Friday, April 27, 2012

Pasta Mix & Match #1

A few hours before dinner, combine the tomatoes, garlic and Rosemary Garlic Dipping Oil in a small bowl.  Cover and allow flavors to meld in the fridge.  Slice the skirt steak into thin strips.  Cook the pasta to taste, drain and portion into serving bowls.  Top with skirt steak and marinated tomatoes as well as the leftover juices from each.  Garnish with green onions.

Remember, these "Pasta Serving Suggestion" recipes are just mix and match ideas.  Leftover grilled chicken would have worked just as well or even shrimp.  Pastamoré Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil or our Tomato Blend would have worked with the tomatoes.  And of course, a different fettuccine would be fun to try too, and may even be better!  Think Spinach Basil, Chipotle Fettuccine, or even Sweet Potato!  Let us know about what you try!

Serves four.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

White Truffle Butter

Truffle butter is an indulgent but handy condiment for the gourmet household.  Use a pat of butter when sautéing vegetables or scallops.  In fact it will brighten any seafood.  Many of our Pastamoré pastas will be enhanced with a small amount.  Mashed potatoes go from ordinary to extraordinary when you add truffle butter.  Lastly, you can use truffle butter to wake up the flavor of omelets and scrambled eggs!

In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter and white truffle oil.  Season with salt to taste. Spoon the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log, about 1 inch thick. Wrap the log tightly and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Nan’s Quick Pizza – Shrimp & Roasted Corn

(This is part of our series of Boboli recipes.  While we do like to make pizza dough, for easy but wonderful weekday dinners it is hard to beat a premade pizza crust.  Other brands are popping up in your local grocery store, and worth trying.  We also like to use premade flatbreads, or naan.  Recipes are great but the advantage to having a Boboli handy is your ability to salvage leftovers from your fridge, allowing you to be creative and frugal at once!)

This recipe was inspired by Nan’s Asian Grilled Shrimp Salad.  Same core ingredients, we just used our Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil instead and plopped it on a pizza!

Sadly, this particular pizza is no more...
  • ½ lb medium cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 4 ounce ( ¼ bag) Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons Pastamoré Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 12 inch Boboli pizza crust (any style)
  • ¼ to ½ cup pizza or marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Place shrimp, corn and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.  Drizzle with the Basil Parmesan Oil.  Use only as much as needed to cover, a little bit will go a long way.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a few hours, which will allow the flavors to meld.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread the tomato sauce on the Boboli, just barely covering the surface.  The sauce is not a key ingredient, so do not overwhelm with too much.  Cover with cheese.  Spread shrimp/corn mixture evenly over the top.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle on the basil.  Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serves 3 to 4.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nan’s Asian Grilled Shrimp Salad

This can be prepared on the grill, in a wok or a hot skillet.  For the grill, use a pan designed for the BBQ with holes in the bottom.  You may also want to try this recipe with grilled chicken or steak.

  • 12 to 15 thawed frozen jumbo shrimp (we use frozen cooked from Costco)
  • ¼ cup Pastamoré Asian Dipping Oil
  • 4 ounces frozen Fire Roasted Corn, thawed (¼ bag from Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ Asian pear, sliced
  • 7 ounces (or so) mixed greens (bagged pre-washed)
  • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved, optional
  • one avocado, optional
Place shrimp and corn in a bowl, and toss with the Asian oil, and marinate about an hour.  Heat grill or pan to medium high heat.  Using a slotted spoon place the shrimp and corn in the cooking vessel of your choice and sauté.  Once heated through and sizzling, remove and place back in the bowl with the remaining Asian oil and toss again.  Arrange on greens along with pear and tomato halves.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nan’s Asian Fried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Pastamoré Asian Dipping Oil
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
  • 4 ounces protein (chicken or pork, chopped and/or cooked shrimp)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat a wok or large skillet to medium high.  Add rice.  Drizzle with the Asian Dipping Oil and sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Make a ‘hole’ in the middle of the pan and add the raw egg.  Stir into rice and blend.  Once the egg has cooked, add the frozen vegetables and the protein and stir to combine thoroughly.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  The fried rice should be hot and ready in about 10 to 12 minutes.

