Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pasta with Corn Pesto

This dish was fantastic!! A creamy satisfying pasta without (most of) the guilt! You could up the health factor by substituting asparagus or another crunchy veggie for the bacon. And could probably even skip the parmesan altogether. Either way it was great!
P.S. Don't skip the basil. It rounded out the flavor perfectly. And I used canned corn cause I'm lazy :)

4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided

Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. Serve pasta, passing additional grated Parmesan alongside.

Friday, September 24, 2010

VEGAN Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Now that I've shared a delectable chocolate chip recipe that's terrible for you, here's an equally delicious one that's actually not bad for you! And if you don't believe me on the deliciousness, I DARE you to compare these to your usual faves. Moist, chewy, buttery-tasting...mmmmm! Wonderful. I made 2 double batches this week and they're both gone. Also made ice cream sandwiches with them....Heaven! Try coconut milk ice cream for an AMAZING vegan alternative :)
P.S. I haven't tried unrefined sugar yet (also called turbinado or other names) but I hear great things about it. The crystals are bigger and they're light brown so they look different but bake up wonderfully, so I've heard. It actually still has some nutrients from the sugar cane plant instead of being completely stripped of anything good for you!

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note below for wheat-free version)
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 - 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup organic canola oil (a little generous 1/4 cup)
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 8-10 large cookies.

Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour produces a cookie with a very classic taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still have delicious cookies! For a wheat-free version, use barley or spelt flour. With spelt flour, you may need to add an extra 2-4 TB of flour, if it is a refined spelt flour. Also, if using all-purpose flour, if the batter is heavy and dense when mixing in the wet ingredients, add another 1-2 tsp each of maple syrup and canol oil and work through.
Courtesy Vive Le Vegan

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rockin' Fish Tacos

Another Cuisinenie delight!
**Google "tempura batter" for easy recipes. I just used regular white flour to dredge the fish.

PART 1: Fish

• 1 lime, juiced
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 12 ounces of Dover or Tilapia
• 16 (8-inch) corn or flour tortillas
• Canola oil
• 4 ounces tempura flour
• 8 ounces prepared tempura batter made with cold water
• 6 ounces panko bread crumbs

In medium bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly. Add the fish and toss to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Warm tortillas on grill or pan. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
In a medium Dutch oven, heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F.

• Remove fish from marinade, shake off excess, dredge in tempura flour, and dunk in cold tempura mixed batter. Roll in panko bread crumbs, pressing panko onto fish. One by one add fish to oil, making sure to keep the fish pieces separated. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

PART 2: Sauce

• Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
• 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
• 1 jalapeno, sliced
• 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
• 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• Salt and pepper

Preheat grill or use side burners of the grill. Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the mixture in the blender and add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

-Crisp shredded lettuce
-Dollop of cold sour cream

Shrimp and Garbanzo Coconut Curry

We had two home runs for dinner this week, both from cuisinenie.blogspot, Nie Nie's food blog, and both submitted by readers. This one was just outstanding! We served it with regular brown rice but I like the turmeric idea she mentions at the end. Or saffron rice!
**I only used olive oil to saute, no butter, and I only used about a teaspoon curry paste. I don't know what kind she was referring to in the recipe but the kind I buy is in a teeny tiny jar and a little goes a long way, fyi.

• 2 lbs of shrimp, cleaned, shelled and deveined
• 1 large onion
• 1 fresh green chile
• thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
• small bunch of cilantro
• can of garbanzo beans
• Olive Oil
• 2 T of butter
• 2/3 cup of korma or mild curry paste (I like the Patak's brand)
• can of coconut milk
• 1/2 cup of water
• 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
• 3 T. unsweetened shredded coconut
• fresh pepper and kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups of plain or Greek style yogurt
• 1 lemon
1. Get your shrimp ready (devein, unshell, clean, etc.), slice your onions, mince your chili, peel & mince the ginger, chop up the cilantro and drain your garbanzo beans.
2. Add your olive oil and 2 T of butter to a skillet and put on high head. Add in your chile, ginger, onions and cilantro. Be careful not to burn it but cook it until golden. Which takes about 7 minutes
3. Add in the curry paste, coconut milk, half of the almonds, the garbanzo beans, coconut, water.
4. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Keep on eye on it to make sure it is not drying out, you can add a bit more water if you need too.
5. Then throw in the shrimp, shrimp doesn't take too long to cook so after 5-7 minutes it should be done. When your shrimp is cooked, add in the salt & pepper
6. Serve with some yogurt, sliced almonds and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

I like to serve this with turmeric brown rice, all you do is add some tumeric into your water when the cooking the rice and voila! Beautiful yellow turmeric rice.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nothing-healthy-about-it Double Layer Chocolate Panna Cotta Cake

This cake was DEE-licious. I ate almost the whole thing. But I will not post the recipe. No sireee. Why, you ask? Because it was SO wickedly bad for you :) Suffice it to say the ingredients included Kahlua and lots and lots and lots of cream. Oh yeah. Anyway, the recipe's on anyway. My chocolate band didn't quite turn out but it looks good anyway, right?
Hurray for evil indulgences!