Friday, August 26, 2011

Made Fall for Dinner

Apparently the Texas heat is planning to be with us through mid-September.  So I welcomed fall into the Madeley house early since summer is going late…makes sense, right?!  I have not lit a pumpkin-spice candle yet but it is waiting in the wings…  This tomato basil soup recipe is amazing and super easy and found in one of loveliest cookbooks I have, "The Gathering of Friends Volume I."  And for the grilled cheese I will leave that up to you and what you like the best.  We are pretty simple with buttered bread, slice of our favorite bread and whole wheat bread.
1 26 oz. jar of Tomato Basil pasta sauce, Classico brand
26 oz. whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer until ready to serve.

What I did different from what the recipe calls for:
Used 1/2 & 1/2 instead of cream 
Added 1/4 c. suger instead of 1/2 c.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Made Campanelle Pasta Salad

I was so excited to try this recipe with some of my very favorite things like capers and artichoke hearts.  The ingredients definitely called for a trip to the grocery store and if you are a Dallas-ite Jimmy's Food Store for some authentic italian tuna.  Jimmy's was my go-to stop for cooking Bolognese earlier in the summer.

1 lb. campanelle pasta
1/4 c. olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can Italian tuna in oil, drained
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and quartered
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over hight heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain and reserve 1 c. of the pasta water.

 In a 14-inch skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, abotu 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic.

Add the tuna to the skillet and using a fork, break into chunks.

Add the cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers, and thyme.  Cook stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes.  I love the aroma of all these ingredients, especially the thyme, an herb I rarely cook with but might start…
Add the pasta, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the parsley.  Toss until all ingredients are coasted, adding a little pasta water, if needed, to thin out the sauce.  I did not need to add the water but good to know I had it available.

Just had to take a single shot of this lovely Italian flat-leaf parsley.  Another first in using this type of parsley vs. the curly leaf parsley.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if you have it and serve warm or at room temperature.

What I would do next time:
Cook the noodles first so as to avoid overcooking your sauce
Stick to the campanelle pasta - I used penne but think the smaller noodle would have been ideal

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Made Garlic Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce

    On nights that my cupboard is bare I pull out Pesto Cream Sauce that I keep stored in my freezer.  When I made this sauce earlier in the summer, it made a ton and was SO rich that I froze half of the recipe.  For an easy Saturday night dinner after not cooking much this past week, I threw this quick and easy dish together.

    Pasta Cream Sauce by Pioneer Woman
    8 oz. angel hair pasta
    2 tsp. olive oil
    2 chicken breasts
    1 tsp. garlic, minced
    salt & pepper to taste
    Parmesan cheese, grated

    Cut chicken breasts into thinly sliced strips for sautéing.  Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Saute garlic and chicken in skillet until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned on the outside.  Salt and pepper chicken as needed.  While chicken is cooking, boil pasta in separate sauce pan.  Add a splash of olive oil to avoid noodles from sticking.

    Toss together in large skillet the angel hair and desired amount of pesto cream sauce, approximately 1/4 cup with garlic chicken.  Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Made Hollandaise & Artichokes

    I actually didn't make artichokes but rather steamed them.  Using "Made" as the beginning of all my posts is not typically difficult when I have made a sandwich, casserole, dessert or dip.  But you can't really "make" an artichoke - it just grows.  Anyone with me?!

    I think artichokes are an interesting vegetable and quite lovely.  In the home of a sweet Tyler friend years ago, I witnessed the display of artichokes in such a neat way.  She had a long, narrow, hand-carved wooden bowl for the artichoke display.  She carved out the center of the artichoke to fit a slender, votive-sized candle.  For the artichoke to act as a candle-holder she of course had to chop off the stem and create a flat surface on the bottom-side of the artichoke.  If I could draw, I would sketch and scan a picture for you but I am hoping you can just imagine it.  She placed several artichokes, with the candles fitting into the center, and arranged in the wooden bowl for a centerpiece.  Not sure how long the table display kept but it was beautiful.

    So they are pretty but how do you cook them?  I had no idea so went to the web and found this great step-by-step resource on How To Cook and Eat an Artichoke.  I was not willing to take a self pic with an artichoke leaf in my mouth so check out the steps and pictures in the link.  Other than artichokes, all you need is: water for boiling, a lemon slice, bay leaf and clove of garlic.

    You can't eat artichokes without Hollandaise so I pulled a great recipe from our copy of the Bride and Groom First and Forever cookbook, which I have cooked out of before.  You can make this in a blender or stove-top.  I chose to use my great double-boiler pan and use the stove.

    2 egg yolks
    2 tsp. heavy cream at room temperature
    1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    Dash of cayenne pepper
    1/2 cup butter (1 stick!!) unsalted butter, melted an heated until bubbling but not brown
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (use the same lemon from your slice, for steaming the artichokes)
    1 tsp. white wine vinegar
    Setup double-broiler as usual with water in the lower pan, heat to medium-high heat.  Put the egg yolks, cream 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and cayenne in top pan of double broiler.  Stir with whisk until frothy.

