Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes for a Surprise Shower

Aggie is having a baby soon!  She has already had an in-person shower, and now it’s time for her virtual shower.  SandyLiz, and Julie have assembled an impressive list of bloggers to celebrate the arrival of Aggie’s little boy.  I met Aggie a few years ago at a local food blogger bake sale, and have kept in touch via social media.  Her recipes are family friendly and healthy. I’m impressed by how she has instilled a love of fresh flavors in her children, and continuously strive to do the same for my son.

baby shower for Aggie

The theme of the shower was Italian inspired food.  Sadly, my plants did not survive in the Florida heat, so I wasn’t able to use homegrown basil for this pesto.  I had just enough from my measly plant for the garnish.

Here is a roundup of everyone who participated in Aggie’s virtual shower.  I’m humbled to be in such esteemed company.  Please hop around and see the beautiful recipes from the other shower guests.

Appetizers
Sundried Tomato Hummus from Robyn of Add a Pinch
Melon & Prosicutto Balls from Paula of bell’alimento
Bruschetta from Sheila of Eat2gather
Jalapeno Poppers from Ali of Gimme Some Oven
Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites from Jamie of Mom’s Cooking Club
Watermelon Feta Bites with Basil Olive Oil from Sandy of Reluctant Entertainer
Pesto Caprese Fried Wontons from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Crostini from Cheryl of TidyMom

Drinks
Toasted Coconut Milkshakes from Bev of Bev Cooks
Lemon Cream Soda from Angie of Eclectic Recipes
Peach Sorbet Bellini and Spritzers from Shaina of Food for My Family
Non Alcoholic Berry Spritzer from Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks
Virgin Peach & Raspberry Bellinis from Milisa of Miss in the Kitchen
Italian Basil Sparkling Lemonade from Marly of Namely Marly
Italian Sodas from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen
Cafe Mocha Punch / or Iced Cafe Mocha from Amy of She Wears Many Hats

Salads
Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} from Brenda of a farmgirl’s dabbles
Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps from Christine of Cook the Story
Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes from Suzanne of Kokocooks
Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad from Liz of The Lemon Bowl
Herbed Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella from Rachel of Rachel Cooks
Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod
Lentil and Chickpea Layered Salad from Lisa of With Style & Grace

Entrees
Chicken Cacciatore from Meagan of A Zesty Bite
Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Edamame Stir-Fry from Cassie of Bake Your Day
Potato-Crusted Vegetarian Quiche with Zucchini, Tomatoes & Feta from Dara of Cookin’ Canuck
“Straw & Hay” Tagliatelle in Cream Sauce from Flavia of Flavia’s Flavors
Grilled Italian Chicken with Veggie & Bow Tie Pasta from Katie of Katie’s Cucina
Grilled Naan Pizza with Summer Veggies & Turkey Sausage from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks
Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini from Kathy of Panini Happy

Desserts
Fresh Blueberry Shortbread with Lemon Cream Frosting from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
Crostata di Mango from Lora of Cake Duchess
Italian Ice from Kristen of Dine & Dish
Roasted Banana and Nutella S’mores Bruschetta from Jenny of Picky Palate
Italian Cream Cake from Deborah of Taste and Tell
Panna cotta from Leslie of The hungry housewife
Fortune Cookies from Shari of Tickled Red
Baby Vanilla Bean Scones a la Starbucks from Tara of Unsophisticook

Surprise, Aggie!  We can’t wait to meet baby Micah.

original recipe

Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes

Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 medium tomatoes
1 c dry ditalini (will equal 2 ¼ c cooked)
1 small garlic clove, peeled
½ c packed basil leaves, roughly torn
1 Tbs pine nuts
2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese
3 Tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut tops off the tomatoes; invert on a few layers of paper towels. Let the tomatoes drain for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place the garlic, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese in a small food processor. Blend until basil leaves are chopped fine. Continue processing and drizzle the olive oil in; mixture will form a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir the pesto sauce into the pasta until all pieces are evenly coated. Divide the pasta evenly among the tomatoes. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/08/pesto-pasta-stuffed-tomatoes/

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Yellow Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

I’ve been trying (in vain) to get my son to eat what is made for dinner.  If it were up to him, he’d have grilled cheese, dinosaur chicken, bagel bites, or rice every meal.  There have been many nights he’s gone to bed without dinner. I’m holding out, because I do not want to be a short order cook.

For example, I made this beautiful tart for dinner recently.  He was all about the tart while we made it.  I warned him that it contained goat cheese and tomato. He assured me he wanted to eat the tart. During the entire time the tart shell cooled, he kept asking if it was ready to eat. Then, I place a slice in front of him, and he only wanted to eat the crust. Wouldn’t even try a teeny piece of the beautiful, sweet tomato. ~Sigh~ It was another dinner-less night.

