Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 01 May 2015 15:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Super Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwich http://steamykitchen.com/21442-super-frico-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html http://steamykitchen.com/21442-super-frico-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2012 16:40:39 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=21442 Usually, the kitchen is loud….or should I say “lively” – the boys are running through with their Nerf guns, old-school Madonna playing on Pandora, me singing, “borderline….feels like I’m going to lose my mind…you just keep on pushing my love….” and Coco at my feet, waiting for me to drop a morsel of food as I fling my arms trying ...

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Usually, the kitchen is loud….or should I say “lively” – the boys are running through with their Nerf guns, old-school Madonna playing on Pandora, me singing, “borderline….feels like I’m going to lose my mind…you just keep on pushing my love….” and Coco at my feet, waiting for me to drop a morsel of food as I fling my arms trying to dance my Madonna.

Yeah, that’s usually the scene.

Last week, I was alone in the house during the day – the kids were at school and Scott was in New York to be with his very ill dad – my kitchen was very quiet. I liked it that way, I had forgotten how the sounds of cooking can be soothing.

the “pop” as my sharp knife breaks and pierces the skin of a taut, ripe tomato.

chorus of scratching as I grate parmesan cheese.

gentle tzzzzssssss of bubbling butter in a pan.

if you can hear with your eyes, the sucking and drawing up of hot melted butter into the spongy pores of the bread.

fllllueeaappp as the face of the sandwich falls back on the pan after you flip it.

zzzahhhhhhhh as grated parmesan relaxes, melts and spreads out.

(smile) thanks for listening….

This recipe is from my friend, Michael Natkin, who happens to have one of the most happy smiles I’ve ever encountered. Michael runs Herbivoracious blog, which is all about vegetarian recipes. His very first book is just out – Herbivoracious and I’m so giddy proud of him.

Of all the recipes, I chose Super Frico – only because after seeing that recipe name, I couldn’t stop singing, “She’s a super frico, super frico. She’s super-frico, yow”

Come on! Be a dork and sing with me!

That sandwich is pretty kinky
It’s a super frico
The kind of lunch you read about
In foodie magazines

That cheese is pretty wild now
It’s a super frico
I really love to taste it
Every time we meet
She’s all right, she’s all right
That sandwich all right with me, yeah

Super Frico, baby

Make your standard grilled cheese sandwich (I like adding tomato to mine)

Remove the sandwich and sprinkle in your grated parmesan cheese, roughly in the same size as the sandwich.

Once it gets a little bubbly and melty, put your grilled cheese on top.

Press with a ginormous spatula to weld the cheese to the sandwich.

Lovely.

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SuperFrico Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Servings: 1 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
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Recipe from Herbivoracious Cookbook by Michael Natkin. Michael says, "Everyone knows the best part of a grilled cheese sandwich (not to mention lasagna, gratin, mac & cheese, ...) are the bits where the cheese gets brown and crispy. So one night I said to myself, why can't there be more crispy? What happens if I just make a frico (cheese crisp) right there in the skillet and weld it to my already delicious grilled cheese? Would this not be a fine extension of an already superb late-night supper?

The answer was a resounding yes, so much so that I don’t make grilled cheese any other way now. It only takes a minute or two more than the standard sandwich, but the extra dimension of texture takes it to a whole new level."

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
2 slices bread
2 slices provolone cheese (or other cheese of your choice)
2 slices tomato
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (use large holes of box grater)

Directions:

1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat with the butter. When the butter is melted. Lightly moisten both pieces of bread in the butter. Top one slice of bread with the provolone and tomato and cover with the other slice of bread. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping a couple of times.

2. When the basic grilled cheese is done, remove it from the pan. Turn the heat to medium. If the pan seems very dry, melt a touch more butter in it. Sprinkle the Parmigiano in the still-hot skillet, in a shape roughly the same as the sandwich.

3. Now watch closely, as the cheese melts. You'll see the fat start to cook out and the cheese begin to brown and crisp. When it has just begun to brown, put the sandwich back on top and press down with a large spatula to weld the frico to the bread. Let cook for one more minute then serve.

Stuff from the store

Need a cheese grater? I love this one.

