Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Salad, Two Ways

This week I had the opportunity to make two salads that contained almost the same ingredients. All I did was get all the ingredients, and then made two half recipes and voila! One Salad, Two Ways!

The first was Salad Capricciosa (Recipe number 185 in Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats Cookbook). It's kinda like an Italian version of a chef salad. There's romaine lettuce, artichokes, tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, prosciutto (which I sub-ed in bite size pepperoni pieces), peas, and mozzarella cheese. Mix this with a lemon pesto vinaigrette and you've got yourself a steller (and easy) salad. This went to a potluck dinner, and there were NO left-overs. It was fresh and light, especially with the lemon in the dressing.

The second recipe, Caprese Hot-or-Cold Pasta Toss (recipe number 79), was a slightly different take on the Salad Capricciosa. Instead of the lettuce, you add cooked penne rigate (any short cut pasta would work), everything else was the same! You do a slightly different prep too. All the salad ingredients (artichokes, tomatoes, onions, etc) get sauteed in some garlic and olive oil, tossed together and you're good to go. This one was great because you could serve it hot out of the pan or chilled. Perfect for leftovers! I love meals that are tasty hot and cold!

Chalk one up for versatility!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Study in Green

As I've said before, this has been one crazy summer. But I am resolved to get back into the swing of things. My new goal is to try and get two recipes done a week. I will (with best intentions) stick to this new plan, and I'll be sure to let you know about it :)

I've got two recipes to tell you about. The first meal could be described in two words: green and spicy. I prepared Mexican Tomatillo Stoup with Chorizo (recipe number 311 from Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats). The green came from the tomatillos (which there was 2 28oz cans of). The spice (which was a little crazy, even for someone who likes spice) came from chorizo, jalapenos, and cilantro. There are some in my family who request no chorizo, so instead I substituted spicy Italian sausage. Next time I think I'll just go with a plain sausage or ground beef so the spicy factor isn't so outta control (there is enough in this stoup to make it interesting with out letting it getting so crazy). Other than that the soup had some great things going for it. It had an interesting depth of flavor and it was relatively low in fat from what I could tell (potatoes, chicken stock, sausage, and some veggies).

The next recipe was Turkey Noodle Casserole (recipe number 9). I have to say that I am still on the fence with this one, but the guys in my family loved it. I would have personally liked the cheese to be a little more saucy and creamy rather than just melted cheese. This recipe was simple and took little time to complete- less than 30 minutes. With a few changes it will be a good one to repeat, perhaps in the fall when it isn't 100 degrees outside...