Monday, September 19, 2016

Chickpea & Chorizo Fideos

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 package whole-wheat angel hair pasta , (7-8 oz), broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Spanish chorizo , or pepperoni (about 2 oz)
  • 1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 scallions , (1/2 bunch), sliced
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pasta pieces and cook, stirring, until toasted and browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and chorizo (or pepperoni) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water, wine and the toasted pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and scallions and cook 1 minute more.
Notes: Brittany used whole wheat pasta and substituted water for the dry white wine, which we did not have. Brittany and I both thought this recipe was good, but not necessarily great. Nice for variety but probably won't become a regular at our house.

Source: Zipongo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spicy Roasted Ratatouille with Spaghetti

  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (or orange or yellow), diced
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) whole grain spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with two racks in the middle positions. On a quarter pan or small baking dish, toss the whole baby tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion. Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, a few generous twists black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Drizzle it over the vegetables and toss with your hands or a large spoon until the vegetables are evenly coated.
  3. On a half-sheet pan or other large, rimmed baking sheet, arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Place the tomatoes on the lower oven rack and the vegetables on the upper rack. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large post of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove both pans from the oven. The tomatoes should be bursting and juicy by now, in which case, they’re done cooking. Use a spatula to toss the vegetables, then arrange them in a single layer again and put them back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or so, until they are cooked through and golden.
  6. Pour the cherry tomatoes and their juices over the spaghetti into the serving bowl. If you want your pasta to be pretty cheesy, now’s the time to sprinkle on a generous handful of shredded Parmesan. Add a baby splash of pasta cooking water and toss until the pasta is coated with a light tomato sauce.
  7. Add the cooked vegetables to the bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs and season with additional salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until the flavors really sing. Serve with Parmesan on the side.
Notes: When Brittany was expecting our first child she made ratatouille and it made her feel ill. It took 7 years for her to be willing to try a ratatouille recipe again. I'm glad she did. This one was delicious.

Source: COOKIE + Kate

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Horchata French Toast

  • 1 good-quality French baguette or loaf of ciabatta, preferably day-old
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons (4 to 6 ounces) butter (divided use)
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons uncooked white rice
  • A 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican canela, broken up or 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
  • Salt
  • Toasted slivered almonds (optional)
  • About 1 cup warm Piloncillo Syrup (recipe at source), Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, or maple syrup, for serving
  1. If using a baguette, slice off and discard the end pieces. Holding the bread knife at a 45-degree angle to the loaf, cut off one 1-inch-thick slice (it should be roughly 4 inches long). Repeat until you have 8 similar slices. If using ciabatta, no need to slice on the diagonal; simply discard the end pieces and cut eight 1-inch slices. If the bread is very fresh, arrange the slices on a baking sheet and place in a 300-degree oven until they feel slightly hard and stale, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Combine the almond milk, rice and cinnamon in a blender and process for several minutes, until the rice no longer feels very gritty when the liquid is rubbed between your fingers. Add the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, melted butter and ½ teaspoon salt to the rice mixture and blend again, covered, until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Lay in the bread and let it soak until the bottom of the bread feels heavy with liquid but isn’t disintegrating, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the bread and soak the other side. (If it’s more convenient, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.)
  3. Heat a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl it around the pan a few times until it has completely melted and the foaming has subsided. Use a spatula to transfer 3 slices of bread to the hot skillet. When they are richly browned underneath (about 5 minutes), flip the slices and cook until browned and crispy but custardy on the inside (about another 5 minutes). Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Add more butter to the pan (usually another 2 tablespoons per batch) and cook the remaining slices the same way. Top your French toast with slivered almonds if you like, and serve right away with warm syrup.
Notes: Brittany asked me what I wanted for breakfast on Father's Day. I had recently had horchata and the thought crossed my mind that horchata flavors would go well with French toast. I searched the internet and found only 2 or 3 recipes. This one looked the most interesting. I enjoyed this, but the horchata flavor didn't stand out as much as I'd like. 

Source: Men's Journal