Caramelized Onions and Red Wine Naan Pizzas

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I don’t know what’s wrong with me blogging lately – I just have zero motivation to do it. I’ve also lost a lot of motivation for cooking. I’m hoping to change it up in the New Year, mostly because I like to look back and create this sort of cookbook of recipes I liked enough to eat again. So I think a new year’s resolution is going to be to update this thing like once a week. That shouldn’t be impossible.

This year has just been zipping by. I don’t know where this year went. And also, this holiday season has just snuck up on me. I’m going to my parents’ on Wednesday until Sunday. Then back home to ring in 2016.

This month’s Alphabakes is all about the letter “N.” Caroline and Ros are letting the letter “N” stand for NOEL, so I’m expecting they’ll be receiving a ton of sweet treats baked up specially for the holidays! I veered in a different direction this month.

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Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Naan Pizzas
(original)

Ingredients
2 pieces of pre-made garlic naan
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I used the rest of the Bogel zinfandel I had drank over the weekend)
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1/2 tbsp rosemary, minced
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup feta
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and cook them over medium-high heat, allowing them to brown. Make sure they do not burn by stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In the pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the mushrooms for 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
  4. Pour in the wine, parsley, and rosemary with the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have soaked up the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place your naan on a baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the naan with the mozzarella. Top with the onions. Then top with the mushrooms. Finish by sprinkling feta on top.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

* serves 2
* This is also being shared with Mix It Up Monday

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Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

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Sometimes I have problems with movies with subtitles. Eat Drink Man Woman provided me some trouble in that regard with paying attention. I kept seeing food, but I hardly followed the story line. Because of that, I can’t tell you what the movie was about.

Why am I talking about the movie though? Because this month’s Food n’ Flix hosted by Kahakai Kitchen features this movie. To participate I made some Asianesque noodles. Perhaps not the most inspired dish this month, but at least I’m participating? That’s more than I can say from the last few months.

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Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

Ingredients
12 oz ramen noodles (without the spice packets)
12 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp mirin
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb asparagus, with fibrous ends removed cut into 3 inch pieces
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of red chili flakes

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet. Once sizzling hot, add the tofu and cook 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate.

2. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook per package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In the cast iron skillet, add some more oil. Add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mirin on top. Pour into a large bowl.

4. Add some more oil to the skillet. Cook the green onions for 2 minutes and place in the large bowl with the mushrooms. Then cook the asparagus in the skillet for 2 minutes. Place in the large bowl.

5. Add the noodles, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili flakes to the vegetable mixture. Toss to combine.

* serves 4
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is also shared with Delicious Dish Tuesday

Mushroom Turkey Burgers

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I love burgers. They’re actually a huge downfall for me when we go out to eat. I just want a burger. With bacon. And cheese. And lots of mayo.

For a little silly story about me, I grew up hating hamburgers. I would temper tantrum, I would cry, and I would end up getting chicken nuggets or a hot dog whenever hamburgers were served. They repulsed me. I didn’t want to have anything to do with that weird piece of pressed together meat that I had no idea what was mixed in (yet, I’d eat a hot dog haha.) My first hamburger that I ate willingly without a temper tantrum was after my senior year in high school, when In ‘n Out Burger moved into town. It changed my life. And I began to experiment with burgers from other places and burgers with other meats.

Today, burgers are one of my favorite foods.

Though ground beef is my favorite meat in a burger, this turkey burger was divine. The flavors were great, it was juicy, and I wish I had room to eat a second!

Mushroom Turkey Burgers

Ingredients
1 oz dried mushrooms
4 mushrooms, diced
1 lb ground turkey
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 tsp steak sauce
4 hamburger buns

Directions

1. In a large bowl mix together the diced mushrooms, turkey, green onions, salt, parsley, mustard, and steak sauce with your hands. Form the meat into four even sized patties.

2. Press the dried mushrooms onto both sides of all four patties.

3. Heat up a cast iron skillet. Spray with cooking spray. Add the patties and cook for 7 minutes per side.

4. Serve you burgers on buns and add any condiments you desire. I had mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

* serves 4
* I’m sharing this with See Ya In The Gumbo

Christmas Dinner 2013

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Though my 12 days of cookies may have fallen into oblivion (though I do have some cookies to share in the next few days that I did end up making,) December always for me is a month of cooking. I made cookies for Matt’s family for Christmas, I made my doggy chicken jerky, and I made my dad homemade barbecue sauce in two different flavors.

