Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pasta with Cauliflower and Capers

I recently shared with you that I really
enjoy the recipes on the Williams - Sonoma
website. I find that the recipes call for
practical ingredients and turn out very good.
Here is one that I have made twice already
because I think it is very unique and delicious!
Pasta with Cauliflower and Capers
1/2 lb. penne pasta
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. chili flakes, or to taste
1 head cauliflower, about 3/4 lb., cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs. capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook according to the package
instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bite).
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat,
melt the butter until it is just starting to brown.
Add the olive oil, then the onion and garlic.
Cook until the onion is beginning to caramelize,
about 7 minutes. Add the chili flakes and cauliflower
and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and
cook until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 7 minutes more,
adding more cooking water if needed.
Add the pasta to the sauté pan and stir in the
capers, cheese, parsley and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately

This wonderful dish is being entered in Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights
event which is being hosted by Abby at Eat the Right Stuff.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caramelized Onion and Potato Quiche

About once every two months my husband and I
get to the end of the week and look in the
refrigerator and think ~ Well, we should go
grocery shopping but .... we still have some food.
And what I mean by some is odds and ends but
not really anything to make great dinners.
Even though we know it might be difficult we don't
shop that week and we call it "inventory reduction"
~ which means there needs to be some creativity
with the odds and ends that are available.
I found some onions, that is a good start.
I have eggs and milk.
And when I looked in the bottom drawer of
the refrigerator I found a few potatoes.
That sounds like Quiche to me!
Caramelized Onion and Potato Quiche
6 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions,
6 medium eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 yellow potatoes
cheese, your choice
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 pie crust

Saute onions in butter on medium-to-low heat
until caramelized (about 30 minutes).
Add potatoes to pan.
Cook and stir until potatoes are tender.
Set aside.
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper
and oregano until creamy.
Stir in cheese and then the onion/potato mixture.
Pour into pie crust
Bake on cookie sheet for about 30- 40 minutes at 375
Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

I really enjoyed this dinner.

The photo shows what happens when you are

so hungry you don't let the quiche cool ~ oops.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Leeks with Dijon Vinaigrette

Let me introduce you to my friend the "leek" .

Leeks with Dijon Vinaigrette

6 medium leeks
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for salting water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves,

Make the vinaigrette while the leeks cook.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously.

Trim the root end of the leeks,
leaving enough to hold the leaves together,
and halves lengthwise.

Rinse very well under running water
to flush out any grit trapped between the leaves.
Add the leeks to the boiling water
and cook until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
Drain and pat dry and lay them on a serving platter.

Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, mustard, water,
and the 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil,
starting with a few drops and then adding
rest in a steady stream to make a smooth,
slightly thick dressing.
Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over leeks,
turn them to coat, and scatter the parsley
and the tarragon.

Serve immediately or up to
2 hours later at room temperature.

This delightful side dish is being submitted to Kalyn of

Weekend Herb Blogging Event that is being sponsored

by Srivalli of Cooking 4 all Seasons.

More information about "the leek"

The following information about "leeks" was found on
the University of Wisconsin Urban Horticulture Website

Leeks (allium porrum) sometimes called "the
gourmet's onion" are related to onions and garlic,

but have flat leaves instead of tubular and
relatively little bulb development.

They're easy to grow and delicious,
with a taste all their own, very much like a mild onion.
The thick leaf bases and slightly developed bulb look
like a giant green onion, and are
eaten as a cooked vegetable.

Cooking tips for "the leek"


When cooking leeks as a side dish,

it is important they not be overcooked.

Overcooking will turn them into a slimy,

unappetizing pile of mush.

They should be cooked until tender

but still exert a little resistance when pierced.

The dark green trimmed leaves may be used

to flavor stock or blanched and used as a wrapper

for any variety of fillings.

In general, leeks can be substituted for

onions in most dishes using onions for flavoring.

Unless you use a very mild sweet onion

or perhaps green onions, substituting onions for leeks

will result in a much stronger flavor which

might be detrimental to the intent of the original dish.

** Leeks can be used in so many recipes:

Potato Leek Soup
Caramelized Leeks
Mushroom and Leek Rice
Sweet Potato and Leek Gratin

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Easy Favorite

This week I read through my own blog
to find a few easy recipes I could make
since it was the first week of school and
I just knew I would be tired each night.

I really enjoyed the Greek Stuffed Peppers
I made back in August last year ~

so I tried them again.
I was actually very pleased with them
and their flavors. Especially with the sausage
I found at the market which was Feta and
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage.

The mixture for the stuffing is cooked: spinach,

zuchini, onion, orzo, sausage and then feta cheese and

some oregano. ( You can click on the link
above for the whole recipe).

Stuff the peppers with the mixture and then

top with one can diced tomato and a little more feta.

They turned out wonderful

This is a great dish to make ahead of time and then just bake.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Eating out for Breakfast

This was a perfect Sunday morning to go out to breakfast.
The weather was cool and we went to one of our favorite
breakfast spots, Radial, and sat outside on the porch.
My husband ordered the Raspberry Vanilla French Toast
and my stomach did a leap for joy when I read
their Sunday special, The Mexican Chocolate Waffle.
The food was excellent and the service was great.
Our waitress was delightful and we enjoyed the
morning sipping coffee, eating good food and chatting.

As you can cleary see we enjoyed our breakfast!

Radial is definately a place that will make you happy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eggplant Lasagna with Cheese Sauce

I took trip down memory lane today and looked through

the cookbooks my Grandma gave me over 10 years ago.

They are the "Look&Cook" books by Anne Willan.

I love this collection of books because each recipe

walks you through a series of steps so that you are sure

to create a wonderful meal if you follow the directions.

These cookbooks still contain some of my favorite dishes

like: Straw Hay Pasta, Hunters Chicken and Lasagna Roll-Ups.

This time through I looked for recipes I haven't made yet

or ones that I haven't made in a really long time.

Here is what I selected this time around:
Eggplant Lasagna with Cheese Sauce

By Ann Willan


2 medium eggplants

vegetable oil

1lb tomatoes

1/2 lb mozarella cheese

Cheese Sauce:

1 quart milk

6tbsp butter

1/3 flour

ground nutmeg

salt & pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan

* Lasagna Noodles

* Deep Casserole dish


Prepare the Lasagna noodles according

to directions on box.

Preparing the filling.

1. Trim ends from the eggplants and cut them into

1/4 inch slices. Put slices in colander and sprinkle

generously with salt. Let stand 30 minutes to

draw out the bitter juices.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the eggplant

slices with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Oil the baking sheets. Spread out the eggplant slices

on the sheets and brush them with oil.

4. Bake them in the oven until tender turning once,

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Make the Cheese Sauce:

1. Scald the milk in a medium saucepan.

2. Melt the butter in another saucepan

over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook

until foaming, 1-2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and whisk in the hot milk.

Return to the heat and cook, whisking constantly,

until the sauce boils and thickens. Season with

a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper and then

simmer two minutes.

4. Remove sauce from the heat and stir in

three-quarters of the Parmesan cheese,

reserving the rest for sprinkling.


1. Butter the baking dish. Ladle a layer of

cheese sauce into the baking dish to cover

the bottom.

2. Cover with a layer of lasagna rectangles

and arrange half of the eggplant slices on top.

3. Ladle another layer of cheese sauce over

the eggplant slices. Cover with lasagna noodles.

4. Arrange half of the mozzarella on top, then

half of the tomato slices.

5. Cover with another layer of lasagna rectangles.

Continue with another layer of eggplant,

then cheese sauce, then noodles, and then another

layer of mozzarella and tomato slices. Ending

with a generous layer of cheese sauce.

6. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake the lasagna in the heated 350 F oven

for about 30-45 minutes until bubbling and brown.

This is one great Lasagna and perfect for the

vegetarians out there!!
I am submitting this recipe to Ruth of
wonderful event Presto Pasta Nights
hosted by Michelle of the Greedy Gourmet this week.