Ham and Arugula Shortcrust Rolls

IMG_0019.JPG

I’m always coming across new food challenges to participate in. It helps me be keep my recipes varied, because I get new ideas of things to make! In my internet sleuthing, I found The Pastry Challenge. The idea of the Pastry Challenge is to make a pastry item that meets the monthly theme. This month’s theme was anything, which really is a nice way to start this since I haven’t been doing much baking lately.

I decided to use the first time back into pastry baking to be a dinner item – this is a shortcrust wrapped up with ham, arugula, mustard, and parmesan cheese. It was a great choice. I added just a bit too much water to the dough, but all-in-all, delicious!

Ham and Arugula Shortcrust Rolls

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp red chili powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/ 8 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp ice water
2 tbsp honey mustard
5 slices honey ham
1/3 cup arugula

Directions

  1. Sift the flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper together. Put into a food processor and pulse several times.
  2. Add the butter and pulse into a course meal is formed.
  3. Add the 1 1/2 tsp cheese and pulse several times.
  4. Add the egg and pulse several times.
  5. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough comes together.
  6. Shape into a ball and wrap in seran wrap. Refrigerate for half hour.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Smear with mustard. Top with ham, arugula, and 1 tbsp parmesan.
  8. Roll into a wrap, starting on the long side.
  9. Put in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375. Cut the dough into slices. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

* makes about 9 rolls

pastry_challengesmall-victories-sunday-linkup-button-red

Eggplant Meatballs

IMG_0178

I really need to find my camera charger for my Canon. The battery is totally dead. I know the charger is somewhere and actually . . . there’s TWO chargers somewhere but until I figure out where that is, my iPhone camera is going to have to suffice. It’s better than nothing and it’s better than some digital cameras, so that’s okay.

In all honesty, I didn’t cook this. My boyfriend did. He cooked it with me in the kitchen guiding him. We’ve decided he needs to learn to cook. So for the past two weeks we’ve been having cooking lessons. He’s been a great student. I’m no expert, but I’m better than nothing. He’s starting to get better than nothing, but we will see what happens if he has to cook for himself. We probably need more lessons.

I had chosen this recipe to make for January’s Pasta Please, hosted by Ren Behan: healthy pasta. I love meatballs of all types, whether meaty or vegetarian. These meatballs were in my most recent Food Network Magazine and were perfect for the challenge.

The original recipe called for white beans. I can’t eat most beans so was going to replace them with chickpeas (which I can eat.) Unfortunately, the leftover chickpeas I had were moldy. So we used shredded potato instead. These were great.

pasta please

Eggplant Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 small eggplant
1 large egg, beaten
2 small fingerling potatoes, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
8 oz pasta

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an eggplant on the sheet. Poke a few times with a fork. Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool, but leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop the meat of the eggplant out from the skin and place in a bowl.

3. Add the egg, potatoes, garlic, basil, onion, parmesan, and salt and pepper to the eggplant. Mix together with your hands. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.

4. Form balls in the size of golfballs out of the eggplant mixture. Place on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Also, in a small pan heat up the marinara sauce.

6. When the meatballs are done, mix together the meatballs, pasta, and sauce. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese on top.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Butternut Squash Parmigiana

IMG_9555

I was going to make eggplant parmigiana, but I decided last week mid-week that I wasn’t going to do any grocery shipping and I was going to use the ingredients I had in the house. I had planned to make this eggplant parmigiana, but didn’t have an eggplant . . . so I searched through my fridge and found a butternut squash that was asking for me to use it. I’ve made mini pizzas on butternut squash before, so I figured this was a good choice of foods to make parmigiana with. I really love butternut squash. This meal turned out to be decadent – with the sweetness of the squash mixed with the salty of the tomato sauce . . . YUM!!! I’m going to not go grocery shopping more and force myself to make do with what I have in the house, because this was magical.

Butternut Squash Parmigiana

Ingredients
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 medium butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash into slices 1/3 of an inch thick. Make sure you clean out the center of the squash, disposing of the seeds.

2. Brush the squash slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.

3. Raise oven heat to 400. Place the tender squash slices in a casserole dish, layering the bottom of the dish. Spoon the tomato sauce on top, followed by the mozzarella, and then the parmesan.

4. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

* serves 4
* shared with Tasty Tuesdays

Roasted Pepper Pesto (with no nuts)

IMG_9523

Though pestos traditionally have nuts (and usually pine nuts,) I forgot to buy nuts this week for this pesto. As a result, I had zero nuts in my house. I decided to make the pesto anyway, sans the nuts. This dish was delicious. The sauce was light with a slight kick to it (thanks peppers!)

