Thursday, July 29, 2010

Penne Rosa

We love pasta at our house, if you couldn't tell. We also love zucchini. It's a good thing they go together so well! This is a good light, cream sauce with fresh tomatoes and zucchini. I love Summer produce. This was a family hit that seemed to please both the white sauce and red sauce lovers in our house. It would have been even better with shrimp or chicken but I didn't have any so I served it without.

1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
3-4 small, ripe tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped (roll up leaves tightly and slice)
1/2 pound penne
1/2 cup to 1 cup cream
olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add zucchini and tomatoes, pepper and salt. Let simmer for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to bleed and thicken. Add garlic and basil to soften but careful not to burn. Add the cream and simmer over low heat until sauce is as thick as you would like. Combine sauce with pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet and Sour Kielbasa

I've been trying to use my slow cooker once a week to conserve energy and keep the heat out of the kitchen. I came across this recipe and thought it had potential. You never know with sweet and sour sauces, everyone has their own style they prefer. This is a great family friendly meal. It's a ketchup based sauce so it's more like a meatball sauce than an Asian sauce. However, we gobbled it all up and there wasn't any left! It would be great for a party but you would have to triple the recipe. It's a perfect size for a young family. Enjoy!

3 TBS butter
1 white or yellow onion, sliced
1 cup packed brown sugar
14 oz. ketchup
3 TBS cider vinegar
1 long squirt of spicy brown mustard
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
A shake of hot sauce (or more if you prefer)
1 lb. turkey kielbasa, cut into 1 in. pieces
slow cooker bag (to make life easy)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Stir in brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put slow cooker bag in crock. Place sausage in slow cooker and top with sauce/onion mix. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. The longer it simmers, the better it is. Great with steamed rice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

I ran across this recipe on another food blog and thought it would be great for our family. And oh my gosh, we LOVED it! I love the BBQ Chicken pizza from Papa John's and this tasted just like it. It's quick and easy, especially if you have left over chicken. I used fresh pineapple but I don't think canned pineapple or frozen, pre-cooked chicken would compromise the flavor at all. Quick, easy and scrumptious, yum!

4-6 tortillas
1-2 grilled chicken breasts
grilled pineapple rings
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's and it's perfect for this dish)

I made two quesadilla's with 1 chicken breast and fed 3 people so judge accordingly. I grilled the chicken and the pineapple on my indoor grill after I seasoned the chicken with a BBQ rub. Grill pineapple then chop into tidbits and slice chicken breast. Heat griddle or skillet. Place tortilla on griddle, top with sauce, cheese, chicken, pineapple, scallions and a little more cheese and sauce. Grill for a couple minutes on each side until cheese melts. Cut intowedges and serve warm.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Independence Day. We started celebrating Friday night and didn't stop until Monday! I had a lot of wonderful food over the weekend but nothing new to share. I haven't made many new recipes lately so I thought I'd post an old favorite that we recently had. Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes. It's my standby dish that I order frequently at restaurants. This is my favorite version of it and my entire family loves it too. I'm not sure if there is any valuable nutrients left in the eggplant after you fry it, but it still feels good that my kids love it too!

1 large eggplant or 2 small
Texas Toast brand seasoned croutons
couple shakes of basil, salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten
olive oil or canola oil for frying
1-2 cups pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Put 1/2 pkg of the croutons into food processor/blender and pulse until they look like breadcrumbs. Peel skin from eggplant, slice horizontally into disks. Combine basil, salt and pepper with breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Beat eggs in small bowl. Dip eggplant into egg and dredge into breadcrumbs. Fry in oil until crisp. Place in 9x13 casserole dish. Layer eggplant if needed, top with sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy!!
Serves 6.