Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orzo with Greens and Garlic

I love Orzo and I love garlic so this dish called out my name from the pages of Two at the Table.

This is a great way to eat some greens but not feel like you are missing out by eating too healthy, I mean, we all need some bacon sometimes right??

First thing, get some water boiling.

Then we can gather our other ingredients. A lot of people comment about my great pink knife, well I recently discovered they sell them at Target. They are great knives for the price and they are super light weight. Plus, it's Pink! In addition to a good knife you need some greens, I used gorgeous rainbow chard, shallot or onion, olive oil, cooked bacon (I keep some of that pre-cooked stuff in my freezer so I can just nuke it for dishes like this), garlic, and some orzo.

Chop the garlic and shallots.

You only want the leafy part of the chard, not the stems, even though they are so pretty.

Once you separate the stem from the leaves, give them a good rinse. I just dump them in a colander and do it that way.

To cut the chard I used my mezzaluna, which is a great gadget for beginning cooks because it is nearly impossible to cut yourself while chopping, just don't drop it on your foot.

With the handy gadget the greens are chopped in no time. I like to use this for herbs, mushrooms, olives and other things that are hard to hold on to but you need to chop.

Once everything is prepped, we can cook. Get the orzo in the hot water and lets get cooking. Get the shallots in the pan with some oil.

Give your orzo a stir to be sure its not sticking.

After the shallots have cooked for about 2 minutes, get the greens and garlic in. These will rapidly shrink, don't worry.

Let this cook for just a couple of minutes and you will see the greens reduce in size dramatically.

Get the pan off the heat. Drain the pasta and get it in the pan, add in the bacon and give it a stir. Season with some salt and pepper and you are ready to eat!

I added a little bit of Parmesan cheese on the top for another layer of flavor. This was light and delicious and had lots of great textures and big flavors. If you can't find chard you can use spinach or kale as well and this would be just as tasty. Have a great weekend and thanks again for all the great comments and emails, you guys make my day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicken and Rice Meatball Marsala

When I saw this recipe I knew I'd have to sacrifice and turn my oven on to make this meal. This recipe comes from the Two at the Table cookbook I recently picked up. Turn on the oven to 400 degrees and lets gather some ingredients.

You need, 10 ounces ground chicken, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 egg beaten (at room temperature), 1 cup cooked rice, 2 tbs butter (divided), 1/4 lb sliced mushrooms, 1 tbs flour, 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup Marsala wine.

Get the chicken in a bowl with the salt and pepper.

Chop up your onion.

Get it in the bowl with the chicken.

Beat the egg.

Add it to the chicken and onion along with the rice and get it all combined.

I use an ice cream scoop to make the meatballs, it goes so much faster this way.

Get them on a rack that you've sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. My meatballs sort of sagged over the rack, but thats ok, they still tasted great. Get those guys in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

While those get delicious in the oven, lets make the sauce. Combine the stock with the marsala and set aside.

In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. mmm butter!

Add in the sliced mushrooms and let them cook for about 7 minutes.

When they are nice and cooked grab a dish to get them out of the heat.

Mine get to hang out in a cute little Pyrex bowl.

Add the rest of the butter and melt it over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a smooth paste.

Add the stock and marsala mixture.

Stir until it is smooth and slightly thickened.

Get the mushrooms back in and then grab your meatballs out of the oven.

YUM. I ended up having to scrape them off the rack but that is ok, I was the only one eating it and I didn't care what it looked like.

What matters was how it tasted and it was delicious. I love marsala sauce and this was a great variation on classic chicken marsala. Thanks again for all the great comments and emails you guys have sent me recently. I love hearing that this site helps people like me who like to cook, but sometimes get uninspired or don't have anyone else to cook for. So thank you for reading and thanks for taking the time to send me some feedback.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fried Pork Chop with Cumin Tomato Sauce

I love pork and I love cumin so I was very excited to try this recipe. It is easy and uses stuff you probably already have on hand. I cut this in half to serve just me!

This recipe comes from a great cookbook I picked up called Table for Two. I love cookbooks for one and two servings, it just makes cooking for one so much easier.

Lets gather some ingredients. You will need a pork chop, some celery, garlic, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, oil, lime and some crushed tomatoes.

If you are not really confident in the kitchen, I find it best to prep everything before you start cooking anything. That way you will not feel rushed to get something done to move on to the next task. The last thing you want to do is rush with a sharp knife. So chop up your garlic.

Chop your celery and onion.

Once your prep is done, go ahead and get your pork in the hot oil. You want to brown it about 5 minutes on each side. I served the pork chop over pasta, so if you'd like to do the same go ahead and get some water on to boil as well.

Give it a flip!

When its cooked, get it out of the hot pan and into a dish. Cover it so the pork stays warm.

When the pork is out, get the onion and celery into the same pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and let this cook for about a minute. It will start to smell really great as soon as that cumin warms up.

Add the pork back in and give it a flip to get some of the seasonings on both sides.

Add in the tomatoes and lime juice and let these simmer for 15-20 minutes. Flip the pork chop every so often. During the last 10 minutes get your pasta into the boiling water. When the pasta is done, drain it and plate it up with the pork chop and tomatoes.

If you are a cumin lover or you are just looking for something different to do with pork chops, this is a great choice.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chicken and Noodles for Two

I am all about casseroles that I can make in my toaster oven because there is only so much you can do on the stove top. It was 115 here in Arizona today so I am not about to turn my regular oven on!

The recipe is from Taste of Home. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, get some water boiling, and lets grab some ingredients.

You need some cottage or ricotta cheese, pimentos, paprika, egg noodles, cooked chicken, peas, green pepper, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion and chives. The goofy looking mayo is Kewpie mayo from Japan and it is some of the best mayo I have ever had, and its cute too.

Get the noodles in the boiling water and start assembling the rest of the casserole.

Chopped green pepper.

Chopped onion or shallot. Now that you are done chopping lets assemble!

You need some tasty mayo.

You are basically just tossing everything in the bowl and getting it all mixed up! Combine everything but the peas and chicken.

I had to take this photo because the colors were so pretty.

Give everything a stir to combine, this would make a tasty dip for crackers or bread.

Drain the noodles and stir them in with the peas and cooked chicken.

Grease up a casserole dish and pour the tasty combo in it.

Sprinkle it with some paprika and get it in the oven.

After about a half an hour the casserole is ready to eat. I love when the top gets nice and crispy, yum.

This is another comfort food meal that I will definitely be making again. Its basically a variation on the classic tuna noodle casserole, so if you have a tuna hater this might be a nice alternative.