Friday, August 8, 2014

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Bake

I'm so excited!!! We are going skydiving and rafting in Moab on Sunday. It's going to be a new thrill for me, seeing as I've never really done either. But anyway, I saw this recipe last week and immediately it piqued my interest. I love mediterranean inspired food, honestly it's some of my favorite things to eat; doner kebabs are amazing. This is a simple recipe with lots of flavor and I was excited to finally use some of the basil in our garden. It's been begging to be used.

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Bake
Recipe adapted from The Clever Carrot

2 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, thinly slices
3 tablespoons marinade from artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 lb fusili pasta, cooked
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped 
1/2 cup white beans, rinse and drain
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped

1/3 cup basil, chopped 
2 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Drain the artichoke hearts reserving the juice. To a large bowl, add the chicken, artichoke juice, garlic, and oregano leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and mix well to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • To a casserole dish, add the sliced onions and tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the tomatoes begin to burst, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides and make sure it's thoroughly cooked.
  • Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Add the cooked pasta, chicken, artichoke hearts, beans, olives, and chopped herbs. Stir to combine.
  • Top with grated cheese and bake for an additional 6 minutes until the cheese is melted. To brown the cheese pop it under the broiler for a minute.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Finding new recipes to blog about can be quite difficult seeing as my guy likes most of the things I've already made and blogged about. Plus working in a fine dining kitchen keeps me busy! But I decided to take some time this week to make something new. I've never really made chinese food at home. I love korean, thai, indian and japanese! I had some shrimp in the freezer and essentially all of the ingredients in the pantry for the sauce, so this was a no-brainer.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

1 lb shrimp, shelled and devined
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 stalks celery, cut on a biased
2/3 cup sweet and sour sauce {recipe below}
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup pineapple chunks

  • Combine the shrimp, garlic, ginger and white pepper in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add the oil, and coat the sides of the wok. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Once ready, remove from the pan.
  • To the pan, add the celery and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the sweet and sour sauce and chicken stock and cook until it boils and reduces slightly. Add the pineapple and shrimp and stir to coat well.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

  • In a bowl, combine the water, ketchup, brown sugar, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce and crushed red pepper.
  • In a pan over high heat, add the oil. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the mixture from above and bring to a boil making sure the sugar dissolves.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water, add this to the cooked mixture, stirring until the sauce boils and thickens.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Shrimp Carbonara

Ah, another lovely farmers market visit in Salt Lake City. I managed to pick up some english peas for my carbonara. We've been using them at work for our spring menu and they are so delicious. They have a wonderful sweet flavor.

Shrimp Carbonara

1 lb fresh pasta dough, cooked
6 strips bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb shrimp
2 cups peas, blanched
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • In a pan over medium heat cook the bacon and garlic. Add the shrimp halfway in between and finish cooking until the bacon is browned and crispy and shrimp is pink. Transfer the mixture to a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess bacon grease.
  • Whisk together cream, eggs, parmesan and pepper.
  • Add the cream mixture, shrimp and bacon, peas and pasta to the pan cook over medium-low, tossing, 2 to 4 minutes or until a thick sauce forms around the pasta. 
  • If the pasta is not to be eaten right away, add a little bit of the pasta water to thin out the sauce.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fillings and Emulsions

So Tim and I had a fun little outing yesterday. We drove up to Salt Lake City to go to the Farmer's Market, first of the season and also stopped by the wonderful Fillings and Emulsions, owned by my former pastry instructor, Chef Adalberto Diaz! It's a must try if you live in Utah or are visiting, trust me. They offer many individual pastries, tarts and cakes... sweet and savory.

One of my favorite things that Adalberto makes is the cuban meat pie. It consists of a savory meat filling encased in sugary crusted puff pastry. I first experienced it while in Culinary School, it was one of those things you just couldn't stop eating. It's a beautiful thing.

I also love the pecan sticky bun, the dough is light and airy, bathed in a delicious glaze with chopped pecans. It's definitely decadent, but so worth it!

Macarons are also another specialty of his. They are beautifully made and contain 2 fillings, a fruit filling in the middle and a buttercream or marshmallow cream to contain it. Flavors include: Strawberry Lemonade, Marshmallow Blackberry, Passion Fruit Pineapple, Florentine Dulce de Leche, Pistachio Black Cherry and Chocolate Raspberry. He's one of the only people to make macarons with a double filling, it shows that he cares about his product and will take the time to make sure it's done right.

When I was at his shop I also couldn't help but buy some yummy individual desserts for dinner tonight! I went with a lemon curd marshmallow tart and of course tiramisu. Look at those beautiful layers on the tiramisu, I'm going to enjoy it for sure!

And last, but definitely not least for the large assortment of treats this bakery supplies, the gorgeous bread! I picked up a french baguette and wheat sourdough. Chef Adalberto makes the best bread. He uses deck ovens that I think are necessary for getting that amazing crust.

Fillings and Emulsions
25 East Kensington Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah 

Tuesday: 7am to 2pm
Wednesday: 8am to 6pm
Thursday-Saturday: 8am to 7pm


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Avocado-Cilantro Crema

So it's definitely been a while since I made my last post. The entire month of May was filled with getting back into the kitchen at work to learn and perfect the spring menu! Needless to say, it's awesome.

This delicious condiment can be used on an array of things, like fish tacos, on top of chicken enchiladas {with red sauce} or even put a dollop on chicken tortilla soup.

Avocado-Cilantro Crema

2 avocados
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, packed
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Check the consistency and taste and adjust to your liking.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lemon Curd

This is a versatile condiment. You can use lemon curd to spruce up many baked goods!

Lemon Curd
Recipe from Joys of Baking  

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. 
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick and around 160 degrees F. This will take approximately 10 minutes
  • Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. 
  • Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cranberry Orange Scones

Tim and I were in Portland visiting friends earlier in the month. While we were out there they wanted me to teach them something to make, preferably a breakfast pastry. What better item than a scone. These are my favorite flavor, I always order a cranberry orange scone from our local English bakery, Elizabeth's in Salt Lake City.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter {cold}, cubed

2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup cranberries {dried}
1 tablespoon orange zest

turbinado sugar, sprinkle on top

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients and mix about 30-60 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, heavy cream, cranberries and orange zest with a whisk. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cream and egg mixture, about 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer once combined.
  • Put flour on your work surface and place dough on top. pat it out into a disk about 8-9 inches in diameter. Cut the disk into 8 pieces.
  • Separate the pieces and put them on baking sheet and brush with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Enjoy with lemon curd, clotted cream and/or jam.