Romesco Sauce

Lately, I have altered my eating habits a ton and am doing smaller portions, more frequently in order to keep my metabolism working. Now, this isn’t a dietician or preachy post but I have been feeling a lot healthier and been dropping weight – so look into it as it might be something that suits your lifestyle.
Anyway I digress, because there is a point to my babble. TAPAS! Yes! That’s right, we have posted a few tapa recipes but this one is more about the delish Spanish sauce that is typically served with tapas. I know there is a place in Philly (shout out to Amada) that serves this with their ham croquettes. I’ve also had it with just a baguette, or on top of a tortilla (Spanish omelet). It’s so yummy and versatile and not heavy. It’s typically made in the Catalonia region of Spain (which for all of you that are geographically challenged, think Northern/Eastern Spain). So tasty, I had to recreate it for you all, see below and enjoy!
  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds, toasted
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (PS I didn’t have any so I subbed with red wine vinegar, same same).
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, drained, about 1 1/3 cups
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 slice white bread (about 1-inch thick), crusts removed, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated (I did 2 because I’m a Vampire at heart)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Puree in food processor, and EAT!! on anything and everything. Great with grilled veggies or meats. Now get outside and enjoy before its too cold!
Romesco Sauce - Damn Delish
Happy Eating, XO.
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Fall Stew

Guys, I miss football. I miss Fall. I mean if its going to be this cold I’d rather us be back in Fall than pretend to be in Spring. There aren’t any flowers, the showers are more like snow, and there just isn’t great spring food. I mean there is good Spring food, but not mouth watering great. Although I will say to stay tuned for an Easter Sunday themed blog post with yummy tea party sandwiches and snacks. (shameless blog plug) Anyway, point being I am going to eat like its still Fall and still can before summer comes around and I need sultry salads, fruits, and iced tea. Ok so back to this divine stew. I can’t even tell you how flipping good it is. There is this amaze balls Italian market near my work and not only do I get lunch from there AT LEAST 2x a week, but I always pick up tasty imported items from Italia whenever I can (aka last time I was there I picked up truffle butter AGAIN, whatever, Jess said we don’t judge here). Anyway, Tredici is the bomb.com for all the delish food they have on their regular menu, but they also have daily specials. This puppy was debuted in September and it made its way back once a month throughout the fall and I miss it so. I decided I must re-create it and have it available all year round. (or I’ll die, because I love it THAT much).  Ok melodramatics aside, I don’t think I can say I replicated the magical stew 100%, but this is pretty darn close, say 99.9% for all you math nerds. Anyway, it satiated my hankering for this delish stew and I hope it does the same for you! (ha “stew”, “you”, rhyming, happy camper, belly full).

  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 12 oz. hot Italian sausage, cut into small chunks (I just did droppings of the sausage by cutting out the casing, that lets the stew grab on to all the spices of the sausage).
  • 12 cipollini onions peeled (pearl onions can be substituted)
  • 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes (Cento is my fav canned brand)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½-oz bundle of herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano (there is a trio packet that’s sold at my grocery store, saves time & money so I just used that. It was parsley, thyme, and oregano)
  • 1-  2 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks (again I buy the pre-prepared stuff from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces (I hate cooked carrots but I left them in and just fished them out so I could get the flavor but not have to eat them. I know I am a child).
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch long sticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut in half
  • 12-15 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Fall Stew

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add sausage, stirring until the sausage breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside. Raise heat to medium high, add onions. Then cook, stirring until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. (At this point, I put the sausage and onions in the slow cooker and added the remaining ingredients. Stir to mx.)Add tomatoes, stock, and herbs. Simmer over medium heat until liquid starts to thicken, 20 to 25 minutes. Add sausage back and the squash, carrots, parsnips, and fennel. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add Brussels sprouts now and cook, covered about 5 minutes more. (or cook on high in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours if not doing it stove top). Remove cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, 10 to 15 minutes more. Adjust seasonings and serve warm. This will serve 4 – 6 people based on if you are making this a meal or a 1st course.

Happy Eating, XO

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I mean this honestly, this dinner is a real winner. It’s super simple, tasty, and gives you leftovers. It also gives you an excuse to use up all of that chicken that’s been sitting in your freezer. (Does anyone else always seem to have chicken in their freezer or is that just me?) It takes a little while to cook (45 minutes – an hour), but it’s worth the wait for this yummy, hearty dinner.

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 large can of artichoke hearts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the chicken in an oven safe dish. Mix the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and salt and pepper together and pour over the chicken. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. A few minutes before it’s done, sprinkle with mozzarella and let it melt. If you have it, you can also sprinkle chopped basil to give it a fancier presentation.

Chicken bake

Happy Eating, XO.

Caprese Salad Meets Grilled Cheese

This sandwich is for those who don’t have a ton of time and don’t want to sacrifice on flavor. Over the weekend, I was looking for something to throw together in between doing laundry and cleaning…two of my favorite things (yes, that’s sarcasm). I was also going out to dinner that night (starting the birthday celebrations early!) so I didn’t want it to be too heavy. I happened to have these ingredients on hand so in to a sandwich they went!

  • 3-4 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 slices of tomato (vine tomatoes are my favorite but you can use whatever you have)
  • Italian bread
  • Fresh basil
  • Adobo (you should have this stocked in your kitchen at all times, seriously. It can be used to liven the flavor on almost any recipe.)
  • Feel free to add balsamic dressing as well. I didn’t have any to use this time around.

As you would imagine – layer the mozzarella, tomato and basil and add a light sprinkling of the Adobo on the bread. I have a handy dandy panini press,  but you can also use a pan on the stove – think “grilled cheese”. I left mine on the press for about 6-7 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese and soften the tomatoes. And it was all done just before the dryer buzzer went off…

IMG_0023

Happy Eating, XO.

Enchilada Pasta

Casseroles. Yes, a one pot meal is extremely convenient, but it should also be appetizing. So coming from someone who hates leftovers, its pretty shocking that I have taken this to lunch the next day every. single. time.

  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 5 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 medium size Spanish or yellow onion chopped (this was my addition, added a depth of flavor and crunch the dish needed, however if you don’t have any or don’t like, feel free to exclude).
  • 1 bag egg noodles
  • 1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce (red not the green)
  • 1 can (4-5oz) Rotel
  • 1 taco seasoning packet (you can thank me again for this shortcut since original recipe calls out cumin, cayenne pepper, etc. all the stuff included in the taco seasoning pouch itself)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (original calls for ground beef, but this is an easy way to cut fat & calories without sacrificing flavor)
  • 2 cups (1 will go in the casserole 1 is for the top) shredded Mexican cheese (kids, that means: Monterey jack, cheddar, or Pepper jack combinations. Kraft even has a light Mexican blend that’s yum!)

Cook the pasta per the instructions (I used fusilli because the twirl grasps the sauce really well, but penne rigate would do the same or the egg noodles suggested).
Meanwhile brown the ground turkey meat with a packet of taco seasoning and the chopped medium onion in a tablespoon olive oil.
Drain the pasta and let the meat cool, then mix with the frozen corn, a can of the Rotel tomatoes (the one with the green chilies, trust me it won’t be too spicy. promise.), sour cream, cream cheese, enchilada sauce, and half of shredded Mexican cheese. Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted (since all components are already cooked).

This is hearty, filling, and flavorful. You know that I’m not lying either, because Mexican is my least favorite cuisine and yet I adore this mexi-fusion casserole. Serves 4-6 people.

Happy Eating, XO.