My husband came home and assured me the tart was delicious. He ate two pieces before he realized it.

Just in case you didn’t already know, there’s a giveaway going on. Update: giveaway ended.  I also made a colorful salsa with some other heirloom tomatoes.

Disclaimer: Whole Foods provided me with a gift card to purchase ingredients. I am not obligated to post this recipe. All opinions are my own.

original recipe

Yellow Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Yellow Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Ingredients

Shell
1 c flour
1 Tbs sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ c chilled butter
3 Tbs ice water
Filling
4 oz log of goat cheese, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tsp chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, minced
Black pepper
3 yellow tomatoes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. For the tart shell: Place flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut up butter into small chunks and add to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks coarse and sandy.
  2. Sprinkle in the water and pulse the mixture until the dough begins to bunch up into a ball (about 1-2 minutes of pulsing.) Remove dough from food processor and flatten into a disk.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle ⅛” thick.Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart shell. Press lightly along the bottom and sides; trim the extra.
  4. Prick bottom of dough with a fork. Line shell with foil, and weigh down with dried beans (or pie weights.) Bake at 400°F for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue baking shell until golden, about 6-8 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  5. For the filling: In a medium bowl, whip together the goat cheese and cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the chives, basil, and garlic; mix to combine. Season with black pepper to taste.
  6. Spread cheese mixture in an even layer along the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange tomato slices in layers over the cheese. Garnish with fresh chives.

Notes

To store leftovers: place tart on several layers of paper towels. Cover with a few more layers of paper towels. Wrap in foil and store in fridge.

http://kokocooks.com/2013/08/yellow-tomato-and-goat-cheese-tart/

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Spicy Marinated Tomatoes

I was invited to participate in a Summer Progressive Dinner, hosted by Kristin of Yellow Bliss Road and Katie of Katie’s Cucina.  Basically, a group of bloggers get together, and each person is responsible for a dish.  When put together, all the dishes make up a complete meal.  I remember going to progressive dinners when I was a kid (the “in person” kind) with my parents.  Usually, we ended up being responsible for dessert.  Not surprising, for people who know me.

For my part, I contributed a side dish.  Summer is all about frozen treats, grilling, and eating lots of fresh vegetables.  We make this dish all the time during the summer, as it is a perfect accompaniment to a hamburger or some grilled meat (like a few of the other dishes in the progressive dinner!)  If you like spicy, these tomatoes are right up your alley.  If you’re not into a lot of heat, I recommend removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers.

adapted from Cooking Light, June 2006

Spicy Marinated Tomatoes

Spicy Marinated Tomatoes

Ingredients

3 c halved cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1 ½ pints)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
¼ c white wine vinegar
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place tomatoes, green onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Pour dressing over the tomato mixture and toss to combine. Chill 1 hour before serving. Tomatoes will get spicier as the salad sits longer.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/06/spicy-marinated-tomatoes/

giveaway graphic

Now, any blogging event wouldn’t be complete without a giveaway. Fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win these three fun, summery prizes:

 

-a five speed hand blender from KitchenAid.  This blender comes with three blades, perfect for making smoothies, frozen drinks, or pureed soups. Looking for a new drink flavor? Check out this recipe for blended grapefruit limeade, featured on The Kitchenthusiast, KitchenAid’s blog.

– Woot Froot is excited to bring you the ease and convenience of fresh cut peaches and nectarines just in time for summer. Perfect for summer snacking, dishes and drinks – like peach margaritas. Fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win this Margaritaville Margarita Maker and get the party started. A $200 value.

-a $200 gift card from World Market.  I love wandering through this store, dreaming of all the cool parties I could throw with the fun items in their aisles.

 

And here are all the other contributions to the progressive dinner.  I really want to have a get together so I have an excuse to try all these recipes!

summer progressive dinner pinnable image

 

from left to right:
Appetizers:
1. Best Guacamole Ever from White House Black Shutters
2. Melty Caprese Appetizer from Cook the Story
3. Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip from Yellow Bliss Road
Salads:
4. Blueberry Quinoa Salad from Clean and Scentsible
5. Quinoa and Grape Salad from A Place for Us
6. Spicy Marinated Tomatoes from Kokocooks
Main Course:
7. Grilled Greek Pork Tenderloin from Katie’s Cucina
8. Mama’s Sweet Marinated Chicken from Craft Quickies
9. Mexican Grilled Corn from Nest of Posies
Desserts:
10. Triple Berry Cheesecake from The Lilypad Cottage
11. Mini Berry Pies from A Pumpkin and a Princess
12. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake from Crazy Little Projects
Beverages:
12. Perfect Italian Cream Soda from Ella Claire
13. Mango & Mint Lemonade Chiller from Sweet C’s Designs
.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for participating in this giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

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Fruit Salad With Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Back on Sunday, there was a TweetChat that officially opened Brunch Week.  One of the questions during the chat was, “What is the one brunch item you can’t live without?” For me, it’s not coffee. It’s not a fruity alcoholic beverage.  It’s not bacon (although bacon is a close second.)

