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Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is so simple to make, I almost feel a little silly for blogging about it….almost. But with all this warm and sunny Spring weather we have had this year here in Virginia ,I feel inspired to share my Bruschetta with you. It’s a small morsel loaded with flavor. Between the juicy fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, crunchy bell pepper and wonderful garlic it’s almost flavor overload. I would like to recommend using a flavorful aged Balsamic Vinegar because it really makes a big difference in the outcome. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Bread – French Baguette, toasted

Tomatoes

Red Onion

Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Garlic Clove (1/2 minced, 1/2 for rubbing bread)

Basil leaves

Salt to taste

Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Parmigiano Reggiano – shredded

Directions:

Remove seeds from tomatoes. Dice tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 of garlic clove, place into small bowl. Chop basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Add a small amount of Balsamic Vinegar. Toss together and drain off some of excess liquids. Set aside.

Slice french bread and toast. While toast is still hot, rub toast with the remaining 1/2 garlic clove. Top toast with tomatoes, drizzle with a little more Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil and top with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Penne Pasta with Shrimp

I had a craving for pasta and shrimp but didn’t want Shrimp Scampi since we had that not too long ago. Then i remembered this pasta dish which I have been meaning to try out. I made some adjustment to fit my likings and it turned out really good. The flavors are mild, a little sweet and creamy. I think I might add a little red pepper flakes next time I make this just to give it a kick.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound penne pasta

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup white wine

2 tbsp tomato paste

14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes

1/4 cup half and half

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

8-10 basil leaves, chiffonade

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Bring salted pasta water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.

Peel and devein shrimp, season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large pan, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook for two minutes, turning shrimp over half-way through cooking time. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil to pan and lower heat to medium. Cook diced onions until tender and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook one minute longer, add wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir to blend. Add canned tomatoes and continue to simmer covered until pasta is ready.

Add pasta, parsley, basil and half/half. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat. Add shrimp back into pasta dish and arrange on serving dish. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks Book

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Spicy Sausage Dip

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are coming up and there will be parties, family gatherings and potluck’s at work, so we need something that’s delicious of course, quick and easy to prepare such as a little side dish, snack or appetizer if you will.

This Spicy Sausage Dip is simply excellent! It is so easy and quick to make, perfect for potlucks or other gatherings and it always gets great reviews. I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it does not change the flavor of the recipe. The canned tomatoes with chilies that I use is the Rotal Original which is plenty spicy for me. 🙂 I think you will really enjoy this Spicy Sausage Dip.

Spicy Sausage Dip

Ingredients:

16 oz package spicy sausage

two 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

12 oz cream cheese, 1/3 less fat – optional

Hot sauce, optional

Directions:

In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until just starting to brown. Drain off excess fat. Reduce heat to medium and mix in canned tomatoes and cream cheese. Continue to heat stirring frequently until cream cheese has completely melted down and throughly warmed through with other ingredients. Add hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

Candle holder is handmade by blacksmith Joseph Gentile at jganvil.com

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Pasta Salad with sun-dried tomatoes

I was looking for a good Pasta Salad to serve for the “BurleyMen Club” 🙂 aka Artist Blacksmith Group of Tidewater for their monthly meeting held at Gentile Forge. I came across this Pasta Salad and thought it sounded super delicious. Sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamate olives, what a winning combination. And it was delicious!….but….I’m now thinking that it might have been the wrong type of food to serve for all those MEN. Don’t get me wrong, they liked it, but the wrong type of food nonetheless. The sun-dried tomatoes may have been too refined, too delicate and too modern. This Pasta Salad would fit-in much better at my work with all the GIRLS there. I’ll try it out there for our next potluck.

Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

If your not able to find pitted olives use a Cherry Pitter, it works great. 

Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

Dressing:

7 oz Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, drained

2 small or 1 large Garlic Clove

3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad:

8 oz Spiral Pasta

20 Kalamata Olives (a good handful), sliced or chopped

1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves

10 Basil leaves, julienned

1 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

In a food processor combine sun-dried tomatoes (drained), garlic, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Start the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue blending until a homogeneous mass. Store in an airtight container for 1-3 hours or preferably until the following day to allow flavors to marry. Note: this dressing recipe makes enough for 2 pasta salads.

Cook pasta in salted water until desired consistency, rinse under cold running water and drain. Add about 1/4 of dressing to pasta and stir. Add cherry tomatoes, olives, Basil and about 2/3 cup Parmesan, stir gently. Continue to add more dressing and Parmesan cheese to your liking. Note: reserve a small amount of Parmesan for topping. Enjoy.