I’m a big fan of fat spatulas…this one is nonstick.

Best Parmegiano Reggiano – big love for Whole Foods, the only company I know who has “crack parties

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Pesto Ideas http://steamykitchen.com/11726-pesto-ideas.html http://steamykitchen.com/11726-pesto-ideas.html#comments Tue, 26 Oct 2010 15:55:41 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=11726 Pesto beyond the normal basil and pine nuts (which I do love, but it can get quite boring over and over). Wall Street Journal has great article and recipes on different versions of pesto, including: Walnuts + Grapeseed Oil Pistachio + Breadcrumbs + Mint Rapini + Parmesan + Porcini Pumpkin Seeds + Basil + Parmesan Pecans + Parsley + Dates ...

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Pesto beyond the normal basil and pine nuts (which I do love, but it can get quite boring over and over). Wall Street Journal has great article and recipes on different versions of pesto, including:

Walnuts + Grapeseed Oil

Pistachio + Breadcrumbs + Mint

Rapini + Parmesan + Porcini

Pumpkin Seeds + Basil + Parmesan

Pecans + Parsley + Dates

Arugula + Basil + Almonds

My absolute favorite is Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachio-Cranberry Pesto. It’s definitely a must-try!!!

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15 Minute Japanese Mushroom Flatbread http://steamykitchen.com/7856-00-15-minutejapanese-mushroom-flatbread.html http://steamykitchen.com/7856-00-15-minutejapanese-mushroom-flatbread.html#comments Mon, 12 Apr 2010 10:45:25 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=7856 The intentions of making my own pesto sauce from scratch was certainly there, but something silly like I-killed-my-basil-plant got in the way of my plans. There’s nothing more sad than walking out to my mini-garden and seeing a sad, shriveled and shrunken herb. Oh poor little thing! You had such potential! I have a feeling that the mint got a ...

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Japanese Mushroom Flatbread Recipe

The intentions of making my own pesto sauce from scratch was certainly there, but something silly like I-killed-my-basil-plant got in the way of my plans. There’s nothing more sad than walking out to my mini-garden and seeing a sad, shriveled and shrunken herb.

Oh poor little thing! You had such potential!

I have a feeling that the mint got a bit jealous and decided the only way to win would be to overgrow and squeeze the poor little basil out. Bad mint! If it wasn’t for Sparkling Ginger Lime and Mint Cooler, I would surely punish by pruning.

So, off to the grocery store I went to buy enough fresh basil to make a batch of pesto.

That is, until I saw the price of fresh herbs at the market.

$3.99 for a small pathetic pinch of basil stems? That’s such a rip-off! Because I can grow herbs pretty much year round here in Florida (during the hot hot summers, the herbs grow on my covered lanai) I can’t remember the last time I bought fresh basil.

Too cheap to spend the money on enough basil to make pesto, I opted for plucking the 4 remaining leaves from my sad plant and bought a jar of prepared basil (same aisle as pasta sauce). Not quite the same as homemade, but cheap, satisfying and I ended up creating a 15 minute appetizer with a pre-baked naan flatbread, a package of Japanese Brown Beech Mushrooms (from client Hokto) and a half an onion in the refrigerator.

It’s the quickest gourmet-y appetizer ever and I love using naan flatbreads as the base. It’s pre-baked, which is a fantastic shortcut for when I don’t have time to roll out my own pizza dough. Naan is Indian-style flatbread, normally baked in a clay oven (though I doubt these commercials ones are) and I’m just in love with the irregular teardrop shapes. You can substitute with pita bread, double-stacked flour tortillas) if you can’t find naan.

The mushrooms are flexible too. I’m using brown beech mushrooms, but sub with any type of fresh mushroom you’d like.

And hey, if you’ve got better luck with basil than I have (just remember to keep the jealous mint plant away from the basil), feel free to make your home made pesto.

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Japanese Mushroom Flatbread Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
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Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups Japanese Brown Beech Mushrooms (or other Asian mushrooms like fresh shiitake)
1/2 small onion, very thinly sliced
1 large piece naan flatbread, about 8x14 inches
2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, when hot, add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and the onions, and saute until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.

