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Entries in easy (6)

Thursday
Jul072016

Tomato & Corn Salsa - Summer In A Bowl

 

     

 

     It’s summer so that means fresh local tomatoes and fresh local corn. And right on cue this NYTimes Cooking recipe popped up on my news feed. It’s easy. It’s fresh. This salsa hits the sweet, hot, and tart tastes. One little change I did make was to blanch and peel the tomatoes. I also used nice meaty, ripe, plum tomatoes. Just one note of warning – the recipe calls for you to season to taste. Well, you’ll probably end up, spoon in hand, unable to stop tasting. It’s really that good. Simple ingredients combined for a big taste. 

Friday
Jun252010

Chocolate Chip And Banana Cheesecake Tartlets

  

These couldn’t be easier to make and quick.  My usual kitchen conundrum of “what in the hell am I going to do with those damn bananas?” stared me in the face once again.  So, I went through my own recipe archives and with a little cutting and pasting, mashing and whipping I came up with these little babies.  My son, Luke, declared them “the most delicious thing he’s had for dessert ever,” ousting Baked Chocolate Cream from its long standing number one position in the dessert charts.  There you have it.  Don’t over bake them or they will come out dry.  I used pre-made mini graham cracker tartlet shells to expedite the quickness, but you could very easily make your own, or even make a larger tart.  A dollop of whipped cream would really dress these up nicely.

 

Makes 8 tartlets

Ingredients

2 very ripe bananas

8 oz cream cheese – room temperature

1 egg – room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ semi-sweet chocolate pieces

 

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy using an electric mixer, about 3-5 minutes.  Beat the bananas in a small bowl until relatively smooth, add to cream cheese mixture, and beat on low until fully incorporated. 

Stir in the chocolate pieces.  Drop a ¼cup of banana cream cheese mixture into each tartlet shell.  Place shells on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, the sides should be firm and middle still soft and wobbly. 

Chill for a few hours then serve with whipped cream if desired.

 

Wednesday
Jun172009

Tomato and Pesto Lasagna - A Light Lunch

This is a light, lovely, colorful, tasty dish!. 

 Using the pre-made pasta sheets makes it easy since there’s no pre cooking required and they add to the light part. Homemade pesto and homemade tomato sauce hits the tasty button and colorful? Well, just look at the pictures. This is a great lunch dish when the girls come over like they did last Wednesday. Just add a salad, chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio (or two) and you have a recipe for a fun afternoon!

Pesto sauce is as easy as can be to make, the only problem I sometimes run into around here is trying to find enough basil leaves (no I haven’t grown my own this year...it’s a long story which I’ll save for a Friday Routine). Also, I like more Parmesan cheese in my pesto so I would probably use closer to a ½ cup. Use the below as a guideline and adjust it to suit your taste accordingly. It’s a classic and you really can’t go wrong.

The tomato sauce is another quick easy staple around here. I kept this recipe simple and didn’t add a whole bunch of other herbs or wine (but you could). I wanted this sauce to be fresh tasting and add to the dish rather than overwhelm it with a too hearty taste.

 

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Special Equipment: 9x12x3 ovenproof baking dish or lasagna dish

2-½ cups pesto sauce (recipe below)

5-6 cups tomato sauce (recipe below)

8 oz grated Italian cheese combination (like Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, Fontina)

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced into 1-inch pieces

1-package fresh pasta sheets (a.k.a egg roll skins)

Preheat oven to 450°F

Spread a little tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place 4 pasta sheets on top of the sauce. They will over lap in the center. Spread the pasta with tomato sauce then pesto. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Continue layering pasta, sauces and cheese until the final layer pressing down as you go. You will end up with 4 layers. For the final layer distribute the mozzarella cheese over the top of the sauces.

Bake covered for 30-35 minutes until bubbling and hot. Remove foil for the last 5-7 minutes to let the mozzarella brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

It's All Delicious Notes:  Adapted from the June 2009 issue of La Cucina Italiana

 

Pesto Sauce

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 large garlic clove

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with cling film to prevent discoloring. Chill until ready to use.

 

Tomato Sauce

3 28oz cans of chopped tomatoes

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons garlic powder

2-3 tablespoons dried oregano

Simmer all the above ingredients in a large saucepan until slightly thickened. About 1 hour. Can be made a few days ahead and covered in the fridge.

Monday
Mar092009

Zaalouk from Zara's Kitchen in Marrakech 

 

From The Market to Zara's Kitchen

It’s amazing how food brings people together.  As I sat blogging away here in Hilton Head - long lost friends of mine were recipe searching in Morocco.  That’s right Marrakech.  Well…low and behold Pat and Frederic found It’s All Delicious and in turn me.  As Pat, sweetly, put it…we have dinner with you now once a week.

 After the OHMYGOD I can’t believe you found me emails flying back and forth through the WIFI waves, updating each other on the past 10 years,  I had a thought.  If I've found my way into their kitchen…hmmm… how about the flip side?  I love Moroccan food.  I have a few fabulous Moroccan cookbooks and a jar of preserved lemons in my fridge as I write. 

