Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Squash Rice Quiche

I made some Korean tacos recently and made a boatload of rice.  Trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers, I started thinking about arancini (Italian fried rice) and decided to try and turn this rice into a crust of sorts for a summer dinner quiche.  Don't let the word "quiche" fool you here, this is not a heavy dinner by any means.  It is perfect with a simple salad and glass of white wine.  This is summer in a pan!


2 1/2 cups cooked and chilled white rice
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 lb summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash)
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter or spray a springform pan (or other cake pan).
2. Combine 2 1/2 cups plain cooked rice with 1/4 cup melted butter.  Place in pan and evenly compact.
3. Beat 2 eggs.  Add thyme, salt/pepper, onion and stir to incorporate.
4. Pour egg mixture over the rice.
5. Thinly slice squash and place evenly across the top of the egg and rice mixture.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
6. Put in the oven and cook about 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Remove and sprinkle goat cheese on top and put under the broiler another 5-10 minutes until goat cheese is nice and browned.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Strawberry Pineapple Vodka Cake

I've officially crowed this cake the top sweet of the summer!  I needed a simple and delicious cake to bring to a weekend gettaway with friends and the only thing I had on hand were strawberries, pineapple and vodka (like that is really a problem?).  I wanted to make a cake that would accentuate all of the flavors and this cake really fits the bill.  A nice caramel sauce with the fruit and vodka is pretty much heaven!  I modified the cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and here is the final product!  You will want to make this in a spring form pan so you can easily flip the cake (since it is baked upside down after all).  Word to the wise, put the cake pan on a cookie sheet or another pan because some of the liquid will drip out and you don't want caramel sauce getting on your oven coils.


3/4 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 can 16 oz pineapple chunks, 1/2 cup juices reserved and set aside
1 pint strawberries, tops removed and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 stick butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup vodka

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray the cake pan and arrange cut fruit on the bottom.  Set aside for now.
2. Place 3/4 stick of butter in a small pan on the stove.  Watch it carefully and when melted, add the brown sugar.  Stir well and let cook about 5 minutes, until starting to bubble.  When bubbling, remove from heat and carefully pour over fruit in the cake pan.  Immediately put the pan you used to make caramel sauce in the sink and add hot water to prevent caramel from sticking to the pan and ruining it.
3. Combine dry ingredients and mix well in a bowl.
4. Beat remaining 3/4 stick of butter 2-3 minutes in a separate bowl.
5. Add sugar and beat with butter another 2-3 minutes.
6. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.
7. Add vanilla and vodka and beat until incorporated.
8. Slowly add flour to liquid mixture, beating until incorporated (generally about 1/4 to 1/3 of the mixture at a time).
9. Pour cake batter slowly over the fruit and caramel mixture, using a spatula if necessary to spread the cake.
10. Place the springform on a cookie sheet and put in the preheated oven.  Cook about 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
11. Be careful when you remove the cake from the oven that you let it cool down before handling.  The caramel is extremely hot!
12. Remove the springform from around the cake, place a plat on top and carefully flip the cake so the fruit is on the top.  Carefully remove the springform bottom plate and rearrange any fruit that has moved.
13. Serve warm with ice cream!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goat Cheese and Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

I've never made a stuffed mushroom recipe before and it was surprisingly easy.  I don't know what I was so worried about (maybe removing the stem from the cap?).  These are a great meat free alternative in a tapas style dinner.  Served with cheese, good bread and olives you have a really special dinner that isn't too heavy on a summer night.  I can imagine endless possibilities with different fillings, so if you don't have exactly what is in this recipe, use whatever you have on hand.


16 cremini mushroom caps, stems removed
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 basil leaves thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a cookie sheet.
2. Place mushroom caps on the cookie sheet with the stem side facing up.
3. Combine bread crumbs, goat cheese, salt, pepper, basil, garlic and sun dried tomatoes in a bowl and mix until goat cheese is well incorporated
4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the mixture and stir to combine again
5. Using clean hands, stuff each mushroom cap with an equal amount mixture.  Don't be afraid to overstuff as it will look nice to have the filling browned on top in the oven.
6. Place in the oven and cook about 18 minutes until tops are golden brown and mixture is heated through.
7. Serve (devour!) immediately

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shrimp Tacos + Radish Salsa

This recipe might sound really strange but it is probably one of the best meals I have made at home EVER.  Yes, EVER.  David said he had no words to describe the flavor combination other than it would be a $17 taco at a restaurant.  If you are not a shrimp fan, you can substitute in one pound of flat iron steak and pinto beans instead of garbanzos.  Go make this now, or at least make the salsa and satisfy your curiosity.  Serving with our homemade tortillas is required :) .


