Friday, April 30, 2010

Ooey Gooey Eggplant Lasagna

Vegetarian has never been this good.

Olive Oil
1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 cups tomato sauce (or one jar)
9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to instructions
1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
2 cups milk
4 cloves garlic, minced
large handful of basil, chopped
1 ball of fresh Mozarella, thinly sliced
1/2 Parmesan, divided
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Lay out eggplant slices in a single layer and bake for 15 minute.

In a medium pot over medium high, melt better and whisk in flour. Add milk slowly, allowing sauce to thicken a bit after addition. Once all milk has been added and sauce has become quite thick, add the ricotta, garlic, most of the basil (saving some for topping), and a 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Grease a baking dish with a little olive oil and add a 1/2 c of the cheese sauce and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Lay out three noodles on top, overlapping them some, and then half of the remaining cheese sauce, topped with half of the eggplant slices, and finally 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat the layering once more and then add the last 3 noodles. Top with the remaining 1/3 of the tomato sauce, the Mozzarella slices, and the remaining Parmesan.

Place in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes until bubbly. Top with remaining basil.

Chicken Fajitas

2 chicken breasts
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 green bell pepper seeded and cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
toppings such as cheese, salsa, and avocado or guacamole

Preheat a grill. Mix together chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and olive oil and brush or rub all over chicken breasts. Place on a hot grill and cook for 8-10 minute each side. Meanwhile, in a large pan heat a little oil and add peppers and onion, cook until soft.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Steak and Stuffed Mushrooms

Rosemary, Garlic, and Soy Steaks
This steak is based on a recipe one of my cousin's husbands makes. It is so delicious and always turns out perfect. For this recipe I used New York Strip, but I believe the recipe was intended for flank steak, but really you can use any cut you want.

1/4 c soy sauce
2 tbs dried rosemary
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 steaks or 2 1/2 lbs of flank steak

Place steaks in a gallon size freezer bag and add soy sauce, rosemary, garlic, cayenne, and lemon juice. Marinade for 2 hours.

Preheat a grill and cook on each side for 8 minutes for medium.

Stuffed Mushrooms
These were amazing, the more I ate the more I loved them. They will definitely be on my list of fabulous appetizers but they work great as a side dish too!

4 strips of bacon
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs white wine
2/3 c Panko bread crumbs
1/2 c chicken broth, plus extra
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
a small handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
12 large white mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

Chop bacon, removing as much fat as possible. I actually like to use kitchen scissors and cut away all the fat and then cut the meat into small pieces, I do this anytime I cook with bacon that needs to be chopped. Add a little oil to a pan and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and add onion and garlic to the bacon fat and oil (there should be very little fat rendered, just enough to onion, but you can skim some of it off if you want to). Cook onion until translucent and add wine. Allow wine to cook off for a minute or two. Add bacon back into pan and then add bread crumbs and slowly stir in the broth, adding a little at a time until all the crumbs are moist, you may need more than a 1/2 c. Once crumbs are moist, add cheese, parsley, and season to taste.

Preheat oven to 425. Stuff each mushroom cap with a couple tablespoons of filling, adding a little at a time and pack each addition, and round the top with a spoon or your fingers. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Baked Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta

1 lb rigatoni, cooked al dente
3 cups (or 1 jar) of tomato sauce
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 and 1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
a dash or two of red pepper flakes
2 uncooked sausages (optional)
a handful of fresh basil, chopped
6 oz mozzarella
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter over medium high heat in a large saucepan whisk in flour until smooth. Add the milk slowly, allowing the mixture to thicken between additions. Once milk has been added, allow the sauce to be come thick, like an Alfredo. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add red pepper flakes. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. If using sausage, remove from casing and brown.

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour pasta and sauce into dish. Top with Mozzarella, then sausage, then basil, and finally sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake in a 500 degree oven until the top is cheese is brown and sauce is bubbly, 25-30 minutes. You can cook for 15 minutes and broil for 5 minutes if you want it faster.

So delicious!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rigatoni With Eggplant and Ricotta

I based this recipe off of a recipe from Women's Day. It is great with the creamy ricotta and the eggplant adds great texture and flavor.

12 oz rigatoni
Olive Oil
1/2 an onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a large eggplant, diced into 1/2 inch
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbs dried basil (use a 1/4 cup of fresh, torn leaves if you have them)
1 c ricotta cheese

Cook pasta according to directions.

Preheat an oven to 425. Drain the tomatoes, but reserve the liquid. Spread the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to caramelize (get a brownish color).

In a medium sauce pan, heat a tbs of olive oil. Add diced onion and cook for a minute, then add garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add eggplant and a little salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, the juice, and basil (if using dried) and cook for a few minutes, until eggplant is soft. Add fresh basil, if using, and more salt and pepper if needed. Add sauce to cooked, drained pasta and stir to coat.

Serve the pasta with a 1/4 cup of ricotta.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Short break....

I'm having some computer problems, so while my computer is seeing the doctor, I will not be posting. I promise to be back up ASAP and have some great recipes to share!