To roast your peppers, heat your oven up to 500. Cut you peppers in half and seed them. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until the peppers are turning black. Remove them and put them in a ziplock. Let them cool off and then the skins will peel off nice and easy.

This dish was made specifically for the Pasta Please challenge from Tinned Tomatoes, hosted this month by simply.food.

pasta please

Roasted Pepper Pesto Sauce (with no nuts)

Ingredients
1 roasted jalapeno, with the ribs and seeds removed and with the skin removed
2 roasted poblano pepper, with the ribs and seeds removed and with the skin removed
2 garlic clove
1 cup cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

1. Process the peppers, garlic, and cilantro together in a food processor. Add the olive oil slowly and continue to process. Add cheese and pulse a few times until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse a few more times.

2. Serve over your favorite noodle.

* Besides Pasta Please, I’m sharing this recipe with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

Baked Eggplant Sandwich

IMG_9152

21 days. In 21 days, exactly 3 weeks, I will be finished with my first day of bar exam testing. That makes me sick. And after I take the horrid test, I’ll be in limbo until November.

I’ve started secret shopping and haven’t been eating in as much. I can’t really turn down free food.

This sandwich is based heavily on this recipe. Mine is a little different, in that my tomato sauce is actually tomato paste and cherry tomatoes. And I used Asian eggplant instead of globe eggplant. It was super easy, but packed with flavors.

Baked Eggplant Sandwich

Ingredients
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Asian eggplant
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
olive oil, as needed
2 hamburger buns
1/2 cup Arugula
2 tbsp tomato paste
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. First, let’s make the cheese spread. In a dry skillet, add the garlic cloves with the skins still on, over high heat. Toast them, flipping frequently for about 15 minutes. The garlic skins will become blackened. Once done, remove from the skillet. Unwrap them. You should essentially have roasted garlic.

2.Mash the garlic in a small bowl. Mix together the ricotta and Parmesan. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375. In a shallow bowl mix together the bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

4. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds.

5. Take two more shallow bowls out. Fill the flour in one. In the other add the egg. Dredge each piece of eggplant in flour. Dip in the egg. Then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes at 375. Then flip the eggplant and bake for another 15 minutes.

6. While the eggplant in cooking, heat a skillet. Add a glug of olive oil. Add the tomato paste and mix around. Add the cherry tomatoes. Mix around until hot.

7. Once the eggplant is done, put together your sandwiches. Place a handful of arugula leaves on the bottom bun. Cover with several slices of eggplant. Spoon hot tomato sauce on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Spread the ricotta cheese on the top bun. Put the top bun on top of your sandwich. Take a bite!

* serves 2
* shared with Kahaki Kitchen‘s Souper Sundays & Cast Party Wednesday

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan (take two)

IMG_9058

 

I rarely remake dishes and then reblog about them. I mean, I often make recipes that I’ve made and posted about. But I just don’t usually post about them again, because what’s done is done. Right?

But this month, Cooking Around The World traveled to Italy. Whenever I think about Italian food, I think of chicken parmesan, because that’s what I order when I go to any Italian restaurant. Almost a year ago I posted a blog about my Cheesy Chicken Parmesan dish and have yet to find a chicken parmesan dish I prefer more.

GET THE RECIPE HERE

Chicken Kiev

IMG_9048

 

Web surfing drifted up to Frugal in Florida‘s blog, where I found her recipe for Chicken Kiev. For those who don’t know, chicken kiev is a boneless piece of chicken, wrapped around herbed butter, breaded, and then either baked or fried. Seriously, this dish would have been great for either the stuffed or breaded versions of Pantry Party. But alas, I didn’t make it then I made it now.

My only failure with the dish was I think I should have added a hell of a lot more butter to the middle of the piece of chicken. The amount I added was good and super tasty, but it would have been even better with more of my spiced up butter.

This is NOT a recipe to try when you’re rushed for time. It’s not hard, but things need to sit awhile.

Chicken Kiev
(source)

Ingredients
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs
1 tbsp water
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

1. With a mixer beat together the butter, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mold the butter into a stick and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for several hours.

