Roasted Vegetables w/Balsamic Vinaigrette

The follow recipe was shared at my Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Event. You can read and view links to other recipes that were featured HERE.

Roasted Vegetables w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
shared at the event by Patty
original recipe

1 bunch asparagus, coarsely chopped
1-2 whole tomatoes, quartered
1 zucchini chunked
1 cup red seedless grapes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, place all vegetables (not grapes) on single layer.
Prepare vinaigrette by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. Drizzle vegetables with vinaigrette.
Bake vegetables for 15-20 minutes until slightly al dente (or preferred softness).
Add grapes and toss.

Life’s Luxuries

I’m quite a happy camper these days as I’ve started working from home a few days a week. It’s been a luxury to be able to go to the kitchen and whip up breakfast & lunch instead of deciding on where to eat while I’m at the office. Given this, I’ve had fun making meals. For lunch today, I made Chicken Marsala over brown rice.
Yesterday’s lunch was a simple caprese tortellini w/asparagus:1 1/2 cups dried cheese filled tortellini, cooked
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
handful fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
handful grape tomatoes, chopped
handful of asparagus, blanched & chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (unfiltered italian)

Drizzle the olive oil over the hot, cooked tortellini.
Add remaining ingredients and toss.
Serve hot.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

This is a great appetizer or side dish that’s easy and elegant for any meal. I made this for my Sauvignon Blanc Wine & Dine event and it pairs nicely with the crispness of the wine.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

1 pkg italian proscuitto
2 lbs fresh asparagus

Blanch asparagus in hot water for 1-2 minutes.
Remove asparagus from hot water and place in a bowl of ice cold water, with ice.

Remove asparagus from water and pat dry.

Cut package of proscuitto in half.

Roll half a slice of proscuitto around one stalk of asparagus.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place proscuitto wrapped asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Place asparagus in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until proscuitto is slighty crisp.

Care for Tamarind Soup?

Okay, my apologies to those that were grossed out with the previous post on balut. But please don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂 Moving on to daily eats, here’s a filipino dish that’s true comfort food for us, sinigang. We made this for dinner since we were feeling lazy with the heat wave coming through Chicago.

Sinigang is a filipno dish famous for the variety of ingredients one can use as well as for its taste. Sinigang is typically sour and is most often likened to Thailand’s tom yum.

Sinigang often incorporates stewed fish, pork, chicken, shrimp, or beef. Sinigang’s characteristic taste is attributed to the ingredient that gives its sour taste, not to the meat’s flavor.

Pork sinigang, the most common variety, is usually prepared with tamarind, tomato, leek, taro, and onion. Other vegetables cooked in sinigang may include cabbage, okra, spinach, radish, green pepper and string beans. Naturally, vegetarians would love this dish since various vegetables lends itself nicely with the flavor of tamarind.

Another variety is prepared with guava and is less sour than those with tamarind. Raw mango, calamansi and kamias can also be utilized. Surprisingly, that sour flavor is not because of vinegar, which many people may confuse it as. Powdered soup base or bouillon cubes cubes for sinigang are also used in place of natural fruits.

Most filipinos here in the US don’t have the time to gather those exotic fruits to create that sour flavor that sinigang is used for. Instead, most people use the powdered soup base such as that above.This is not a hard dish to make – even for those who aren’t familiar with filipino food. Here’s a common recipe for Sinigang, which is even found on the back of the powdered soup base package…

1-2 lbs pork (or beef)
8 cups of water
your choice of green veggies – cabbage, asparagus, green beans, spinach
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion chopped

In a dutch oven or pot, add pork.
Cover with water and let boil until cooked.
Drain pork and run through cold water to rid of the “residue”.
Place pork back in clean pot and cover with water.
Add 1 package of sinigang soup base.
Add tomatoes, garlic & onions.
Let it come to a boil.
Depending on which vegetables you use, add the veggies that take longer to cook first.
Reduce heat and allow veggies to cook through.
Remove from heat and add other veggies on top.
Cover and let steam to cook.
Stir before serving over rice or eat as a soup.

This can be made vegetarian my omitting the meats and cooking up the veggies in the soup base.

For the Love of Leftovers!

It has been a hot & humid Chicago summer night… so in hopes to cool off, I made a light dish using leftovers in my fridge. In fact, I love using leftovers in my fridge. Its almost like a challenge to find creative ways to use bits and pieces together to make something incredible. Well, I’m not sure if it was incredible, but dinner tonight was impressive according to my husband.

Here’s what I used up in concocting my Lemon Thyme Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken:

goat cheese I previously infused with fresh thyme & lemon juice
2 chicken breasts, split for stuffing
cooked angel hair pasta
fresh asparagus
1 ripe plum tomato
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for sauteing

Season the chicken breasts with S&P.
Cut a small slit in the thickest part of the chicken horizontally.
Stuff goat cheese inside the slit of chicken.
Drizzle olive oil over chicken.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 or until juices run clear.

In a grill pan, add olive oil.
Slice asparagus on a bias and add to hot pan.
Grill until softened.
Add cooked angel hair pasta to heat up.
Dice tomato and add to pan.
Serve cooked chicken over pasta.

Chateau du Chevre

Today I initially planned on stuffed chicken breasts but the beautiful weather caused me to be a little lazy. As a result, I opted to make a simple pasta dish where I threw together shrimp, asparagus, farfalle & chevre or goat cheese.

Chèvre cheese is cheese made from goat’s milke (chèvre is French for goat). In regions where domesticated goats are kept, many kinds of goat’s milk cheeses are produced. France produces a great number of goat’s milk cheeses, especially in the Loire Valley & Poitou. There are several varieties, including Montrachet and cabecou, which is soaked in brandy. Chevre is usually vacuum-packed, though many connoisseurs seek out the more perishable but tastier paper-wrapped cheeses at specialty shops. Chevre also goes very well with white wine.
Here’s my recipe for Farfalle with Shrimp, Asparagus & Chevre:

2 oz dry farfalle, cooked
2 oz goat cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups of asparagus, steamed & chopped in 1″ sections
1 lb shrimp, cooked
chopped parsley (optional)

Toss cooked asparagus with butter in pan over medium heat.
Add cooked farfalle & shrimp.
Add goat cheese and heat until melted.
To serve, top pasta with crumbled goat cheese.
Garnish with chopped parsley.