August 03, 2015

Tuna Niçoise Burgers



Ingredients:

for the burgers:
4 5-oz canned solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped niçoise or kalamata olives
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs



to serve:
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
4 rolls


Directions:

In a medium bowl, break up the tuna into small pieces with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients. Form into 4 equal patties*. Heat a small amount of canola oil in a skillet. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and heated through, about 10-12 minutes. Serve on buns, topped with tomato and egg slices.


*If you are not making the burgers right away, refrigerate them until ready to pan-fry,
My thoughts:
Salade niçoise is a classic French salad composed of fresh or canned tuna, tomato, hard boiled eggs, niçoise olives and anchovies. I thought it would fun to turn that idea into easy-to-eat (and thrifty) tuna burgers with the same flavors. I was excited about how yummy they turned out, the capers, olives and anchovies perked up the canned tuna and the saltiness of those ingredients was balanced by the hard-boiled egg and tomato slice. Plus it was super quick to make and didn't heat up the house, a major plus for a weeknight summer dinner. I love recipes that I can whip up just using ingredients I have on hand!

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July 29, 2015

Smoky Southwest Chili Mac





Love what you see? Get the recipe at Food Lion's new recipe portal.





My thoughts:
Food Lion hired me to visit one of their stores and create a recipe for their recipe portal around some of the ingredients I found there. I first went to site to look at the circular to plan my attack. I was able to email myself a grocery list I created which helped keep it on track. I hadn't been to a Food Lion in a while (they are a bit far from me and in hot weather I tend to shop closer to home) but I was really excited by what I found. I ended up with a ton of food I've been looking for (ground Siracha, anyone?) and the ingredients to make tonight's dinner. We've been having a busy, slightly stressful time lately so some comfort food was in order. Since it is summer, I opted to make a stove top casserole and incorporate zucchini, the one ingredient everyone needs a recipe for this time of year! I found everything I needed, even Food Lion brand Jumbo Macaroni which I had never heard of before. They even had Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes which are my favorite and a product most of the supermarkets near me do not carry.




Since I found them, I played up the smoky angle and added smoky spices. The whole dish only took me 30 minutes to make start to finish and had a nice fresh flavor thanks to the fresh zucchini, jalapeno, and onion.



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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July 28, 2015

Olive Oil-Poached Tomatoes over Pesto Gnocchi



Ingredients:

for the tomatoes:
3/4 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced (about 1/2-3/4 lb)
5 cloves garlic
1/2-3/4 cup Bertolli extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the pesto:
2 cups fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1/4 cup toasted pignoli nuts (pine nuts)
1/2 cup Bertolli extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

to serve:
16 oz hot, cooked gnocchi
freshly grated Romano cheese

Directions:

for the tomatoes:

Preheat oven to 300. Place the tomatoes, garlic, oil, and salt in a pie plate. Taking care that the tomatoes are fully covered in oil.



Bake tomatoes until they are soft and the skins start to curl, 20-30 minutes.

for the pesto:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms.


to serve:

Toss the pesto with the gnocchi to coat. Lift the tomatoes and garlic cloves out of the oil. Skin the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes and garlic on top of the gnocchi. Sprinkle with Romano and serve.

Save the remaining oil to drizzle on bread or use in a vinaigrette.


My thoughts:
One of the perks of food blogging is getting fun presents in the mail like this pretty bottle of Bertolli olive oil celebrating Bertolli's 150th anniversary.



I wanted to make something special with it so I decided to make these tomatoes. If you haven't oil poached a tomato before, you are missing out! They become velvety smooth and even sweeter than they were to begin with. I received a bunch of varieties of heirloom tomatoes off all sorts of colors which made the final dish extra festive. The tomatoes just sort of melt into sauce as soon as they hit the gnocchi.






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July 22, 2015

Shishito-Crimini Home Fries


Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb Russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
4 oz shishito peppers, tops cut off
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
salt
freshly ground balack pepper



Directions:

Parboil the potato in a medium pot. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease out of the pan. Return to flame. Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and potato. Saute until the potatoes are golden on both sides and the pepper is soft and browned in spots. Stir the bacon bits back in, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately, topped with a poached or fried egg if desired.


My thoughts:
Normally I am an home fries purist but I wanted to make something slightly more robust today becasue we are going to a dinner tonight where we are not sure if there will be enough food. Better to be a little full going in than light-headed with hunger later, I think! I served this as a main meal topped with a sunny-side up egg and it made a little too much for two people. I think if you had it as a side, it would easily serve four. The shishito peppers are fairly sweet (although I did bite into one really hot one!) but added a slight heat to the dish which was fun and the meaty crimini mushrooms helped bulk the potatoes up. Perfect for brunch at home! Or brinner!


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July 20, 2015

Okra and Andouille Frittata



Ingredients:
9 eggs, beaten
3 andouille sausages (I used chicken andouille), diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups diced okra
2 shishito peppers, minced
1 ear of corn worth of corn kernels
2 cups shredded, peeled potatoes*
1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
olive oil
butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper



Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Heat a small amount of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides.Whisk together the eggs, spices, milk, set aside. Add the okra, peppers, onion, and corn and sauté until the onions are translucent. Remove the sausage and vegetables from the pan and place in a bowl. Cover. Arrange the potato in single layer in the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3-5 minute or until beginning to brown. Layer the vegetables on top. Add the egg mixture. Use a spatula to create a smooth, even layer. Keep on medium heat and cook until just beginning to set. Bake about 10 minutes or until the top is just beginning to brown. Remove from pan and slice.



*Defrosted frozen, plain shredded raw potatoes (sometimes labeled for hash browns) work well here.
My thoughts:
We were at the local farm store this weekend and they had the prettiest okra, I just had to pick some up. I had no idea what to do with it but it looked so good! When I got home I realized I had a dozen eggs and some leftover frozen andouille from an earlier recipe and the answer was clear: frittata! Frittatas are one of my favorite things to do for an easy dinner and the fact that you can toss pretty much anything in and have it taste amazing. Since I had andouille and okra, it was clear it need a Cajun bent so I added onion and shishito peppers (for more heat use jalapenos). Matt had the idea of making sort of a potato crust so I lined the bottom of the pan with potato. It added a lot of texture interest and kept the egg mixture of sticking to bottom of the pan, something I always worry about with frittatas.


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July 16, 2015

Zucchini and Feta Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf


Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey thighs
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup matzo meal
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, feta, egg, matzo meal, onion, spices and zucchini. Form into a loaf. Place in a loaf pan (or, preferably, a meatloaf pan). Brush the top with the tomato paste. Bake for 60 minutes or until fully cooked. Wait a few minutes before slicing.



My thoughts:
For some reason I had the odd urge to make meatloaf this week. Being July, this wasn't ideal but an urge is an urge. To make it more summery, I used turkey instead of beef and stuffed it full of farm fresh zucchini. The result was a moist, light meatloaf that was summer-worthy as a meatloaf could be. The leftovers made a great sandwich too.


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July 14, 2015

Brined Dill Potatoes



Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb small potatoes, halved*
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
sea salt


Directions:
Place the potatoes, vinegar and bay leaves in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Boil until fork-tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, heat the butter or olive oil in a small skillet. Add the potatoes, cut-side-down and cook 2-6 minutes or until browned. Pour into a bowl and toss with dill and salt. Serve immediately.

* I used Yukon Royale potatoes


My thoughts:
This sort of a more elaborate version of Midsommar Potatoes. The potatoes take on a briny taste from being boiled with the vinegar then are crisped up in a skillet and tossed with oodles of fresh dill. Since they are crispy, I think they made a fun alternative to oven fries.


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