3. On the flatbread, spread the basil pesto, avoiding the outer one inch edge. Top the flat bread with the mozzarella cheese. Add the mushroom and onion mixture; and top with the parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the flatbread is toasted. Sprinkle with the fresh basil.

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Pan-Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage http://steamykitchen.com/6515-pan-fried-pumpkin-gnocchi-browned-butter-sage.html http://steamykitchen.com/6515-pan-fried-pumpkin-gnocchi-browned-butter-sage.html#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2009 17:50:24 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=6515 Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009! This is one of those perfect perfect fall-winter recipes that you must make for Thanksgiving. Because it’s super-simple. If you’ve never made gnocchi before, please trust me that it’s easier than you think…please don’t be intimidated by the “gn” Two throaty letters THAT close together ...

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Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009!

This is one of those perfect perfect fall-winter recipes that you must make for Thanksgiving. Because it’s super-simple. If you’ve never made gnocchi before, please trust me that it’s easier than you think…please don’t be intimidated by the “gn”

Two throaty letters THAT close together sometimes scare me too.

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But I promise you, it’s not bad at all. Here, let me hold your hand and walk you through it.

1. Mix together some canned pumpkin, lemon zest, salt, ricotta cheese, egg yolk and grated parmesan. In a separate bowl, add the flour. Now, here’s a secret shortcut. The recipe calls for “sifted flour” but I’m lazy. I don’t like to sift. I use a whisky-thingy to briskly whisk through the flour which breaks up any clumps. Does the same job. Plus, I like saying “briskly whisk.”
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2. Add some of the flour (not all) You’re gonna mix with a spatula until the flour disappears.

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3. Now add the rest of the flour and use your fingertips and lightly mix/knead. It’s a wet, sticky dough, but you’ll only do this for a minute. You can add more flour if it’s too sticky.

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4. How do you know when you’ve added enough flour? Press your finger into the dough. It should be slightly tacky but clean. Then divide that dough ball into 4…and roll out with your hands one of the sections into a 1-inch diameter, long snake.

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5. Cut into 1-inch pieces with a knife. Then you can use your fingers to lightly roll each piece to get them evenly sized. But seriously, this step is not necessary at all – you’ll be pan frying the gnocchi and any fancy handwork or groovy fork-marks will disappear anyways.

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6. Heat a pan with some butter, add gnocchi pieces, fry until both sides golden.

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7. After you fry all batches, clean the pan. Add new butter and olive oil. Fry the sage until fragrant. I like to remove the sage (you might like to eat that crispy herb and keep it in) Then whisk in balsamic vinegar. Pour over the gnocchi. THAT’S IT!

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8. Shave some parmesan and serve.

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See, I told you gnocchi was gneasy.

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Pan-Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

The secret to gnocchi is to have a light hand in the mixing. Overworking the dough will result in chewy, tough gnocchi. Use a spatula to mix the dough and then your fingertips to just turn the dough a few times to incorporate the rest of the flour. If you don’t have a flour sifter or are just plain lazy like me, use a wire whisk to break up any clumps in the flour.

The brown-butter sage is incredible – it’s a rich recipe, and only a little bit of the fragrant browned butter sage is needed (it’s not meant to be a “sauce”). The balsamic vinegar in the sauce gives it a nice tang that cuts through the rich gnocchi. Use a good quality balsamic vinegar.

serves 4-6

1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane grater) (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting (see sifting tip above)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving (use vegetable peeler)

Preheat oven to 300F

1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.

2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.

3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.

4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the fresh sage. Let the sage brown and sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Remove the sage and discard if you want (or keep it in to eat — as many people in the comments below like to do!) To the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and whisk. Let simmer on low for 1 minute and pour over the gnocchi.

5. Serve with shaved parmegiano reggiano and a sage leaf for garnish.

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Peanut Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad http://steamykitchen.com/4704-peanut-pesto-and-peas-pasta-salad.html http://steamykitchen.com/4704-peanut-pesto-and-peas-pasta-salad.html#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:16:49 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=4704 In the Tampa, Florida, Summer began sometime like in March. No kidding. The season RIGHT NOW is called too “*!%!$@*$ HOT.” The moment you step outside into 99.9% humidity coupled with 98F temps, you wonder why you even bothered to dry yourself after a shower. But never mind, because while Summer Fest is almost unbearable in my backyard, it’s in ...

