Friday, June 17, 2011

Sausage, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 (12oz) pkg jumbo pasta shells (about 36)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
1 (9oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (32oz) jar tomato sauce

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta shells and cook according to package directions. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

2. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat; add onion and cook until softened. about 5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat.

3. Beat egg lightly in a large bowl; stir in ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper and the cooled sausage mixture until blended. Fill pasta shells with mixture.

4. heat oven to 350. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 3qt baking dish. Arrange stuffed shells in dish. Spread remaining tomato sauce over pasta shells. Cover dish with foil; bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes longer.

Serves 8.


Tuscan Pesto Chicken Simmer

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb), cut into bite-sized pieces
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup shredded Italian Five Cheese blend

1. Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cover. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until done. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

2. Add cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, covered, on medium heat until tomatoes are heated through & beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.

3. Return chicken to skillet. Cook and stir 1 minute or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese just before serving.

Serves 4.


Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas

cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium scallions, chopped
2 medium zucchinis, grated
salt and pepper
1.5 cups grated Mexican blend cheese
4 large tortillas

1 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder (to taste)
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup broth
salt and pepper

1. For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chile, chili powder, cumin, broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

2. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 400.

3. In a medium nonstick skillet, sauté garlic and scallions in olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes; add zucchini, salt and pepper to taste and cook about 4-5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cheese; mix well.

5. Divide zucchini between in each tortilla, roll and place seam side down in baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce (you might not use all) and remaining cheese and bake until hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

6. Serve with sour cream if you wish.

Serves 4.


Sweet Corn Quesadillas

8 small (or fajita-style) tortillas
2 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups (6oz) grated Monterey Jack
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups corn kernels (fresh, or frozen and thawed)
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
sour cream and salsa (optional)

1. Heat oven to 400.

2. Brush one side of each tortilla with the oil. Turn the tortillas over and top half with the Monterey Jack, onion, corn, jalapenos, and cilantro. Sandwich with the remaining tortillas, oiled-side up.

3. Working in batches, if necessary, transfer the quesadillas to a foil-lined tray. Bake, turning once, until the cheese melts, 6-8 minutes total. Serve with the sour cream and salsa (if using).

Serves 4.


Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

12 oz dried short pasta (bowties, penne, gemelli, etc)
4 chicken breast cutlets (1.25-1.50 lbs total)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, chopped, about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine or stock
10 oz of fresh spinach, washed, long stems removed and chopped
black pepper
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup (or more, if desired) pesto

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dried pasta and cook according to package directions.

2. While preparing the pasta, cook the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the chicken cutlets on both sides over medium-high heat. They don't need to be cooked all the way through, just browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onions cook, slice the chicken into strips. Put any pieces that are cooked all the way through in one pile, and put the ones that still need a little cooking in another pile.

4. When the onions are just beginning to brown, add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the white wine or stock and boil vigorously until the liquid is reduced by half.

5. Add the spinach and the undercooked pieces of chicken to the pan. Using tongs, turn them over to coat them with the juices in the pan. Continue to cook, turning and stirring often, until the spinach is wilted and the chicken cooked through, about 2 minutes.

6. Turn off the heat and add some black pepper, the pile of cooked chicken pieces and the pesto. Stir to combine. Drain the pasta put it in a large bowl. Add the cream to the saute pan and stir well to combine. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl with the pasta and mix well. Serve at once.

Serves 6.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chilled Tomato Basil Soup

5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 (11oz) can vegetable cocktail juice
1 cup tomato juice
1 (14oz) can ready-to-use chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp white pepper
15 basil leaves, julienned
1 tomato, chopped
6 whole basil leaves

1. In food processor, place tomatoes and cocktail juice; process until smooth. Place in glass bowl and add tomato juice and chicken broth; stir well and refrigerate.

2. In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into tomato mixture.

3. Stir in cream, pepper and julienned basil. Chill soup for 2-3 hours before serving. Garnish with more basil and chopped tomato.

Serves 4-6


About This Blog

I find recipes everywhere. Online. In magazines. In cookbooks. On the back of boxes. After a while, it got difficult to remember where I found (or stashed) a particular recipe when I wanted to make it a second time. With the goal of wrangling them all in one coherent location that was easy to find and navigate--along with multiple requests from friends for this recipe or that one--this blog was born.

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