ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Can you top this?

Cooked Topping for Salad, or fish, or chicken

Olive oil cooking spray

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 onion sliced into thin slices

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup corn kernels

Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat on med-high heat. Saute tomatoes and onions until they soften, add garlic and corn kernels and continue to cook until corn kernels have a slightly roasted look. The entire cooking time is less than 5 minutes.

Serve warm or cold on top of mixed greens, kale, fish, chicken

Enjoy! Makes about 3 cups. IMG_2306 (1).JPG

 

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Presto, Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Basil’s in the food processor along with the garlic. Uh-oh- I put in enough garlic for 2 cups of basil and I only had one cup; a trip to the veggie drawer and Presto…

Carrot, Celery, Basil, Pumpkin Seed Pesto

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

2 ribs celery, cut into chunks

1 carrot, cut into chunks

6 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly or put through a garlic press

3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (unsalted)

1/2 parmigiano reggiano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, pulse basil, celery, carrot and garlic until very finely chopped. Add cheese and pumpkin seeds and process until desired consistency is reached. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil. Process another few seconds and voila!

Makes ~ 2 1/2 cups of pesto

Pesto should be refrigerated. Can be frozen and thawed as needed.


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I love veggies!

This is a nice tweak to plain roasted cauliflower, flavorful and colorful. The olives and garlic add a lot of flavor, no need for additional seasoning. IMG_2224

Cauliflower, tomato and olive bake

1 head cauliflower, sliced into “steaks”

6 campari tomatoes or the equivalent, 1/4″ slices

3/4 cup chopped cured olives

~ 1.5 T finely chopped garlic (jarred chopped garlic works well, choose a no salt added brand)

2-4 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a 15″ x 10″ baking dish, layer the veggies, and add the garlic and oil to combine but carefully so as not to break up the veggies.

Bake 20 minutes, stir gently and bake another 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower has browned.

Serve hot or cold. Serves 4-6


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Yes to Pesto

Basil Pesto

Nothing smells as good as fresh basil and its natural destiny Pesto. Don’t limit pesto to pasta. IMG_2131.JPGPesto is great on eggs, toast, chicken, fish. The flavor is deep and earthy and a little goes a long way.

2 cups (packed) washed and dried fresh basil, stems removed

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 cup walnuts or pine nuts or a combination of both

1/2 extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmigiano Regianno

salt and black pepper to taste

In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine the basil, garlic and nuts. Chop until almost a puree. With the food processor motor running, add the olive oil in a stream. Then add the cheese until just combined to the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields ~ 1.5 cups of pesto: refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


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Eggplant going mush? Baba Ganoush!

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant and Sesame Purée)

1 eggplant
3 T sesame seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1 T water
1 clove garlic, crushed in a press
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley

Purée the sesame seeds with the lemon juice and the water (this is easiest done with a mini-chopper but can be done in a blender). Place mixture in a medium sized bowl.
If using a mini-chopper combine the garlic (whole clove) with the parsley (unchopped) and chop in mini-chopper, then add to sesame seed purée. If not using mini-chopper, add the crushed garlic and hand chopped parsley to the purée.

Meanwhile, poke multiple holes in the whole eggplant and either grill on an open flame or broil in oven broiler on all sides until the skin is slightly blackened. Allow eggplant to cool, place in colander and allow juices to drain away. Peel eggplant, scrape as much eggplant flesh as possible from the skin. At this point, it’s easiest to place eggplant into a food processor and process until smooth. If you don’t have access to a food processor*, then you can mash the eggplant to as smooth as possible.
Add the smooth eggplant to the sesame purée and enjoy!
Baba Ganoush can be used as a dip for vegetables or crackers/bread or as a sandwich spread. As this recipe is cooking the eggplant to soften it, a slightly “worn” eggplant will do as firmness is not required. If your eggplant is very large then you may want to increase the sesame seeds to 4 T and the garlic to 2 cloves.

A word about food processors: If you don’t have one, get one! My wonderful food processor and I have been together for well more than 30 years and it is without doubt my favorite electric tool in the kitchen. A food processor will save you a lot of time and make many difficult tasks very easy. Buy quality. Read reviews about different brands; as you see, I bought a good quality food processor and it has lasted a very long time. While I have had to replace bowls over the years, the motor continues to be strong as do the blades.

White Bean and Fennel Dip (Guest Chef)

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White Bean and Fennel Dip (Guest Chef)

This delicious White Bean and Fennel Dip is the healthier version of Food52’s recipe, by guest chef, Sarah Spool Marder. Don’t you love hot appetizers when the weather is cold?

Serves 12 as an appetizer

For Roasted Fennel

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic still in papery shell
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the bean puree

1/4-1/2 cups olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 1/2 cups cooked cannellini (or other white bean) beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Lemon juice, Freshly squeezed
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Crostini
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the fennel and garlic cloves in the olive oil and spread on a sheet pan or roasting pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Remove from oven and cool. Once cool squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins.
Bean puree: In a small frying pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until lightly golden, add rosemary and beans and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat.
In a food processor combine the garlic bean mixture, fennel, roasted garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1/8 cup olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons of the parmigiano-reggiano. Puree until smooth.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer puree into a small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Feel free to use more or less cheese. If your dish is near full, place it on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over in the oven. Bake until cheese is golden on top, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with crostini or crackers. Enjoy!