomatoes, and sauteed squash to pasta, stir gently to combine. Pour pasta into 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb topping. Bake until bubbling and crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spicy Chicken Quesadillas with Fiesta Rice


1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup salsa
7 -10 flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook chicken until done and juices evaporate, stirring often. Add soup and salsa and heat through. Mix well. Spread about 1/3 cup soup mixture on half of each tortilla to within 1/2" of edge. Moisten edge with water. Fold over and seal. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes or until hot. Serve with Fiesta Rice. Serves about 5 People.

Fiesta Rice

Heat one can of condensed chicken broth, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup salsa in a saucepan then bring to a boil. Stir in 2 cups uncooked Minute Rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

Slow Cooked Carnitas Tacos

(These tacos are very yummy! It is quick and easy too!)

1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast or pork butt
1 Cup water
Pinches of salt and pepper
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies, mild version
¼ Cup chopped cilantro
¼ Cup finely chopped white onion
Pinch of salt to taste
½ fresh lime juice
White or corn fajita size tortillas
Place roast in crockpot, pour water in the crockpot, season roast with salt, pepper and add onion slices. Cook on low for 6-10 hours (I start it right before bed and it's finished in the morning). When completely tender, remove from crock pot, discard juices, de-fat, shred and place back into crock-pot.2. Stir in tomatoes, cilantro, onion, salt and lime juice. Keep on warm until ready to serve.3. Spoon carnita meat into tortillas and top with lettuce, cheese and tomato.
(Picky Palate)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pepita Crusted Cheddar Jack Southwest Chicken Mac

I got this off of Picky Palate. It was a hit for my family! Yum-O!

1 pound dry elbow pasta noodles

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chiles, mild version
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups shredded medium Cheddar
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 cup shredded smoked Cheddar
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely ground roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add dry elbow pasta to boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente, drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes; saute for 3 to 4 more minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Place back on medium-high heat, slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil while continuously whisking. Reduce heat and stir in Cheddar, Monterey Jack, smoked Cheddar and cream cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in cooked elbow noodles and chicken mixture. Pour mac and cheese mixture into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and bread crumbs. Toss to coat and sprinkle crumbs and pepitas over top of mac and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crumbs browned. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Orange Julius

I am finally contributing! We bought a real Orange Julius in Arizona when it was 115 degrees outside. It was so refreshing. I have been thinking about having it again ever since. So here it is. Super easy. This should make enough for two people.

1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C water
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 small can frozen orange juice
ice cubes

Blend it all together and just add ice cubes to desired thickness!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

submitted by- dalyce
source: from More from Magnolia cook book

We made this for the first time yesterday and we loved it! We always rate our recipes when we try a new one. This is a 10! I love the crust, love the cream cheese filling, and of course the strawberries. Very easy too! I am going to cut the strawberries next time so it is easier to cut and eat.

1 stick melted butter
1 ¼ c graham crumbs
½ c chopped pecans, toasted
¼ c brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Toast pecans. Combine crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press firmly into lightly buttered 9 inch pie dish. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
¼ c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 pint (about 2 c) strawberries

In a large bowl on low speed, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream and vanilla and continue on low speed until well combined. Refrigerate until crust has cooled completely. Spread filling evenly on crust. Top with strawberries. Refrigerate at lest 8 hours to set filling.