    While continuing to stir, add the melted butter lemon juice and white wine vinegar.  Continue stirring until the sauce has doubled in thickness.  Three out of the four burners occupied is not typical but I kind of like it…

    Turn your heat down to low to avoid scalding the sauce.  Remove from burner, cover and set aside for serving.

    Ready to start dipping into the rich, buttery sauce.

    This is what success looks like - a discard bowl from satisfied Madeleys.
    Stay tuned for what was in the third pan and our main entree…easy, no recipe!!

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Made Basil Peach-Topping

    If you live in Dallas we are in the 39th day of 100+ degree weather.  So grab some basil and fresh peaches and make this amazingly EASY and DELICIOUS summer treat.  I don't really know if Pioneer Woman comes up with her own recipes…a question I would love to ask her if invited to her ranch for a meal.  Whatever the case, Vanilla Ice Cream with Basil-Peach Topping was a hit with my family a few weekends ago.  After having Made Dinner with Mom we celebrated her birthday with this…

    2 whole peaches, pitted and chopped
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    18 whole basil leaves, washed
    Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (or whatever is your favorite brand)

    Place chopped peaches in bowl.  Set aside.  In a saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Stir to combine.  Turn on heat to medium-high and boil for 3-5 minutes, until syrup is thicker but not yet starting to turn color.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
    Pour warm syrup in blender.  Throw in basil leave.  Pulse once quickly for larger chunks of basil; blend for a few seconds for a more green syrup.

     Pour basil syrup over chopped peaches.  Allow to sit a few minutes.  If your liquid is a green tint you are on track!!

    I love these footed dessert bowls from Crate & Barrel - another wedding present we serve with often.
    Spoon peach-basil mixture over your ice cream and serve immediately.  Refrigerate your sauce and have dessert a few more times days later.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Made Beef & Bean Burritos

    I will be catching up on several blog posts in the next few days - my kitchen has been busy and the dishwasher has been running.  Sometimes I get in a little over my head with the number of recipes I am wanting to try from so many great resources like the most recent issue of Real Simple, The Junior League of SanAntonio Cookbook and endless recipes from Pioneer Woman.  So my grocery list these days gets quite long and this week's trip I came home with three different types of meat which is not the norm.  Trying to do at least one more "involved" recipe per week and an easy one.  So 16-Minute Beef and Bean Burritos was my "easy".

    By the way, the picture above is B's plate and he did not finish it all.  It is quite a bit of food so you could easily do one per person with a side of guacamole and chips.  Or don't fill the tortillas as full as I probably did in my excitement over the colorful meal.  This recipe makes 6 servings so you will have a ton of meat left and of course tortillas if you are cooking for two - just bought enough refried beans for 2 meals.

    2 lbs. ground beed
    1/2 whole medium onion
    1 can chopped green chilies
    1 (7 oz.) can Enchilada sauce
    Salt & pepper to taste
    Cumin, Oregano, Garlic Salt to taste
    1 can refried beans
    3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
    12 whole burrito-sized flour tortillas
    Extra grated cheese, for sprinkling
    Extra sauce, for drizzling
    Cilantro leaves to top

    Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste.  I added a few dashes of cumin, oregano and garlic salt along with a small can of chopped green chilies.  Pour in sauce and simmer over low heat.

    Heat refried beans in a saucepan.  Add cheese and stir in till melted.  Keep warm.

    Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute.

    Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla.  Add meat.  Fold over ends, then roll up.  Place two burritos on plate, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle cheese then microwave for one minute or until cheese is melted.  Top with cilantro and serve!!

    This would be a great, casual meal to have friends over and you will have more than enough.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Made Dinner with Mom

     B and I took a trip south this weekend to visit with my Mom.  The Madeley kitchen teamed up with Mom and we came out with Oven-Fried Paprika Chicken.  Yes…that is yogurt you see in the recipe...

    Oven-Fried Paprika Chicken
    Cooking spray
    1/2 c plain yogurt (we didn't have plain so used Vanilla-flavored)
    1 T. sweet paprika, divided
    15 saltine crackers, crushed into crumbs (used breadcrumbs instead)
    1 t. salt
    1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (four 4-oz thin pieces)
    1 T. chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 med. lemon, cut into wedges

    Preheat broiler & coat baking sheet with cooking spray

    Place yogurt & 1 teaspoon paprika in small bowl; mix to combine.

    Combine cracker crumbs, salt, pepper & remaining 2 teaspoons paprika in large, shallow pie plate; stir to combine.  Dip each chicken piece in yogurt mixture, followed by cracker mixture, coating thoroughly.
    press lightly to make crumbs stick.

    Place coated chicken on baking sheet and lightly spray w/cooking spray.  Broil 3-4 inches from heat source until golden brown & cooked through, flipping once, about 4-5 minutes per side.

    And roasted vegetables are always an easy side dish.  I sliced up a few pieces of squash, new potatoes and sweet onion - tossed well in olive oil with salt and pepper and baked at 350.  Threw in a bunch of asparagus towards the end of the baking process and served with the chicken.  Tasted good and looked good too!