What always becomes a cooking marathon though, is Christmas Day. Some families go BIG and invite everyone they know for Christmas. My family is the opposite. My parents moved to California from Ohio in the ’80s and because none of our extended family is around, we tend to keep it small. We go for fancy meals instead of meals that serve a lot of people. Christmas is always a time that my mom and I spend the whole day in the kitchen, making sure we make our meal perfect.

This was another year of perfection.

Rather than share the recipes, I’m linking you to the recipes we followed.

2013 Christmas Menu in Pictures

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The star of the show was a beautiful Beef Wellington. My mom’s made Beef Wellington in the past, but we followed a new recipe this year. It was my first time ever making one. This dish took all day, but it was worth every second it took making it. The beef tenderloin was so juicy and tender, having cooked with the pate, mushrooms, and proscuitto wrapped tightly around it. Though my taste buds would have enjoyed eating all 3-lbs of the tenderloin, this is so rich that one slice was all the rest of my body could handle.

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As a side dish we had Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding from the cookbook that can do no wrong. I gave my mom Barefoot Contessa Foolproof last year for Christmas. She cooks out of the cookbook a lot and has told me everything in it is divine and flavorful and yet, easy to make. We decided to make this bread pudding and it hit the mark.

We also made Roasted Brussels Sprouts, but I did not take a picture of those. We seasoned them with salt and pepper and tossed them in some olive oil and roasted them. Though simple, this decadent meal needed a simple veggie.

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To put an end to our Christmas meal, we had Vanilla Roasted Pears with vanilla ice cream. The fruit dessert was a great end to the meal. My aunt had sent us pears for Christmas. This was a great way to use them. They were so soft and delicious.

What did you have for Christmas this year?

* This recipe is being shared with Full Plate Thursday

Spaghetti Bolognese

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This month’s Food ‘n Flix film was hosted over at This Mama Cooks! We watched a movie called Toast. Toast is the story of Nigel Slater. The movie shows us Nigel’s version of his life, based on his memoir.

The movie depicts Nigel and his family. It shows his venture into the land of culinary arts. Having grown up with a mother who only cooked from cans, Nigel always wanted something more than . . . toast. At one point Nigel has a conversation with his mother:

Nigel: Can I have Spaghetti Bolognese?
Nigel’s Mom: I don’t know how to cook such a thing.
Nigel: I’ll show you.

Nigel made a beautiful bolognese. And his mom didn’t eat it. She ate toast. She was so intimidated by that big plate of noodles with meat sauce that she just couldn’t do it and resorted to the one thing she was sure of. Young Nigel tried so hard to get his mom to love food and love to cook, but unfortunately that was a joy she never shared.

The story continues to explain more of the culinary creations that Nigel creates and explains how he became the chef and the man he is today.

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For this meal I loosely followed Nigel’s own bolognese recipe. I made adjustments, as always, to suit my pantry, refrigerator, and life on whole. I mean, I really didn’t have 2 hours to let the sauce simmer for after having worked all day long. Now – don’t get me wrong . . . I know pasta sauce is lovely when cooked for hours and gets this dynamic that is hard to replicate on a quick cook, but I just didn’t have the time. I turned the heat up and cooked the sauce way quicker than Nigel would have approved of.

But I was left with a delicious pasta sauce that was easy to make. With some garlic bread, delicious!

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 pieces bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
7 oz ground beef
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
6 oz spaghetti noodles

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a heavy based pan. Stir in the bacon and ground beef and cook for 5 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and mushrooms, stirring well. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, allowing the vegetables to get tender.

2. Pour in the milk. Then pour in the tomatoes, white wine, and chicken broth. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for about a half hour, or until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

3. Cook the pasta per the package directions while the sauce is cooking. Drain. Toss with the sauce.

* serves 2
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, I’m sharing this dish with Cast Party Wednesday

 

Faux Tom Yum Soup

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This month at Cooking Around the World we’re heading to Thailand. My google-fu suggested I make Tom Yum Soup. I agreed.

Now . . . I live in a very Asian area. I very easily could have gotten all the ingredients I needed to make this authentic. But I just don’t have money to be spending on ingredients I don’t use frequently. So I subbed and I skipped and I made a soup with too many noodles (oops!) But you know, it doesn’t matter. It still tasted delicious.

If you want the authentic recipe go to the source. If you want mine . . . well, it’s below.

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Faux Tom Yum Soup
(source)

Ingredients
1 package soba noodles
2 1/2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass
1 tomato, chopped
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Cook the noodles to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a pot bring the water to a boil. Add the lemongrass, tomato, shrimp, mushrooms, and chili garlic sauce. Boil until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Stir together.

