Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 Cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 of a Medium red onion- chopped well
2 Cups Broccoli-cooked al dente- and chopped
4 pieces of 1/4" Sopresata (about a cup chopped and 1/2lb by weight)
1 Can drained sweet peas 
1 Can Chick Peas
1 Red Pepper Chopped
3/4 Cup Artichoke hearts chopped(with out the leaves)
1 Package Fusilli or Rotini Pasta cooked (al dente) and cooled

1 1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Mayo ( I use Duke's)
9 oz. Container Fage Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1 large Lemon
1 Tablespoon Country Dijon Mustard or similar
Salt & Pepper

Combine dressing in a blender or with a hand held mixer.  Make sure to mix well. Add to completely cooled bowl of mixed ingredients. Add in a small amount at a time and mix between additions. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Starling Special- Pom Wonderful Roast with Saucy Brown Rice and Baby Zucchini

Pom Wonderful Roast


2lb (or more) Beef roast
1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
1 8 oz. Bottle POM Wonderful
7 oz. Beer
1/2 cup Water
Olive Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Medium Onions
3-4 Bay Leaves
3 Large Carrots (peeled and broken into large pieces)
Salt and Pepper
Borsari Seasoning

Turn Crock Pot to low.

Dry and season meat with salt, pepper and Borsari.

Drizzle Olive Oil in pot and add roast. In a separate bowl- combine the POM, beer, Balsamic and Tomato paste and mix well. Pour over roast.  Add quartered onions, carrots and bay leaves. Drizzle olive oil and add a dash of Sea salt. Cook on low for 5 hrs and turn to Keep Warm. I went back 4 hrs later to make the rice and it was amazingly tender and juicy!

For the Saucy Brown Rice:

It depends on how many servings of rice you want- but follow the directions on the back of the package and substitute 1/2 of the water for the liquid in the Crock Pot. You can scoop it out with a mug or ladle. You can add more of the liquid if you want.  Try not to get the onions, carrots and bay leaves in the scoops you add to the rice. Cook covered until done. If you want a wetter rice, add more and continue to cook until the liquid reduces to your liking.

 Baby Zucchini:


4 Baby Zucchini
Olive Oil
Borsari Seasoning

Heat oven to 350

Wash and cut Zucchini ( down the middle)

Drizzle Olive Oil in a baking dish. Lay Zucchini in pan skin side down. Add Borsari and drizzle more olive oil. Add thin pats of butter to the top and place in oven. Cook for 20 min or until tender, then turn on broiler to crisp the top.

Many thanks to the awesome folks at POM Wonderful for the generous supply!!

Caprese Pasta and Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan

Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan


4 Chicken Breasts
2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 tablespoon Borsari Seasoning ( )
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Gold and Sea Salt ( )
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

(If you can't find the seasonings I used- you can substitute with sea salt, dried garlic, dried onions and your other favorites. I purchased both at Whole Foods but, I know a few supermarkets that carry the Borsari.)

Heat oven to 350

In a large baking dish, drizzle olive oil.

Clean and dry chicken.

In a bowl, make a bath of the egg and milk and mix well. 

In another baking dish, or large bowl combine the Panko, Borsari, Garlic Gold, and Parmesan cheese. It should be deep enough to toss and cover the chicken with the mixture.  If you need more, add more accordingly.

Dredge the chicken in the milk bath and then toss in Parmesan mixture. Repeat once. Move to baking dish and drizzle top with olive oil. (About 20 min in- you can add a second drizzle if you'd like.) Cook for 30 min. Then turn broiler on low if you want to brown the top.

Caprese Pasta


1 16 oz. bag of tricolor shells
1 container Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine (The little grape sized balls of Mozzarella.)
1 Container (about 2 cups thinly sliced) of Colored small Tomatoes (grape/cherry size)
1/2 cup finely chopped Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

In a pot, bring water to boil, add salt. Add pasta and cook to al dente. 

Slice tomatoes into small, thin discs and quarter the balls of Mozzarella. 

When pasta is ready-Drain water (let a small amount- enough to coat the noodles slightly, of the starchy water) and keep burner on low. Add Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar to taste. Stir well. Add Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella. Leave on the heat for the basil to wilt and the tomatoes to heat up. Don't leave it on too long or too high because the Mozzarella will glob up. Season with salt and pepper. Mangia!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Awesome in a shaker!

I know it is a bit hard to see but this stuff is awesome! I have included the website. I got mine at Whole Foods and it is great to use on almost everything. It tastes like real garlic, not the processed powder junk. Check it out! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shrimp and Bacon Mac-n-Cheese

1 box whole wheat elbow pasta
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Cream Cheese
5 Tablespoons Butter ( plus some to saute the shrimp)
1 lb. Shrimp 
1 package bacon ( I use center cut)
2 cups 6 cheese Italian Blend shredded  (I used Sargento)
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese shredded
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
3/4 cup Swiss cheese shredded
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Large baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350.

While preparing the shrimp and bacon, cook the pasta and drain. (Be sure to keep 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water which you will need later). Make sure you cook the pasta, with mac-n-cheese you do not want al-dente because the pasta will continue to absorb later and will make your mac-n-cheese dry. 

Peel and rinse shrimp. Drain well. With 2-3 tablespoons of butter, saute in pan over med-high heat until for 5-7 min or until cooked. Be careful not to overcook- they can become tough. When done drain from butter and cut into small pieces.

In another skillet (or on a sheet pan in the oven) cook bacon until slightly crispy. Don't overcook. Cut or break into similar size pieces as the shrimp.

Grease the bottom of the baking dish with a good amount of butter. Drain the pasta and return the pot to low heat. 
Combine the cheeses and pasta starting with the butter, cream cheese and Greek yogurt. When they are well combined add the additional cheeses, stirring well. Add 1/2 cup of milk and let cheeses melt and combine. (If you want to add extra Parmesan here you can- just keep enough on hand for the topping). Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water (the water has the starch in it which will help bind the dish). Make sure to keep an eye that the mixture does not look dry. You want it to be wet, but not over saturated, it will cook off a bit in the oven. Add shrimp and bacon. Stir well and add more milk or pasta water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and cover with small bits of butter, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25 min. For the last 3 turn the broiler to low to brown and crisp the top of the dish.