Friday, January 30, 2009

No Cook Thai Beef Salad

After the Super Bowl tomorrow you may be feeling like your pants don't fit quite as well as they used to. I thought a good salad recipe might be just what you are looking for.

This is really simple but really tasty. Lets go find our ingredients...

Lettuce, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, shallot, roast beef and cucumber. If you have never had fish sauce, it is really great and you should definitely give it a try. Think of it kind of like a milder and sweeter worchestershire sauce with a bit more fish flavor. I just love it.

Zest the lime, be careful to only use the green part of the skin, you don't want the white part as it is bitter.

Add the fish sauce and lime juice to the lime zest. Add in the sugar as well and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cut up your cucumber.

Slice up some shallot or red onion.

They look so nice together, don't they?

Add in the lettuce as well.

Slice up the roast beef.

Add it to the salad party as well. Pour on the dressing and give it a toss. The recipe calls for cilantro too, but I gotta admit I do not like cilantro. They say you either love it or you hate it, I am one of the haters!

But the salad was delicious without it. I definitely recommend this if you are feeling a little guilty after Super Bowl Sunday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I know it is cold and snowy in a lot of towns in the US right now so I thought I would do one of my favorite comfort foods. This defines comfort food to me and comes from my Mom's Pennsylvania Grange cookbook.

Not a lot of ingredients but lots of good memories. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, cook your noodles according to the package directions and lets grab our ingredients.

You can see a couple of extra ingredients in my photo. I have the classic cream of mushroom soup, tuna, and breadcrumbs. I also add a little mayo and Worcestershire sauce to add a little bit more complexity.

You need some egg noodles, cook these according to the package directions.

And finally some Peas.

Combine the soup, about a tablespoon of mayo, milk and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce.

Grease up a casserole dish. I am using another of my awesome Pyrex finds. (I have a serious collection going, so you will be seeing a lot more in the future.)

Layer on half of the noodles then add half the peas and tuna.

Add half of the soup mixture on top of the noodles and peas. Repeat the layers again.

Cover it in some breadcrumbs and pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes.

I have had this meal so many times in my life and it always reminds me of eating dinner with my family back in PA. I hope you can create some memories with this dish or conjure up some of your own from the past.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Balsamic Pork Loin

One of the things I got for Christmas was an awesome All Clad meat thermometer. It has a probe that goes in your meat and a display that you can set outside of your oven, so you always know the temperature of what you are cooking.

I was very excited as I had wanted one of these for a while.

I made a simple roasted pork loin to try it out. The recipe is from and does require marinating the day before or a few hours before.


* 1 tablespoon steak seasoning rub
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 pound boneless pork loin roast

1. Dissolve steak seasoning in balsamic vinegar, then stir in olive oil. Place pork into a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade overtop. Squeeze out air and seal bag; marinate 2 hours to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Place pork into a glass baking dish along with marinade. Bake in preheated oven, basting occasionally until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (65 degrees C), about 1 hour. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

You don't need many ingredients for this pork loin recipe, just some balsamic vinegar, steak seasoning, olive oil and some pork.

get everything combined together.

Pour it into a bag with your pork and put it in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the pork in a baking dish with the marinade and if you've got a thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the meat.

It lets you keep an eye on it and when it reached 145, out the pork came!

I let it rest a bit too long covered and I was able to see the temperature rise, even though it was sitting on the counter. It was very cool to really see how much the meat continues to cook when it is resting in foil. I threw a beet in the oven about 20 minutes before the pork and peeled that up and sliced it to go on the side. The pork was tasty and I will definitely do that marinade again, as I adore vinegar.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baked Ravioli 'Lasagna'

If you need a quick meal that screams comfort food, this is for you. I had some frozen ravioli in my freezer and I always have some jarred sauce and cheese, so I decided to throw this together.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lets get started.

I used basic frozen cheese raviolis.

You also need some pasta sauce, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Lay down a layer of the ravioli, don't even worry about cooking it! Spoon some of the sauce over it. Sprinkle the cheese over it and add another layer of ravioli, then sauce, then more cheese.

Once you have your layers, its ready to go in the oven. I am using some of my totally cute vintage Pyrex casserole dishes. Bake if for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice and golden.

Let it cool for about 5 minutes and then serve it up!

This was so good, so easy and so fast. Sure its not as great as traditional lasagna, but its a nice baked pasta substitute when you are in a hurry.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oven Crisp Asparagus Rolls

I found this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook I have and thought it looked fun. It is also a great way to use up less than fresh bread. Preheat the oven to 375 and lets gather up some ingredients.

You need some asparagus and some bread, I am using my husband's plain old white bread. I call it 'kid' bread.

Some lemon, dijon mustard and butter. Now lets start prepping!

Trim the woody ends off of the asparagus. If you are working with just a few you can just snap the ends off. If you are not familiar with that, this video will show you how.

Boil the asparagus in a little bit of water for a few minutes to get it cooked.

While those cook, zest the lemon.

Then finish the bread coating by adding in the dijon and butter.

Get the asparagus out of the hot water and into some ice water to stop the cooking.

Cut the crusts off your bread, feed them to your dogs, if you've got any. Spread the bread with the mustard mixture.

Lay the asparagus on the bread and roll it up. Put it seam side down on a cookie sheet and brush it with butter. Mine were kind of soaked in butter, not saying that is a bad thing. Pop them in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.

Get them out when they look nice and toasty.

If I had some bigger asparagus, this would have been better, next time I will stick 2 stalks in each wrap. The flavor was great and definitely something different to try other than the same old vegetable side dish.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Classic Saffron Rice

My brother got me some Saffron recently from a friend who was traveling overseas. These are not the whole saffron threads, as those are way expensive, but I was excited to get these packets of the ground stuff. If you are not familiar with it, you can click here to learn more.

I wanted to make a recipe where the saffron flavor did not get lost so I decided on this simple rice dish.

All you need for this is some rice, some good stock (this is turkey stock I made at Thanksgiving and froze)

Some onion that you can grate or finely mince

I prefer the grated for this recipe.

the Saffron

and some Butter.

Get the butter melting in the pot.

Add in the onion and let it cook for just a few minutes until it is translucent.

Add in the stock, rice, salt and the saffron. Bring it to a rolling boil and then cover the pot and drop the heat to a low simmer. Let this cook for about 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile I cooked up some asparagus under the broiler in my toaster oven. I just coated it with some olive oil and sprinkled it with salt. Broil it until it is done to your liking.

The rice ends up a gorgeous yellow and smells delicious.

The flavor of the rice is subtle but you can definitely tell it is not just plain rice, and the color is gorgeous.