Love a good caprese, but mozzarella got you down? Simply layer goat milk yogurt in between each slice of tomato for a creamy (but not overpowering) substitute. Finish with olive oil, fresh basil and salt & pepper to taste.
Here’s a great way to get a takeout-like Thai soup, using leftover pulled pork.
Start by adding pork to a sauce pan over medium; cook meat until it’s warm but don’t let it over cook. Add a quart of broth and bring to a simmer. Add noodles, fish sauce, basil and mint; cook until desired consistency. Enjoy!
So it’s been awhile. I lived out of a suitcase for the better part of April, May and June. But I’ve settled into my new neighborhood (and new kitchen), and I’m ready to get back to business.
Lets start with some Midtown Farmer’s Market inspired meals. This chèvre from Jollity Farms is creamy and mild, unlike its tangier counterparts. It made a delicious topping for peaches and basil, and provided a fresher take on your average cheese and cracker combo.
Then there’s the Pasta Queen. She ruled July in my house. I served up “Goat Cheese & Garlic in Roasted Garlic Pasta Ravioli” on my porch (Mom’s idea) with pear tomatoes. And then this week, David and I dined on a divine truffle and mushroom ravioli served with heirloom tomatoes and mixed greens.
The Pasta Queen reigns! But in case you don’t come across her majesty, a simple angel hair with pear tomatoes and fresh basil is also delightful. Or fettuccine with rosemary/olive oil-tossed heirloom tomatoes and Parmesan. Buon appetito!
The juxtaposition of savory protein and fresh greens elevates sandwiches to other worldly status in my opinion. The decadent Bahn Mi is case in point. I translated this concept for dinner two ways:
Desperate times call for desperate measures. In the midst of a move, the last thing you want to do is buy more stuff to pack – including groceries. So I had to get a little creative and make sure to use fresh ingredients before they expired…
First “cleaning out the fridge” concept:
Caprese Chicken Breasts – I broiled frozen (nearly thawed) chicken breasts in the oven, and then topped them with a spoonful of ricotta, fresh basil and tomato slices. Rice served on the side was a nice way to scoop up the oozing cheese and basil.
Next concept for “we’ve moved but don’t have any groceries yet:”
Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Squash – I combined ground turkey with bread crumbs, fresh parmesan, salt and pepper. I roasted the meatballs in the oven along with sliced summer squash that had been coated in olive oil and sprinkled with thyme. Despite my foil “barrier,” the juices from the squash may have added a nice dose of moisture to the meatballs. Either way, the results were quite tasty served with rice. Thyme was one of the first herbs I learned to cook with, and it’s a key ingredient in herbes de provence. For those two reasons, it’s nostalgic and quite pleasing to the senses.
Last but not least, the “I need to use this milk before it expires” concept:
Milk-Braised Pork Tenderloin – After searching far and wide, I found a recipe on my iPad for “Pork Roast Braised with Milk and Fresh Herbs” from Epicurious, but took a few creative liberties. I used a pork tenderloin, which cooked in about half the time. Also, I used 1% milk, and I didn’t have juniper berries or any of the herbs, except for bay leaves. Even with all the shortcomings, it turned out delicious! I can’t really put my finger on the flavor of the meat and “gravy” but it was a little sweet, slightly caramelized and rich in a good way. I think this particular recipe beats out the first one I tried last year.
Last time I wrote we didn’t have enough veggies, but a plethora of bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and beets arrived Wednesday with our Capay delivery. So, this morning we made a healthy veggie scramble:
- Start by sauteeing the (sliced or chopped) bell peppers in olive oil; set aside in foil to keep warm and tender
- Prepare the scrambled eggs (I used about 8 eggs total for two of us); then add the bell peppers and stir
- Add fresh, chopped basil and stir; serve scramble with fresh, ground pepper
No cheese, you say? You won’t even realize it’s missing.
With a limited supply of vegetables, I wasn’t quite sure what to put in tonight’s pasta. Starting with Hodgson Mill‘s flax seed fettuccini, I decide to experiment with a combination of canned tuna and white beans for a protein-packed “pesto” of sorts.
While boiling the pasta, I cooked the tuna and beans (plus generous amount of olive oil) in a separate sauce pan over medium heat. I added fresh, chopped basil and mixed the “pesto” with the noodles, and then served each plate with fresh parmesan.
Surprisingly, it turned out delicious – and was as filling as a heavy cream sauce without all the fat. I recommend trying it when your down to the most basic canned goods. Plus, your brain will appreciate the extra dose of Omega’s from the flax and tuna!
Easy soup from scratch – I boiled leftover (frozen) chicken broth from all those nights of boiling chicken. To the simmering broth I added white beans from the can, chopped onions, Parmesan, and fresh basil.
David suggested adding scrambled eggs and we poured the combo over white rice. Call it recession recipe, or simply a lack of groceries, but it was healthy and hearty!
To accompany our first tomato, I made breakfast sandwiches with a Tuscan slant. First I sauteed onions in butter, then poured in the egg batter to make a scramble – which I topped with fresh ground pepper and basil. I toasted sourdough, added shaved Parmesan to the scramble and sliced the tomato, which was still warm under the Mountain View sun! 😉