Roasted Vegetables

Last weekend I went to a really great Argentinian restaurant. Strangely enough, one of the highlights of my meal was the roasted vegetables I took from my boyfriend’s plate. Ever since, I’ve had roasted veggies on the brain. So after a good workout at the gym, I jumped into the kitchen.

Roasted Vegetables
Inspired by The Wednesday Chef

Ingredients

1/2 tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
4 baby gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small crown of broccoli, chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, peeled and chopped
6 white mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper
Olive oil

Directions

1. Place veggies, seasonings, and a few drizzles of olive oil in a casserole dish. Roast at 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes. Mix every 15 minutes.

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Creamy Mushroom Pasta Sauce

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve recently become obsessed with mushrooms. Which is pretty surprising since I would barely touch them a year ago. Once again, it was proven to me how much preparation and presentation matter.

I thought I didn’t like mushrooms. But what I actually didn’t like was the way other people cut and prepared them. What I’ve found is that mushrooms are best thinly sliced. They also need some sort of flavor infused into them. Those 2 things were the cure. Now I love mushrooms and I’m finding lots of ways to incorporate them into my cooking. Tonight, I incorporated mushrooms with my love of cream sauce and the results were quite successful.

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Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients

4 or 5 white mushrooms (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half n half
1 tbsp unsalted butter
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tsp flour
Basil
Salt & pepper

Directions

1. Cook your favorite pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta boils, prepare your sauce.
2. In a medium sized pan, melt the butter and mix in the flour.
3. Add the garlic, mushroom, and a drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Cook until soft, only stirring 2-3 times.
4. Add chicken broth and cook for another 2 minutes.

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5. Add half n half and seasonings, stirring until the sauce thickens.

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Bonus: I used to have trouble peeling garlic. But then my boyfriend taught me this technique. Chop off the top and bottom of the garlic clove.

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Then slice the garlic clove in half lengh-wise. The outer layer will come right off!

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As a final touch, I mixed a tbsp of butter in with my pasta and added a dollop of plain yogurt on top of my sauce.

Breakfast Pizza

I found this breakfast casserole recipe (looks more like an egg pizza to me) during the holiday season, but never got around to making it until tonight. You’ll notice that I altered this recipe quite a bit from the original.

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Breakfast Pizza
Ingredients
Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Crust
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 shredded cheese (cheddar & pepper jack)
1/2 lb ground beef
3 sliced mushrooms
2 baby gold potatoes (peeled and grated)
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1/4 chopped onion
Cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sage

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the ground beef. Break up the ground beef as it cooks, letting it brown completely. Season, drain fat and set aside.
3. Sautee onions, mushrooms, and peppers in olive oil until soft. Drain oil and set aside.
4. Unroll the pizza dough in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
5. Spread the sausage over the dough, then spread on the veggies.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with cheese.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden and the eggs are set.

This was a lot of food for two people, but the leftovers will be good for the morning (real breakfast).

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Breakfast Taco

I promised myself that I wouldn’t go grocery shopping this week. Mission accomplished. I didn’t think this left me with interesting menu items, but last night I came up with something pretty tasty for being so basic.

That’s right. I made breakfast for dinner again. But this time, I kept the focus on the veggies and less on the fried. Couldn’t resist throwing in a couple pieces of bacon though.

While this basically just an omelet thrown into a lightly fried tortilla, my boyfriend made a simple cooking suggestion that really perfected the overall texture of this meal.

Instead of mixing the sauteed veggies into the eggs, I cooked the veggies around the edge of the pan with eggs in the middle. This helped the veggies to stay a little crisp, which was really nice.

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Chicken Paillard

Last night I decided to make Chicken Paillard from my Tyler Florence Family Meal cookbook. What a delicious dish!

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I’ve made this dish before but since it’s been over a year, I followed the directions step by step. Next time I’ll be making some adjustments. I’ll explain as I go on.

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To begin, I rinsed and paper towel dried to 2 chicken breasts. Once dried, I placed 1 chicken breast on a piece of plastic wrap and then put another piece of plastic wrap over the chicken. If you don’t like handling raw meat, get some vinyl or latex gloves. I always have some handy under the sink. 😉

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Then, using a rolling pin like a mallet, I beat the chicken to flatten it down. Looking back, I should have taken a little more time on this step. Make sure your chicken is nice and thin.

