Gnocchi is my favorite thing to eat and I’ve made Gnocchi before from scratch and it took me nearly 3-4 hours to complete but I remember it came out phenomenal, it’s listed under my favorite recipes if you’re a fan of my page on facebook. This time around I decided to cut my cook time to 30 minutes so I purchased my Gnocchi from Trader Joe’s and I found a great mushroom sauce recipe in my Ultimate Italian Magazine that just hit shelves this month. I used Napa Valley’s Rutherford Chardonay also purchased from Trader Joe’s for my white wine sauce. I highly recommend you to make your own gnocchi if you never have before, the freshness of the potato dumplings is out of this world! This packaged gnocchi stuff from Trader Joe’s was good too for a great substitute if you don’t have time to make your own. I’m always looking for the best Italian restaurants that serve amazing gnocchi , for those of you that don’t know La Finestra in Tarzana has an amazing gnocchi dish.
Archive for August, 2011
So after having Chili Verde Sopes last night, click on link if you’d like the recipe, I woke up this morning thinking of doing a breakfast version of Sopes. I googled it and found it has been done before but I doubt it’s been done my way. :) Also check out my left over Enchilada Sopes, those are so yummy too!
So, what I did was make my own refried beans by adding some boiled beans- mash them or blend them, chopped Yellow Onion, 2 Tbls of Chipotle in Adobe Sauce to it for spicyness and about 1/4 cup of Chicken broth to give the beans lots of flavor. Turned out great, after I added the bean mixture to the sope I topped it with some mixed eggs and mexican chorizo and topped it off with Ranchero Cheese. Add your favorite hot sauce or pico de gallo, even avocado would taste good I bet and you got yourself a very tasty brunch, breakfast….whatever…
I made something very similar to this recently that I took for my Doctor and his staff to enjoy but it was Blueberry/Blackberry cobbler. I wish I did this one instead as I think this tastes better. I shouldn’t say it taste better, it’s more sweet vs. the tartness of the blackberries added that flavor to the blueberry/blackberry cobbler dish. Suppose some people like the tartness over the sweetness. That’s the hard part of baking for other people, I always feel like I wished I’d made something better or tastier. I do this with everyone I bake for, it’s frustrating because the idea of making that one thing that I know is great comes after the fact that I made something mediocre for them. Ah…well. This lovely recipe came from Cooking Light’s newest August issue… and it was so sweet and tasty!
I’m a messy baker…the kitchen is my disaster area…;) Difficult dish to photograph..:)
The Oatmeal flavors worked so nicely in this dish! Definitely the highlighted ingredient.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
Total: 55 Minutes
- Cooking spray
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
- 2. Coat an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cornstarch evenly in dish.
- 3. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla, and blueberries in a large bowl; toss. Place in prepared baking dish.
- 4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cinnamon) in the bowl of a food processor; pulse twice to combine. Add butter; pulse 5 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Spoon topping evenly over blueberries, packing down lightly. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.
Bill and Cheryl Jamison, Cooking Light
- Calories: 217
- Fat: 8.1g
- Saturated fat: 3.9g
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.8g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7g
- Protein: 2.2g
- Carbohydrate: 35.9g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 15mg
- Iron: 0.9mg
- Sodium: 195mg
- Calcium: 25mg
I was skeptical about making this at first, the picture in the magazine looked tasty but I wasn’t sure about Eggplant, Walnuts and Olives going together. Wow..was I wrong, this was so flavorful! My husband really enjoyed it and said this is now one of his favorite sandwich’s. For all my vegetarian friends and family members out there…this one’s for you! I did this Sandwich on the Torta bread I found in Costco, perfect choice! Found this great recipe in Fine Cooking.
2 Tbs. minced fresh mint, plus small leaves for garnish
2 Tbs. minced shallot
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
2 Tbs. toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1 to 1-1/4 lb. globe eggplant (2 small or 1 slender large), peeled if you like, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
4-1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices crusty, artisanstyle white bread
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 oz. mixed baby greens
1 8-oz. package burrata (or fresh mozzarella), drained
Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. In a small bowl, combine the oil, mint, shallot, and vinegar. In another small bowl, combine the olives and walnuts. Beat the vinaigrette with a fork to blend, and then mix 2 tsp. into the olive mixture.
Arrange the eggplant and bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the eggplant on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the bread slices on one side with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill the eggplant, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Grill the bread, covered, until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Arrange the grilled bread on a cutting board, oiled side up. Top each slice with some of the mixed greens. Arrange the eggplant rounds atop the greens. Beat the vinaigrette with a fork to blend, and then spoon about 1 tsp. over each round. Slice the burrata about 1/2 inch thick and arrange over the eggplant. Sprinkle lightly with salt and spoon about 1 tsp. of the olive relish over each burrata slice. Cut the sandwiches in half and transfer to plates. Garnish with small mint leaves and serve.
Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 15; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 45; Fiber (g): 6;
So I did my own little take on the Mexican Torta. It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of these and though the Torta is traditionally done with slow cooked pork or meat, I decided to do it with ham, bacon and egg as my proteins. You must try it the original way if you’ve never had one of these, it is an incredible sandwich. I purchased this bread specifically made for Tortas from Costco, it was nice and fresh! And..yes I burned the top portion of the bread just a little bit, husband is to blame for calling me on the phone while I was trying to prepare these…lol
Ingrediants: serving for 2
Torta Sandwich Bread
2 cups dried Pinto Beans
1 can Ranchero Salsa
Slices of Ranchero Cheese
4 slices of Low Sodium Bacon
2 slices of Boars Head Black Forest Ham
Pico De Gallo
Put the beans to boil with a sliced sweet onion, let that cook for a couple of hours, keep adding water to make sure the beans are completely covered. Once done, fry the beans in some Olive Oil, you don’t need to fry all the beans you boiled just enough to fill two sandwich pieces and add a can of Ranchero Sauce to the re-fried beans (you can find this in the Mexican section of the grocery store) it gives the beans a nice rich flavor along with a hint of spice. Don’t’ buy the canned re-fried beans in the store that stuff is filled with MSG! Making your own can limit the amount of salt you get in your diet. Slice your bread in halves add some beans to the bottom slice along with some Ranchero Cheese and put top and bottom slice of bread in the oven to Toast at 375.’ When the bread looks slightly toasted crack an egg very carefully on top of your sandwich, if it rolls off spoon it back on, place back in the oven to bake. On the stove- cook slices of bacon once done, place Boar’s head ham slices in the same pan and coat in the oil than let sit on paper towel to absorb the oil. Cut up some slices of Avocado, pico de gallo if you have any on hand. Once your egg is baked but the yolk is still soft remove from oven and top with ham, bacon, avocado slices and pico de gallo. Top it off…and devour! So full of goodness!
I wanted to do a post on some great beer finds for all you beer lovers out there. For those of you that don’t’ know, Bevmo does beer tastings every Friday, I believe it’s from 5-7pm – check with your local Bevmo Stores. Wades Wines located in Agoura also does Beer and Wine Tastings click on the link for the events they have going on for August.
Mission St. Hefewizen from Trader Joe’s 1 pint (6 ounce) for $1.99- really good!
Also, discovered Blue Moon wheat beer from Costco also 1 pint (6 ounces) -forgot what the price is on this one in Costco. Really good though!
I found this yummy recipe in Cooking Light. I didn’t change a thing… I loved all the calories being cut out of this tasty dish by Cooking Light and I’m going to leave it to the pros to do this! It had such a nice creamy taste too and the fact it was infused by the lobster shells made the broth so full of flavor. Also, I like the fact that I got peas in my diet considering I never make any dish with this vegetable that is high in Iron. I’ll be honest I’m not the biggest fan of Risotto, it’s more of an acquired taste for me but I really liked the way the lobster flavors really seep through the rice.
- 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 3 (5-ounce) American lobster tails
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lobster; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Remove lobster from pan; cool for 5 minutes. Remove meat from cooked lobster tails, reserving shells. Chop meat. Place shells in a large zip-top plastic bag. Coarsely crush shells using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Return crushed shells to the broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Strain shell mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving broth; discard solids. Return broth mixture to saucepan; keep warm over low heat. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture, and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 2 tablespoons broth mixture. Add the remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 22 minutes total). Remove from heat, and stir in lobster, the reserved 2 tablespoons broth mixture, 2 tablespoons butter, and green peas.
- Calories: 374
- Fat: 10.7g
- Saturated fat: 5.8g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Protein: 24.7g
- Carbohydrate: 44.4g
- Fiber: 4.1g
- Cholesterol: 80mg
- Iron: 2mg
- Sodium: 620mg
- Calcium: 63mg
Okay, I wanted to get creative with my food so I roasted some Poblano chili peppers over direct fire let them sit in a bag so they got really soft, chopped them up and through them in with my meatball mixture. Yummy! Nice little Mexican touch to my Italian food.
I thought the meatballs lacked a little spice so next time I plan on adding some cumin and dried oregano to them, so if your making these try them with these spices.
Here’s how to make this…
Ingredients for Meatballs:
3/4 ground pork
3/4 ground meat
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup of freshly shaved Parmesean cheese
2 Roasted Poblano Chili Peppers
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of oregano
Instructions: Just toss it all in a bowl and mix with your fingers, form small meatballs and place on a cooking sheet to be placed in the frig so it can harden a little bit before cooking. (keep in frig for at least 10 mins)
When ready to cook, heat combination of olive oil and garlic oil in pan enough to cover bottom of a nonstick pan, you should be able to cook all your meatballs without additional oil. Remove and set aside on paper towel to absorb the oil.
2 TB of Garlic
Chopped Sweet Onion
28 ounce can of Whole Tomatoes
15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 TB of Tomatoe Paste
3/4 cup of Marsala Wine (preferably the good kind from Trader Joes)
Salt and Pepper to your liking
Few dashes of crushed pepper
Sauté the onion and garlic until golden, toss in the tomatoes from both cans stir let cook for a bit than add paste, wine, salt and peppers and toss your meatballs back into the pot to finish cooking through. At the very end add your Basil leaves and some parmesean cheese as topping.
Cook Pasta according to instructions on pkg.
I really enjoyed Asaka Sushi in Woodland Hills, we went during happy hour and got great prices on the half off menu. We ordered everything from that menu. I’m using a camera in these shots that I’m not familiar with so excuse the some great and not so great photographs.
Everything we ordered was under $4 bucks on the happy hour menu that goes on daily between 4-7pm. Outdoor seating available too, which is always nice.
Albacore and Yellowtail
Dynamite Roll (really tasty)
Crunchy Hand Rolls
Spicy Tuna Crunchy