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In the Tampa, Florida, Summer began sometime like in March. No kidding. The season RIGHT NOW is called too “*!%!$@*$ HOT.” The moment you step outside into 99.9% humidity coupled with 98F temps, you wonder why you even bothered to dry yourself after a shower.

But never mind, because while Summer Fest is almost unbearable in my backyard, it’s in full-swing over at friends White On Rice and Matt Bites. Also, the rain didn’t flood out Margaret Roach’s Away to Garden in New York (though for a few weeks I almost was expecting Margaret to rename the blog Away Washed the Garden due to the non. stop. rainfall.

The four of us (actually five because Todd and Diane are separate people, not Toddiane, though they are so well fit that sometimes it’s just easier to say it like that in one lovely breath) teamed up to bring you Summer Fest 2009, a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best. Each week we’ll have a different theme, this week is herbs.

The Summer Fest is all about blog cross-pollination…meaning we want to hear from you! The secret to this recipe is for you to play along…I’ll give you details at the end.

To kick of Week 1 of Summer Fest: Herbs, I’ve made a Peanut Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad.

It’s pabulously peasy and pealicious.

and easy, too.

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Fortunately for me, basil is thriving right now in my garden, one of the few things that actually are doing well in this extreme Florida summer heat. Instead of the boring pine-nut pesto, I make variations by substituting different nuts – like peanuts today.

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Pesto comes together really easy in a food processor – here I’ve added basil, peanuts, garlic, salt and a bit of olive oil (to lubricate and get things moving)

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Let the baby whirrrrrrrrr!! Dang it, pesky leaf didn’t want to get chopped up. You can also spice things up by adding some red pepper flakes. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil slowly.

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Stir in the Parmesan (hey! another P word!!)

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and here you go – a beautiful Peanut Pesto.

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To Store: You can take this Peanut Pesto and freeze them in little freezer baggies – seal tight and lay flat in your freezer so that they freeze flat. I know some of you freeze them in ice cube trays too – but I find that it’s more convenient to use quart freezer bags, as it’s the perfect amount to toss with pasta.

To make the Peanut Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad – boil some pasta, chop up some tomato, add some frozen peas, corn. Then toss with some of the peanut pesto. Really, that’s it! You can sub with ANY other pasta shape, vegetables etc. I’m easy like that.

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Voila! You’ll end up with a big bowl.

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This is summery, fresh and colorful…it’s a great way to use up all your basil too!

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Don’t forget, you can use any type of nut that you want….macadamia nut would be too fabulous for words.

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Peanut Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad Recipe

1 pound dried pasta (any shape)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 cup (or more) of the Peanut Pesto Recipe (below)

Combine all ingredients together.

Peanut Pesto Recipe

You’ll have some pesto left over – freeze the remaining pesto

3 ounce block of parmesan or romano cheese (1/2 cup finely grated)
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thick stems discarded
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (if using salted, cut amount of salt measurement in half)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. If using pre-grated cheese, skip this step. Cut the parmesan or romano cheese into 1/2-inch chunks and put into a food processor. Process until the cheese is very fine. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

2. To the food processor bowl, add the basil leaves, salt, garlic, peanuts and only 1/4 of the olive oil. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container halfway. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil, the cheese and the lemon juice.

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How you can join Summer Fest

Summer Fest 2009 is a four-week, cross-blog celebration co-created (alphabetically listed) by A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project. And from you, that’s critical. Your contributions are desired, and needed.

Will you play along? Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? Starting today, with the subject of herbs, you can contribute in various ways, big or small. Contribute a whole post, or a comment – whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. The possibilities:

Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.

The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.

Or think bigger: Publish entire entire posts of your own, if you wish, and grab the juicy Summer Fest 2009 tomato badge (illustrated by Matt of Mattbites).

Summer Fest 2009 Schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 28: HERBS. Any and all.
  • Tuesday, August 4: FRUITS FROM TREES (also known as stone fruits, but we won’t scream if you toss in a berry or another fruit, promise).
  • Tuesday, August 11: BEANS-AND-GREENS WEEK (either or both, your choice).
  • Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK. How do you like them love apples?

