Salads, side dish

Santa Fe Salad

I can’t beleive I have never posted this recipe. my daughter asked the other day if I could post this recipe to her Facebook Group for Recipe Share Wednesday. When I went browsing through the blog I did not find it. This is a classic Tills’ summer salad recipe that we have been making for over 25 years.

Back when we had our first house we had a picnic and one of my hubby’s co-workers brought this salad. We immediately asked for the recipe and it has been a summer staple. It goes together in just a few minutes after you cook the brown rice and has very easy ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 16oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 17 oz can of whole kernal corn, drained
1/8 cup minced onion (use discretion)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cnipped cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 teasopoons chili poswer
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine rice, beans, corn and onion. Combine vinegar, oil, cilantro, peppers, chili powder and salt in a small jar with a lid. Pour over rice mixture, toss lightly. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours for flavors to blend. Stir before serving.

Dinner

Baked Ziti from The Pioneer Women

This is a repeat recipe originally posted in 2014. It became one of the top read blog post back then. It just made a return visit to our dinner table. It is so cheesy and is good I had to share again.

The Pioneer Women’s Baked Ziti is not just your ordinary Ziti. It has ground beef and sausage and tons and tons of cheese. It is a very hearty meal that will please your family.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
Two 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce or marinara sauce
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ziti
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, grated
One 15-ounce tub whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for sprinkling
2 eggs

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook until browned. Drain off almost all of the fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove 3 to 4 cups of the cooked sauce to a bowl to cool down.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the ziti until not quite al dente.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, eggs and some salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps). Add the cooled reserved meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta and the remaining sauce and mozzarella.Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before

Dinner, Seafood

Sesame Shrimp and Greens with Rice

Fresh off the grill

I love nothing better than cooking on the grill. The main reason is that food taste so good when it is grilled, but even better….less kitchen clean up. There is very little pots and pans to deal with which means more time for summer fun.

So this recipe was a big hit. We saw this on The Kitchen with Katie Lee. The ease of the recipe and the flavors were a big draw. Pair this with a light wine and you have a perfect summer dinner.

Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey 

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 

1 tablespoon grated ginger 

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 

2 garlic cloves, grated 

1 pound (16 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Nonstick cooking spray, for the foil

2 cups cooked white rice 

4 loosely-packed cups baby spinach leaves 

1 cup 1/2-inch diced zucchini 

1 cup sliced sugar snap peas 

Directions

Whisk soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, pepper flakes and garlic in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve marinade.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Prepare 4 large sheets of aluminum foil. Spray each with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop 1/2 cup rice into the center of each sheet. Top each with 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup zucchini and 1/4 cup snap peas. Divide shrimp evenly among the packets. Spoon remaining marinade over each packet. Fold each packet to close (not too tight), leaving the seam side up.

Place packets, seam-side up, on the grill. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and open packets carefully.

Dinner

Penne Arrabiata

OMG! Absolutely delicious! One of the best benefits of working from home is that Eric finds great recipes to try and this one was absolutely delicious!

This was a wonderful and very special dinner. The kiddos were out so we made it a special date night, with great bottle of Stags Leap Chardonnay (I know we should of had a red, but we just got our case yesterday of Chardonnay) and a delicious appetizer of arancini from a local Italian market.

As you might be aware Ina Garten is our absolute favorite chefs. We always wished we lived next door to her. Her Penne Arrabiata is easy, elegant and delicious. You can not go wrong making this.

My personal chef at work

Ingredients

2/3 cup good olive oil

1 cup whole peeled garlic cloves (24 cloves) 

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes 

2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds, chopped 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/3 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving 

1 pound dry penne rigate, such as DeCecco 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving 

Directions

In a medium (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the garlic has softened and is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes, place them in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and pulse until they’re roughly chopped. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the food processor and pulse again to chop the garlic. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot with the olive oil, add the fennel, red pepper flakes, red wine, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil, taste for seasonings (it will be very spicy!), and keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the penne and cook according to the directions of the package.

Two minutes before the pasta is al dente, using a wire or spider strainer, lift the pasta out of the boiling water and add it to the sauce, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Spoon the pasta into low shallow bowls, sprinkle with extra basil and Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

Dinner, Pork

Pork Braciole

Well, while we have been sheltering in place during this Covid 19/Corona Virus outbreak, hubby has been cooking up a storm. I am not complaining, I like to cook too and have been trying some new items and satisfying the request from the kids for some old favorites- (Pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin with carmelized lemons for you know who). Eric likes to find new recipes and enjoys sharing them with us. It gives him something to do when the weather does not cooperate to work outside around the yard.

So, he found this recipe on Food Network one Saturday and Bam, it was on the table the next night. Very flavorful and easy to make. We used a Rao marinana souce to take it over the top.

