Sunday, August 5, 2018

Grilled Escarole with Caesar Dressing and Sungold Tomatoes

If you have not yet discovered how delicious grilling your salad greens is, now is the time!

Sure, you can be like the crowd and grill your romaine or your kale but why not step way outside the box and get some escarole. Yes! Escarole!

Escarole is part of the bitter green family, which is so nutritious and good for you but sometimes hard to swallow because it is literally bitter, at least when it is raw. But grilling almost anything will not only wilt the greens bring out its hidden sweetness. Drizzle it with the delicious caesar dressing and even the most skeptical of eaters will be won over!

While you can definitely grill on the stovetop, which I do in the wintertime, grilling over wood charcoal gives it a great smoky flavor that only wood imparts.

Grilled Escarole with Caesar Dressing and Sungold Tomatoes
(serves 3-4)

Preparation time: 20 minutes

1 large head escarole, cut in half down the middle, with core still attached if posisble
10 sungold tomatoes, washed

Caesar Dressing
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2-3 anchovies
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 cup olive oil

Make the caesar dressing by placing all ingredient in blender or small mason jar (did you know all blender blade attachments will fit mason jars? Only the small mouth jars will work) and blend for a minute or two until well blended. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.

Fire up your grill and when the coals are hot, grill the escarole cut side down until edges begin to char. Remove from grill and cut out the end of the core and chop it and toss with the dressing and tomatoes to taste. Serve while still warm.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Spanish Prawns

Before arriving in California, jumbo shrimp is what I referred to the above deliciousness. But apparently, out west they are prawns! Either way, this is an amazing and fast dish that showcases their tender sweetness.

I love how looking at new cookbooks makes your imagination take flight! Pawing through Rustica: A Return to Spanish Home Cooking made my mouth water (and my fingers type in flights to Spain!) but what mostly came of it was a desire to make prawns with paprika.

If you can find Spanish paprika, lucky you! My version made do with what we had at the local co-op and it was still transportive!

This is a quick weeknight meal that usually ends up being served alongside a big salad and lots of crusty bread to sop up all of the great pan juices. If you have a bumper crop of parsley in your garden or brought home a huge bunch from the farmers' market, here's the perfect dish to use it in.

Prepare everything else so that when you start making the prawns, everything else is ready since these cook fast and you need to pay attention to them exclusively so they don't overcook.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Zucchini Crust Pizza

Zucchini - it's the epitome of summer vegetables and you love it...until you hate. Because you bought a whole six-pack of starter plants without realizing that not only do the plants get really big but once they start producing, that cute little zucchini you saw yesterday will be the size of a baseball bat by the end of the weekend.

What to do with such abundance? (besides leaving them on your neighbors’ doorsteps, anonymously of course.)

Make Pizza Crust. Yes, crust. It sounds like some frou frou healthy thing, but in reality it is a delicious alternative to waiting hours for your pizza crust to rise. The added bonus is that it gets some vegetables in you and your family in a sneaky and tasty way.

Essentially, zucchini pizza crust is a large zucchini fritter. Fritters are shredded or chopped vegetables combined with egg and cheese and pan-fried to a crisp. Doesn’t that sound mouthwatering? So add some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and a few toppings and you have a winner.

Since my first paid job was in a pizza joint, run by actual Sicilians, I kind of consider myself a bit of an expert on making pizza. The main way people ruin homemade pizza is putting on too many toppings. It prevents the pizza from cooking quickly and can make it soggy, leaving you dejected and disappointed. Secondly, grate your own cheese! Pre-grated cheese loses it moisture in the bag and your pizza will suffer. Lastly, make a good crust. Obviously, that is not an issue since you are going to make a zucchini crust. So let’s get to it!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Truffles! - Easy, Delicious, Vegan

I will bet my truffle recipe against anyone's...and win!

Ok, not "mine" but the one that I make. Minimalist Baker introduced them to me and they wowed high school students and grown-ups alike. And beyond easy!

5 ingredients - although Minimalist Bakers touts them as 2, but there is salt, vanilla and cocoa powder as well, which brings it up to a whopping five ingredients.

Go ahead, make a batch, they freeze beautifully (or maybe too well, since you can get them straight from the freezer without fear of sensitive teeth, the freezer just keeps them firm!)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Homemade Burger Buns in 40 minutes!

I'm lazy, yep so lazy that I'd rather make something at home rather than run out to the store to buy it...I know, sounds like I've got a screw or two loose, but that's just my crazy!

So when I wanted to grill some veggie burgers (the best ever!) and didn't want to have any leftover buns (always the case when you're using one at a time), I thought there has to be an easy burger bun recipe out there flitting around the web...and there was!!!

Super simple, quick and very delicious (according to my happy hubby!) They even look inviting, don't you think?

I cut the recipe in half and made them really large and got two out it, but I think three would have been really reasonable.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cheddar Taco Shells with Broccoli and Veggie Merguez Sausage

So what's really going on here is cheese, specifically cheddar cheese, that's "Chedda" if you're from Wisconsin...Hello Wisconsin!

Yes, it looks crazy, and it originates with those folks trying to eat low carb - sub out a corn tortillas for a cheddar tortilla.

Say what?????

Yes, it really does work, and it is especially delicious with broccoli as a filling, naturally! I added in some of my homemade merguez sausage (veggie and GF) and whipped up some enchilada sauce (or a good rojo adobo if you know what I mean) and it was a party in our mouths!

I usually don't have "how to" pictures, but in this case I thought I would to help convince you this isn't hard (and what it should look like. So go ahead, try it!  You will love it!