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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Beef in Paprika

The nice thing about living in Virginia is that Spring comes early and fall stays late. Our winter is short and yes we did get a fair amount of snow this year but the snow melted away within a couple of days. And so now that Spring is slowly approaching (we have already had a couple of wonderful warm days in the 70’s 🙂 yes we are lucky indeed) but before Spring really takes a hold on us I think we can squeeze in one more dish of what I consider a comfort food. This is a wonderful beef stew with a mild and sweet paprika flavor, onions, tomatoes and tender mushrooms. It becomes even more delicious when served with a slightly perfumed Jasmine rice…my all-time favorite rice. So before the tiny buds burst into brilliant green and we all start sneezing again there is still time for one more hardy meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs cubed beef

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon salt

olive oil for browning

1 onion, diced

6 large mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

3 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoon sour cream

water and cornstarch

Directions:

Trim off excess fat and cut beef cubes into bite size pieces. Season meat with paprika and salt. Place beef cubes in hot pan and brown, careful not to crowd the pan. You may have to brown meat in batches. Once meat is browned remove to a plate and set aside.

Add onions to pan and cook until translucent, then move onions to outer edge of pan and add mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until they just start to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour. Add sour cream and stir. Mix cold water and cornstarch in a cup to make a slurry and add into simmering beef stew in small increments until desired thickened consistency. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Beef in Paprika

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

This is an absolutely delicious chicken dish; I just can’t stress that enough. Truly, this is one of my favorites. You can make it with or without the whipping cream or you can use half and half instead, I have made it either ways and it’s equally delicious. This dish is also great to make ahead of time, as a matter of fact, the flavors are more intense the following day. Try serving this with Jasmine Rice if you can find it at your local grocery store.  Also, I cut back on the amount of butter. Come to think of it, should we still call this Butter Chicken then?

Ingredients:

4 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

5 Garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/4 teaspoon Cumin

1/4 teaspoon Cardamom

1 whole Lime, juiced

1 whole Onion, diced

2 tablespoon Butter

2 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 can (14.5 oz) Tomato Sauce

1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes

a pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

1 bunch chopped Cilantro, to taste

Serve with Jasmine Rice

Directions:

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place in a large zip lock bag or bowl. Add first 8 ingredients to the chicken and mix it up well. Marinate 12-24 hours in refrigerator.

Saute onion in butter and olive oil until soft. Add marinated chicken and cook 8-10 minutes over medium heat. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add whipping cream and cilantro just before serving over Jasmine Rice.

Source: The Pioneer Woman, originally posted on Tasty Kitchen by lillieknits

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Best Marinara Sauce

Best Marinara Sauce

I love love love tomatoes and Marinara sauce. I would eat it 7 days a week if they let me. But they won’t let me. Actually, truth be told, I eat a tomato every day for lunch and my coworkers love to point it out to me and so I never hear the end of it. 🙂 But I can’t help myself, lunch just dosn’t seem right without my shiny little red friend. Sorry, got a little sidetracked there.

Now for the Marinara sauce. This is without a doubt the very best Marinara sauce that I have tried out so far. This has become a favorite in our house and I’m happy to report that even my son likes it (and that’s saying a lot because he is used to only the best from his grandmother who makes a mean pasta and meatball). If you have a food mill this is a breeze to make, if not, it’s a little more work but well worth the effort. This sauce freezes really well so I always make a big batch and keep it in the freezer for easy use. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 pound diced pancetta

2 large Spanish onions, diced

Kosher salt

4 large garlic cloves, minced

4 (28 ounce) cans Italian diced or plum San Marzano tomatoes

Directions:

Coat a large sauce pot with olive oil and add diced pancetta. Bring the pot to a medium-high heat and cook pancetta for 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion and season generously with salt, stir to coat with olive oil. Cook the onions for 6 to 7 minutes stirring frequently. The onions should become soft and translucent but have no color. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill or if you don’t have a food mill simply just pulse the tomatoes in a food processor to break them up and then press the tomatoes through a sieve. Make sure to press until you have a dry paste left in the sieve. This part can be a little bit of a workout. Make sure to scrape all the delicious pulp off the bottom of the sieve or the food mill. Add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out 1 of the empty cans with water and add the water to the pot (about 2-3 cups). Season generously with salt (season in baby steps) and taste it to make sure it is seasoned enough. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally and tasting frequently.

Serve sauce right away or cool down and then freeze.

Source: Anne Burrell

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