2. Pound each chicken breast to where it will be thin enough to roll.

3. Take the butter out of the freezer and slice into 6 slices. Setting 2 of the slices to the side, place a slice of butter in the center of each chicken breast. On top of the butter add 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs. Fold in the sides of the chicken breast and roll into a log. Place in a dish, seam side down. If the roll will not stay together, use toothpicks to hold together. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

4. In a shall dish beat together the eggs and water. Melt the remaining herb butter and place the butter, breadcrumbs, and parmesan in another shall dish.

5. Heat oven to 350. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat well. Bake for 30 minutes.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

IMG_9015_j

I had no idea studying for the bar exam would be such a soul sucking feat. On days when I have the review class I’m there for at least 4 hours, to come home to 4 hours of homework (at least). The weekends provide me no break. For instance, today, I woke up and did an hour and a half of work, went out for an hour with my mom, did another hour and a half of work, drove from San Francisco to Sacramento with traffic for a total of 2 1/2 hours, and then worked from 6-11. I had no idea studying would be this awful. It’s not that this information was unknown to me, but I think not knowing made it more bearable to graduate. I mean, knowing that I was graduating just to study nearly eight hours a day would have been kind of devastating.

Anyway, bar prep isn’t taking away from my cooking (thought it will from my updating.)

I got this recipe through a swap. It was easy, filling, and kind of reminded me of being a little kid (though I never got these when I was little.)

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

Ingredients
4 hoagie buns
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup ricotta
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Make a wide V-shaped cut in the center of each of the buns, cutting down 1-inch from the bottom. Remove the cut out portions and save for another use. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook the beef over medium heat, until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, and basil. Cook for  minutes.

3. In a bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, half of the cheddar, and half of the mozzarella. Spoon the meat mixture into the buns. Top with the cheese mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

4. Uncover. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

weekend cooking

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops over Roasted Cabbage

IMG_8911

 

The idea of slicing cabbage into chunks, smearing olive oil on top of it, and sticking it in the oven seemed rather foreign to me. There just seemed something wrong about it, something that should never be done or something. But I pushed my judgments aside because Martha Stewart usually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to food. If it’s okay with Martha, it’s worth trying.

Even though these two recipes had different cooking times and temperatures, I stuck the cabbage in the oven at the same time I was doing the pork chops. Parts of it came out a little charred, but it was easier than putting the cabbage in for 40 minutes at 400 and then putting the pork in for 30 more minutes at 425.

Most of dinner’s cook time last night involved watching Project Runway, because I had to wait for it to cook.

It was a delicious meal and I’ll definitely do cabbage this way again.

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops
(source)

Ingredients
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 pork chops, boneless

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a shallow dish combine the flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. In another shallow dish combine the egg and Worcestershire sauce. In a final shallow dish combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan.

2. Coat each pork chop with the flour. Then dip in the egg. Finally coat with the bread crumbs. Place in a baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve on top of cabbage (recipe follows.)

* serves 2

 

Roasted Cabbage
(source)

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
1 head of cabbage, cut into 1-inch thick rounds
salt and pepper, to taste
ground thyme, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place the cabbage rounds on the baking sheet.

2. Brush the cabbage with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Bake for 35 minutes.

* serves 6

* This recipe is shared with Weekend Cooking

Breaded Tomato Pasta

IMG_8777

 

I know I posted earlier in the month my Pantry Party dish of the month. But this month my inspiration ran amok. Rather than just post one breaded dish, this month there’s going to be (at least) two. Fried tomatoes are now my favorite things ever. Really, this dish is incredible simple. But sometimes it’s the most simple dishes that taste the best.

This dish dug into my pantry to grab my spaghetti noodles, bread crumbs, and flour. I bought the tomatoes this morning at the farmers’ market, so they were better than usual.

Don’t forget, enter Pantry Party’s breaded theme this month before the 28th! For more info go here!

Breaded Tomato Pasta
(source)

Ingredients
4 oz spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp basil, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Directions

1. Cook the spaghetti noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Place the milk in another shallow dish. Place the flour in another shallow dish.

3. Slice each tomato into three slices. Using the ends of the tomato that are left over from the slices, chopped the tomato. (By the ends I mean the ends of the tomato.)

4. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Dredge each tomato slice in flour. Then dip in milk and then cover in bread crumbs. After dipping in the breadcrumbs, dip back into the milk and into the breadcrumbs again. Place each tomato slice in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to drain.

5. In the hot skillet add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until fragrant. Add the noodles and stir together with the tomato, basil, and garlic, making sure to evenly combine.

6. To serve place pasta on a plate. Place three fried tomatoes on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

* serves 2
* Besides Pantry Party, this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo