Peperonata

What a delicious combination of onion, red pepper and tomato. I made this on Sunday morning and put it in the fridge to cool and then was invited to a friends house for some wine and apps.  I brought some with me and it was great chilled and put onto toasted pita wedges.  This can be served warm, cold or at room temperature and is so versatile! Put it on a sandwich or on a cracker or eat as a side salad…the list goes on an on. Such a fresh refreshing little salad.

Peperonata (Braised Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions)

Ingredients:

  • 1lb (500g) red bell peppers (capsicums), stems, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup (2fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bell peppers into 2 inch squares. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the peppers, olive oil, onion and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and have released their juices-about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Serve warm or chilled.

Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Florence cookbook.

Blueberry Muffins

 

I LOVE blueberries and these are more cake-like than bread like. Super easy for a weekend morning and really delicious!!!

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • non-stick spray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400f. Spray standard muffin tin to make 16 muffins.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In another larger bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter and eggs until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.
  4. Add the blueberries and stir until evenly incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 3-5 minutes then remove.

Makes 16 muffins. Total time 25 minutes. From Williams-Sonoma Baking

Note: if using frozen blueberries don’t thaw them however, this is best with fresh blueberries.

Shrimp Rolls! YUMMY!!!

 A super-delicious, cool, light, yummy sandwich!!

These are SO easy to make and even easier to eat! My husband and I both loved them. The cornichons (gerkins) add a nice bit of sweet/tangyness, the mustard adds just a bit of spice and depth. There is a very small amount of mayo to hold it all together-only 3 tbsp for 1 pound of shrimp. I served mine with chips and kosher dill pickle spears.

Creamy Shrimp Rolls 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup cornichons, chopped, plus 1 Tbsp brine
  • Black pepper
  • 1 lb cooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped (I used fresh non-frozen)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 pieces romaine or green-leaf lettuce (I used boston lettuce instead)
  • Potato chips, for serving
  • Kosher Dill Pickle spears

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise mustard, brine and 1/4 tsp pepper.

2. Add the shrimp, cornichons and tarragon and toss to combine.

3. Line the buns with the lettuce and top with the shrimp mixture. Serve with chips, if desired.

Makes 4 sandwiches. Prep time: 10 minutes  Total time: 15 minutes

From: http://christinacooks.blogspot.com/2011/08/creamy-shrimp-rolls.html originally Woman’s Day

Chinese Pepper Steak (kind of)

 

Last night I felt like making an easy stir-fry. I didn’t have the recipe at work that I normally make so I found Kikkoman’s on allrecipies.com and changed it up a bit. I intended to make it just like the recipie until I got to the store and saw that sugar snap peas were on sale, so I bought some of those. And then I started thinking I wanted to add some color so I picked up a red pepper too. So here’s what it ended up being. I was told by my husband that he ‘likes the ratio of ingredients-not too much or too little of anything’. Thanks Kev!!

Chinese Pepper Steak-kind of.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. boneless beef sirloin or round steak
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 green bell peppers-cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 red bell pepper-cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 medium onion-cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1/2 cup Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
  • splash of fish sauce
  • splash of soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. Cut steak across grain into thin strips then into 1 inch squares, coat with 1 tbsp hoisin sauce and set aside
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in hot wok over med-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry about 1 minute (or until almost cooked to your desired temp). Set aside.
  3. Heat remaining tbsp oil in the same pan. Add peppers, peas and onions, splashes of soy and fish sauce and stir-fry until cooked through but still nice and crisp-about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in beef and remainder of hoisin sauce, cook and stir until beef and veggies are coated with sauce. Serve immediately.

I served mine over jasmine rice. Makes 4 servings.

Prep time: about 10 minutes. Cooking time: about 15.

Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

 

These quesadillas are easy to make, take almost no prep time and are delicious!! The black beans, avocado and cheese create somewhat of a uniform texture so next time I make them I will add grilled chicken or crisp red peppers.  I also did not cook them stove-top but in my panini press as the tortilla gets nice and crispy and leaves pretty grill marks.  I also didn’t feel like washing a pan.  If you’re going to cook on a press just heat it up (I used the ‘low’ setting on mine), put the quesadillas on, close the cover, watch for the melty cheese magic and remove.

Try to avoid using pre-shredded cheese as there is a substance added to keep the cheese from sticking together in the bag-so it won’t melt as well as if you just grate your own.

After you rinse the beans well let them sit in a colander in the sink for a few minutes to let the excess water drain off. 

Black Bean & Avocado Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese-I used extra sharp cheddar. I also used about 1/2 cup more
  • 1 ripe avocado, roughly mashed
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • sour cream for dipping
  • lime wedges, if desired
  • chipotle powder for seasoning the sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
  2. Place 1 tortilla down flat and spread the cheese and beans onto it.  On the other tortilla spread mashed avocado then lay on top of the bean and cheese tortilla.
  3. Cook until the bottom tortilla is slightly browned and little crispy, then flip over with a spatula.
  4. Cook until cheese is melted and bottom is slightly browned and crispy.
  5. Remove from heat and cut into 4 triangles. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
  6. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream sprinkled with chipotle powder.

Makes 2 quesadillas.  Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: about 5 minutes. Like I said-fast!

Adapted from Sing For Your Supper and http://sweetsbeginning.blogspot.com/2011/06/black-bean-avocado-quesadilla.html

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