Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cheese Fondue

It is hard to go wrong with a good cheese fondue and this is surely a good one.
Cheese Fondue

From: The Sisters Cafe

2 cups swiss cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack, shredded
2 cups chicken broth, separated
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbs. cornstarch
dash of pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
french bread, cubed
any other desired items for dipping

Melt swiss and monterey jack cheeses in 1 3/4 cups chicken broth with garlic added.  Keep broth barely under a boil, stirring until cheese in completely melted (it will be stringy).

Combine cornstarch, pepper, salt, nutmeg and worcestershire sauce in 1/4 cup chicken broth.  Add to cheese mixture, stirring until smooth.  Put fondue mixture into a preheated fondue pot and keep at temperature hot enough to maintain desired texture without scorching.

Cut french bread into bite-sized chunks.  Prepare any other desired items for dipping.  Dip into fondue!

Asparagus with Blue Cheese

Asparagus and Blue Cheese = Genius!
Asparagus with Blue Cheese

From: You Got Served

1 lb. asparagus
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. chives, minced
4 Tbs. blue cheese, crumbled
freshly ground white pepper

Cut tough ends off of asparagus.  Fill a medium skillet with 1" of water and bring to a boil.  Add asparagus in a single layer and cook until tender.  Drain well and arrange on a serving plate.  Stir together vinegar and oil in a small bowl.  Add blue cheese and chives and mix well.  Pour over the hot asparagus.  Season to taste with white pepper.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Zucchini Cakes

These were fantastic! Everything about them rocked!
Zucchini Cakes

From: The Pioneer Woman

1 large zucchini
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
1/2-3/4 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup 4-cheese Italian blend (or Parmesan or Romano cheese)
2 eggs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil

Wash and cut the end off of one large zucchini.  Shred it using a large hole cheese grater.  Squeeze the shredded zucchini inside of a clean towel (I use cheesecloth) until you've removed as much liquid as possible.

Place shredded zucchini into a medium sized bowl.  Add minced garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Stir with a fork until well mixed.

Heat about 1/4" of olive oil in bottom of a deep skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot enough, drop a glob of zucchini batter into the skillet and flatten it a bit.  After about two minutes, turn the cakes over (they should be golden brown on bottom) and cook on the other side until done, about another 2-3 minutes.

Serve with the dipping sauc of your choice.

BBQ Shredded Chicken and Caramelized Red Onion Ranch Spaghetti

BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Red Onion Ranch Spaghetti

From: Picky Palate

1 lb. thin spaghetti noodles
4 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 lg. red onion, fined diced
2 Tbs. ranch dressing mix
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Shredded BBQ Chicken
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
4 Tbs. worstershire sauce
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
4 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp. honey
Pinch of salt
2 lg. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

For BBQ Chicken: Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and stir in shredded chicken. Let simmer for a little while.

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.  Place olive oil into a large pot over medium heat.  Saute the red onions until softened and golden.  Add cooked spaghetti to onions; mix and add dry ranch dressing mix and cilantro leaves.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Place noodles onto serving plates and top with warm shredded BBQ chicken.  Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve. 

Vegetable Tian

Would you just look at all of those yummy veggies and cheese!
Vegetable Tian

From: Home Cooking Montana

1 lg. yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
unpeeled potatoes, slice in 1/4" thick rounds (I used red potatoes)
1 zucchini, slice in 1/4" thick rounds
1 yellow squash, slice in 1/4" thick rounds
2-3 roma tomatoes, slice in 1/4" thick rounds
kosher salt/pepper to taste
fresh thyme leaves, plus extra springs
gruyere cheese, grated (can use parmesan)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Brush a baking dish with olive oil.  In a medium saute pan, heat about 1-2 Tbs. of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat or until translucent.  It should take about 8-10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the oiled baking dish.

Layer them alternately on top of the onions.  Fit them tightly, making only 1 layer.  Sprinkle with some kosher salt and pepper.  Add some of the thyme leaves and a few thyme springs.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, about 1 Tbs. or so.  Cover the dish with foil.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs.  Sprinkle with some grated cheese.  Bake the Vegetable Tian for another 30 minutes or until browned.  Serve warm.