What did my co-conspirators make this week of Herbs?

Away to Garden: Roll your herbs! (no, not THOSE kind of herbs!) parsley-roll-done Growing and Storing a Year of Parsley

White On Rice: vegetable-spring-rice-paper-rolls-425x641 Vietnamese Vegetable Summer Rolls!! You must see their lovely garden.

Matt Bites:rosemary-salty-dog-cocktail Rosemary Salty Dog Cocktail GORGEOUS!

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Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread http://steamykitchen.com/1663-fig-apple-and-gorgonzola-flatbread.html http://steamykitchen.com/1663-fig-apple-and-gorgonzola-flatbread.html#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2008 18:46:28 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=1663 Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009 where this recipe is being featured! *** While I love to make my own pizza or flatbread dough from scratch, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my hands all messy with dough. I cheat a lot and buy packaged flatbreads from the supermarket and ...

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Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009 where this recipe is being featured!

***

While I love to make my own pizza or flatbread dough from scratch, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my hands all messy with dough. I cheat a lot and buy packaged flatbreads from the supermarket and throw them on the grill or under the broiler for a quick pizza. One of my favorite fall recipes is Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbreads, briefly grilled on our barbeque grill.

The creamy gorgonzola with specks of blue-black cheese melts, the warmed slices of Granny Smith Apples and wedges of juicy figs cradle the shaved slices of Parmegiano-Reggiano. But we’re not done with it yet, sweet, sensual honey drapes each slice, some oozing over the edge, onto your fingers.

If you’re interested in food photography…I’m showing you photos before I used Photoshop, so that you can see before and after. I shoot in RAW with my Canon 40D and I used the 60mm macro lens to get nice, sharp closeups. I generally use Photoshop to sharpen, lighten the photo and increase the saturation just a bit to make the colors and detail really pop. I know many of you don’t have Photoshop (it’s expensive) but you can do the same in Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 ($99); and even in Flickr they have free online tools to help you lighten and increase saturation of your photos. I know Adobe has a free online editing tool…but can’t find it at the moment…if you find, will you please let me know?

I always try to fiddle with the photo and camera settings to take the perfect shot, which minimizes my use of software to touch up. But sometimes, the lighting is not just right or my white balance is a bit off and I’ll need to adjust. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, every single professional photographer does some sort of touch up, and it’s generally sharpening and color correction.

Here’s my before and after:

BeforeAfter

I’d love to show you what I do in Photoshop (it does make a big difference in the picture, but since so few of you have this software, I’ll have wait until I buy a copy of Photoshop Elements so that the tutorial is more relevant to more people.

In the meantime, here’s my step-by-step slideshow of how I got to my money-shot!

Oh yes, please enjoy the recipe for Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread

***

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmegiano-Reggiano), shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.

Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.

If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.

Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.

***

Free Artisan Steak Tasting Package!

Free Artisan Steak Tasting Package!

Please don’t forget to enter in the free drawing for Artisan Steak Tasting Package!! If you haven’t read it, this is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done – tasted 6 different steaks from small ranchers and included tasting notes, breed, diet, region etc. The tasting kit includes 4 different artisan steaks so you can do your own tasting.

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Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese http://steamykitchen.com/175-lobstermac.html http://steamykitchen.com/175-lobstermac.html#comments Thu, 11 Oct 2007 23:35:38 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/10/11/lobstermac/ Simple recipe for Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe from cookbook author Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

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Lobster Mac 'n Cheese

I decided last month that our family should make a better effort to eat more seafood and less crap like deep fried nuggets of chicken fat. Not that I wasn’t trying to be healthy or anything, because that would be called a D-I-E-T, which is against my religion, culture, gender and overall cellular structure.

Looking for inspiration, I browsed some of my favorite food blogs and drooled over a dish that took a humble comfort food and paired it with lobster. So, my kids and I headed off to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the dish.

