Sunday, June 28, 2009

Salmon and farfalle in walnut pesto

Sun-dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto with Salmon and Asparagus
from is an interesting site I found a few months ago. It lauds the benefits of eating a version of the Mediterranean/Asian diet, full of pasta, grains, fish, and olive oil. There are a lot of intriguing recipes on the site, and this is the second we've tried. My sister also made the Sicilian Tuna & Basil Pizza a couple of nights ago.

Although I didn't get to taste the pizza, I heard it received mixed reviews. This pasta dish actually turned out pretty tasty. The strange thing about both recipes, though, is that everyone agreed they were a little bland, especially the pizza. It just seems weird to me that a recipe from the Mediterranean, which seems to be bursting with flavors, would be bland. We ended up sprinkling lime juice and red pepper flakes on the pasta.

Meanwhile, my dad prepared a seasoning rub for some ribs last night, and he decided to try it on the remaining salmon filets. I was skeptical at first, but....let me tell you, it tasted like dessert - melt in your mouth goodness.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mushroom rice casserole and glazed carrots

Mushroom Casserole from 101 Cookbooks

Glazed Carrots from Alton Brown

Of course I've had mushroom rice casserole before, but typically we've made the canned-cream-of-mushroom variety. This recipe calls for fresh chopped mushrooms mixed in with a creamy mixture of cheeses and rice. It's very good, and it also smells HEAVENLY.

I decided to whip up some glazed carrots and found Alton's recipe. It calls for ginger ale, which I thought was interesting. Overall it's a good and simple, easy-to-make side dish.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Strawberry pie with crumb topping

The Old Boy's Strawberry Pie from Allrecipes

This is a bizarre strawberry pie. It just is. You can't imagine how strange it looks before you stick it in the oven. So if you make it, just keep that in mind, and if it looks so bizarre you think you're doing something wrong...well you're probably not. You're probably doing it just right.

Appearances aside, this does taste very good. The crumb topping is scrumptious, even when I replaced the white flour with all-purpose white-wheat flour. Remember to keep it refrigerated for best taste.

I am ashamed to admit that, even though my blog is subtitled "pudding and pie"....this is the first pie I have posted since I began blogging in January.

I have yet to post a pudding.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chiles rellenos and cilantro-lime rice (Father's Day)

Chiles Rellenos from Dave Harker
via Home Companion August 2002
(recipe posted below)

Cilantro-Lime Rice from Allrecipes

Our family has always loved the chile relleno. I remember when I was little my mom would always order it at Mexican restaurants, and at the time, I would just take a little taste, because that was when I was afraid of spicy food. Haha...

Anyway, for Father's Day lunch my sister suggested this chile relleno recipe with a twist: instead of breading, you use egg-roll wrappers as the crispy outer layer. I have to say, it was a lot easier than breading 11 chiles, and it was absolutely delicious. Really really good. Yum. Everyone loved it.

Along with it we served cilantro-lime rice, which my sister made and which is one of her favorite side dishes for Mexican food. Also good. For dessert I made a strawberry pie, which I will share soon in a follow-up post. :)

For now, here is the Chiles Rellenos recipe credited to chef Dave Harker (apparently Home Companion is no longer published...hmmm).

Chiles Rellenos
makes 6

6 poblano chiles
2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes, softened in warm water, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/2 C plus 3 TB chopped cilantro
2 TB shredded fresh basil
1 package egg roll wrappers
2-3 C tomato sauce
1 C vegetable oil, plus more as needed

(The chiles should be skinned to remove the tough outer skin. To do this easily, place them on a sheet of aluminum foil or broiler pan and blister under a preheated broiler, turning occasionally, until browned. Have a bowl of ice water nearby, and, when peppers are charred, place them into the water. Let them cool just briefly and then remove them and carefully peel off the skin. Try your best not to tear the chiles, but it's almost inevitable so don't worry about it. If chiles are ripped, they can be salvaged. Carefully split the chiles up one side without removing the stem. Gently rinse out the seeds. Drain the chiles cut side down on paper towels.)

