Monday, April 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli



I found this delicious dish by Emeril on the food network website. I made a few adaptations (I just can't seem to follow recipes EXACTLY!) and you see the result pictured above. I, unfortunately, could not enjoy even a bite of this because of the lactose in it, but my boyfriend scarfed it down and said it was delicious. It smelled phenomenal!

Emeril's original recipe is linked here

Here's my adaptation, enjoy!:

Ingredients
9 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup roasted butternut squash puree
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus an additional 3 tablespoons for the sauce
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 ounces
Pinch nutmeg
Wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon rosemary

Directions
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons cheese and nutmeg, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Get a bowl of water to seal the wonton wraps. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each wrap. With your finger, line two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water. Bring 1 corner of the square to the other, forming a triangle and seal the wrap completely. Add the wrap to pot of boiling salted water. Cook until wrap pales in color.

Remove the raviolis from the water and drain well. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large saute pan, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter. Stir in 3 tablespoons of cream and, add the rosemary, and add a tablespoon of Parmesan to the butter and continue to cook until the butter starts to brown and the Parmesan is brown and crisped. Remove from the heat.

Place some of the ravioli in the center of each serving plate. Spoon the butter sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle the 2 ounces of cheese over each plate and enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hummus

Hummus & Indian Sweet Bread
Image and recipe taken from AllRecipes.com.

Sometimes, even the best recipes fall short simply because of the quality of the ingredients.  I've noticed this especially with store-bought hummus.  If you want to save yourself from boring flavor (and a high price tag!), then try out this hummus recipe!

Yields: 24 servings
Ingredients:
  • 3 cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Parsley leaves (for garnish)
Directions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor, and blend until well mixed.
Sprinkle paprika on finished product, plate, and serve with a parsley garnish.

Pairs well with pita bread or chips, or with your favorite vegetable.  Also works as a great spread for sandwiches!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pineapple-Chile Tofu with Craisin Quinoa Salad

Hello everyone, this is going to be the first delicious contribution to the Vehement Vegetarian portion of Aimless Omnivores. This dish was experimental for me, and has taken a couple tries to turn into this amazing vegan delight that it is today. It's very easy to make, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it!



First of all, I didn't measure anything. I just threw a bunch of stuff together. If I tried to give you measurements I don't know that it would turn out deliciously.

Without further ado, here's the recipe:
Start with extra firm tofu, pressed for about a half hour. For those who haven't pressed tofu, I wrap mine in a bunch of paper towels and place something about the weight of a frying pan on it, and let it sit there for 30 minutes. Then quarter the tofu and marinate it using the following:

Marinade:

* Chili sauce (you will find it in the Asian section at the grocery store, I got a honey chili sauce)
* Crushed Pineapples
* Lemon Juice
* Lime Juice
* Chopped Garlic
* Soy Sauce
* Sherry (optional)-very little
* Mirin (optional)-found in the Asian section at the grocery store


After you've marinated your tofu (or Chicken, honestly that's fine, I won't tell anyone) for about an hour, pan fry it really quick to let it simmer in the juices and then grill it (I used the George Foreman). Throw some sesame seeds on top for extra aesthetic and taste. I threw the remaining marinade on top of my tofu, but you can also save it for future marinating extravaganzas.

Quinoa Salad:

* Cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa)
* cilantro
* jalapeƱos
* onion
* craisins
* chopped walnuts
* lime/lemon juice


Use your taste buds to find out which amounts work for you. I like a LOT of cilantro, but you might prefer more craisins. ONLY the quinoa is cooked, everything else is fresh (and amazing). Happy eating!

Broiled Mediterranean Salmon

Image and recipe taken from AllRecipes.com.

Tender, aromatic, and flavorful, this broiled salmon recipe brings out the best flavors of Mediterranean cooking. I have detailed some instruction on broiling, since it's easy to burn your food in some ovens. As an alternative, you could probably get away with cooking the salmon for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

For side dishes, we made tabulleh, hummus, and pita bread.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic (pressed or minced)
  • 1 pound of salmon, skin on preferred
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon basil
Directions:

Preheat your oven's broiler (or set to 500 degrees if it does not broil). Make sure your oven rack is AT LEAST 6 inches from the top.

Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a baking dish.

Place your salmon fillet(s) in the olive oil, being sure to coat both sides.

Rub cilantro and basil on the meat side of the salmon and place back in the baking dish, skin side up. Allow this to marinate while your oven preheats, or for at least 10 minutes.

Now we broil the meat, keeping the skin side up. Depending on your oven, the salmon should stay in for roughly 15 minutes. Use a kitchen timer set for 3 minute intervals. This will help you monitor the fish and keep it from burning. After each interval, be sure to rotate the baking dish, and flip the salmon skin side down after your second or third interval. In my case, the fish was flaky and delicious after about 12 minutes.

Aiming the Aimless

As some of you know, I started Aimless Omnivores as a way to share my favorite recipes with the world. When it began, my recipe choices were, erm, aimless... So, now that we Omnivores are gaining some direction, I'd like to introduce to you a new foray on eating: the Mediterranean diet.

Over the coming months, I will be introducing recipes with a Mediterranean theme. It's quite a shift from our usual food pyramid, and makes for delicious, healthy, and fun cooking!

For those of you who enjoy having an eclectic recipe collection, have no fear! We're taking on cohort chefs to fill in the gaps and make sure we stay on our aimless track. Stay tuned for posts from our pesky pescatarian, our vehement vegetarian, as well as our carnal carnivore. After all, we humans will eat anything!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni


Image and recipe taken from Food Network.

Alton Brown, once again you are my hero... This is by far the best Macaroni recipe ever. The Panko bread crumbs make all of the difference. Enjoy, and do try to save some, as Alton suggests at the bottom of the recipe.

This one is a classic, and the only competition that comes close is Sunny Anderson's Spicy Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter (for topping)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (for topping)
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Image and recipe taken from Food Network.

This recipe belongs to Tyler Florence of Food Network's Tyler's Ultimate TV show. This lives up to the name Ultimate Chicken Cordon Bleu. Also, the Microplane worked out very well for us. It was much easier to pack the cheese when it was grated with that, instead of a standard cheese grater. I had no idea how I was going to fit a full 1/2 pound of cheese into 4 chicken breasts...

Also, I know the Gruyere is pricey, but it is well worth it!

Ingredients:
  • 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere, grated
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast and sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and season so the flour, the eggs and the crumbs are all seasoned.

Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the roulades onto it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Cut into pinwheels and serve on top of Brussels Sprout Hash with Chicken Jus and Cranberry Chutney, if desired. (or not)