The rugrats had fun poking at the lazy crustaceans in the tank, trying to guess which one the seafood monger would clumsily capture with his primitive wooden rake. A feisty three pounder was stuffed a plastic bag, weighed, priced and dropped in our cart. Off we went to pay, stopping briefly to pick up a hunk of nice cheese and a box of pasta.

Now, I have nothing against the teenage workforce manning the check-out line, but I feel very strongly that I simply must write these 3 letters.

Dear Ritalin:
When a customer gently places a bag of squirming lobster onto the conveyor belt, the appropriate response is not, “Oh shit, dude. You really gonna kill it and eat it?” Because a smart customer (for example, myself) will shoot right back with, “Why yes, pimple-ass, that is the plan. I might even torture it first with long, sharp objects before dunking it head-first in a vat of boiling hot water. Wanna watch?”

Dear Pep Squad Reject:

When that same bag is handed to you to place back into the cart, the itty-bitty buggy-boo with rubber bands on its claws really isn’t a ferocious, drooling elephant man who wants to tie you up and lick your toes. Please don’t scream. You’re scaring my kids. You’re even scaring the freakin’ lobster.

Dear Parents:
I implore you to introduce the world of live seafood to your children at an early age. Teach them where our food comes from and how to properly handle and cook it. If you’re vegetarian, maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea for your kids to work at supermarkets where they might just come in contact with raw animal carcasses and squealing lobsters. Maybe a job at the mushroom petting zoo would be more appropriate.

Omnivorally yours,
Steamy Kitchen

Lobster Mac 'n Cheese

wanna bite?

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Lobster Mac & Cheese Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 (main dish) or 8 (side dish) Prep Time: Cook Time:
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Notes on the lobster. You can buy uncooked lobster tails at the market and just remove the meat from the shell. Or, if you are buying a whole lobster, I've found it easier to steam or boil it for 1 minute exactly, drain and then remove the meat. The 1 minute steam firms and shrinks the meat just enough to make an easy job of cracking and removing the prized meat. But of course, if you are welcome to skip this steaming part.

Ingredients:

Pasta
1/2 cup butter + more for ramekin
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground black pepper
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
1 lb dried elbow pastaLobster
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 lb uncooked lobster meat, chopped (see notes)
3 tbs grated parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water until 1 minute shy of done. Drain well.

2. In meantime, with medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt butter and add flour a little at a time, whisking constantly for 3 minutes to make a roux. Add half and half, a little at time, whisking to combine. Cook 3 minutes until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat. Add cheddar and gruyere, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add cooked pasta to pan, stir to combine.

3. Butter 8 small ramekins or a large baking dish. Spoon pasta/cheese mixture into dish, up to 2/3 full. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

4. While pasta is baking, melt 2 tbs butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once butter melts, turn off heat and add lobster meat, parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Toss to combine.

5. When pasta is done baking, remove from oven. Top pasta with a spoonful of lobster mixture. Set your oven rack to top 1/3 of oven, turn to broil and return ramekins to oven for 6-8 minutes. Lobster should be cooked through and a nice cheeesy crunchy crust will form.

***

Winners from the Saffron Giveaway

Did you enter my saffron giveaway? Here are the winners!

Here’s winner #1: Threemilechild won!

Nathan got bored after just one. Had to enlist his brother to pick the 2nd winner: Marius

Bribed Nathan with chocolate to come back to finish his job. See his chocolaty mouth?

and Rudi won!

Congratulations to the winners! Email me your full name, address and phone number. Saffron.com will be shipping you your prize of an entire ounce of saffron directly to you! Promise me that you’ll share some of your prize with family and good friends, ok? Good kharma.

If you didn’t win, consider purchasing your saffron from this company. An entire ounce will last you over a year! And that is if you cook a saffron dish each week!

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Slow Butter Braised Asparagus http://steamykitchen.com/117-slow-butter-braised-asparagus.html http://steamykitchen.com/117-slow-butter-braised-asparagus.html#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2007 07:29:15 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/10/slow-butter-braised-asparagus/ I’ll admit, I have been caught up in the whole slow-cooking trend lately. Most of my slow-cooking has yielded succulent and tender results, like Tropical Island Salmon and Baby Back Ribs with Asian Orange Ginger Glaze, and yes, I’ve also had a couple of disasters. One night, I decided that we’d have an entire meal cooked sllllooowwwww. What a stupid ...