3. Pour the broth over the noodles. Toss the noodles into the sauce.

* serves 2
* Besides Cooking Around The World, this is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Roasted Italian Sausage with Potatoes and Mushrooms

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This month at Alphabakes, the letter of the month is I. Caroline and Ros host Alphabakes every month – taking turns of who features it on her blog.

I racked my brain this month for something I could make with an I. I got stuck on Italian sausages, so I decided to take the savory route this month. This dish was super easy to make and had a lot of flavor. It took a while in the oven, but most of that time didn’t include actual labor. I love it when I can let the dish do its own thing while I do mine.

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Roasted Italian Sausage with Potatoes and Mushrooms
(inspiration)

Ingredients
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium potatoes, quartered
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, pushed out of the casing
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Combine herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Toss to mix.

3. Place the sausage and potatoes in a roasting dish. Roast for 30 minutes.

4. Add the onions and mushrooms. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

5. Sprinkle with mozzarella and leave in the oven for 5 more minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Alphabakes, this recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

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I’ve been having a huge spaghetti squash obsession lately. Last week while I was staying with my parents’ I made the Spaghetti Squash Casserole I posted about recently. Since I didn’t have all the same ingredients I had the first time, the dish instead had portobello mushroom instead of kale and turkey breast instead of ground beef. This spaghetti squash obsession basically means every spaghetti squash recipe I run into.. I have to have it.

I saw this Martha Stewart recipe on 33 Shades of Green and immediately started drooling. And really, the drooling was worth it. This dish was great.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
8 oz ground turkey
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups frozen spinach, thawed

Directions

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon take out the seeds and other innards (like inside a pumpkin.) Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Once the squash is cooked remove. Using a fork scrape the flesh into threads. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring until soft about 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the mixture between two bowls.

3. Stir 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese into one of the bowls of the garlic-onion mixture. Mix in the breadcrumbs, turkey, and salt and pepper to taste using your hands. Form this mixture into about 12 meatballs.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Brown the meatballs, turning them to brown each side and cook all the way through (about 6 minutes.) Remove the meatballs and transfer to a palte.

5. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook the mushrooms with salt and pepper over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic-onion mixture, meatballs, and chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir through until heated.

6. Serve the meatballs and mushroom mixture over the spaghetti squash.

* serves 4
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Wednesday Extravaganza

Christmas Dinner 2012

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Every year at Christmas we try to do something different. Last year for Christmas we had a German-inspired meal. We always have several dishes that require more effort than a normal night’s dinner. My mom and I spend most of the day and most of Christmas Eve preparing for the meal. It’s small, just the nuclear family (though we typically have an honorary guest, this year a dear friend of mine from childhood who happened to be in the area, my dad’s cousin, and his girlfriend.) But the reason we do it small, is because we typically like to do something more intensive than what you could easily serve a bigger group.

I posted the Christmas Dinner Menu earlier this month. The only changes to that menu were that instead of the breaded Brussels sprouts we had balsamic glazed Brussels, we switched crown roast recipes though the concept was essentially the same, and instead of the mixed berry sauce on top of the panna cotta, there was a cranberry sauce instead.

I’m not sharing all of the recipes, I’m only sharing the recipes that I personally cooked or was involved because they’re the ones I know the changes we might have made. All the dishes are shown though, because you need to see the meal!

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The star of our meal was the Crown Roast of Pork with Apple and Hazelnut Stuffing. Our crown wasn’t the prettiest crown there is, because there are definitely better butchered crowns, but given the store didn’t charge more for it than the cost of the pork chops individually, it’s hard to complain.

The brine called for a lot of salt, which we ended up halving because the recipe called for 9 cups of salt which is a lot. The problem was that even then, the salt didn’t all dissolve into the water, and frankly, all the seasonings in the brine really didn’t come through in the meat at all. All in all though, the stuffing was a show stopper and was delicious. The pork was really just pork chops, but they were perfectly cooked and yummy. I’m not going to share this recipe besides giving the link to the recipe we followed because my mom made some changes, but I am unsure what she did. I was in charge of the stuffing portion which we followed absolutely to the recipe.

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We also had a side of Burgundy Mushrooms from the Pioneer Woman. My mom had seen this recipe and was very excited to make it. The flavor of the mushrooms was divine. The only problem is that the bouillon contains so much salt and my family doesn’t really eat much salt, so we couldn’t eat very many mushrooms without needing to drown in a glass of water. But the flavors of the wine, butter, and mushrooms was great. I’m also not sharing this recipe because it wasn’t made by me.

