March 29, 2013

Seafood Lasagna with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

What a great twist on Lasagna this was.


Love the thought of all the extra vitamins from the cauliflower. It made it so rich 
and creamy without all the added fat of extra cheese or cream.

I served it with a pretty good dose of Frank's hot sauce on top.

Delicious!

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday
Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday

Pin It


Seafood Lasagna with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

9-12 Lasagna Noodles
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb crawfish tails
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, rounded
1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste

Cauliflower Cheese Sauce:
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
6 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

Filling:
8 oz ricotta cheese
4 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 large egg
1 tsp oregano
Salt and Pepper

Place the lasagna noodles into the 9x13 baking dish you will use to cook the lasagna and cover with boiling water.

Preheat the oven to 350*.

For the cauliflower sauce: Remove the florets from the head of cauliflower and put single layer into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pan, cover with foil, and cook until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in milk, increase the heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan and reheat. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 1 minute. Keep warm.

For the shrimp/crawfish tomato sauce: Rinse shrimp and remove tails. Place into a large bowl along with crawfish. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and toss to combine.

In a large skillet; heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and crawfish and stir 1 minute. You are not trying to completely cook the seafood at this point. Stir in tomatoes and paste. Remove from heat.

Combine the ricotta, mozzarella cheese, egg and oregano in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Drain noodles and set aside. Dry dish and spray with cooking oil. Place 1/2 cup of cauliflower sauce into the bottom. Layer with 3 noodles; spread on 1/2 the tomato mixture then top with 1/2 the ricotta mixture. Pour on 1/2 of the remaining cauliflower sauce, another layer of noodles, remaining tomato mixture and remaining ricotta mixture. Top with the last 3 noodles and cover completely with the rest of the cauliflower sauce. I only did 3 layers of noodles using a couple to fill in empty spots on my layers.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 40 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note: This was excellent served drizzled with Frank’s Hot Sauce.

March 19, 2013

Braciole with Orecchiette


 I have a new favorite pasta.



This is the first time I've tried orecchiette pasta and I love it. Especially when the sauce gets caught in between several shells that tuck right into one another. 
It's the simple things.

Then there's the steak that's rolled up with a layer of prosciutto, bread crumbs seasoned with pecorino ramono and garlic, and a stick of provolone cheese in the middle.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday


Braciole with Orecchiette

2 cups stale 1/2-inch Italian bread cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, divided use
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 to 1 1/4 pounds thin cut beef bottom round steak, sliced into 6 pieces
6 thin slices prosciutto
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided use
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for topping
4 ounces aged provolone cheese
1 pound orecchiette

Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and let soak, 15 minutes.

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot; add onion, half the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Cook until onions start to soften. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and continue to cook 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking up with a wooden spoon, water and bay leaves; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Place the beef slices between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound with a heavy skillet until 1/16 inch thick. Position the slices with the short sides facing you and lay a slice of prosciutto on top of each. Add 1/4 cup of parsley, the pecorino, minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper to the soaked bread and mix with your hands, breaking up the bread; spread a layer on top of the prosciutto.

Cut the provolone into six 2-to-3-inch-long sticks, about 1/2 inch thick. Put a piece of cheese horizontally across the middle of each slice of beef and trim any overhanging cheese. Starting with a short end, tightly roll up the beef and secure with a toothpick.

Transfer the braciole to the sauce (make sure braciole is nestled down in the sauce). Bring up to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Uncover, stir and continue simmering, uncovered, until the beef is tender and the sauce thickens, 1 more hour. (Add up to 1 cup water if the sauce gets too thick.) Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper if needed.


About 20 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Remove the braciole from the sauce and transfer to a platter; remove the toothpicks. Pour some of the sauce on top. Drain the pasta and toss with the remaining sauce. Serve the braciole with the pasta; top with pecorino.

March 12, 2013

Cherry Almond Biscotti

I've recently started a small bible study (but willing to grow) in my home on 
Tuesday mornings and have been trying to come up with some yummy finger food 
to go along with our chai and coffee.


This past meeting I made some delicious Biscotti. 
Loved the large chunks of cherries and almonds.

The first meeting I made some Zucchini Bread, and instead of just butter for the spread, I made some Cinnamon Honey Cream Cheese by simply stirring a little honey and some cinnamon into softened cream cheese. It was fabulous.


I'm trying to keep it interesting and have no idea yet what I'm going to make for next week, so if you have any favorite recipes or suggestions, definitely drop me a line. 
Thanks!

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday



Cherry Almond Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup almonds, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, almond extract and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the dried cherries and almonds.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet (flour hands to help with stickiness). Bake until light golden, about 25 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until they are pale golden, about 12 minutes, turning half way through. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

March 6, 2013

Brown Sugar Toffee Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, and this is one of those recipes that's really 
quick to throw together and super easy.


I love love loved the shortbread crust, and the toffee bits in the filling is delish.


I came across the original recipe for this on Cookies and Cups 
and really liked the sound of it. 

I switched it up a little by not swirling the caramel through the filling because I 
thought it might make it a little too sweet. I'm glad I chose not to because 
the stirred in toffee bits along with the brown sugar gave it a perfect balance of sweetness and tang from the cream cheese. 

I also changed up the cooking times, because for me, it cooked a bit faster 
for both the crust and the filling.

Very yummy! 

Linked with Spatulas On Parade: In and Out of the Kitchen Link Up Party
Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday
Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday


Brown Sugar Toffee Cheesecake Bars

Shortbread Crust
3/4 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar, I like dark
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Cheesecake Filling
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup toffee bits (Bits O' Brickle)
1/4 cup caramel sauce, I used a good ice cream topper

Preheat oven to 350°

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add in vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour, mixing until blended. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 14-17 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While crust is baking beat together cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla, until smooth. With mixer on low, add in eggs and beat until evenly combined. Stir in toffee bits; pour over baked crust and spread evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely; refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When serving, drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle on additional toffee bits, if desired.


March 1, 2013

Chicken & Black Bean Burritos with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

This is a super simple way to make some awesome burritos. 


Takes just minutes to make and is a great way to use up left over chicken. 
I used some rotisserie chicken I had on hand.


The secret to the delicious flavor is the buttermilk. Not kidding, so don't leave this out or substitute. If you don't have any on hand just make your own by adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to a little milk and let it sit for a few minutes until slightly thickened.


I love the salsa. It's a great combination of sweet and heat with a little tang.


 It was perfect with the creaminess of the filling, but if your not a fan, you could just as 
easily serve the burrito with picante sauce or whatever trips your trigger.
  

Simple and delicious!

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday



Pin It


Chicken & Black Bean Burrito with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

1 tbsp olive oil, plus
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp adobo
Salt and Pepper
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fire roasted tomatoes, drained
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 flour tortillas

Salsa
1 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 avocado, or more to taste
1/4 cup onion, fine chop
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley or cilantro, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of cumin
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne

Make the salsa first: Cut pineapple and avocado into small pieces and place in a bowl. Gently stir in rest of ingredients and refrigerate until needed.

For the filling: Heat oil in a large skillet; sauté onion, garlic and pepper flakes for 2-3 minutes. Stir in cumin, adobo and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken, beans, cheeses and buttermilk stirring until well combined and cheese is melted.

Roll tortillas filled with chicken mixture tucking in ends; brown on all sides in a hot skillet with a little bit of oil.

Serve with salsa or toppings of your choice.