Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chilled Orzo, Bacon, Asparagus and Grape Tomato Salad

Staying cool has become part of the summer of 2012 for us. Today we hit 101 degrees!  If dinner cannot consist of ice cream, Popsicles and root beer floats, a chilled salad will suffice : ) ...with ice cream and root beer floats to round out those pesky food groups.

Chilled Orzo, Bacon, Asparagus and Grape Tomato Salad
8 oz. orzo
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 lemon, zest and juiced
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Shredded Parmesan Reggiano
Bring 2 large pots of salted water to boil.
To one pot, add asparagus and blanch, about 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge blanched asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
To the second pot, add the orzo. Cook per package instructions. When tender, drain and place in a large bowl. Add blanched asparagus, tomato halves and bacon crumbled.
Whisk olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in parsley and grated Parmesan Reggiano.  Stir into orzo and vegetables mix.

This can be served warm or cold.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan

Do you have family favorite meals handed down generation to generation and the entree has no written recipe in a box nor is it scribbled on the back pages of a scrappy old cookbook?  So do I.  No measurements, just basic tad of this, smidgen of that etched into memory.
In our house, a favorite is
Eggplant Parmesan.
Slice washed eggplant in 1/2 inch slices.  Coat in egg wash, then coat in seasoned breadcrumbs-I add to the seasoning with fresh parsley and oregano, and some grated Parmesan cheese.  Saute in olive oil until golden brown.

A simmer a pot of sauce made from crushed tomatoes, "pinch" of granulated sugar, fresh oregano, basil, garlic
and beef base.

The sauce simmers for maybe an hour or so.

In casserole dish spaghetti noodles cooked al dente.

I add a small amount of sauce to top of noodles.

Stack or layer sauteed eggplant.

More sauce to cover eggplant completely.

Fresh shredded mozzarella cheese on the top of the sauce and it is ready to bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes
(covered until the last 10 minutes, then remover tin foil to brown cheese lightly).

Let's eat!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chicken Caesar Subs

My daughter stopped by and made Chicken Caesar Subs for us last night.  Delicious!  Scrumptious Chicken Caesar Sub copycat recipe was definitely on order tonight!
 Mixed spring lettuce, crispy bacon (chopped), cooked chicken, shredded Parmesan cheese and creamy Caesar dressing-combine in bowl.
Toast whole wheat sub rolls and fill with heaping Chicken Caesar mix.
Perfect for another hot evening.  Thanks Rie!  You are my favorite daughter : )

Sunday, July 1, 2012

On a mental vacation...

My sister, Kat, emailed me she is on a mental health day.  I think I will join her on a mental vacation...exhale and nap in the hammock strung between the two palm trees on the beach : )  Feeling the relaxation where in the world is the guy with the drinks in hand?  Where will you go on your mental vacation?  I'm thinking Boro Boro for us Kat...