Summertime Pasta!

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Summertime, don’t you love it 🙂

I love it when its not “humid” 😦  if you have a breeze then its not that bad, but here in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area it seems to be humid a lot…or maybe its just that I only remember when I’m hot and humid instead of when its just hot without the humidity 😛

I recently bought some nice mini heirloom tomatoes and some oyster and shiitake mushrooms, not really sure what I was going to make when I got home but I knew I’d come up with something.

Once I got home I had some fresh spinach (from my Dad’s garden), I thought salad but then I was like I know pasta!!

I also had some fresh mozzarella, lets talk fresh mozzarella for a minute…I LOVE IT!!!

Give it to me any way and I love and for the summer once your tomatoes come up in your gardens 🙂
You can make Insalata Caprese with tomato slices, sliced fresh mozz, fresh basil, a touch of salt a drizzle of oil olive and you have it

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Now I like balsamic vinegar on mine and most of the time I only use the vinegar and no olive oil, and as I’ve said in several posts we sell a fantastic balsamic vinegar, this is so important to spend a little more money and get a good aged balsamic vinegar.  The difference will change you life…okay maybe not your life but your taste buds will be very happy 🙂 

So back to Fresh Mozzarella, it comes in many forms as you can see

sizes

For this dish I had the Ciliegine already in my fridge so that is what I used

and here is what else I put in my Summertime Pasta!!

Ingredients

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I started in skillet with a little olive oil and crushed red pepper, which you can leave out if you don’t like a little heat 🙂

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then I added my shallots and mushrooms, cooked them until a nice brown in color

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Then I added the tomatoes, some red wine & balsamic 

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I scrapped the bottom of the pan to get up all those good brown bits
Added a lid and turned it on medium low till all my tomatoes in all
their juiciness burst 🙂

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I added my cooked pasta and fresh spinach

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just tossed that through and added my fresh Mozz (ciliegine)

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and then served it right on up 🙂

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Recipe

1 pkg. spaghetti, cooked as directed
1 – 2 pounds mini heirloom tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes will do)
1-2 large shallots, sliced
8 oz – 12 oz mushrooms (I used oyster and shiitake)
2 tsp. fresh garlic, I wanted more garlic  so I used 9 cloves 🙂
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 – 1 cup sweet red wine***
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups packed fresh spinach
1 container of fresh ciliegine mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste

***Red Wine note – I used 100% concord grape wine, red moscato would work too, but can use red or a nice white as well, this is up to you and what you like…don’t want to add wine, add a little more balsamic and some of the pasta water to make it more saucy.

Cook pastas as directed

In a large skillet over medium heat add oil and crushed red pepper flakes if using, once oil is hot add mushrooms and shallots, cook until nicely caramelized.  
Then add tomatoes, red wine, balsamic and grated or minced garlic, stir, scrapping the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet, cover and turn on medium low.  

Once tomatoes start to soften and burst, taste for seasonings add salt or pepper if desired, drain pasta, add pasta to skillet along with spinach, toss through just as spinach starts to wilt, then fold in the mozzarella and serve!!

servings 4 to 6, cut in half for 1-3 servings.

Just look at that mozzarella melt…Love it…I hope you make this and enjoy!!!

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Pork Scallopini with Mushrooms

7 Comments

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Recently I had bought a pork tenderloin, it was garlic and black pepper crusted.  You can get just a plan tenderloin as well, but this was the one on sale 🙂

So I wanted to make a couple of dishes out of it and this is the first one.

Scallopini (which is the English usage), which is a cutlet and most often used is veal or chicken, pounded thin and coated in flour, sauteed, then served with a tomato or wine based sauce.

You start with this process when you also make Saltimbocca (which is what I did with part of the tenderloin, post to come) and Piccata which then you would make a lemon & caper sauce. (which I bought the capers, intending to doing Piccata as well, but I didn’t and just grill the rest of the pork, but I will do a blog on Piccata at some point 🙂

Mushrooms are used a lot with the sauce, and I roasted up some asparagus to serve as a side.