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Slow Butter Braised Asparagus

I’ll admit, I have been caught up in the whole slow-cooking trend lately. Most of my slow-cooking has yielded succulent and tender results, like Tropical Island Salmon and Baby Back Ribs with Asian Orange Ginger Glaze, and yes, I’ve also had a couple of disasters. One night, I decided that we’d have an entire meal cooked sllllooowwwww. What a stupid idea. I’m not the most patient sort – and when I get bored (i.e. waiting in the kitchen with absolutely nothing to do except wait for the food to cook sllloooowwwwly….I end up doing my nails to pass time and then totally forget about the food in the oven.) The slow cooked filet mignon was so horrible that my husband had to officially ban me from cooking steaks for the remainder of the decade.

Somehow, I managed to transform expensive filet mignon steaks into very expensive hockey pucks.

Not even a jackhammer could get through those babies. But please, please don’t let my self-diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder stop you from trying this) Thank goodness that the slow-cooked asparagus came out delicious…allow me to take a little moment of your precious time an introduce you to slllooooowww butter braised asparagus. Once you try this, you’ll wish for another full season of asparagus to come around. Gently cooking asparagus will give you melt-in-your-mouth stalks, yet still retaining the bright green color and all of its pure flavor. Top it with shaved parmesan and sea salt to create a luxurious dish.

Slow Butter Braised Asparagus

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Slow Butter Braised Asparagus

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
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Ingredients:

A bunch of asparagus, hard part of stalks cut off
teaspoon of minced shallots and/or garlic
2-4 tablespoons of butter (depends on how much asparagus you have)
sea salt
squeeze of lemon
shaved parmesan

Directions:

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter hot, add shallots/garlic, turn heat to low and fry until fragrant. 2. Add asparagus, cover with a tight-fitting lid (important -if lid isn't tight, the steam escapes, you can try using a thin dishtowel under lid and fold ends up over the top of the lid to create a nice seal). Cook on low for 10-12 minutes, depending on how soft you like your asparagus. If your asparagus can't all fit in one layer in your pan, stir a couple of times during the cooking process. After 8 minutes, take a peek. I usually can tell by cutting part of the stalk with a butter knife and adjust my cooking time.

If it looks like the pan needs more butter, feel free to add another tablespoon in, or just throw in a tablespoon of water. 3. When cooked to your liking, remove asparagus, pour the butter/shallot/garlic mixture over, sprinkle with sea salt, a squeeze of lemon and top with shaved parmesan.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/61-roasted-cauliflower.html http://steamykitchen.com/61-roasted-cauliflower.html#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2007 15:30:34 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/04/04/roasted-cauliflower/ Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables – you can eat it raw, steam, boil, mash, fry or roast. Roasting the cauliflower is easy, cut the florets into bite-sized pieces (the smaller you cut them, the faster they cook), toss with olive oil. Roast the cauliflower for 30-40 minutes. They’ll get slightly browned at the bits, and transform into a ...

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roasted cauliflower recipe with parmesan

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables – you can eat it raw, steam, boil, mash, fry or roast. Roasting the cauliflower is easy, cut the florets into bite-sized pieces (the smaller you cut them, the faster they cook), toss with olive oil.

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Roast the cauliflower for 30-40 minutes. They’ll get slightly browned at the bits, and transform into a nutty, earthy vegetable that even the pickiest of eaters will like.

I like to top the roasted cauliflower with a snow of grated parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
roasted cauliflower recipe with parmesan

This same recipe can be used for broccoli as well, though broccoli cooks a little faster than cauliflower.

The smaller the florets you cut, the faster the cauliflower cooks. I try to cut them the size little larger than a quarter.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven 375F.

Cut cauliflower into small, evenly-sized florets. Place on baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Roast for 25-35 minutes until tops are a little golden brown and florets are soft. Check to make sure the cauliflower are cooked through. Remove from oven and top the roasted cauliflower with grated parmesan.

Perhaps more side recipes?

Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon and Garlic Recipe

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The Pioneer Woman’s Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

The Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe final photo

 

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