Friday, November 26, 2010

Pesto Omelette

Adding pesto to your omelette adds a huge boost of flavor and a little variety to an easy breakfast (or dinner).

Serves 2

1 tsp butter or oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp pesto
1 handful spinach leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup gouda or other cheese, grated
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Heat a small (about 7 inches or 18 cm) frying pan on the stove on medium, melt butter. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Mix in milk, pesto and salt and pepper. Once the frying pan is hot, pour the egg mixture, sprinkle on the spinach leaves and cheese and let it cook. Once the center of the omelette is starting to set, lift the corner of the omelette and gently fold it in half. Let it rest for about 30 seconds or so and then slip it off the pan and onto a plate. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

White Bean Hummus

I love hummus, but it is difficult to find here in Austria. So when I saw this recipe on my sister's site, I knew I had to try it. First of all, it was ridiculously easy. You literally just blend it all together and it's ready to go. It has great flavor and is a really healthy and filling snack. Hummus is traditionally made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) but those are also difficult to find here, so I used white beans and it turned out great. So feel free to experiment.

Serves 4

1 clove garlic
1 can white beans
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
olive oil

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend away. Garnish with olive oil and serve with pita bread, carrot sticks or other vegetables.

Calories: 1/2 cup = 225 calories

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Orange Cake with Mascarpone

I love having people over because it gives me an excuse to make a big fancy dessert. This cake was lovely, it had a nice citrus flavor and the mascarpone frosting really made it sweet and creamy and delicious.

3/4 cup orange juice + zest from 2 oranges
113 g butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup orange marmalade (to put in between the layers)

1 1/2 cup mascarpone
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup mandarin oranges

Preheat oven to 350 (176 C)
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then blend in orange juice and orange zest. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, and flour). Combine flour mixture with orange mixture and fold in coconut. Pour into a prepared 9 inch (22 cm) round cake pan and bake for about half an hour or until the center of the cake springs back when touched. Let it sit until cooled completely.

Once cool, use a sharp serrated knife and gently cut the cake in half. Spread a generous 1/2 cup of marmalade on the top of the bottom half of the cake, and gently replace the top of the cake, sandwiching the jam in between the two layers. Then mix the mascarpone with powdered sugar and spread it generously on the cake until it is completely covered. Garnish with mandarine oranges and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

P.S. This cake is even better the next day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

adapted from Dianasaur Dishes

This dish is anything but healthy. But it is oh so good. Creamy, rich flavors that are hearty and so pleasing. It's easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. So ignore your waistline, invite people over as an excuse to make it, and give it a try.

Serves 4-6

4-6 servings Penne pasta
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup bacon, crumbled
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup sliced artichoke hearts
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 cup spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Boil your pasta according to the directions on the package. In a large skillet, saute garlic and onion in butter until softened, then add bacon, mushrooms and artichokes. After about two minutes add the wine. Cover and let simmer 5 minutes until it has reduced. Then add cream and seasonings and mix well. When you drain the pasta, add spinach while pasta is still very hot so it will wilt in the steam. Finally, pour sauce over noodles and garnish with parmesan. Serve warm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Véronique

Ben made this for dinner the other night and it was AMAZING. So good I wanted to lick my plate clean! These pictures really don't do it justice. It's basically chicken in a white wine sauce, cooked with grapes and eaten over rice. The chicken is tangy and the grapes are sweet and juicy. It's an incredible combination.

serves 4

2 Tbsp butter
4 chicken breasts
1-2 cups green seedless grapes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 tsp parsley
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and pepper and sear both sides until they are slightly browned. Then transfer the chicken to another plate.

2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the second tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Saute the shallots until they are translucent. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any bits off of the bottom, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half.

3. Add the cream, cornstarch (mix with a Tbsp wine so it will be smooth), and spices and let it remain on low heat until it has begun to thicken up, then return the chicken to the sauce. Poach the chicken until it is cooked through. (about 5-10 minutes)

4. Finally, add the grapes for just a few minutes before taking the pan off of the stove. Leave them in just long enough to become hot. Serve over rice.