• Appetizers,  Entrees,  Recipes

    Squash blossoms, part 2: Squash blossom quesadilla

    After squash blossom experiment part 1, I had some unsused blossoms and thought I’d try Paula’s quesadilla idea. Here we go: Squash Blossom, Onion and Orange Bell Pepper Quesadilla You’ll need: 2 large tortillas about 1 cup of mexican cheese (I buy the blended, packaged kind from the store) 6 or 7 squash blossoms 1/4 of 1 chopped yellow onion 1/2 of 1 chopped orange bell pepper (green or red would work fine also) 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil First, cook your bell pepper, garlic and onion in olive oil until they are soft. This takes a while so I add water to…

  • Entrees,  Recipes

    Herb Gnocchi with Lemon Thyme Chicken

    I have yet to make fresh pasta, for lack of this KitchenAid Mixer pasta attachment, but I thought I’d try making some gnocchi. My Essential Pasta Cookbook has the basic gnocchi recipe, and I made a few adjustments. Herb Gnocchi with Pesto Parmesan Sauce You’ll need: 2 large potatoes (about 1 lb)—use old potatoes—supposedly these are more starchy and make for better gnocchi. I let mine sit for about 4 days. about a cup of flour 3 tablespoons chives 3 tablespoons basil teaspoon of salt 1 egg yolk Pesto Sauce 2-3 tablespoons pesto 1-2 tablespoons melted butter 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese fresh ground pepper First, cook your potatoes (I…

  • Entrees

    Crispy pizza crust: part two

    I applied the rolling-pin approach to my leftover pizza dough today. It’s definitely the way to go for a thin, crispy crust. I used my great old-fashioned wooden rolling pin. None of that silicone crap. I cooked the crust first, as with before, and poked a few holes in the dough with a toothpick to prevent the giant balloon effect that I got before. Worked like a charm. Then I topped it with pesto, minced garlic, some of my leftover fried eggplant, a tiny bit of shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan. I popped it under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Then I sprinkled it with…

  • Entrees,  Recipes,  Sandwiches

    Mystery ingredient revealed

    Time to reveal the mystery ingredient: Ta-da! It’s Eggplant! And this concoction is an eggplant parmesan panini. I haven’t had eggplant parmesan in a very long time. Perhaps because I tried to make fried eggplant a few years back and it was awful. I blame a bad eggplant. This beauty, on the other hand, can do no wrong. Aren’t eggplants funny? Dense and spongy, almost like a nerf ball. Cutting into them is so much fun. I digress. Anyway, I saw this one in the grocery store and thought, what the hell, Eggplant Experimentation Round II, here we go. Not sure what I did differently, but these fried eggplant slices…

  • Entrees,  Sandwiches

    Mystery Panini

    This mouth-watering panini has a secret. It’s harboring a cleverly disguised, rogue vegetable. Dave wouldn’t eat this sandwich if he knew what was nestled between it crispy exterior. Can you guess the sneaky ingredient? I’ll tell you after Dave takes his first bite.

  • Entrees,  Recipes

    Heaven on Crust: prosciutto, arugula and parmesan pizza

    This, my friends, is pizza the way it was meant to be: I first tried this delicious combination in a small trattoria in Turino Italy. The crust was thin, crispy and warm. The flavors and textures of the uncooked toppings mixed PERFECTLY together: paper-thin slices of rich, salty prosciutto, generous shavings of parmigiano-reggiano, crisp, peppery arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. If I’m ever lucky enough to see a similar menu item stateside, I plead with my fellow diners to split it with me. Most people aren’t into it. Maybe the arugula and prosciutto turns them off. Or the fact that this isn’t anything close to…

  • Entrees,  Recipes

    Recipe relations: pupusas and corn cakes with shredded chicken

    Per my post about smart shopping, here are two great recipes that are very closely related, yet pleasantly unique. We’ll start with the pupusas, but first a background story. It’s quick, I promise. When I worked at the ad agency, we had several clients in the food industry, and one particular client that did amazing work in flavor and ingredient manufacturing. I was a PR account manager and copywriter on this account, which required me to subscribe to and read loads of fabulous food trade publications. Picture Bon Appetite for restauranteurs and food product formulators. One particular article I discreetly ripped from our agency’s copy of Flavor & The Menu has…