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I promise, this isn’t just a picture post. I made sweet potato rolls. Mine didn’t come out quite as beautiful as those on Food Done Light, but the flavor was perfect. The oven I was using is a little cool I think, so I had to bake them longer than the recipe said. The flavor of the sweet potato is extremely mild in these rolls. In fact, if I hadn’t told you there was sweet potato in it, you probably wouldn’t know. The rolls were soft and even two days later haven’t gone stale (we finished them off tonight with a spaghetti squash casserole.)

Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, divided
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups to 2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

1. In a large pot boil water over high heat. Add the sweet potato for about 20 minutes, until soft. Once the sweet potato is soft, remove from the water and smash. Place in the freezer until needed.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, yogurt, salt, 1 egg, dry milk, and whole wheat flour. Beat with the paddle attachment, mixing on low speed until the dough starts to hold together. Add 1 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix more. Slowly add more all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a soft dough that is not sticky.

3. Replace the paddle attachment for the bread hook and use the bread hook on the dough for 6 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

5. Deflate the dough. Tear the dough into 16 equal pieces. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Cover the rolls with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Beat the other egg and spread the egg mixture lightly over the rolls.

7. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes at 375. Allow to cool.

* makes 16 rolls

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Like I said above, instead of breaded Brussels like we had originally discussed at the last minute we decided there was a lot of bread going on, so we decided to make a simple balsamic vinegar sauce, roast the Brussels sprouts, and throw in some dried cranberries. It was a yummy addition to our meal. I would give you a recipe, but there isn’t one.

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I’ve never made or heard of creamed onions before making this menu plan. I’m not really sure what inspired them or how I happened across the recipe. But I am convinced that this dish was the star of the meal. The onions get really sweet when you cook them as long as you need to in this dish, and how can you say no to sweet, creamy onions?

I’m not sharing this recipe since I hardly had a hand in it, but click that link above for a great recipe.

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To end this meal we had panna cotta. For as simple as this recipe was I was incredibly intimidated by it and was convinced the whole thing was going to fall flat on its face. Luckily I was incredibly wrong. The panna cotta was delicious. But really, the process of making it was full of fail.

I made them Christmas Eve since they had to set in the fridge. I had sprinkled the gelatin in the bowl. As I went to go get water to add to the gelatin, I go back to find my bowl gone. My mom had loaded it into the dishwasher. Luckily I had more gelatin left. When boiling the cream, I turned my back for a second and the whole thing boiled over. Without me realizing it, it had also boiled over so much it had put the flame out. I didn’t realize for a few minutes and then had to resimmer the entire thing. I got everything into the molds and was sure it had failed.

Christmas Day I was surprised to see the panna cotta had set. When it became time to make the sauce I learned that all the blackberries we had bought to make the sauce with were disgustingly moldy. After scrambling around the kitchen I made the cranberry sauce with blood orange juice and honey. In retrospect I think I should have just served the panna cotta plain. The flavor of the cream was great on its own and didn’t need to be weighed down by any sauce. Also the cranberries were kind of tangy, so there’s that too.

Panna Cotta

Ingredients
2 tsp plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 cups cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 piece of vanilla bean 1 1/2 inches long, split

Directions

1. In a small bowl combine the gelatin and water. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin to the mixture. Mix well until the gelatin has completely dissolved.

4. Pour into 6 1/2 cup molds or ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

5. To remove the panna cotta from the ramekins, run a sharp knife around the sides and then flip upside down. Top with a fruit sauce (or not.)

* makes 6

What did you have for Christmas dinner this year?

* shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Party, and Linkin’ up Thursday

 

 

Mushroom Orzo

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I’m home at my parents’ for the holidays. My recipe posts may be light the next week (though I guess it’s possible they might be increased because I am helping around here, obviously.) It’s so nice to be home. I have slept an incredible amount since I’ve been here. I guess I didn’t realize how tired I was until I had a chance to actually relax and sit down and not have anything to do. This sleep is doing me well I think.

Last night for dinner my mom pulled a leftover turkey breast from Thanksgiving out of the freezer to thaw. After foraging the refrigerator we decided to make mushroom orzo. It was kind of reminiscent of risotto, cheesy, creamy, and delicious!

Mushroom Orzo
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 cup Brummel&Brown (or other margarine or butter), divided
1 onion, diced
1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 cup portabello mushrooms, cut into pieces
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
garlic powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup parsley, diced

Directions

1. Melt 1/4 cup of the Brummel&Brown in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until brown. Mix in the orzo, mushrooms, and remaining butter. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until the butter melts and the mushrooms are tender.

2. Pour the water and wine into the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic, and cook for 9 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and parsley.

* serves 6
* Shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

ENTER THE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY