16th February 2008

Roasted Garlic with Caperberries

We had originally planned to roast some garlic for the housewarming party last weekend, but with all the other dishes we had, we decided to skip it. We had already purchased quite a few heads of garlic, however, so having Thad and Abbie over for dinner was the perfect opportunity to go for it! Many recipes for roasted garlic involve brushing the garlic heads with olive oil, we made it by just filling a roasting pan with olive oil to coat the bottom, and placing the heads cut-side down. This allows you to serve the now roasted-garlic-infused olive oil as an additional dip. The inspiration for this method comes from this post over at Desert Candy.

Thad says:

Pretty garlicky!

Chris says:

I like that you can taste a hint of garlic and caperberries in the oil.

Abbie says:

What? Those are caperberries? They look like olives!

Chris says:

Nope, try one — they’re like ginormous capers.

Lisa says:

These rule… you don’t even need the bread. I like just sticking a fork in and eating a whole clove by itself.

Chris says:

You heart garlic!

Roasted Garlic with Caperberries
6 heads of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325F. Cut the top third off of the heads of garlic — if you’re cooking something else that night, you can save the top bits, otherwise toss ’em. Pour oil into a small roasting pan, then place the cloves of garlic cut-side down. Add the caperberries, salt, and pepper, and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 50 minutes or until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic cloves to a serving dish, and pour the oil into a bowl for dipping. Serve with warm baguette and get your dip on.

posted in Appetizers | 1 Comment

28th January 2008

Garden-Style Lasagna

Tonight Lisa made this labor-intensive lasagna based on a Cooking Light recipe, and added extra spices and mushrooms. I’m usually a bigger fan of tomato-sauce based lasagna, but this one hit the spot with its variety in textures and sheer number of sauteed vegetables.

Chris says:

Wow you’re on a roll with these Cooking Light recipes. Good picks.

Lisa says:

This one is delicious — and actually has portion sizes that are relatively generous for a “light” recipe…

Chris says:

I heart this lasagna.

Lisa says:

Me too! I still can’t believe it’s low fat.

Chris says:

I love that we have enough leftovers for like three more meals.

Lisa says:

Good thing we liked it, then!

Garden-Style Lasagna
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped zucchini (about 8 ounces)
2 cups chopped yellow squash (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 8 ounces)
2 cups chopped broccoli (about 6 ounces)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
12 precooked lasagna noodles, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and oregano; toss well to combine.
Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Stir in spinach.
Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

12 Servings

posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 10 Comments

9th December 2007

Garlic and Pepper Chicken with Thai Fried Rice

Tonight I made a recipe that I had seen on Real Thai Recipes. Chicken is stir-fried with lots of garlic (yes, please!), white pepper, and fish sauce. To accompany the chicken I made a Thai Fried Rice based on a few different recipes online.

Chris says:

The garlic in this is so good!

Lisa says:

Why is it so spicy?

Chris says:

Is it? Doesn’t seem that way to me, there aren’t any hot chilies or anything… just pepper.

Lisa says:

It’s delicious, but yeah, seems spicy to me. Maybe I’m not used to white pepper… hey, what the?

Chris says:

I’m investigating by eating off your plate.

Lisa says:

Hands off, sucka!

Garlic and Pepper Chicken
1 large chicken breast, sliced
1/4 cup garlic cloves, smashed
3/4 teaspoon palm sugar (or white sugar)
3/4 teaspoon white pepper powder or black pepper powder (or mix ’em!)
1 3/4 teaspoons fish sauce
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
2-3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves (for garnish)

Add vegetable oil to pan over medium-high heat. When oil is just about smoking, add in garlic and stir-fry until lightly browned. Add in chicken and stir-fry until chicken is fully cooked and starts to brown. If chicken starts to stick to pan, add a little water. Add in fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper, and stir until well blended, adding water if necessary. Serve immediately.

Thai Fried Rice
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
3 tbsp egg whites
3 cups cooked rice
1 roma tomato, cut into 8 wedges
1 green onion, chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white pepper

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add the garlic until lightly browned, then add the shallots and stir-fry for a minute. Add in the egg whites and stir until egg is cooked through. Add in the rice, and stir in the remaining ingredients until warmed and well blended. Adjust spices to your liking.

posted in Main Dishes, Thai | 7 Comments

26th September 2007

Chicken and Baby Bok Choy Shroom-stravaganza!

Tonight I made two new recipes, each the first recipe we’ve tried in two new books — from The Mushroom Lover’s Mushroom Cookbook, Boneless Chicken Breasts with Wild Mushrooms and Enoki, and from Asian Flavors, Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Straw Mushrooms.

Lisa says:

Wow — you can really taste the wine in this.

Chris says:

Yeah, I kinda wish we had the cognac that the recipe calls for on hand.

Lisa says:

Really? I love the wine — and the really interesting variety of mushrooms!

Chris says:

Yeah, it’s delicious. I just ended up getting a bunch of different mushroom varieties because I couldn’t find Mousserons. What about the bok choy?

Lisa says:

Mmmmmm, so good! You know I’m going to say that it needs more garlic — but what doesn’t?

Boneless Chicken Breasts with Mousserons and Enoki
2 large boneless chicken breasts, with skin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
8 oz fresh mousserons, cleaned, or 1 oz dried mousserons or wild mushrooms *
2 tbsp Cognac or 1/4 cup dry red or white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 3.5 package enoki mushrooms, trimmed and broken into 5-6 clumps
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet, preferably nonstick. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook until the skin is deep golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until no trace of pink remains in the thickest part of the chicken, about 6 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts, add the scallion whites and mousserons or wild mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the Cognac or wine and cook until evaporated. Add the stock and boil until the sauce is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the enoki, parsley, and scallion greens and stir to mix. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Reduce the heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Serve hot, spooning half of the mushroom mixture and sauce onto each of 2 plates and topping it with a chicken breast.
* If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute by pouring hot chicken stock over the mushrooms in a bowl and letting sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, then strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter and save for use in the recipe.

2 Servings

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic & Straw Mushrooms
1 lb baby bok choy
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 oz straw mushrooms, halved
2 tbsp rice wine
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt

Blanch the bok choy in a saucepan of boiling water for one minute. Drain, and cool by running under cold water.
Heat the oil in a wok, add the garlic and fry gently for one minute until golden. Drain from the wok and set aside. Add the straw mushrooms and bok choy and stir-fry over high heat for two minutes. Add the rice wine, sugar, and salt, and stir until the vegetables are coated in the wok juices.
Transfer to a serving plate, spoon over the garlic, and serve at once.

4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes | 0 Comments