Ingredients

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley 

1 teaspoon lemon zest 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup olive oil

Two 1 1/2-pound pork tenderloins, butterflied and lightly pounded 

6 slices provolone cheese 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

One 25-ounce jar marinara sauce

Directions

 In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lay the tenderloins open and flat on a board in front of you. Season each loin evenly all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay 3 slices of provolone on each loin. Divide the breadcrumb mixture over the provolone. Roll the loins back up into their original shape and tie in 4 spots with kitchen twine.

Heat a medium straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Sear the pork tenderloins until evenly golden brown all the way around, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate to rest. Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and add the marinara sauce. Nestle the pork back in the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer until the pork is just cooked through and registers 145 degrees F on an instead-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest uncovered for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.

Dinner

Tuscan Roasted Potatoes with Lemon

I went looking for a new sided dish to have with dinner over the weekend and I found one from one of my favorite chefs. I have never had a bad experience with an Ina Garten recipte and this one did not disappoint me. We had all of the ingredients, even the fresh Rosemary that I have had growing in my kitchen for the past two winters. The lemon make this refreshing.

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and 1-inch-diced

8 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 large or 4 small branches fresh rosemary

1/2 large lemon, cut in half through the stem and thinly sliced crosswise

3 tablespoons good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fleur de sel

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the potatoes on a sheet pan, add the garlic, rosemary, lemon, olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and toss until everything is coated with oil. Spread out in one layer.

Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and crisp on the outside and tender inside. The garlic will be browned and sweet and the lemon slices will be caramelized. Discard the rosemary branches, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve hot.

Dinner

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Shells

So our son Ian is moving off campus this fall and asked us to show him some recipes that he can create on his own. So, we found a new recipe that hit all his food criteria. Pasta, cheese and sausage!

This is a one pot recipe that is from Betty Crocker and was super easy to make. All ingredients are pretty much in the pantry or freezer. (We always have sausage in our freezer) This comes together in about 40 minutes. And is easy cleanup!

Made by our son!

Ingredients

1tablespoon olive oil

1lb bulk mild Italian sausage

1/2cup diced red onion

4cloves garlic, chopped

1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4teaspoon salt

1carton (32 oz) Progresso™ chicken broth

1jar (24.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic tomato basil pasta sauce

1lb uncooked medium pasta shells

1/2cup heavy whipping cream

1/2cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz)

2tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

  • In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl; cover and keep warm.
  • Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to oil and drippings in pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.
  • Stir in broth and pasta sauce; heat to boiling. Stir in pasta; return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 11 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened.
  • Stir in sausage and whipping cream; return to simmering. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and basil.
Dinner

Asian Sesame Chicken and Slaw

Wow, I dug deep into the archives for this recipe. It comes from Working Mother Magazine of July 1999. This was a part of my cooking extravaganza this past weekend and it was a great step back through the cookbook.

This is served hot over rice, but it makes a great cold salad if there are any leftovers!

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Aisan sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 bag (16 oz) shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 8 oz snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine rice, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 2 cups water; Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 19 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce. In another medium bowl, toss chicken with 2 Tbsp of the dressing and remaining 1 tsp. of salt. In a large serving bowl combine cabbage and scallions.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat cook chicken 6 minutes, stirring. Add snow peas, red pepper and 2 Tbsp of the dressing. Saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with cabbage mixture along with remaining dressing. Garnish with peanuts. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Dinner, side dish

Green Beans Gremolata

I was looking at old files and found these green beans from a dinner club from a few years ago. They went really well with my Asian slaw with Sesame Chicken.

Oh my, these were really good but even better as a leftover. They marinated in the lemon juice and took on a more powerful taste.

  • 1 pound French green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Dinner, Seafood

Seared Basil Scallops with Pesto Orzo

It’s was Friday night and I was looking something to do with the Scallops we had in the freezer.  I started to look in my old binder of recipes from years ago and found a recipe from a Working Mother magazine dated July 1999.  The note posted below it said good, so that was enough for me. 

About a half hour before dinner time, I started to defrost the Scallops under running cold water. Then I started the prep. I have learned to get everything ready and within arms reach when cooking. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find an ingredient while your cooking.

This recipes come together pretty quickly. Served with a vegetable of your choice and a great glass of wine.

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 lb large sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated prepared pesto, divided
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • In a small saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions; drain
  • For Scallops: Using a sharp knife, cut a horizontal slit nearly through each scallop, then spread about a 1/4 tsp of pesto in center; close scallop
  • Warm olive oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops; brown 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through, remove to plate.
  • Turn off heat under skillet, add lemon juice and cook about 10 seconds, stirring to incorporate brown bits. Pour juices over scallops.
  • In medium serving bowl, toss drained orzo with remaining 1/3 cup pesto. Serve Scallops over orzo. Serves 4.