Meanwhile, combine cheese-sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 C of the cilantro, and basil. Place stuffing inside chiles and carefully fold the edges closed, overlapping the edges slightly. They may not look too pretty at this point, but the wrapper will mask this.

Open egg roll wrapper package on two sides and remove one wrapper at a time. Cover chiles, leaving stem exposed.

Meanwhile heat 1-2 C of tomato sauce in a saucepan until hot.

Pour oil into a frying pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Heat oil on medium heat. When hot, fry the chiles, several at a time, gently turning them until they are browned on all sides. Adjust heat so they don't burn, adding extra oil as needed. When browned, place on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately on top of tomato sauce and garnish with the remaining 3 TB of cilantro.

Cabbage and walnut stir-fry

I am so behind on food blogging...there are literally about 50 new pictures sitting around on my desktop that I haven't gotten around to posting. So I should have a lot of new posts in the next few days.

This is the first recipe I tried from my new Vegetarian Bible, which was a gift from Alejandro (even though he's claimed he won't eat anything out of it).

The book is full of gorgeous pictures and I was actually shocked at how yummy these vegetarian recipes look. There are several that I can't wait to make.

I made this cabbage dish for dinner this past weekend and everyone liked it, but it didn't seem filling enough to eat alone, so keep that in mind and pair it with something more substantial. Still it's got great flavors and it's perfect for you if you're a fan of cabbage, like my friend Adam, who also has a food blog, with much more beautiful pictures than my own.

Here is the recipe as published in the book.

Cabbage & Walnut Stir-Fry
serves 4

12 oz white cabbage
12 oz red cabbage
4 TB peanut oil
1 TB walnut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 scallions, trimmed
8 oz firm tofu, cubed
2 TB lemon juice
1 C walnut halves
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp poppy seeds
salt and pepper

Using a sharp knife, shred the white and red cabbages thinly and set aside until required. Heat the peanut oil and walnut oil in a preheated wok. Add the garlic, cabbage, scallions, and tofu and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the lemon juice, walnuts, and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Transfer the stir-fry to a warm serving bowl, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Volcano cake

Volcano Cake from Sandra Lee

So obviously this is not a healthy recipe. Eat this at your own risk.

My little sister requested this cake especially for her 18th birthday party. Basically it's a red velvet cake covered in dyed cream cheese frosting.

I made the cake mix from a box, then baked it in a Bundt pan, 2 circle pans, and one large cupcake form. Then I hodge-podged the cakes together after they cooled, and covered the whole thing with frosting.

It came out better than I thought...and dessert is always better with flames. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chocolate-banana cookies

Nikki's Healthy Cookies via 101 Cookbooks

This is a flour-less, egg-less, perfect if you're like me, and you have a yearning to bake, but you don't feel like going to the store. Hehe... Also good if you're like me and you let bananas sit around til they're practically mush, and the only thing you can do with them is put them in a baked good.

I really enjoyed these cookies. They're healthy, but they're good! I promise! I calculated that each one has 105 calories and 2g protein when you make a batch of 26.

Like a 100-calorie pack!
(You know, except healthy, and not full of corn syrup ;))


Okonomiyaki from Kevin at Closet Cooking

If you want to see the most delectable, drool-inducing food photo you've ever seen...take a look at Kevin's Okonomiyaki. I'd never heard of a "Japanese pancake," but as soon as I saw his photo, I knew I had to make it.

This dish is pretty easy to prepare...not a lot of ingredients required, and it cooks quickly. I did have a little trouble maneuvering the pan around so I could flip the pancake (which is made mostly of cabbage and other vegetables), but I think it just takes practice. I made two versions: one with turkey bacon and one vegetarian. I have to say, the bacon version won hands down over the veggie.

I have sort of an aversion to mayonnaise, but I decided to try a little bit anyway for the sauce. I mixed some low-fat sour cream with Worchester and about a TB of mayonnaise. And you know was still too mayonnaise-y for me. So next time I'll have to figure out a different sauce. Any ideas?

Anyway, in spite of the mayo, I really liked this! It's definitely a healthy and unique meal and I would recommend it! :)