Ingredients

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take pork cutlet, place plastic wrap on top and bottom

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pound the cutlet to about 1/4 inch thin, if you don’t have a meat mallet
use a bottom of a saute pan or skillet…it will work

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In your skillet over medium high heat add oil & butter

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Dredge your cutlet in flour and shake off access,
once butter has melted add your cutlet to hot skillet
flipping  to brown on both sides

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meanwhile, chop shallots, garlic, & rosemary

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once brown remove from skillet, set a side
you can use a piece of foil just to tent over cutlet

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to the skillet add mushrooms and shallots

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cook until everything is golden

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add beef base, hot water and wine, stir in

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add brown sugar and rosemary, stir

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then stir in cream and add a little more butter to finish it off

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drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper
roast in oven

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Serve sauce over cutlets with asparagus

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just delicious it was 🙂

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Recipe

1 pork tenderloin, cut in half lengthwise, then cut each piece into 3 pieces, you will have 6 in total
4 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1-2 shallots, chopped
1 8 oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. beef base paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

Take cutlets, place between to pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper, pound thin to about 1/4 inch thick.
add flour to a shallow dish, dredge cutlets in flour and shake off access, in a large skillet add oil and 2 tbsp. butter.  Saute cutlets over medium high heat, brown on each side, and almost cooked through (meat will continue to cook some removed from heat, so don’t over cook) place on platter, tent with foil and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of butter to skillet add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, cook until golden stirring not to burn(adjust your heat if it starts to burn).

Add wine, beef base and hot water, stir to mix around,  then add rosemary and brown sugar and let mixture reduce by a 1/4.  Stir in cream then add last tablespoon of butter, pour sauce over cutlets and serve.

I roasted the asparagus in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, just until tender.

Enjoy!!!

Scallops………………Made Easy!!

4 Comments

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Okay yes I love Scallops…LOL  I know I know, I say I love everything I blog about but that’s why I blog about it 🙂

Any way 🙂 scallops are so delicious…if you don’t over cook them 😦

I really cook very simple for myself, it was a beautiful spring day and I found some fresh carrots, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and these scallops.  I knew it would be a great quick spring dinner to  make and of course I used my infused olive oil.

Let’s talk about the olive oil for a minute, a lot of these stores that are popping up that have like 20 different infused olive oil and 20 different infused balsamic vinegar’s and yes I love them!!! 🙂

Right now I have Lime infused olive oil, Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused olive oil, White Pear Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar and the Blueberry Balsamic.  They have so many more to choose from, so check out where you live and see if you have any shops near you that sell these amazing oils and vinegar’s.

Ingredients

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I just thinly slice everything

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add my Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused Olive oil to skillet over med-heat
you can always you some fresh herbs at the end before plating if you
don’t have infused oils

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added my shallots, carrots & mushrooms cook about 5 minutes

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meanwhile pat dry the scallops, salt and pepper,
add to skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil

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turn when they get a nice caramel color on them

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at this time add brussels to your skillet with your
carrots, mushrooms, toss just and cook for just
about 2-3 minutes

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add a tbsp. butter  to scallops

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once butter melts, till the pan and with a spoon
scoop melted butter up over the scallops to finish
cooking them

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Plate your veggies

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top with the scallops and Enjoy!!

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Recipe – serve 3 or 4 scallops per person

5 – Carrots, thinly sliced
5 – large mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 – brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1-2 large shallots
olive oil
Sea Scallops
salt & pepper
butter

In a large skillet over medium high heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil, then add mushrooms, carrots and shallots, cook until almost tender and a little caramelized.  Add the brussels and continue to cook for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Add to center of plates and top with cooked scallops.

Pat dry scallops very well and salt and pepper both sides, over medium high heats cook scallops in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure you do not over crowd the skillet, let them cook for a good 3 minutes, once caramel in color  you can turn them over, let cook 1 more minute then,  add butter. Once butter is melted, tilt the pan and spoon butter over scallops to finish cooking, scallops should be springy to the touch, they will continue to cook once you remove them from the heat.  You do not want the scallops to get firm that would mean they are over cooked.

Serve them right away and you can drizzle the extra butter over top once plated.

***Note on the butter, if you are only serving 4 – 8 scallops you will not need more then 2 tbsp. butter.  Anything less I would use only 1 tbsp.

Enjoy!!!

Morel Soup with Puff Pastry

2 Comments

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Today is a GREAT day, due to Pat “The Ranting Chef” 
I am a guest blogger today on his blog, a few weeks back he posted that he would feature “Guest Bloggers” every once in a while and well today is my day!!!

I’m very grateful for Pat letting me be apart of his Awesome blog and I hope many of his followers become my followers too, I would be honored if any of them would come and join in reading my blog.

The story that created this recipe is from one of  great memories working on the cruise ships.
For the recipe and story that goes along with is my Morel Soup with Puff Pastry
please click here to check it out http://rantingchef.com/2013/03/29/guest-post-morel-soup/

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I hope you will enjoy my guest blog over at Ranting Chef

Thank you Pat!!!  Enjoy everyone!!!