Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Basil Pesto and Gnocchi

I know awhile back when someone mentioned making pesto i thought that stuff just looks gross. The more I thought about it and thought about checking it out .... I loved the ingredients that went in. I just couldn't justify pureeing them all together! But baby let me tell you when I did....it was so fantastic that it will  (to quote a friend of mine) "make your tongue slap your brain out".
2 cloves of garlic
a little less than 1/4 of a cup of pine nuts
a little less than 1/4 of a cup of walnuts
3 loosely packed cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese shredded
1/4 cup of Parmesan Reggiano (if you can get your hands on this stuff it adds such a rich buttery flavor)
salt and pepper
a good bit of olive oil (1/4 to possibly 1/2 of cup)
and a food processor
1 package of potato Gnocchi ( I buy the market pantry brand at Target)
Now into the food processor goes the pine nuts and walnuts and the peeled cloves of garlic. pulse them a little bit then add your basil leaves and Parmesan cheeses and  pulse them in too. now through the feeder tube pour the olive oil in  a slow steady stream and watch the mixture to get thick and soupy.add a little salt and pepper and taste....... and its done! Follow the direction for boiling the Gnocchi and make sure you salt your boiling water! then drain your Gnocchi and pour about 3/4 of a cup of the pesto sauce over the warm gnocchi!
This stuff was amazing but the more I think about it....i think it would be good on so many things from chicken to just a crispy warm slice of a baguette. hmmm. Me and pesto are now BFFs!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Easy roast beef sandwiches

I know I posted two soup recipes so for a bonus here is an easy Roast Beef Sandwich recipe we love!
1 tsp of butter
1 Package Hormel Roast beef with au jus (from the refrigerated section)
1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin strips
1 red or orange bell pepper sliced thin strips
1 onion sliced thin strips
12 -15 basil leaves
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp of mayo
fresh spring mix lettuce
provolone cheese
1 package of hoagie rolls

Place butter, bell pepers and onion in a frying pan and simmer till soft. while those are simmering...in bowl mix mayo, pinch of salt and pepper with about 5 basil leaves torn and place in fridge.  Warm the package of roast beef in in the microwave for a minute or so just so the juices are all melted and then dump it into the simmering pan of veggies and let the roast get warm. Break it apart into the vegetables and once its all really hot, pull  the veggies and beef out and  of the pan and place on a plate. Turn the pan down to low simmer and let the sauce in the pan reduce by at least half.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Slather one side of open hoagie with mayo mixture. on the bottom side place cheese and then stuff the meat and veggie mix in between. Then press in the lettuce and one or two of the basil leaves into the sandwich. Drizzle a little pan sauce over the sandwich. Press the sandwich together and ENJOY!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash soup

Boy its been a while since I had time to post a new recipe!  I know I posted a soup last time too but I knew I had not posted in a while and this was just bursting with Fall! So I couldn't help but share it!

1 Large onion just cut in half from root to tip, skin remove and root trimmed
5 large cloves of garlic tips trimmed but left in skins
3 small butternut squash cut in half and seeds scooped clean
1 potato (skin on) just sliced in half
2Tbsp of butter
2Tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
few snips of thyme
1 tsp of parsley
pinch of nutmeg

melt butter just slightly and add olive oil. On a large rimmed pan lined with aluminum foil place butternut squash skin side down, garlic cloves, potatoes, onion on cookie sheet. Brush all the veggies with butter/oil mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven at 375 for half an hour and then flip the butternut squash  over where the skins are now facing up and roast for another 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for awhile.  Once cool place onion in a soup pot and squeeze garlic from its skin into the pot and use a large spoon to spoon out the insides of the potato and the butternut squash. Add your 1/2 and 1/2 and use an immersion blender (or regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender) to turn the soup till smooth. you may need to add more 1/2 and 1/2 to get the right consistency. Warm the soup just till hot while stirring. Toss in your herbs and nutmeg and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper. I had to add salt and a dash of pepper to mine. 
Now everyone know you need a grilled cheese with soup. I used a smoked Gouda and some Camembert cheese to really take it up a notch and it was fantastic. Grilled cheese possibilities are absolutely endless!!!