But what would be more mouthwatering then a super authentic recipe straight from Zara’s kitchen in Marrakech?  The answer was nothing that I can think of!  So here you have it…from Marrakech to Hilton Head with a few clicks of a button…It’s just so cool!  Thank you so much Zara can't wait for your next one!


Zaalouk from Zara’s Kitchen in Marrakech

Ingredients

4 medium aubergines (eggplant)

3 large tomatoes, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of one lemon

¼ cup parsley, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1-teaspoon cumin

Pinch of saffron

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.   Wrap aubergines (eggplant) individually in aluminum foil.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and unwrap.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel off skins beginning from the top and working down the aubergine.  Use a knife to separate the skin from the flesh and then peel away using your hands. 

Chop flesh into small pieces, set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Cook tomatoes and garlic for a few minutes until tomatoes begin to soften.  Add cumin, saffron, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

Continue cooking over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. 

Add aubergine, mix to combine flavors and simmer on low heat until heated through. 

Serve with crusty bread as a type of spread.  You can also serve it mezze style as a small plate.  Also works with grilled meat or fish. Can be served hot or room temperature. 

It’s All Delicious Notes:  I made this and it was so tasty!  I didn’t cut the eggplants small enough and will know better next time.  It was delicious so easy to make and healthy!

My Zaalouk

Saturday
Mar072009

Sugar Cookies - Light and Lovely

 

I found the perfect sugar cookie recipe!  This with a little help from Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection and Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher.

 

I made two batches and they were both wonderful.  I was looking for a buttery, light cookie that didn’t spread into some un recognizable form if a cookie cutter was used, or didn’t turn itself from a cookie into a flat wafer when it heat the oven heat.  Well…BINGO on all fronts.

 

The first batch I used butter and finely grated lemon rind.  The second batch I used butter flavored shortening and vanilla.  The textures were almost the same.  The shortening cookies were slightly more delicate to handle, and puffed up a bit more in the oven then the butter based batch but that’s about it.  In house experts Sophie and Alex preferred the shortening cookies.  Me? I liked the lemony buttery ones…so go figure either way you get a traditional sugar cookie that reminds you of an old fashioned bakery!  But as we are getting close to Easter…lemon was just right!

Ingredients

Makes about 36

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8-teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (see notes below)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten

Freshly grated lemon peel from 1 lemon (or ½ and orange)

 

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.  Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy and pale.  Mix in egg beating until well combined then mix in lemon peel.  Add the flour and mix by hand until well combined.  Turn dough out on to a piece of cling film and shape into a long roll about 2inches in diameter (or shape into a disk if you are going to roll out and use shaped cookie cutters) Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes until firm. 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Slice chilled cookie roll into ¼ pieces.  Place on baking sheet 1-inch or so apart.  Press down slightly with a flat spatula and bake for 12-15 minutes until small cracks appear on top, do not let edges burn and do not over cook (mine were done in 12 minutes exactly).  Cool on wire racks.

 

It’s All Delicious Notes:  If you go the shortening route, just substitute an equal amount of BUTTER flavored shortening for the “proper” butter.

You can substitute ½ teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract for the lemon peel.

Around the winter holiday season a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon would be Christmas cookie   heaven.  These cookies will hold their shape for intense over the top holiday decorating.

Recipe adapted from Le Cordon Bleu - Cookies

 

Wednesday
Mar042009

Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Lime and Garlic "Sauce"

This was quick and easy and I really should thank Mr. Produce Guy for this.  I used a prepared cheat since I was short on time and he was “out” of red jalapeños.  The dish was no way short on flavor but next time I’ll concoct my own Lime and Garlic Salsa.

 I came up with this little dinner thought based on, yet again, another Jalapeño conversation.

 Any way, I can confirm, categorically that there will NEVER be red jalapenos in this particular store and possibly on this Island…ever.

 I think Mr. Produce Guy tried to run away when he saw me coming…or at least leaned towards the potatoes with his back to me.  But I caught him, by the peppers, again and asked if he could/would get some red jalapeños in.

He attempted to tell me “there were no such things.” 

"Really???" After another one of those extra long don’t tell me that garbage look that I’ve mastered.  He corrected himself to say…

He had  “never seen them, and they just come in like that…green.”

Well, that’s better…Okay…Fine you win…I give up. I’ll never bother you again regarding jalapeños.

 That short little exchange brought me to the realization that my Spicy Mango Salsa from Simply Ming just wasn’t going to be the same.  I was short on time and left Mr. Produce guy counting packets of chives.  I scurried over to the cold case and bought some.  I ended up with the mango and peach salsa and lime and garlic salsa as well…perfect for my pork tenderloins.  The mango salsa will be another “cheat” for the stir-fried chicken down the culinary road.  So props go to Mr. Produce Guy for my inspiration…and I’m sorry if I scared you…again.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 ¼ lbs)

2 cups lime and garlic salsa

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)

1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)

Canola oil

 

Marinate pork in salsa for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet.  Remove pork from marinade (reserve) shake off any excess. Sear tenderloins, about 2 minutes on each side.  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 130-135°F.  You do not want to overcook these; they should be pink and tender inside.  For a side sauce, I took the reserved marinade, added a cup of white wine and reduced it over medium heat while the pork was roasting.