June 30, 2012

Zucchini recipes!

We got back from a week of vacation and found several large zucchini in our garden waiting to be picked. It's that time a year again! Whether you grow your own or buy from a farmer's market or the supermarket, it's a great time to enjoy the fresh bounty. Here's some recipes that incorporate zucchini from my blog. Enjoy!

Roasted Veggie Penne Bake
Grilled Chicken and Pesto Cheese Tortellini
Grilled Veggie Quesadillas
Roasted Vegetable & Beef Lasagna
Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Feta
Baked Pasta with Veggies
Roasted Garden Veggies with Pasta & Sausage
Grilled Zucchini, Tomato & Fresh Mozarella Sandwiches
Ravioli (or pasta) with Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes
Roasted Veggie Pizza
Grilled Veggie and Mozarella Sandwich (once you click on the link, scroll down to find it)
Turkey Bean Burgers
Baked Pasta (see Notes about adding zucchini)
Lentil & Veggie Tostadas

Squash Saute (see the Notes)
Roasted Summer Veggies
Grilled Zucchini with Corn and Tomatoes
Pan-friend zucchini rounds (I can't believe I haven't posted this! Just slice zucchini into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch rounds, dip first in flour seasoned with s & p (and fresh herbs if you want), then dip inbeaten egg then in  1 c. breadcrumbs (I like panko) with about 1/4 c. grated Parmsean and a litle s & p. Fry in a saucepan in hot oil until browned on one side. Flip, brown other side then let sit for a bit on a paper-towel lined plate. Eat as is or dip in marinara sauce.

Hidden Veggie Pasta/Spaghetti Sauce

No recipe posted yet but here are some more ideas:
  • Zucchini bread or muffins
  • Harvest muffins (with apple, zucchini and carrot)
  • Zucchini banana (chocolate chip) muffins
  • Zucchini Fritters

June 19, 2012

Week 58, Recipe 1: Cheddar Bacon Spinach Quiche

  • You can mix the egg and milk mixture ahead of time and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. I also make my bacon ahead of time, let cool, then crumble until ready to use (not sure how long it's good at room temp but I've kept mine out for approximately 8 hours and it was fine!).
  • The recipe below makes one quiche but go ahead and double it....the leftovers are great the next day!
  • I've messed around with frozen pie crusts quite a bit, trying to figure out the best way to keep the bottom of the crust from getting soggy. Cooking it first without any filling then adding the cheese on the bottom before adding the eggs seems to do it!
  • 1 frozen pie crust or make your own
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 c. half-and-half or whole milk or 2% or a mixture (feel free to use whatever you have!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • approximately 4 c. fresh baby spinach, sauteed in a bit of oil over medium low heat until just wilted (I also salt it a bit and use freshly ground pepper to season spinach)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
1. Remove frozen pie crust from freezer about 15 minutes before you want to cook it. Preheat oven to 400 and place a baking sheet on the middle rack where you'll cook the quiche.
2. Meanwhile, (if you haven't already), cook bacon in microwave or on stove top and saute spinach until just wilted. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
2. Prick slightly thawed pie crust several times with the tines of a fork and place in preheated oven on baking sheet. Cook about 5-10 minutes or until starting to look dry and a bit golden. Turn down oven temp to 375.
3. Remove pie crust from oven and cover bottom with 3/4 c. cheese. Top with spinach, bacon and green onions then slowly pour egg mixture over the top (you may have a bit leftover). Top with remaining 1/4 c. cheese. Place quiche back in 375 oven on top of baking sheet.
4. Cook about 40-50 minutes or until quiche filling is set and top is lightly browned. Towards the end of cooking, you may have to put thin pieces of foil around the pie crusts edges to keep them from browning too much.

Week 58, Recipe 2: Grilled Chicken Greek Salads

  • Recipe modified from Simply in Season Cookbook
  • The salad dressing doubles as a marinade for the chicken. You can make the dressing the night before then marinate chicken before leaving the house the next morning.
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • Mixed greens/lettuce of choice
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1-2 tomatoes, cut into large chunks or wedges
  • 2 slices of red onions, separated into rings
  • Feta cheese
  • Kalamata olives (optional)
1. Combine chicken broth through garlic in a large mason jar or bowl with a tight fitting lid and shake or whisk to combine.
2. Place chicken breasts into a casserole container with a lid and add about 1/2 of the dressing. Stir to evenly coat chicken. Cover and place in fridge. Marinate for at least two hour or up to all day.
3. Preheat grill. cook chicken approximately 5 minutes on each side or until done then cut into 1/4-inch slices.
4. Divide salad among plates, top with veggies and chicken then dressing Sprinkle feta and olives (if using) over top. Add a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Week 58, Recipe 3: Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

  • These are packed with flavor, hearty and done all on the grill.
  • 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
  • 1 large poblano (or Anaheim if you can't find a poblano), seeded and cut into quarters
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Flour tortillas
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Optional toppings: salsa, guac, sour cream
1. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat on the grill.
2. Brush/toss veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill each veggie, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly charred. Transfer veggies to a large cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. To assemble: brush one side of two tortillas with olive oil. Place the oiled side of one of the tortillas on grill pan or directly on grill, top with a little cheese, chopped veggies, a little fresh cilantro and a little more cheese. Place second tortilla on top, oiled side up.
4. Grill the quesadillas, turning once, until tortillas are golden and cheese is melted.
5. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.

