Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Pot Creamy Pesto Pasta

Here is a quicky lunch or side dish to use up some of that summer basil you may still have around.

One Pot Creamy Pesto Pasta

1 Small Garlic Clove
2 TBSP Pine Nuts or Walnuts
2 TBSP Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 Cup Pasta
2 Cups Veggie Broth (or Chicken Broth)
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Cup Milk

Combine the garlic, pine nuts or walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add in a drizzle of olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Or, feel free to use pre-made basil pesto in this recipe, up to about 1/3 cup or so.

This little food processor that came with my stick blender is perfect for this job.

Put the pasta and the broth in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes. There will still be some liquid left in the pot.

Sprinkle the flour over the pasta and cook and stir for about a minute. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cook and stir another minute or two, then add in the milk. Stir to incorporate everything and let cook for about 90 seconds, or until the milk is simmering. Stir in pesto sauce to taste, I like a lot, so I used all of it, but start with a few tablespoons and see how you like it. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Padron Peppers

This one is super quick and easy, not even a recipe, so I am not going to bother with a printer-friendly version. We got padron peppers in our CSA share 2 or 3 times this summer, and it was a new veggie to us. After researching online, I found out that they are originally from Galicia, Spain, and are commonly served as tapas. Or is that a tapa? Anyway, no matter. Also, they are mostly mild, but a few spicy ones turn up here and there. You can't tell which will be spicy, so it is a surprise! There is even a saying : "Pementos de PadrĂ³n: uns pican e outros non." (Padron peppers, some are spicy some are not.)

The preparation is super simple and delicious. Simply heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat, and cook the peppers until they are blackening. Remove to a plate or platter, drizzle with good olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. That's it. Yum!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stir-Fry Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Veggies

Okay, it's been forever. I know. I have been sick ALL summer, but despite that did manage to cook a few things, just never got around to posting.

My sweetie is not a big fan of peanut sauce, so I made this one in July when he was on a business trip to the East Coast. I have tried many times to make peanut sauce, and this was by far my best effort to date. I listed the vegetables I used this time, but, as always, you can use whatever you have on hand. Just try to have about 3 cups or so of vegetables.

For the Sauce :

1/3 Cup plus 1 TBSP Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Clove Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil

For the Stir-Fry

2 tsp Canola or Peanut Oil
1 Cup Green Beans, about 1 inch long
1/2 Cup Sliced Summer Squash
1/2 Cup Sliced Radishes
1/2 Cup Sliced Carrots
1 Cup Chopped Cabbage
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
One 9 oz. Package of Fresh Asian Noodles, or Dried Linguine or Spaghetti

To make the sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and set aside.

To make the stir-fry, heat the oil in a wok over high heat, add the vegetables and stir-fry until they just begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the sauce and the cooked noodles. Stir to coat everything thoroughly and cook until hot, about another 3 minutes or so. Stir in the chopped cilantro, serve and enjoy!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.