If you’re looking for a super quick, super flavorful dish, this is it. It is amazing really, how a few carefully chosen ingredients can provide so much flavor. Even if you’re not a big olive fan, you need to try this dish.
Tomato and Olive Penne
Makes 4 servings. Adapted from Everyday Food.
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb penne
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring, until the tomato juices run, about 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add the penne, olives, parsley, and 1/4 cup parmesan to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve with more cheese if desired.
You heard me right. Banana Split Cupcakes. These give the almond ones a good run for their money. There is just enough banana flavor in there to taste delicious, but not so much that you feel like you’re eating a banana whole. The frosting is fluffy and the chocolate drizzle is the ultimate finish.
And since they have banana in them, you can easily justify eating these for breakfast. I mean, they’re basically just banana bread, right? :)
Banana Split Cupcakes
Makes about 16 cupcakes.
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Â½ cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
Â½ teaspoon baking soda
Â½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
Â½ cup canola oil
1 Â¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Â½ cup shortening (crisco)
Â½ cup margarine
3 Â½ cup confectionersâ€™ sugar, sifted
1 Â½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Â¼ cup soy milk
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons soy milk
Preheat the oven to 350Âº. Line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Lightly spray liners and top of pan with cooking spray. This will prevent the tops of the cupcakes from sticking to the pan when they rise. Set aside.
Combined apple cider vinegar and soymilk in small bowl. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).
In a bowl, mash banana with canola oil until incorporated. Add extracts and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the curdled soymilk and banana mixtures to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth (try not to overmix it). Mix in chocolate chips.
Fill each muffin cup with Â¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
For frosting: With electric mixer, beat margarine and shortening until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and continue to beat until all the sugar is incorporated. Add soymilk and vanilla and continue to beat for another 5 minutes. Spread generously on cupcakes.
Melt chocolate in the microwave by heating for 20 seconds, stirring, heating for another 20 seconds, until melted. Add soy milk and corn syrup and stir. Drizzle chocolate over frosted cupcakes, top with a cherry and/or chopped nuts and sprinkles, and enjoy.
One of the best things we’ve cooked lately (and we’ve cooked some delicious things!). The risotto was to die for. Buttery and rich without any butter? It doesn’t get much better than that. The cornmeal shrimp were a nice contrast to the creamy risotto – try using the same cornmeal crust on other things, such as chicken or fish even. We will definitely be making this risotto again (and as you can see, that’s not something we do often!)
Just remember that the squash needs to cook for quite a while. We have a tendency to find a recipe, and not really read through it until 5:30 or 6:00 when we start cooking. Which is a fault on our part, because usually by that time, our stomachs are rumbling and we get a bit impatient. Seeing ’1 hour’ in any recipe can easily turn what was supposed to be tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s dinner. This one, however, was easy enough to speed up. Just (carefully!) chop up the uncooked squash into chunks (halve the squash, then quarter each half). Smaller pieces=shorter cooking time. I think we cooked the pieces for 20-30 minutes. And since you don’t need the squash puree until the very end, you can have it cooking while you begin coating the shrimp and cooking the risotto.
Fried Cornmeal Shrimp With Butternut Squash Risotto
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Bon Appetit.
1 1 3/4- to 2-pound butternut squash
24 uncooked large shrimp (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, deveined
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, plus 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400Â°F. Pierce squash several times. Place on baking sheet; roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool. Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Scoop flesh into processor. Puree until smooth. Measure 1 1/2 cups puree (reserve remaining puree for another use). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
Place shrimp, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 smashed garlic cloves in large resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Chill 2 to 3 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Stir cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss. Arrange in single layer on large plate.
Preheat oven to 200Â°F. Bring broth to simmer in heavy small saucepan; reduce heat to low and keep hot. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and 2 teaspoons thyme; stir 1 minute. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add wine; stir until almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 cup hot broth and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding hot broth 1 cup at a time and stirring frequently until rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add enough vegetable oil to heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1/4 inch. Heat oil over high heat. Working in 2 batches, fry shrimp until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm.
Rewarm reserved 1 1/2 cups squash puree in microwave. Add warm puree to risotto and stir until rice is tender but still firm, about 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and remaining 2 teaspoons thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide risotto among bowls. Top with shrimp and serve.
A twist on the typical burger, and with all the ground beef madness going on right now (yikes!), ground turkey is the way to go. In fact, I prefer turkey burgers to beef ones. As long as you treat them right, you can have turkey burgers that are juicy and flavorful. One of the keys is making sure you have a nice set of buns. We used some ciabatta bread rolls that were crusty and delicious.
Next time we’ll get more creative with the toppings. We ran out of salsa (oops), so ended up topping them with a slice of tomato, cucumber, and some cilantro. Add some avocado/guacamole, crisp lettuce, and red onion in there and it’d be hard to top this burger.
Spicy Salsa Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 cup mild salsa, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon chipotle-flavored hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 crusty rolls, halved horizontally, toasted if desired
4 lettuce leaves
Other toppings (tomato, avocado, red onion, etc.)
Mix ground turkey, 1/2 cup salsa, shallots, cilantro, 3 tablespoons oil, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Shape turkey mixture into four 3 1/2- to 4-inch-diameter patties.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add burgers; cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to low. SautÃ© until burgers are cooked through, about 4 minutes, turning occasionally.
Arrange roll bottoms on 4 plates. Place lettuce, then burgers on roll bottoms. Top each burger with 2 tablespoons of remaining salsa, then roll tops.