There is very little hard and fast about this recipe, other than fried rice should contain rice!  This is one of those recipes where a look through the fridge is in order – find some leftovers!  Any vegetable combo will work, and a leftover chicken breast or steak will fit the bill.  Get creative!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oven Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese

Nan insists you need to LOVE figs to make this recipe!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove a small scoop of the fig meat from the center of each fig half, leaving a small indent for the cheese.  Place the figs cut side up on a baking sheet.  Dollop ½ ounce of goat cheese on each fig.  Bake until warmed through and cheese just melted, about 5 minutes.  Serve two halves to a plate, and drizzle with the fig balsamic vinegar.  Serve with baguette.

Serves four.

Slow Cooked Ribs with Nan’s Rich Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Nan claims these are some of the best lip-smacking ribs she has ever made, what do you think?  She uses a slow cooker/crock pot, but you can also slow roast them in the oven.

for the ribs
  • 5 to 6 lbs ribs (Nan likes baby back or country style, but you can use your favorite instead!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

for the sauce

Combine oil, salt, garlic and herbs in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over ribs.  Place in slow cooker for 4 to 6 hours until tender.

While ribs are cooking prepare sauce.  In a large non-reactive sauce pan, bring balsamic vinegar to boil over medium heat.  Cook until reduced by about a third.  Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, 30 to 40 minutes uncovered.  The resulting sauce should be highly seasoned, but you can adjust to taste with additional vinegar, brown sugar or salt as desired.

Transfer ribs to baking sheets covered with foil.  Slather both sides of ribs with sauce.  Broil ribs 2 to 4 minutes per side until sauce sizzles and browns, or alternately you can bake the ribs in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes at 450 degrees, turning once and basting with sauce.  Serve with any remaining sauce on the side.  Be sure and have plenty of napkins!

Serves six.

Pear & Romaine Salad with Balsamic

A very special thank you to Nan’s Fan Toni Evans for this fabulous recipe!
  • 1 to 2 Bosc pears, cut into ½ inch cubes (Asian pears will also work well)
  • ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup Pastamoré White Balsamic with Pear Vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 basil leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine pears, cheese, pecans and romaine in a large bowl.

In a small bowl whisk to combine vinegar, garlic, basil, honey, salt and pepper.  Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk.  Add to salad and toss just before serving.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pan Roasted Cherry Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

It may surprise some of our fans to know this is one of our all-time most popular recipes. Many folks don't know how good fresh Brussels sprouts can be when properly prepared. What did surprise us, however, was how well the Brussels sprouts marry with cherries.

  • 12 Brussels sprouts, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove – chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock (add more if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons Pastamoré Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Ocean Spray ‘Craisins – Cherry juice infused’
  • bread crumbs (optional)
In a medium saucepan sauté olive oil, butter and Brussels sprouts over medium heat until slightly brown. Add garlic to pan, and cook for a minute or two longer. Add chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and Craisins. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until fork tender. The stock/balsamic mixture at this point should be reduced to a syrup. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Place in serving bowl and top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs if desired.

Serves two generously.

Creamy Pear Balsamic Dressing

Simply Yummy

This is a versatile and easily prepared dressing which can be used for salads, as a dip for artichokes, or simply along with sliced avocado.  Nan also suggests spooning a small amount over grilled asparagus.

With a whisk combine the pear vinegar and mustard with the mayonnaise in a small bowl.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and salt if necessary to taste.  As a salad dressing, this will dress four dinner salads.

Any of the ingredients can be adjusted up or down to suit your taste.  In fact, Nan never measures the ingredients for this salad - she just uses a heaping spoon of this and a dash of that.  Also, in our kitchen we have tried this with other styles of mustard with great results, including spicy mustard and even a blood orange mustard.

Have fun with this recipe – let us know how it turned out in your kitchen!