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Then I repeated the same process with the 2nd chicken breast. Next, I created a breading station. I made one bowl for a half cup of flour. This turned out to be a little more flour than necessary. I suggest you use a 1/4 cup and add a few spoonfuls more as needed. In second bowl, I whisked together 2 eggs. I suggest using 1 egg. I ended up having a little too much egg. Finally, I made a bag with seasoned panko breadcrumbs and French’s fried onions. The original recipe only called for regular panko breadcrumbs.

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Dip each piece of chicken in the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs (in that order). Be sure to get a good even coat, but less any excess fall off. Then put the breaded chicken in the fridge. The original recipe said for 10 minutes, but I left it in there longer. This gave me time to prepare the lemon sauce, rice, and a side of sauteed mushrooms.

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I have a fail proof method for cooking Jasmine rice. In case you haven’t heard, apparently brown rice isn’t healthier than white.

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I usually make a half a mug of rice. To begin, I rinse the rice until the water is no longer cloudy.

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Then I pour my washed rice into a pot with a can of chicken broth. Boil on medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. You may stir the rice a few times, but keep the lid on as much as possible. Once the water is evaporated, turn off the heat and let stand covered for 3-5 minutes.

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To make the lemon sauce, I chopped 2 cloves of garlic, juiced 2 lemons, and separated 2 egg yolks. A blended them together in my food processor for 30 seconds, then slowly added a 1/2 cup of olive oil. This sauce was delicious but too much for just the chicken. If you want to make this amount of sauce, make the mixed green salad and use the lemon sauce as a salad dressing.

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Just before the rice was finished, I took the chicken out of the fridge and fried it in a little olive oil. The original recipe called for 2 inches of oil, but that seemed like too much, so I did less.

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This was a really yummy dinner. The kind of dinner you still talk about for a few days after. It’s a little time consuming but worth the effort. Maybe a good option for a guest? A romantic dinner?

Veggie Night

Vegetables galore! That’s right, this is a meatless, carbless post. Almost.

Tonight’s Menu:

-Bacon-cream cheese stuffed mushrooms
-Sauteed bell peppers
-Boiled baby potatoes
-Roasted broccoli

So Pinterest came to the rescue again with this stuffed mushroom recipe although I altered it quite a bit. You can read the original recipe here.

Here is my altered version:

Ingredients:
10 white mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese
4 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped
1/2 of a small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmasen cheese
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
1. Wash mushrooms, gently remove stems, finely chop, and put to the side.
2. Cook bacon using my amazing cooking technique.
3. Saute shallot, garlic, and mushroom stems in the drained bacon fat and a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix cheeses, bacon, sauteed vegetables on a pan just long enough to melt together.
5. Brush mushrooms cap with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees F for 4-5 minutes with the gills down.
5. Flip the mushrooms over, stuff each with a little cheese mixture and cook at 400 degrees F for another 5-10 minutes.
6. Optional: add a French’s fried onion or two onto each mushroom 2 minutes before taking out of the oven. 🙂

The aroma of the shallots and garlic was incredible. The taste was rich and devine. I will absolutely make these again!

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Sauteed Bell Peppers

Instructions

1. Saute finely chopped onions, thinly sliced bell peppers
2. Season with cumin, salt pepper, garlic powder, a few squeezes of fresh lemon

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Boiled baby potatoes

Instructions:

1. Boil until soft
2. Serve with lemon cream sauce

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Roasted Broccoli

So I wouldn’t call the broccoli a fail because it was edible, but I wasn’t impressed with the recipe. So no recipe here.

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I love veggies nights!

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

My boyfriend’s mom is an amazing cook. From what I hear, her mom was an amazing cook as well. While I can’t say I am living up to that legacy, I am sure trying.

Mushroom chicken is the first meal my boyfriend’s mom ever cooked for me and it’s my favorite to this day. I have her Turkish hand written recipe somewhere, but I’ve been making this dish for a few years now. It’s written in my brain!

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Mushroom Chicken for 2

Ingredients
One chicken breast
5-6 chopped mushrooms
A handful of chopped onion
A squirt or two of mustard
Half and half (enough to bathe the chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom chicken is pretty easy to make. First saute chopped onions and mushrooms in olive oil, then add cubes of chicken breast to the same pan and continue to cook on medium heat. Once the chicken is thoroughly white, pour in half and half and a small amount of mustard. That’s right plain old mustard. Mix and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

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Mushroom chicken is served on a bed of rice. Long grain Jasmine rice soaks up the sauce best, but brown rice will work too.

So delicious!