It’s that time of the year again, time to attack all that great basil and tomatoes from your vegetable garden (or your favorite vegetable stand).  Below are two of my favorites.  The 1st is what I call “Pesto Butter”.  This little bundle of deliciousness goes with so many great dishes, sauces, breads, etc.  You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to this butter…..the other is my oven roasted tomato sauce.  My friend Amy always provides me a nice sample of tomatoes from her very large garden.  Usually I have already “canned” my tomatoes, so I have found that the oven roasting is perfect, delicious and ohhhh so easy!

Pesto Butter:

1-2 cups fresh basil removed from stems
3-4 cloves garlic
2-3 stick of butter (no margarine ever!), softened

Place your basil in a salad spinner, run under cold water and spin to dry.IMG_5501  In the bowl of a food process add 3-4 (more or less if desired) cloves garlic.  IMG_5502

Process until garlic is chopped.    IMG_5503Add basil leaves and continue to process until basil is chopped.  Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, add softened butter (2 sticks) and continue to process until smooth.  IMG_5504If the color is too green, add another stick of butter and repeat.  IMG_5506Using a small scoop, scoop pesto butter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (easy clean up).  IMG_5508

Place pan of pesto butter into the freezer.  Come back an hour later (or more), remove frozen butter and place into a zip lock bag.  Return butter to your freezer and use as desired…..will freeze for 12 months.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

5-8 lbs fresh tomatoes, quartered, cored and seeded
2-3 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons black pepper
¼-½ teaspoons chipotle peppers (optional)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil (or 1 teaspoon of each dried)
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced

Preheat oven to 225°F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss gently to coat.  Place tomatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish.  Roast 2 hours or until tomatoes are slightly browned and soft.

Ingredients in Oven RoastedIngredients in Oven Roasted

Cool tomato sauce, place in a zip lock bag and freeze for future use.  Use for spaghetti, over fish, pizza, bruschetta…..YUM!!!!

Buon Appetito!!!!!

Pesto Butter, Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce


Here are some of my favorite summertime side dishes, sure to please all of your family and friends!  Enjoy!!!

IMG_5277Asian Slaw
Ingredients:

1 (12 ounce) package coleslaw mix (preferably an Asian blend)
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Ginger
½-1 teaspoon wasabi powder
¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Garlic Powder
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Spice Islands® Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted*

Empty slaw mixture into a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, wasabi powder and garlic power. Whisk until well blended. Slowly pour in oil, whisking continuously to emulsify dressing. Add sesame seeds and pour over greens. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible.

*To toast sesame seeds, place in a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat and toss until lightly golden.

IMG_5281

Southern Style Barbecue Beans for a Crowd

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 1 ½ hours
Serves: 10-15 people

1 teaspoon Mazola® Corn Oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapenos, minced
2/3 cup Weber® Sweet “N Spicy BBQ Sauce
½ cup ketchup
½ cup water
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Minced Garlic
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Weber® Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
1 lb. cooked, shredded pulled pork
2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans
2 (15-ounce cannellini beans, drained
2 (15 ounce) black beans, drained
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilles, drained
½ lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a medium size skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos, cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except bacon), and toss until well blended. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9” baking pan. Top mixture with a single layer of bacon pieces over the top. Bake 1 ½ hours, or until beans are bubbling and bacon is rendered (if desired, place under broiler for a minute or two for extra crispy bacon). Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve.  Freezes well!

IMG_5276

Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad (recipe coming soon)

 

Bon Appetito!

Summertime Picnic Side Dishes


Thank you all for supporting my blog…2014 in review. 2015 will be even bigger and better!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Spinach Ravioli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce

Spinach Ravioli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce

This is my favorite Christmas dinner Italian course and has become a tradition for more than 10 years.  I always love the bright red color of the sun-dried tomatoes combined with the green spinach filling of the pillows, aka ravioli, with a touch of fresh basil.  So festive.  If you do not have the time to make you own ravioli, another tradition, you can always purchase some fresh spinach ravioli at your local grocery store.  This sauce is made in about 5 minutes time.  I pair this with a beef tenderloin with a mushroom wine reduction sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes, and some fresh haricot vert, blanched and sautéed with lemon infused olive oil.  This years dinner will be complete with a festive Peppermint Cheesecake, recipe forthcoming.

