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Saturday, October 19, 2013

With winter fast approaching sometimes you just want to stay in with great food and putter around the house. Some of these are great comfort foods for those chilly days and nights. My favorite is the Pesto Grilled good!

Mayonnaise Biscuits                                                                        

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 12 biscuits
Note: Adapted from "Bon Appetit Y'All," by Virginia Willis. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, chives or parsley if you like.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon each: salt, sugar
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup mayonnaise, such as olive
oil mayonnaise

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously oil or spray 12 standard muffin tins to coat them well.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix in milk and mayonnaise just until a thick batter forms.
Divide dough evenly among muffin tins. Bake until golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack, 5 minutes; remove from tins. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Spice Latte                                                                        

Servings: 2
Note: Adapted from the blog

2 cups milk
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
1 cup strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream
Cinnamon, optional

Instructions:Combine milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice. Whisk the mixture until foamy. Transfer into two mugs, filling each only half way; top with coffee. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

Plum Pandowdy                                                                                                                 
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Servings: 8-10

2 pounds ripe plums, about 10
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1/2 batch cream cheese pie crust, see recipe below
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar, see note
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice plums into bite-size chunks over a bowl to catch the juices. Mix in brown sugar, spices, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Taste; add more spices if desired. Stir in flour.

2. Pour plums into a cast-iron skillet, 8-by-8-inch baking dish, or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Roll out the pie crust; settle it over the fruit. Tuck edges into the pan around fruit. Brush pie crust with melted butter; sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Poke a few holes in crust to allow steam to escape.

3. Bake, 30 minutes. Cut crust into several large pieces. Bake, until the crust is golden and fruit juices are bubbling up, 20-30 minutes. Cool 20 minutes before serving. The filling will still be very loose and liquid; spoon it into serving bowls. Top with ice cream.

Note: For cinnamon sugar, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

Pesto Grilled Cheese                                                                                                          
Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices Italian bread
1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce, divided
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices tomato
1 slice American cheese (I prefer extra sharp Chedder to American cheese, though you will get sharpness from pesto)

Spread one side of a slice of bread with butter, and place it, buttered side down, into a nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Spread the top of the bread slice in the skillet with half the pesto sauce, and place a slice of provolone cheese, the tomato slices and the slice of American cheese onto the pesto.

Spread remaining pesto on one side of the second slice of bread, and place the bread slice, pesto side down, onto the sandwich. Butter the top of the sandwich.

Gently fry the sandwich, flipping once, until both sides of the bread are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.

Pumpkin Lasagna                                                                                                      
Prep: 45 minutes
Servings: 8-10

1 pound lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Three 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 cups fresh ricotta (32 ounces)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 6 ounces)
2 cups shredded imported Fontina cheese (about 8 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Drain well and transfer the noodles to a baking sheet. Toss the noodles with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until wilted and no more liquid remains, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season the chard with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, mix the ricotta with the eggs, 1 1/2 cups of the Parmigiano, 1 cup of the fontina and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, spoon 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture in an even layer. Arrange 3 or 4 lasagna noodles in the dish, overlapping them slightly. Spread half of the remaining pumpkin mixture over the noodles in an even layer. Top with half of the Swiss chard and another layer of noodles. Cover with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layering with lasagna noodles, pumpkin, Swiss chard, another layer of noodles and finish with the ricotta mixture.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until heated through and slightly firm. Remove from the oven and uncover. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmigiano and 1 cup of fontina on top of the lasagna and broil about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown and crisp on top, about 4 minutes.
 Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

Olive Garlic Cheesy Mashed Potatoes                                                          
Serves: 3-4

2 lbs or 3 large potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced large
6 cups water (to boil the potatoes)
1 teaspoon salt (to add in boiling water to cook the potatoes)
4 cloves garlic, ends snipped and peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese (or can use Parmesan cheese for substitute)
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
salt (optional and according to taste

In a medium size saucepan, put diced potatoes, peeled garlic cloves and water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, add the salt and cook potatoes until tender.
Drain the water from the saucepan of cooked potatoes and garlic. While still piping hot, mash the potatoes and garlic, either leave some bits unmashed (for texture) or mash until smooth.
Add the extra virgin olive oil and evaporated milk and continue to mash/mix.
Mix in the grated Romano Cheese and season with pepper and salt (optional and according to taste).
Fold-in the chopped chives. And serve hot or warm, with or without gravy.