Week 58, Recipe 4: Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

  • An easy dinner or Sunday lunch. Marinate pork chops at least 1 hour, or up to all day.
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pork chops (we used boneless but bone-in would be good too!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Whisk or shake in a jar with a tight fitting lid the marinade ingredients - honey through red pepper flakes.
2. Sprinkle pork generously with salt and pepper and then place in a resealable ziplock bag or a casserole container with a lid and pour marinade over top, stirring around a bit to coat evenly. Marinate for 1 hour or up to all day.
3. Preheat grill and cook about 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness).

Week 58, Recipe 5: Enchiladas Negras

Photo from www.myrecipes.com (Sunset Magazine, 2004)

  • A delicious vegetarian (but no less hearty) twist on your enchiladas. This recipe seemed much more "summer-y" then regular enchiladas. Sorry, didn't get a pick of this one!
  • Recipe modified from myrecipes.com (Sunset Magazine, 2004)
  • Make casserole night before or morning of and chill in fridge until ready to cook.

  • 1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies OR if you're feeling adventurous, 8 oz fresh poblano chilies (sometimes mistakenly labeled pasilla), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained or cooked dried beans
  • 1 1/2 cups green salsa (salsa verde, refrigerated or canned; about 14 oz.)
  • 1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 1/2 to 7 in. wide)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: guac, salsa, chopped green onions, extra sour cream, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine chilies, onion, cumin, and 1/2 cup broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are juicy and limp, 12 to 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and stir often until vegetables are dry and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
2. In a bowl, blend cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup broth. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and whisk to blend. Add to onion/chile mixture and stir until boiling, 1 to 3 minutes.
3. In a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender, whirl beans, salsa, and enchilada sauce.
4. Pour about half of the bean sauce into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Stack 6 tortillas and cut in half. Lay 6 of the halves in casserole, straight edges against casserole sides, then overlap 3 whole tortillas to completely cover bottom. Scrape onion mixture onto tortillas and spread level. Fit straight edges of remaining tortilla halves against casserole sides, then overlap remaining whole tortillas to cover filling. Pour remaining black bean sauce over tortillas and spread to coat completely.
5. Bake in a 350° oven until sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes (45-50 minutes if chilled). Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted, 3 to 5 minutes longer.
6. Serve with desired toppings.

June 3, 2012

(No bake!) Peanut Butterscotch Chocolate Crispy Bars

  • Recipe from Annie's Eats
  • These are SOOO good you will want to eat the whole pan. Best part is they are no bake and come together quickly! Keep the ingredients on hand for a quick summer dessert.
  • 6 c. puffed rice cereal
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz butterscotch chips
1. Combine the rice cereal and peanut butter in a large bowl (do not mix yet). Set aside. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
2. Combine the honey and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until boiling. Immediately remove from heat and pour hot mixture over the peanut butter and rice cereal. Mix well with a spoon or spatula until the peanut butter is completely melted and all ingredients are evenly combined.
3. Press the mixture in a even layer in the prepared baking pan.
4. Combine the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. Pour over the cereal layer and smooth with a spatula. Cover and chill until the top layer is set before slicing into bars.

Strawberry Shortcake

  • Original recipe from The America's Best Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream
  • 2 quarts strawberries (take a sturdy straw & poke up through bottom of strawberry to hull)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) COLD unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 c. half-and-half
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • whipped cream or ice cream for serving
1. Slice hulled strawberries (crush some with a potato masher if desired) and stir with 3 tbsp sugar. Let sit out at room temp about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, 4 tbsp (of the 6) sugar, baking powder, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and cut into flour mixture with a pastry knife or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
4. In another bowl, lightly whisk the 1 egg (leave the egg white aside) and add milk. Stir into flour mixture with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly until the dough comes together.
5. Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a 9x6-inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter (2 3/4-inch), cut the dough into 6 rounds then reform dough and cut 2 more rounds. Place the rounds on a cooking sheet. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle tops with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar (I like using the larger turbinado sugar for the tops).
6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until just lightly browned. Let cook on a wire rack about 10 minutes before splitting in half and topping with strawberries and cream or ice cream then top of biscuit.

Best Blueberry Muffins (with Streusel topping, of course)

  • Recipe from Better Homes & Garden Cookbook
  • Recipe makes 12 muffins

  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. cooking oil
  • 3/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Streusel Topping:
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or other nut
1. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper cups and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.
4. Make streusel by combining all ingredients except butter and nuts in a bowl then cutting in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the chopped nuts.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with topping and bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Do NOT overcook. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Another look back from June 2010

I'm stocking up on new recipes to share but feeling too lazy to type them up (again). So here's another look back from June, 2010 with one of my all-time favorite summer grilling recipes: pork ribs. Baking them in the oven first on low heat then finish on the grill for ribs that are juicy and tender but with a slightly charred outside. Soooo good.

You'll also find from that same week: Grilled Chicken Salad over Greens & Easy Italian Breadsticks; Paprika Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Marinated Veggie Kabobs; Black Bean, Potato & Veggie Burritos with Corn Salsa; and Pesto Penne Chicken Casserole. Enjoy!