My one can’t-do-without breakfast/brunch item is fruit.  I have to have some kind of fruit with a big, heavy meal (as brunch usually is.)  A slice of pineapple, a wedge of orange – stuff that’s usually meant as a garnish – I always eat it.  It helps cut through the richness of the other food, and is a perfect finishing bite.  This dish elevates the garnish to a full fledged side dish.

Our Brunch Week giveaway is almost over.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for all the prizes from our generous sponsors.

Here are today’s participating bloggers.

Brunch Drink Recipes

St-Germain and Prosecco Cocktails by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Strawberry Lemongrass Martinis by White Lights on Wednesday

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Granola, Yogurt and Walnut Cups by Cook the Story
Banana Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal by Big Bear’s Wine
Apple and Beecher’s Flagship Reserve Cheddar Wheat Belly Crepes by Vanilla Lemonade
Garden Squares by {i love} my disorganized life
Maple Sausage French Toast Bake by Real Housemoms

Brunch Egg Recipes

Mediterranean Frittata by Spontaneous Tomato

Potato Recipes for Brunch

Potato and Bacon Hash by Cravings of a Lunatic

Meat, Poultry, Fish and Legume Brunch Recipes

Key Lime Shrimp Salad by The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
Black Bean Breakfast Tacos by Sweet Remedy

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Muffins by Rachel Cooks
Rustic Apple Cake & Tea with Mom by The Vintage Cook
Toasted Almond and Chocolate Muffins by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Crumb Cake Parfait by Take A Bite Out of Boca
Rum and Raisin French Toast by Noshing With The Nolands
Cinnamon Raisin Banana Stuffed French Toast by Katie’s Cucina
Breakfast Cookies by Cooking In Stilettos
Berry Parfaits by Love and Confections
Rhubarb Vanilla Yogurt Parfaits by Kelly Bakes

original recipe

Fruit Salad With Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients

3 Tbs vegetable oil
½ Tbs lime juice
1 tsp orange zest
5 Tbs orange juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp poppy seeds
Dash salt
8 cups mixed fruit cut into bite sized pices (I like a combination of honeydew, pineapple, apple, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries or blackberries)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, honey, poppy seeds, and salt. Chill until ready to use.
  2. Place cut up fruit in a large bowl. Pour dressing over. Carefully toss to coat all fruit pieces. Chill until ready to serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/05/fruit-salad-with-orange-poppy-seed-dressing/

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Steak House Mushrooms

I recently dined at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa.  This is a landmark restaurant – a special occasion/fancy date restaurant.  This place oozes with old Florida charm – from the dimly lit, red-walled lobby that looks like a nineteenth century bordello, to the darkly paneled bar, to the intimate dining rooms.  There’s an ornate staircase leading to the upstairs dessert room.  Yes, desserts have their own room.  The dessert room even has its own name.  I was too full this visit for dessert, but promise to save room the next time I’m there.

The steaks were dry aged for many days, and were appropriately impressive.  But the dish that I fell in love with was the steak house mushrooms.  They were garlicky and buttery, and were served in a rich gravy.  I attempted to make mushrooms that somewhat resembles that wonderful dish.  It’s not an exact replica of the dish, but, these mushrooms are sure to please anyone looking for an accompaniment to a good steak.

original recipe

Steakhouse Mushrooms

Serving Size: 2

Steakhouse Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 lb mushrooms, wiped clean and stems trimmed
2 tsp minced shallot (about half a shallot)
1 large (or 2 medium) clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
½ c dry sherry
1 ¼ c beef broth

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack on highest level. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat butter in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms. Add the worcestershire sauce, sherry, and beef broth and stir until flour is mixed in with the liquid.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and place under the broiler. Broil until mushrooms are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Sauce will be vigorously bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes. Stir the mushrooms to smooth out the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/02/steak-house-mushrooms/

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Crispy Brussels Sprouts

 