Rosemary Chicken Lasagna                                                          
by S January-5-2013
Serves: 8

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size, 1/2 inch pieces ( or replace with 1 lb wild mushrooms)
8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional- or replace with 8 oz more chicken)
1/2 red onion- diced
8 cloves garlic -chopped
1 T fresh rosemary- chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt -plus two generous pinches for chicken
cracked pepper
1-2 C packed, chopped fresh spinach ( or arugula)
2 T olive oil
12 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, divided -saving 4 oz for béchamel
15 oz whole milk ricotta
3/4 C Parmesan
lemon zest 1T
1 package egg roll wrappers, or fresh pasta sheets

Bechamel Ingredients:
4 T butter ( or olive oil)
4 T flour
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
3 C hot whole milk
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp white pepper

Truffle oil- optional

Note: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt. If using regular table salt you will need less.

Preheat oven to 400F
1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch, bite size pieces. Season with 2 generous three finger pinches of kosher salt and cracked pepper. Saute in a skillet, on medium heat, with 1-2 T oil until golden brown, and cooked through. Place chicken in a bowl and set aside. In the same pan, saute diced onion until tender, on med high heat, about 5 min. You may need to add a little more oil. Add garlic, lower heat to medium, saute 2 minutes. Add rosemary, mushrooms, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and lower heat to med low, and saute until mushrooms release liquid and are tender, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach, stir until wilted and add chicken. Set aside.

2. Make Bechamel Sauce:
In a small pot, melt butter on med low heat. Add flour and stir for five minutes on med heat until flour is golden. Whisk in a cup of hot milk at a time. Add Rosemary and bring to a boil, d
o not leave unattended, stirring constantly. Add 4 oz. mozzarella and stir until melted and thickened. Add salt, nutmeg and white pepper. Simmer for a few minutes, then set aside.

3. Assemble Lasagna. Use fresh pasta sheets if possible. If not available, substitute large egg roll wrappers. Butter or grease a 8x 12 in pan. Pour 1/2 C bechamel sauce in the bottom and spread out. Lay down one layer of fresh pasta sheet or egg roll wrappers. Using a teaspoon, place teaspoon sized dollops of ricotta, using up about half the container. Spread out the 1/2 of the chicken mushroom filling, Drizzle 1/2 C bechemal, sprinkle 1/4 C Parmesan, and 4 oz of the fresh mozzarella and half of the lemon zest. Repeat, adding another single layer of pasta, lightly pressing down. Add dollops of ricotta, the remainder of the chicken mushroom filling, 1/2 C bechamel, the remaining mozzarella, 1/4 C Parmesan and remaining lemon zest. At this point, you could drizzle with a little truffle oil. Top with the last layer of pasta ( or egg roll wrapper) pour the remainder of the bechamel, spreading evenly. Add the final 1/4 C of Parmesan. Sprinkle with a little rosemary.

4. Bake covered tightly with foil in a 400F oven for 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake uncovered until top is golden, about 10 more minutes. Let rest out of the oven 10-15 minutes before cutting, so it sets up.

Truffle Mac and Cheese                                                          
Serves: 6

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb (500 g) elbow macaroni
2 tsp truffle oil
4 Tbsp (2 oz/60 g) butter, plus more for greasing
1⁄4 cup (11⁄2 oz/45 g) all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp sweet paprika
1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups (16 f l oz/500 ml) milk
1 cup (8 f l oz/250 ml) half-and-half
11⁄2 cups (6 oz/185 g) shredded Gruyère cheese
11⁄2 cups (6 oz/185 g) shredded white Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp minced chives

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and stir well. Add the butter to the saucepan and melt it over medium-high heat. Add the flour, paprika, and mustard and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1–3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half, and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps, for 4–5 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) each of the Gruyère and Cheddar. Stir until smooth. Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni, add the chives, and mix well. Transfer to the prepared dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, 25–30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Different Themes
Written by Lovely

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