Turkey Sandwich with Roasted Tomatoes

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This month’s Food ‘n Flix film is The Breakfast Club, hosted by Debra at Eliot’s Eats. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this movie, so I was surprised to see this as the movie for the month. I mean, it’s not what I would consider a foodie movie. So I rewatched The Breakfast Club with an eye for food this time. Rather than just seeing a bunch of high school students in detention, I looked for food. And while not entirely dominating the movie, food I saw.

breakfast-clubThough not quite as . . . creative as this lunch sandwich (eaten by Allison,) my sandwich would have been welcomed by me to have for a high school lunch. Though I did consider making Allison’s cereal filled sandwich, I didn’t know if I could actually bring myself to eat it. When I was in high school my mom made me lunch almost everyday, but she rarely made me sandwiches. This was due to my own demanding nature. For some reason I just . . . I preferred rice a roni I guess. And I was spoiled.

But anyway, this movie did bring me back some. I remember the one occasion I had detention in high school. It was because my shirt was too short when I raised my hand in class. All it taught me was not to volunteer in class, because the hour I had to sit in detention just pissed me off. Saturday detention sounds absolutely horrible though. And incredibly unproductive. You think they’d at least let them do their homework.

So, the recipe I’m sharing with Food ‘n Flix this month is a sandwich. This sandwich hopefully could full any high school student through Saturday detention. It’s simple enough but has a kick that makes it special!

Turkey Sandwich with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients
2 slices of bread
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp paprika
2 slices tomato
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of dried basil
3 slices deli turkey
1/2 slice Swiss cheese
a tiny handful of arugula

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomato slices on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil. Roast for 25 minutes.

2. Toast the bread. While the bread is toasting and the tomatoes roasting, mix together the mayonnaise and paprika.

3. Put your sandwich together! Spread the paprika-mayonnaise on the bread. Place the turkey, roasted tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and arugula on the sandwich.

* makes 1 sandwich
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, I’m sharing this sandwich with Souper Sundays & See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

IMG_9295This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched A Good Year, a movie about a man who goes to France and something or other. This movie was hosted by Squirrel Head Manor.

Frankly, I wasn’t enamored with the movie. Really, I found it boring. I didn’t find any of the characters likable. I wasn’t inspired. I do still love participating though, even when my inspiration is lacking, so I decided to find some way to participate.

The gist of the movie is Max goes to France when he learns his deceased uncle has left his chateau to him. A plus about the movie is that the scenery and sets are beautiful – I did quite want to go to France (and live on a Vineyard no less.)

Anyway – this inspiration came from a part in the movie where Max was helping as a waiter at a French restaurant. An American tourist orders a salad “nee-swa-zay” with low-cal ranch dressing and some bacon bits sprinkled on top. Max then gets indignant and makes some remarks about fast food.

I decided to make the Salad Nee-Swa-Zay for that American tourist – though she probably still will hate it because I just couldn’t do ranch dressing on this salad.

A Good Year

I don’t think I can call this a Nicoise salad, because I sort of don’t have any Nicoise olives on it. That’s cheating, right? But if I’m making it for the American tourist, she probably wouldn’t want those olives – because I don’t like olives. And I even gave it some fresh bacon bits. I mean, I’m sure the tourist would have preferred the type out of a jar, but I can only sink to a certain level here.

So I have no idea what a Nicoise salad actually tastes like, but this not-really-Nicoise-salad was quite delicious with my heavy American hand.

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

Ingredients
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp onion, diced
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
10 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can tuna
4 oz green beans, trimmed

Directions

1. In a small bowl stir together the lime juice, olive oil, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon. Once fried, drain on paper towels. Set aside and let cool.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

4. While the potatoes and bacon are cooking, toss the lettuce with 2 tbsp of the dressing made in step 1. Divide onto two plates. Divide the tuna between the two plates and place in a scoop on top of the lettuce.

5. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

6. Toss the eggs with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

7. Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

8. In a pot, bring water to boil. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and blanch, by running cold water over them for 30 seconds. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

9. Chop the bacon. Sprinkle on top of the salad. If any dressing remains, drizzle it over the salad.

* Besides this month’s Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this salad with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday

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.

Bloggers Around the World Logo

 

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

 

Mediterranean Chicken

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This month,the Random Recipes challenge was the GRAB AND RUN challenge. What does this mean? Dom asked us, “If you have 10 seconds to pick one book, which would it be?” I immediately thought Cook Yourself Thin. Since I’ve bought it, it’s been my favorite cookbook. I’ve made many recipes out of it, everything’s pretty easy, and everything’s absolutely delicious. To just top it off, everything in the book is healthy.

I’ve cooked out of this book for Random Recipes before, when I made breakfast sandwiches. This time I opened the book to page 152, which has the Mediterranean Chicken on it. This recipe is actually broken into three smaller recipes: the chicken, the topping (which the book calls the salsa verde,) and the tomatoes.

The topping was SO great. And on top of that, the tomatoes paired perfectly with the chicken and the topping. I couldn’t have picked a better recipe from the book (though, everything’s good in it, so I probably could have picked something as good.)

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Mediterranean Chicken

Ingredients

CHICKEN:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

SALSA VERDE:
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup mint, chopped
2 cups basil, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
4 anchovy fillets, boned and chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp pepper

TOMATOES
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
splash of balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. In a large plastic ziplock bag, combine all of the ingredients in the chicken category. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least a half hour.

2. Next, mix all the ingredients from the salsa verde list in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, spray cooking spray into a cast iron skillet. Heat over medium high heat until smoking.

4. Remove the chicken from the  marinade and pat off any excess. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side. Flip the chicken and cook for 2 more minutes. Depending on how thick your chicken is, you may need more time. Make sure you cook the chicken all the way through.

5. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Saute for 3 minutes, until the tomatoes are warmed through. Crush lightly with the back of wooden spoon.

6. Top the chicken with the salsa verde and serve the tomatoes on the side.

* serves 4
* this recipe is also being shared with Full Plate Thursday and Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Portuguese Style Rice + White Wine and Paprika Chicken

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I announced it already, but to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the rubble, Pantry Party still exists but July and August themes will be combined. What I mean to say in more concise language is that I’m extending the RICE Pantry Party round-up to occur end of August. You now have until August 28th to get your rice recipes in. The rice doesn’t need to be the star of the dish, but it does need to be used.

I’m sure I’ll make more rice before August 28th, because I eat rice a lot. I usually eat it just plain with curry on top of it, but for my theme entry I decided to make something different.

The flavors in the rice and the chicken melded together so well. I was very happy with how this dish turned out. I didn’t really do what I had intended with the rice – instead I took the lazy man route and dumped everything in the rice cooker. While I use the rice cooker frequently, I’ve never used it like this. I was skeptical and was convinced we’d be going to get hamburgers after the rice failed, but it actually came out perfect. I guess lazy works sometimes.

Portuguese Style Rice
(source)

Ingredients
3 slices bacon
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Directions

1. Cook the bacon until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain. In the bacon drippings stir the onion, garlic powder, rosemary, and pepper together. Cook until the onion is tender.

2. Pour everything (including the bacon and the cooked onions) into a rice cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

* serves 6

White Wine and Paprika Chicken
(source)

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp apple juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup onion, diced

Directions

1. Combine the garlic, white wine, 1 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, apple juice, and salt together in a small dish. Pour over the chicken. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least a half hour.

2.  Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade using a slotted spoon. Discard the remaining marinade. Place in the hot oil in a single layer.  Cook for 3 minutes, until browned on one side. Then stir fry for 3 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the pan.

3. Add the onion to the pan on medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. Spoon the onions over the chicken.

* serves 2

* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is being shared with Cast Party Wednesday

Taco Salad

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I’m part of the website swap-bot. I participate in a lot of recipe swaps. Recently one of the swaps I participated in was called Send Me Some New Recipes. The swap required that you mail an envelope with at least 25 recipes in it, taken from anywhere. I sent recipes to my partners cut from magazines, handwritten from my personal collection, and printed from blogs online. One of the envelopes I received was a ton (25) recipes written on neon index cards. I added these to my recipe box collection, which has become significantly fuller since I started swap-bot.

This recipe was written on a neon green index card. This was a super easy recipe and was very delicious.

Taco Salad

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3/4 cup water
10 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salad dressing of choice
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional (also, guacamole could work!)

Directions

1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco spice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Stir in the ground beef. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the crushed chips. Serve with option sour cream or guacamole (or both!) on top.

* serves 5
* shared with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, & #Foodie Friday

Breaded Tomato Pasta

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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

Macadamia Tomato Pesto

Macadamia Nut PestoThis month at our very own Pantry Party, the theme is noodles! The goal of Pantry Party is to look through your pantries and use ingredients that are crying out to be used – ingredients that may have been forgotten about. Also, the dishes entered into the challenge should meet whatever the monthly theme is. This month I relied on some macadamia nuts that were hiding in my pantry. You’ll also see I used two different types of noodles, because I decided it made more sense to use the partial boxes than open up a new box.

I have a whole shelf of nuts. I have almonds, I have pine nuts, and I also have macadamia nuts. Well, actually, I don’t have them anymore because I used them – but you get it. I had macadamia nuts and then I used them to make this pasta sauce.

I love pestos and I had forgotten how much I liked making pesto from ingredients other than just basil and pine nuts. This was a delicious sauce and was a very easy meal to make.

So, don’t forget to enter this month’s noodle themed Pantry Party! I’d love to see what type of noodle-y dishes you have in store. Entries are due by the 26th of February.

Macadamia Tomato Pesto
(source)

Ingredients
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
pepper, to taste
9 oz noodles

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Once cooked drain and set aside.

2. In a skillet dry toast the macadamia nuts until lightly browned, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes.

3. Place the nuts, tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and pepper into the food processor. Process until pureed, about 30 seconds.

4. In the skillet  over medium heat add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Pour the puree into the skillet and stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Toss the noodles with the sauce.

* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Eggplant Parmesan

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I know I say this every time I post a recipe that uses eggplant: I really don’t like eggplant. But I have this tendency when I don’t like certain foods to keep making them in different ways. I figure that it isn’t always the actual food I dislike, but the preparation of the food. The eggplant parmesan was a great way to eat eggplant. It didn’t even taste like eggplant. I first breaded and fried it and then baked it.

In retrospect though I should have served it with something else. I had just made the eggplant, but it would have been good with pasta or even some garlic bread.

I loved the fresh basil. I love basil anyway, but for some reason it tasted even better than usual.

Eggplant Parmesan
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 eggplant, cut into 4 slices
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
a glug of olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 eggs, beaten
6 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

Directions

1. 2 hours before you’re ready to start cooking, place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Set over a sink and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Once the 2 hours are passed, press the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.

3. In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, and the glug of olive oil. Process until well combined and chopped. Season with pepper. Set aside.

4. In a shallow dish combine the flour and breadcrumbs. In another shall dish beat the egg. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add the eggplant slices. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Place 2 slices of eggplant in the casserole dish. Use 1/2 of the mozzarella to layer the eggplant. Place the basil on top of the mozzarella. Layer another slice of eggplant onto each stack. Cover with the remaining sauce and then the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, and Foodie Friday