I think I have a problem. It involves submerging food in very hot oil and frying it.  I’ve evolved past donuts and onto vegetables.  What’s wrong with me?  I took a perfectly healthy vegetable and made it much less healthy (but darn tasty!)  The sprouts don’t have any breading, because the outer leaves of the sprouts crisp up and act as a coating.  We first made this dish as part of our Thanksgiving dinner, and were pleasantly surprised by how well they turned out.  They are now my preferred method for eating brussels sprouts, although I may need to curb this deep frying kick I’m currently on.  I brought them to a potluck, and I think I converted someone to liking brussels sprouts!

crispy brussels sprouts

original recipe

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1 lb brussels sprouts
Oil for deep frying
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs panko crumbs
½ Tbs olive oil

Instructions

  1. Trim the stem and quarter each brussels sprout.
  2. Heat oil to 350°F. Gently add half the sprouts to the oil. The oil will vigorously bubble up as soon as the sprouts come in contact with it, so be careful (I used a wire scoop with a handle for this part to keep a safe distance) . The oil will drop several degrees (40-50°), but that’s okay. Fry sprouts until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with half the garlic powder and ¼ of the salt. Repeat process with remaining sprouts, sprinkling that batch with the remaining garlic powder and another ¼ of the salt. Transfer sprouts to a bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  3. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add panko crumbs and toast until browned, stirring frequently. Stir in the remaining salt. Sprinkle toasted panko crumbs to the sprouts and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2012/12/crispy-brussels-sprouts/

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Zucchini Pie

Usually about this time of year, zucchini is everywhere. It’s on sale at the grovery store, gracing farmer’s market tables, and surprise gifts from neighbors who have an abundant crop.  My favorite way to eat it is sauteed in olive oil and garlic, with a little bit of Parmesan cheese grated on top. My second favorite way is in this pie.

 

The first time I had this pie, a friend made it for a dinner party.  I asked her where she got the recipe from, and she showed me the book.  I immediately went out and bought it. The recipes and photos are a bit dated, but this pie is worth the price of the book.  I feel like I’m getting a hefty serving of vegetables (along with cheese) when I eat it.

 

 

adapted from Classic Home Cooking, by Mary Berry and Marlena Spieler

Zucchini Pie

Zucchini Pie

Ingredients

2 lbs zucchini (about 4 medium)
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbs pesto sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs chopped fresh dill
Salt and black pepper
10 sheets of phyllo dough
4 Tbs butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grate the zucchini onto a few sheets of paper towels. Let sit for 10 minutes to soak up excess moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, pesto, garlic, and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the zucchini. Spray an 8x8” baking pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the zucchini mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
  3. Working one sheet at a time, place phyllo on top of the zucchini mixture, lining it up so that two edges hang over. Butter the surface of the phyllo with a pastry brush. Fold the excess phyllo over back onto itself. Butter top surface again. (One side of phyllo should still hang over the pan.) Repeat with remaining sheets of phyllo. Make sure top sheet of phyllo is well buttered. Cut a few slits through the phyllo sheets.
  4. Bake pie for 30-35 minutes, until pastry is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let the pie sit for 15 minutes before serving.
http://kokocooks.com/2012/08/zucchini-pie/

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Kimchi Fried Rice

Happy Lunar New Year! I’m not a very superstitious person, which is good since this is not an ideal dish for the new year celebration. Typically, food is eaten whole (whole fish, whole duck, etc…), and this dish requires a good deal of chopping. It could totally be adapted so you there is minimal chopping, but it would definitely not taste the same. Nevertheless, I’ve been loving this rice ever since I first made it. In fact, I had to make a second batch the very next day because we ate all of the first within 24 hours. It is especially good as a late night snack.

original recipe

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

Ingredients

4 Tbs peanut oil
4 eggs
1 large onion, diced
1 c kimchi, chopped, plus a little of the liquid
6 c cooked rice
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs sesame oil
¼ c chopped green onion

Instructions

  1. Heat a wok (or a skillet) over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 Tbs of oil and fry the eggs to desired consistency. Set eggs on a plate.
  3. Turn heat up to high and add remaining oil. Heat oil until almost smoking. Add onion, and stir fry until beginning to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the kimchi and kimchi liquid and stir fry another minute. Add rice, and stir fry another few minutes. Break up the clumps of rice as it cooks.
  4. Remove wok from heat and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onion. Stir thoroughly to combine. Divide rice into bowls. Top with a fried egg and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2012/01/kimchi-fried-rice/

 

 

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Eat To The Beat: “If I Had A Million Dollars” Mac and Cheese

Elly Says Opa is celebrating her 5 year blogiversary by bringing back the Eat To The Beat event. Congratulations, Elly! The concept is simple: create a dish inspired by a song. Or a singer. Or a band. Love it! The marriage of two of my passions: music and food. Is there a song that inspires a food idea in you? Come join in the fun!


For this event, I made Moroccan Spiced Macaroni and Cheese in honor of one of my favorite bands, Barenaked Ladies. When I was young(er), foolish(er) and had more free time, I would follow the band around for part of their tour – usually for 3 or 4 shows at a time. I made signs on posterboard to hold up at the concerts. I even flew to Scotland and caught a few shows there. Yeah, I geeked out majorly for them.

One of their most enduring songs is “If I Had A Million Dollars.” It was one of the first songs they wrote (back in the late 80’s), and they sing it at every. single. performance. There’s a line that goes, “If I had a million dollars…we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner…” Kraft dinner = Canadian for Kraft Mac and Cheese. Fans used to throw boxes of mac and cheese onto the stage. Sometimes the boxes were open, and dried pasta and orange powder would rain down onto the band. Other times the boxes were closed, and the band members had to dodge flying missiles with sharp corners. They now have fans donate the boxes of mac and cheese to a local food bank.


While this version of mac and cheese may not be million-dollar worthy – no lobster, or truffle, or other high end ingredients – it is certainly an improvement from the stuff in a box. We have dubbed this recipe, “crack mac,” because it is so addictive. Pecorino romano cheese is pretty salty, which I why I don’t season the dish until after adding the cheese. And the mac tastes even better leftover – that is, if you can control yourself enough to have some leftover. (I usually can’t.)

adapted from Macaroni & Cheese
by Marlena Spieler

Eat To The Beat: “If I Had A Million Dollars” Mac and Cheese

Eat To The Beat: “If I Had A Million Dollars” Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Moroccan Seasoning
5 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs paprika
2 tsp ancho chile powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp fresh lemon zest, chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh mint
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
6 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
Pasta
16 oz small tubular pasta, such as elbow or ditalini
6 oz pecorino romano cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine green onions, garlic, paprika, ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, lemon zest, parsley, mint, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Mash together with butter, forming a paste. Set aside. Can be made a few hours ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, saving about ¼ c of cooking water. Toss the hot pasta with the cooking water and herbed butter. Sprinkle about half the cheese on the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/11/eat-to-the-beat-if-i-had-a-million-dollars-mac-and-cheese/

Combine green onions, garlic, paprika, ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, lemon zest, parsley, mint, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Mash together with butter, forming a paste. Set aside. Can be made a few hours ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator.

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, saving about ¼ c of cooking water. Toss the hot pasta with the cooking water and herbed butter. Sprinkle about half the cheese on the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

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Pineapple Fried Rice

 

Since getting our wok, we have enjoyed many varieties of fried rice. We end up making it almost once a week. This Thai-style pineapple fried is one of my favorites. The jasmine rice, crab paste, and fish sauce give it the Thai flavor.


We’ve made this with and without the chicken, and shrimp or pork would work well in the dish. I went through the trouble of hollowing out the pineapple for a nice presentation, but it is totally not necessary.


Adapted from Savoring Southeast Asia
By Joyce Jue

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 pineapple
2 Tbs vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (keep in chunks)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 eggs
2 Tbs crab paste
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 c cooked jasmine rice, cooled and clump-free
2 Tbs fish sauce
Freshly chopped cilantro
Fried onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F. Cut pineapple in half from top to bottom. Hollow each half, leaving the shell intact. Set pineapple meat aside. Bake shell halves on a baking sheet, hollowed side up, for about 15-20 minutes to dry out the inside. Check a few times to make sure the pineapple leaves don’t burn.
  2. Remove the core from one half of the reserved pineapple meat. Coarsely chop the pulp. Save unused pineapple for another use. Preheat a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok is hot, add the oil, salt, and garlic. Stir-fry until garlic is a light golden color. Push up the sides of the wok. Add the chicken, and stir-fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Push chicken up the sides.
  3. Crack the eggs into the wok and break up the yolks. Let cook until set, about 30 seconds. Break into pieces. Add the crab paste, hoisin sauce and stir to combine. Add the green onions, rice, and fish sauce. Break up any remaining clumps of rice. Stir the garlic and chicken into the rice mixture, making sure to coat all the rice with the sauce. Add pineapple and toss to combine. Heat another minute.
  4. Spoon fried rice into pineapple shells. Garnish with cilantro and fried onions.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/02/pineapple-fried-rice/

 

Spoon fried rice into pineapple shells. Garnish with cilantro and fried onions.

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