1 bunch radishes finely diced
2 tablespoons parsley
1 garlic clove
4 scallions
Juice of 1 lime
olive oil

Shrimp Topping

1/2 pound medium size shrimp
2 cups corn kernels
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
olive oil
 Juice of 1 lime

1. Prepare tortilla dough first.   It needs to sit for at least an hour so make sure you have that well on it's way.
2. Prepare salsa next.  Finely chop radishes, parsley, garlic and scallions and add to the same bowl.  Dress with lime juice, olive oil and taste to make sure you have a solid lime flavor.  Finally, salt and pepper to taste.  Set in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Preheat the oven to the broiler setting.
4. Combine shrimp, corn and garbanzo beans in a small mixing bowl.
5. Combine curry, cumin, chili powders with salt and pepper in a small ramekin or small bowl.
6. Evenly toss spice mixture on the shrimp mixture until evenly coated.
7. Give a generous drizzle of olive oil and lime juice over the shrimp mixture and toss to coat.
8. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and cook in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until corn starts to carmalize and shrimp are cooked but not overdone.
9. Remove from the oven and let sit a minute or two.
10. Serve with salsa and sour cream on homemade tortillas!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fava Bean and Ricotta Bruschetta

I really love simple and delicious food (clearly that isn't obvious from the fact I talk about it all the time).  But really, there is nothing more satisfying than experimenting with fresh, wholesome ingredients in the kitchen and discovering delights such as fava bean and ricotta bruschetta (you know, brusketta!)  The best way to take this recipe to the next level is to use this homemade ricotta cheese recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  The rest comes together quite easily.

Ingredients for 24 bruschetta

1 lb fava beans
1 baguetta
2 cups ricotta cheese
olive oil

1. Heat a large pot of salted water on medium high heat, when boiling add fava beans and set timer for 3 1/2 minutes.
2.  Immediately remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, put veggies into a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for 2 minutes3. Next you need to shell the fava beans.  They should be in a long pod and to open you can carefully cut a slit in the bean with a small knife4. Remove the beans from the pod and set aside and discard the pods5. When you have accumulated the beans, now you have to squeeze out the actual bean from within this outer layer.  Once you try this you will know exactly what I'm referring too.  Be careful as these are slippery and can easily fall down the drain!6. Set the beans in a dish and discard the husks
7. Everything up until this point can be made and stored until you are ready to serve.
8. Thinly slice your favorite baguette into bite size (or 2 bite size) rounds.
9. Spoon a tiny bit of ricotta on each baguette and then sprinkle with fava beans
10. Drizzle the plate with olive oil and then top with a bit of salt and pepper

11. Serve with a delicious and crisp Sauvignon blanc!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ginger Cilantro Meatballs

The best thing about meatballs is how versatile and easily modified they can be for any occasion.  A true favorite in our household is Swedish Meatballs and recently we posted about Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs.  Here I took some Asian inspired ingredients to create a meatball perfect to serve with rice.  Probably the most unique flavor in here is the use of pickled ginger instead of fresh ginger, but if can't find it, then regular ginger will do.  These can also be served as individual appetizers for a football game or other group get together.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for 24 medium meatballs

3 tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lb ground beef or pork (or even chicken!)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Prepare the inclusions first.  Chop ginger, garlic, onion and set in a bowl.
2. Remove cilantro from stems and finely chop and add to mixture.
3. Crack egg into bowl and add panko, meat, soy sauce and sesame oil.
4. Finally salt/pepper ingredients to your normal "taste".
5. Set a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper out before you start forming the balls
6. Use clean hands to mix all the ingredients together, really incorporating it all.
7. Shape meatballs to desired shape, but I go for about 2 inches diameter
8. Place on cookie sheet
9. You can either bake them in the oven at 425 until they are browned and cooked through (about 30 minutes) or pan fry them (about 20 minutes).  The choice is up to you, I think it really depends on what kind of dishes you want to do that night.
10. Serve with rice and simple salad.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

My farm share with Tahoma Farms is starting to send me some serious produce, this past week it was a pint of fresh local strawberries!  I've wanted to try making Panna Cotta for a while now (thanks April) so I finally made a batch mixing two recipes (one from Giada and the other from Honest Cooking).  It's a fairly easy dessert so I would definitely recommend this recipe next time you have a dinner party!  This would be fun a bridal shower or brunch too.  Add some blueberries and you could use this for July 4th celebrations!

Ingredients for 4 servings

1 cup milk (whatever you prefer, but stay away from non-fat)
1 packet Knox plain gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pint strawberries rinsed and thinly sliced

1.  Pour milk into a bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top.  Let stand five minutes.
2.  Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat.  Add milk and gelatin mixture and stir to incorporate.  About 5 minutes.
3.  Add cream, sugar, vanilla extract and stir until incorporated (about 2-3 minutes)
4.  Remove from heat and pour into fancy glasses or even ramekins
5.  Let set in the fridge about 4-5 hours until "jello" like
6.  Remove and top with fresh sliced strawberries