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzone

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzone

From: Taste Every Season

2 1/2 lbs. pizza dough (use your favorite recipe)
1 cup pesto
1 cup frozen artichokes, defrosted and roughly chopped (I just used canned)
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups mozzarella or fontina, shredded
olive oil for brushing

Heat the oven according to your pizza dough recipe.  Divide dough into eight equal pieces.  Gently reshape each piece of dough into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest if needed.

Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the other pieces covered, stretch and pull the dough into a 7-8" round.  Set it aside while your roll/stretch out another 3 pieces of dough. (work in groups of 4).

Spread 2 Tbs. pesto onto each round of dough, leaving about a 1" border around the edge.  Divide the toppings evenly between the eight dough rounds, forming a pile in the center of the bottom half of each dough round and leaving a 1" border uncovered.

Fold the top half of the dough over the filling-covered bottom half and with your fingertips, lightly press around the silhouette of the filling and out to the edge to lightly seal the dough shut.  Roll the bottom edge up over the top if needed to fully seal.

With a pastry brush, brush the tops and sides of the calzones with olive oil.  Carefully transfer the calzones to parchment paper covered cookie sheets.  Bake until the calzones are golden brown, about 11 minutes.  Remove the calzones from the parchment, cool 5 minutes, and serve.

Lemon Asparagus with Pine Nuts

We all, especially the kids, love asparagus 'round these parts, so I have a ton of asparagus recipes. This one is by far our favorite.
Lemon Asparagus with Pine Nuts

From: You Got Served

1 lb. fresh asparagus
3 Tbs. pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cut off tough ends of asparagus.  Remove scales from stalks with a knife or vegetable peeler, if desired. (I don't bother).  Place spears in a steaming rack over boiling water; cover and steam 4-5 minutes or until spears are crisp-tender.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Saute pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until browned.  Set aside.

Combine olive oil and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring with a wire whisk to blend.  Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.  Pour over asparagus.  Sprinkle with pine nuts.  Let stand until reaching room temperature before serving.  (I also like it hot.)

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

These were so so yummy. A Perfect fall side.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

From: You Got Served

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
4 oz. smoked bacon
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
2 Tbs. heavy cream
2 oz. gruyere cheese, finely grated, plus more for garnish
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet; bake until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 45 min.  Remove from oven; let cool slightly.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; place a wire rack inside.  Arrange bacon strips on rack and sprinkle with brown sugar.  cook until well glazed and crisp, 12-15 minutes.  remove from oven; let cool slightly and roughly chop.  Set aside.

Melt 1 Tbs. butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots; saute until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add rosemary and cook 1 minutes more.  Remove from heat, and set aside.  Slice each potato in half lengthwise.  Carefully scoop out flesh, leaving about a 1/4" border all around potato halves; place halves on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Place potato flesh in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add remaining 2 Tbs. butter, reserved shallot mixture, egg, cream and Gruyere.  Mix well until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place mixture into a baking dish.  Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven; garnish with Gruyere, rosemary and reserved bacon.

Layered Mexican Rice Bake

This is one of those hurry up and be done with dinner already recipes. Love it.
Layered Mexican Rice Bake

From: Picky Palate

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 med. white onion, finely chopped
1 Anaheim chili pepper, finely diced
1 1/2 cups sweet peppers, chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. garlic, minced
4 cups cooked rice
1 Tbs. cumin
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 can red kidney bean (or other bean of choice), drained (I used black beans)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and peppers for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Stir in cooked rice, season with cumin and reduce heat to low.  Transfer mixed rice to a 9x13" baking dish

Place chicken breast into a medium skillet over medium heat.  Season with garlic salt, ranch seasoning and salsa; mix and reduce heat to low.  Pour corn over rice.  Next layer the beans, cilantro, chicken and top with cheese.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with hot sauce if desired.

Beef and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Beef and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

From: The Duo Dishes

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1lb. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. red onion, diced
1med eggplant, diced
1 1/2 cups small mixed heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. ground paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1tsp. chili powder
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
8 med. mixed bell peppers, tops, seeds and ribs removed
Grape seed oil

Swirl a bit of the oil in a deep, large pan.  Once hot enough, add the garlic and onions.  Cook until the onions begin to become translucent, about 3-5 mins.

Add the eggplant and tomatoes, followed by paprika, cumin, chili powder and jalapeƱo.  Stir to mix well.

Add the ground beef and cook until just browned, about 6-8 mins.  Stir in quinoa and salt.

Spoon the filling into each pepper and stand in a baking dish just large enough to fit all of the peppers snugly. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min.