 

Pasta Dough:
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
(for red pasta dough, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and omit the salt)

Ravioli filling:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10-ounce) bag spinach, stems removed
salt & pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 large egg
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Sun-Dried Tomato-Pancetta Butter:
1 (4 ounce) package thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
½ stick butter
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, diced
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

See my blog for directions on how to make the pasta dough, spinach filling, and forming the ravioli.

https://foodsinthefastlane.me/2011/12/04/spinach-and-ricotta-cheese-filled-ravioli

To make the sauce, place the chopped pancetta in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, removed the pancetta to a paper towel to drain. Add butter, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and black pepper to skillet and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Add reserved pancetta, toss sauce with cooked ravioli. Top ravioli with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Bon Appetito!!!

Spinach Filled Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce


Leftover Turkey – No Problem, Check out my 3 Quick & Easy Recipes

What a wonderful Thanksgiving, Rob & Cecile drove home from Texas with 4 dogs and 2 cats.  Yes, we had a houseful, but it wasn’t a houseful of peeps….we totaled 6 dogs and 4 cats.  A very entertaining weekend!  Amazing that they mostly all get along.

One of our many Thanksgiving traditions is cooking 2 turkeys, one fried (by Rob) and one roasted and stuffed (by me). Rob fries the bird

If you have never had a fried turkey you really need to try it!  The meat is delicious, not greasy at all, and very moist, not to mention that the skin is amazingly crunchy.  If it wasn’t for having to have stuffing, I would not roast a bird as well.  However, since we had both you can imagine how much turkey is leftover.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use up all that turkey:

Turkey Pot Pie

2 frozen deep dish pie shells, thawed
1 tablespoon Argo® Corn Starch
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 (15 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole potatoes, drained and cut into one-inch pieces
1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine corn starch and milk in a small saucepan; stir until smooth.  Add butter, poultry seasoning, salt, and white pepper.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and cook for one minute.  Remove sauce from heat.  In a large mixing bowl, combine mixed vegetables, potatoes and turkey.  Stir in sauce until well combined.

In a small bowl whisk 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water.  Brush bottom of pie shell with egg wash.  Pour turkey filling over egg wash.  Invert the second pie crust over the top of the filling and seal edges together, pinching the crust.  Brush top crust with egg wash and poke 3-4 holes in the crust to allow steam to escape.  Bake 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Frittata

2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
½ onion, finely chopped
½ (30-ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
6 large eggs
⅓ cup heavy cream or half & half
¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
1-½ cups cooked turkey, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray an 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in potatoes, salt and pepper, cook until slightly golden brown.  Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs, cream and poultry seasoning.

Place potato mixture in prepared baking dish.  Top mixture with chopped turkey, pour egg mixture over turkey.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Turkey Frittata

Turkey Frittata

Mom’s Turkey Soup

For the stock:
1 turkey carcass, leftover from carving a whole turkey, including any leftover drippings
Cold water
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 to 2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 to 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

For the soup:
Turkey stock
Leftover vegetables, i.e. string beans, corn, etc.
Or 1 (15 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole potatoes, drained and cut into one-inch pieces
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ cup frozen or canned peas
½ cup frozen or canned corn
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Pepper
½ cup rice
2 cups or more leftover chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat
Optional: leftover gravy
Stock:
Break up the leftover bones of the carcass so they fit into a large stock pot. Cover bones with cold water by an inch and add any pan drippings that weren’t used to make the gravy. Add onions, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook stock, uncovered, for one hour.

Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer. Once the bones have cooled, remove all the usable turkey meat and set aside until needed. Discard cooked vegetables and bones after meat has been removed.

Makes 3 to 4 quarts of stock, depending on the size of the turkey carcass, and how much water was added to cover it.

Making the soup:
In a large stock pot add cooked turkey stock, vegetables, cannellini beans, carrots, peas, corn, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring soup to boil, add rice and continue cooking over medium low heat until rice is soft, about 20 minutes. Add reserved turkey (and optional gravy). Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste soup and add more salt if needed.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with grated parmesan cheese (if desired).

Mom's Leftover Turkey Soup

Mom’s Leftover Turkey Soup

Buon Appetito!